their influence.

Hey Everyone!

I wanted to wish all the awesome mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day!

Also, I wanted to thank all of you for your continued support! I felt the love from all of you after “from 1998 to 2015” was posted. “from 1998 to 2015” was by far the most honest, but most difficult post I have ever written and ever published. 

As most of you know, today is Mother’s Day. I was thinking of what I should blog about today especially since I haven’t published a post in awhile and of course my mind is a melting pot of ideas. It always feels as if I have a thousand ideas running through my mind at an infinite speed. The difficulty in that is deciding which idea stands out and then take that idea and stick with it. 

Well, it is only right that today I blog about both my mother and my grandmother who are by far the most important people in my life.

In case many of you do not know, my grandmother is very important to me- and even that is an understatement. I cannot go more than two days without calling her. I spent a good chunk of my life with her. Let’s just say that 20 out of 28 years I spent with my grandmother- countless weekdays, summers, and holidays. I owe a lot to my grandmother. While my mother worked to support me, my grandmother took care of me. I can honestly say that much of my beliefs come from my grandmother and her influence. Many people tease me and call me a simpleton, a Puerto Rican country girl, but that is okay- that is who I am. I do not mind spending my afternoon watching novelas and having a snack with my grandmother. I am a “grandma’s girl.” 

Three years ago, I published, “ignorantly speaking” in which I discussed the affects bullying had on me. One of the points I made was my grandmother taught me that when I look in the mirror, I am looking at myself both inside and outside; ultimately, the mirror does not lie. Therefore, if someone calls me fat, I merely say, “I have a mirror… I know who I am.” At first, I didn’t understand why my grandmother couldn’t just hug me knowing I was going through a difficult time. Then I realized that just hugging wasn’t going to make my sadness go away. In order for me to be happy with who I was, first I had to accept it. And if I wasn’t happy with myself or with any situations I was going through, it was up to me to change that, no one else. 

Life isn’t always rosy- I still face struggles… everyone does. But if I learned anything from my grandmother is that one has to be strong, no matter the circumstances one faces. 

Strength is a trait that my mother holds immensely. If one were to research the meaning of strength, my mother’s name would appear with bright bold letters. If it weren’t for my mother working overtime for months at a time, I know that I wouldn’t have had a college education, neither would my younger sister. From an early age, my mother wanted to ensure that I would have an excellent education. From the five to the age of eighteen, I was in Catholic school. I have to admit that at times, I hated it. I always had the difficult teachers, and always had the heaviest book bag; my cousins didn’t have much homework and I was envious. I did not want to spend all time doing my homework. However, looking back, I realize my mother had my best interests at heart- my mother always said she made sure that my education had strong structure; I needed the most strictest, hardest teachers. For many years, I was angry with my mother because she wasn’t able to attend my school assemblies or field trips- she was always working. It was through my mother’s hard work and determination that I was able to attend college without having student debt. 

I will never forget the day I graduated college with my BA in Creative Writing. I gave my mom my diploma and thanked her for everything. Many people do not have the privilege to attend college. I felt especially happy because when I told my mother I was going to pursue my BA in English and not in Bilingual Education as I originally had intended, my mother was supportive- she was surprised at first nonetheless, but extremely supportive. 

One of the biggest lessons I have learned from my mother was that in order to be successful, one has to work for it. Nothing comes to a person on a silver platter. While my mother told me that she would pay my way through my first four years of college- granted that my grades were high, if I wanted to pursue my Master’s, I was on my own- this was more than reasonable enough. My grandparents came from Puerto Rico and couldn’t afford to help my mom go to college. Because of her experiences growing up, my mother wanted a different future for my sister and me. Again, I was resentful and angry with my mother because she was overprotective of me- I had an early curfew and wasn’t allowed to hang out with my friends as often as I wanted… but I know it was for my best interest at heart.

To those who are reading this post and thinking that their mothers are overprotective and are unreasonable, I want you to take a second and reflect… I know what it’s like not to have those nice sneakers or clothes that is trending… but think of how hard your mother is working so that you can have a roof over your head and food on the table. I didn’t have Jordan’s or go to the movies often, but I did have shoes and sneakers. And I spent time with my mother watching movies and MTV. It’s hard to be a parent, especially a single parent. I know I wasn’t always an easy child… but that’s how all kids are! At least to me…

This Mother’s Day, reflect on the blessings your mother has given you. I am grateful for my mother and my grandmother everyday. Writing is my diary… but when things get rough, I can count on e-mailing my mother and I can count on my grandmother picking up the phone- she always finds a way to make me laugh while we gossip.

I dedicate this post to my mother and to my grandmother- always know that although I may be stubborn and it seems like I don’t listen, remember that I love you and you two are always my rock. 

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Until next time!

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nuclear.

Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a great holiday season!

I couldn’t ask for a better holiday season! This holiday season, I wanted to focus on the traditions I really wanted to participate in, but never could.

On Thanksgiving Day, my sister and I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, in its entirety, on television. I spent time with her because I had Thanksgiving dinner with my partner’s family. Up until Thanksgiving Day, I hadn’t spent time with my sister in months. It was nice to spend time with her and just laugh and act silly.

For the Christmas holiday, I wanted the holiday to be like no other… I suggested to my family before Thanksgiving that we have an “Ugly Sweater Christmas Eve.” For as long as I can remember, my immediate family always celebrated Christmas Eve. On Christmas Eve, I went to my grandmother’s house and we talked for hours. My family later came over and they made their own ugly Christmas sweaters. They put my Teenage Mutant Turtle ugly sweater to shame! For the first time in a really long time, we all sat down and ate dinner and talked and laughed for hours! I spent time with my five-year old cousin and took pics with her- it was a real touching and a warm family moment.

I even bought an “Elf On The Shelf” and took pictures of him and with him. All these new things I was doing made me really happy- I was finally making the Christmas that I wanted.

However…there was one thing that I always wanted to do, but I never did… I never saw the Santa Clause at Macy’s. Ever since I was a child, I wanted to talk to Santa and tell him what my holiday wish was. Even though my family thought the idea was funny, and laughed at me, seeing Santa was a must! I just had to go! I told my partner that I wanted to visit Santa and he just said, “Let’s go!”

On the Saturday before Christmas, my partner and I went to see Santa Clause at Macy’s. To say that the wait was long was an understatement. We waited over two hours to see Santa Clause. I was so excited to see Santa that I almost crashed another’s family’s picture. When I saw Santa Clause, he said that I could sit on his lap… I was a little nervous (I’m not going to lie), but then I played along, and my partner and me sat with Santa. Santa asked me what I wanted for Christmas- I’m not going to say what it was because I’ve always believed that if I said my wish, it wouldn’t come true, but for that moment, I felt such a great happiness!

My partner surprised me by getting the pictures we took with Santa Clause. I can’t thank my partner enough for taking me to see Santa and for helping me accomplish one of my greatest childhood wishes.

The greatest surprise of my holiday season was when my best friend, Gloriann, and her husband Steve, surprised my partner and me with tickets to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular! A couple of weeks before Christmas, Gloriann, Steve, my partner, and me were all talking about seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and other things we’ve done during the holidays, and what we haven’t done. When we were on our way to see the tree, we talked about how we never went to Radio City Music Hall. A few days after that, Gloriann let me know that as a present to my partner and me, we were all going to see the show! At that moment, I was paralyzed with shock! Seeing Santa Clause was one thing- now I was going to see the Rockettes!

Last Friday, we all went to Radio City Music Hall. To see the Rockettes was an amazing experience! I thought Olympic swimmers were synchronized- they have nothing on the Rockettes! After the show, we were all gathering our belongings and I turned around and saw a little girl glowing with happiness. I asked her if she loved the show, and she just smiled. Not only we were glowing with happiness, there were hundreds of people doing the same.

This holiday season made me realize that I want the “nuclear family.” One day, I want to get married and I want to settle down and have children. Growing up, my family situation wasn’t quite nuclear. Because of that, I didn’t do many things growing up. Now that I am almost thirty, I know that although I can’t go back in time, I can make my own present and make a better future for myself. If I have learned anything from the 2014 Holiday Season, is that we make our present and our future- we can take a crappy situation and make it into the best outcome possible. To quote Pastor Joel Osteen, “A setback is a setup for a great comeback.” Just because we didn’t have it easy, doesn’t mean life will be bad.

I believe that this holiday season is setting the tone for 2015. With the help and support from our loved ones, anything is possible. When our hearts and minds are open, the greatest blessings will come our way.

I hope you all have a great holiday & a very happy & prosperous New Year!

Until next time!

—Stelly

P.S.: I hope you enjoy some of the pictures that I’ve taken throughout the holiday season!

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sundays of summer.

Hello Everyone!

I hope the summer has been kind to all of you as it has been to me. This summer has been great for the most part; I have spent time with my friends, family, and boyfriend. In fact, my boyfriend and I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary by taking a mini-vacation to Atlantic City and also by seeing Aladdin on Broadway.

I made a list of goals to achieve by the end of the summer. Although I may not achieve all of the goals by the end of the summer, there is a greater lesson that I am learning. This lesson is to let go and just live. I took some time and reflected; honestly, I knew that things had to change. I sat back and thought to myself, “What am I doing?” I knew that I could do much better in many aspects. The problem with this thought and reflection is that by putting myself through this unnecessary guilt, I am not living. I am literally sitting there, wondering what I could have done, instead of bettering myself in the process.

I read a quote on Instagram that really spoke to me, “I stopped looking for the light. I decided to become it instead.” To me, the quote means I stopped looking for a way out, a solution to the problem. The solution to my life’s issues lies within myself. And I am determined to succeed and prosper.

Summer 2014 has a deeper meaning for me for another reason. August 8th marked the 20th anniversary of my grandfather’s passing. There isn’t a day where I don’t think about him. My grandfather was truly a gem in my world, a symbol of fatherly love at its finest. When he passed away, I felt a part of myself die as well, even at seven years old. Overtime, I grew not to trust many people, out of fear that they would leave. Would someone leave just because I trusted them, or would they leave because they didn’t like me; these were some of the questions I asked myself on a constant basis.

However, it was not until I met my boyfriend that I grew to love and trust. And I thank him everyday for coming into my life and helping me become a better person.

I made a goal to live- I want to do things that I have never done before, that both excite me and scare me. And this is exactly what I have been doing. When Tyrone and I went to Atlantic City, there was a sense of tranquility and happiness that I had never possessed up until that moment. Going to Coney Island, being with my friends, spending more time with my loved ones… this is what living is about.

Now we are in August- this is known as the Sunday of summer. I want to spend the rest of my summer doing what I love to do most- writing and being with my loved ones, exploring new and exciting places in New York City.

I hope that you all are doing what makes you happiest. We all deserve the chance to be happy and to smile.

Thank you for your support and for reading.

Until next time!

blues.

I was on twitter yesterday morning and I was reading tweets from Robert Kardashian, Jr. He posted the following, “I’m aware that I’m fat that def aint a surprise to me lol and my only therapy will be in the gym anyways had to say somethingggggggggg.” 

I couldn’t help but feel sympathetic towards Rob. I don’t know him from a hole in the wall, but I can’t imagine having thousands, maybe millions of people tweeting about me, talking about how I look and/or how ugly I may look. Going back to my post from Sunday, I don’t need to mirror to see how I look. I know I’m plus-size, but guess what? I’m awesome! I’m beautiful! I’m intelligent! It’s just too bad that there are those who believe that beauty has specifications; as a result, they see what size pants I wear and not the size of my heart.

Up until recently, I avoided many retail stores because I thought I wouldn’t look good in the clothes. Let me tell you, that’s no way to live. To live in constant fear of being teased, of having people stare and whisper right in front of you… it sucks. It’s hard for me because people have done this to me, but I can’t let my past dictate my present and my future. It felt good to walk into Old Navy and H&M and check out their clothes. I treated myself to few tops and I even took pictures in the shirts. I felt so liberated; I didn’t have a care in the world! It never hurts to try on different things and to treat oneself. Right now, I’m in love with my new Victoria Secret lipsticks. I love matching my makeup to my new outfits. I’m loving myself and the skin that I’m allowing myself to be in.

As hard as it is to do, I had to admit that I was hurt from my past. What people said to me and the things that were done to me hurt. To smile and essentially hide from the pain isn’t the answer. As a perfectionist, it’s hard to admit when I’m struggling. I’m exactly what the word means- I want to be perfect. But there is no such thing as perfect- all we can do is try our best and achieve what we believe is right for ourselves. I’m grateful to have family that I can confide in. I have a boyfriend who I trust, who I can share my struggles with. When it comes to positivity, I make sure that I surround myself with those that I have my best interest.

It’s funny how years ago, it mattered how many Myspace and Facebook friends I had. Now in my late 20’s and I can honestly say that I rather have a smaller circle and be happy than have hundreds of friends who don’t give a shit about me. 

Until next time!

 

Note: Robert Kardashian, Jr. has since deleted the mentioned tweet. I obtained the tweet from the following website: http://www.people.com/article/rob-kardashian-fat-comments-twitter

 

 

reflecting after.

Right at this moment, I’m sitting in my room, thinking of what to write about…

Ever became so mentally congested that you just shut down? That happens to me all the time. All these thoughts run through my head and then it becomes overwhelmingly powerful; I don’t know what to do next. 

The people closest to me tell me, “Do things one thing at time.” Honestly, although this may seem simple, it’s a difficult concept to follow. How do we complete each task, “one day at a time?” It baffles me how my mother does so many things in such a short amount of time. 

To listen to our loved ones can be so hard… Sometimes, by taking our loved one’s advice, I feel like it’s admitting that they were right and for a person who is stubborn, I can say that’s definitely me! 

Any who… Last week was Mother’s Day and I reflected on the lessons that I’ve learned from my mother and grandmother. One lesson my grandmother taught me comes to mind.

I was in elementary school and I came home crying; I must have been 11 years old. I cried because someone in my class called me fat during recess. It wasn’t the first time I was made fun of, but it still hurt. I was tired of being teased because of my weight. I felt as if my weight was all people saw and I couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t know what else to do but cry.

My grandmother looked at me while after she put something away in her closet and said, “So what if they made fun of you? Tell them you have a mirror at home!” I stood there just surprised and stumped… I didn’t understand what she said. All I wanted my grandmother to do was to hug me and tell me that those kids were boogers. But that’s not what I got… This was what I was thinking at that moment:

1. She was calling me fat. 2. I’m admitting that I’m fat. 3. I had to stand up to those who were making fun of me.

All of these notions were too much- simple as that. How was I supposed to say that, “Tell them I have a mirror at home” ? By the time I was in the 5th grade, I was afraid to stick up for myself. To make friends and to have good grades in school was really easy to me; confrontation was not. Confrontation is still a challenge for me.

Sixteen years later, I realize what my grandmother was saying. I believe that she meant, so what if you are fat, you know it and you are proud of who you are. If they don’t like it, they don’t have to look at you. By people calling me fat, they’re essentially not telling me anything new; they’re just telling me in the douchiest, meanest, most fucked up way humanly possible. Let me tell you something, words hurt either it is said verbally or written. There are still times when I think of my elementary school days and of what people have said to me. Of course I could have called those jerks out, but I didn’t and I won’t. I’d like to think the best revenge is my success.

I will not hide who I am. I can wear all black and wear the baggiest clothes possible but I won’t. Am I going to be insecure because of what people say and think about me? No I will not! I’m not going to give people the satisfaction of seeking their approval when they don’t deserve it. It takes too much energy to care about what people think of me. I have a loving family, friends, and kickass boyfriend. 

I tell my grandmother all the time that I am thankful for her and for the lessons that she has given me. But this lesson in particular will always stick with me. When I am feeling down, insecure, and unsure of myself I will look in the mirror and remind myself that I am a beautiful, intelligent, and successful woman. 

To those who have called me fat or have put me down, I believe that they have simply called out an insecurity about themselves. Just remember that life is too short to focus on others and what they are doing. Focus on yourself and what you can do to better your future.

Till next time everyone!

 

what change?

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I went to Chinatown for the first time together. For me, it was the first time in over eight years that I had been there.

My boyfriend and I took the 6 train downtown to Canal Street. We walked through Chinatown and I could not help but to take pictures of what was around me. There were lots of souvenirs, phone cases, t-shirts, apple accessories. The aroma was fresh, a mix of seafood and fruit. I had to walk over and explore the various seafood around me. I could not believe it, some had lobster 3 for $39 & $6.95 for a pound of shrimp, which is insanely cheap to me. We tried bubble tea at the Maid Cafe. I loved my passion fruit tea.

After walking to various little shops, we turned left and right and ended up walking through a court area. There was a detention center where there was a bail bonds across the street. Up until that point, I didn’t know this existed in Chinatown. Maybe Chinatown didn’t change so much in 8 years, as I previously thought; I just wasn’t as observant. The reason I thought Chinatown changed was because I saw more shops the first time. This time around, I saw a couple of Dunkin Dounts, a Burger King, and even a Popeyes. I never thought that I would see that in Chinatown. I guess I’m being one-dimensional and ignorant so to speak. My boyfriend bought up a great point, something so obvious… he said, “Estelle, people change, things change, times change.” I just let that thought sink in… oh that “wicked” word CHANGE. He’s right…People change, places change, relationships change. Change is something that I am definitely NOT used to.

Walking through Chinatown, I did see somethings that I reminded me of my childhood and of the things that my cousins and me saw in the store fronts. I saw the green and yellow toy frogs in the plastic bucket swimming in the dirty water, toy dolls with tangled hair singing and moving out loud; I even saw little live turtles moving in their plastic boxes, the same ones my mom still won’t buy because she says they carry disease. It’s crazy how a couple of hours could bring back years of memories. I started to remember my family and the Saturdays we spent together in Third Avenue. I used to hate waking up Saturday morning and having to walk the same stretch of a few blocks to shop at Conway, Youngland, Bunnies, Cookies, Victorias, and the notorious Conway , C&C Department Store, and Ray Store. Now I’m 27 years old and I miss those days; those days where I saw my immediate family on the constant basis. Life is easier, drama minimal. But like my boyfriend says, people change, times change.

Now I am working on building my own memories. It doesn’t hurt to think of the good times, but what makes it hurt is if we make those past memories our world and don’t seek to build new ones.

And that is exactly what I’m doing. Exploring what is around me and making awesome new memories!

Here are some of the pics from yesterday’s adventure in Chinatown. Till next time!

Thank you for reading and for your support!

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