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!

 

Wordless Wednesday: Adoquines

IMG_1344He patiently waits while I capture all the corners of the streets of Old San Juan, guarding my camera bag like a good sport, happily contemplating the beauty of this island we now get to explore together.

 

Is the grass really greener on the other side or is it just Instagram filters?

We’ve all heard that grass is always greener at the other side, whether you like that thought or not, you have to admit there’s some truth to it. It’s taken me a while to understand this concept and I still struggle with it. I like to tell myself that I look into other people’s “grass” for inspiration and motivation, to see the possibilities that can also exist in my life, but I don’t think that’s always the case.

Recently, someone I love very much shared a quote that once I heard it, made everything click into place. I liked it so much I even edited it below.IMG_9632This made so much more sense than the stupid grass people keep talking about. We get tired while comparing things that don’t even make sense in the first place and the sad thing is that deep down we know they don’t make sense but we think about them anyway. It’s like looking at Taylor Swift and thinking she’s so beautiful (nothing wrong with that!). If you had the amount of people she has to make her that beautiful you would be ruling the world too. I struggle just to brush my hair everyday, let’s be real.

We’ve lost a sense of what’s behind-the-scenes and what’s a highlight reel. We live in a world where sharing on social media sends out a false sense of intimacy. You can now see “celebrities” sharing their “intimate” cup of tea, which they are enjoying “casually” in bed with no fixes at all. Sure, we know that’s not how it rolls, but we still like to believe the setup. We see everyone seems to be running the world, but do we see them when they fall down, face obstacles or have a bad hair day? Rarely. (I woke up like this? Sure.)

Why do we feed of other people’s highlight reels? We have no idea what happens behind-the-scenes in the dark corners of their lives. Everyone has struggles, doubts and fears; people are silly to pretend otherwise.

I now realize that my behind-the-scenes footage, however crazy or average it may be, is what makes my highlight reel so much more genuine and exciting.

The best part? There’s still so much more filming left to do.

Pretend

I write to make sense of the nonsense in this planet
Dreams chatter every day
We learn to play the game
Smile when we have to
Take what needs to be taken
Maybe we’re all fooling ourselves
Lost in a sea of pretending not to pretend with endless empty laughter
Screaming inside
Planning and planning, with no set date to fly
Maybe we are not, maybe we know
We choose to play the game,
To keep going and beat the drain
Maybe we know when we’re set to sail,
Just let the breeze prevail…

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

City Facades

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Lost in an eternal daze, dazzled by the city lights,

Faces fly by, in this city governed by night

We claim pieces of concrete, unpolished fairy dust,

Seeking shelter on this land full of unbalanced trust

Entitlement corrupts free spirits, crushing dreams one by one

As the sun falls, our fears and walls become undone

A city of expectations, fueled by the purest form of irony

Nothing is required, but presumptions dampen any clarity

Walls guard secrets untold, keeping them safe in the clouds

Hands shaking, smiles rising, money flying, all because we’re too proud

The city of shine and sparkle, an eternal masquerade

Everyone’s invited, but not everyone can make it

You’ll need more than a mask, what are you willing to trade?

Even the shadows dance in here, will you join this masquerade?

– Cristina Nogueras ©

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Image Credits:

http://www.freehdwall.com/2013/08/new-york-city-street-night-lights-hd.html

http://musicgivesasoultotheuniverse.tumblr.com/post/69909743789