Abuelos: Grandparents

My grandma, Phyllis, and my grandpa, Donald, are some of the biggest role models in my life. There are various contributing factors to why I have looked up to them my entire life; some I can explain (which I will attempt to demonstrate in this post) and some I cannot interpret from my emotions to words [because in some instances, words cannot and do not have the capability nor the power to explain the connotation of an emotion], which only allows me to explain it by hugs and visits. They both have always given lessons and advice to each and every person in my family no matter if they wanted it or not, they were always there even after it was apparent your should have taken their advice or warning, and no matter the distance, they are always there to support their family. However, they also taught me lessons and affected me in ways they would never imagine; only because of who they are as a person, as a couple, and as a family.
          My grandparents were married for (I think) 58 years. My grandparents were lucky; they were able to experience and be married to somebody who made them feel like they were loved; for what seems like an eternity. They relished in their relationship by cherishing and supporting each other, even when it was difficult to do so. They created a beautiful family together and they loved every single child unconditionally; as well as providing nothing but love, support, and many great life experiences for each and every one of them. My grandmother stood strong by my grandpas side during his time in the military. Not only was she supporting him throughout his career in the military, [which is something many spouses cannot endure] she also moved all over the world with him. All at the same time, some how they were able to do all this, with the accompany of their children.
           My grandma supported my grandpa and loved him through thick and thin. She was his wife, a friend, an adventure partner, and a mentor; she was his framework and support in his life. My grandpa was the same for her, he tried to be the best man, friend and husband that he possibly could and reciprocated his love, support, and friendship to my grandma. All at the same time,  being amazing parents, mentors, and life coaches to a bunch of crazy children. 😉
          They were fortunate to experience true love and how powerful/meaningful it is. Like I have come to believe, nothing that has significant importance will ever come easy. You will have to fight for it and there will be sacrifices you will have to make. There will be a range of: simplex and easy lessons to very long, hard, and complex lessons you will learn. Despite the fact, that there may be times you will second guess yourself and what you really want, or if you have the endurance to keep going, and you may feel lost at times (or many). In the end, it will be worth it; but only if you work hard and believe in yourself and that this is possible [even when it feel impossible.] Because not only will the reward will be unfathomably amazing, this process of sacrificing things and learning every type of lesson, will only help you become a stronger person and show you that the impossible is in fact possible. And even if what you are working for is love and a good/healthy relationship (which is a never ending goal for every couple/marriage), you will only continue to strengthen your love with your partner and your ability to work through any obstacle in the way.
          Although my grandpa unfortunately passed away December 2014, he has always and will always be in my heart. He had an amazing life and many opportunities to experience things that many people could only dream of or read about. Even during the times he was sick and in the hospital, he was the most thoughtful, compassionate, and outgoing man I have ever seen. No only did he never stop showing his love and appreciation for his wife and each and every member of his family, but he always provided compassion and love to his friends and acquaintances, his coworkers, and even to strangers. His heart was so big and no matter what there was always room for more. A few of my friends were lucky enough to met my grandpa. After being introduced he would instantly try figure out their life story. He would make every guest feel like they were part of the family. After meeting someone, he would continue to inquire about their wellbeing, even if he never saw them again. Which was surprising to me because I would sometimes assume he would forgot about who they were or sometimes I would ‘naively’ think he didn’t care to know. I will always remember everything he taught me from: making me cry because he yelled at me for picking up a knife the wrong way, to making sure I do not step on peoples noses when they push me up from the pool to the diving board/be careful when my limbs are close to peoples faces while they try to because it can and will give people bloody noses. One characteristic that my mother learned from him and then I learned from both of them; is to show compassion to everyone and get to know somebody and everybody; because having a caring community is powerful for: the soul, the individual, and for everybody.
          I has been around a year and three months, and still to this day, my poor grandma (and our family) grieves his death. However, she never ceases to amaze me. She has had to experience one of the worst situations that life has to offer; the loss of somebody you love. Within this year she has had to learn how to do live her life without the support and love she’s had for at least 58 years, she’s had to learn how to grieve; and even thought it may not be close to being over; she has already endured so much. She is the strongest woman I know! No matter how hard it is and how lonely it must be, she is able to keep her head up and is able to living her life to the fullest. Not only was she already able to recuperate from a surgery, but she also travelled to Hawaii, and is now completing her life long dream to go to Australia and New Zealand.
          I am beyond lucky to have such amazing role models and positive influences in my life.For, everyday I have people who support me, teach me, love me, and encourage me. I am proud to call my grandparents my family, and as well as to be their granddaughter. As well as not forgetting, that thanks to my grandparents, I have the best mother a girl could possibly wish for.
          Although this family they created, is odd and weird to say the least; we are strong, we are silly and can make anything fun, we flourish with each others love and support no matter the distance, and we accept each other through thick and thin. I can safely assume, that everybody from their children to their great grandchildren (and everybody in between); we all have always had the best guidance, support, and love from them both. Although the guidance and advice they give can be bit critical or something you may not want to hear, they both just want the best for everybody. I will admit that sometimes it can be hard to live up to the high expectations they always had for each and every one of us. At the same time, it is always comforting to know that there is always somebody routing for me and believing in me, and somebody who knows my self worth, even when I can’t.

*I do have to say that, that I am proud of all parts of my family. And I am lucky and will forever appreciate everybody in it!

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Getting Fit or at least maintaining.

I am laying on a beautiful sandy beaches. Now i am constrained to a chair while trying to convince myself I can study and work on homework. But not to long until I have to walk down nine flights of stairs to run of to my classes knowing that I am required to pay attention to and if my thoughts venture somewhere other then my teacher I am lost for the entire class. The best time of the day is when I am able making food to pass me by or preferably explore restaurants and eat my favorite meal ever…rice, beans, tostanos, and meat. However, I still find time to have a social life because by ten a night I leave my apartment once again to go tall to friends and drink. But who has the time to work out, when there is something always going on?

When I am home I tend to be a rather active person. I enjoy going to the gym because I am able to relieve my built up stress and further procrastinate my homework. I typically have some sort of motivation to get to the gym (all the pages of hot fit females I follow on Instagram) but when I get incredibly busy or when I am traveling my exercise decreases. The longer I stay sediment, the more I start to scrutinize myself…which is not fun for anybody.

My thought process of when I would/could work out went …
I could wake up 6 every morning, and go on a run then…but who wants to wake up that early, and lets not mention how hard it is to wake up at that time when you have been drinking since 3AM the night before.
I could wait until after school is out and go then… but then factor in the fact that I am exhausted by that point of the day from school and the heat, I am thinking of all the homework I should be doing and whether it is raining or not and it is possible to go on a run.

Slowly but surely I am starting to find ways to stop making excuses and pull a Shia LaBeouf and JUST DO IT. I found that even though I am a complete zombie at 6AM, it is a lot easier to convince myself to run at that point rather then at 6PM. I am also trying to attend zumba classes and yoga classes. Although I do not exactly like the classes sometimes, at least it is movement! I do have to give a lot of credit to my roommate who helps me be motivated to run. Everybody needs a cheerleader, she is mine and I am hers.

Because I am away and don’t have access to everything I would if I was at home, I have to be creative. Instead of doing weights, I do a workout at home. Instead of weighing myself, I take photos of body in different angles every month to later compare. I also personally like to measure different parts of my body and record it and see where and how much I have gained or lost.

My Tips:

  • Don’t try to loose weight while abroad, just try to maintain it.
  • Stop making excuses, there is time for everything.
  • Prioritize your time.
  • Attend classes like Zumba and Yoga that the school offers. Classes like these are fun, and people are there to attend the class, not judge who sucks or not.
  • Work out with people/find people who like running, swim, etc.
  • Like weights but don’t have access? Research at home workouts, or find a close by gym.
  • Take photos of your progress.

Until next time, pura vida mis amores!

Second Time Traveling?!

I have not traveled many places before coming to Puerto Rico, but the places I have gotten an experience to travel to (outside of mainland USA) are Costa Rica (6 months) and Nicaragua (2.5 weeks.) I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to say I have been to these beautiful places and hopefully my travels will not end anytime soon.

As I was preparing to come to Puerto Rico I was mixed with many emotions (and no it is not because I am a female.) Meeting new people, adventuring to new places, eating/trying new food, the thrill of it all are what I absolutely love about traveling. As time progressed to my departure date, I started realizing I was experiencing more anxiety rather then what I should be…excited. Considering that this was not only my second time leaving Colorado but also when I left for Costa Rica I only felt excited, it did not make sense to me that I was so anxious. As I laid in my bed countless nights (due to insomnia) I realized I was scared due to the fact it wasn’t going to be the same. It wasn’t going to be Costa Rica, I wasn’t going to have the two best friends, it wasn’t USAC, I don’t know who my roommate is, it just was not going to be the same. To be completely honest it took me a couple days to admit that I was even experiencing this problem. I kept saying to myself, “You knew it wasn’t going to be the same,” “You say you like traveling, but your scared of going to Puerto Rico.” and it kept going on and on.

On top of the argument taking place in my head, I had spent less time packing and more time in preparing for my trip by buying things (shower necessities, sunblock, etc.) Typically I would say doing both is very beneficial because if you spend too much time packing it is worthless because you are bound to forget something and if you buy too little then you have to go to the grocery store a lot. I have heard various people from both Costa Rica and Puerto Rico say they have wished they brought more things from home once the first month rolls by. However, there is an amount that is NOT ok. I was so confident that my both of my suitcases were under 50lbs, it hit me like an unexacting bat to the face to when I got to Denver International Airport and both weighed around 80lbs. Luckily, I was about 2.5 hours early and my flight was at night so it was almost deserted. Thus meaning, it was a lot easier to frantically go through my bag and determine on the spot what I needed and didn’t need while occasionally looking up at the people working and the people in line giving me the “I pity you” stare.

Now I am sitting here in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico in my apartment, right next to my roommate (who I absolutely adore) and I have LOVED everyday I am here! It has reminded me to why I absolutely love traveling and makes me crave to do more!

My tips for future travelers who are planning another excursion:

  • It is ok to be nervous when traveling even if you have gone somewhere before. You are only human, and if the place you are going to is completely foreign to you, you have a right to be nervous. People are naturally very unsettled about the unknown.
  • What ever you do, DO NOT compare. It will only end in disaster and will only promote bad thoughts and experiences.
  • Make sure to pack light but not too light. You don’t want to be like me in the airport but you also don’t want to come here realizing you only have two pairs of underwear either.
  • It is normal to be nervous and excited at the same time, although it is rather confusing at times.
  • Try to not overthink, everything tends to get more complicated when you over analyze.
  • Everything will be just fine, and just remember to have fun!

Until next time mis amores! I hope this helped!

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