the skin you’re in | discovering your identity

As a twenty-five year old living in the world today, I spend a lot of time thinking about who I am, what I want to be and how to get there. It seems like as far back as I can remember there’s always been a next step that was planned for me. You go through all your milestones as a child: first steps, first words, first day of school, etc. There’s always the next step you’re working towards … you have to do well in high school to get into college, you have to do well in college to get a good job. And suddenly, you’re out in the real world and nobody feels the need to point you in any direction anymore. The decisions are up to you and that is both thrilling and terrifying. 

You’re suddenly at the end of that yellow brick road and your options are wide and vast and … what do you do now? That’s the place that I often find myself in and I won’t pretend to be some sort of future-seer that has it all figured out. I honestly don’t and I have to remind myself that that’s okay. I’m suddenly an adult but that doesn’t mean the universe has decided to provide me with all of it’s knowledge.

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We’re just playing a game in a way trying to win at life.

There are many things I know about myself: I know that I love wolves, I know how much my family means to me, I know that The Lion King is my favorite movie (that’s right, favorite movie, not Disney movie, just movie) and I know how awkward I am when meeting new people. I know I feel the most comfortable when I have a plan and a direction and a schedule to follow and I feel most anxious and lost when I don’t. So, with those small comforts under my belt I take on the world.

From the onset of puberty, I struggled with terrible acne — painful, red and impossible to hide even under make-up. It wasn’t until three years ago that I finally went to a dermatologist and took the heavy artillery to clearing my skin. And it worked. My skin has been mostly clear ever since I finished my treatment but it wasn’t without its side-effects. After I stopped treatment, I experienced severe hair thinning that made me feel super self-conscious. It took a complete year and a half for a) my hair to grow out so I could cut off the thinning parts and b) my hair to return to its natural (horse-like) thickness.

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I had never thought that I was self-conscious about my looks when I was in middle school or high school. I never felt as pretty as the other girls in my grade — I didn’t don’t know how to do my makeup, or how to style myself or anything else they seemed to know innately — but I also didn’t feel bad about myself. It wasn’t until college that I started to try things out and experiment with my style and fashion and looks and I felt very good about myself. (I fell off the make-up wagon while on my acne treatment since it left my skin so dry that make-up didn’t look good anyway.) Now, as an adult, I look back and I start doubting myself.

I read a quote somewhere online that I very much relate to: “I’m an adult, but more like an adult cat. Like someone should probably take care of me, but I can also sort of make it on my own.” This is especially true of someone who is still living at home (for both cultural and financial reasons). I actually sat down and mapped out some concept ideas for post and for the kind of blog that this is. I’ll be posting things as I try to jump back into the world of self-discovery and figure myself out because clearly four years of college is not enough to figure out your entire future (at least not for this girl.)

Until next time…

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Puerto Rico Se Levanta | Rambling Thoughts of a Mainland Boricua

I have about six drafts right now all from the past year. I have a habit of starting to write something, but then second guessing myself and just leaving it there for another day. I figured this would be a good time to at least get some words out and try moving this blog forward just the tiniest bit.

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I have spent the last month with extended family members living with us for a bit. I was born in raised in Puerto Rico and I’m sure there’s no explanation needed for why my cousins and aunt were staying with us for a little while. Hurricanes Irma and Maria really did a number on the island that I know and love. The stories that I hear from my friends and family (when I’m able to get through) all tell the story of an island that’s basically been completely wiped down to the bare bones. In the past month since Hurricane Maria passed effort have been made every single day to bring back a sense of normalcy, but it’s not easy.

Puerto Ricans have an enormous spirit, but it’s hard to walk down the roads you’ve known your whole life but have them looking entirely alien to you. This is the feeling that all my relatives have been expressing to me. It’s hard to wrap your head around really. I know that disaster fatigue is a thing, but it can be disheartening to know that people’s hearts are forgetful. They’ll jump to the next thing once enough time has passed.

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I’ve been lucky enough to be surrounded by people in my community and in work that are still worried. These are the people that have been collecting donations and raising money and have not stopped asking “What are we doing to help our fellow Americans? Our fellow human beings?” It is people like this that really give me hope for the future of our world. Puerto Rico may be broken but it is not dead. “Puerto Rico se levanta” is a phrase many Puerto Ricans, both on the island and on the mainland, have been sharing. It means “Puerto Rico will rise,” Puerto Rico will lift itself up from the ground and rebuild, “We will not be beaten.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda (whom you may have heard of) wrote a song in collaboration with many other Latino artists. The lyrics are simple — they list each municipality of the small island — but the artists sing the chorus in a way that brought tears to my eyes the first time I listened to it. I always feel like all the voices are representative of the island itself — it’s people, it’s animals and the rest of nature — calling out to one another, saying “we are still here.” It is the voices of those Puerto Ricans on the mainland and around the world calling back “we are with you.”

 

“Say it loud and there’s music playing. Say it soft and it’s almost like praying.”

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I didn’t really set out to make any particular kind of post, if I’m being honest. This is just a topic that came out as I started to type. I just want to say thank you to everyone who’s thought of us and thank you to every single person that’s fighting for us and working to bring our island back to greatness. We will Rise and we will be even better than before. It’s not an easy task, and it’s not a quick one but we will get there.

 

Better Late Than Never

It’s been an entire year since I posted anything to this blog, Whoops. So much for knowing what I wanted to write about, huh? With a little encouragement from my friend, I’m going to try my hand at this again but only this time, my focus has gone askew.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and trying to kind of piece together some sort of direction in my life. I feel like it gets harder and harder to do as you grow older even though in theory it should all be getting easier. When you get older, you sort of just figure out that nobody really knows what they’re doing and we’re all just trying to get through it one day at a time. And that’s okay.

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you’re waiting.”

While it’s easy to understand something in theory, putting in the effort and having the patience to see it through is another matter entirely. It takes hard work and dedication — making the decision and creating the necessary habits to make a real change. Even in little things like writing an online blog are at the very core about discipline. The things that are the best for you aren’t always the easiest to do.

That being said, I’m going to try to write in here more frequently and just sort of see where it goes. Ironically, having a plan ahead of time kind of makes it more difficult for me because I psyche myself about making it just right and then end up never doing anything at all.

So, here’s to second chances and following through.

-Krystie

Why I’m writing this blog

I’ve always liked the idea of writing a blog. In my younger years, I made a few attempts but lost interest pretty quickly. This is because when I was younger I didn’t realize that every time you write, you should write with purpose. Even when you’re writing to entertain yourself, you must always remember that there was a reason you picked up the theoretical pen in the first place. It’s part of Writing 101 … you should always have a message even if that message ends up being how everyone should look both ways before crossing the street. Whenever I had thought of blog writing in the past, I had treated it as more of an online diary and while there are certainly a multitude of benefits that can come from that it wasn’t the blogging experience I was looking for. For that reason, I would lose interest and just stop writing altogether. Placeholder Image

So, what’s the purpose behind the blog that I’m writing this time? It’s actually pretty simple. I’m writing with the hope that I’ll be able to connect with others through my words. I want to understand more about the world around me and I want my thoughts, feelings and opinions to be heard. The lessons that I learn, I want to share and hopefully help others on their journeys of self-discovery. I’m twenty-three years old college graduate, but I know that I will never stop learning. I’ve always liked being able to help others find the answers their looking for and helping them achieve what they didn’t think they were capable of.

What that means for this blog is that there is no one set topic that will be discussed over and over and over again. I’ll be discussing home tips, fashion for the unfashionable, organizational tips, advice, personal thoughts and everything in between. This blog is going to be about life and figuring out how to get through it. It might be a bit of a mess to start off with but I hope that you will be patient with me as I figure it out.

With that said, please be sure to comment or send me a message! As much as I’d like to share what I know, I’d love even more to hear your experiences, questions or concerns!