TriBeCa’s Message

 

On the streets of TriBeCa.

On the streets of TriBeCa

 

By: Gabriela Yareliz

If there is a concept worse than the idea of hell, my day came from that place. It was one of those: get-scammed, watch-a-father-get-no-bail-and-glance-back-at-his-wife-and-child-before-being-taken-away, get-ice-cream-that-has-no-flavor-and-once-you-accept-its-flavorlessness-you-find-a-hair-in-it, kind of days.

My standards of professionalism are pretty high I’d say, and I often end up annoyed or frustrated at the world when I feel things are going all wrong. Life and work do not work like a well-oiled machine in my sector of the law, and they end up working a lot more like a messed-up transportation system in a third world country.

I’d say improving my reaction to incompetent irresponsible people and situations has been my personal growth challenge this summer, and I’ve failed miserably. Things still affect me so much. Today was bad. Maybe, the worse day I’ve had all summer. At one point I thought my headache was going to lead to passing out; at another point I was angry; and by the end, I just wanted to cry, and I could feel a tightness in my head escaping as tears streamed down my face. Not my brightest moment. I prayed for strength, and I have a Bible verse on a sticky note on my computer screen (which I apparently ignored). My focus was a bit–err-misplaced, and my day was a rollercoaster. Hilariously, I was upset with myself at the way I was handling things. Me against myself.

A depressed SRK seemed appropriate.

Three-fourths through the day, I was walking to Chambers St. through Tribeca, and I saw something on a wall. (See photo above).

“The greatest danger is convincing yourself that you will not survive this.” -Morley

Morley, whoever you are, I needed this today. God speaks to us in so many ways. This is exactly what I needed to hear.

I have never thought of myself as type A, but apparently, whatever I am (type C, maybe?) is killing me. I try really hard to make things be the best I can make them, and when people fall short, I become frustrated, forgetting that I am not perfect. I think it’s been the many past disappointments that make me strive to not be one, but that notion feeds my frustration as well.

Today was my favorite person in the world’s birthday: My mom. She has been one of my greatest inspirations; someone who always prays for me and tries to guide me with her kindness and wisdom. I need to be more like you, mom.  I need to trust God a little more, be less self righteous, and be more easy going, trusting that everything will be okay.

Let’s just say, I have a long way to go. For now, I am going to rest my head, and let the tension drain out. Tomorrow is another day, and I promise I will try to do better.

The Florida Lifestyle

Cedar Key By: Gabriela Yareliz

Cedar Key
By: Gabriela Yareliz

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Every state has a different vibe and stereotype, right? I haven’t fully discovered New York’s identity. I’ve discovered New York City’s identity, but not the state’s. I need to spend more time outside of the city. But Florida, I know Florida well.

I stood many hours sweating at bus stops on University Ave., driving with loud music and my windows down through country roads (nature’s AC), and lying in green grass, with my backpack as a pillow, in the middle of the University of Florida campus. While many think Floridians are crazy (if you see the criminal cases that come out of the state, you might be on to something) and that we are flip flop wearing old people, well… they aren’t entirely on point. There are plenty of elderly folks who drive golf carts. The older women wear bright flowy tops, their necklines exposing rubbery tan skin speckled with sunspots, and the men with their bright polo shirts with visors and golf equipment. There are plenty of “deed” restricted communities, but there are also a lot more young families and children in Florida than what I have seen in the busy, money-making city neighborhoods. Here in the city, if you happen to see a child, he or she is accompanied by the ever-present nanny.

I took a quiz by the NYTimes where you answer questions on how you would call something or say something, and it tells you where you are from based on your vocabulary. It told me I was from Orlando, Florida, which is the closest big city to where I live. Even the New York Times knows, I am a Florida girl. To take the quiz, click here.

But what is the Florida lifestyle, according to me? I have been trying to define it for myself now that I am living in the city. Here are some conclusions I have come to: I personally do not like flip flops, I prefer Converse or gladiator sandals (that’s right–stereotype shattered). I have realized I am slower than many here in the city, but faster than many in Florida. I adore sunshine and water. I have a thing for boats. I am not afraid of bugs or snakes. I drive. For comfort, I wear jeans and cotton clothes that are not black.  I miss wearing my heels because I am too petite to wear flats (as I am forced to do in the city). I like walking barefoot. I like lying on benches (in New York, there are no benches. If you happen to spot one, a homeless person has probably made it his or her home, or you have to share it with 10 other people who won’t talk to you). I like class with some attitude (being real, no pretentious weirdness a la NYC).

When I went home at the beginning of the summer, I was able to spend time with my family. Being with family is my favorite thing to do. We took a drive to Cedar Key on a Friday evening, before Sabbath. It was a lovely. Being there reminded me of everything I miss. My mother gave me an amazing camera for my birthday, and so, I wanted to share my first photos that I took during my Florida experience in May. Because Florida is not just a place; it’s an experience. Dear Florida tourism, if you are hiring–you know who to call. Right here.

Nature everywhere.  By: Gabriela Yareliz

Nature everywhere.
By: Gabriela Yareliz

Brilliant Southern Charm By: Gabriela Yareliz

Brilliant Southern Charm
By: Gabriela Yareliz

Colors are everywhere. By: Gabriela Yareliz

Colors are everywhere.
By: Gabriela Yareliz

My brother Luis exploring. By: Gabriela Yareliz

My brother, Luis, exploring.
By: Gabriela Yareliz

A Floridian sunset. By: Gabriela Yareliz

A Floridian sunset.
By: Gabriela Yareliz

A couple enjoying the sunset. By: Gabriela Yareliz

A couple enjoying the sunset.
By: Gabriela Yareliz

 

I will admit, these photos make me homesick; but they also fill me with wonder, warmth and serenity.

Ultimately, there is no place like home.

-GY

Sunny Season

image

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I am dead tired. It was one of those days. An oatmeal day. A day when, even though I have rice and food ready to be eaten, I need something soft to warm my stomach and soothe my little soul.

The summer has been mild and strange. The humidity rises to levels making us feel nauseated and sticky. If you want the complete experience, stand on the corner of West Broadway and Canal St. on a hot and humid day. It smells like diapers; enough to make you gag. The lovely smells of New York City. A working summer teaches you a lot. As usual, you tend to learn a lot more about life and how people work.

The world is full of conflict, and all seems to be a bit upside down. People seem to have forgotten human dignity and the concept of peace. But, I don’t want to talk about that. My day is filled with that. The news is filled with that. We need some bright rays to shine through our days filled with faces of anguish and bright flashing screens.

My arms and legs are peeling–still. It’s a phase thing. I am starting to wonder exactly how many layers of skin I will shed before it stops. Awkward tan lines remain. If they are going to be weird, they better last until winter.

Jamba Juice distributer to NYC has run out of kale. First world problems: no kale. Cyclists in TriBeCa ride on the sidewalk (illegal), which means many of us almost get run over, at least twice a day. I saw a woman fight with a cyclist.

I have got autumn fever (more on that in a later post), but for today, I will focus on where we are: summer. Let’s celebrate the interestingness of sunny season (I promise this was in a thesaurus as a synonym for ‘summer’).

1] L’Ex de ma vie (The Ex of my Life): The first movie I am looking forward to in ages.

This is one of the first movies I have been interested in seeing in a while.

A young violinist has been separated from her husband (a charming Italian) for two years, and the orchestra chief proposes to her (except she is married). She decides to find her husband and set up a divorce in the next eight days. Her husband makes a trip for them, so they can have a honeymoon style trip before the divorce goes through. Things don’t proceed the way she had in mind… While divorce is a painful topic, it seems the film takes a terrible reality in the lives of many and adds a sprinkle of humor and a dash of miracle, to give us a love story that is unlike any other. A love story that may inspire some of us, to believe a little more and have a little more faith.

2] Tal’s new single, Marcher au Soleil

3] There is an intriguing place in TriBeCa called “Aire: Ancient Baths“. Looks super interesting. Who knew wellness could be so expensive but fascinating?

4] It’s that time…
We aren’t even done with interning and school, but it’s time for the… JOB SEARCH.

5]
Dear Summer,

Despite your tragedies (world conflicts), your shortcomings (the kale), your dangers (cyclists) and the pressure (job search), keep being good to us, and keep us fabulous. Keep us alive.
(Wink).

Two girls entered a wood . . . which one are you?

Gabriela Yareliz:

I enjoyed this so much. I hope you will, too. Her writing is phenomenal.

Originally posted on candidkay:

One emerged a skillful, confident woman; the other remained a helpless girl.

The question, friends, is–which one are you?

I come from a seemingly long line of independent women, women who did not always follow societal norms.

So those girls in college who gushed about who they wanted to marry when they graduated? Yeah, I didn’t quite get that. I had some things I wanted to accomplish first.

I write a lot about being raised to be an independent woman in this blog. But that doesn’t mean brittle. I love love. I love a man’s man who goes gaga over babies and dogs. I cannot help but smile when I see the couple holding hands over the table at the restaurant. A gent heading to a door with flowers, scrubbed clean and smelling great—well that’s hard to beat.

I welcome all of these things. I just do not chase them.

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Camp Meeting

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Camp meeting (n): An event at which churches from a certain area get together, usually once a year, for a spiritual retreat and fellowship. The concept and practice originated in England and Scotland.

Camp meeting is always a fun time of the year. It always has been.

I have good memories of running around going to the youth services; exploring and running up hills and oftentimes tumbling down hills; glittering rivers and star-lit skies. It was a time to be among friends and despite the bruises, allergies, sometimes dumb little tiffs, we’d have a blast.

I had the opportunity to go to camp meeting this year. We drove out of the city into a green lush countryside lined with what looked like mountains or giant hills covered in bushy dark green trees.

The camp ground was littered with tents, parked cars and coolers. Everyone, dressed up to stun, walked to the tents for the worship services. To think Christian churches have done this for years. Since the 1800s and who knows… maybe even before that?

It’s a time when you meet new people, see old friends, and above all, learn and get a spiritual retreat and recharge. The messages were fantastic, and I must say that the main thing that stuck with me was:

If you are in Christ and God is working in you, then you will not stay the same.

Those are powerful words. I have always written that religion, belief and God cannot just be spoken in words or some distant ideal, but it must be enough to transform us and continually change us.

A lot more was said. There was encouragement for us to study God’s word and clothe ourselves in the Armor of God.

The Armor of God:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18 New International Version (NIV)

There was also a gentle prodding that we should let go of harmful relationships with people who refuse to change and delight to see us unhappy. We cannot change others; we can only love them. We should always take care of our own wellbeing and leave certain things in God’s hands. The main thing was, however, that if we are in Christ, we are changing everyday and choosing to be better; to be more like him, and to be empowered by Him.

I hope that every day, we choose to grow and challenge ourselves to imitate and adopt traits that reflect God’s character. He is always willing to empower us and work on our behalf. Our job is not to fight a spiritual warfare alone. Instead, we win by surrendering to God.

God fills us with the strength to overcome, and shines the light of truth into our hearts to dispel the darkness.

At camp meeting, we were walking down a steep hill with stone and concrete steps down to a lake. When we got to the lake, at a distance I could see a large beautiful building that looked like a house with a grandiose window and surrounded by trees.

The conversation revolved around how sharks and turtles supposedly grow according to the environment they are placed in. If they get a small tank, they stay small. A young man was discussing that he has a turtle he wanted to release into nature, and he took it to Central Park. He didn’t release it at Central Park because a park employee told him it wouldn’t be good for the turtle because Central Park is so artificial. I am no scientist, but this is what the conversation was about. If this is true, I thought about how we are in a similar situation. We grow according to the environment that we are in. Unlike these little critters, we can choose where we place ourselves. Don’t choose a tank or an artificial place. Choose a lake or an ocean. Choose something real. Grow, and grow without fear.

Blanca Suarez for Vogue Spain, August 2014

Vogue.es

 

She left us all in suspense in one of her latest blog posts, but we all new something exciting was afoot.

Yo me siento expectante, nerviosa, satisfecha por todo lo que me ha pasado este tiempo. Sin arrepentirme de nada y contenta por haberme dejado sorprender por las cosas y por la vida. Pero lo curioso es que cuanto más mayor me hago, a veces más pequeña me siento; sobre todo, cuando hay algo en el horizonte que significa mucho para mí… Lo ves en la lejanía y brotan inseguridades, miedos; te haces un bicho bola, te abrumas y saltan ‘Las preguntas’: ¿Por qué me pasa esto a mí? ¿Me lo merezco? Y entonces salto con una sonrisa de medio lado y me digo: ‘Calla tonta, y disfruta. Si te sigues haciendo preguntas este instante pasará y no lo habrás disfrutado lo suficiente. Lo cierto es que algo bonito esta por venir y me encantaría compartirlo con vosotros lo antes posible… Queda poco.”-El Blog de Blanca Suarez for Vogue.es

 

Translation: “I feel expectant, nervous, satisfied by everything that has happened to me in this time. Without regretting anything and happy for having allowed myself to be surprised by things and life. But the curious thing is that the older I get, sometimes the smaller I feel; especially, when there is something in the horizon that means a lot to me… you see it in the distance and insecurities blossom, fears make you into a little ball, you are overwhelmed and “the questions” pop up: Why is this happening to me? Do I deserve this? And then a side smile flashes on my face, and I tell myself: Shut up, silly and enjoy. If you keep questioning, this moment will pass and you will not have enjoyed it enough. The truth is that something beautiful is coming, and I would love to share it with you as soon as possible…there is little [time] left [until then].” -From Blanca Suarez’s Blog for Vogue Spain

Congratulations to Blanca Suarez! This young woman has achieved a lot in her 25 years, and she will continue to grow and flourish as the awesome, down-to-earth woman many of us identify with and love to watch.

Enhorabuena guapa!

She is on Vogue Spain’s August 2014 cover.  

Vogue.es August 2014 cover

 

In the words of Blanca Suarez (translated from her blog post “La Cuenta Atras“):

“Happy Monday, and dream, because who knows… when you least expect it, your dream will come true. It’s like that.”

Waiting for it to hit newsstands and hoping your dreams come true, as well.

Yours,

Gabriela Yareliz