My Love Lessons

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I didn’t plan on writing anything today but I am feeling grateful for the amount of love I have in my life despite the heartbreaks and break ups. I want to keep this short and write out my love lessons.

1. Sometimes you can only love someone from a distance

I never understood this until now. Once upon a time I fell in love with a beautiful girl and we dated but things ended. We didn’t talk for a year until she reached out to me out of nowhere. I wanted to give us another chance and I did. I thought she changed but still kept playing with my feelings and I cut off communication for good. I have never stopped thinking about her but I know that I can only love her from a distance to protect my heart.

2. Don’t look for romance, let it find you

I know this is so cliché but it is true. A year ago I stopped looking for any romantic relationship or connection but I met someone I really liked and we dated. Unfortunately, we stopped seeing each other. The point is just don’t look for romance and see how life surprises you.

3. You are worthy of unconditional love

I was told that commitment and love wasn’t for me because I struggle with my mental health. Let me be clear: I don’t care who you are but you deserve healthy and unconditional love from your partner, family, and friends. Remember that your struggles don’t define you at all.

4. Love doesn’t have to be a person

Love can be something you are so passionate about.

5. Listen to your sixth sense, that gut feeling

You know what I mean, that feeling in your gut and uneasiness you feel with this person, listen to it. If something doesn’t sit well with you, that’s a red flag and you need to leave. I have gone through this too many times and now I know my “sixth sense” is correct.

6. Love yourself

OH MY GOSH, PLEASE JUST LOVE WHO YOU ARE. This is what I am currently trying to do by healing my wounds and finding peace. Be grateful for the support and love you have from your family, friends or partner. If they love you then why don’t you love yourself? I can’t even imagine how much more I will enjoy life once I fall in love with myself 100%

Okay, that’s all I have for now! Feel free to tell me what lessons you have learned when it comes to love!

cheers,

K

My 10 Day Body, Mind and Soul Cleanse

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For the last few months my mood swings have been out of control. I have been feeling heartbroken, angry, sad, envious, and unworthy.

I started becoming jealous and envious towards my friends who were succeeding and getting job opportunities. I was focusing on why everyone was doing “better” than me and hating myself for it. I was so emotionally exhausted that I became physically tired and not sleeping well at night. Finally, I decided that it was necessary to do a 10 day body, mind and soul cleanse. Here is a description of mine.

Body: Nourish the body with delicious & healthy food, drink herbal tea before bed, yoga, power walks, dancing.

Mind: Write poetry, read 2 books a day, no social media except blogging, live in the moment, write a list of goals and how I plan to accomplish them.

Soul: Meditation, create a gratitude list, spend more time with family, more time outdoors in nature, journaling to avoid negative thoughts, write out positive affirmations.

In the first 3 days of my cleanse I felt more energized. My skin cleared up and my sleep improved. Writing poetry and reading books (analyzing too) about feminist criticism, theory or literature reminded that I am a creative and very educated woman. I admire these qualities and no one can take them away. Meditation and yoga helped me quiet my mind, enhance self awareness and control anxiety.

I am not the best at journaling so I would write a list of gratitude, love letters for friends, and new goals. A year ago I thought I would be getting ready to start a PhD at UCLA, UW or Arizona in the fall. I thought becoming a professor was the only thing I was capable of doing, which is not true. If I got rejected it was not because I wasn’t good enough but perhaps there is more in store for me.

I created a new mantra: I am capable of much more than I think.

My biggest issue is focusing on what others are doing. Why should I care? I need to prioritize my mental health and how I am going to accomplish what I want for my life. Instead of scrolling through social media, I took that time to research the curriculum of the international universities I want to apply for. Specifically, I am interested in the M.A for International Relations. It’s exciting to think I could be going to school outside of the country. I just hope COVID doesn’t ruin things for me.

What I got out of my cleanse are more activities to add to my daily routine. Prior to this I didn’t want anyone to talk to me because I felt like a toxic person. I knew I needed to take a step back and make a few changes. Lastly, I learned what will be useful in the future when I am feeling sad, hopeless and chaotic.

Hope everyone is having a nice week!

Cheers,

K

Feminist criticism – Women’s identity and Marital Gothic

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It has been a year that I don’t touch any of my books but as part of my body, mind & soul cleanse I started reading again.

A year ago my former professor of Italian sent me a box of 40 books on feminist/gender theory because I love this subject and she knew I was applying for the Gender Studies PhD program. Again, I got rejected from the PhD programs and I am almost over it. Anyways, one of my readings for the week was from the box of books she gave me.

In the Name of Love: Women, Masochism, and The Gothic by Michelle A. Massé is an intriguing novel focusing on masochism and women’s identity within a psychoanalytic perspective. The novel introduces the key concepts of Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory such as trauma, regression, fixation, and the Oedipus complex to understand how the author will use these terms to examine the gothic heroine.

I am barely on the second chapter but this passage in the first one really caught my attention.

“In contrast, the heroine of Marital Gothic will always reawaken to the still-present actuality of her trauma, because the gender expectations that deny her identity are woven into the very fabric of her culture, which perpetrates her trauma while denying its existence.” (In the Name Of Love, 15)

Massé discusses a woman’s lived experiences and trauma in the Marital Gothic. We understand here that women are prisoners of gender while men benefit from the assigned gender because of patriarchy, the social order. The first chapter really emphasizes the idea of suppression of identity when the Gothic heroine becomes the “other” and has to abide by male authority. The women Massé examines want to be believe they will be loved like in their courtships and wedding vows. They expect to have a voice and freedom in their marriage but soon discover their reality: silence, passivity, and suppression. Rather than leaving their marriage, they stay – this is when the term Masochism comes in.

It’s a complex novel for sure and I am positive I missed a few details in the first chapter I wanted to share. However, I am very interested in these feminist and gender topics because of my previous literature & language studies and my personal experiences growing up in a Mexican family, machismo culture. I am not a big fan of psychoanalysis but I like how it is being used here. Also, I’m more into gender performance and transgender discourses but I thought I would read something different yet still in my area of interest.

On a different note, it was a lovely weekend for me and I hope this week brings more peace and less stress.

cheers,

K

My self-care routine

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Over the years I have gone through a list of self-care ideas to deal with my past struggles with binge eating & starvation. Some of those tips were great and some annoying and not helpful at all. Nonetheless, I have established my own self care routine when I am feeling sad, anxious and having negative body image issues.

Running or power walks

I am a long distance runner but I got injured in May. I’m really stubborn and I still tried to keep running at least once a week but I was only making the problem worse and not healing. I’m doing my best to avoid running for a couple of weeks and go on power walks for the moment. Power walking is not intense like running but it is therapeutic because you’re still outside clearing out your mind. You just need a good playlist and you are set. I walk between 3-4 miles and finish with a 20 min core workout.

Weight Lifting

Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Weight lifting doesn’t even need an explanation of why it is amazing and boosts your self-esteem. Before quarantine I was deadlifting over 200 pounds but I don’t think I can do that anymore. I have equipment at home but it’s not the same as the gym. Anyways, this is the best way to let out anger and rage while also appreciating what my body can do!

Yoga

I recently started practicing yoga again. I was 17 when I was introduced to it and I was taught by an amazing yoga and pilates instructor who became my friend. Yoga has been really helpful these days when I am feeling too sad and I need to connect with my body. I am those people who prefers intense workouts to feel good but when the body and mind is physically tired, yoga is a good choice.

Cooking & Baking

French Tartiflette

Preparing something you like to eat is the best self care because you are nourishing your body. I love cooking my favorite meals but I look forward to trying out new recipes and share with my family. If I had an intense morning I will probably bake chocolate chip cookies for dessert, I have a big sweet tooth!

Writing

Writing poetry, writing a list of my goals, and blogging has become ideal in my self-care routine. When I feel too overwhelmed, sad, angry or happy, I like to get creative and play with words and write a short poem (usually in Italian). And blogging is just a great way to express my opinions, my thoughts, my feelings, and knowledge.

We all have our own personal self care routine, which is what makes us so unique and special. I hope to add more to my routine and pick up a new activity like painting or play tennis!

Today I started my own body, mind and soul cleanse- recharge for the month. A girl I know recommended this and I honestly need it to prioritize myself and my mental health. I will post an update soon to talk about it more.

cheers,

K

Triste bellezza

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Bella, testarda,

ragazza complessa

sono io,

cerco la felicità

ma l’oscurità

mi abbraccia.                                                

                                                     

Sad beauty

beautiful, stubborn,

complex girl

I am,

I seek joy,

but darkness

embraces me.                                             

                                                     

                                                                 

                             

The wounded inner child

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It wasn’t a good week but it wasn’t bad either. I didn’t spend my time on job applications as usual instead I was researching european universities with an MA program in International Relations. It’s pretty stressful because I don’t have any guidance for this. It is scary and uncomfortable thinking about pursuing another M.A so far away, which is a good sign because I will only grow and evolve.

Moreover, I have been thinking a lot about my childhood and things I’ve had to unlearn over the years. I am an only child raised by my mother and grandmother, my parent’s divorced when I was 5. I never had a real relationship with my father and I tried but it wasn’t healthy. He was a trash human being (died a year ago). He’s the reason I struggled with eating disorders + body image and why I have abandonment issues. I took an entire decade to have a good relationship with food and accept my body image but I’m still working on it.

I think I was 2 or 3

I was very lonely and misunderstood as a child and I didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to because I didn’t know how to open up. My mother worked all day while my grandmother picked me up from school. Sometimes I was left with a babysitter and I had one friend as a little girl. Elementary school was the most loneliest and ugliest I have ever felt. I was overweight and very shy and no one wanted to be friends with me. My teachers thought I had a learning disability because I had a difficult time understanding the material they taught me. I felt like a stupid girl and that’s why I hold myself to such high standards. I get upset if I’m not good at something I should be good at. In graduate school, I called myself the “weakest” one because that’s how I felt in the classroom from K-12.

I dedicated my week to analyzing my wounded inner child because I want to know why I hold so much anger, engage in self-loathing, why sometimes I look in the mirror and still have to convince myself that I am beautiful. I feel an emptiness that I cannot describe because it has always been a part of me. I want to heal from it all and I don’t want to feel like I am not good enough no matter how much I accomplish. I don’t like the term “self love” because I find it egoistic and selfish so I will say that I want to admire who I am as a woman.

Although it was painful to examine the saddest parts of my childhood, I was able to understand why I struggle with my well being. I took it easy this week by doing more yoga, trying new dinner recipes, baking chocolate chip cookies for my mom and grandma and talking to best friends on the phone. This week I felt like I did my best to identify my traumas and take care of myself.

I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy.

cheers,

K

Ti ho scritto la canzone più bella del mondo

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Per l’uomo più avventuroso, mío nonno

Tu sei un musicista, la musica che suoni.

Il suono armonioso della chitarra, non c’erano testi,

la canzone era incompleta, ma ho ballato.

attraverso i vicoli in Francia,

I monumenti in Spagna,

le grida di gioia e tristezza in Italia,

di tutte queste avventure, ho scritto i testi,

la canzone più bella del mondo.

For the most adventurous man, my grandpa

I wrote you the most beautiful song in the world

You are a musician, the music you play

The harmonious sound of the guitar,

there were no lyrics,

The song was incomplete but I danced

through the alleys of France,

the monuments in Spain,

the cries of joy and sadness in Italy,

in all these adventures, I wrote the lyrics,

the most beautiful song in the world.

Florence, Italy 2017

I love adding a little note to my poems. My grandpa passed away almost 8 years ago. He was adventurous at heart and tried to go on solo trips very often. His wildest dream was to go to Europe, learn new languages and I did that for him. He loved music and taught himself how to play the guitar. I didn’t have the best relationship with him, he was very misogynistic and did not know how to connect with others. He grew up this way but I admired his artistic side.

A bit of tranquility

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The week is almost over and I am happy about that. I have been feeling ok, not too anxious or overwhelmed. Adding yoga throughout my day has helped me tremendously. I regret that I stopped practicing it years ago.

I reached out to my former professor of Italian 3 days ago to complain about my life during the pandemic and that I’m in my midlife crisis at 26. I mentioned to her that I have been thinking about pursuing another M.A degree too. She offered some comforting words and of course, she asked me about what masters degree I would pursue this time.

I have noticed that every job I have applied for and that interests me is in the field of Foreign Affairs or the UN Women. I am very determined to lead and tackle on the social issues that impact a community, destroy gender inequality, and empower women and girls of all backgrounds to meet their full potential. To get to the point, I would pursue a degree in International studies. I would love to have a better understanding of global issues and international interactions between governments, organizations, laws etc.

This is what I have in mind now but if I were to get a job in any women’s organization or the UN Women without an M.A in international relations that would be excellent. That way I wouldn’t have to take out another student loan for school. It’s an excellent option getting another M.A, I call it my plan C incase everything else fails me.

Tomorrow I am finally getting out of the house and I have a day planned with my mom of walking around the mall and eating at a restaurant with outdoors seating to avoid people. I have been doing my best to stay home and safe but I am also driving myself crazy being stuck inside.

I am in love with my front yard. I take way too many pictures here. The tree had many white flowers but they all died 😦

3 things I learn after every social media cleanse

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About 2 weeks ago I deactivated my Instagram account because I was getting a bit too overwhelmed by people’s posts and I didn’t want to connect with anyone. I usually deactivate my social media accounts like twitter or Instagram when I’m an emotional mess. However, every time I log off and disconnect from social media I am reminded again of a couple things.

Real friendships

I realize which friends think about me and check in often. I think I’ve only had 3 of my friends text or call me during my social media detox. Indeed, these are the friends I know genuinely care about me if they can put in the effort to connect outside of social media. My other “friends” can’t even send a “How are you” text message or give me a phone call but quick to like or comment on my pictures.

Lack of Transparency

If you notice, we post what is presentable and awesome to our followers on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. When have you seen someone be real about their life circumstances? struggles? depression? it’s not common because we don’t want to be seen as imperfect. I know I’m guilty of this on Instagram. I always like to be reminded that just because everyone is posting positive content and the best parts of their life doesn’t mean the bad and the ugly does not exist.

Mental Health

To repeat, I deactivated my Twitter and Instagram account because I desperately needed to take a mental break. My mood swings were are all over the place and in the last few weeks I found myself feeling envious of my friend’s posting about their success. I know how selfish and bad that sounds but I am only human. I’m envious because I am sad and still waiting for the next big thing in my life. I want to have that happiness and success my friends keep displaying on their social media. Aside from the positive content that made me envious, there was too much negativity online and I had no choice but to disconnect.

I have been in much better shape mentally this week than last. I am prioritizing my needs and clearing out my mind. I’m trying to focus more on my own journey to success and self love rather than envy or worry about what other people are doing.

I probably won’t reactivate my accounts until next week. For the moment, I am simply taking it easy and learning to heal my wounds.

Cheers,

K

Compulsory heterosexuality and Coming out

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I found an old photo album in my room the other day. I started looking through some of my baby pictures and pictures from middle school and high school. It is crazy how much we change and evolve over the years but the biggest plot twist for me was my sexuality.

Baby Kenya

It is pride month and I came out to my mother a year ago so here is my “coming out” story and compulsory heterosexuality. Growing up in a Mexican family, I internalized the traditional gender roles of my culture at a very young age. I knew that I was expected to marry, become a mother, attend to men and be a devout Christian. You know what I mean, the typical machismo misogynist culture.

I was 6 or 7 when I tried to kiss my best friend but she pushed me away and told me that I can only kiss boys. In junior high, I had to pick a boy to have a crush on so I can have something to talk about with the girls. In high school, I was angry and mean to the boys in school for no reason. I remember yelling that I would rather join the convent than marry a man. I was raised in a hispanic community and there was no space to explore your sexuality because it was unacceptable.

In my late teens I had a huge crush on a woman, we were really good friends but I didn’t want to admit that I had romantic feelings for her. I suppressed everything I felt by going out with men I didn’t even like. By the time I was 21, I encountered a crisis with my sexuality again. I started googling articles like, “Signs that you’re a lesbian” or “How to know you’re gay,” I was in denial. I went to study abroad and I still found myself trying to avoid my attraction towards women. I mean I was in college and I lived an hour away from my family. I would tell myself I couldn’t be gay because it’s not supposed to be this way. I kept romanticizing life with any guy I would date but I couldn’t commit to an actual relationship.

At 24 years old I was living out of state and going to graduate school. I had the space to explore my sexuality and started dating women. I found a deep and comforting connection that I craved all this time. I felt free because everything just felt right. I fell in love, I got heartbroken and fell in love again.

After accepting my sexuality, I had to face my biggest issue…coming out to my mom. I hated lying to my mom but I was scared because my entire family is very homophobic. The conversations they’ve had about the LGBTQ community is disturbing. I came out to my mom the day before my graduation ceremony.

Picture this: I went to pick her up at the airport. I was driving and I said, “I have something to tell you,” and I immediately started crying, “mom I like girls, I’m so sorry,” and I couldn’t stop crying. She said “it’s ok, I don’t like this but it’s your life,” and my mom asked me if I have been with men before and then told me that I haven’t met the right one and I’m probably confused. It could have been worse. My mom didn’t tell any of my family and I appreciate that very much because that would be too stressful on me. She’s still in denial but I’m hopeful that she will accept it someday.

Overall, I am grateful that my friends support and love me. I am a proud Latina Lesbian determined to smash the patriarchy and you can expect more feminist – lgbtq+ blog posts in the future.

much love,

K

June 2019

Drugged with sadness

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I didn’t plan on writing a post today but everything in my mind is too loud at the moment.

I felt extremely overwhelmed and sad all morning and it took me a few hours to feel neutral. I’ve had about 4 yoga sessions all week because power walks, running, and weight lifting hasn’t been enough for me to let out the anxiety that lives inside of me.

First of all, it has been years that I stopped practicing yoga. To be honest, the only reason I used to do yoga was for weight loss and to get my binge eating under control. However, it didn’t work out for me and I stopped attending yoga classes. Now, my body needs this movement to feel at ease because I am very exhausted of holding on to the pain, the disappointment, and anger that takes over me lately. I would say that my body is screaming and crying when I do yoga so that I do not have to cry. I am not completely sure if that made sense but it does make sense to me.

I am still waiting for something good to finally happen in my life. I am waiting to get a good well paid job instead of application rejection emails every single week. I am sick of unemployment and feeling like a failure. I am losing my patience and this waiting game is beyond stressful and I’m running out of strength. I want my success now because I am physically and mentally exhausted of waiting for what I deserve.

You know what I have to do tomorrow? Go for a run or walk, check emails to see if I got another job rejection, apply for another job, start researching universities abroad (maybe get another masters degree) because I don’t think I will get hired anytime soon.

Ugh, 2020 has been the worst year by far. Not only this pandemic but it has revealed to me that I do not have many talents, I lack major self love, and I am a very lonely person. I have always filled my emptiness with academic success or a job and I do not have any of those two right now.

Send me some good and healing vibes because I am going crazy. I hope next month is better but I keep saying this every single month.

cheers,

K

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Le due facce del cioccolato

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Il sapore del cioccolato,

così dolce,

così ricco,

così perfetto,

assolutamente

soddisfacente.

Ma c’è cioccolato fondente,

così insapore,

così crudo,

così forte,

completamente

amaro.

Quello è amore,

soddisfacente,

ma anche amaro

quando ti svuota

The two faces of chocolate

The taste of chocolate,

so sweet,

so rich,

so perfect,

absolutely

satisfying.

But there’s dark chocolate,

so tasteless,

so raw,

so strong,

completely

bitter.

That is love,

satisfying,

but bitter

when it empties you.

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

take it easy and eat pizza

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Hello hello!

I was able to get out of the house today even if it was only to go shopping for the essentials at Costco and to have lunch while following CDC guidelines. I cannot wait till the day we don’t have to take these many safety precautions.

On a scale from 1-10 this day deserves a 7. Before heading out to town this morning I had planned to wear this cute beige skirt I bought 2 months ago and it was too tight and didn’t fit. I really triggered my body dysmorphia. I was looking in the mirror, staring at the width of my waist and wondering how much weight I could have gained. Then I asked myself “Am I healthy?” Yes. “Do I look nice and attractive despite possible weight gain just because a skirt is too tight? Yes. I decided that I was not about to let body image become a problem, I don’t need more problems.

My way of saying “Fuck you,” to my past struggles with eating disorders and body dysmorphia was by enjoying my favorite and simple meal: Margherita pizza & wine. Taking a break from exercising all week and eating my favorite meal was very necessary. I win!

In Tucson, AZ , I go to three places for my pizza. Fiamme, North Italia, and Reillys Craft & Pizza. I wanted to sit outside and enjoy the view at La Encantada so North Italia was the choice. Margherita pizza will always be the top pick!
CHIANTI CLASSICO, CECCHI “STORIA DI FAMIGLIA”, TUSCANY

You know what really did hit the spot after this meal? A chocolate ice cream cone for dessert. Although I was feeling stressed about my figure this morning, I realized I spent years scared of food and hating my body when I had no reason to do that. I’m proud of myself for not letting those thoughts take over me by reminding myself that I already won my battle with eating disorders.

Furthermore, I updated the wine list I posted weeks ago. I’ll post the link here if you’re curious or want to pick out a new bottle of wine!

https://kaydiary.home.blog/2020/04/08/wine-time-a-list-of-my-favorite-wines-that-you-should-try/

sweet natural body movements for my soul

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I woke up emotionally detached and I have been avoiding messages and phone calls from friends. You know that feeling when you’re trapped inside your own thoughts and this desperation takes over you and you decide to isolate yourself from others? Well that has been me in the last couple of days.

I deactivated my Instagram account 2 days ago just to clear out the noise and focus more on myself instead of seeing posts of people thriving in life while I’m feeling stuck. I don’t need that constant reminder. But ok, I have been texting 3 of my closest friends because they know every little thing about me and love me unconditionally.

Today, I’m not only emotionally exhausted but physically too. Rather than staying in bed all day, I have been moving my body in different ways. In the morning I went for a 4 mile power walk (running is off limits right now) and it felt so good. I was listening to music in my patio and my body wanted to move with the sound and rhythm so I spent a few minutes dancing slowly to songs in my “just chill” playlist.

Real talk: I know I have shared posts detailing my improvement with body image and food relationship over the years but I’ve been having my ups and downs with food this week. Since I am not running as much and just weight lifting more, I slowly decreased my food intake in this past week.

An hour before writing this post I was in my living room doing yoga poses for 25 minutes for the reason that I have already mentioned: my body craved this movement and I haven’t practiced yoga in years. Everything physically and emotionally has been completely out of the ordinary. Am I trying to cope with loneliness? anger? frustration? emptiness? YES. It seems as if I am not crying and letting out my emotions then I will feel my body wanting natural movement whether that’s running, walking, dancing, and I guess yoga poses too.

We are living in strange and uncomfortable times, I’m tired of feeling rejection and figuring out my next move in life. I think days of emotional detachment or exhaustion is pretty normal right now. After I finish writing this post, I’m going to make some hot tea and watch tv in the living room with my dogs. I want to end this day feeling somewhat at ease.

If you can relate to this post, comment below if you want or like this!

cheers,
K

This is my front yard. Always feel more at peace here.
McKenzie Bridge in Oregon.

Healing wounds – mental health

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I know it is mental health awareness month but it can be extremely uncomfortable to get into the details of my own mental health. I have constantly mentioned that my mood swings tend to be all over the place. I first identified my wounds when I struggled with multiple eating disorders. There has always been an emptiness, a feeling of dissatisfaction that has been present inside for as long as I can remember.

I used to fill my void by binge eating/starvation and out of sudden I started experiencing panic attacks in my early 20s that stopped when I went to therapy for a few months. Over the years, I have engaged in toxic behaviors to avoid my own emotions, which explains why I cry so often now instead of suppressing those strong feelings of anger, rage and sadness. Now that I know it is ok to express and feel your emotions, I am on the long process of healing and I’m grateful for the tiny circle of people who support me.

I wanted to pick on narcissism for a bit because this topic stood out to me last night while I was thinking of specific people I dated in the past. I didn’t know what narcissism behavior even looked like until I was head over heals over someone who displayed it. This narcissist would “love bomb” me with compliments and tell me the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard to feel good and then suddenly neglect me. They reached out when they needed something from me and I felt like I had no control over this fling, I felt vulnerable. Once I brought up how wrong and toxic their behavior was I got called “crazy” and that I was the problem and to stop “overreacting”.

When I left this toxic person, they reached a few times to try to win my heart back. Blocking and deleting was the only option. This situation impacted my well being a lot because I will still catch myself saying that I’m the problem in every relationship and that something is deeply wrong with me. I’m trying to get rid of the idea that my mental health is the reason I can’t be in a committed relationship and that I’m not dysfunctional.

Years later, I dated someone else who I thought was too good to be true. She wasn’t cruel to me but she was never transparent and I didn’t understand her real intentions. I was heartbroken at the end, I really wanted everything to work out but she made it impossible. Aside from a few bad dating experiences, I’ve been hurt by certain friendships and one of them leaving me traumatized and disgusted.

No matter what goes on around me, I’m still the one in control and I get to decide how to overcome each heartbreak. I have changed my circle of friends a couple of times and I have slowly been able to have make good boundaries. Making changes in my physical environment has been easy but not what goes on inside my heart and soul.

In fact, accepting my sexuality as a lesbian was one of the first steps I took in my healing process, and I will talk about that more during pride month. It’s a constant struggle to learn how to grow and heal inner wounds. I am determined to go through the healing process that I know will take months or years.

I will end with this: Having best friends that are willing to listen to me vent and show me support and love has helped tremendously. Know that you matter and that you may surround yourself with an amazing support system.

past research + opinions on a cool book about misogyny

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Today my mood has been on the neutral side and my mind full of questions about what the future holds. I was updating my CV and changing a few words on my cover letter this morning and I started asking myself, “Do I just keep applying/waiting for the perfect job? Do I pursue another Master’s degree? Should I apply for a PhD in Italy? Teach English in Italy? The only thing that seemed pretty clear about these questions is that I do not have the answers, I’m a little clueless but I’m glad that I have a list of possibilities.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of posts concerning misogynistic and patriarchal culture, which reminded me of my grad school work. What most of you know is that my M.A is in Italian Literature but what you don’t know is that my entire research was on medieval misogyny and gender epistemologies. For my M.A research project, I analyzed two female protagonists (Boccaccio’s Decameron & Ovid’s Metamorphoses) who cross-dress and occupy transgendered spaces for survival and to gain power in a male-dominated society. I argued that gender performance and cross-dressing challenges the masculine/feminine gender binary while discussing the representation of female same-sex desire and lesbian invisibility in the classical antiquity.

However, I’m not really diving into the details of my research project even though it was interesting examining medieval literature using feminist philosophy and gender theory. Since we are in 2020, I’m going to talk about a book that really influenced me and gave a better perspective on misogyny in our western culture.

Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny by Kate Manne was an assigned text for a seminar course literally titled “Misogyny” and I swear that class brought up intense topics that led to a few ugly arguments. However, this book really made me analyze who are the misogynists, how do we identify misogyny in politics, culture etc. Most importantly, it addresses how patriarchy stands front and center between sexism and misogyny. Here is one of my favorite quotes from her chapter “Discriminating Sexism”.

 “Overall, sexism and misogyny share a common purpose- to maintain or restore a patriarchal order. But sexism purports to merely be being reasonable, misogyny gets nasty and tries to force the issue. Sexism is hence to bad science as misogyny. Sexism wears a lab coat; misogyny goes on witch hunts ”(Manne, 80)

I was extremely confused reading this chapter because how do you even explain this to someone? For me, it came down to the fact that the patriarchal order that misogyny enforces imposes not only obligatory gender roles, but also severe consequences for not abiding by them. I can go on and on about several ways to interpret Manne’s philosophy but that would take several blog posts. I really think it is a challenging but interesting book that I HIGHLY recommend because each chapter covers a different topic concerning well…misogyny.

I have not read any feminist philosophy, gender theory, medieval literature, modern literature or postcolonial literature since I graduated almost a year ago.I really just wrote this out because I knew I would be a little rusty on all the grad school research I compiled in two years and I want to be able to still articulate everything I learned and will continue to learn in the future.

I’m considering to write about my favorite italian renaissance women writers in my next post because I think some of them were very empowering and I need you to know who they are.

Ciao!

Post quarantine- the vineyard

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I was thrilled to finally wear my new clothes and do my eyeshadow to visit a vineyard and be in a different setting. In Arizona there are two vineyards I love visiting every now and then, especially during the summer. Charron Vineyards in Vail has a beautiful patio and a great selection of red, rosé and white wine. You can spend hours in the patio wine tasting, socializing, and relaxing. 10/10 recommend a trip over there if you live in Arizona.

red blend

Yesterday I went to AZ Hops and Vines in Sonoita. I haven’t been to this place in months and I learned that they changed the wine selection, which is really great. I tried a glass of red blend called “The Peacemaker” and I decided to buy a bottle of it before I left, I loved it! After my glass of red blend, I thought since the weather was nice and warm to have some rosé (The Wildflower). I didn’t drink any alcohol during quarantine so I was pretty tipsy with 2 glasses of wine. I took way too many pictures because for the past 2 months my patio/front yard has been my only setting. I was enjoying the moment.

The cherry on top of my day was the Margherita pizza I ate when I got home. Nothing makes me happier than wine and pizza, I know how basic that sounds but it is what it is y’all. I really hope I get to do this again soon. I feel like my summer is going to consist of visiting new vineyards, blogging like crazy, and patiently waiting for a job offer! I guess it’s not too bad.

Rosé – The WildFlower
My mother took this of me without knowing. Rosé and my purchase of red wine.

I like to run and overthink

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I had an awesome long 8 mile run yesterday and I was so impressed with my pace. Last time I ran 8 miles my pace was 10:06 so this is pretty awesome, which also means that I will be able to do better for my next half marathon!

This morning I went for an easy 4 mile run just for my body to get some movement and recover. Physically I’m feeling good but mentally I’m trying to keep myself together because my mood swings are all over the place. I think that’s why I love running so much because once I reach runner’s high all of my worries vanish for that time frame.

I’m honestly surprised I haven’t been like fuck getting a job in the government or higher education and just become a certified running coach and coach runners in Italy. I don’t know these are random thoughts that pop into my mind when I’m sitting in my patio overthinking. Even studying viticulture to learn how to make my own wine has crossed my mind. I’m in the most uncomfortable time in my life so absolutely nothing makes sense to me.

The way I celebrated my long run yesterday was baking chocolate chip cookies. They were sooooo yummy!

I’ve been dealing with a lot emotionally and I’m trying to get rid of rage and disappointment so I’m taking it easy on certain things for a couple of days until I feel ok. Right now I’m just grateful for my health and a strong body that can run for miles.

Happy Friday!

Taking control: Body Image + food obsession

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I am feeling very emotional today but I am fine, I am okay. I had a weight training session followed by a 3 mile run. I have a long run planned for tomorrow so I am excited about that.

My morning routine is always my usual workout, breakfast with coffee, and sitting in my patio while looking for jobs in Higher Education or Government positions (still no luck). Anyways, this morning I listened to a podcast that featured one of my favorite fitness and health influencers I follow on Instagram (@thesamplan) talking about food obsession + body image. I find it so important to open up about these body image and eating disorder issues to an audience that has overcome those toxic behaviors or struggling to do so.

I started obsessing with food when I was a little girl. There were big things going on in my life at the time and I didn’t know how to express my feelings and food was my only coping mechanism. I was put on a diet a lot as a kid to lose weight and but then gained it back. It was an endless cycle of weight loss and weight gain for me. The adults in my life spoke more about my weight instead asking me about my friends or hobbies I did. I learned to cope with my sadness with food but I also learned that I can only attain beauty if I have a thin body. As a teenager, my body image obsession got worse because I was already thin but I wanted to maintain my figure. I began my cycle of binging, purging, over exercising, starvation, and under eating. I did everything I could to have the body of my dreams but my self destructive ways never got me there.

My eating disorder played the biggest role in my mental health. I kept saying that the only way I will be beautiful and happy is if I were super slim. Even when I lost a lot of weight, I was still unhappy with myself and I still am unhappy (with other things) but I’m trying to work on that. What has helped me the most is not following diets like keto/vegetarian/vegan. The only thing diets ever taught me is to be scared of food because diets tell you what NOT to eat.

Now in the present moment while my eating disorder no longer controls me it does not mean it is still not there. This morning when I was listening to this podcast I was reminded again that even though ED and body dysmorphia does not completely vanish, it is the way we overcome the urge to binge or starve that matters. I have my days when the urge to skip meals or obsess over my image becomes present. The difference now is that I am choosing to be stronger and be the one to have control over those toxic behaviors.

Getting rid of my scale is when I knew I already had more power over my body image and food obsession. I used to need a number to validate who I am as a person and it is so liberating now that I no longer depend on it. What matters is that I am healthy, I exercise and I feel good and that is all the validation I need.

I know that as women we have all been in some complicated relationship with our body and with food. I get it, western culture‘s beauty standards are a bitch. But listen, if we nurture and listen to our bodies then we no longer focus on what is the problem.

Xoxo,

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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If I have learned anything during this damn pandemic is that there are only about 3 good things in my life that are keeping me sane. 1) Long distance running: I will have complex conversations with myself when I am running to figure stuff out but I also enjoy my workout regime, especially weight lifting cause I can let out all of my rage. 2) Cooking: The two meals I look forward to in the day is my morning breakfast with coffee and my dinner recipe that I learned from my mom or Pinterest. 3) NETFLIX NETFLIX NETFLIX (the obvious) : I have not been watching anything new, but I love rewatching shows I already like as a form of comfort such as Lucifer or Gossip Girl for the 20th time.

If I’m not doing any of the above 3 I’m looking for jobs to apply for and reading emails about the jobs I got rejected from immediately. When I’m not in the mood to search for big girl jobs I’ll sit in my patio for 2 hours listening to music to distract my mind….

I love my friends but they are not the most helpful or interesting human beings to talk to when I’m here dealing with my own midlife crisis at 26 years old!! Here comes the BAD AND THE UGLY. Well 3 years ago I was super thrilled to be going to graduate school thinking I was in the right path to success after getting a Masters degree. The day after graduating with that pointless M.A I went into some post graduation depression because I love LOVE comparing myself to other’s success. I applied for at least 20-30 jobs and I wasn’t lucky at all. You would think being really educated that employers would want you but nope, that’s not the case for people like me, the unlucky one. I started doing volunteer work to distract myself from my disappointment.

I ended up getting a very underpaid job that I needed no education for so that definitely made me sad but I needed to work, right? Applying for PhD programs made it better for me cause at least I had something going for me, RIGHT? No, they all said no. The point is that it is hilarious that I graduated almost a year ago struggling to find a job but I am in the same position again during a Pandemic but this time looking for a new career and not just a temporary job. I had an entire idea of what I thought I would do but life will always have a plan completely opposite from yours. I just hope it is 50 times better than all of this.

The Ugly part is the anger, the sadness, the rage, and the bittersweet emotions that I am feeling constantly in my heart and soul. If you have or have not read my last post, you know or don’t know that I was dating someone who disappointed me more than anyone I ever dated before. As you can see I am not the most happiest woman and I have a major lack of self love and my mood swings are ALL over the place. No matter how upset I am or whatever you wanna call it I am there for someone I love or really really like and I show up for them, always. My struggles have never ever stopped me from showing passion and love towards someone I date but for some reason each person I have dated does find my “well being” troubling because they think they are “perfect”. Anyways, what made this girl the worst of the worst is she pretended to accept my flaws and be honest, and show me kindness but it was all a lie. In fact, she told me I cannot be with anyone cause of my mental health when I personally think you need love in order to start loving yourself each day. That’s just me though.

I didn’t mean to take up so much space talking about my dating life but I think it really summarizes how I have to navigate through so many emotions daily and I do the best I can to show up for people 100% yet someone thought that was not good enough. The pattern I am seeing when I talk about the bad and the ugly in this post is that certain aspects in my life like job rejections, school rejections and someone I’m dating rejecting me has made it very difficult to really love myself, especially now when nothing is going the way I want, which is ironic to say cause I don’t even know what I want. If you are in a similar position as me I really do send all my good energy and love to you and that the universe starts giving you good shit cause this is really a joke right now.

Anyways, I’ll end on this note hoping the universe surprises me with something amazing. My training is going extremely well and my running pace has improved by 30 seconds, I applied for least 12 job positions during the pandemic that I am excited about and it would be amazing if offered one. While rejection keeps happening I still keep trying, and I am just waiting for the day this feeling of rejection & anger fades and I get what I deserve for once.

Cheers,

quarantine times-healing

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Each of us are dealing with the pandemic so uniquely and I wanted to talk about how I’m dealing with quarantine times. Feel free to share what you have been up to. The start of 2020 was already pretty rough for me. I mean…I guess in the beginning it was kinda nice cause I was dating this girl I really really liked but that whole thing went to shit quickly, I got heartbroken, I was rejected by each PhD program I applied for, I fell into depression and hit this crisis of “where do I go from here?” and then this PANDEMIC hits and changes everything!

Before the lockdown, I was working as a high school tutor helping students prepare for college and chaperoning field trips, I was attending social gatherings for French and Italian conversation, training for a half marathon (which got cancelled) and talking to a professor to help me plan a way to work abroad in Italy since my plans for the PhD didn’t happen. Due to the pandemic, I had to move back home with my mom cause I lost my job and I could no longer think about doing anything abroad for the year, and I can’t even volunteer right now, which is what I was doing before my job. I feel like the universe fell apart for me but the reality is that everything stopped so that I can reflect and think about what I really want out of life.

What I’m doing now doesn’t feel like much but it is if you consider the fact that we all are facing a crisis and trying to stay safe and healthy. During this time, I have applied for jobs that actually interest me and pay well rather than something I would never like to do. The jobs that I do DESERVE. When I graduated with my M.A I thought the only thing I had going for me was a PhD but now I know there is so much better out there. I’m still training for half marathons and I workout 5/6 times a week (run or strength training). Exercise has always kept me sane and helps even more now. I have plenty of time to reflect and heal my broken heart instead of avoiding that pain. I spend so much time outside in my patio taking pictures of flowers, trees, soaking up the sun and listening to the birds. I bake sweet treats once a week and blog often. My mood swings are all over the place and I cry often but I’m going through the motions and that’s ok.

I miss my friends, I miss going to coffee shops, the wine tastings at vineyards, I miss going out to dance but this quarantine has made me ponder and given me the time to discover my wants, desires, and passions. Feel free to reach out to me if you want to talk and share.