By: Gabriela Yareliz
I’ll try not to make this a rambling post, but I am just spilling out of my glass right now; overwhelmed with so much– good and bad.
I feel it has been a while since I came by these parts. Life has been insanely busy. I feel like I barely sleep, and yet in the midst of it all, I feel weirdly content, lately.
It feels like law school: productive, crazy busy, exhausted and satisfying. Taking it one day at a time has been my motto… it’s still not fully absorbed into my system, but I am getting there. I hope. I am making more of an effort to make time for the stuff that really matters to me. What makes me happy.
We never have everything figured out. Maybe that’s frustrating or maybe that is a relief. Life is a constant growth and “figuring out” process. It’s also a continual exhaustion. I am still trying to figure out how to rest more.
This week, I received a lovely gift. There is a tree being planted in my name somewhere on this planet. I find that exciting. And thank God, it’s far from my novice agricultural skills… I have been trying my hand at a lot of “window box” planting lately. A friend of mine is encouraging this by giving me plants. I have this weird hunger to see something grow and to take care of something. It brings the oddest but warm satisfaction. It all started when I was given a dead plant, and I watched it revive, after some tender love and care. It’s crazy exciting when you see something become something new; when you watch something grow.
Last weekend, while traveling, I saw the most gorgeous homes and views. I walked along a boardwalk by these majestic summer homes in Ocean City. These things always make me reflect on what is coming (I hope) in the future. It makes me think of life, stability, getting older, family, children…
An image of me, up at the crack of dawn, making gluten-free french toast for more than just one, comes to mind. What scares me is that I no longer feel that is so far away.
Time passes so quickly. Last weekend, I was at a bridal shower for a childhood friend. She is getting married. MARRIED. Unbelievable. We used to sit in princess costumes and play with Barbies. It’s mind-blowing. I just bought my plane ticket. I still have to find a pair of sparkly silver shoes. I am sure that now that I am looking for them, I will not find them. Absurdities of life. But I will try to think positively.
Life takes us on the most unexpected journeys. We learn along the way. I have realized that in life we often have a recipe in hand, and then, we realize that some things are great theoretically but that life doesn’t work according to recipes. Realizing this is always heart attack inducing, for me. You know, nothing in life has turned out the way I expected, really. It has been a surprise, one after another.
There are career struggles and growth processes that can be terribly annoying or frustrating to endure.
Take, for example, dating/ the opportunities we give certain people to make their case. I have been learning a lot about this lately, through observation.
A person can look so good on paper, but then, in reality, this person can be an unbelievable jerk, who never makes you feel safe and cares more about his shoes than the fact that you are stranded in some bad neighborhood, at night, while sick. Or there’s the one who sets everything up, but then you find out he is constantly on the lookout for the next best thing in his peripheral vision. Or the ones who want easy and fast; like life is some kind of fast-food joint. Brother, please.
Life is weird and confusing. Things can change in a minute. You also learn to take the disappointments and move on. And then, there is the unexpected good. The one who goes the extra mile when you didn’t even ask. The good you hope will work out, somehow, just like it somehow has taken you this far. There are moments in life that surprise you. Ones you didn’t see coming. Moments that are more profound than words can explain.
I have heard a fair share of magical stories and of nightmarish stories, lately. I guess that is what happens when you spend a bridal shower weekend, in one house, with a huge Latin family that has no filter in sharing stories. I have thought a lot about reality and how life unfolds. It’s messy. It’s painful. It’s also magical.
Yesterday, someone wise told me to look at my life by all the good accomplished, the gifts received and the gifts given. I’m learning every day to look at life in a new way. A better way. A more real way. Sometimes, our own expectations get in the way of the best life has to give us.
Let’s not cling only to the recipe books. After all, you can read the recipe and even try to go shopping for the list of ingredients. I know I have done this. Somehow, I always have to end up improvising a little. It all comes down to what you can find and what’s in your fridge or pantry. You can drive across town looking for that specific sauce, but if it’s not there, it’s not there. So do the best with what you have. Often, it ends up better than the instructions on the page of the book.
It’s about being real. I have learned that so many people are out of touch with reality; what is really important and valuable. I want to be real. I want to care about what’s real. What fills us, what makes us safe, what brings us hope, all of this can only be achieved with what is real.
“Sometimes you don’t need words to say what’s in your heart.” Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being
Here is some inspiration for the week, as we continue to learn:
“We’re far worse than we ever imagined, and far more loved than we could ever dream.” Timothy Keller
“Do you love me enough that I may be weak with you?” Alain de Botton, Essays in Love
By: Greer Gattuso
“Do not go back to the past. Whether it is someone you once loved, something that someone said about you, or if it’s just a mistake you made. It does no good to visit a world that you can never change; become the person you needed back then so that your future will be thankful.”
– T.B. LaBerge // Things I’m still learning at 25
“Let’s be brave in our love so that we can show others why love matters. Because important things take courage to do.”
– T.B. LaBerge // Go Now
“Though we may create many beautiful works of art, the most important works of art to which we will ever give ourselves are the lives we live.”
Erwin Raphael McManus
The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art
“So, what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.”
Rainbow Rowell (via Smile, Sugar.)
“I like the smell of earth, the touch of waves, the taste of berries, the sight of trees, the sound of laughter, and the feeling of being fully alive.”
“I watched as she turned her wounds into wisdom.”
“That’s how you know you love someone, I guess. When you can’t experience anything without wishing the other person were there to see it, too.”
Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants
“My grandmother once told me, ‘Relationships are work, honey, and they aren’t 50/50. Some days when I get up I only feel like giving 10%, then your granddaddy has to give 90% that day. But there is always 100% love.'”
Leigh Ann Lunsford
“I think people spend too much time staring into screens and not enough time […] kissing, and dancing under the moon.” Rachel Wolchin
Par Paul Almásy, Rock‘n’roll sur les quais de Paris, 1950
[Images from Tumblr]