• Red leaves on a large tree
    Short Stories

    To the Ones I Used to Know

    Most of you are alive, but to me, you only continue to exist on the page. Specifically, the pages of my blog.

    The structured black words on my blog have memorialized most of you, so if you ever forget about those times we stayed up too late, got in trouble, kissed, or argued, you can probably find those memories here. They did happen, I promise. I was there and I wrote about them.

    I’m not saying this because I’m trying to prove something to you. I don’t need to prove anything. Believe me or not, the evidence that we associated at all is here. It’s just a little unsettling sometimes.

    My writings are all I need to be flung back into the past when we sat next to each other at dinner, slept next to each other in bed, or were even in the same room together. Every time I read my old writings, it’s like watching a movie I hadn’t seen in years. I know how it ends, but I forgot the journey to the ending.

    But then again, that is why I maintain a blog: I write about the journey so I don’t forget.

    Most of you that I’ve journeyed with are gone from my life, yet your impact is undeniably relevant even to this day. Your impact lives in my words on the page.

    Thank you for sharing some of your time with me.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Flowing with The Current

    I’ve been listening to The Lively Show podcast a ton lately, and not just because I have too much time on my hands, but because I have learned so much from it.

    Jess Lively, the woman behind the show, is an entrepreneur and an intuitive coach. Essentially, she coaches people on how to become more in touch with their intuition.  Her podcast used to be a more Q+A style, but recently she switched things up in Season 5 by airing sessions she has with clients.

    I love listening to these sessions! It’s comparable to listening to someone’s therapy session, except focused on intuition rather than on psych. This podcast has caused me to reflect on my relationship with my intuition.

    In my previous blog post, I did an oracle card reading which concluded that I need to connect with who I really am, also known as my intuition. I have learned that my pessimistic attitude can be attributed to resisting my intuition. This is not uncommon at all, as I’ve been learning from the podcast.

    The two clients that Jess has interviewed thus far have been confronted with the challenge of acquiescing to one’s intuition, even if it’s scary because the results are unknown. The unknown is what makes life exciting and worth living, though. Thus, I’ve been working on transforming my perspective on life by living more intuitively.

    You might be wondering what that even means, which is a completely valid question.

    I believe living intuitively is different for everyone because everyone connects with their intuition differently. I think I connect with my intuition when I write, similarly to the two women in Jess’s sessions.

    Initially when I write, I’m actively thinking about what I want to say…but eventually my intuition takes over. My intuition is why I learn the most about myself when I’m writing because it is when I’m writing that I have epiphanies and moments of complete clarity.

    Since I want to strengthen my intuition, I’ve decided to write more frequently than I currently do, which is at least twice a week for my bog. In addition to my blog, I’d like to hand write in a journal. I tend to avoid writing in a journal because I find it to be more isolating than writing somewhere on the internet. Unless you give the journal to someone, only you will read what you write, which is fine but I enjoy building a community with others by sharing. On the other hand, journaling is also very valuable because it strengthens the community that one has with oneself.

    I’ve decided to journal either before or after meditating, which I’d like to make part of my morning routine if I choose to do yoga in the evening instead of in the morning. Once I begin my new job, I will manipulate my daily routine as necessary.

    By the way, I have a job! I begin on Monday and I’m quite excited about it. I was really nervous to take the opportunity because initially it wasn’t what I thought I wanted to do. However, with my more intuitive approach to life, I decided that I should take advantage of the job offer and see where it leads. I’ve also finally decided to stop vacillating between the decision to apply for grad school or not, and I’ve officially concluded that I will postpone applying for at least another year. My intuition has been guiding me to get to know myself without school…so I’m going to trust it.

    There are many examples of when my intuition proved itself trustworthy, but the most recent one has been with my experience as a new yoga instructor.

    I began teaching last week, and it was phenomenal! It’s a 5:45am class, which initially made me hesitate because it’s so early, but my girlfriend urged me go for it and I focused on my intuition rather than on my nervous mind. I’m grateful I did because despite whatever job I’m doing, I’ll be able to continue teaching this class since the class is before most jobs begin.

    I have been working for only a week, but so far it has had so many perks! I’m able to sub for other teachers (which I’ve already done), participate in other classes, and use the facilities. Plus, I got CPR certified and I’m part of a great community! I feel like I can try new things without fear of criticism, which is important to me too.

    Evidently, things are going pretty well right now. Flowing with the current of my intuition has allowed me to feel more aligned with my true self, which isn’t stressful at all. I thought it would be…because trusting yourself is scary, but when you go all in, it’s not.

    This is not to say that you will never experience seemingly undesirable things if you trust your intuition, because that’s not true. However, I do think that trusting yourself provides you with a peace that is unachievable when you only tune into your mind. My posts are a great example of that. I often begin my posts using my mind, but by the end, I’m more intuitive.

    Aside from writing, another cool way to hone your intuition is from an app that Jess shared on her podcast. The app is free and it’s called ESP Trained. Astronauts use it to strengthen their intuition and according to the app, they improve their skills significantly. I like playing some rounds with my eyes closed.

    Do you tune into your intuition? How so? Please comment below! Also let me know if you try out the app and tell me what you think!

    xx Vic

    PS: The photo I used for this post is from a few weeks ago when I was out to lunch with my sister. I’ve been to the area before, but I was inclined to snap a photo of the creek that time. Little did I know it’d make a perfect photo for this post!!

  • Speaking My Mind

    Decisions, Decisions

    I’m now a certified vinyasa yoga instructor! I’m so proud of myself and so grateful to have been able to earn this certification. It has been life-changing and eye-opening.

    I’ve been wanting to write about my experience for forever, but the last two weeks have been unusually busy. Two weeks ago it was July 4th weekend and I was studying for my yoga final and spending some much-needed quality time with my girlfriend. Last week was the final week of my training and then we had a party to celebrate on Friday. Saturday I attended my step-grandma’s nephew’s wedding (weird? I know, but it was fun!) and then my parents left for a 10-day vacation. My weeks aren’t usually this eventful.

    Now that I’ve graduated both from college and this training program, my days have slowed down a bit, thus I’ve resumed the arduous and depressing task of applying for jobs! Also, yesterday I spontaneously purchased a new member pass to a local yoga studio to become more acquainted with the yoga community. I also am hoping to teach at this yoga studio. I have some other studios in mind too though in case it doesn’t pan out.

    Something needs to pan out though because I desperately need to work. The stress that comes with job applications has unfortunately returned, despite it being managed better due to Yoga as well as my wonderful girlfriend’s insight. I’m so pleased I got a month pass to attend an unlimited amount of yoga classes though because it will provide some much-needed structure until I figure out the job stuff. Plus I love yoga and I am trying different styles of yoga through this studio! It’s awesome.

    Some things I’ve been thinking about lately, other than jobs, have been doctorate programs and whether to create a website just for yoga stuff.

    In regards to the first thing…I still have to look at program curriculums but right now, I am interested in pursuing a doctorate in Women’s and Gender Studies. I feel nervous for being interested in that type of program though because it’s a relatively new field and aside from academia, I imagine job prospects to be bleak. That may not be the case but considering I have been having a difficult time getting a job with a degree in economics as well as WGS, I expect to deal with similar or worse challenges if I specialize in WGS only. On the other hand, because it’s a new field, I could be part of groundbreaking work such as helping to establish it as a notable field as well as being one of the first teachers in WGS to have studied WGS (currently, most WGS professors have diverse backgrounds of study ranging from Africana studies to economics to sociology).

    The other thing I’ve been pondering about is the development of a professional website. This website that I’ve been using for four or five years now is quite personal, so I feel uncomfortable sharing it with people that I know and using it to advertise my business…it’s not a business website anyway, it’s my personal website. I should probably make a professional yoga website but websites are not cheap and as I’ve mentioned before, I need a job.

    The lack of a job is making me nervous for next month because I don’t know what I will do. Will I be working a 9-5 an hour away from home? When will I have time to do yoga then? Will I get a job that will force me to relocate? How can I advertise for my yoga services if I can’t afford to make the website and if I have a job and can afford to make the website, how will I provide services if I’m working full-time?

    I’m uncertain when I should invest money to make money and when I should save it I guess. I mean..I invested money to get the training so maybe I should save it now and make a free yoga website until I am able to upgrade? Any thoughts?

    I keep revisiting my dream life scenario where I have my PhD so I am able to conduct research and teach, and then also teach yoga. To achieve this dream life though, I’ll definitely have to undergo some uncomfortable shifts of time-management and I’ll also have to do things I don’t enjoy. Or…as what Yoga philosophy argues…I may not expect to enjoy it but I should find contentment in what I’m doing regardless.

    I really want to write posts about yoga, which may be more suitable for a yoga-focused website. One cool thing though is that I will be able to write for a yoga teacher’s website! I was introduced to her through the famous yoga Facebook group I always mention and she was looking for guest writers! Whenever my article is posted on her site, I’ll let y’all know!

    xx Vic

  • Woman kissing the cheek of another woman with trees and grass in the background.
    Yoga

    Yogi-In-Training: Trust

    My second week of yoga has come and gone, and now I only have three weeks left! The fourth week consists of only two days of training and the final week is testing. So technically, tomorrow begins the last full week of training!

    I’ve made improvements in my confidence since last week! For example, I haven’t cried this past week and I have changed my perspective in my class by honoring where my body is at rather than criticizing myself. I have also come out of my comfort zone a bit by talking more with my peers and now I eat lunch and talk with some of them.

    Last Wednesday we went into the city and we did acro-yoga which is acrobatics combined with yoga. It requires serious trust in your partners in order to execute the poses safely. I challenged myself by trying things I otherwise would have never done, but I like that about this experience because I’ve been challenging myself constantly. By doing so, I surprise myself with what I am capable of. It’s quite satisfying.

    My latest surprise was when I did a forearm stand. So far, I’ve only been able to do it with an assist and I haven’t been able to hold it, but I hope to be able to improve next week. I’ve realized that not only do these challenging poses require confidence, but they also require trust, whether that be in yourself or whoever/whatever is supporting you.

    Evidently, this training has allowed me to learn more than just yoga, and it’s fantastic. I’m excited to graduate and to see where my new certificate will take me. Where will I teach what I’ve learned? What will I do to continue to learn?

    If I could do anything with my life…I would want to teach and write, whether that be for my own business, for research, or for a book. I would like to travel internationally and domestically to teach and to learn from other people and cultures too.

    I can do anything with my life though so it’s just a matter of how I want to make this happen and what opportunities will arise that will shape my life. I often feel a little skeptical of how the universe unfolds but I know I have to trust that I will be where I need to be.

    How was this past week for you? What are you looking forward to this week? What are your intentions for this week?

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    More Lavender and Tea Tree Oil, Please

    Happy September 1st!

    Jeez, I can’t believe it’s already September though.  My senior year officially begins on Tuesday, which has caused my anxiety to spike tremendously once again.  Unfortunately, my anxiety triggers cold sores on my lips at least once every season…they’re super painful and because tea tree oil is the only effective remedy to treat them, (tea tree oil, if used as frequently as possible throughout the day, tends to prevent cold sores from going through the whole two-week healing process and reduces it to a week or if you’re lucky to catch it early enough, a mere couple of days), my lips become super dry.  Every year, I feel like I get them more and more easily, which is frustrating.  I used to get them only if I didn’t sleep but now I get them whenever I go from calm to hella anxious and worried.  Anyway….

    Yes, I’m anxious because of school.  I’m also anxious because I just came back from the dermatologist…I got a biopsy and now I have to go back in three months.  My mom is currently at the doctor for her cancer…health issues are incredibly anxiety-inducing.

    Additionally, it’ll be one year since my cousin passed in two days.  I always think about her, but over the last couple of weeks, I have been thinking about her more frequently and I have been wanting to talk to her more than I usually do.  Her parents planted a tree for her in the city where she was killed yesterday…I wish they had told us about that because I would’ve liked to go.  It must’ve been a nice ceremony.

  • Yummy Recipes

    Becoming a Food Network Star

    This is the first self-care post!

    If you’ve read any of the three posts I’ve written since I returned from my hiatus, you would understand that I’ve been overwhelmed by heavy emotions and that I’ve been taking measures to improve my mood and well-being.  I’m currently on summer break and although I’m working two part-time jobs, they are jobs I can do from home and I have flexible hours so I have been able to ensure that I’m making self-care my priority!

    Methods that I’ve taken to improve my well-being include working out, writing, and cooking.

    I won’t be delving too much into my workout because I’m still trying to consistently go to the gym.  For two weeks I went twice a week and last week I went three times, so now I’m trying to go three times this week too.  I go for about 20-30 minutes…I want to eventually increase the sessions.  Otherwise, there’s nothing noteworthy about my workout (yet).

    I’m not going to explore the writing method because I share all my publishable writing on here; therefore, I will solely be exploring cooking in these posts!  If I start getting into another type of self-care habit, I will definitely share it with y’all but in the meantime…I’ll only be talking about food.

  • Speaking My Mind

    Summer Projects 2014

    Hello, all

    I haven’t been writing much lately, I barely even write little story/poem ideas in my phone anymore.  My friend from Opuss named Pat once told me that writing is for the solemn, and since I am not solemn so much because of all this change that I have endured during my final year of high school…I have become more comfortable with myself, I made friends, I found love…I haven’t been as interested in writing because I want to live.  The only things I have written really are solemn posts about my parents.  But I don’t want the struggles that I have with my parents to be what my website, “Unzip These Lips”, becomes.  I have lost sight of being creative…writing more than just my emotions.  I have stopped creating alternate worlds with a rainbow variety of characters that are trying to solve crimes, find love…etc.

    The past few days my fingers have been twitching, desiring to write again.  I didn’t know what I wanted to write but after some thought, I have some project ideas to keep me preoccupied when I’m home and have some time to relax.  So…here are the ideas…

    1. My best friend, Rachel, just flew to China this morning to visit her family.  She’s going to be there for most of the summer and because we’re both going off to college in different states, I don’t know when I’ll see her again.  I’m planning on emailing her, which is something that we’ve partaken in almost every summer since middle school so…I was thinking about posting some of my emails here.  I want my website to consist of everything that I am…and documentation of recent events in my life is part of who I am, along with creative stories and poetry…and any other medium that I can think of.  The series of emails will be called “Letters To Rachel” (I know, so creative) and there’s not going to be a schedule for them because I don’t know how frequently we’ll email.  If we don’t email for awhile though I may just write some blogs every now and again solely for my website.

    2. The last official project idea I have is to write a mystery series.  Last summer I was involved in a couple of projects with other writers from Opuss where we passed the mystery story around and added parts accordingly…this summer I want to try to write a whole story, from beginning to finish, myself.  I feel like I began my interest in writing because of my love of books, and when I began writing it was initially stories so…I want to continue that.  I’ll try publishing a part of the mystery every other week, I’m not sure what day yet.

    My unofficial projects are to write poetry that isn’t solely based on my personal moods.  I want to write creative poetry as well.

    Anyway…just thought I would share this all.  By writing it down I feel like I’m committing too so…hopefully I can commit.

    I hope you all are having a great summer so far and have a fantastic July Fourth tomorrow!

    -Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    2 Months

    Tomorrow is our two-month anniversary.  She had said it felt like longer, and I agree…it feels like we’ve known each other and been together for more than…almost five months now.  We really began talking in January…and although we weren’t officially dating until a few months later, both of our friends have said that we were basically dating when we weren’t.

    God, I love her…she makes me happy.  I hope there are many months spent together to come 🙂

    Awhile ago I had told her that I like to write and I had shown her some of my stuff…when I told her I have my own website she had been demanding to see it but I had been reluctant because when I sent her some of my work, I was able to choose the pieces that would draw the fewest questions about myself or the pieces that wouldn’t make me feel so…vulnerable.

  • Poetry,  Speaking My Mind

    No More Apologies

    god i’m so sorry i have broken your heart i’m so sorry i have gone about this all wrong i’m so sorry i have wished all along that we could get along but i screw it all up and i’m so sorry i keep tearing you apart with every article of clothing that i pack it feels to you like a smack like a stab in the back i’m so sorry that this hurts you so bad i’m sorry but it hurts me too my heart is covered with black and blues and i’m sorry i hadn’t told you the truth but it’s hard to be honest when i couldn’t even be honest with myself i didn’t know how to go to you i didn’t know how to ask for help i’m sorry but i was lying in the dirt of the tears that i had been crying for hours for days for years i was dying for so long but at least all of my tears showered the withered flowers so they lived on so they grew up to be strong as i was corroding away as i was deteriorating into dust but at least i becoming something because before i was nothing i was just living to waste my time until i died i was making the motions and imitating life…

    but now i feel whole i feel content with myself and i don’t apologize for finally being who i am

    © 2014 Vic Romero

  • Speaking My Mind

    I’ve Got Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

    Seventeen magazine had said that in January I would be flirting with two hotties (which I was: my manager who I started talking to two days before I saw my horoscope, and my former best friend who I’ve been reconnecting with for awhile and is straight) and that one of them is compatible with me. On the 26th I was supposed to know which person is for me.

    I don’t believe in horoscopes. I like to read them though because I think it’s cool when they are somewhat relevant to my life, and I wonder how many other Scorpios (that’s my horoscope) relate to the horoscope, which in turn means that they relate to me. It’s a connection of astrology. I find it neat.

    Regardless of my fascination with horoscopes, I have never believed in them nor have I ever deemed horoscopes to be correct. Except for the one that I stated above. Then again, my horoscope was actually not correct because I had known she was the one that was most compatible with me after a few days of talking, regardless of my questioning our compatibility when I found out that she smokes pot. Pot irks me.

    Anyway, today is the 27th and I forgot that the 26th, the official day that I was supposed to know if she was the person for me, has passed.

    Did anything happen yesterday that reaffirmed that she was the person for me?

    ….no. I spent most of yesterday not talking to her because I was studying or…”studying”. I did text her later last night during the Grammy’s though. I confessed to her that I had died inside (in a good way) that one time that she had gotten mad at work and almost whacked me with the door because she had grabbed my waist…she was all: omg Victoria you just melted my heart I didn’t think I could make anyone feel that way…

    Other than that, there was nothing that happened on the 26th that screamed “VICTORIA YOU ARE MEANT TO BE WITH THIS GIRL!!!”

    However, there have been other times, before the magical 26th and after that has caused me to like her even more than I did when I was just admiring her from afar a few months ago.

    We have a lot in common, my girl and I. We have little things in common, like favorite ice cream flavor, favorite music, etc. But we also have similar values, such as honesty, family, work ethics.

    We have a lot of differences too. She loves wrestling and football (specifically the Patriots) and I don’t watch sports (except for tennis sometimes). She enjoys romance movies, I prefer comedies. There are others too, but I didn’t want to make a list about her here. I want to talk about…Thursday.

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