Category Archives: & Other Stories

Diary of a pseudo-broke girl

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There are times in a girl’s life, when the shopaholic brat, inside of her, blinds her choices and rules her actions. As a fashion lover, I can’t deny it, that part of me, wants to get its way more times than I can recall, but I tend to be very rational about it. Nevertheless, I am still only human.

When I opened my latest bank statement it felt like a punch to my gut. It left me panting for air. I was walking on Rebecca Bloomwood’s fuchsia furry boots, and it didn’t feel good. My eyes scrolled down the stiff paper trying to take in every number. There was no mistake. I could account for every figure on the statement.

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Auténticos de carne y hueso

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En las últimas semanas, -y hasta que desconecté el setting de notificación-, mi celular no ha parado de vibrar emocionado con avisos de “So & so started a live video. Watch it before it ends!“. Aún más, ayer la nueva actualización de Whatsapp, causó revuelo. Ya no basta con una foto de perfil, ahora también tenemos “Whatsapp stories”. Está claro: vivimos bajo la tiranía de la imagen. Un reinado despótico que nos ha convertido en seres dependientes y temerosos.

En una sociedad que rechaza las adicciones, nos hemos vuelto adictos a la imagen. Con ellas, hemos entablado una relación de amor traicionero. Por un lado, una imagen nos transporta, nos une, nos envuelve; por otro, nos ata, nos engaña, nos esclaviza.

Una sociedad insegura

El otro día, leyendo un libro me chocó fuertemente una frase que decía: “Una persona insegura de sí misma busca su seguridad en la aceptación social”. Al principio, pensé “qué triste situación”, mas acto seguido, realicé que incluso yo, que me jacto de poseer un alta autoestima, he sido víctima de tales inseguridades. No me digan que, al subir una fotografía a Instagram (IG), no esperan con punzante ansiedad que empiece el frenesí de likes y comentarios. Y si no llega, ¡qué gran decepción! Hace un tiempo, La hermana pequeña de mi mejor amiga le sugirió que eliminara una foto de IG, porque, ¡qué horror!, la cantidad de likes que había recibido no era ni por cerca aceptable.

Tenemos calculados nuestros mejores ángulos, las comidas o los deportes cool, los días y las horas indicadas para publicar una imagen… en fin, prácticamente todo. Y pensando de esta manera caemos en la cuenta de que la imagen que aceptamos, aquella que es digna de ser publicada, es la que nos muestra como perfectos, felices, sin sombras, sin odiosas contradicciones. 

Ser o no ser

Leía en aquél mismo libro otra frase que decía “la primera condición para influir positivamente en el mundo es aceptarnos como somos”. Y me pareció una frase tan actual como radical. “Aceptarnos como somos”, no “aceptar la imagen de lo que creemos que somos o queremos ser.” Para no caer presos de nuestra imagen, primero hagamos las paces con nosotros mismos. Seamos auténticos, sin importar el número de likes, el número de seguidores o los comentarios. Seamos auténticos en carne y hueso, más que en digital. Verdaderamente, son los genuinos, los que cambian el mundo, los que lo mejoran, los que lideran. Se trata de personas tan auténticas, que poco tiempo les queda para pensar en cómo aparecen a los ojos de los demás. Al final, nos daremos cuenta de que disfrutaremos más la vida si vivimos sin importar el qué dirán.

A better you

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Now that the new year is here, I am sure we are filled with excitement, and desire the to be better, to dare more, and to strive for greatness; in two words: TO CHANGE. In the little attempt to do so, I have been thinking that change doesn’t always need to be drastic. Most big changes occur over long periods of time. As a matter of fact, I truly believe that the best type of change, the ones that will last and make a difference are the small, but persistent ones. Like the drop of water that smoothes the surface of a rock, so will small changes polish us, and our societies in a steady, patient manner. And so, as we have heard so many times, if we want change, we have to make it happen, but I propose we do it in small doses. 

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Mamma mia!

First of all, Happy Mothers’ Day! I know today is not that special day were we gather together, make cheesy letters, and eat something nice and decent. But honestly, I think mothers deserve more than one of the 365 days of the year, and I think I’m not too late to say this.

My brother always tells me: “You are just like mom!” And as I grow up, I sometimes do feel a lot like her and I find myself thinking WOW! Did I just did or said that? There is a song that I love that goes: “Mamma, thank you for who I am, thank you for all the things I’m not”. It is true. Many people would agree with me when I say that they are who they are and where they are at, all thanks to their mother.

Every day, when I open my messy closet and can’t find a clean shirt, or when I open my fridge and there is just a slice of bread,  I wish I could thank her for all the years she cooked for me, washed my clothes, and all of the other things that she did for me.

You know, mothers have written books, have gone to the Olympics, have studied big and important careers like medicine. I know many mothers do this as a profession, but I’m talking about super genious people who achieved amazing goals by getting home after a hard day of work, and had a lovely supper ready. Or those atheletes who needed a drive not just for them, but for the whole team. Or those students, who studied for hours at home with friends and needed energy and most of it, food.

So, don’t wait ’till next year to say how much you love her. Even if you live far away, you can always get in touch. Call her,  write to her, snapchat her (mothers love pictures of their babies). Mothers rock!

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Are you a runner?

40 minutes into the race and I was barely half way; after the 5th Kilometer, I seriously thought, I wasn’t going to finish the race.

I am not an athletic girl, I never was, and few months ago I thought I was never going to be one. I signed up for a 10K run; well, actually, my boyfriend did. I owe this initiative to “Mc Farland”, the movie. While watching it, I experienced a number of emotions, I laughed, I cried my eyes out, but what really stuck was that it made me think about my life goals, big and small.
The movie is about a cross country running team that is able to overcome not only a physical or mental challenge, but most importantly, they are able to destroy a social and economic barrier through a sport. Running for them is an expression of achieving their goals. The kids in the movie taught me that life is so wonderful, and that we have so little things to complain about. They also taught me that laziness is a word that should be removed from the dictionary, because when you want to do something, you just have to do it.

I started running on December 25th. Only because, on Christmas Eve, I assured to my brother that I was going to start doing it the next day. I ran one day, the next one, and the next. Then I stopped and I barely kept on doing it. I used to think that running was somehow pointless, if you run with someone, you can’t talk because you get a stomach-ache, it also makes no sense to move fast if you are going nowhere, and, on top of that, I found it boring. But then I realized that I ran because I wanted to be skinny, and it seemed like such a good work out. So I trained, and challenged myself. If Dany Díaz, from McFarland, made it, why couldn´t I? I had this on mind, and I made a really cool playlist on my phone, and decided to have fun. Besides, did you know all the benefits of running? It’s cheap, it’s therapeutic, it’s healthy, and it’s great if you run with someone, although you have little conversation, it’s good to have a bit of moral support.

So, back to the 10 Kilometer run, when I was halfway, I saw this kid on wheelchair, his mother was running with him, and he was shouting: “we can do it!” He had the biggest smile on his face, and I thought: “If he is here, I should be here too.” So I said I’ll run 1 more kilometer, and 1 more, and 1 more, and I ran as fast as I could. When the race was over, I found out that the non-athletic girl, ran the first 5 kilometers in 40 minutes, and the last 5, when I thought my body was about to give in, in only 25 minutes! When you have a reason to fight and challenge yourself, there’s nothing that can stop you. Let’s run!

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Distance means so little?

Could you be brave enough to refuse a dream for the person you love? I always asked this question. When you finish high school you already have a plan, or at least the idea of what you want your career to be. You begin to prepare yourself. You study hard, and have many objectives and dream jobs while you walk in your life achieving little and big goals. Suddenly you meet someone. Not just anyone, but someone who becomes really important in your life, whom you can’t live without. At the same time you get the scholarship you’ve been waiting for to continue studying abroad, or you get an opportunity to work in another city or country that would make it difficult to continue your relationship. It is not rare to listen these kinds of circumstances in the 21st century. We are more connected worldwide, and cultural interchanges are common. But what to do in this situation? Would you sing Jack Johnson’s song: “Back when all my little goals seem so important every pot of gold fill and full of distortion; Heaven was a place still in space not in motion but soon I got you, I got everything”?

One of the movies I enjoyed the most last year was “The Hundred-Foot Journey”, an American comedy-drama film directed by Lasse Hallström. The Kadam family runs a restaurant, and Hassan is the greatest chef of the Kadam Family. He falls in love with Marguerite, while Madame Mallory the owner of “Le Sale Pleureur” is trying to sabotage his Father’s restaurant. Marguerite teaches Hassan everything she knows, including all her tricks. Hassan having heard from Marguerite that Madame Mallory hires potential chefs by the taste of an omelet, prepares an omelet for her, and after tasting it, she offers him to work at her restaurant.

Thanks to Hassan´s cooking Madame Mallory’s restaurant receives its second Michelin Star, and he is offered a job in Paris. He leaves his family and Marguerite. He becomes famous, and popular. He has the career every chef would want, but at the end of the day he didn’t seem happy. He continuously thinks in his family and Marguerite, and after trying another Indian’s chef homemade dinner decides to return home. He reunites with Marguerite, and invites her to join him in a culinary business. It is true that if he would have never left the village, he wouldn’t have grown professionally. And he wouldn’t have been able to buy Madame Mallory’s restaurant. Maybe sometimes distance becomes an unavoidable phase in a relationship. I actually went to a wedding last weekend of a couple that were from different towns and had to travel more than 12 hours to see each other. You can manage with sacrifice to make it work out; there are always great weapons such as Viber, Skype, Facetime… But if you can chose where to live, what is most important?

I think a couple should take decisions together, and figure out what is the best choice for them as a team, if you are planning a lifelong love story, of course. And if you really love someone think what would happen in a few years if you can’t be next to that person, would it matter? It is selfish to stop the other person from reaching a dream; but it is also selfish to go after your dream no matter what, and no matter what the people next to you think. Fortunately Marguerite was available when Hassan came back to the village. Fortunately she forgave him for placing his career before her. What would Hassan have done without her after realizing he couldn’t bare living that way, although he reached more than what he thought he would? I love the end of this movie because it gives this lesson. When we step outside of ourselves and give the one we love the very best, we can be happier, because “to be happy, what you need is not an easy life but a heart which is in love”.

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