Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves by Isabel Afonso

 

The crunch of leaves fills her ears. The chilling winds sweep her off her feet. She tugs at her charcoal gray cardigan, hurries down the cluttered street. Her blue eyes glance at the slow dying trees. The ever changing leaves float to the ground like parachutes. Colors of red, orange, and brown swirl around her feet.  She smiles, her hand tightening around her burgundy knitted scarf. She passes by a bakery, the smell of cinnamon drawing her attention. She retraces her steps as people scurry by, trying to get home to their kids. Her eyes widen as she stares longingly into the window. Decorated according to the season, plastic leaves outline the window and circle the delicious wonders: pumpkin pies, cakes, pecan pies, cupcakes frosted in red and orange. Her stomach rumbles. She walks in line. A whiff of cinnamon wakes her senses. A couple is seated in the corner, sharing a milkshake. She averts her gaze. The cashier is a petite girl with curly brown hair and eyes to match. She smiles and says, ‘Have a great day!” handing her the chosen pumpkin pie.

She continues on her way home. This used to be her favorite season. She lets her gaze wander, watching kids tug at their parent’s jacket, begging for toys, as couples walk hand in hand, losing themselves in each other’s eyes. She looks to the floor, feeling tears gather in her eyes. Her mind betrays her, bringing back the memories she wished to keep locked up in a steel cage.

She was walking home when a gust of wind took her scarf in its hands. She gasped turning around. She began to run, her boots kicking up the dead leaves. She cursed under her breath. A tan hand reached out and grabbed her burgundy scarf.

“Is this yours?”

 A deep voice rang. She tilted her head slightly up. Big brown eyes held her in a trance.

“Yes,” she squeaked.

 Her eyes were firmly planted to the ground as her cheeks grew warm. He laughed and wrapped it gently around her neck. She could feel her face flush.

“Hi, I’m…”

She smiles as a tear trails down her freckled cheek. Her feet take her on a painfully familiar path. Fall. She remembers why she loved the fall now.

She laughed as he carved their names into the tree. Leaves were once again falling.

“It’s sad how leaves only live a short while,” she said.

“True but they live their lives to the fullest, changing colors as if they are putting a show for us,” he said making the finishing touches. She smiled, tied her long hair back, and began cutting him a slice of pumpkin pie.

It wasn’t the slow changing of the leaves. It wasn’t the way each leaf seemingly floats to the ground like a snowflake. It wasn’t the crisp wind or the smell of pinecones. None of those were the reason why she once loved this season. As the wind picks up she flicks her now choppy blonde hair back. She can see the sign up ahead and its medieval iron gate. She can see the scattering of flowers. Another memory comes to her.

“Don’t cry.” He whispered his voice breaking. She couldn’t stop the streams of tears. Her face was red and her eyes puffy. He gripped her hand with what little strength he had left. She looked at his hand. It looked so frail and pale. Her lips tremble trying to keep her sounds of pain. She ignored the noise from the machine. She never knew she could hate a machine so much. He kissed her cheek.

“Promise me you’ll move on and try to be happy,” he whispered. She laid her head against his chest, listening to his slowing heartbeat relishing in this moment.

 “I promise.”

Her knees sink beneath her into the grass. She sits on the crushed leaves. Sad how they live for a short time, she thought.  She popped the box open and began to eat her pie. She looks at the piece of cement block that was planted into the ground, tracing her fingers on the carved letters. She sits there for what seems like ages. She straightens herself. She can almost feel him, right there, his arms wrapped around her like the autumn breeze.

“Good bye, Alex,” she whispered.

She did, and maybe always would, love the fall.

Empathy

Empath

Definition:  a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual.

My definition: being one with your emotions and everyone else’s to the point you get overwhelmed by trying to be everyone’s superhero and keep a smile on your face.

It’s exhausting being empath. It’s exhausting having to feed everyone’s emotions and dissect their feelings, turmoils and hectic thoughts while trying to peel back their emotional residue from your skin.

It’s hard stepping back. The cure? There is none.

There’s no cure for being someone’s therapist, someone they feel they can bare their soul too. All you can do is recharge and relax. Distant yourself for a bit. Curl up in bed where their feelings can’t slip through the locked doors. It’ll give you a chance to breathe.

Empathy isn’t for the weak. Being an empathetic person means you’re strong enough to handle others while trying to grip onto your own reality. But what I’ve learn is that having someone who is sympathetic to hold your hand makes walking the world a little easier.

2019 Reflection-Part 2

Alright. Time for my annual reflection. I swear every time I write one of these I realize I just get busier and busier with each passing year. 2019 was one for the books. I accomplished a lot of firsts. 

Now my favorite part. Let’s take a look at my New Year’s Resolution from last year and see how horrible I did.

2019 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Travel more (in the works as we speak)
  2. Believe in my work
  3. Pursue this blog more seriously (aka go to events and be inspired by the world)
  4. Push myself musically
  5. Look for opportunities and go for them no matter what
  6. Speak out more and don’t be afraid to

Wow. I did it. I actually accomplished my resolutions. I’m kinda shock as I write. This. I got to travel to two countries, I started creating scrunchies and photography, I kept up this blog decently, I performed in shows and tackled harder songs, I got two internships and I spoke up for myself in multiple situations. I. Did. It.

I’m officially a senior at my university and my most recent semester kicked my ass…literally. My classes were tough and it looks like I’ll be repeating a class. Was I upset? Yes. But it all came down to one bad essay grade. So despite my busy schedule I was actually doing good in the class despite my deep dislike for the teacher. 

I got to go to London and Dublin with my best friends. What a trip! I definitely miss all the craziness and adventure. But now that I think about it I got to spend my birthday in Ireland. How am I topping that next year?!

My mother and I decided to open an etsy shop. Balbina Boutique. She makes headbands and knits handmade decorations and I make scrunchies. It’s slowly becoming something which I love. 

Not only did I get to perform in The Little Mermaid I got to be an assistant director for Aladdin Jr. I was majorly invested in the theatre this year. And I’m pretty proud of myself.

I’m finishing off the year with 2 internships! I literally finish on Thursday. School, theatre and two internships. Bless my mom, friends and boyfriend for keeping me sane. 

And one of the best things that happened this year was the birth of my adorable nephew Tiago! He’s absolutely delicious. 

I also grew as a person. I learned a lot about myself. A lot of self improvement has happened. It’s interesting once you know why you react or think they way you do you learn how toxic in can be. My best friend’s and I are closer than ever. We’ve been more honest and open with each other that I feel like we’ve reached a new level. Also my best friend’s have been killing it. Honestly, even if they can’t see it. I also have an amazing boyfriend which I’ll leave at that. 😉

The year is ending in less than two weeks and all I have left to do is host Friendmas and Christmas Eve dinner. Wish my mother and I luck!

However something about 2020 has me nervous. Maybe it’s because I’m getting closer to graduating and deciding on a masters. Maybe it’s because I don’t have a job or an internship lined up at the moment. Or maybe it’s because I have no idea what to look forward too. A part of me is nervous. Nervous of what it might bring but another part of me realizes that with every passing year things get better. The opportunities get better. The adventures get better. So despite being nervous I’m also incredibly excited. 

So cheers to 2020 and whatever it may hold and cheers to turning 24. Jeez I’ll be 24. Almost halfway to 30. That’s a scary thought. 

Oh wait! But my 2020 New Year’s Resolution! What should I try to do? This is hard.

2020 New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Travel even more! Especially with mom!
  2. Push myself more into creating content whether it’s with photography, blogging or youtube.
  3. Go for more auditions. 
  4. Cook/try more exotic food.
  5. Look/Go for more opportunities even if I think I’m not exactly perfect for them.
  6. Be more present in my relationships.

Thank You-Part 1 2019 Reflection

DECEMBER 2, 2019. In just less than 30 days we shall be entering 2020. It’s crazy to think that the year 2000 will be 20 years ago. I mean it’s crazy just to think that I graduated five years ago. I usually reflect on the year past in my blog post when it comes near New Year’s but that is for another post. This one is different. This one is sorta of a reflection/sorry/thank you. 

An hour ago…around 8pm I went on a scouring for my old books. I’ve recently decided to reread my ultimate favorite series: The Mortal Instruments. Sadly I’ve discovered that I’m missing books 2-4. Have no idea why they’re missing but it makes my heart ache. While searching for my favorite books that once held all of my attention and soul in my teen years I stumbled upon a folder. It’s a blue folder that’s heavy. On top in red marker in horrendous handwriting it says, ‘Holiday Cards.’ I took a deep breath. I knew immediately all the contents in the folder. It’s filled with birthday cards, Christmas cards, graduation cards scattered throughout the years. I even have birthday invitations! Some from middle school, high school and early college. 

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Than I remembered a box I have and I went searching for that. In the box were not only more cards but things from Gradbash, one note from ELEMENTARY school and letters of friendship.

So here I am sitting on my tile floor silently crying. Memories flooding back. Memories of shared laughter and smiles with people who I don’t see or talk to anymore. Well some of them. Cards filled with friends forever, you’re incredibly talented and you’re going to do great things in life. I sat in awe. A lot of those cards said that. That I will be great. That I’m smart. That I’m beautiful. I remember the girl that those cards were referring too. That girl didn’t feel smart. She felt ugly. She felt talent-less. She felt sad. She felt lonely. And looking at myself now I’ve realized I didn’t feel much of those things anymore. 

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This is from Jack. I remember Jack. I wonder if Jack remembers me? I actually tagged him in a picture of that card when I found it. Jack probably doesn’t remember much of me but I remember he was always sweet and smart and funny. He would always lend a helping hand. One memory I cherish is I was walking into Ms. Delancey class in first grade and I had glasses. I was nervous. My mom had told my teacher that I was nervous people might make fun of me. The teacher assured her that they wouldn’t and we had a student who was confident in his glasses. And that was Jack. Jack waved at me with his wiry glasses and flashed me a genuine bright smile. I felt at ease. And since than in elementary he was always kind to me. I remember being upset that he was moving. So thank you Jack. For being kind. For having a good heart. You have no idea how much it meant.

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 In middle school Allisson gave me a pink Eeyore for my birthday. Yes that’s two l’s and two s’s. It must have been 6th and 7th grade.But I’ve actually known her since elementary school. Allisson is smart and beyond beautiful. I always thought she was pretty. If memory serves me correct my cousin had a crush on her and I think she did on him. I went to elementary, middle and high school with her. Sadly middle school we drifted apart. Middle school is strange and awkward and you start to learn more about the world. A lot of friendships drift apart because middle school is different. You start to become more aware of your body changing, of how girls look at boys or other girls and vice versa. She started hanging out with girls who in my opinion were more popular. Was not a bad thing. But her friendship was the first to start helping me realize that some friendships grow apart. I’ve kept this because Allisson was and is always kind to me. She now has a beautiful baby girl and an amazing boyfriend which she definitely deserves. Thank you Allisson. Even though we grew apart you are still kind and funny. Thank you for the secret notes we’d pass around in Ms. Perdomo’s class and for dance breaks in P.E. You were the first person to help me realize that it’s okay if people drift apart. Some are meant too. Doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. 

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Middle School. This is a bookmark one of my old best friends. This one is from 8th grade. I remember it because I was a library aide (total book nerd). Mia knows how much I love books and decided to make me this. Mia and I became friends in 7th grade and we stayed friends even when going to separate high schools. Our friendship grew closer senior year and especially once we graduated. We don’t talk much now but it doesn’t mean we aren’t friends. Life gets complicated. People go on different paths. That is something life has taught me. People grow and some people need to grow. There are times when growing is best done apart. Thank you Mia for always brave, determined and outgoing. For being there for all of my lows. For helping me see that I needed to grow within myself. 

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These are from high school. Three girls who I spent my entire high school life with. We went to homecoming together, prom, survived agriscience together and were tighter than a knit sweater. But sometimes a knit sweater can unravel. And we did. I learned a lot from this friendship. Honestly this is hard to write. It’s complicated to write. I always felt out of place in the group. Whether they knew this or not I feel the sense to apologize. I think we all knew I was the loose string. I was always jokingly trying to break up the group. And maybe I was subconsciously. I really don’t know but I did feel as though deep down I didn’t fit in. They were/are confident and assertive. I wasn’t. I felt like I was trying to be something I wasn’t. But gosh, am I grateful for the memories and laughter these girls gave me. Like surprising me for my birthday by hiding in my closet, walking into my bathroom while I was showering screaming happy birthday and sharing my first sleepover experience. After graduation we drifted apart. I wasn’t making time for them and when I did make time they didn’t want it. And I don’t blame them. Why put effort for someone who doesn’t give it back? And that is the lesson Noella, Sabrina and Ashlynn taught me. That friendship means nothing if it’s not a two way street. A lesson I’m still learning to remember. So thank you girls. Thank you for Simba, the memories and helping me realize myself. 

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Cristina! How’s vet school? I’ve known Cristina since the 9th grade when we met in agriscience class. Funny enough we’ve maintained our friendship mainly through snapchat. We literally had a 600 day streak that I ruined due to vacation. Cristina is an amazing human being whose always listening to my rants and crazy stories. I would always go to her house on a break from working at the daycare. Cristina thank you for still being my friend and being incredibly supportive in everything I do. I put effort into making sure I contact her everyday. Because friendships last when you put effort. Crazy to think how far we’ve actually come since high school! Also you know you’re going to be my dog’s vet? So hurry up and graduate!

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This is from Anaija. Anaija is my best friend. I’ve known her since the 7th grade and we are still friends today. Anaija is my sister, my best friend and my therapist. She has been with me through it all. Que tears. She has seen me and heard me at my lowest points and has been with me to celebrate in person and virtually every high. She’s helped me through heartache, deaths, achievements and laughter. She has helped me grow into who I am. She’s helped me learn more about myself. I guess that psych degree is coming in handy. Anaija I appreciate and value our friendship. Heck you already know your my maid of honor (and you know who you’re sharing that title with). Even with distance and not communicating every day I look forward to our catch up sessions and random I love you’s. Thank you for being my sister and holding my hand through life. Thank you for being a constant rock and helping me realize my toxic traits and helping me grow.

 

This is from Yily my other best friend. My other half. Yily and I met in 9th grade, fourth day of high school. It was I believe fourth period. Yily stole my seat. See we both have last names that start with A’s. We’re both used to being the first or second person in a seat when it comes to sitting in alphabetical order. I sat behind her, nervous to correct her. I took a deep breath and mustered my strength to tap her shoulder. She realized her mistake. And we’ve been friends ever since. This girl has also been with me through it all. Yily is a kindred spirit. We are so alike it’s scary. Sometimes it’s as if she’s the only person who understands me and freaky enough we’re always going through the same thing. Let’s just say both of our siblings had babies two months apart. Freaky. Yily you also know you’re going to be my maid of honor (sharing with Anaija of course). She has been with me through breakups, figuring out my life (multiple times), and helping me learn about myself. We’ve traveled to Paris and London together. You’ve literally met my whole family even the ones overseas. You are forever a piece of me for that I thank you. Thank you for being my sister, my best friend, my shoulder to cry. 

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This card. This card shook in my hand. After reading this card I couldn’t stop my hand from shaking. This card was from when I graduated high school. I was a different person five years and funny enough I am becoming all the things that were mentioned in this card. The women who wrote this card was an incredible, vibrant, hysterical soul who made amazing coffee. The women knew me since I was in the belly. She’s watched me grow from a baby to a tall beautiful 18 year old with her life ahead of her. Honestly this is hard to write without crying. This woman was incredibly kind to me and most importantly my mom. Mom worked with her for over ten years. She wrote this card telling me how proud she was of me and how much I’ve grown up. Reading it hurt a lot. She passed away after my Paris trip with Yily a few years back. My mom and I are still close with her family. Tina thank you for being sweet with my mom and me. Thank you for the coffee. Thank you for reminding me how beautiful I am and sweet and humble I am. Thank you for reminding me that I do have an amazing future ahead of me and it’s because of the mark you and your family have left on my heart. 

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The cards I have above aren’t even all of them. I have so many cards from mom it’s insane. But she is my mom. My mom picks the most emotional cards, underlining important words and always write in Portuguese at the bottom. Over the years I’ve looked forward to her cards. Whether it’s Easter or my birthday her cards remind me that she is incredibly proud of me. Even though I am slow she is sometimes patient with me. Even on my temperamental days she’s there to snap me back to reality. There are a lot of things my mother has taught me. Not just to be brave, independent and smart. But I’ve learned a lot of the not so good traits that I’ve picked up from he. Traits that I’m changing with myself and in turn with her. She made me realize that we aren’t so different. That I wasn’t loving her the way I should have. For instance I like people praising things I’ve done so does she. Every time my mom is wearing a new outfit or creates something she will repeatedly ask me if she looks nice or if it’s pretty. She questions herself a lot and I do the exact same thing. Realizing that I always make sure to shower her with compliments. Or how sometimes my mom thinks negatively out loud saying she’s dumb or bad at something. Something I’ve done my entire life. I still strive to fix all of that within myself. And I’m there to remind her she is none of those things. That she is incredibly smart, brave and kind. She’s raised two kids on her own. My mom is everything for me. A lot of people point out that in person I talk a lot about her and that’s because it just mom and I. Mother and daughter against the world. I can’t imagine my life without her and it’s terrifying to think so. I know one day I’ll be able to give it all back to her. So thank you mom. Not only for feeding me and giving me clothes (although you had no choice in that since I’m your child and you want me to survive. Just saying, that’s your responsibility as a parent. Love you.) but for shoving me towards opportunities and reminding that life is hard but if you fight back you’ll get rewarded. I love you so much. 

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These girls right here have supported me the past few years. We reconnected a few years after high school and it’s safe to say that these girls are my sisters. They are my rock. They support me in every aspect of my life and remind me that it’s okay to be sad and ti have anxiety. They help me physically, emotionally and mentally. I love them all so much and can’t wait to see where life takes. My Supposably Miami Crew.

Each of these people I have collected multiple cards, invitations and random papers from. I’ve cherished everything they have done for me and left for me. They have all taught me to grow. There are many people that have taught me a lot of lessons. And that’s the thing about life. You are going to meet a lot of people throughout your life that will teach many things. You are going to make amazing connections and sometimes those connections end. Doesn’t mean that it wasn’t for nothing. I firmly believe that certain people are meant to pass through you in life. They are meant to come ringing your doorbell and dropping gifts of laughter, grief, heartache, kindness but most importantly growth. 

Reflect on your relationships of 2019 and before. Think about those people and what they’ve taught you. Think about how you’ve changed since meeting or ending with them. You’ll realize you’ve changed a lot. 

2019 has been an interesting year filled with-OH WAIT. I can’t really talk about 2019. That’s for another post you’ll just have to wait for. 

Anyway this clearance girl is signing off. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope it meant something for some of you. 

 

Why Pixar’s New Short ‘Purl’ Represents Women in The Workforce

By now we’ve managed to be sucked into the world of Disney+. Most of us have turned into mindless Disney zombies with our Mickey ears and blanket corned into our bed. We’ve relived our childhood over and over again. We’ve even given some of the new things a try like High School Musical: The Musical: Series (not too bad actually) and The Mandalorian (BABY YODA).

But what’s caught my eye besides Hannah Montana and Tailspin are Pixar’s short films. We’re all familiar with Pixar shorts like Piper or Bao. They are short films that are less than ten minutes long but move our hearts in the simplest ways and makes us cry with tears of pure joy. 

One that has caught my eye is Purl. Looking at the picture it’s quite unusual but hey it’s Pixar. A talking, walking ball of yarn doesn’t phase me at this point. Starting the film you are tossed into a work floor full of men who are in less than intelligent ways very bro like. Extremely toxic masculinity. They exhibit bro behavior. What is bro behavior? Loud, obnoxious, terrible insensitive jokes. They sorta still act as if their in high school. You know, bros.

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The film centers on Purl, a talking ball of pink yarn who is the newest hire at  B.R.O. Capital (get it…B.R.O). We follow Purl through her first day at work and watch as she navigates a sea of white men in suits. She is bright and full of color.

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The men on the other hand make dirty jokes, love happy hour, and act more like they’re back in the ‘good old college days’ of frat than conducting a business meeting. After she’s consistently ignored at the water cooler, talked over, and shut out of drinks with her coworkers, Purl stares are the wall of workers who’ve made it. All white men who look alike. In that moment she decides to conform to her office’s culture to fit in. She changes her appearance, parties with the boys, and tells borderline misogynistic jokes. She’s “happy”. 

But in walks a yellow ball of yarn and Purl is stunned. The men ignore the new ball of yarn. Purl seems conflicted as she sees who she used to be in the new hire. Realizing what she’s done to herself in feeding the men’s harmful behavior rather than correcting it she stands with the new ball of yarn in solidarity. 

Fast forward B.R.O capital has changed drastically. The office has become a much more inclusive and diverse place thanks to Purl. There are now just as many yarn balls as men in suits, and they work in perfect harmony. The ending is short and simple. We don’t know how long it took for the office to become diverse but we know that will time the hearts and behavior can change. 

Purl is a great representation of women trying to fit into a male dominated job. We see it with women in science, engineers and even in film. The stigma that we are overly emotional and weak has long been discredited over and over again. We are still fighting for equality. It’s been a long battle and will continue to be so. But history has proven time and time again that women are one of the strongest people in the world. Society has molded us that way and will gladly take anything down.

Also side-note there is a curse word in this short… 🙂 Make sure you parents read the ratings!

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Sunny Side Up and Over Done

A lot of great things have been happening lately. But I can’t help feeling as if I’m doing everything wrong. I just finished my first big stage assistant director show and we sold out every night. Which I should be proud of. My first semester as a senior finishes next month. I, for sure don’t want to think about school next year (more like avoiding). Booked my first graduation shoot. And I finished not one but two internships in social media marketing.

I’m accomplishing so much yet I feel like things could have turned out better or that I’m not trying hard enough or not paying enough attention to my actions or words. I can’t help but feel disappointed in myself. But this is negative Nancy speaking. What’s worse is I know that. That all those negative thoughts are the old Isabel making herself feel bad, making the world revolve around her. And I apologize to anyone that may have felt me doing that.

Today was suppose to be a relaxing day and yet I was racked with over sensitivity. My eyes were cracking open with tears for every little thing like dropping my Christmas tree star, squirting dish soap everywhere and even blowing a fuse. Everything I did and said just felt wrong. And after an insane, highly demanding weekend every nerve in me was/is shot.

And it’s because all the pressures of the past few months have been piling up. And what did I do every time I felt frustrated? Told myself to suck it up, it’s fine, I’m fine. My mantra that’s become detrimental to my mental health is, “it’s okay I’m fine.” So now I sit here, typing this up on Monday November 24 at 11:33 PM hoping this aids in some form of release. Hoping this strikes a similar chord in your heart and you realize you’re not alone.

Because things will go wrong. You’ll have days where the coffee you made tastes like dirt, you burnt dinner, you tripped over yourself or forgot to get that email sent out. It happens to the best of us. Heck it’s happening to me now. But I’ve learn to recognize those days. I’ve learned to cry it out. I’m an emotional person. I take everything to heart. I’m an empath. This is something I try to remind myself every time. And bless my friends who do help me (ma girls).

Tomorrow is a new day with new beginnings. All it takes is one step in your own right direction. Also a glass of wine never hurt anyone…that is only if you’re an adult other than that tea does the same thing…for the soul.

So here’s to tomorrow! Which for me starts in seven minutes. I just realized that three years ago I started this blog. Last year I kept up with it but next year I’ll be on top of it.

And I alas sadly am not tired. Really got to get a better sleeping schedule.

Catch Up with Me- October 2019

Dear Blog,

It’s currently 11:54 pm on October 14, 2019. The past few weeks have literally been insane. Let’s do a quick catch up!

I went to Paris to surprise my godmother for her birthday! We almost missed our returning flight. That was a mission.

I than had two interviews for two social media marketing internships the day after I flew back. I scored both! Passed my midterm and took pictures for my very first paid event!

Realized that I am currently in my senior year of University. Am I scared? Possibly. I have to start looking at spring classes this week. I graduate in the summer and than it’s hopefully off to get my master’s! I start my internships this week! I have a meeting for my first internship in about thirty minutes!

I got to see my nephew yesterday! He was born October 12 and is the yummiest thing in the world. I am absolutely in love with him.

Oh and I’m actually sick right now. I have zero strength for anything but I have a lot to accomplish this week so here is to me trying my best! I think that’s all that has happen in the past 3 weeks. Yeah…in 3 weeks this is everything that has happen!

I have a lot of plans in the work and a lot of responsibilities but when do I not? So I’m signing off! Have to work on my next fashion post.

See ya soon,

Isabel Barreiro

My Mental Health and Me

Mental health awareness day was just a few days ago but it’s something we should take note of every day. Mental health has become extremely important the past years. It’s become a topic more people are really to talk about. I’m one of those. I know personally from being an anxious introverted pessimistic perfectionist. That sounded like a lot. 

I tend to bottle all of my stress until I explode. Socializing is incredibly taxing on my body. Even ordering something makes me nervous. I replay conversations so I don’t mess up what I’m saying. I’m a worry wart for just about anything and I occasionally get anxiety attacks. Yes I get those. It doesn’t happen often because like I mention I bottle things up but it does happen. (Wow things just got real.) I bottle all the stress I didn’t even know I was stress about and some tiny pebble will fall in a river making me crack. As scary as it sounds it’s something I’m self-aware about and I’ve been doing okay on handling it.

But you probably wouldn’t have guess that. You probably never knew. I am an actress of course. But it’s hard. I feel emotions on a deeper level. I take on the world and push through until the weight of the world starts to tip-off my shoulders.

Mental health is incredibly important and it starts off young. The way I act, think and deal with things now have been results of what was happening at an early age. Trying to shift that takes time and hard work.

I try to make everyone happy for the fear of them leaving. That’s a huge realization. People pointing out how skinny I was my whole life is why I feel safer in baggy clothes. I hunch my shoulders because people would point out how tall I was. These are just a few things that have affected me growing up and I’m still trying to shake off. They affect me every day and every day I’m conscious of it to break the cycle.

I may look like I’m fine but I’m anything but that. I try to keep my captions on Instagram real, I try to post about these things so that others will feel more connected. So they won’t feel alone because I know what that’s like. I thankfully have friends who understand and try their best to help me.

Therefore take a break.  If it’s 6 PM sign off of work, put on some PJ’s and snuggle up on the couch. You’ve done a lot just by getting out of bed. It’s the little victories throughout the day that help us continue on. It could be a small achievement like waking up, eating breakfast, going for run or simply just looking outside and realizing the world is still going and so are you.

As bleak as it may seem, as hard and impossible it may seem you can get through anything. I know personally what I can get through just by looking back at all the mountains I’ve climbed. Sometimes we just need to remember. It’s okay to feel happy, sad or upset. We all feel things on different levels for different reasons. Never feel shame for it. We’re all going through something. 

So like I said: give yourself a break. Your mental health IS important because every day in the car, on the bus, at work, in the bathroom, kitchen or bed you’re stuck with yourself. You’re stuck with your voice in your head and it’s a lot easier if you get along.

Relax, reflect, rethink, relax.

Take care of yourself.

You matter.

“My dark days made me strong. Or maybe I already was strong, and they made me prove it.” – Emery Lord

Getting Out of The Unknown

People constantly question your life choices. I for one am deeply bothered by it. “What are you studying?”What are you doing?” “You sure you want a career pursing that?” “It’s just hard to make it you know.” I’ve gotten those questions since high school. But I’m a determined person who doesn’t settle for less. So I brush the negativity aside as best as I can. I won’t lie, there are moments where it does get to me and I have to really look inside and question myself.

I question who I am, what I’m doing and what i want to do. I’ve learned that questioning isn’t a bad thing per say. People asking you questions isn’t bad. Some are just curious and others want to see if you know what you know. If anything it solidifies if what you want is really what you want. I’ve learned that questioning leads to knowledge and understanding. Which makes the world a better place if people would take the time to understand.

But once you hit college and post-grad there is this tiny place that feels infinite. It’s gray and at times really dark. It can be lonely. It’s the town called Unknown. The Unknown is a very easy place to go. It’s on every map. It’s around the corner, passed the towns called, “Life, Career, School, Family and Love.” Each of those towns can be very scary. Sometimes they intertwine during festivals. So we drive down the street and land in Unknown City where we curl ourselves into a ball on a washed out mattress avoiding reality. It’s really easy to stay in the Unknown. But it’s not exactly scary depending on you. The Unknown is where you can reflect. You begin to think about all the dreams you had, unanswered prayers and it’s also filled with endless possibilities. Only if you choose to see it that way of course. It’s a place where you can do anything and everything. All it takes is for you to get off the mattress and explore.

One thing that boggles my mind is when people tell you how you should live your life and by when and then in a blink of an eye they say you have all the time in the world. That your young and therefore you don’t need to rush school or marriage or kids but please do all of that by 30. And own a house with a good paying job.

So which one is?

Do I focus on enjoying life?

Do I get married and have kids when I can’t even afford to live on my own?

Which is it folks?!

There is so much pressure from society because of how people use to live. You know the saying, “well when I was your age…” Times were different back than. School wasn’t as expensive and landing jobs weren’t as difficult. Than you have the media where people broadcast their seemingly perfect life and you begin to think, “Why haven’t I done that yet?”

I turn 24 in a few months and in no shape or form am I ready. There is so much to figure out. And despite all the noise, negativity and unwanted comments I’m sitting here saying screw it!

20-30’s is all about traveling, going out, learning who you are, where you wanna be and who you want to spend it with. I don’t want to regret who I’ll become. I want to be proud and inspire others. Maybe I’ll do that with this blog or maybe I’ll do it some other way. I’m not rushing. God has shown me time and time again that there is a road to be walked not run.

So for all you people who are just scraping by. It’s okay. So am I. I literally had to clean a shed with a co-worker today. And no I don’t want to be a shed cleaner for the rest of my life but until I become a famous journalist/blogger/social media manager/photographer it’s what I got to do. And yes I listed a bunch of things that I want to do. And yes I don’t care because anything is possible. I refuse to do one thing for the rest of my life. It’s not how I was raised.

So to end this blog post I just gotta say shine that crown of yours, wear it proudly even if it has a few rusty edges and strut out of the Unknown into a life of your creation.

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.

-Maya Angelou

Mid-Year Catch Up

The past summer has involved a lot of coffee and very little sleep. I bounced between summer classes, rehearsals, baby shower preparations and landing jobs. Was it worth the little sleep? I think so. Did I make time for myself? I tried. This summer was filled with new beginnings and exhaustion. But now the fall semester has started and I thought I would be catching a break. Boy was I wrong. I have some pretty tough classes, a brand campaign to work on, this blog, assistant director for Aladdin Jr. and attempting to land some position in communications.

But as of right now, I feel like I’m in a rut. A creative rut. I feel like I’m missing my spark. Maybe it’s lost. Misplace? Or maybe its in a tiny box in the corner of my brain labelled, “Lost but eventually will be found.” Once upon a time I used to be filled with creativity. I would be oozing with ideas. They would flow out me. I used to be able to paint vivid stories, form sentences that were stringed together by the finest silk. I used to make people cry, laugh and smile. I miss that. I miss the feel of pages against my fingers and the feel of the pen gliding across the page. I’ve been so focus on trying to figure what I want to be, on figuring out the endgame that I haven’t relaxed. There are so many things I want to do, accomplish and see. I know whatever I decide to do needs to have an outlet for me to create. I look around I try my very best not to compare myself to others. To not confuse my own path with theirs. Everything happens for a reason and I for one know that better than anyone. But still I can’t help the little negativity monster from creeping on my shoulder.

Reflecting on the year so far I’m trying to focus on what I’ve done rather than what I haven’t.  I scored 100+ followers on this blog, made the dean’s list twice, landed an assistant director position and performed. I even traveled to two countries! And possibly a third very soon. The fall has a lot of exciting things in the work. SO much that I’m kinda scared. I’m trying my best to be there for me, my family and those I care about. So, for the rest of year I’ve made a promise to myself. Okay, a couple promises just in case I can’t keep one. I promise to focus on creating content. Whether it’d through music, art or writing. I plan to actively seek more opportunities and trusting in HIS plan. I plan to make time for the people I love. I plan to work on me. I hope you’re ready. I’m not sure I am. I might lose some sleep and possibly some hair. But my motto until the end of 2019 is, “Faith, trust, pixie dust and a lot of coffee.”

 

“But there was a difference between being stuck and choosing to stay. Between being found and finding yourself.” 
― Martina Boone, Compulsion