Saturday, April 19, 2014

Now that I'm 24...

I'm 24.... where should I be now?

Sitting in a coffee shop (Coffee Garden) with my BEFF (best effn friend forever) that I've had since practically birth, there couldn't be a better conversation than the one thing that seems to be taking over our everyday thoughts. (Side note: I do not drink coffee very often... but the Mexican Tuxedo Mocha there was bomb!! and now I'm wired and finishing this piece for all of you because I'm simply inspired! End note.)  So basically, a good talk over coffee about something we both related to lead to a constant flow of words where we basically told two different stories as one as we "interrupted"one another (more like finished each others sentences and made them into our own story...while totally saying what the other was saying/feeling... ya, you know that best friend vibe).  I feel like this girl is one of my "other halves/pieces" and it's just perfect the way we can share everything or nothing at all and we can just "fix" what the other is going through.  Pretty much a 24 year friendship... and plenty of ups and downs... yet we still have things to talk about and to push each other on.  As another year comes, we guide each other through them.  We experience so much of the same things and we go through so much that the other hasn't that it helps to teach the other a lesson.  Our current subject however has been something we talk about and both still seem to need answers for.  So no, I don't have the answer... but I do have some thoughts and experiences to share.

Being 24, what do we do now? Dedicated to my BEFF.  You know who you are... this is for you.

Is it just me or is 24 this awkward limbo stuck between being a student/graduate and wanting to be an adult?  I mean this in all seriousness. Is being grown up really this difficult?  Or is it just the transition?  Is there something beyond the uncertainty?  Beyond the wanting to break free?  But yet as independent as you want to be there is still this fear that holds you back and has you clinging on to the very bit of adolescence/dependence you may still have. 

I guess no one ever said life would get easier as you got older. Yet in my early ( well earlierrrr..) 20s I felt that once I graduated from college and was a working woman, independence would just smoothly wrap itself around my life. Blanket me in a warm embrace and from that point on... smooth sailing. 
Boy was I wrong!!

The want... need... and even fear of independence has definitely engulfed me. But in no way what so ever have I found it to be a smooth transition. 
A little older... Definitely. 
A little wiser... Probably. (This is arguable)
A little more independent... Well let's just say "a little more" is key in this. 

But in no way am I stress free. Singing and whistling while I work. Living on my own and cooking my own healthy and organic meals every day. Driving a beautiful car with a license plate that says "N D pndnt". Oh no my friends. That has not come for me yet. Maybe someday... in not so specific details as that of course... but I can at least say I see myself thinking more about these "symbols" of independence. 

As a matter of fact... I start realizing that people ask more about all these things that are supposedly to happen at about the age of 24. Are you going to apply for a graduate program to get your masters?  Are you going to get a job in a hospital? Are you still thinking of moving to San Diego? (who knows I love that city... maybe it's still in the cards) Do you still live at home? Are you applying to different jobs? (I at least can answer yes to that one!)  Do you have a boyfriend? (I'm hoping that's still in the cards at some point! Haha) 

But in all honesty... the only thing I want right now is to travel. So yes I want to move out and experience a little independence... or actually see if I can do it on my own. Yes there may be a new car in the works... but first things first... I need that new job. 

So maybe what I need to fix my "problems" is that new job. Right... more money... more travel, money for rent, money to feed myself, money for a bigger car payment. 

But all money and materialistic things aside. What has 24 brought to me so far. More time for me! I have lost about 15 lbs. and am ready to be fit (hopefully this fitness motivation kick actually sticks). I want to feel healthy. Not just physically. Mentally and spiritually as well. And I can admit that there was a time there where I felt lost and not myself. Guess what... I found me. The real me. The me I needed to be again. The girl who can smile and laugh more often. The girl who turns to God. The girl who is learning to control impulses and emotions and her mouth!  Now I'm not 100% Andrea 2.0. But I feel closer to being that "me". Maybe it's the age. Maybe it's just the circumstances. But it came at a mighty fine time in my life. Let me tell ya. And it didn't come when I wanted it to, even when I tried to force it. No, it came when He knew I was ready for it. And it just feels so right to be on this path. That "path" that I spoke about in my previous post, "Our Deepest Fear..." that is chosen for us by God.  Really though I'm not lying... I feel like all my ups and downs that I have gone through are leading me here... to where I have to be.  I have this renewed spiritual awakening.  This new desire for learning about everything and to experience so many new things.

Maybe being 24 had to be this way.  Maybe it had to feel scary because its the year for me to start lining up my future.  It's as if things are finally getting real for me.  I may still be thinking about what I want to do with my life.  But the truth is I'm feeling a lot more ambitious.  I want more in my life, I want to accomplish things I've always wanted to accomplish. (I may have to fill you all in on my "bucket list" soon)  I want to succeed and move up in my current profession... it may not be a career I want for myself but it's definately a program I believe in, and I guess I wouldn't mind being there for a while.  But I honestly have discovered something... I want to own my own business some day.  And I think what I have in mind I would be really good at!  I'm not quite ready to share that with you all. But maybe someday.

So yes, 24 has been rough, in the sense that I feel this pressure to do so much and to be in a certain place.  Yet I also feel like I'm at the perfect age to not have to stress out about it all because I have time!  Regardless of the fact that I freak out if the light hits my hair at a certain angle and I think I see a grey hair (thank God my vision is just getting hair is still "naturally" colored lol minus the old red dies that are still in it.), or the fact that the music I listened to in my adolescence is now being played on the local "old school" station, or that all my younger siblings and cousins are experiencing things in their life that feel like it happened centuries ago for me, I know I'm not REALLY that old yet.  I have time to accomplish so much.  And I'm realizing that not everyone has to be at the same place at the same age.  We all have been dealt a hand in life... and there are so many different combinations in which we get them.  So your life is different from my life, which is different from her life, which is different from his life, and that is a life different from theirs.  So I'm giving into the madness of being 24.  It's a journey... a year long journey that leads to a new one once it is over.  And you are all here to share it with me, to push me through it, and to hear all about it.  So thank you all.

And to you, my BEFF, your life is your life.  Not anyone else's.  Don't feel like you owe it to others to be where they want you to be.  Don't rush through things to "catch up" to everyone else.  None of us are on the same page... maybe the same chapter... but that's alright if it's written in a different order.  You have a path set specifically for you.  You have the power to do what you need to do to feel happy, independent, progressive, accomplished, and so many more things.  You are beautiful inside and out, and though you may feel lost and confused (as we all do) the real you is still there... I see her... I feel her when you are around.  So don't be afraid to own that self again.  Just because we get older it doesn't mean we have to become a certain person or a different person... we need to be ourselves and enhance that self to what we feel best in.  Shine in your own skin. Love you to pieces.  And thank you so much for always being there and for always trusting me to be there for you!


P.S.  It's past midnight...which means this post is being posted exactly 2 months after my 24th birthday. And even though it is not technically the same day, this is my second post within the last 10 hours! I guess I'm just really inspired lately.  And I'm loving it!! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Fashion Files: Avarcas

So I would like to introduce you all to a new kind of post. You all get to see my serious side mixed with a little optimism and sarcasm here and there. But now I wanna show you the side of me that's a little obsessed with fashion! (And I may reveal my shopping addiction on the way... Ok I just admitted to it. But if you know me, well you know me and retail therapy. Lol)

First fashion file is dedicated to my new fascination. A pair of shoes that I had never seen before until this year (a Pinterest find) and that I am now utterly obsessed with. 


These super cute, totally different, comfy sandals of mine originate from Spain.  The shoe has been around since 1945. They are also called Albarcas and Menorquinas after the island they originate from, the Spanish island Menorca. These leather beauties were originally used by the countrymen and farmers of the area. But now they are used by everyone!  If you are interested in a little more about their story, here is the Avarcas USA website.  It will give you an idea of how they have come to the USA.  Yes, I did read up on these shoes one afternoon as my obsession and need for them grew and grew out of nowhere.  

And I mean come one, the fact that they come from Spain, made there and everything, and I'm slightly REALLY into Spain (the national futbol team is no exception) and hoping I get to travel there some day soon.  I mean how perfect is that... I want to go to Spain. So obviously I had to find a way to bring a little piece of Spain to me since right now I obviously am not able to be there. 

But anyways... back to these shoes...

So Avarcas aren't exactly the most affordable sandal.  If you have gone to their website (link is above) then you would see they are a bit pricier. But determined as I was... I found them on eBay for like $25!! And in this adorable "Curry Yellow" color which on the site is refered to as "Saffron"! I love yellow! It's a happy color. So to find them at a great price, in a color I love, and in MY size.... I mean I had to buy those babies! 

I have discovered that it's actually very easy for me to wear these sandals of mine. I almost want to wear them with everything! And they are actually quite comfortable too.  I have added only a few ways that I have worn them... but honestly I just haven't taken pictures of every outfit I've worn them with.  They go with my maxi dresses and skirts, my jeans (of all colors), and even with shorts.  I'm shocked I haven't worn them in like a nautical style yet... let me tell you I have a vision for my navy and white striped shirt and my red pants paired with my cute, little, yellow avarcas.  But thats just one I said they look so cute with so much.  I may just have to get them in more colors!  Their site has a photo of a girl with her cute little beach cruiser, a maxi skirt, and some purple avarcas... can I just say OMG that is so gonna be my next color! Or maybe the sand colored ones... or black... I mean honestly I just want them all.

Here are a few ways I wore them. 

Well readers of mine... I hope you enjoyed my little ramble and new form of posting.  Obviously I'm not going to be posting fashion files every week.  But I really am slightly obsessive when it comes to fashion... so expect them to trickle in once in a while.  Now don't all run out on a search for avarcas... but if you do, I'm really excited for you guys because I'm just totally in love with mine and I know you will be too.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

A Smile

S - ee
M - iracles
I - n
L - ife
E - veryday

"We may never know all the good that a simple smile can do." - Mother Teresa

We hear of people passing all the time. It's a natural part of life.  Not so long ago I heard of the loss of an old friend.  In events likes this, when a young life is taken, you realize life is short and we should live it to the fullest.  We shouldn't spend our days stressing over the petty things.  The materialistic things.  We need to reminisce on the times we've spent being happy with people.  The times people have made you laugh.  The times a place has made you feel at peace. The times you've made a person's day.  We should all go forward with each morning thinking "today will be a great day and I will smile to everyone I see" and hopefully that can trickle down and they can also make someone's day a little brighter. 

The reason I bring this up is because the old friend who has passed, though we were not close, always made me laugh, always made me smile.  Though we did not interact as much and have not seen or talked in ages, I still picture that smile.  So genuine and so BIG!  It's what has always stuck with me about him.

I began to think of the lasting effect I would like to leave with people.  Not necessarily when I pass, but in my everyday interactions with people.  So that if they have not seen or spoken to me in a while that there is still something that I leave behind, that I've imprinted into their memory of me.  And why shouldn't that be a smile!  

They say if you smile as you speak on the phone that you sound happier.  If you walk around with a smile on your face, you look happy.  If you smile to everyone you see in the morning, I mean like a genuine smile, you can help them start their day off in a good mood.  So why don't we all smile more often!?

Life takes a toll on us when we don't decide to take control of our own happiness. There are many reasons why a person wouldn't be smiling. But just think of how you feel after someone has made you smile. Think of the how much happiness forces a smile out of you when you see someone else's smile. Think of how good it feels after a genuine laugh. That down in your gut cramping feeling from laughing so hard, those tears that stream down your face... nothing like that kind of laugh. Doesn't it make you just want to share happiness everywhere?!  

So why not make it happen with a smile. A simple and natural thing. Yet it's so powerful. Different on every face you meet. A signature to everyone's face. Why wouldn't it be memorable?  Why shouldn't mine be remembered?  

I need a little reminder myself sometimes to smile. And there are plenty of things that make me smile!  I should live every day, every second with a smile on my face ( ok, honestly that's tough on the cheeks... take it from a formal pageant girl... smiling constantly for a couple of hours is no easy task!).  But, when you allow yourself to truely smile at someone as you walk by or greet them, well believe me that smile will be noticed no matter how brief it may be.

Just think about all the things that make you smile.  It's never just one thing and its always the least obvious things.  I love it when I'm having a rough day and it's like the people closest to me can just tell. I can literally walk through a room and not say a thing but immediately someone will say or do something that just makes everything better.  I instantly start laughing and smiling and my whole day just turns around.  Makes me want to pay it forward, to make someone else's day.

Have a ripple effect on the happiness of those who surround you. Be the kind of person who can bring happiness to someone's life.  Be the smile that changes a persons morning or makes someone's day.  Because a genuine smile is always remembered. It can and it will touch peoples hearts.


P.S. While looking for a quote for this blog, I swear I saw pictures of the most beautiful smiles on children.  It brought the BIGGEST smile to my face!  I honestly suggest just looking up smiles if you are feeling down.  It's a total mood changer!

P.S.S. I know i've been slacking on writing lately.... and I'm not sure why. Maybe I just feel like there are other things going on that need more of my attention, but I'm starting to realize I need to write more.  It makes me happy and I love to share with you all.  So, that said, I promise to start posting again!  Thank you all for the support and for reading.  I really am happy you all enjoy getting inside my head a little... especially because you just never know what you are gonna get from this girl. :)