I've been living in Mexico for the last month and a half...

I’ve been living in Mexico for the last month and a half. This crazy idea came to me last August when I lost my grandmother to Parkinson's. That’s the thing about me. I get these crazy ideas in my head and I actually follow through with them. I thought, “I have nothing to lose and so much to gain, how hard can this be?” Well, I am currently in and out of complete sadness. I feel super alone and isolated from society. Finding a job has been hard, making friends even harder. I keep telling myself that I should stick it out until the end of summer but to be honest I don’t think I can make it that long but I will try, we must always try. Some days are better than others, I won’t lie. Today is one of the sadder days. I’ve been a very independent lady for as long as I can remember but that independency, I’ve learned can only last for so long. I crave nights where I can have people over and cook for them. Nights where I can sit on the couch with my roommates or friends and talk about everything and nothing at the same time. Days where after work, I meet my friends for happy hour and then we part our ways into different subway lines. Head to the museums on saturdays and sundays just to waste time.  

Now, I don’t want to come off as Miss. Debby Depressed over here, there have been positive experiences as well. For one, I am close to family I’ve only visited from time to time throughout my life. I have bonded with them on a level I would have never been able to if I had not made the move in the first place. They appreciate me and look up to me as I do them. My grandfather isn’t doing well at the moment unfortunately. But these past few days I’ve been by his side, watching him battle his old age and have seen him miss my grandmother with such despair. They were married for 59 years and for the first time in his long life he has had to live without her by his side. I think his solitude has finally caught up to him. He told me a few weeks ago, when he was still doing fine, how much he loves her and misses her. He fell ill later that week. I’ve been blessed enough to care for him in these past several days. Massaging his feet and helping him take a few steps here and there. Although now he can no longer hold himself up. I’ve pushed him in what used to be my grandmother’s wheelchair, around his ranch. Showing him the cows and bulls he used to care for and showing him everything he has created for his family. I won’t forget the moment when we were heading back inside his house, my aunt and I had just finished helping him walk around a little bit. As I was sitting him down I looked up at him and I saw his eyes light up and jaw drop, I knew exactly who he had seen. I asked him where she was, grandma, and he said “she’s over there looking at us.” I wanted to die in that moment. Die of pure bliss because I know how happy she must have been seeing him outside getting fresh air. When I’m laying in bed with him he holds my hand tightly, squeezing it from time to time. I’m so happy I’m here sharing these last moments of his life with him. Something I was unable to fully do with my grandmother.

I know how to drive manual shift now. Thanks to a few people. Shout out to my uncle Serafin, cousins Felipe and Alejandra, as well as my friend Temo. They all had a part in teaching me how to drive stick shift in a short week when I first arrived. When I go back to the states, I’ll be buying myself a manual car. It’s like you are actually DRIVING the thing!! That’s been the most fun for sure, driving in my stick shift car around this insecure little pueblo named Celaya or as the locals like to call it “Cela-York”. Its an insecure town because there is a lot of theft here, there is also lots of killings going around, human abductions and the list can go on. My first week here my car stereo was stolen, no joke. But at least they left me with the battery and wheels. Right?

Before I moved here, I was in contact with a friend that lives here. I met him seven years ago when I came to visit for the first time in a long time. We’ve always had an amazing connection and I’ve always held him close to my heart for as long as I can remember. I thought maybe this could be something. But just as fast as that thought came to my mind, he just as quickly shattered it. I’m a stupid girl that thinks with her heart instead of her head. I expect the love I give to others to be returned to me just the same. But it doesn’t work that way. Not everyone is going to love you the same way, not everyone is going to meet your expectations and that’s ok. I know my intentions are pure and from the heart. I now know what I am capable of being in love and that’s so important. But I need to be true to myself and I know what I want out of a partner and what is important to me in this life and that’s family. I want to have my own family one day, I want to have kids and raise them and watch them grow into the humans I helped mold. I don’t care if that’s narcissistic of me, whatever. I can’t make someone who doesn’t want that out of life to change and want it too because I want them to. Respect is a two way street, you get what you give out. I know he loves me and cares for me but he will never make me happy or give me what I want. Forgetting him will be hard because I really thought for a hot second “this is my husband” I’m so naive. Fuck.

As of right now I'm not sure how long I will be here in Mexico. But I do know that from this day out I will be making the most of my time here, because not everyone gets an opportunity to live in another country for a extended period of time, I'm a lucky one. The amount that I have grown spiritually as well as mentally are two things I have gained from this experience and it will be with me forever.

My grandfather Evelio Melesio Montoya on his 89th birthday, with my Aunt Irma. 

My grandfather Evelio Melesio Montoya on his 89th birthday, with my Aunt Irma. 

Mi Abuelita Lucia

Life is so fucking weird, man. Most times I can't even wrap my head around how weird and strange certain aspects of my life can be. For example, dating. You meet someone, you two connect, start a relationship and become one person. You share milestones together, learn and grow together, the time goes by and the next thing you know, you can't stand each other's presence. Weird and strange right? How about when you, out of nowhere, start thinking about someone a lot or a moment that you shared in the past and then as the days and weeks pass, you receive constant reminders from the universe in the form of advertisements, songs etc. of that person or that thing/moment that has occupied so many of your thoughts. For me, those reminders came in the form of advertisements for low fare round trips to Mexico in practically every subway station and throughout NYC.

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citations part I

I love reading, its a way for me to learn and allow my soul to travel through different times and places. One of my favorite things about reading is writing down quotes that speak to me or make me think deeper about how it relates to my current life. I thought maybe instead of keeping a journal I can share them here on my blog, with you guys and maybe inspire one of you to pick up the or any book for that matter and find some quotes that speak to your soul. 

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

"I love you, I will never leave you, I will always take care of you"
"let your life be like a snow flake, which leaves a mark but not a stain"
"when you're lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you've just wandered a few feet off the path, that you'll find your way back to the trail-head any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and its time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don't even know which direction the sun rises anymore" 
"il bel far niente"- Italian for "the beauty of doing nothing"
"l'arte d"arrangiarsi"- Italian for "the art of making something out of nothing"
"beauty attracts beauty"
"parla come mangi" Italian for "speak the way you eat" or "say it how you eat it"
"why are you so sure that your micromanagement of every moment in this whole world is so essential? why don't you let it be?"
"there are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all though history. How much do you love me? and whose in charge?"
"I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue"
"they say that an oak tree is brought into creation by two forces at the same time. obviously, there is the acorn from which it all begins, the seed which holds all the promise and potential, which grows into the tree. Everybody can see that. But only a few can recognize that there is another force operating here as well- the future tree itself, which wants so badly to exist that it pulls that acorn into being, drawing the seedling forth with longing out of the void, guiding the evolution from nothingness to maturity. In this respect, say the zens, it is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it was born."
"in the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. in the end, maybe its wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices."
"we must get our hearts broken sometimes. this is a good sign, having a broken heart. it means we have tried for something."

The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

"you don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you."
"omnis cellula e cellula" (dutch?) "all cells come from cells" Every cell is born of a previous cell, which was born of a previous cell. Life comes from life. life begets, life begets, life begets..."
"some infinities are bigger than other infinities…. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for our little infinity."
"it's hard as hell to hold on to your dignity when the risen sun is too bright in your leering eyes."
"...sometimes it seems the universe wants to be noticed."
"the marks humans leave are too often scars."
"grief does not change you. It reveals you."
"as he read, i fell in love the way you fall asleep. slowly, and then all at once."
"you are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!"

***part two will be out eventually, stay tuned. 

Better late than never

So its clear that I've been neglecting the BLOG section of my website for quite some time now.

After I wrote and published my last post back in Dec 2014. I was feeling a bit down about myself. I was sucked into this black hole of feeling insecure and discouraged about what I was doing. I felt, as I scrolled down any social media platform, that everyone was progressing in some way, shape or form in their lives, while I was still where I was when I started. Along with not liking the way I looked and feeling bad about myself. I knew I had to make changes in my lifestyle and get balanced again so that I could get out of this funk. But I had no idea how or what to do.

Portrait of me shot by @rolandstoned

I know this sounds crazy and unlikely but one night in the new year or days before I had a dream. In that dream I opened my own doors, paved my own way to creative ideas and projects. In this dream, I was surrounded by amazing, inspiring people telling me that I am better than the state of mind I was in and can accomplish whatever I put my mind, heart and soul to and work hard at. ( I'm also the type of person who prays and talks/asks God for signs, so there's that too) Anyway, I knew this dream was a sign from wherever you believe. Big changes is what I spend most of my 2015 year doing. I'd like to take this time now and share the list of changes I have made.

Diet. Ever since I can remember this has been on my To Do List, New Years Resolution's List, New Task's List, you get the idea. I have been saying I will eat cleaner for a very long time. Well I am so happy and excited to let you know that I have finally made that happen. I have done so much research on diets and eating clean but I wanted something where I could still eat meat and all the foods that I really love. Then I heard about The Paleo Diet . Its been three months and my life, skin, and of course body feel like new. I can sit here and type that I feel better, stronger, have more energy and if you've seen me recently you might have commented on how flawless my skin looks. I'm not joking, I've told people I'm 27 and they think I'm lying. Needless to say I'm loving it.

Exercise. "I can eat whatever I want because I go to the gym on a daily basis" I'm embarrassed to admit that I am quoting myself here. Diet and exercise go hand in hand whether I like it or not. So NOW, after my work-outs I grab a salad or some grilled chicken and fruit. The hardest part for me about working out is getting to the gym. So once I accomplish that, I hop on the treadmill, stair-master, whatever my vice is that day and I don't get off for at least 30 mins. P.S. I became friends with squats, I do squats, I am one with the squats. I started out by taking a group exercise class that my gym provides and that helped boost my confidence at the gym.

Focus. I've learned that It's very important for me to stay focused. This year I focused on things and activities that make me happy. Focus on my family and friends. Focus on my career, hobbies, and art. Focus on ME and MY life. I don't worry about what others think or might be saying about me anymore because I've learned that, that says more about them. 

Priorities. I am a master at dreaming and making plans. Actually making them a reality and accomplishing them, not so much. I write down a list of things that I want to accomplish and that are important to me and my individual growth. I do this all the time and I've learned that these lists help me keep my priorities in order whether its at home or in my career. 

Skin-Care/Make-Up Routine. Maybe it was stress related or maybe I was just born with it but acne and blemishes on my face kept getting worse. And don't even get me started on the dark circles under my eyes. At 27 I honestly felt I shouldn't be looking like I hadn't slept in days; especially when I DO get sleep. I did research on natural skin care products and procedures and also researched what some of my favorite celebrities use in their daily routines. I discovered Aveda and use their plant based products religiously. As far as my make-up routine goes: Moisturize, fill in eye brows, curl eye lashes, and top it off with a highlighter on my check bones and little blush too. Super easy and fast. 

Kitten. I bought a cat. I know, I know. Shame on me for not rescuing but can I tell you that Seal Point Himalayans are not found in shelters very often, I looked and called many to ask. I knew the breed I wanted and color. I researched and asked friends about where they got their kittens. Long story short I found him, bought him, picked him up and I still don't know if half the time he wants to kill me or if he loves me. Regardless he is the best thing that has happened to me. We make each other happy. Life is better with a cat. 

Diego Rivera, my one year old Seal Point Himalayan

Projects/photo series. Shortly after bringing Diego Rivera home, (thats the name of my cat)one fall morning my boyfriend took a photo of Diego and I laying in bed cuddling. I posted the picture on my Instagram account and it got a lot of positive feedback. Later that week a girlfriend of mine told me how much she loved the picture and how I should think about photographing other girls and their cats. Needless to say, that is how my Power to the Pussies photo series was born (Thanks Jen). That personal project then inspired me and gave me the confidence to explore my photography even more by creating other series and asking other people to help me create my visions. You can find those in the Portfolio section of my website.

With that said,.

I reached out to new creative people. Scrolling down my Instagram feed, every photograph that I come across, it instantly inspires me. I try to keep it that way. I try to follow people that are exploring their own art and visions. I respect that and that is what inspires me to try harder and explore my own artistry. I also realized that a lot of people live around me. I email them, DM them to hang out and create. If it works out awesome, if not, no worries. Life goes on. 

Worked with said creative people. Again, Instagram has given me the capability to reach out, work with, as well as become friends with some awesome creative individuals. I participated in a few "Insta-meets" this year and look forward to future ones. If you ever see one being hosted anywhere near you, I highly recommend stepping outside your comfort zone and giving it a go. You'd be surprised to find how awesome it is to be around people as creative and fun as you. I know I was! 

Touched based with old friends. One of my best friends from high school is getting married next month. A couple of weeks ago we celebrated her Bridal/Bachelorette. I want to share with you guys the text I sent the group the day after our festivities: "Spending time with you all, even if it was for one day, made me realize how much I miss you all. Made me realize that now matter the time and distance, real and original bonds can't be broken. I felt like Saturday night was like we never even moved away and became real people. I miss you girls and love you all so much and cherish the times we spend together. Can't wait until the next time."

I spent most of this year really challenging myself in my artistry but also took the time to get myself, mind, and body more organized by loving and taking the time to listen to ME more. 2015 has been a huge learning/growing year and I look forward to continuing the lesson. 

Portrait of me shot by @rolandstoned