My first semester of graduate school is fortunately almost over! I have about two weeks left, and then I will have a mini winter break before the spring semester begins. I’m eager for a break. The last four months of 2020 has been insane, both personally and globally.
In addition to dealing with my own personal drama, I (and everyone else) has had to cope with arguably one of the most stressful national elections in history, as well as infection rates increasing again.
Unfortunately, my mini winter break does not include a break from this dark reality…but I will take whatever break I can get.
Aside from nearly completing this semester, I have several other important updates I would like to share!
- I turned twenty-five! (Ah!)
- My partner and I celebrated our one-year anniversary on a small farm with horses, dogs, cats, and goats.
- I received and accepted a full-time job offer.
- I resigned from my current job.
The last important update I would like to share is that I think I am going to retire this blog. While I love writing and I love all that this blog represents to me…this has been a project I have been working on since the fall of 2013, and I’ve grown tremendously in the last seven years.
I have done my best to adapt this blog to my needs over time, but I think I am finally ready to release it. That doesn’t mean I will stop blogging and writing altogether though…I just want to create a new space that aligns with me more. My hope is that my future website will be something I can proudly share with people…because honestly, my current blog embarrasses me. There are seven years of posts that I most certainly need to delete, but I would rather just start over.
The transition will happen in February. Once my semester is over, I will have more time to create my new blog, and I will certainly keep you all updated. In the meantime, thank you for being here and thank you for reading. I hope you are all safe and well!
I included a list below of some things I have been enjoying lately, in case anyone is interested in checking them out. Feel free to comment with anything you have been enjoying these last few months! It doesn’t have to be limited to media 🙂
- We Were Witches by Ariel Gore
- Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
- The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- TV Shows:
- 30 Rock
- Avatar The Last Airbender
- The Legend of Kora
- Dash & Lily
- The Darkest Timeline with Ken Jeong & Joel McHale
- Buffering the Vampire Slayer: A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Podcast
- Scam Goddess
- Welcome to Greendale: A Community Podcast
My life has been off-balance over the last month because I’ve lost touch with the Feminine. The Feminine is rest, fluidity, flexibility, creativity, and ease.
Instead, I’ve been operating predominantly in the Masculine, which is strict/rigid, constantly-on-the-go, and seeking to produce results.
The reason I’ve been trapped in Masculine energy is a result of obtaining a part-time job (yay!), which has caused me to feel overwhelmed by all of my responsibilities. The manner in which I’ve been attempting to manage my responsibilities has been by adhering to a strict schedule with little opportunity for rest.
When I’m not working, I am doing homework/studying. Then I’ll squeeze in a workout in an attempt to maintain balance, before going to bed. Fortunately, I don’t work on the weekend, so I’ve been able to relax into the Feminine a bit then, but the relaxation is constricted because I have impending assignments hanging over my head.
In an attempt to reduce stress from school, I started waking up earlier to do homework before work. Despite my attempts to minimize stress, work tends to be an additional source of stress for me.
The stress caused by my professional and academic lives has adversely impacted my ability to pursue hobbies and interests that I enjoy. Some of those hobbies include making yoga videos, writing, meditating, reading, and cooking.
The combination of stress and inability to enjoy my hobbies has contributed to feelings of failure in regard to the commitments that I have made to myself and to others. Additionally, I have been suffering physically from the impact the lack of balance in my life has caused, the most notable impact being frequent panic attacks. I’ve started to fall into old, ineffective habits to cope with the stress.
I don’t want to worry anyone by sharing this. The fact that I’m even allowing myself time to write, as well as the fact that I want to write about this at all, is evidence that I’m actively working on finding and embracing balance. It’s important to me to work on this, especially now, because the fall semester is beginning in a few weeks, and I want to approach it from a rested, balanced state of mind.
I also want to remember that when I lose balance again, because I undoubtedly will, I will undoubtedly seek to embrace balance once again. It’s never too late to create the life that best serves you and allows you to serve others.
Let me know in the comments if there are ways in which you can embrace a little more balance in your life!
It’s June now, and I am doing much better mentally than I was at the beginning of the quarantine.
Yes, we are still in quarantine.
Being optimistic about life feels more plausible now that lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted…but anyway, I’m not here to update you on the status of the world. I want to share with you what I’ve been up to these last two months!
Quarantine has forced me to slow down, reflect, reevaluate, and initiate new action. While I would hope to never endure a quarantine again, I think I have taken advantage of this time in a few different areas of my life. Those areas include my mental well-being, my career goals, and my yoga teaching.
After several mental breakdowns two months ago that put a strain not only on my mental well-being but also on the relationships I have, I decided to make finding a therapist a priority. I had been considering getting a therapist a few months prior, but I kept making excuses, which was easy to do when I was busy running around living the life of a twenty-something-year-old woman. Quarantine made it difficult for me to continue to ignore my mental health though.
After some research, I decided to try BetterHelp because it was affordable without health insurance, it was easily accessible since the communication is digital (which is perfect during quarantine), and it offered a lot of flexibility. It was super easy to set up an account and get matched with a therapist- you answer a few questions and share any preferences you have for the type of counselor you want, and that’s really it!
Some things I really like about BetterHelp include:
- I can message my therapist at any time and as frequently as I want. This has been great for bad days when I need to just dump all of my feelings.
- There are group workshops weekly that you can sign up for on different topics such as managing worry, toxic friendships, trauma, etc.
- There is a weekly “live” session with your therapist and you can choose how you communicate. I’ve been opting for the video chat format but you can also choose a phone call or live-messaging.
- My therapist has been sending me BetterHelp’s worksheets to help me work through areas I need more support in, and I find the worksheets to be useful. One that I’ve particularly enjoyed is about decatastrophizing worries.
- I also really like my therapist, but if I didn’t connect with her for any reason, I can request a new therapist.
Please do some research before deciding to try virtual therapy. I’m not an expert, but what stood out to me as the biggest drawback to virtual therapy was that counselors at BetterHelp can’t diagnose any mental illnesses and they also can’t prescribe medication. Please do research to determine which type of therapy is right for you.
If you do want to try BetterHelp though, you can click here to get one week free. This is an affiliate link so if you do sign up via this link, I would also get one week free.
In addition to therapy, I have begun graduate school!
I honestly did not expect 2020 to be the year that I enroll in a program…I thought I was going to be traveling a ton this year. Fortunately, I did travel before the quarantine began at least. But let me tell you about the graduate program!
I decided to enroll in graduate school after losing both of my jobs and after having a difficult time getting a new job. The challenges of getting a new job during a pandemic are likely related to the pandemic’s impact on the economy, however, I also began to notice that many jobs I was applying to preferred candidates with a CPA, which I don’t have. Thus, I decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Accounting so I can be eligible to take the CPA exam when I finish!
Graduate school has significantly benefited my mental health while I’m continuing to search for work because it provides me with a little more purpose daily and I know I’m working toward a specific goal. It’s been a rewarding experience and I’m very proud of myself.
The last significant change I’ve made in my life over the last two months has been establishing an online yoga presence.
Since I was teaching at a community gym that provided me with clientele, I wasn’t focused on promoting myself or creating an online presence at all. Unfortunately, I lost my clientele during the pandemic because I don’t have anyone’s contact information and I wasn’t connected with anyone on social media at all.
So I’ve recently created an Instagram, a Facebook, and a YouTube account! I’ve been primarily making short yoga videos, and most of the videos are chair yoga videos. I’m still experimenting with the online yoga stuff and I don’t have fancy equipment, but it’s been a ton of fun putting myself out there in this way. My partner has been supportive of it, which I really appreciate. His support has been the fuel for a good portion of my motivation to even do it at all.
Thank you for reading and for being here. Please let me know in the comments below how the last two months have been for you. Please make sure to include one thing that you are proud of, no matter how small it may seem 🙂
I’ll start with the good news first:
I have a ton of time to accomplish tasks I’ve been putting off forever; the most time-consuming one being cleaning/organizing the house.
I also have time to research graduate programs (I want to start thinking about enrolling in a program), to work on the two lengthy online courses I purchased to advance my Excel skills and my finance knowledge, and to read the remaining half-read books I have in my bookshelf. I have time to reorganize my finances and reevaluate my budget to suit my goals for this year too. Lastly, I have more time to write!
I’m very excited and grateful for this time on my hands, but the reason I have all this time now is due to the bad news: I’ve lost my full-time job.
I was expecting to lose my job since the coronavirus has adversely impacted the business my company is in…I mean, the coronavirus pandemic has negatively impacted the entire economy, and my company was no exception. Although my expectations became my reality, I’m not more prepared to handle this. I’m still disappointed, afraid, and uncertain about the future. Honestly, that is how my life during the quarantine can be described as a whole, and I think many would be able to relate to those feelings.
On the bright side, both the CEO and my bosses expressed interest in bringing me back once the quarantine is over and once business picks back up. So…whenever that happens, and if the company is still operating, there will be a job for me. I am grateful to have that support and kindness at the very least.
In the meantime, however, I’m going to do my best not to worry and to focus on what I can control…and I am going to maintain my routine to the best of my abilities to support my mental health.
Be well and stay safe.
I’ve been ready and eager for some change since the end of last year, which was fueled by a new relationship, dissatisfaction with my full-time job, and aspiring for more in my life. I wanted more money, more independence, more responsibility, more education, more experience, more travel…more, more, more.
So I set out to achieve all those things. I asked for a raise at both of my jobs, I started researching where I can take my career next, and I booked a trip to New Orleans.
I was so excited about the NOLA trip because although I’ve traveled since graduating from college, I haven’t gone somewhere entirely new to me since 2017. This was also the first trip I went on without my family since the summer of 2016.
The NOLA trip was more wonderful than I could’ve expected or hoped for, but as I was there, news that the coronavirus was becoming more serious in the US emerged.
When I returned to work on a Monday, I returned to an entirely different company. My boss, who had foreshadowed that he wasn’t going to be there when I returned, was indeed gone. Two of my colleagues in the accounting department were also let go, and sixteen other people in the company nationwide were gone too. On top of all of that, the people that remained, including myself, took a pay-cut in the hopes that the company could weather out this uncertain and ruthless storm.
Shortly after that, I lost my yoga job because the community gym I worked at understandably shuttered its doors.
Now, the entire country and a majority, if not the entirety, of the world are living in an apocalyptic reality. A reality without physical human contact in lieu of virtual human connection. A reality with an unstable economy, loss of jobs, weakened immune systems, and loss of lives. My heart goes out to everyone who has been adversely impacted by this virus.
The reason I’m writing is because…aside from craving to connect with you all, I’m intrigued by how strongly I desired so much change in my life…and in a month, my life has changed significantly…in a way I could not have even fathomed. Now I crave the familiarity and comfort of the past, even though I wasn’t my happiest a month ago. In hindsight, however, there was so much to be grateful for that I had taken for granted. A month ago, I was able to see my boyfriend every weekend, I was able to go to the grocery store without fear of getting sick and/or spreading illness to others…and I was able to leave the house.
While it feels like there was more to be grateful for a few weeks ago, I remind daily myself that there is just as much, if not more, to be grateful for now. For example, my family, my friends, and I all are healthy, and I hope that continues.
I am grateful to have a safe home to live in with clean, running water, electricity, and wifi. I am grateful to have the love and support of my family and my community. I am grateful for my “capital-Y” Yoga practice, which I’ve been leaning into so much lately…just to keep a smile on my face. I’m grateful to be growing and exploring my meditation practice and I’m grateful to share that with others via videoconferencing software. I am grateful for videoconferencing software and for cellphones. I am grateful to all the healthcare workers on the frontlines of this battle, and to all the scientists researching and studying this virus to develop better tests, vaccines, and cures.
If you’re inspired to do so, please share what you are grateful for in the comments below. Stay safe, and much love.
I’m grateful to announce that I’ve recovered from my breathing issues. Thank you for all of your well-wishes.
Since I’ve last written, I’ve been navigating feelings of entitlement and gratitude. Honestly, I think “entitled” has a more negative connotation than what I mean. “Deserving” might be a more suitable word. So…I feel deserving of more than what I have, and as a result, I have not been as grateful for what I do have.
I think these two feelings tend to seesaw for me because previously, I was extremely grateful and if anything, I didn’t feel entirely deserving of what I received.
Do these two feelings also seesaw for you?
The shift from gratitude to deserving can be attributed to the tremendous growth that I’ve had over the last year and a half. For me, growth causes me to desire more for myself, which is totally natural and healthy. However, I don’t like how I’ve become rather negative and a little bitter about my current situation.
After two months of reflecting on this, I came across this quote on a yoga Facebook group I am part of.
Finding ways to feel good in the gap of space between where you are and where you want to be is everything.
It was a helpful reminder that while I may not be completely satisfied with where I am at in my life, and while I aspire for much more, it is not beneficial to be miserable right now. It would better serve me if I enjoy this pause and if I find gratitude for it too. I will eventually get to where I want to be, and so will you.
It’s almost the end of January…how has everyone’s 2020 been going?
Thus far, 2020 has completely taken my breath away!
But seriously, I haven’t been able to breathe. I have two inhalers for asthma that has developed as a result of a bacterial infection in my sinuses.
My sinuses and lungs have been an issue for a month now. It began with bronchitis, then a false diagnosis of strep throat, a visit to an allergist, and finally, an ear-nose-throat specialist. I’m currently back on antibiotics and I’m hoping that all of this inflammation will finally go away.
My inability to breathe has been a very…enlightening experience. I don’t think I ever took breathing for granted, however, I am now even more grateful that I have an overall healthy respiratory system.
These health issues have impacted my ability to go about my daily routine, such as working out and teaching yoga. Even talking and walking has been difficult because I’ve been gasping and coughing for oxygen. It’s also been extremely frustrating going to different doctors every week in the hopes that they can figure out what is going on with my body.
Although I haven’t been able to practice the physical aspect of yoga lately, I’ve been revisiting the more philosophical part. As a yoga teacher, I’m reminded not only of the importance of breath but also the importance to pause. Literally. Because moving too fast and too much left me breathless. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, pausing to rejuvenate is so important.
One of the many benefits of pausing recently is that it has allowed me an opportunity to reflect. I’ve been reflecting on my accomplishments and I’ve been considering what I still want to do. I’ve also been researching how I can accomplish my desires.
This is all to say…I’m ready to make some big changes this year. I don’t know how to go about all that I want to do, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to do all that I want to do…but I am eager to transition from how I want to feel in 2020, to actually making decisions that would get me there.
The yoga class I took yesterday explored the “manifestation current” of the chakra system. For those of you that don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, the chakra system is the philosophy that there are energetic centers along our spines and each center is affiliated with different qualities. For example, the third-eye chakra (the space in between your eyebrows) correlates to intuition and visualization. Ideally, all the energetic centers should be balanced, however, most people’s chakras are not balanced all the time.
The “manifestation current” of the chakra system can be applied to achieving a dream. This current begins at the crown of the head with a wish/idea/feeling, it travels down the spine, and at the root chakra, or at the base of the spine, the dream manifests. Obviously, there are many processes in between. The in-between is probably the most thrilling part of the whole journey!
I began 2020 at the crown chakra- primarily focused on feelings I desire rather than specific, concrete goals. Being forced to pause because of my respiratory issues has allowed me to begin to visualize experiencing those feelings, so I moved down to the third-eye chakra. Without even realizing it, I’ve already traveled to the throat chakra because I’ve begun to vocalize what I’ve visualized with my parents and with my boyfriend to get their feedback and insight. I suppose I’m at the heart chakra now, which is the center of the chakra system. It also means I’m slowly approaching the part where I start taking action.
I’m both excited and terrified of this part because I’m afraid to feel unstable. I’m afraid of what I don’t know. I’m afraid I will handle change as terribly as I did when I graduated college…I’m afraid that I will be too hard on myself and thus, get in my own way.
At the end of the day though, I don’t want my fears to prevent me from pursuing what feels right to me so…I’m going to be trying some new things this year. Hopefully, I will soon be able to say that I’m breathless not from my respiratory issues, but from my excitement for all that I have been working toward.
What has been leaving you breathless from excitement lately? Please let me know 🙂
I am scrapping New Year’s Resolutions this year! This is not because I don’t have any goals; I absolutely do have aspirations. Some of them include items from last year’s Resolutions, and I have new goals as well.
Instead of creating a checklist of things to accomplish in 2020, I want to focus on how I want to feel. There are two reasons for this new approach:
- I cannot fathom all that I will want to accomplish in 2020, and I don’t want to limit myself to only what I am able to dream up right now.
- In 2019, I’ve been playing with “feeling good” to attract my desires, and I want to continue to grow this practice. The two biggest successful outcomes of this practice are obtaining my full-time job and meeting my partner.
Prior to these two particular experiences, I suffered through months of grief, depression, worry, and doubt. I don’t expect to never struggle or to never experience negative emotions, however, I do expect myself to have more confidence, love, and compassion for myself, especially when life is difficult. I also expect myself to be more optimistic and positive about my future rather than allowing worry and stress consume me.
I found this lovely quote that captures how I want to feel in 2020 rather well:
“We’re asking you to trust in the Well-being. In optimism there is magic. In pessimism there is nothing. On positive expectation, there is thrill and success. In pessimism or awareness of what is not wanted, there is nothing…
We do not ask you to see something that is not and pretend that it is. What we ask you to do is practice moving your gaze. Practice changing your perspective. Practice talking to different people. Practie going to new places.
We want you to feel familiar in your joy. Familiar in your positive expectation, familiar in your knowing that all is well, because the Universe will knock itself out giving you evidence of that Well-being once you find that place…
There is great love here for you. We are complete.”
-Abraham Hicks – 12/22/2019
So, below I listed areas of my life that I want to envision how I want to feel about them in 2020 and beyond. If you want to try this approach for the new decade with me, please consider how you want to feel about these areas, and share them with me in the comments below:
How do I want to feel in my career?
I want to be mentally stimulated in my career. I am open to changing career-paths, as long as I continue to feel thrilled by my work. I want to look forward to going to work, I want to enjoy the work I do, and I want to enjoy the company of my colleagues and supervisors. I want to be acknowledged for my hard work. I want more responsibility because I want to grow in my career. I want a raise so I can have more money for retirement, for living expenses, for savings, and to share with others.
In regards to my Yoga career, I want to feel as though I have an abundance of knowledge to share with my students. I want to feel confident in my knowledge and I want to fearlessly share my wisdom. I want my devotedness to my Yoga practice be reflected in my teachings. I want to be connected with my students. I want to feel aligned and energized while teaching. I want to feel fulfilled after instructing.
How do I want to continue to feel in my relationship with my partner?
I want to be loved, cherished, respected, and considered. I want to be a team with my partner. I want to feel secure and stable while continuing to be surprised and excited. I want to trust my partner and in the relationship. I want to feel confident about the connection that we have. I want to feel supported in my aspirations and I want to make him feel that way too. I want to grow and expand together.
How do I want to feel in my relationship with my family and friends?
I want to feel like I can communicate openly and honestly with my family and friends. I want to be comfortable and unapologetic being true to myself. I want to feel safe being vulnerable with my friends and family. I want to feel connected with the people in my life.
How do I want to feel about myself?
I want to trust my choices and find freedom in them. I don’t want to be attached. I want to be healthy and strong. I want to be compassionate and loving toward myself. I want to feel relaxed, stable, supported, self-sufficient, and secure in my own being. I want to be connected to my inner wisdom and harmonious with my intuition. I want to be imaginative and intentional. I want to be selfless, spiritual, devoted, and disciplined. Lastly, I want to find more stillness and I want to create more space for myself.
How do I want to feel overall in 2020?
I want to flow with complete ease. I want to radiate joy in everything that I do. I want to relax and allow. I want to remain open to change and possibilities. I want to overcome hardships and navigate difficult emotions with love. I want to feel powerful and find bliss in my trust in the Universe.
See you all in 2020.
My birthday was nearly a month ago now, and so much has unfolded since then.
I went to Boston with my mom for my birthday weekend. This little trip was intended to re-experience the Boston trip we went on when I was in high school and looking at universities in the city. This trip, however, was way better because I was able to drink and we also didn’t have an itinerary. We simply ate, drank, and walked around, and it was wonderfully wild!
A few days after my birthday, the lawyer I’ve been seeing gave me a beautiful journal with a letter he wrote in it. The letter was a reflection of his trip to Mexico and of our time together so far. At the end of it, he asked if I would be his girlfriend, and I said yes.
We’ve been spending our weekends together since weekends are the best time for us to hang out. Our weekend activities have included going to concerts, meeting each other’s families, meeting each other’s friends, going to breweries, cooking, watching movies/TV, walking his dog, and silently doing our own thing in the same room. We’ve been having a ton of fun together and I will definitely have to write about him more soon.
As incredible as November has been, it’s also been one of the most stressful months of 2019. Both my full-time and part-time jobs are growing tremendously, and with all the change, there is stress.
Prior to November, I was subbing at my yoga job too frequently, and as a result, I burned myself out. Before I could fully replenish, I started working late at my full-time job. On top of all of that, I’ve been attempting to balance a consistent yoga practice, seeing my boyfriend, meal-prepping, spending time with family…etc, etc. Unfortunately, something had to give, and for me, that has been writing.
So, instead of posting once a week, I will aim to post every other week. At least until after the holidays.
How has everyone’s November been? Let me know in the comments!
Enjoy me slowly,
There’s no need to rush
Undress my mind
Like you would my body
Savoring every moment-
Every spark in between us.
I don’t want to skip all the sweetness,
For the sake of temporary pleasure
If you are patient,
You will get to enjoy my center.
I’m not impressed by
The size of your erection,
How much you can lift,
The places you’ve traveled,
The things that you’ve seen,
The wild sex that you’ve had,
The competitions you’ve won,
The fitness of your body,
Or the motorcycle you ride.
I want to know about your family,
The heartbreaks and joys you’ve experienced
What activities make you feel the best
What books you read
What gets underneath your skin
What challenges you
What stimulates you…
How do you feel about yourself?
Do you enjoy where you’re at in your life?
What else do you want to experience?
I want you to want to know my answers to these questions too
Because I want to share the deepest parts of myself with you.
© 2019 Vic Romero
All Rights Reserved