Thoughts After A John Legend Concert

All those happy love songs are about you, love. ❤️

/’Cause I may not know a lot of things but
I feel it in my chest
Know I won’t let the blue flame die/
[…]
/’Cause it’s once, just once in a lifetime
And we’re scared to love but it’s all right
I may not know a lot of things but
I know that we’re surefire/

“Surefire”– John Legend

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Wednesday Badinage: June 28, 2017

“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.”
Alice Walker, Living by the Word

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Reflections from the Train:

Understanding oneself is a process.   Being in a relationship is its own kind of growth. A journey. An attitude adjustment.

I was set in my ways. (Aren’t we all?)

We learn to grow in different ways, at different stages in our lives.

Lately, I realized that I wasn’t making decisions the way I used to. My whole frame of mind has changed. I was mistaking this different mindset with insecurity, weakness and confusion. I was wondering why things that were so easy to decide and settle in the past were taking longer or were so different. Things change when you aren’t just thinking about yourself. There is another person with a different vision and different expectations joining the decision table. Relationships mold us.

You slowly start building your world with another, which takes work and sacrificing other things. Both sides must do it in order to build a beautiful, unified world.

It’s not just me anymore, which I love, and that comes with its own adjustments and changes. It means potentially more uncertainty, more patience and more compromise.

To the independent women who suddenly find themselves waiting for a contributory opinion, it’s all good. You aren’t crazy; you aren’t weak– I was seriously frustrated with myself, for a couple days, trying to figure out my thought process. Sometimes, I don’t think people realize how hard this is for us. It’s a big step, and it takes a lot of restraint. It’s me saying, I am not only going to let you into my world, I am going to give you space to come in and help me build our world. The private world fades and a shared world emerges. That is a world where there are no unilateral decisions.

This reminds me of what it’s like for two people to learn to dance together. There are hilarious moments, embarrassing moments, and moments of severe frustration (usually that’s week 7 of Dancing with the Stars, when everyone starts breaking down and sobbing in front of the camera). Just like Simone Biles had to learn that dancing was not gymnastics and the value of connection and emotion, we all slowly learn what it means to not be single anymore; the fact that connection, communication and emotion are crucial. Things change.

What did the mom from Princess Diaries II say? “Being married is about being yourself, but with someone else.” That is a deeper statement than I initially thought.

A solo sport is not the same thing as a partnership. Both require a unique set of skills. The partnership is harder. But the partnership is more beautiful because of the challenges it presents. A partnership changes you in ways that you can’t change on your own. You can’t tango by yourself. It takes two to tango. I am learning to dance in my relationship; learning about myself and my partner; learning to be led and to trust. I am learning to collaborate. Each day is a rehearsal where we sweat it out and keep growing. And through all of this, I can’t help but notice that this is how art is made.

Planner

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Not to sound like Pat Benatar, but life is a battlefield, and I am that woman. The planner. Always prepared. I always used my school planner, when I was younger. I even decorated it. I still have the same system, except now it’s in an Outlook calendar. My days have time slots, where I put in my tasks.

I have tons of little Notes on my phone, with lists and ideas. I use sticky notes and stationary lists to organize my week, as well. I am like Jane from 27 Dresses. You can pretty much understand my life by looking at my calendar(s).

I make charts for my 60 active cases, at work. I draft timelines and worksheets. I thoroughly clip together relevant documents and information, in case there is a trial later on. I scan copies of everything. That’s me. It’s like every act is strategic, preparing me for some potential step in the future.

I know that life has its large fuzzy areas of unpredictability. I appreciate that some of my best memories are moments I created spontaneously, without planning. And I know there is a lot in life one cannot plan. That said, there is a lot in life you can plan.

I appreciate my planning ways. It’s not about perfectionism or control all the time, but it’s about moving forward. I am ambitious and curious. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today, at such a young age, had it not been for God, my discipline, my hard work and my strategy.

Life has never been easy, nor have I had things handed to me. I had to hustle, and basically go to a drawing board and try to envision a map from where I was standing to where I wanted to be.

And while some think it’s a crazy way to live, I think life accomplishments of those who plan prove the contrary. I think the key is to have planning save you from the nervous breakdown versus planning inducing a nervous breakdown. Always a delicate balance.

Life needs order. Take it from someone who was mistaken to be the wedding planner at her best friend’s wedding. There comes a time where everyone needs to know where to stand and what to do next.

Life is a battlefield, and a soldier needs to be trained and ready, to have a chance at winning.

I know that in this life, I don’t just want to be a soldier. I want to be a general. I will always be planning my next move because there is so much still left to conquer.

Sunday Girl: June 18, 2017

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Happy Father’s Day to all the papas out there!

We are starting a new week! Last week, I celebrated one year with my love, and I ate a giant artichoke for the first time. It was peculiarly good.

I feel like life has been such an adventure. I have been learning so much about myself. (How terribly I manage stress and worry, but how persistent and stubborn I can be). And I have learned how amazing and patient the people around me are. Thank you.

I am excited about so many things!! (Yes, that was worth two exclamation points. My reporting professor is cringing somewhere in the world).

I believe in love that never gives up.
I believe in navy.
I believe in investing all you have in family and building the relationships that matter most.
I believe in being gluten free.
I believe in talking.
I believe in silence.
I believe in almond milk (even though it tastes like crap).
I believe that with God all things are possible.
I believe that God makes all things new.
I believe in redemption.
I believe in faith and hope.
I believe a good mascara can frame the world differently.
I believe in starting the day off with prayer.
I believe in big hair and a big smile.
I believe in southern charm.

As we start a new week, I share some words that have inspired me:

“God wants a child’s heart, but a grownup’s head. He wants us to be simple, single-minded, affectionate, and teachable, as a good children are; but He also wants every bit of intelligence we have to be alert at its job, and in first-class fighting trim.”
C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity

“No relationship is perfect, ever. There are always some ways you have to bend, to compromise, to give something up in order to gain something greater…The love we have for each other is bigger than these small differences. And that’s the key. It’s like a big pie chart, and the love in a relationship has to be the biggest piece. Love can make up for a lot.” Sarah Dessen, This Lullaby  

“What an astonishing thing a book is. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time.”
Carl Sagan

“The great and central basis of Christian assurance is not how much our hearts are set on God but how unshakably His heart is set on us.”
Timothy Keller

“Somebody who betters you. Somebody who inspires and encourages you in love
and in life, who pushes you towards
dreams and goals you’d otherwise ignore, who selflessly sacrifices their time to helping you become a more courageous, well rounded and happy human being.
That’s sacred. You hold on to a love like that.”
Beau Taplin, “Growth “

“The truth is that the more intimately you know someone, the more clearly you’ll see their flaws. That’s just the way it is. This is why marriages fail, why children are abandoned, why friendships don’t last. You might think you love someone until you see the way they act when they’re out of money or under pressure or hungry, for goodness’ sake. Love is something different. Love is choosing to serve someone and be with someone in spite of their filthy heart. Love is patient and kind, love is deliberate. Love is hard. Love is pain and sacrifice, it’s seeing the darkness in another person and defying the impulse to jump ship.”
love is deliberate. (via theriverjordyn)

“The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and enter God’s realm where everything is possible. He specializes in the impossible. Nothing is too great for His almighty power. Nothing is too small for His love.”
Corrie Ten Boom

“What happens when people open their hearts?’ ‘They get better.”
Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

“When the right one comes along, you figure it out. You move mountains, you change your life and you do whatever it takes to keep them with you.”
Jay Crownover, Jet

I AM THE “ME” IN ENDOMETRIOSIS

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Hello beautiful friends!

This post is about a campaign close to my heart: Get in the Know about ME in EndoMEtriosis. I had been learning a lot about this disease after I heard Julianne Hough was diagnosed with it, and then, my interest grew after I myself was diagnosed with it. It’s because of this that I feel it’s important to raise awareness about endometriosis, a chronic and painful disease that affects an estimated one in 10 women. I am the one in 10.

In high school, I developed horrible cramps that led to vomiting and often enough, fainting. I also had extremely heavy bleeding during my periods. The doctor said it was normal, and she told me to drink teas to lessen the pain and that maybe it would help with the bleeding. I continued to suffer and pass out in random places. I was even tested for hypoglycemia, just in case. I remember many nights lying on my cold bathroom floor next to the toilet, ready to vomit, shaking from the pain; praying silent prayers that the Advil would soon kick in. I learned to recognize the signs of when I was going to faint. I would lose my hearing first, and then, I would black out. I knew my symptoms well, and this is how I learned to deal. I took the bar exam experiencing this pain, for crying out loud. Now, I feel like I should get a trophy.

This year, during a routine exam, my doctor told me to go see a specialist. I figured I was gaining weight, so I had been doing a lot of abdominal exercises. It turns out it was inflammation in my abdomen, not additional weight. I met with the gynecologist, and I found out that I had endometriosis.

By this time, I had a slight suspicion. I figured being diagnosed wouldn’t change anything, but put a name to the pain. The diagnosis meeting was actually pretty traumatizing. The specialist focused on risks of ovarian cancer, infertility and told me I needed to have blood work done to check for tumor markers. He said I needed surgery ASAP. I left the office in tears. These things will send a young woman, hopeful of having children in the future, into a spiral.

I finally got my sonogram report, and I sat down with my doctor. We discussed the report. It turns out there are some alternatives before surgery. Thankfully, the report looked like it belonged to a healthy young woman. Every person is different and needs to work out a proper plan to manage the condition. I am still on my journey to figuring that out.

I have been educating myself a lot about the disease. I think there are several important messages that I want to convey:
The first is that you are not alone. The second is that you have to do what is right for you and be empowered. I decided that I could either let my thoughts cripple me (and they were crippling me, believe me), or I could decide that I would take charge and manage my pain, the best I can as I have been doing, but with a more targeted approach. Also, there will never be a lack of surgeons who just want to slice you open. You need to make sure that is what is best for you.

I am a huge believer in using nature to heal ourselves. I found great resources from doctors who use holistic healing methods. One study revealed that some of these supplements reduced tissue, and inflammation; some women canceled their surgeries and others got pregnant. This reversal of symptoms in the Italian study is a big deal.

I have decided to harness my diet a bit more and be a bit more disciplined with my diet, supplements and exercise. I am leaving a fantastic link here, which changed my view and approach (it includes more on the Italian study). Thank you, Goop, for your holistic focus on wellness and your informative resources.

Back to #MEinEndo– This campaign’s purpose is to inspire women to learn about the disease and share their stories. Women’s stories have helped me, and I want to add my voice to the conversation.

I am the ME in EndoMEtriosis! “I’m here to show women what the face of this disease looks like. By spreading the word, I hope to help women address their symptoms so they don’t go through years of debilitating pain.”

“Check out MEinEndo.com to ‘get in the know’ about endometriosis and its symptoms and download the great resources available to help start a conversation with your healthcare provider. You can also ‘stay in the know‘ by signing up to receive more information about endometriosis and updates from the campaign.

Join me in sharing your story by using #MEinEndo or even if you don’t have endometriosis, find the next ‘ME’ and encourage her to share her story.

Together, we can change the way endometriosis is understood.” (Citing Julianne Hough’s campaign post).

I will continue to update you on my journey.

#endowarriors

[insert Wonder Woman here]
🙂

GY

Enjoy the Silence

By: Gabriela Yareliz

(From earlier this week).

I am writing this sitting in St. Paul’s Church. My hand curled around the edge of the pew, where I felt a piece of ancient gum that has probably been under the pew for longer than I have been alive. It didn’t even bother me.

I am here on a silent retreat of sorts. Sometimes, I feel like everything I do in efforts to help a situation just makes it worse.

I am just going to keep silent, for now. Today, I had two hours of silence. And yet, still my mind was loud. Eventually, by the time my hand found the ancient gum, everything, including my disgust was silent.

I looked around, at the statues around me. Goodbye, Virgin Mary. Goodbye, apostles. Goodbye, everyone. Thank you for welcoming me into your silence, today. I stepped out of the cathedral, into the noise and blinding light.