Trusting The Process

Sometimes, I wonder what my life would’ve been like if I hadn’t gone to community college, if I stuck it out all 4 years at the same 4 year institution… I think about things like that a lot and quite frankly my life would be so much more different than it is right now.

Things happen for a reason and, quite frankly, we just don’t know why. We know it’s a series of things that lead up to it, but even that, we don’t even know why it happened. But in a way, I’m thankful and happy for where life has lead me.

In fact, there’s a quote that says:

“Life has a funny way of working out, just when you start to believe it never will”

In the beginning of my college journey, I remember transitioning from the out-of-state school and thinking “well shit, what now?”

But I started to see that life is crazy. It comes complete with its twists and turns. Essentially, what I learned was this: things are bound to get shitty before they get better.

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and that’s totally okay! That’s when you know you’re growing. A lot of times growth happens in your shittiest situations, those situations are a test to see if you’re willing to continue pressing forward. Your situation might not get better overnight, but over time you’ll see that it’ll help you see things in a different light.

I remember reuniting with my friends from Canada, this past Labor Day weekend, and just telling them a little bit about my college journey and one of them left me with a really simple phrase, it being: “life happened”

Yeah, life happened when I left my 4 year institution, maybe it was through fault of not knowing how to adapt to the dorm life or whatever the case was. Granted, I learned from then on, that at that point, I wasn’t ready to leave home.

Life happened, but I managed to get back up and learn from those mistakes. I realized that even though I’m a year behind in school, it allows me to have a little more insight on dorming and moving in that I could give to people transferring out and moving far from home.

I’ve been able to flip a negative to a positive.

As many of you have read in my previous post about my convoluted journey, my journey has been taken in stride. I’ve learned the value of an education, especially mine, that it’s a value worth struggling for. Unfortunately, I learned that the hard way, it took me going out of state to a school to coming to a community college to finally getting re-integrated into another 4-year university, to realize that I needed to put success at the forefront of my mindset. Wherever that may be.

I’m thankful that this whole thing happened because had it not happened, I wouldn’t have met the amazing people that I have had the pleasure of crossing paths with.

and for a while I thought that if I hadn’t gone to a 4- year university, that I would be missing out on a ton of worthwhile experiences, like studying abroad in a foreign country. But GUESS WHAT?!?!

I did that, I experienced that with an amazing group of people who came from different parts of the world to congregate in a town down under! HOW COOL IS THAT?!

The bottom line is, I thought I was going to miss out on a lot of things because I had gone off-course, with being a year behind and all, but I didn’t. I’m just moving through life at the pace that God and the Universe have set for me.

I can’t speed up this pace, because a) what’s the fun in doing that? and b) I prefer to enjoy life, just as it is.

Things happen for a reason, but that doesn’t mean we should get discouraged and give up when things get hard. We pick up from where we left off and press on. So just because life isn’t going the way you want it to, right now, doesn’t mean that it’ll always stay that way. Things change, people change and time doesn’t stop. Each person is on a path that is so different and at their own pace.

The twenties are a weird age, like there are people who are already married-with children, working, or just going to school and lemme tell ya… THAT’S ALRIGHT. Like I said before, people are going at their own pace in life. With that being said, here’s my advice to you!

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So relax, take a sip of positiviTEA and rest on the hope that things will get better.

Sending loads of love and light your way,

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A Letter to My Younger Self

Lately, I’ve been in a reflecting mood. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but never really had the right words for it or the content that I needed to create this nice and down-to-earth post that I wanted to make for my readers (i.e you guys!).

I remember a lot of things from my adolescence, like where I went to high school and basically the gist of what I had experienced, but I couldn’t really tell you what happened during what time in my high school career. Thankfully, I dug up some photos from facebook and my old journals because writing has been a constant outlet for me since I could even remember.

Being older now, I see more things in a positive and realistic light. I am more motivated than I have ever been in my life. I am just starting out in my adulthood, I am paving the way for myself goal-wise and I have surrounded myself with the right people to make my goals happen, as well as push other people in the direction of their goals. I look at things now and how they will affect me mentally, physically, and emotionally in the long run. I’m so much more independent and happier.

However, when I was 15-16-17, I saw things differently. Now what you will see in this post is me talking to my younger self. Using the journals, that I have read through (somewhat), and looking at it now, as an older, wiser Karen, I’ll respond to the themes that I have seen play out through my adolescence. The whole purpose of this post is to shed light on somethings that I was going through and what I would say now, in response to the situations I was in.

so sit back, relax, and let’s get this show on the road…

Dearest Karen,

I read your journal and I had an idea of what you were going through, but thank you for going into detail about your everyday life and what your emotional states are, they definitely help me understand you as a person. But, I’m gonna be honest with you girl, I was blown away at what you wrote. At times, I noticed that you were doing things then, that should have been left alone. It was hard to read about your experiences at times because, while they were simple and small, I see that they were very significant and made you feel like complete and utter shit. But, I see you, I understand you, and I’m writing this because you’d probably be in awe of the person typing up this letter.

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Karen, you are amazing person, with this huge heart, beautiful smile and long hair. You deserve everything that is great in this world, and never settle for low-lives who make your world a living hell. I love you and these are things I wished you knew, growing up.

Surround yourself with people who see great potential in you.

Girls and guys alike. You are a fucking gem, who would go the distance for anyone and everyone, you open up your heart so easily to people, (quite frankly, I still even do it to this day!) because you want to be as honest, genuine and authentic as possible. KEEP DOING SO AND DON’T BE AFRAID. You are destined for greatness, but only if you surround yourself with the right people and the people who are going places, like college and beyond.

You are destined for greatness, so climb for your goals

In order to accomplish your goals, you have to work for them. Karen, you are capable of making your dreams happen. Don’t ever let anyone tell you or dictate to you that your goals are out of your reach, because anyone who says that, can leave. Be in the pursuit of what sets your heart on fire and your mind ablaze with vital life skills. You are in control. If you want to go after getting straight A’s, GO FOR IT, KID! The only person stopping you, is you.

You are Colombian, dammit, use that to your potential!

You have a good head on your shoulders, kid. Don’t waste your energy focusing on pointless things, like boys. You are strong, you are independent and you do whatever makes you happy.

Don’t go where everyone else has been, go down the road less traveled

You strive for originality, girl. I see it in your writing and it’s amazing to see. Follow through with it. You’re just as capable of paving new ways for yourself and if you have to go alone, THEN SO BE IT.  Learn to be okay in standing alone in your goals, you know that there is always a person beside you, in front of you and above you. Rest on your faith and on your morals and you’ll be okay.

You are so, so, so Loved

Karen, do you see the people in your life? THEY ARE IN YOUR LIFE FOR A REASON. They are your family, friends, mentors, instructors, they care about you. They see something in you, you’ll see that your friendship and loyalty to people are what matter in this world. You go the distance for the people who mean the most to you and that is a beautiful quality, Karen. Don’t waste your energy on petty bullshit, because in the end, no one really wins an argument, you’re just stuck in a hole with the person you were at odds with. You know who you are, so hold your head high, because you’re a boss.

Boyfriends and Friends, alike, will come and go

If it’s something I’ve noticed in your writings, amiga, it’s that you drive yourself mad overthinking about people who could care less about you. I get it, but you have to realize that as much as you’re growing, maybe you’re growing in a different direction than your friends AND THAT’S TOTALLY OKAY. GROW AWAY, learn all there is to learn about the things that you are interested in. You are what you attract. So continue to have good vibes, learn as much as you can from people. The people who really do care, will come into your life and the ones that don’t are better off not even staying in your life.

At the end of the day it boils down to you and how you feel about something. The only people here to stay is your family. Family is an integral part of who you are and be thankful that you have a family that cares and is willing to go the extra mile for you. Your parents are your biggest cheerleaders and will always be there giving you much needed advice.  Be patient and learn from your parents, they’re almost always right.

Learn that it is better to let go of someone and the situation, than actually staying in it. I noticed that you stay in situations that aren’t ideal and they declined your mental health.

Love yourself enough to walk away. The right people will come in due time.

Life is a long journey and there should be no rush, control what you can, and let go of what you can’t.

With much love, light and better days ahead,

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The Importance of Goal Setting

With the summer winding down and the excitement for school starting back up again, I thought today’s blog post should be about something surrounding the idea of goals and setting them, lol.

All jokes aside, this has been a post I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but haven’t had the right time, like now to go forth and talk about it.

We are more than halfway through 2018 and by now we have set goals, changed goals or given them up just because… life happens. And that’s totally okay, life has a way of diverting our focus away from our goals.

I don’t know about you, but my goals have been at the center of everything I do, everything I’m working towards. Goals are what keep us motivated. I mean, if you think about it, the concept of goals is so embedded into our lives, that we don’t even realize it.

In fact, the word ‘goals’ is often masked by other words like:

goals

Anytime we get a syllabus, the first part of it is always, “Objectives for this class…” and then the list commences.

But goals aren’t just things made to keep us motivated, they’re also things that help us see the big picture. With each goal or task that we accomplish in our lives, we are essentially paving the way for our future. Our dreams are what keep us moving, they keep us mindful, grounded even.

But the thing about goals, is that they have to be SMART goals. What I mean by that, is your goals have to be Specific Measurable Attainable Reliable and Time-bound.

A lot of times when we make-up our goals, we have a tendency to be super vague in what we want. It’s almost as if we want the end result, yet not wanting to put the work into said goal. I mean there’s always the possibility that we want to accomplish a goal, but we have no idea how to go about completing it or where to even begin.

Recently, I signed up for a 5k. I’ve never done a 5k before, but it’s been on my bucket list for a while.

I was doing an event one morning and there was this lady who was standing in the next table over from me, she was a representative of this foundation called the “Aubrey Foundation”. I asked her what the foundation does and she said that it was made in memory of a school teacher, named Aubrey Pappas, who taught sixth grade English at a North Brunswick school district. In 2014, Aubrey died in a car accident and was also pregnant at the time with her second child.

From the way this person told me the story, Aubrey sounded like such a sweet woman, who motivated her students to become better people and how becoming a better person is a huge key to success. She touched so many lives in her time as a teacher and as a person.

Aubrey’s husband is a cop for the town of North Brunswick and shortly after she died, he found her bucket list and saw that one of the things she wished to accomplish was a 5k. So from that moment on, with the help of family and friends, they vowed to #LiveLikeAubrey and The Aubrey Foundation was born. You can read more about what they do here.

It was really cool hearing that story and it even motivated me to get back on that 5k training grind! The thing about goals is that they can either be short or long term goals.

Short term goals are goals that are short (obviously lol) and easy to achieve in 3 months time. These kinds of goals can be anything, like waking up earlier in the morning, working out 2-3 times a week, going on more walks, etc. Smaller goals keep you accountable, they keep you on your toes and are a lot easier to accomplish, if you work towards them.

Long-term goals are more than short-term goals

and they often involve a life change or a change in mindset. Long-term goals could be: to graduate either magna, summa, or cum laude from college, to work for a well regarded company, to become a doctor, actuary, digital marketer, to live in a specific area, etc. Long term goals are normally things that you are working towards. Funny enough, long term goals need at least a couple of smaller goals to reach the ultimate goal!

An example of goal setting is meditation! Whenever I start a meditation practice, I make a rough list of all the goals I want to accomplish through meditation. Essentially, it’s a compiled list of internal changes I would want to work towards, like becoming more patient, losing weight, becoming more tolerant, etc. Then, out of the list of things I’d want to get out of the practice, I’d pick one that has been of high importance.

The more you focus on that goal, the likely it is for you to accomplish it. Meditation is made to help keep you at ease with the stresses of everyday life as well as making it easier for you to accomplish any aspirations you hold close to your heart.

With all that said, celebrate the small wins. If you’ve done something that gets you even an inch closer to completing your dream, then CELEBRATE!!!

What are some of your goals? Leave me a comment below!

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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The Summer I Grew Up

It’s crazy to think that I’m not the same person I started the summer with. In a span of 3 months, I’ve grown into someone I’ve longed to be. Frankly, that involved a series of situations that made me think about who I want to be, what my goals are for the future. Through it all, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come.

I’m not the same person I was, as when the summer began. I’m a different person because of the experiences I went through. The thing about good experiences and bad experiences, is that both of these serve as a purpose to learn and to grow.

With summer 2018 wrapping up, I’ve been reflecting on how this summer was so profound.

To start it all off, I graduated from Community College with good grades and amazing friends right by my side.

I then traveled to Australia for an amazing 8 days as part of a Business and Entrepreneurship program. I met so many people who came from different walks of life, but were all in the same boat as me: studying at an accredited community college or transferring,  and absolutely killing it in their studies. I didn’t just meet people from across the country, but from different countries around the world. It was a very humbling experience. The opportunity opened up so many doors for me. It pushed me in the direction of my dreams and what I’m really meant to do.

When I got back, jetlagged, on Sunday May 27th, I started my internship the same week. My internship was at a local radio station that housed both AM and FM stations, which was pretty cool! Prior to starting, I had already been a week late to starting my internship. Starting out, I thought I was going to be working every day and start accumulating hours… BOY, WAS I WRONG.

I was given an office day, Wednesday, specifically, where I would have a regular 10-5 day. In that time, I would work on some projects that really got the creative wheels turning in my head.

What followed were events, so because I worked in the Promotions and Marketing department, we had events in the surrounding areas, which were a variety of  festivals, free movie nights, concerts, fundraisers and more! Most of the events we did involved us settting up tables, our portable sound system, prizes, tent, a game etc. And I’d get hours for these events! (by hours I mean like hours that go towards my internship program, I had to have about 180 hours).

Somewhere along the way, in the midst of working and living my best life, I came out of a relationship (which some of you have seen and read about here). A really bad situation arose and in a span of three days, I realized that I needed to do what was best for me. That involved making a decision that wasn’t easy, which was to end my relationship with the person.

Truthfully, I didn’t think I’d be that motivated to do it. I lived in denial about my relationship, I believed that everything was going well, but after those three days, I realized that the relationship was, in essence, crumbling. Things started standing out in my mind, like red flags and it reinforced the need to get out of the relationship once and for all.

Through this experience, I didn’t just see the true colors of this person, but I began to see the true colors of those around me. I’ve had to cut some ties, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

So from then on, it was workworkworkwork.

Work was fun! There was never once a dull moment in the office or at events and I’ll miss the people I’ve worked with this summer.

Now, I’ve recently purchased my textbooks for the upcoming semester. I am beyond ready and excited to see what the future holds for me at this 4-year university, come September.

But the bottom line is:

I’ve had a great summer, I had the amazing opportunity go to Australia and to work at a local radio station, where I was able to form connections in my professional field. I realized that I had problems in my relationship and I ended up breaking that off, because let’s face it: I deserve better. I had a shitty situation that lead me to breaking up with the person, through said situation, I was able to see how much my support system came together and helped me through every step of the way.

I am beyond thankful for the amazing people who stayed by my side and were more than willing to listen and give me honest advice. In the moments where I was falling apart, these people have lifted me up, given me the strength and the wisdom to keep moving forward.  I have grown thankful for every day that I have these people in my life, who push me to become a better me.

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I’m proud of who I’m becoming!

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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What Is The Meaning of Happiness?

Hey all! I’ve been MIA for a bit, taking care of things, adulting, and everything else under the sun. Lately, I’ve been either reading, swiping left or right on tinder (I’ll explain later on in this post), or on Netflix for hours at a time. Through it all… I’ve been in a funk

That slump where you don’t feel like doing anything, where while you’re engaging in productivity, you kinda wish you were curled up, in your room reading, or doing anything but.

When I’m in a funk, there are times where I’ll ponder the meaning of a lot of things.

This time, I started thinking about happiness. More specifically:

  • What is it?
  • Why is it important?
  • What do we attribute it to?

Let’s look up the definition of ‘happiness’, shall we?

Def of happiness

Okay… Well that doesn’t give us much of a definition, but by the looks of it, it seems like the word is quickly getting phased out.

Why is it important that we are happy in our lives?

Being happy has been linked to lower stress levels and a sense of ease in one’s life. When you’re happy, like genuinely happy in your life, you have no time to focus on other pointless bullshit. You are busy working on yourself and building that happiness from within.

A lot of people, however attribute this happiness to money or another a person. And I’m just here to tell you the reasons why you shouldn’t attribute your happiness to these things

Money

The funny thing about money is that our moods change the moment that direct deposit hits.

We go from this

to this

Money is amazing, right? It’s the only thing that practically allows us to get anything we see a need or a want for, like clothes, make-up, the new iPhone, etc. However, does anyone remember the old adage “Money doesn’t buy you happiness”? Money can get you things to a certain point, but it can’t give you love, security or anything as abstract as the concept of happiness. You can’t even buy a personality with money or a new wife, HOW CRAZY IS THAT?

As a matter of fact, I’ve been watching this telenovela on Netflix called Sin Senos, No Hay Paraiso. Set in Pereira, Colombia, the show follows two teens and the poverty that surrounds them. Since the poverty rate in the area is so high, the teens decide to forfeit school and engage in some pretty lucrative stuff, in an act to get money, without the hard work.

Among the characters on the show, the teens’ mom explains that money isn’t everything in this world, that money isn’t meant to fix up every little issue that one has. Frankly, sometimes those problems, those deep rooted problems, can’t be remedied with insane amounts of money.

Another person

Relying on another person for your own happiness, is a definite no-no in my book. Yes, it’s nice that a person makes you happy, but they really shouldn’t be the boss of your own happiness. Like I said before, you should only be focusing on filling up your own cup of happiness. Let the other person be your overflow of happiness, not the consistency of it!

So I downloaded Tinder and with the help of one of my best friends, I was able to create a really good profile! In fact, here are some of the pictures I used:

and for my bio, I just put something short, sweet and to the point: Classy, never nasty, just a bit sassy✨.

The way that tinder works is that you have a set amount of guys in your area, you either swipe left- if you’re not interested- or swipe right, if you’re interested. On the first day, I received so many sweet messages, compliments, along with quite a few corny jokes. A good bit of the guys that I matched with (as in we both swiped right on each other), said the same line over and over: “Never nasty, huh?”

It was definitely an experience. Even though I lasted only four days on the app, I realized it wasn’t something for me. I think I’ve always known that and I just wanted to see what the app was all about, meet new people, all that jazz.

To be frank, I was not and am not looking for a relationship right now. I’m still working on myself. The fact that people actually look for relationships on tinder surprises me, because tinder isn’t built for that. It’s just built for people to meet, chat, and that’s it. This really opened my mind up to another area in the realm of dating and how easy it has become for people to meet, just by swiping right.

By the time I was hitting the fourth day, I noticed how drained I felt. Like this physical tiredness where all I ever did was just keep swiping, in hopes that I would get matched and have some sort of message sent my way. How unhealthy is that? How did I suddenly come to this conclusion?

It was then that I realized that If I was going to be physically and mentally drained from using a ‘dating’ app, why even bother using it? Why bother using or doing something if it doesn’t make me happy?

So I deleted my tinder because I realized that I could do without it and I’m going to be starting soon at a new school, where I’ll meet more cool people who share similar values and passions. Granted, I met some pretty cool people on tinder and may even stay in touch with a few, but as I’ve said before, it’s not something for me.

Before you do something, remember to ask yourself these 3 questions:

  • Are you going to be happy doing so?
  • Is it going to cause you a great deal of stress down the line?
  • Are you doing this for you or for another person?

The bottom line is: Happiness is being content with who you are. If you don’t feel happy with who you are, start by searching some ways that can bring you back to your happiest self.

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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P.S follow my adventures on Instagram!

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