Sunday Girl: April 23, 2017

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[Image from Tumblr]

By: Gabriela Yareliz

A happy Sunday morning to you! French election, round one, kicks off. I need to find a minute today and whip out some stationery and write to Madame about our election concerns. I think I will wait until I see who dominated in this premier tour. Participation is at an all time low, in terms of voter turn out. The rest of us are praying  today puts a halt on Marine Le Pen– but enough about politics. I will keep refreshing my Le Figaro app.

Spring in NYC is hesitant. It comes, and it goes. The other day, I was thinking about where I was at this time last year. So much has changed.

I was deeply disappointed with some professional aspects of my life (this year, I am disappointed with different aspects, ha!). Things have gotten better, though. This year, I was able to pull out of that funk that felt like post-bar exam depression. I felt like I had lost myself in the process of obtaining my license. But that is a different post, for another day. Today, I am certainly more seasoned at this point in the job– starting my third year in August. And I am becoming the attorney I wanted to be.

I was so giddy about my birthday, last year. This year, I am excited, but at some points, I feel like my birthday crept up on me. I keep forgetting I will be one year older, soon. This is very unlike my old countdown ways.

I am still working on the self-care aspect of life. I am getting back in shape and learning that ‘No’ is a complete sentence.

As weak as I may feel sometimes, I can still say that I have grown stronger. I deal with trauma every day and people who are unstable mentally, and this is not easy. I am learning I need to be less harsh with myself.

My style has changed, slightly. There are a lot less H&M $5 sweaters in my closet. The last ones got weird and the cheap fabric gave out, so I threw them out and never replaced them. This year, I stepped foot in stores I had never gone into.

I do celebrate my successful adulting, even if there is a tinge of lack of balance in some areas. Long work days are followed by nice walks and ice cream with my boyfriend. Soon, I will be hitting the pavement again (long runs on the promenade).

I stopped listening to my favorite radio show in the mornings. I don’t know when it happened. I just realized the other day that the show I never missed for 5 years no longer impressed me or made me laugh. I just realized I haven’t listened to it in two months. Strange.

I went to bed hungry last night, because I was flipping through recipes that I was going to make today. Food 52 is an amazing website for recipes. I can’t wait to start on that.

It’s early still. I am still in bed. The day is sunny and bright, unlike yesterday’s rain. I worked on a motion last night, so today is mine.

This is one of my favorite things about this year versus last year– Sundays are mine, and they are spent in my sunny kitchen.

Where were you, last year? What has changed? Some of you are stronger. Some of you are one step closer to graduation. Some of you are getting married. Celebrate the changes! Some of you may be in the middle of something that is awful and feels never ending. I am telling you, it won’t last forever. Stay focused; have vision and keep pushing forward. Someday, your Sundays will be yours, so to speak.

Lastly, I wanted to share some inspiration I collected from things I read recently:

“May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may boldly apply the truth of Christ and love as he loved from deep within your heart.
May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for peace, justice and freedom and demonstrate that true peace comes only in Christ.
May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish, so that you might comfort them and, in so doing, point them to the Great Comforter, Jesus Christ, the only One who truly transforms sorrow into joy.
May God bless you with enough faith to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace in Christ, to do what otherwise could not be done.”

– A Franciscan Blessing adapted by Dr. Lindsay Fikkert

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”
– Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
“We all have different reasons for forgetting to breathe.”
– Andrea Gibson

“The pen is mightier than the sword, but only in retrospect. At the time of combat, those with the swords generally win.” Margaret Atwood, The Nation

The wise Margaret Atwood… I believe in the power of the pen, deeply. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t leave all of my scribbles for the world to read.

I hope you also learn to record the painful and the joyous things in life. Yours is a journey that should never be forgotten. 

How Love Unfolds

Have you ever seen something that makes you recall and relive your own story or experience?

I think that as we get older we start seeing and accepting things for what they are. For example, ourselves.

When I saw the last season of New Girl, I realized I was not and would never be like the cool and collected, always gorgeous, slightly emotionally stunted Cece. I knew I was like the nerdy, responsible, PJ set wearing Jess.

Watching Jess’ story unfold with Nick, reminded me of how my own story unfolded with my “Nick.”

It’s always exciting when you start out as friends. I would tell him of my weekend adventures and the interesting people I had met. I would search for his face in a crowd.

He always made me feel better. He cheered me up with snacks and plants. He always believed in me, even when I didn’t.

And then, one day, he said he would potentially start a new adventure far away. I literally felt pain in my heart. Had I really met a friend I didn’t want to live without? I had good practice with goodbyes, but this was not one I wanted to say.

I knew my life had changed; and it would never be the same. We both had a choice to make. We chose to stay.

He held my hand through some of the most uncertain moments. He didn’t flinch. I knew he wasn’t letting go and neither was I. He is the best man I have ever met, and I have the privilege of calling him mine.

Life sometimes gets us off focus. We are overwhelmed and tired. But we all need those moments where we look back at our story, and we see the steps that have brought us here. Here, to this place. There is no place I’d rather be. He is here, and that is more than I ever knew to ask for.

Conversations On Being A Woman

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Lately, women who inspire me have opened up to start conversations on topics we women have shied away from, typically.

I can’t say enough how empowering and interesting it has been to listen and join these conversations on PMS, endometriosis, menstruation, relationships, and health. And I mean deep conversations, not the typical superficial stuff you see on a glossy magazine page.

Knowledge is power. It’s great to learn from others’ experiences and to know you aren’t the only one.

I hope these conversations continue, because we have suffered alone and in silence long enough.

Check out:

The PMS Monster

The Atelier Doré chats about PMS

Julianne Hough on living with endometriosis

Friday Glee: April 7, 2017

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Some words I collected throughout the week:

“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.”
– Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

“Love is a sure thing– it takes a living man to love.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The truth is that no thinker worth remembering has some monolithic “project” to undertake; all express a personality inevitably double, and full of the tensions and contradictions that touch any real life.” Adam Gopnik, The Illiberal Imagination, The New Yorker March 20, 2017, pg 90

This is how you oppress a people. You make people believe that things like education are a luxury. [Jenny Slate paraphrase, Pardon My French Podcast]

Radical

By: Gabriela Yareliz

No one is born knowing. I like this saying. It reminds me to be patient with myself when I am facing new circumstances and learning to deal. Sometimes, I place an unbelievable amount of pressure on myself.

This past week was an intense week of “learning to deal.” It was draining, emotional, and there was a question mark at every turn, inquiring of me, “Who do you want to be?”

I deal with a lot of upsetting situations. Things many people would be surprised to learn still happen.

In my profession, an attorney is more likely to be sanctioned or lose her/his license for misplacing escrow money than for being a racist, sexist bully. I am tired of a world where we care more about paper than a human being.

Someone once said that the paper money puts a roof over your head when it rains; but I would like to think that if we live in the right way and maintain relationships with love and respect, a person can offer you more than a roof over your head– a person can save you, so to speak. A person can offer you genuine and disinterested love and laughter. A person can dress you and bathe you when you are sick. Paper money cannot. Yet our priorities and what we celebrate are the other way around.

In my own frustrations and things I encountered throughout the week– as I learn to deal, I am reminded how radical life can be when you want to be a follower of Jesus. It means seeing the world and people through a lens that is very different from how others see things. That includes the upsetting things.

Today, my bible study group started studying the life of Peter. It was a profound reminder to me how God takes a person with no self-control, a wild temper, an air of superiority and filled with ambition, and He molds it into something beautiful and powerful. He completely transforms Peter.

In my figuring out of life, which is littered with plenty of mistakes, pride and feist, I see a God who has a radical sense of justice, holiness and love. A God willing to walk with me and transform me. That’s what I find most profound. Transformation doesn’t involve a Disney moment and a magic wand; it involves walking with God.

I think that when we look at Jesus’ disciples in scripture, we are reminded that we all speak from our corners with our own ideas, but in the end, none of us really knows what we are talking about until we are transformed by a radical, loving God. A God who asks us to love our enemies and offer them a place under our roof; a God who forgets no one and values flesh and blood over gain or fame.

This past week, I experienced frustration, hostility, sadness, anger, exhaustion, joy– and God keeps telling me despite all of it that He can transform me, use me and that He wants to walk with me.

As Easter nears, we are reminded to look up at an uplifted Christ on a cross. As we struggle and try to stand, we are called to cling to the cross so we can stand. It is only then that we truly understand what grace is. It is at the cross that we are reminded that the pure, Godly things are radical. Radical service. Radical love. Radical life.

Monday Inspiration: March 27, 2017

“Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.”
– David Deida