#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!)

Cristi bailando7

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).

Cristi bailando2

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

Cristi bailando9

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.

Advertisements

57 Days of My Life, Lost to Facebook

fleetingweb

Thank you Time Tech for bringing light into my life with your recent article, painting a nice picture of the time I’ve spent on Facebook.

In my defense, it’s 57 days since 2006 and I bet most of those hours can be allocated to college finals and procrastinating at the Syracuse University library. Not that it makes it any better, that’s still an average of one week a year, for the last eight years. I’m not gonna lie, that number made me want to jump from my seat and set sail in a new adventure to the unknown (or Central Park).

Here are 10 things I could have done instead of spending 57 days of my life on Facebook:

  1. Learn German, just because
  2. Take wine appreciation classes so I actually know what I’m ordering from the wine list
  3. Read that New York Times best selling book that everyone has been talking about and is not a YA novel
  4. Learn to make that delicious recipe that I saw on Pinterest when I decided to take a break from Facebook
  5. Train a baby dragon
  6. Bike from New York to Los Angeles (according to Google maps it takes 260 hours)
  7. Read the whole Game of Thrones book series
  8. Plant a tree. Actually, plant a bunch of trees
  9. Take a photography class instead of staring at pictures for hours
  10. Volunteer at an animal shelter (without stealing any puppies)

See how much time you’ve lost on Facebook here, then get on Grupon or Living Social and sign up for tango lessons or yoga, your pick.

Image credit – http://louisetaylordrawings.blogspot.com/2010/04/losing-time.html

Hurricane Sandy, One Year Later

“It can’t be that bad, it won’t be that bad. It’s gonna be ok, It has to be ok.”

These were the types of thoughts that were running through my mind on that ferry ride from Manhattan to Hoboken that 31 of October of 2012.

A year ago today, Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey. As Wikipedia puts it, “was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the second-costliest hurricane in United States history.” I live in Hoboken, one of the areas affected by the hurricane.

It was Halloween weekend, nobody cared there was a super storm coming our way. People went out, football games went on and life seemed to go on normally without any bigger concerns than halloween costume choices. Then the red flags start going up and as the natural freak out person that I am, I start panicking when my landlord mentions that I might be getting “a little bit” of water into my room. You need to realize that my room was located in the basement of my apartment. I proceeded to take out half of my room into the kitchen (higher than my room) and elevated my bed with plastic flower pots because there was nothing better I could get at the hardware store.

Both New Jersey and New York started evacuating plans the day before the storm and one of my good friends welcomed me into her Upper East home. Sandy came, Sandy left… I did not feel a thing. We did not lose power and although it rained, it was nothing compared to what I was seeing in the news.

An idea of what I was watching in the news - Image from http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/outdoor-adventure/hurricane-sandy-liveblog.html

An idea of what I was watching in the news, this is the train I take to work every morning – Image from http://www.outsideonline.com/blog/outdoor-adventure/hurricane-sandy-liveblog.html

“My room flooded. No way it could have not flooded.”

With every single footage shown of Hoboken, I lost a little drop of hope.

There was no way I could reach Hoboken from Manhattan. No trains, no buses, no nothing. Then the ferries started to work and me and my roommate found ourselves going against the flow of people that were abandoning Hoboken to seek shelter in upper Manhattan. Red flag.

I obviously got the ferry route wrong so we ended up in Weehaken (north of Hoboken) and we had no choice but to walk all the way to our apartment (about 25 minutes).

What a sight.

It really felt like something taken out of a post-apocalyptic movie. I saw people draining their houses, furniture floating around, and the look on their faces was a deep mixture of hope and despair, as little sense as that makes.

When I arrived to my apartment the stench gave it away. I went down the stairs to my room and evidently, everything in my room was ruined. The bed had collapsed and everything I had raised had fallen to the floor. With the electricity being gone, I faced a dark and stinking room… I broke down. I remember sitting in the kitchen floor and crying because I did not know what to do. It’s interesting to see how easily humans lose perspective. I had seen complete houses crumbled and flooded while I walked to my apartment, but at that moment all I could see was my loss.

My roommate truly helped me through. She did not hesitate, started making things better and kept telling me that it was going to be alright. It’s amazing what that can do, just to have someone tell you that something is going to be alright, even when they might not be so sure about it themselves. I am thankful of all the network of people that were quickly activated upon my request for help. I had lost all my furniture, some of my clothes and all of my shoes (I know, shoes!).

Now that I’m actually sitting down and writing about this, it doesn’t sound as bad as it felt. I am beyond thankful about all the help I received from everyone in my life. From coworkers to friends, everyone was there for me and that was worth more than what I had lost. I remember someone told me “It’s all material stuff”. It really was.

Sure, it was no peaches and cream. I had no bedroom for over a month, but then I remembered the faces I saw walking down to my apartment that day and I realized how blessed I was. I see the pictures of the damage across the tri-state area and I know that what I suffered was nothing compared to those who lost their homes and even their loved ones.

“Stronger than the storm”

Some may find it cheesy, but that’s really what it’s all about. Being stronger than the storm and being able to dance in the rain, or being able to jump and clap your hands around, I know not everyone is a good dancer so whatever rocks your socks.

 

The 2013 Museum of Art & History

The other day, when I was at the museum with my dad, I kept thinking how did people have the time to do so many beautiful things? Thinking of all the tapestries, hand made stuff and what-not. I thought, that’s right, they did not have internet. I think of all the wonderful things I could create if I was not busy liking pictures on Instagram and indulging in Netflix.

What will our generations have to show? Thinking about a museum for our generation, it will either be online or in a physical space full of touchscreens. Don’t get me wrong, it has the potential to be pretty cool. I already have a few ideas for whoever wants to design it, give me a call. But seriously, how can we top what has been left before us?

I wonder if past generations thought that their creations were not museum worthy. I wonder if it’s only time that makes them amazing.

“Oh hey, here’s this tapestry I just made*”.

Nobody cares.

“Oh hey, here’s this tapestry my great, great, great, great grandmother made back in 2013”.

“Oh wow, that’s truly fascinating”.

Boom.

 

 

* For the record, I don’t make tapestries.

Also, I do believe that we have a lot to show, don’t get me wrong. It’s just we have different things to show and I can’t help but wonder about it.

Peace, Love & Diet Coke.

Scraps of Paper

Little by little I want to share randoms thoughts in old notebooks, napkins or scraps of paper. Those old thoughts you just needed to write down in the moment that did not make much sense at the time, but now shine back at you in retrospect.

So here it goes.

“There is just that much you can control, there is just that much that you can hold back. Life can’t be amazing unless you give it a chance. Your fears can tie you back in ways you can’t really understand. At the end of the day it’s what you feel that’s real, the walls you’ve built and the timelines you’ve set are all fake; mere guidelines in a quest of finding happiness. Yes, you might get hurt and yes you will be sad again; but why let that stop you? Release can liberate you in more ways than one.” – Cristina Nogueras © Jaunary 9, 2013.