The Power of a “Like”

The Power of  a Like - Peace, Love & Diet Coke

As much as I love social media, I sometimes get tired of hearing about social metrics. I see how our society gets blinded by the number of “likes” and followers and how sometimes people end up being just plain fake. I hate that people end up measuring themselves against a sometimes insignificant number of “approval”. I can go on about the things I hate about social media, but I get easily frustrated and who wants to read that, right?

Something interesting happened to me today. Yesterday, I posted a picture on my Facebook of me and my boyfriend to celebrate that we had met 3 years ago. It was a pretty picture with a cute little message, as expected. I allowed myself to be sappy because oh well, sometimes you gotta be. Today, I saw that I had about 90 likes and decided to click and read through all the names of everyone who had liked the picture.

I was immediately smiling, seeing all the different people from my life that liked the picture. Reading their name meant they had taken a moment to see my post and show they were thinking about me with a simple click. It may sound dumb but to me that meant a lot. These are people that I may not talk to anymore or as often as I would like, but they still hold a special place in my heart in one way or another. By just reading their name I also had quick memories come back to mind and for a second there, my day got better too.

In this crazy world we live in, isn’t it nice to show people that we are thinking of them in some way?

Maybe I’m sounding like my Mom these days, but I’m starting to think that “likes” might not be so stupid after all.

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[Strasbourg, France] Forever nostalgic

Strasbourg, FranceI will forever be nostalgic of the few months I lived in Strasbourg, France. I really don’t think that feeling will ever go away and I am ok with it, I’ve said it before. I think everyone needs to live abroad at some point in their lives, even if it’s just for a few months. To some it sounds annoying, but I have never heard anyone who has lived abroad say that they regret their decision. Seriously, it opens your eyes, your mind and your soul. It also empties your pockets, but that’s another story.

Instagram did not even exist when I was studying abroad. *Does quick Google search* Ok, Instagram was literally being built as I was studying abroad. I can only imagine the absurd amount of pictures I would have been posting on a daily basis if I had an Instagram account at that point. I had a basic Nokia phone with limited minutes and text messages as my loyal companion, I used bbm (Blackberry messenger) as the way to chat with my family and friends in the other side of the Atlantic and guess what? I took pictures with an actual camera and not a phone. Bizarre, right?

There’s nothing I can write that can wipe away the nostalgia that I’m feeling at the moment, so I will not keep trying. It’s all just really weird and beautiful at the same time. So join me while I reminisce, I hope all of you have a happy place and set of memories that can bring out the same sense of comfort and longing like Strasbourg does for me.

Strasbourg, France

Strasbourg, France

Somewhere near Strasbourg…

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#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.

Wanderlust problems and other itchy feet musings

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Once upon a time, I was blessed to call France my home. I would ride a bike to school, have lunch by the river, come home to a dog and a warm family and drink good, cheap wine with new wonderful friends.

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The thing about wonderful times is that they end, and as sad or exaggerated as it sounds, you never get them back. There’s something so bittersweet about it that I can’t help but smile. Sure, I could technically book a flight to France next week (I do have a credit card) but in reality it can never be the same. People and places change, but most importantly, you change as well.

That’s why we need to keep creating adventures, so you don’t miss the old ones that much. You will never get your old times back, but that is what makes them magical and timeless, the rarity and exclusivity of things that are gone.

It sure didn’t feel magical when I was stuck in my desk studying for a final exam, sad because I had ran out of money and my camera had broken. It sure was not exciting when I had to eat ham and cheese sandwiches for a week because I spent way too much money on my week at Spain, but once you leave and look back, it all sounds ironically perfect.

Sometimes things get even better when you have to look back to enjoy them. It’s almost risky though, to look back too often, as you tend to unconsciously edit the memories, add filters and suppress the mishaps (bike falls, broken cameras, hangovers, dry lunches, too cheap wines, boring lectures, train delays and scary flights).

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Still, you know you would do it all again and in your future attempts to somehow really do it all again, you will get new, exciting adventures that will keep the cycle alive.

Humans are never satisfied and our thirst can’t be quenched that easily, so let’s drink on.

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All photos taken by Cristina Nogueras © – Do not take without permission or credit

Cheers to whatever you want to cheer to!

Truth is we are all a little afraid, we are all a little reluctant, but we still raise a glass and cheer for a new year to come. Years are only human creation; it’s what we do during those years what truly makes a difference. We can hope and wish for new things to come our way during this New Year, but it’s really up to you to make things happen. Of course, favorable conditions are always preferred, but don’t let everything become an excuse.

So don’t go all crazy just because that 3 turned into a 4, let’s keep having a good time and striving to be better people. God knows I am far from my end result, but who said we can’t enjoy the ride?

Buckle up, or don’t, it’s really up to you.

cheers

Peace, Love & Diet Coke.*

Image Credit – http://bit.ly/1kZ8jXh

Treasures

We all have scars, we all have pasts,

Stories that have been told,

Faces that have been forgotten,

Kisses that have been lost,

And smiles that still haunt us.

We all have footsteps spread around,

Footsteps that have been erased,

Marks that have been preserved.

We all have things we’ve left behind,

Memories that still ache,

Screams we still wish to release,

Tears we have shed in days far gone.

We all have holes that have made us whole,

Scars that have made us human,

Aches that have made us feel,

And tears that have taught us to love.

Because a love so pure can only come like that,

Polished and refined by wounds we still carry.

Because some things we forget,

Some things we carry forever,

Some things we just let go,

And some things become treasures forever.

Written by Cristina Nogueras © September 4, 2013.