How I Decided I Will Not Let Them Define The Way I Feel About Myself

How I Decided I Will Not Let Them Define The Way I Feel About Myself
How I Decided That I Will Not Let Them Define The Way I Feel About Myself

Okay, I am about to get real here. I am not as confident as I should be. Looking back at this past year, a lot of BS went down and as a result, my self-confidence kind of went away. I used to not care what people would think about me, the only opinion that matter was my own. I had short hair, love handles and I was as pale as Snow White. And guess what? I was extremely happy!

Then, some boy drama went down and I felt horrible after that. It was the typical “I like you but you don’t like me back” kind of thing, but that left me with self-esteem issues. I went from being the confident girl that loved everything about her, to start hating the way I looked, talked or felt. Part of me felt hopeless, and part of me felt that I needed to change in order to be accepted.

I started to think on what I could do to lose some weight. Would people like me better if my love handles are gone? Would boys like me better? If boys and people liked me better I would be happier. My mind was rushing with thoughts about it, and nothing would shut it down. I started to run and lift weights every single day, and watch what I was ingesting so I wouldn’t overeat. I had that covered, but then I went to the pool and saw these girls with beautiful tans being happy and joking around. I thought that if I were tanner, people would like me better, and that would make me happier. I started to spend time outside and get tanner. And a tan, skinny girl has to have long hair, so I started watching the weirdest YouTube videos to find the best ways to grow my hair.

And then one day I saw myself in the mirror and I hated what I saw. I had tan lines, and my skin was radiant and smooth. My stomach was flatter and my legs were leaner. My hair was finally longer, it grew a lot since the last time I cut it, and the color was beautiful. Dominique did a great job doing a natural yet noticeable balayage a couple of months ago!

But I was not happy. I let the opinion of people, especially boys, decide how I felt about myself.  I felt that I needed to look a certain way  to be accepted. I let the opinion of one boy to make me feel so small and worthless, that I needed to change who I was. I felt I had to look a certain way for this kid to even consider looking my way. I felt I had to look a certain way for a boy to approach me at a party. I felt that, if I looked beautiful people would like me more, and that would bring me happiness.

I am not happy with who I became after one boy rejected me, and I am especially not happy that even if I tried, I let people defined the way I looked or felt. I achieved my goal of losing weight and being tanner and having long hair, but I didn’t achieve happiness.

A few months went by and I kept my running and weight lifting routine. I kept spending time outside in the sun, and my hair is growing enormously lately.  But I decided that I will not let anyone affect the way I feel about myself, no matter what I look like. I decided to be the person that used to care more about her own opinion than what others believed.  And most importantly, I decided I will not let a boy define my self-worth. I am beautiful, I am smart, and I am worth it. No boy is be “too attractive” , “too cute” or “too smart” for me. I am to be too good for them.

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6 Things You Should Never Change To Please People

6 Things You Should Not Change To Please People

Every single magazine I read has articles that will teach you how to change the way you are, in order to achieve what society defines as “beauty”. I have read articles that told me how to get leaner legs, how to dress myself for a guy to like me, and how to get shinier, longer hair. After reading and reading these magazines, I realized that most of them were damaging my self-esteem. I was more into the articles on how to change my appearance than the ones that were more real and genuine. I start feeling that no matter what, these magazines were going to tell me what was wrong with me, and that they will give me a solution to fix these “problems”. And after a while, I realized that I do not have to change who I am or how I look like at all.

I realized that, reading these articles were damaging the way I felt about myself, and I didn’t want that to happen. Why do I need to change my hair, my body, or my clothes in order to fit into society’s definition of beauty.

My hair is mine. My crazy, messy wavy hair is mine. My dark, dull brown hair is mine, and my short, even hair is mine. Why do I need to read articles on how massaging my hair with castor oil will help my hair grow faster? The answer  is that I don’t need to. I do not need to change my hair’s color, texture or length in order to please people.

My body is also mine, and I do not owe anyone any type of explanations on why I decided to eat an entire pizza by myself or why I spent three hours in the gym. People’s opinion on my body is none of my business, same as how what I do with my body is none of theirs. What I do with my body is my decision, and I will not change it in order to please people.

This has to do with what I eat and what I don’t. I always read about how certain guys do not like a girl that can eat more than them, or how guys don’t like a girl that can’t eat a hamburger with fries.  What I eat is no one’s business, unless you want a bite of my pizza. Then maybe it is your business.

Same goes with the clothes you wear. Crop tops, over-sized sweaters, stilletos or big booties, whatever you wear is the way you express yourself, and no matter what, you should not change your style.  goes with the clothes you wear. Crop tops, over-sized sweaters, stilletos or big booties, whatever you wear is the way you express yourself, and no matter what, you should not change your style. If you, like many others, express yourself through makeup, then enjoy it. How you wear your makeup, or lack of it, is part of who you are, and you should not change the way you paint your face to please people.

And lastly, I believe you do not need to change your hobbies to please people. If reading a book, hiking mountains, or Netflix and Chill makes you happy, go for it. As long as you do not harm anyone, do what you please.

Whatever you do with your body and mind, do it for yourself.  Remember that at the end of the day you have yourself, so be happy with what you have, and change it only if YOU want to.

 

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8 Ways to Have Better Self Confidence

 

8 Ways To Have Better Self ConfidenceI remember crying every single night. I would look at myself and hate what I was seeing.  I was not happy with who I was because I kept hearing what people thought of me, and I cared about it. After a while, I decided that I didn’t want to cry myself to sleep anymore and that the opinion of others was not going to define me. I knew deep down I was pretty and that I had so much to offer,  so why was I letting the people tell me otherwise? My self-confidence depends on me, not on them, right?

I started doing certain things to make myself feel better and more confident, and after a few months I was a person who was in love with herself.  If you are feeling like I did, follow these small tips on how to increase your self-esteem, and I promise you, you will love that beautiful face of yours.

  1. Exercise: and not to lose weight, but to be healthier. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind. If you feed your body with the right food and exercise regularly, you will feel much better and more self-confident. Plus, you will sleep better at night and there is nothing better than a good night sleep to make you feel better.
  2. Mirror: every time you see yourself in the mirror say one thing that you love about yourself. Try to point  a different thing every time and say why you like/love that  body part. I used to hate my thighs, so instead of pointing out the size of those, I focused on my eyes or smile.
  3. Compliment people, as well as yourself: this will help you keep a positive mind.
  4. Smile: even if you are faking it, try smiling. Smile in the mirror, smile while you are walking around. or while you watch some TV. Just smile. When you smile you free endorphins , and that will make you feel happier. Also, you will look much prettier!
  5. Never compare yourself to anyone: I once heard that comparison kills joy, and I completely agree. Your beginning cannot be compared to someone’s middle or final, so focus on yourself and your progress as opposed to focusing on what the people around you
  6. Write down positive things of your life. Write about the extra chicken wing the cute waiter put on your plate or the job opportunity you just got. Write the top three good things of your day and you’ll see how happy you’ll be!
  7. Always held your head high: and have a good posture. It will not only make you feel better, but look proud of yourself as well.
  8. Surround yourself with positiveness: post its with cute quotes, a painting that you did, pictures of your friends. Anything that will make you smile when you see it.

And know that no matter what, you are truly beautiful and loved by the people that surround you.


 

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I’m Not A Damsel In Distress

I'm Not A Damsel In DistressRapunzel needed the help of prince charming to be freed from the tower and from her mom. Even if a couple of centuries had pass,  girls nowadays believe that we need a prince to save us,  but instead of a tower we are trapped in our bodies and instead of an evil witch, we want to be freed from our emotions

When I was younger, I believed that society was really screwed. I always hated how society defined beauty. I hated  how having the latest phone defines your status. I hated it when a girl wanted a boy to feel completed, to feel stronger.   I’ve always believed in girl power, in feminism (even if I didn’t know that word yet).

I’ve watched so many romantic movies, and I’ve read so many YA books that I wanted romance in my life. I liked a boy, and I fantasized about him; how we are going to live in a beautiful house and he will come back from work with his suit on, and I will be an amazing well-known writer.  In my fantasies, I was a writer, a hard-worker, and not just someone’s perfect wife.I wanted to find someone who will support me no matter what, but that will see me succeed.

There was a moment in my life that I went through some bad experiences. Really bad ones. I had support of friends and family, but I found out that being my own support is the key to happiness. I was trying to be strong.

.And then, I was strong for so long that I gave up. I stopped thinking  about what can I do to feel better, and instead I seek the help of a boy. I became what I feared the most: a damsel in distress.

If I had a bad day, and instead of eating some chocolate and watching FRIENDS, I would call my boyfriend and cry on the phone about whatever had happened that day. I stopped taking care of myself, and I let someone else do that for me. There was a moment that he was not longer a support system, but he was the only person that would save me.

I got used to that, to always need a prince charming to rescue my sorrows. When we ended things, I realized that being in distress was not going to do anything to my situation, and it was time for me to become my own prince charming.

I tried to get up from my bed and take a shower. I tried to eat healthier and go to the gym. I went to parties and to my friends’ apartments. I tried to move on from the bad moments I was going through.  I realized that I wanted someone to make me stronger, not to make me someone strong.  I was the only one who was capable of making myself smile again, and the only one who could control my emotions.

Having someone supporting me was great, but I never thought of all the people who were there for me, and that’s what made me stronger. Knowing that I can and pushing myself was made me a stronger person.

I realized that I am not a damsel in distress, but my own prince charming.

 

 

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On Confidence

On ConfidenceThere are so many articles about confidence. Everywhere I go to I see an opinion about how great certain campaigns (like h&m’s) are great for girls self esteem, and how amazing it is that society is finally accepting every body type.

Every time I read something like this I get extremely happy.  As many other people, I struggled with self esteem issues, and often found myself comparing my looks to the ones of girls in the magazines. It was awful feeling not worthless, but that there was always someone prettier out there. And even if i knew there is people that are better at certain things and people that were blesses with better genes,  it made me feel awful that someone looked that good in a magazine.

Not only the looks of the models, but the articles that insisted that we have to lose weight, the ones that would tell you how to do your makeup to land the cutie in your chem class. I hated all of that.

I will look at myself in the mirror and see big thighs and extremely messy hair. I will see my big nose and even bigger eyebrows and feel like i needed to change. Magazines  and society were telling me that anyways, so why not?

Then, one day I realized I didn’t want to change, just accept who I was. I start looking at the mirror and instead of picking on my insecurities, I will see the good things on my body, and write down the good things in my life.

Soon, I started exercising because that gave me energy and made me feel good. I start loving myself, and people will notice it. They will tell me how happy i looked, and how, for some reason, i got prettier.

I realized that confidence was the difference between me and that girl in the magazine (and well, a few hours of Photoshop work). Accepting who we are, and loving every part of it is one of the best things we can do for ourselves.

The best thing you can wear is your confidence!

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20 Things By 20

20 Things By 20My birthday was May 2nd and I wanted to share with you things I’ve learned by then. Yes, my birthday was two months ago (happy belated birthday to me!) but it is still accurate. I’ve learned many things throughout my life, and sharing them with people is important to me. These are lessons that are the results of breakups, long nights and moving to a new country, but all of them learned the hard way.  20 things I’ve learned by 20.

  1. People will come and go: and it has nothing to do with you.
  2. Love your body and your hair: nobody is perfect, and most of the people you look up to in a magazine are photoshoped.
  3. Saying no wont make you a b**ch: say no as much as you want.
  4. But saying yes will bring you new opportunities.
  5. It’s okay if you havent been kissed yet: that doesnt define anything
  6. There are good people out there: like the angel of Victoria Secret who gave me a huge discount on underwear.
  7. But really bad people too: like the douche who cut me on the Starbucks line and got the last cake pop.
  8. Read a lot: like a lot! books, magazines, blogs (wink wink). Just read as much as you can.
  9. Be a good friend, always support the ones you love.
  10. People will talk, and judge: so do it anyway. Don’t let people’s opinion define who you are or what you are doing.
  11. Forgive, don’t forget. always remember who hurt you, but don’t hold a grudge. Learn from those experiences.
  12. Your body is yours, your mind is yours, you are yours, so don’t compare yourself to anyone.
  13. Be nice to people: you never know their story.
  14. Go through phases in life, change your routine, and do crazy stuff. unless it is something dangerous or that will hurt you at the end, then just stick to eating pop corn in bed with a huge blanket.
  15. Wear whatever you want: crop tops, short shorts, super long skirts and baggy t-shirts. Express yourself.
  16. If you dress to impress, do it to impress yourself.
  17. Don’t rush into anything: que sera, sera.
  18. Never be someone’s second choice.
  19. A bad day doesn’t mean a bad life. You will have Lindsey Lohan/ Amanda Bynes moments and you will have Taylor Swifts moments too.
  20. Always smile, no matter what.

And know that life is a long-a** learning experience. Don’t ever stop trying new things and learning from your past.

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A Love Letter To My Body

Dear Body:

You have been through so much change. You used to be so thin, that when puberty hit I got scared. You started changing so much. Bigger hips and thighs, bigger boobs. Everything felt different. I wanted to go back and be thin, but no matter what you kept being the same bigger body.

Then, somehow, you got thinner. Amazing, I know. But I still complained about it. I complained about the size of my thighs and the curliness of my hair. I kept complaining about how big my nose was.

I started exercising, and eating healthier, and you started toning up. I could see the results and it was great. Still, I complained.I have complained a lot. I have called you ugly, fat, not slim enough. I have compared you to other bodies. I have treated you the way you don’t deserve. I fed you bad food, I let you down, and I wanted to change you no matter what.

Body, I am sorry for not loving you when you are truly beautiful. I am sorry for always wanting to change you, and never accepting who you are. I am sorry for not feeding you with good food, and not giving you the care you truly need. For not listening to you when I exercised enough or when you needed to sleep. Sorry for putting a lot of makeup and tanning lotion to cover yourself up,

Body, you are beautiful, not matter the size, color or shape.  I love you body, no matter what.

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Haiti

That Time I Went To HaitiI am a person who is obsessed with planning. I need to know things ahead of time, and plan accordingly around them. I am a person who doesn’t enjoy spontaneous moments that much, but rather have the knowledge of what it is going on.

I had been like that for a long time, but one day I found myself getting out of my comfort zone and doing something I never imagined I would do: I applied for a study abroad program in HAITI.

Let me break it for you so you can have a better understanding on how this worked out.

  • My English professor thought I had a great writing style and that I should apply for a writing certificate.
  • I emailed the director of the certificate and schedule and appointment to know how it works and how to apply for it.
  • I had the meeting Monday, February 23rd.  I met with the second in charge of the program, and the director walked in to meet me.
  • The director mentioned the trip to Haiti, which focuses on writing.
  • The deadline is Monday, March 2nd. Just a week away.
  • I applied, without looking into it.
  • I spent a week in Haiti.

Now, you might be thinking, why did we go to Haiti for a writing program? Well, Haiti is full of amazing writers and we met them, we also visited places that opened up ideas for prompts as well as a source of inspiration for other pieces of writing.

Haiti is a place that still hasn’t recover from the earthquake, and it is a really poor country.  The activities we did were focused on writing, but we did some volunteer work too. Ahaji, the director of the study abroad office, has been working hand in hand with the owner and director of an orphanage in Haiti.  Love Orphanage is a non-profit that takes care of kids who lost their parents during the quake, and the idea is not precisely to find them a home but make the orphanage their home. We fund-raised money, gather donations and took them to the house, and of course played with the kids.

Tahina and Fabiola were my “buddies” when we went there, and they made my experience in Haiti 10 times better. These two kids received me with open arms and a huge smile on their faces. They wouldn’t let me alone, and even when I wanted to fix my glasses or my -ehem- bra, they will tap on my leg so I could grab their hands again. They are kids that showed me that  you can be happy even if you have nothing.

Tahina and Fabiola.
Tahina and Fabiola. The girls who stole my heart and left it in Haiti

We also visited the oldest newspaper in Haiti, went to a Voodoo concert and to the Iron Market. We saw how the locals live, and how Haiti really is. What impressed me the most is how Haiti is portrayed in the media. I blame how scared I was when I finally realized I was going to the media actually. There are beautiful scenes there, and amazing people who are doing everything they can to survive.

Beach at Haiti
Beach at Haiti

I will admit that more than once I cried during the trip. When I said bye to the kids, and when we wrote poems with Haitians even if we had a language barrier. Sometimes it was too frustrating being there, other times I felt hopeless and I wanted to go back to America. The trip was too intensive, and required a lot from us, so crying now and then was understandable. I felt overwhelmed more than once, because everything we were doing was so different, and not at all what I expected to be.

It was especially hard to take everything in. All I saw opened my eyes and inspired me to write more, to give more. But being overwhelmed by the experience made it difficult to actually realize everything that was going on.

Quake
Quake

It was not until I sat down the last day to finish all my assignments that I realized what this experience was. Yes, I felt sadness and tons of mixed emotions during the trip, but is a feeling I will not change ever.

Did I have one of the most amazing experiences ever? HELL YEAH! It is a week i will not trade for anything in the world, where I became a better person and a better writer. It is indeed a life-changing experience, and something spontaneous that I am truly glad I did.

If you want to help Love Orphanage and learn more about it, please go here. Please donate and help them build a new house for the kids.

Love Orphanage - Haiti
Love Orphanage – Haiti

 

 

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Things I’ve Learned My Freshman Year

20 Things I've Learned My Freshman Year
20 Things I’ve Learned My Freshman Year

   Woa, I am not longer a freshman. Not so while  ago I was packing all my stuff into two suitcases and working on my Visa, and a year went by.

When I moved to Philadelphia to start my career at Drexel University I was scared. It was a good kind of scared, but I was reading a lot about what is it like to be freshman. I looked at packing tips, things you shouldn’t do your first day and a list of things a typical freshman would do (oh boy did I try not to do any of them)

After reading tons and tons of those articles, I wanted to be there and put what was written down on practice. And even if I did, I failed many times, I took the wrong classes (partially because a @#?! guy told me to and I believed him), I made friends and I lost them. But you know what? I survived!  I did it, I completed my freshman year feeling accomplished and happy.  And I want to share with you the things that I’ve learned so far.

  1. there is a big chance that the friends you made the first week of class will no longer be in your life:  and to be honest, there is nothing wrong with that. The first week of class is filled with people trying to meet anybody, so you will be friends with whoever you find. Weeks will go by and you will meet people on your floor and in your classes, and the friend you met on the line for fries will find other friends too.
  2. but there is also a chance that you will be best friends: how many people find their person the first week of classes? Kuddos to you people! For me, it took me more than a week (Well, two or three weeks) to meet the girl who became one of my best friends, and then, we expanded our group.
  3. forget about stereotypes, but don’t be shocked when someone asks you about your accent, your hair or sexual orientation. There are people that have never been near someone who is different than them, and sometimes their curiosity comes out as an attack. Unless they are aggressive or directly insulting you, don’t feel offended.
  4. go to class: and not just your body, but mind as well. Take notes, ask questions and answer whatever the professor asks. You will learn that way, and it will be easier when you actually have to study.
  5. cafeteria food is okay. It’s not heaven on earth, but you will survive a year of it. Most universities make you pay for it with your tuition, so don’t waste the money and eat that surprise meat thing.
  6. homemade food is heaven on earth: no need to explain this.
  7. plan ahead: buy a planner, use your phone’s calendar, use post its. Anything that will remind you what you have to do. Your schedule will change and you will have time between classes that you should use for something productive.
  8. go to the gym, and try to be as healthy as you can. those pizza deliveries at 2 a.m happen, and if you live near an Insomia Cookie store you are screwed.
  9. see what’s the best schedule for you: for me, it was early classes. Yeah, i’m one of those weirdos. I found out that I rather have early classes and have the afternoon for myself than the other way around. I will wake up at 7 am, go to the gym and then my classes, and by 7p.m i was done with my day so I could go out, visit my friends dorms or just binge watch something on Netflix (i might have or might have not watched 7 episodes of Gossip Girl during mid-terms)
  10. your roommate can be your bff, your worst enemy or just your roommate:  it is not always a perfect situation, but what do you expect when two strangers are put together in a room based on a survey?  My roommate and I were not friends, we did talk, and we shared food and comments now and then, but we never went out together, we never shared our deepest secrets. And it was perfectly fine for us. We got along just fine, we respected each others’ spaces and we were silent while the other one was sleeping.  Then, on the end of the hallway there was this room full of drama and fights, and in the room across from that two girls from the same sorority that shared everything and loved each other to death. It can happen.
  11. take advantage of what your school has to offer: we can rent computers in the library and our gym is free for students. There is a shuttle bus that will take you to the city and tons of free networking events (with free food!). take advantage of everything you can.
  12. DON’T BUY TEXTBOOKS UNTIL THE PROFESSOR SAYS SO! yes, that deserves caps on. And even if your professor says you need it, ask for what. My anthropology professor wanted the book for quizes that were posted online. you could do every quiz the same day. I had that book for a whole quarter instead of just.
  13. use your syllabus, it is the bible of your class.
  14. ratemyprofessor.com will save your life. make sure to check your professors before going to that class.
  15. you will fail some exams and maybe a couple of papers, and that is fine! don’t give up and keep studying.
  16. join organizations and clubs: it is one of the best ways to make new friends and keep your mind off school work. Keep in mind that there are so many organizations to chose from, and it is a great idea to join something that is related to your career.
  17. try new things: go to parties you will never go before, try to write for the newspaper, try, try, try. It is your time to find yourself and what you actually like, and you will never know what’s out there if you are always on your comfort zone.
  18. talk to your professor: going to office hours seem so scary, but professors are there to help you!  My journalism professor offered office hours every week before her class, so we can show her our stories and she will give us one on one critique and how to improve it.
  19. it is important to go to events and out with your friends,  but consider having me time at least once every two weeks. You are always surrounded by people, and you will need down time.
  20. STUDY ABROAD! i studied abroad in an intensive program that was in Haiti, a place I will never even dream of going.  I am considering going to Madrid, ( schedule conflict), and once I am there, i will try to travel. After college it will be hard to find time to travel or go outside your hometown, and by studying abroad not only will you enrich your knowledge but you will have a once in a life time experience.

and finally, you will survive no matter how difficult a situation is. enjoy your freshman year that you will have just one!

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Planner Tips And Tricks

Picture

    My planner obsession started when my friend Esther introduced Kala Planners to me. They are a Venezuelan company that produce notebooks, planners, and other paper stuff. I start using that planner, and loved it.
I would wrote down everything, from a major event to wash hair.  I would write down everything in a random color, just to light up the boring black-and-white pages. I can go on and on about my Kala Planner, but i already did that here.
I then found Erin Condren, and I fell in love with her planners. I was obsessed, I would log in every day to try and find new scoops, pictures, and information about the upcoming planner. And I have to admit, I’m doing the same now. The new Life Planner will be on the market June 9th,  This planner has a lot of perks, and a lot of things going on, and sometimes it is hard to keep up with it.
    This is not a sponsored post. As a planner lover, I want to share my tips and trick on how to make the most out of your planner, no matter which one you go for.

Color-Code:
color coding might seem like a hassle, and maybe you will think that the planner is colorful enough. Color-coding is one of the best way for you to stay on top of your things. Read more about this here
Washi-Tape and Stickers: I found this Etsy shop that sells small coffee stickers, pill stickers and other adorable stuff. I found the coffee ones useful, since I have coffee dates with friends now and then. Overall I find stickers and washi tape extremely helpful since we are visual human beings.
Write it Down: it seems obvious, but writing everything down on your planner will help you a lot. I started writing just the assigments due, then I added the school things I have to complete that day and now I write everything!  I write the phone number of the company i have to call and that I have to send an email to my advisor. Writing all you have to do helps a lot.
Check Marks: I am obsessed with them. I love checking out the things i’ve completed already. I have a motive to complete my task, not only because I actually do what I have to do, but to check them out of my to-do list
Use the Monthly Calendar: it is a great way to see everything you have to do during that month without flipping pages like crazy. It helps me a lot when i have to plan a trip or when i need to move things around.

what are your best organization tips? what do you use to make your planner more appealing?

if you want an EC Life Planner, and would like 10$ off of it, sign up here.


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