26 Lessons I’ve Learned in my 26 Years (Part 2)

14. Fortune really does favor the bold. There are a lot of scary things out there but if you face your fears, sometimes good things will happen.

15. Make a daily to-do list and stick with it. I get the biggest kick crossing things off in my planner- seriously. I usually dance when that happens.

16. Make amends with your body. Growing up, I had an eating disorder that I didn’t address until my early twenties. Before then, I hated everything about my body- its limbs, the color of my skin, how huge my boobs and feet were (and still are). It took forever to realize that my body is damn fantastic. I don’t look like a supermodel and I never will but I have features that others would kill for. It was time to stop hating everything I saw in the mirror and quit starving myself. Besides, life is too short to skip French fries.

17. Volunteer. It is something that gives me incredible joy, whether its playing with shelter animals or helping a elderly woman with a craft project. If every person on the planet reached out to another, even just for 15 minutes of their day, I’m sure the world would be a billion times better.

18. Cheaters never prosper. Don’t cheat in school or on your boyfriend. NEVER.

19. Physical things don’t matter. I was evicted from an apartment a few years ago and lost everything I thought was important to me. But I eventually learned that those things that I thought mattered down. I have everything that I need (okay, everything I need is usually in my pursue which I keep close to my side in case of a robbery or fire. Oh, my cell phone…).

20. Art is life. I like to end my day with doing something creative. Blogging. Coloring. Knitting something fuzzy. It give me time to relax and get out of my head while making something pretty to hang on my bedroom walls. I’m sure that it drives my current roommates nuts, me hermitting in my bedroom with my music cranked up high but I don’t care. I do it to keep myself sane.

21. Be a good friend. This is something I still have trouble with. I recently went through a health scare and my self-absorbed self wanted to do nothing but cry in the corner about the pains shooting through my body. It was then when my friend, Melissa, texted me as if she knew something was wrong. She came and picked me up, took me to the doctor (and paid for the visit), listened to my prognosis and held my hand the entire time. I am truly grateful for her love at that time and moments before. I hope that one day, I could not be so selfish and truly be there for a friend someday.

22. Don’t pick at your zits. You’re right, Mom. That really does leave scars.

23. Be truly sorry when you tell someone that you are or your words will come back and bit you in the bum.

24. It is totally okay to be different. I was labeled ‘weird’ ever since I could remember. I was the girl with the boy haircut, the fat kid, the goth one who caked on eyeliner and bright red lipstick- the ‘dyke,’ the ‘heifer,’ the ‘Oreo’. As hurtful as some labels were, I’m happy that I remained true to myself. I relish in the fact that I’m a individual and that I’m always true to myself. (We geeks are much more interesting, anyway.)

25. Every once in a while, remind yourself that you’re awesome/ smart/ sexy/ funny/ pretty/ amazing. You really do deserve that good pick me up and maybe some Ben and Jerry’s.

26. Every day is worth it. Things may not turn how you want them one day to but it’s your choice to deal with it and move on. Remember that the sun rises the next day and life does go on- embrace it and use that time to reflect and go outside and play with your buds.


26 Lessons I’ve Learned in my 26 Years (Part 1)

1. Family really does have your back. Whenever my dad used to lecture that phrase to me, I shrugged and rolled my eyes. However, whenever I was ever in trouble, I knew I could count on him to help me. Even if I was thrown in the tank one night, I know that my parents would wire me bail money.

2. Never drunk dial your ex-boyfriend. Never drunk dial anyone (that goes for texting, too). Give your phone to a friend who will give it back to you once you’re sober and stop crying.

3. As much as you want them to, people can’t read your mind. You need to speak up if you have something important for them to hear.

4. Spend as much time in the sunshine as possible. Preferably on a bicycle (and always wear a helmet).

5. Every moment spent thinking about this guy or that guy is a huge waste of time. Be more productive with your time and read a book. Or bake. I’m finally a believer of the saying, it will happen when you least expect it. So, stop stressing and do something more fun. Trust me- when you’re having a blast, running around after a soccer ball with your friends, you’ll (literary) run into Mr. Wonderful.

6. Everyone deserves kindness. Okay, people can be rude and awful sometimes and then we wonder why we were nice to them to begin with. In times like that, I think of what Eminem once said-  “I don’t care if you’re black, white, straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, short, tall, fat, skinny, rich or poor. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Simple as that.”

7. You have the choice of being happy or being miserable. Wallowing in pity and anxiety may be easier then putting a smile on your face and be social. But in the end, I believe that effort is well worth it.

8. Have no regrets. I dropped out of school three years ago. As much of a mistake some people think that was, I think about the adventures I had since then. I moved to New York City. I learned how to surf. I started writing professionally. Sure, I may be paying for the past but I have a ton of fond memories since then and I don’t dwell too much on past negative events.

9. Even though I like to think I do, I don’t know everything. One of my life-long goals is to gather as much information as I can- knowledge about the world, myself. Always keep that hunger for learning for learning truly never ends.

10. Flossing + brushing + every day = NO CAVITIES!

11. Not speaking can do wonders. Shut up and listen. See what you can learn.

12. Fake it until you make it. I hate talking to strangers. I’m also the girl who loves bartending. Strange, huh? Whenever I get behind the bar, I brush my fear aside and focus on making customers drunk and happy. I flirt, ask people about their night and never forget to smile. By the end of my shift, my confidence is so big, it fills the rooms.

13. Lady Gaga said it best- just dance. It’s fun, a good release of endorphins and honestly, who cares if you look like idiot?

I Am…

I am a lover. A fighter. A crier. A singer. A bicyclist. A filmmaker. A rock star (who plays guitar poorly). A writer. A Jersey girl. A Brooklynite. A fan of hotdogs at baseball games. A photographer. A Latina (who can barely speak a lick of Spanish). An adventure seeker. An awful driver. A saleswoman. A drinker of scotch and good whiskey. A woman with curves.

I am a daughter. A big sister. An extended family member. A mermaid. A princess. A nerd (and proud of it). A thinker. A friend (a BEST friend!). A lover. A future wife and mother. A cleaning lady. A terrible cook. An excellent baker (of pies!). A lonely soul. A neurotic. A narcissist. A piece of work. A hot mess (sometimes). An INFJ. A class act.

I am a runner. A dancer (if only in my bathroom). A kick baller. A sex machine. A kisser. A hand-holder. A dreamer (zoning out during both the day and night). A spy. A procrastinater. A reader. A listener. A Facebook-er. A bartender. An admirer of men’s fashion. A darling. A tattooed body. A mouth full of cracked teeth. A brown-eyed girl.

You can’t put a label on this. This is me. All of me. But if you must, go ahead and try to.

30 Before 30

I’m awesome!

I love my friends. They make me laugh when I’m down; have silly dances with me on the subway platform; inspire me when my life feels lackluster. One of these lovelies is the blogger/rock star/future nurse Courtney Law, who has challenged herself to complete 30 goals before her thirtieth birthday. I’ve taken note and have accepted that same challenge for myself, attempting to check off a list of my own before I reach March 5, 2016. Life’s meant to be lived and living is what I will do. (I’ll keep y’all updated on these endeavours.)

1. Receive my undergraduate degree
2. Skydive
3. Go on a Alaskan cruise with Mom
4. Become a Big Brother Big Sister mentor
5. Maneuver a skateboard without falling
6. Get a matching tattoo with Mom
7. Get my driver’s license
8. Get a motorcycle license
9. See the Aurora Borealis
10. Run a marathon
11. Learn the complete dance from ‘Thriller’
12. Go to Burning Man
13. Join Toastmasters and deliver a kick-ass speech
14. Swim with seals
15. Surf in Costa Rica
16. Knit a blanket for myself
17. Have sex in a public place
18. Run in the Run-A-Muck race
19. Take a cross-country road trip with my friends
20. Learn how to fence
21. Move back to New York City
22. Have a conversation with my Nana in Spanish
23. Name a star after myself
24. Write my memoirs
25. Try out for ‘American Idol’
26. Sleep on the beach
27. Walk across hot coals
28. Host dinner parties for friends
29. Leave happy post-it notes on bathroom mirrors every week
30. Pay off the debt that originated in Reno, NV

A Thing of Beauty

“I don’t like standard beauty . There is no beauty without strangeness.”  ~Karl Lagerfeld

During my overnight camp out a LaGuardia Airport earlier in the week, I picked up the new issue of ‘PEOPLE Magazine.’ Beyonce was on the cover, looking stunning and voted as the most beautiful woman in the world. There she graced the cover, radiating with a post-pregnancy glow. Flipping inside the magazine, the usual actresses and singers one would expect were laid out in the issue, with their gorgeous high cheekbones and full, pouting lips. Don’t get me wrong- these women are stunning. I know that I would die to have some of their features and body types. But I know that I’m not going to walk into Starbucks on a random Tuesday and see Charlize Theron ordering a non-fat grande latte. Where are the real women?

Hang on there- found them. A few pages later into the magazine, your so-called ‘average Janes’ highlighted the pages. It was pretty refreshing to see these women; young and old, mothers, brokers, artists; complete with faces of freckles, bodies with curves and ageless smiles. I have often wondered why aren’t women like these featured in today’s magazines. These are the ladies I want to see modeling the latest couture and jem stones. A few weeks ago, ‘Vogue Magazine’ and its international counterparts issued a statement saying that they will no longer use thin, known anorexic models in their photography shoots. We will see if their words ring true within the next couple of months as the ‘zines hit the shop bookshelves (the inner-teenager in me hopes so, the girl who looked through these pictures and wished constantly to be size 00) .

Everyone has their own definition of beauty. What is yours? I have always believed that the differences made you beautiful. I’ve always been a sucker for un-stereotypical features (even in men). I love moles and pale skin, crooked noses and chipped teeth. I think every face is a thousand times more dazzling with a genuine smile. We all don’t look like Giselle or Brad but I hope, dear reader, that you look in the mirror every morning and remind yourself, both male and female, that you’re an absolute knockout.

Be Fearless!

“You know how old people drive like they’re blind? You know how they walk across busy streets and make you slam on your brakes? They aren’t clueless- they’re FEARLESS! Like, ‘I am ready to die. What else could you possibly do to me now?’ It’s how Evil Knievel felt when he was four; how I started feeling around junior year. And how you should be feeling now!”

-Mat Devine (Broadway actor, author, vox of the Chicago band, Kill Hannah)