Five Quick Reminders to Make Life Better

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Summer is finally here. Wait, let me say that one more time because that just felt too good. Summer is finally here. After a long, long winter in the northeast coast, I now dare say we’re pretty much out of the woods.

Right now there’s a lot of wheels in motion and I’m excited for what’s coming up next for me. I don’t want to say I’ve been slacking with posts (since I am trying not to be too hard on myself) but I do want to get back to the swing of things. Again, there’s a lot going on, so bear with me.

Below are some things that have been on my mind recently. I can’t always follow my own advice properly, but maybe this can help someone else out.

  1. Everyone has a struggle – Whether they share it or not, everyone has something they’re fighting for or against. You may not be aware of it, but it’s so important to keep that in mind when you are meeting new people or even catching up with old friends and colleagues. Be mindful, but don’t worry too much on being a mind reader, people will share what they want to share and you need to be ok with that.
  2. Don’t be so quick to judge – I catch myself judging people way too often, I hate it. I’ll think things like “they are not doing anything with their lives” or “what are they thinking, that’s ridiculous” and honestly, I want to reduce those thoughts to the bare minimum. Come on, you know you have to indulge in at least some gossip to keep things fun. Still, at the end of the day, you will never know someone’s whole story so be kind when need be.
  3. You are your best advocate – Seriously, nobody is actually capable of fighting for you as much as YOU. Support is always great and hopefully something you have in your life, but at the end of the day, you are the only one that knows what you truly want. It’s a decision you need to make for yourself, nobody should tell you: “this is what YOU want”.
  4. Be grateful – So simple, right? Yet this little one always seems to slip by. You may think your life is a mess and that it’s all in shambles, but I am hoping you have at least one thing to be grateful for (just think about cheese if you’re running out of ideas).
  5. Don’t make excuses for fear – At times, we will walk away from things we want simply because of excuses we make ourselves. Why do we do that? Excuses are usually rooted on some sort of fear (says me, humble non-expert). It’s ok to feel fear when you’re working towards something big, it’s normal, no need to make excuses for it. Beware, don’t let fear make you want to create more excuses, those excuses will later turn into reasons to walk away from what you want.

Life is fun, it can be a mess at times (just see my room right now for quick reminder) but it’s always good at the end. Take a moment to think about what’s brewing on your life and keep the wheels turning.

Oh and please, PLEASE enjoy summer! * Insert peace sign emoji here *

– Photo and edits by Cristina Nogueras © –

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 *

46 Days Without Facebook

It felt like a tragedy when I made the decision to give up Facebook for lent. I thought I was crazy and there was no way I could do it.

This Easter morning when I logged back in all excited for my return, I went into my account, took a quick look around and thought to myself: “That’s it?”

First, the number of notifications waiting for me was quite sad. (Except for my dear girls who loyally kept me on their inbox chains and left a couple of hundred entertaining messages to catch up on).

Then I thought, “I did it? I truly went on with my lent sacrifice?”

You know what, it was not as hard as I thought. Yes, it was hard to find #TBT pictures with my limited iphone content, yes I forgot birthdays that I am not proud of, but overall, I was still a part of this world and things still happened in my life. There were a few sad news which I received with delays, but I was still connected with the people I love.

If you are thinking I had an awakening and have now decided to give up Facebook forever, you are greatly mistaken, relax.

The thing about Facebook versus Instagram, I realized, is that Instagram is full of more positive content, overall. Facebook gives you that status space to easily and quickly write whatever you please. Someone gave you an attitude today? You can just type that up, nice and easy. It is so easy to find a Facebook feed infested with negative comments and things that bring you down. Whereas a negative Instragram feed takes more work, you actually need some kind of visual proof. I had never thought about it that way until this morning as I waited to log back on Facebook.

I’m obviously back and running, I will try to upload some pictures eventually and all those routine tasks, but I’m actually glad I went through with these 46 days (yeah, there are actually more than 40 days in Lent).

Hello, my name is Cristina Nogueras and I went 46 days without Facebook and the world still went on. (Shocking, I know).

Happy Easter!

 

 

Breaking Standards, Savoring Irony

hands free

They say we are young and restless, but some days that’s not how we feel. We are lost in a sea of loans and bills, looking out at the stars with all their glimmering cheer. We dream of places far away, our thirst unquenched, our fears unlisted.

We want to go places but we know we can’t fly. We are tied to the puppeteer, but we always want to dance. Time is unknown, just something we’ve heard of.

We are easily inspired with a fleeting desire that gets lost in the city lights.

– Cristina Nogueras ©

city lights

 

Photo Credits:

http://enjoythefood.tumblr.com/post/69846548946

http://parisfog.tumblr.com/post/69743392968

On buying houses and other things I am not ready for…

I keep saying I’m poor. I know this is an exaggeration, true poverty implies the absence of many things that I am truly blessed to have. That being clear, I need to coin a new phrase for my financial state.

Anyways, last night I was watching House Hunters for the first time. For those of you who do not know, House Hunters is a TV show from HGTV in which people are looking to buy houses, rent apartments or anything along those lines. Let me tell you, I know nothing about real estate.

I’ve been really lucky with finding my past three living arrangements (in New York City and in Hoboken). Well, lucky minus the fact that one of those places flooded. I’ve been happy with my first choices during the hunting process and I’ve been lucky to have everything approved when needed. I obviously rent my place. I am in no way ready or even capable of purchasing a home.

While watching House Hunters, instead of feeling inspired like my roommate did, I felt a wave of panic cursing through my body. How do people have thousands and thousands of dollars just laying around ready to be invested into a property? Oh yeah, I guess it’s called saving and making good life decisions. Well, I’m sorry that I’m too busy trying to pay off my student loans and trying to make it in New York City.

Conclusion, if I’m purchasing any property soon, it will be a plastic house for my future puppy… and even that is a far stretch.

5 Things I did NOT learn in college

It’s been a year and a half since I graduated college. Let me tell you, it was not the easiest of transitions. Doing the whole grown-up thing is not easy and every month when I have to pay my student loans I can’t help but think of all the things I did NOT learn in college. Sure, I got an awesome education, but sometimes it’s about the little things. I can keep a list going on forever, but here are a few of the things I did not learn in college.

1. Who to CC in an email – Carbon copying in an email is a hidden art (Yes, Carbon Copy is what CC stands for). It takes real skill to get it just right. When used properly, CC can become the sweetest form of passive aggressiveness you can use.

2. How to do my taxes – Seriously, I need to give away more money… why? Thank God for TurboTax. I would not have survived my first taxing season without it and would have probably ended up in jail.

3. How to manage people’s expectation of hanging out every single day – “I’m sorry, I can’t do happy hour every single day and no, I can’t hang out every single week with you either. I have other friends and honestly, we are not that close anyways.” It’s hard to stay in touch with people, even if they live in the same city than you do. There’s always a lot going on and even though you wish to meet up with people all the time, there’s just not enough time (or money). How do you manage people’s feelings and your sanity? I did not learn that in college either.

4. How to save money – Don’t let this one be confused with “how to eat frugally”, that one I got down in college pretty easily and I’m still practicing it today (thank you Campbell’s). I’m talking about straight up saving for life, like for puppies and stuff. I thank my lucky stars that I found Mint.com, keeping it real and crushing my wanderlust dreams one personal budget report at a time.

5. How to cope with 10 vacation days a year – This one is hard and honestly, I’m still working with it. Make the most of the weekends? Spread your vacations throughout the year? Print out a beach landscape for your desk? Not really sure what’s the solution for this one, suggestions welcomed.

Feel free to comment and add on more things to this list. I know college was great, but let’s face it: it’s a tough world out here.

Monday Terrors: I’m not getting any younger…

It was a Monday night. Happiness meant taking a shower with a new shower gel that was on sale at CVS, life was good. I was casually shaving my legs when I found what I’m pretty sure were little veins near the area of my knee. Yes, little veins like the kind you see in people that are old (no offense).

I FREAKED out. I had already found a strand of white hair a few weeks back, but this was twice as horrifying. Is this normal?! I started to see my life flashing by, memories of my youth slipping away from my fingers, and not just because they were soapy.

That’s it, I’m old.

To add a little more spice to this dramatic scene, I’ve been watching a show called Fringe. This TV show presents some pretty crude scientific experiments with graphic images of poisonous slugs and unnatural human reactions to chemicals and all that cute stuff. Why I keep watching this show is beyond me, but that’s the second thought that went through my mind when I saw the little veins. “I’ve been experimented on and now my body is truly reacting to it!”

After a few minutes of freaking out and talking to myself like a crazy person, I went on with my life. A few hours later, I realized the little veins were not that marked as before and it looks like it might have been a combination of hot water and my imagination. Yes, that is my medical analysis of my situation.

So there it is, life is short and we are not getting any younger. Have fun, eat yummy food and invest on your 401K.