Can I make my own art?

I remember when buying “art” meant going to the poster sale at the student center in college. You had an array of choices, ranging from Bob Marley to Audrey Hepburn. I remember my friend had a poster with a baby monkey with sunglasses that was a total hit. I guess when you get older you can no longer get away with those choices and you are expected to buy real “art”. Whatever that means.

I moved into my new apartment in May and I’m still looking at blank walls in my bedroom. Nothing less to be expected from the girl that bought curtains over 2 years ago and never hung them up. Furniture is in, of course, but I haven’t done much decorating. Sure, my mini giraffe collection is up, but that’s obviously to be expected. The lack of decoration has been mostly due to lack of time, but I feel like it’s time to spark things up.

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First of all, I must warn you, I have very limited knowledge of what people call “art”. I go by my gut feeling of what I think looks nice and what makes me smile, that’s the kind of “art” I like. I first learned about Gustav Klimt through my art savvy roommate in college, although I didn’t realize who’s work I was really looking at until I saw “The Kiss” in Vienna.

So here I was, navigating Art.com because I was scared away from Amazon.com after I read a review that said “there is a thick slab of painted “goop” bordering the entire picture”. I found this lovely painting by Gustav Klimt, it made me happy and calm and it was just $37.98 for the print. Not bad, not bad at all. I’m prompted to answer if I want to frame it. Sure, why not, I’m being an adult and buying real “art” so let’s do it! Boom, it will be $229.99. I’m sorry, I don’t get how this “art” thing works. I just want my walls to look pretty. Do I need to get some finger painting and get creative? Maybe I need to start going to those wine and paint studios, that way I make my own art and drink wine too. Yup, that sounds like a plan.

Just like that, I’m back to square one. Empty walls, crushed “art” dreams, yet another crude realization that being an adult sucks and a thirst for wine that can at least be remedied soon. Cheers!

What I Can Do in 38 Years

Cape Cod by Cristina Nogueras

What are 25 years? They are nothing without perspective. I think of all I’ve done in my 25 years of life so far, it seems like a lot. Now I think that the time I’ve lived is the same time that is standing between me and hitting 50 years of age. It feels like another world of possibilities. Then I think of all the people that I see every day reinventing themselves after they turn 50, just like my mom is doing now. That’s now a third lifetime, according to this perspective.

That being said, a year seems like nothing, right? The thing about time that makes it so painfully wonderful is that it’s relevant. Waiting a year can seem like an eternity, yet it can go by in a second. Whatever struggles you are facing now may seem small and simple compared to the big picture. A year apart for a long distance couple may seem like torture, but all worth it when you then have 20 years of marriage. Five years of school might seem endless, but it pays off when you’re thinking of a career that spans over three decades. Yet a month of unpleasant tasks can seem like a lifetime.

In life, day-to-day struggles seem big and unbearable. You can’t seem to understand just how small they are until you overcome them. That seems unfair because you really need something to get you through each day and you know that at the moment of struggle, every pebble seems like a boulder.

It’s beginning to scare me how fast time can pass. If you don’t sit and think about it, it really does fly by. You have no control of how quick time goes by, but you can control what you do with it. Time is going to pass anyways, might as well spend it towards something that will make you happy, something that will make you feel complete. That’s the eternal journey, isn’t it? It’s all about being happy, right?

So now that I’m 25, I can keep hitting myself in the head saying that “it’s too late to start now” or I can quit moping and get some perspective. My dad is 63 and he is still doing amazing things each and every day. He challenges himself every day and never ceases to amaze me. I still have 38 years to be where he is.

Heck, I can conquer the world with 38 years in my hands.

P.S. – Just in case you don’t know my dad and you still need some perspective, Hillary Clinton is 67 years old. I’m good.

* Photo by Cristina Nogueras *

A Quarter of a Century: Thoughts on Turning 25

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Here we are, one more year.

Older? Yes. Wiser? Surely hope so.

Today, I’m turning 25. It’s a weird age, in my opinion. You’re absolutely not a kid anymore, but you have a hard time admitting to yourself that you’re an adult. You’re not old, but you’re not super young either, or are you? It’s a confusing age.

It’s easy to freak out on life and aging, everybody feels differently and everyone has a strong opinion about it. To some I am still blossoming, to others I am ancient. I’m going to say that I’m actually excited about this in-between, silly age.

Some things to look forward to:

  • I can rent cars without any stupid fees, hooray!
  • I still have 5 years to decide what I want to be and where I want to be by the time I’m 30, that’s still a thing right?
  • Hmm, that’s all I can think of…

The thing is, turning 25 is not supposed to be a big deal. It’s just another year, right? For some reason, however, every year in your twenties holds special significance and shows you what you have been able to overcome and achieve. Life in your twenties is ever changing and it can be scary and exciting, all at once. I’m halfway through this roller coaster, but what does that even mean?

Some things I learned:

  • Waking up somewhat early is not the end of the world- There’s actually some beauty to waking up before noon on a weekend and beating the crowds for brunch
  • Sometimes you’re going to have do things by yourself- It might feel weird, but you shouldn’t say no to great opportunities just because you don’t want to go somewhere alone
  • If you don’t ask, the answer is always no- I’m still learning that one. I’ve seen people around me get what they want only because they’ve dared to ask. If you’re afraid that the answer is “no” you might be right, but then again, you might be wrong
  • Family is everything – At the end of the day, they’re the ones that are going to be there for you, even in distance. You may not always see things the same way, but love is stronger than everything else and you will get through it together
  • People are selfish and sometimes, it’s ok for you to be selfish too – This one is hard for me, my instinct tells me to make people feel happy and comfortable but there are a lot of people out there that don’t really care about other people and you need to learn that’s ok. There’s nothing you can do to change that, so try caring a little less about them
  • Your wonderful metabolism won’t last forever- Yes, sadly, this one is true. My stomach has been super rude lately, sending me signals that I shouldn’t be having so much cheese. At first it felt like the world was ending. Heck, it still feels like the world is ending, cheese is EVERYTHING
  • Find that balance between believing anything is possible and losing all of your faith in humanity- I find any of these extremes to be extremely annoying. What is that balance, you may ask? I have no damn clue. There are days that I want to conquer the world and then the next day I want to run away from it
  • Love is awesome and it’s complicated – Love just is, right? Well, love is one of the greatest ironies of life. It can be the most complicated, simple thing in the world and it still makes us go nuts. I hate when Big in Sex and the City says that, “at the end you just want to be with the one that makes you laugh.” I hate it so much I didn’t even want to include the quote, but it’s not too far from reality, even if I don’t like his character (yes, I said it). Life is full of adventures, obstacles, challenges and restaurants. Find someone to share all of these wonders with, someone who will carry you when you’re feet are killing you, someone you can push into the water just for fun, someone that makes you smile against all odds

Let me stop right there before I get to cheesy (mmm, cheese). Here’s to getting older, crossing more places off my bucket list, trying new things and enjoying every moment!

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I have a feeling this is going to be a good year, cheers to that!

 

Christmas Morning

In the midst of the sweet chaos that coming home for the Holidays entails, I wanted to take a second to be cheerful and cheesy. I love Christmas time, it’s really the best time of the year (besides my birthday, duh). I love seeing everyone come together, if only for a day.

I love seeing people go out of their way to come together in celebration, but most importantly, I love the magic it brings to life. I don’t even dare say what we know to be real or not, because on a day like today I like to believe that all of us believe a little more that we care to admit for. My little sister with special needs has already been told where the presents come from, but still, she left her letter with cookies as she did every year. I don’t think I’ll ever know what’s truly in her mind, if it’s pretend or not, but seeing her this Christmas morning made me very happy. She was sleepy and grumpy, but for a second we were all there in the floor opening presents together and it felt as magical as I always remembered it to be.

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That One Time Lena Dunham Made Me Cry

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I love things that make you feel something. Getting people to react is such a beautiful thing, it means you are acknowledged and in one way or another, taken into consideration.

I just finished reading the introduction to Lena Dunham’s new book “Not That Kind of Girl” and I cried. Yes, I got tears in my eyes (and may have even made some type of noise). They were not tears of sadness, but more like those tears you release when you experience an “AHA” moment.

I may not be familiar with all of Lena Dunham’s beliefs and political views (I guess I am about to find out) but she has already moved me by opening up about her struggles and hoping to touch at least one life on the way. She may get a lot of negative comments due to her “over-exposing” or “exceeded” nude scenes in her show, but in just one simple introduction she has exposed herself in a way that we should all learn more about.

I admire people that come forward with their struggles, not for feeding their attention needs, but in a way that it is humble, genuine… and available. We all know we live in a world where appearances matter and the part you play is what you become in the eyes of society. What a beautiful and liberating thing it must be, to be able to comfortably be yourself and strip away from worries and judgment.

I don’t believe we can ever reach that ideal world that is somehow judgment-free, worry-free and happy all together. I do, however, like to believe that we are in a journey of becoming better humans, better souls. I like to believe that we are able to overcome obstacles and pick up little bits of happiness along the way.

Life is not easy and I question everyone who pretends that it is. I am hungry for genuine people and I am happy to say I am blessed to have found plenty throughout my life. I like people who are real, in every sense of the word.

If Lena Dunham’s book is not as good as her introduction sets it up to be, at least I’ve already been moved.

#TBT Glory Days?

Some people say that your glory days should not be behind you, that you must live in glory every day. I leave it up to you to decide that, but in my life there’s definitely some glory that has left and will never come back. Like the tan I like to believe I had when I lived in Puerto Rico.

I miss performing and/or making a fool of myself in public. I don’t know how your schools were, but I went to some pretty cool schools in which it was actually expected for you to put up skits and parodies on a regular basis. Whether it was at Girl Scouts camp, ballroom dancing, school pep rallies, college dance showcases or talent shows, me and my friends would put up a show.

Why did I stop?

I want to believe that I still can go back to it if I really wanted to, but it’s not that easy. Time is not a renewable source and something about all the effort that it would take for me to go to a dance class and be part of a dance group again makes it feel like more of a job than a hobby. I used to happily go to talent show dance practices on the weekends, no complaints. Then again, I had practically no worries and dancing meant spending time with my friends.

I do miss dancing, but I guess I’m also feeling nostalgic for the simplicity of being able to do what you wanted to do without limitations or complications. Now every single decision has a consequence repercussion, your time is scarce, yet you still spend it lounging around playing silly games. I do still have the same 24 hours on each day, what has changed?

Oh yeah, I grew up.

Obviously, I had to make my mom dig out some embarrassing pictures of my short and questionable artistic career

(Gracias mami!)

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Although I don’t remember, I’m pretty sure the dance me and my friend are performing in the picture above was choreographed like 2 days before and was a result of a very productive dance night full of laugh attacks interruptions (or paveras).

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I’m actually not embarrassed of this picture, I’m actually pretty proud of it, not gonna lie.

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In the picture above, I was playing the queen. All I remember from this play is that my husband, the king, had issues with his molars.

When did we grow up?

That's me. Inside my mom's belly. When she was 25, one year younger than I am now and completely normal. (I love you mommy)

That’s me. Inside my mom’s belly. When she was 25, one year younger than I am now.          Totally normal, right? (Hi mom, I love you!)

Between the babies and the engagements… how did we get here?

In last’s week’s hunt for a nice #TBT picture that will make me happy, yet will not make any of my friends or family members die of embarrassment, I found myself going down an intense walk down memory lane.

What were we thinking in High School?

First of all, how I sat for basically 6 hours listening to new information and thinking is now beyond me. I can hardly go by 1 hour without checking my phone or reading a random news article (and by news, I mean Twitter).

I started thinking of all the awesome things I did during my school years in Puerto Rico and realized that there were a few memories that I had forgotten about.

Are we hitting that age?

I was thinking of this girl I was friends with during a summer in Girl Scouts camp, we got pretty close and now I can’t even remember her name. I actually can safely say I hadn’t thought about that summer camp in years.

We are now looking at life in years, not months or even weeks. Everything seemed to happen slower before, maybe because we had different mindsets or maybe because each year was more distinct and easier to tell apart from another, because obviously you are a totally different person going into 10th grade from 9th grade.

Now, we’re looking into friends we have not seen in years, and it’s ok because that’s apparently how life is. Everything is merging now, time is blurry and quite tricky. I’ve been working in Manhattan for two years now and although some may say two years is nothing, I struggle some times to pin point when certain things happened.

I guess it’s downhill from now, or uphill, up to you.

How did people keep track of life before Facebook?

Guess no Facebook meant more interesting High School reunions, where no one had to pretend to be impressed by your life situation because they had already stalked you extensively the week before.

So, are we… grown-ups?

I sure don’t feel like one sometimes (and by sometimes, I basically mean I never do). I guess we are always growing up, whether you think of it as becoming more mature or in all reality, aging.

Seriously though, am I an adult?