• Poetry

    Flowers 💐

    She smiled shyly the first time she brought me flowers-
    They were my favorite colors.
    She wanted me to remember
    That someone was thinking about me
    And that I was not alone as I navigated my grief.

    I later took pictures of the bouquet from all different angles
    And sent the photos to all my friends
    Who were so impressed by such thoughtfulness

    She smiled proudly the next few times she gifted me a flower arrangement
    Some were roses of different sizes,
    Others were seasonal blooms
    The flowers were to honor our anniversaries,
    Or to celebrate my accomplishments

    I took pictures of all those flowers
    And I changed their water daily
    To extend the time I could admire them before they wilted

    At some point, her smiles weakened
    Sometimes even tears stained her cheeks,
    When she handed me beautiful flowers
    In an attempt to seek forgiveness,
    To seek reassurance of my love for her

    I always accepted the flowers graciously
    And put them in a vase
    To be admired until they died, or until they stank too much

    The last time she brought me a bouquet, she was crying hysterically
    She had been waiting an hour for me
    And I had been waiting for weeks for things to improve between us.
    Her shoulders slumped as she offered me the flowers
    This time…I told her to keep them

    She put them in a vase,
    Placed the vase on her nightstand
    And sent me a picture.

    © 2019 Vic Romero

  • Speaking My Mind

    Dating Again?

    I’ve begun watching Sex and the City, and it is an addictive show. First of all, I love 90s/early 2000s shows, and I also love shows that center around a group of friends that I can connect with. Lately, I’ve been connecting with Miranda in Season 2, who so far is bitter in regards to dating. She is closed off to getting serious with someone because every person she dates proves to be scum.

    While I am not dating casually and thus I am not meeting scumbags, I think I’ve become bitter and closed off to dating. One of my hometown friends pointed it out to me on the phone recently. She affirmed my suspicion that I need more time alone to heal, but she also warned not to be closed off to dating in the future. Unfortunately, I currently don’t envision myself being open-hearted anytime soon, especially considering how I’ve sabotaged my breakup healing process time and time again. It’s as if I keep picking at the scab, which causes it to hurt and bleed, yet I wonder why the scab is taking so long to heal…

    Let me provide an example.

    A few days before my sister graduated from college, I found out my ex was in a new relationship. While it has been about four months since our breakup, up until the week prior to her committing to someone new, we had been talking nearly daily.

    Yes, I know that this was not the best way to handle a non-mutual breakup. 

    Unsurprisingly, we weren’t talking amicably as friends. She would confess that she missed me, that she still wanted to be with me, etc. I would reciprocate the feelings of missing her and still loving her, but I repeated that I stood by my decision to end things.

    Anyway, finding out that she was with someone new caused me to completely lose all control over my emotions. Hysteria transformed to despair, and then to possessive jealousy that inspired me to hook up with my ex in her car after a night of bar-hopping together.

    No, I don’t know what I was thinking because I wasn’t thinking.

    I gradually came to accept the situation, albeit with some bumps that still need to be smoothed out. Those bumps are called nostalgia with a few dashes of illusion: I miss who I was when we were together, I miss how we were together, and most confusing of all, I miss who I thought she was and/or who I wanted her to be.

    Clearly, I am not emotionally capable to casually date, let alone get seriously involved with someone. Instead, I want to spend time with my friends and family and mingle with new people. I want to focus on my full-time job, on teaching and studying yoga, on reading, and on creating. I think I’ve been pretty successful in doing these things, although it takes a lot more energy to do them rather than mindlessly watching TV, which was what I was doing previously.

    When my energy feels low or when I get trapped in the nostalgia/illusion bumps, it’s helpful to reflect on why I ended things with her. There are a few reasons: I didn’t feel like I was being treated the way I deserved, no matter how many times we talked about our issues, and I didn’t want to be held back anymore. I didn’t want to spend so much time and energy on our relationship, partially attributed to the fact that it had become taxing and toxic. Most importantly though, I broke things off because I wanted to focus completely on myself. I wanted to be selfish and I didn’t want to feel bad about it.

    I do believe that I’ve attracted more positivity into my life since releasing the heavy, negative energy of my last relationship. However, waves of loneliness crash on me sometimes, especially when my friends share stories about or pictures of their serious relationships. It causes me to crave the rush of falling in love, of being in love, and feeling at home with someone. It simultaneously causes me to desire more single friends I can commiserate with about dating, like in Sex and the City.

    Anyway, I will have to manage with the occasional loneliness because I don’t want to put myself out there yet. I wouldn’t be offering my best self because I don’t feel like my best self even to myself. I want to finally allow the scab to heal and I want to smooth out all the bumps around it. Hopefully, it won’t take as long as it did when my first ex and I split, but even if it does, I want to have my own fun in the meantime.

    xx Vic

  • beauty and fashion

    OOTD – Red & Orange Professional Outfits

    I’m finally continuing the long-awaited OOTD series! I’ve coordinated many outfits that I love since the last post I did, so I decided to organize them by color so I don’t overwhelm you all with my many looks.

    I’m beginning with red, the first color of the rainbow and the first color of the chakras in Yoga philosophy. This post also includes two orange outfits, which are representative of the second chakra.

    Side note- I finally began teaching the chakra yoga classes I’ve wanted to do since New Year’s on Friday!

    Anyway, below are the looks. Enjoy!

    1. Red Stripes and Bells

    This was an early-spring/end-of-winter look, and I think it packs a ton of attitude. The shirt was my mom’s and the skirt is an oldie from Forever 21.

    These are my favorite Marc Fisher boots!! It is also my favorite birthday purchase #23

    The necklace is a hand-me-down from my mom, and the earrings are alien spaceships I got from Hot Topic.

    2. Yogini

    I love this kimono I got from Target. It totally elevates any outfit I pair it with.

    My comfy grey dress was my mom’s and it’s by a young Russian designer that I found through Teen Vogue when I was in middle school. I honestly don’t know if she still designs or if her store in Manhattan is still there.

    I got my shoes on clearance! They are Franco Sarto and they’re very comfy. I love the silver heel and how unique the color is. It’s like an orange-y red.

    I got my turquoise necklace from a Native American store in the Grand Canyon. It is my favorite purchase from traveling to Las Vegas a few years ago. My earrings were a gift from my mom.

    My blue beaded bracelet is a gift from my mom when she visited my grandma in Puerto Rico. I always ask her to bring me back jewelry when she visits because I love funky jewelry, especially when it’s handmade by someone who shares my heritage.

    3. Orange Orange

    I was really vibing with the color orange the day I put this together lol

    In the chakras, the color orange is related to sexuality and creativity. Perhaps these things were a little heightened for me.

    Anyway, the sweater was my mom’s and it’s a perfect sweater for autumn because of its soft, warm browns. My shirt was probably less than $10 on clearance from Old Navy. My pants are from Kohl’s young professional collection.

    Here’s my look without the sweater!

    My shoes are Indigo Red and they’re so comfy and cute!

    My necklace says “She Believed She Could” on one side, and the other side says “So She Did.” It was a graduation gift from my mom last May.

    My earrings are a gift from my mom from her latest trip to Puerto Rico.

    My eyeshadow look was created using Tarte’s Toasted palette I got for the holidays.

    My bracelet was also from Puerto Rico.

    4. Be Mine, Clementine

    This shirt was a gift from my mom when she went to Anthropology with my sister for my sister’s 21st birthday. Considering how expensive that store is, the shirt isn’t great quality. I am pretty sure it shrunk after washing it once, and that’s without drying it. Thankfully I got it in a big enough size so that it still fits. Otherwise, I love the shirt. It’s very fun and summery.

    My skirt was my mom’s and it’s a perfect casual skirt for work because it’s denim yet it’s about knee-length.

    My earrings are the same as above. My necklace was a stone that my late-grandma had collected, which was then transformed into a necklace.

    I love these shoes.

    Both of my bracelets are handmade from Puerto Rico <3

    What was your favorite look? Let me know in the comments below!

    Also, stay tuned for the yellow and green looks!

    xx Vic

  • Poetry

    Tell Me How

    So…tell me how it all happened.

    Did it begin when you sent her a flirty text?
    Did you send that text between professing your love for me
    And conveying how much you missed me?

    Did you ask her out on a date
    Between wrongfully accusing me of dating my friend,
    and expressing how upset you’d be if that were true?

    Did you hold her hand after texting me
    To ask if you can still see me this summer
    Because you couldn’t imagine your life without me?

    Did you kiss her between writing about me
    And confessing that you’re still grieving the relationship?

    When did you begin to fall for her?
    Around the time you blew up my phone
    To call me a coward
    For not responding to your texts
    About hopefully getting back together again in the future?

    I don’t know when you finally found the closure
    I tried to give you at the end of our relationship,
    And I don’t know when you found someone else to love,
    But these endings and beginnings seem to blur

    I think you only began to respect my desire for space
    Because you became distracted by her.

    © 2019 Vic Romero

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  • Speaking My Mind

    Five Lessons I’ve Learned Since Graduating from College

    It’s been one year since I graduated from college, and what a ride this last year has been. At this point in my journey, I feel at ease and I’m enjoying the flow, but that wasn’t the case previously. A few months ago, I wasn’t feeling like myself at all. I was isolating myself, doubting myself, suffering from anxiety attacks, and dealing with other symptoms of depression.

    In hindsight, everything flowed as it needed to for me to be and enjoy where I am at now. You can read about that unfolding on my blog, beginning here, and then reading this post. 

    If you don’t want to read those posts, or if you have already, I thought I’d share the highlights of what I’ve learned since graduating from college. These lessons are not a guide to land a job; they’re applicable to multiple chapters of life. If you are graduating from high school, college, or if you’re just moving on, I hope what I have learned will remind you to flow and to enjoy your own journey.

    Five Lessons I’ve Learned Since Graduating from College

    1. Honor where you are at.

    I spent many hours scrolling through Instagram first thing when I awoke and then again before I went to bed. While social media is a great way to stay connected to people, which may be particularly desirable when you graduate from college and move away from your friends, I found myself stuck in the “comparison trap” based on other people’s photos. One person would post about getting a great job, another person would share that they are beginning graduate school, and someone else would divulge the glamorous details of their gorgeous vacation.

    Although these were accomplishments to be celebrated, I often found myself feeling bad for not accomplishing or doing any of those things. Fortunately, I eventually realized how negative Instagram was for me at this transitionary point in my life, so I deactivated my account. It helped me to become present and thus, I focused on myself rather than what everyone else was doing. It was then that I paid attention to the things to be grateful for, which improved my perspective and my attitude.

    Social media may not be a problem for you, but I encourage you to notice if you are honoring where you are at now and finding gratitude, or if you are more focused on everyone else and/or what you lack.

    2. Be positive

    One of my favorite quotes is “Your perspective is your reality,” and it is incredibly accurate. If your perspective is that your life isn’t going the way you want it to, you never get what you want while everyone else seems to, and that you are a loser, then yeah, that is your reality.

    On the other hand, you can perceive your life as being full of obstacles that you are capable of overcoming because everything you’ve experienced in the past has prepared you for what is ahead. You can argue that you do get what you want because you work hard for your goals. Maybe you’re not getting what you want when you want it, but you will get what you need when you are ready for it. Lastly, you can practice compassion toward yourself.

    The practice of positivity was very difficult for me initially, but over time it got easier as I began to feel lighter and happier.

    3. Persist

    Another favorite quote of mine is “Nevertheless, she persisted.” Your efforts are seen and they are not futile.

    4. Be patient

    I never had my post-grad life planned out, but I did expect to obtain a full-time job within a few months after college. Many people graduated with full-time offers, so this didn’t seem like an unreasonable goal to me.

    As months passed without receiving a single offer, I felt like a failure and a loser. It seemed like everyone around me was moving forward while I was left behind, living with my parents and without a full-time job.

    In retrospect, I am grateful that everything panned out the way that it did.

    If I had gotten a full-time offer that began when I graduated, I wouldn’t have been able to do yoga teacher training. If I had gotten an offer right after YTT, I may not have gotten my yoga teaching job at the community center and I may not have been able to get as involved in the center because I wouldn’t have been able to sub as many classes. I also wouldn’t have built up as strong of a reputation at the community center.

    If I had gotten a job right after YTT, I wouldn’t have accepted the campaign job, which introduced me to an unsuitable leadership style for my personality. If the promised job after the campaign had come to fruition, I wouldn’t have used a staffing agency. I also wouldn’t have had as much time to study and take the GRE. If I hadn’t had the campaign experience, I wouldn’t have had as much to talk about during interviews I got through the staffing agency. If I had gotten a full-time offer during this time, I wouldn’t have been able to accept a temporary position where I learned a lot about office culture and professionalism. 

    If I hadn’t attended my community center’s happy hour after work on a Friday, I wouldn’t have talked about my temporary job and what I was looking for next. If I hadn’t attended that happy hour and if I hadn’t been able to talk about my work experience, I wouldn’t have been noticed by a fellow staff member whose husband was looking for employees. If I hadn’t had a major shift in my perspective and if I hadn’t continued to persist, I wouldn’t have gotten an interview through the staff member or on my own job-search. If I hadn’t adopted a positive perspective and if I hadn’t found gratitude for my current situation, I wouldn’t have been an impressive candidate. My boss at the community center wouldn’t have vouched for me as being a valuable employee. Then I wouldn’t have had two job offers in the same weekend. Thus, I wouldn’t have accepted my current position, which I love.

    This “logic” can go in so many more directions, but the point is that everything happened how it needed to.

    “You are a child of the Universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should.” -Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life”

    Just because it didn’t happen when I wanted it to, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t going to happen at all.

    5. Experience joy.

    Transitions are uncomfortable, scary, and stressful, but that doesn’t entail you should feel that way all of the time, or at all. When times are difficult, it’s all the more reason to experience joy. This can be as simple as reading a book, having coffee with a friend, or volunteering for a cause that is important to you. You deserve to experience joy daily.

    Let me know your thoughts on these lessons, and please share anything you’ve learned along the way!

    xx Vic

     

     

     

  • Yummy Recipes

    Mediterranean Salad Recipe

    It’s been quite some time since I shared a recipe, but it’s not because I’m not cooking. I haven’t shared any recipes because I haven’t been doing my own spin on meals I prepare lately. This salad is the exception — I didn’t follow a recipe for this, I created it myself!

    This Mediterranean salad is inspired by a salad my parents and I enjoyed at an Afghan restaurant we discovered last weekend. The waiter gave us each a big plate full of chopped tomatoes and cucumbers swimming in a pool of light, acidic, and tangy dressing. I’ve had a strong craving for Mediterranean food lately, so I thought it’d be fun to make it at home! Below is the recipe.

    My Version of a Mediterranean-Inspired Salad (modify as desired!)

    Ingredients

    • 2 large cucumbers
    • 4 small/medium-sized tomatoes
    • A lot of fresh parsley
    • Many mint leaves
    • Several sprigs of fresh dill
    • One lemon
    • Apple cider vinegar (optional)
    • Two garlic cloves
    • Garlic powder (optional)
    • 1/2 red onion
    • Feta cheese
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    1. Peel and julienne large cucumbers (the mandolin my dad got me for Christmas worked wonders for this) and put in a large bowl
    2. Dice the tomatoes and toss in the bowl. Try to keep the guts of the tomato intact so it can add to the dressing.
    3. Chop up more fresh parsley than you think you need, and add it
    4. Chop a ton of fresh mint
    5. I plucked the dill right off of the stem and threw them into the bowl…I don’t know if there’s an “official” way to prepare fresh dill.
    6. Squeeze one lemon over the mixture
    7. Option to add some apple cider vinegar as well. I would’ve added another lemon but I didn’t have any, so I used the vinegar to provide more acidity
    8. Mince the garlic and add
    9. If raw garlic is irritating to your digestive system, I recommend using garlic powder instead. I used both garlic powder and raw garlic
    10. Chop the red onion and add
    11. Season with salt and pepper to taste
    12. The night before you serve, or even right before you eat it, add as much feta as you would like. I added it as late as possible because I think it would dissolve into the dressing otherwise.

    That’s it! It’s quite simple but so satisfying.

    One more note- it’s best to prepare this at least the night before so everything can soak overnight.

    If you make this at home, let me know what your take on the recipe is.

    Happy eating!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Reflecting on My 2019 Goals

    Now that it’s May (how is it May already?!), I would like to take a moment to reflect on my goals for 2019. Below is where I am at in my 2019 aspirational list.

    Top 10 Goals for 2019

    1. Allot weekly yoga studying time – I was doing this…then I stopped. I am going to be doing some yoga workshops though.

    2. Establish a consistent meditation practice, at least weekly – Always a work in progress. However, my boss has introduced me to a local Buddhist meditation center that I now visit.

    3. Plan and execute a chakra yoga class series for the spring – May not happen until the fall?

    4. Research and book a yoga workshop/training for late 2019/2020 – This is happening!

    5. Confidently making decisions! (Such as for grad school) – I have been actively working on trusting my inner voice.

    6. Integrate cardio at least weekly into my routine – Thanks to my yoga job, I have definitely been integrating cardio via a cycling class. I love the community and I love cycling!

    7. Work daily on a long-term writing project – I’ve been in a rut lately so writing has taken a back burner unfortunately.

    8. Continue to maintain this blog and begin planning how to expand it – I am maintaining this space but I’m not expanding it…I don’t think expanding it is my goal. I just want to be creative more frequently.

    9. Complete the rest of the half-read books that I have. – I have finished several half-read books, such as Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. I had an affinity for older literature for a few months ago.

    10. Create a ritual for my ancestors – This still needs to happen

    What I’d like to focus on at least until the Summer Solstice is creative writing. I’ve been reading so many books lately and I’ve been inspired by all of them, but I haven’t been taking the next step, which is to use my inspiration! I think I just need to find a better balance between reading and writing.

    I feel that way with yoga too. I spend most days practicing asanas, but I need to integrate more studying of Yoga philosophy. Initially, I thought I needed to improve my sequencing to become a better teacher, but currently I think I need to explore spirituality.

    Now I invite you to take this opportunity between the Spring Equinox and the Summer Solstice to realign and refocus. Are you on the track to achieving any goals? Have you neglected some goals? Have your desires for 2019 changed?

    Let me know in the comments below!

    Xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    My Barista Got a New Job

    The title of this post feels like a throwback to my obscure blog post titles circa 2014. This title is actually not obscure though…my barista really did get a new job. He’s going to be working full-time doing something related to his field and it’s great! It’s also bittersweet because he’s been my barista for a few years, and I’m going to miss chatting with him.

    I’ve actually known him for over five years, before he even became a barista. We used to work together at a burger shack when I was in high school. (If you read my blog back in 2014, I’m referring to the infamous burger-shack-lesbian-romance-disaster that I wrote in great detail about during the beginnings of this blog. He’s from that era of my life).

    Before my senior year of high school began, he quit to become a barista at the coffee shop local to me. He was (maybe still is) friends with my first ex, so I used to still hang out with him when the lesbian squad and I visited him after his shifts.

    When my ex and I split during my first few months in college, I dreaded running into him when I was home from break and went to my local coffee shop. Obviously, as time passed, wounds healed, and dread turned into “nice.” It was nice to run into him every few months just because he was a familiar face and we would catch up a bit.

    After I graduated from college, I basically moved into the local coffee shop just so I could escape my parents’ interrogations about jobs. Our conversations at the coffee shop became longer since we had more time to chat and since we saw each other more frequently. We bonded over job-hunting since he was graduating soon and about to embark on the full-time job-hunt too.

    So…he’s heard bits from all different points in my life. He’s heard about college, my temporary jobs, my two full-time job offers, and my acceptance of a full-time job offer. I’ve heard about his college experience, job-hunting, and I coincidentally saw him on his last day at the shop, so he was able to tell me about his acceptance of a full-time offer.

    It’s come full circle! We’ve both moved on from that coffee shop and are now professional, working adults. What a life.

    I want to try to stay in touch with him, despite the fact that I won’t be seeing him somewhat regularly anymore. After I saw him on Friday, I messaged him to suggest getting drinks after work sometime. We’ve never hung out before aside from five years ago, but I think it’d be nice to try. Maybe we can become better acquaintances or even friends! I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.

    Have a great week everyone!

    xx Vic

  • Poetry

    surpassing

    back then
    each passing day
    was one day toward a milestone-

    one week
    one month
    one year together

    we celebrated with fresh flowers,
    thoughtful love letters,
    and dinner while holding hands across the table

    now
    each passing day
    is one more day that we’ve been apart

    one week
    one month
    eventually one year

    i acknowledge those days now
    but I probably will forget about them later

    eventually the days apart will surpass the days spent together

    © 2019 Vic Romero

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  • Speaking My Mind

    April Showers Bring May Flowers

    Today would have been the second-year anniversary with my ex. Although we didn’t quite make it to two years as a couple, she was part of my life for more than two years and…I didn’t realize how much of an influence she had on me until she was gone. She has seemingly tainted everything.

    Parts of my wardrobe were either gifts from her or they are from activities that we did together. Places we went together, that I still frequent, remind me of her. Some items I use daily are gifts from her. She’s permeated most, if not all, aspects of my life.

    I also hadn’t realized until recently that it was never possible for things to end well between us because we hadn’t been on the same wavelength for a long time. So…processing that has been devastating.

    A few other things have been difficult to process as well lately.

    Tomorrow my cousin would have turned twenty-eight. I wish she was still here with us.

    I haven’t really talked about this much, if at all, but my mom is beginning treatment next week for her cancer. She was diagnosed the day after my cousin passed away, so it’s not exactly a new situation. She’s doing well, but what she is enduring is scary and exhausting. This will be her first time doing any type of treatment. Yoga has been helping her tremendously though. She goes to all of my yoga classes and has been practicing pranayama (breathing) and mindfulness in her everyday life, especially when she goes to the doctor. I’m really proud of her.

    Then things will become a little sunnier.

    A few weeks after she begins treatment, my sister will graduate from college. I’m so proud of my sister, but I can’t believe how fast time flies.

    The week after my mom is finished with treatment and after my sister graduates, my family and I are going on a much-needed and well-deserved vacation to Disney to celebrate all of the endings and to welcome the new beginnings.

    So…while April may be a difficult month, it’s watering the soil to support growth in May. Hopefully there will be many flowers.

    xx Vic

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