travel diaries: cayo santa maria

I strongly believe that travelling is healthy for you. Escape your regular life for a little while to travel, whether it’s 12 hours across the world, or 2 hours away from your home. I can’t emphasize how important it is to take some time to yourself to see the world, make memories with family / friends, or to just take some time to yourself! If you think about it, we dedicate so much time to working at our jobs, going to school, doing assignments, we try to squeeze in some time for our social life and by the end of the day, we’re exhausted. Time just passes us by, we don’t even realize how much we don’t take the time to enjoy our lives. I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the go. I’m literally stressed out 80% of the time. This was my first vacation since I was 15. I’ve never taken more than a couple days off from work and I’ve never gone further than Ottawa, which is about 4 hours away from Toronto, as a little getaway. I found myself growing sick of the city. I was so tired of doing the same routine 7 days a week, I needed to get away. I needed a break from the city, somewhere further than Ottawa. I was dying to leave the country. I literally had dreams about being somewhere far away, I knew that I had to see the world in order to appreciate what I have here at home.

The excitement of travelling is a feeling that I’ll never get over, I loved every moment of it! I managed to overcome my fear of flying, all glory to God, I found myself talking to Him the entire time I was in the air, and it was a feeling that I can’t even describe if I wanted to. All I can say is that I’m so grateful.

When I arrived to Santa Clara, Cuba at nearly 10AM, the first thing that I noticed when I walked off the airplane was the strong smell of the ocean. There’s something about the ocean, or any body of water that I’m naturally drawn to. I couldn’t help but catch myself smiling the entire time from the airport in Santa Clara, to the resort in Cayo Santa Maria.

I travelled with my boyfriend, Vince, and he was just as excited as I was. Working 5 days a week, for eight hours, can really take a toll on your health in all aspects; mentally, physically and emotionally. We both needed this getaway to fully appreciate what we have at home. It took a place like Cuba for us to understand that we are so fortunate here in Toronto, but we tend to worry and complain about so much. Whereas, I found that Cubans were always so happy, there was never a time where I wasn’t greeted by someone, they were so easy to talk to, and their energy was just so vibrant and happy. I wish I could be that happy, I swear. Before this trip, I found myself stressed out about everything, worrying about way too much and taking for granted all of what I have in Toronto. Midway through the trip, I was thankful and appreciative for the life that I was given and the lengths that I can go in life if I really apply myself.

For those who took the time to complain about the little things during their stay in Cuba, I honestly pray that you find the time to be a little more grateful someday. For a country that has very little, they give their visitors as much as they can. One night, while Vince & I were getting dessert at the buffet, we sat in a different section than we normally do, and we were greeted by our server, Maguel. He was an older gentleman, but his laugh and cheerfulness made him seem so young. He made us laugh, made sure that we were enjoying the food and drinks, he even told us a little bit about his life and asked about ours. He told us about how horrible the economy is in Cuba and how hard it is to make 20 pesos. He also told us that he works 12 hours a day, and it takes him about 2 hours to commute home from work. I was so drawn to how positive this man was, he took the lemons in life and made lemonade. On our last day in Cuba, we ran into Maguel, and he told us to stop by the buffet because he had a surprise for me. I honestly thought that he was just going to bless me with a little extra wine or something, I didn’t really think much of it. That night, we went to the buffet a little late, and I spotted Maguel, working hard as usual. I walked over to him and he looked so happy to see me! He didn’t say anything, he just turned around and pulled out an item from a drawer near his work station. He then handed to me a handmade bracelet with the Cuban flag, and “Cuba” engraved on this square shaped wooded marble. If you know me, then you know that I cry for everything. It might’ve been something small to him, but it meant so much to me because this man told us stories about his family, his struggles, and his gratefulness to just be given the chance to be alive. My gratitude goes out to Maguel, he’s one of the reasons I’ve come back to Toronto with a whole new mindset to be grateful for the life I have and to always treat people with kindness.

All in all, I encourage to whomever reads this, to find some time to travel. Take time away from your regular life to explore everything that the world has to offer. I promise you, it will be worth every penny (even though pennies don’t exist anymore, but y’all get the point).

‘Til next time, loves!

naked emotions

the things that we take for granted can easily be taken away. your strength is always tested at your weakest moments. the ones who love us the most are often the toughest on us.

whenever things get hard, i try to escape. i try to run away to the farthest place away from everyone and all the chaos in this city. i used to love going to the lake during the summer time whenever i felt stressed out or, i needed that time away from what i had going on because for some reason, being by the water helps me think clearly.

anxiety doesn’t allow me to think clearly when things get chaotic. anxiety sucks. not being able to take control of your mind, sucks. having to pick yourself up the next morning after having a breakdown the night before, sucks. i haven’t spoken about my anxiety to a lot of my friends and family because i always figured that i’d find some way to deal with it on my own. one of the most unhealthiest things that i’ve done was try to depend on someone to help me through my anxiety when they had no capability of doing so. it’s not their fault. i just didn’t know any better.

i believed that as humans, we should help one another and if anyone knows me, they’ll know that i’m always around to help, no matter what the circumstance may be. i’ve always been the type to drop whatever and be there to support whomever, whenever. so, when i didn’t feel that same respect in return, when i had no one to turn to when my anxiety took a toll on me, it made me feel even worse. sometimes i needed advice, other times i just needed to be listened to. i was crying out for help with no way to receive it. i was allowing my anxiety to be an anchor in my life, when i have so much potential to be the best that i can be.

this weekend, i had a horrible anxiety attack. i’m proud to say that this weekend was the first weekend that i didn’t let myself fall into old habits, or wake up the next morning feeling worse than i did before. in moments of weakness, our strength is tested. i’ve accepted that i can’t allow the anxious feeling that i get to define me, or take control of me, or be that anchor in my life. i’ve cut ties with all the negative thoughts, emotions and people because i can’t control that.

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Vincent, being the kind hearted, supportive and charismatic person that he is, made it his mission to ensure that i let go of what happened the night before and remind me how important it is to gain that peace of mind and find that happiness from within.

we did SO much today, but what I loved the most about it was being able to spontaneously go to Scarborough Bluff’s, which happens to be one of the first places we went to when we were fairly new to each other, and one of my past blog posts “Finding Serenity”.

he knew how much i love being by the water. but what he didn’t know that his presence made the experience better than it’s ever been. going to the water to clear my head is something that i usually do alone. having him there to talk about how i felt and gain focus of what’s important and what i need to let go of, is something that i will always cherish. sometimes, we need to pick ourselves up during rough times, and in due time, it’ll strengthen our character. however, having someone’s company to help you through a rough time, whether it’s a stranger or a loved one can affect someone more than you know.

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i wanted to speak about this because i felt as though it may help someone or, help myself in the future when i look back at this. anxiety may feel like it’s taking control of you but, it’s not. you are in full control of your thoughts, emotions and your body. breathing is important. hearing what’s around you is important. touching things that are closest to you, are important. allow yourself to be in a safe, comfortable space and think about that one thing that makes you happy. hold onto that one thing that brings you peace and allow that to make you feel happiness from within.

stay breathing. stay calm. stay in control, love.

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you’ve got this.

six letters

Anxiety

I am nothing but an emotional soul. An old soul. A sensitive soul. Sometimes I wish I could give up my soul and trade it for a new one. Whatever I feel, I feel it to the core of me. Sometimes I think it’s just my anxiety, but often, it takes a toll on me due to the severity. I wish it was easier to talk about it, you know? Open up to the ones around me and take them on a journey of what I feel in my soul, but something stops me from expressing the shit that bothers me because that’s all it’ll ever be… shit that bothers me. I’m afraid that they’ll think I’m crazy, I’m afraid that this will always be a part of me. I’m afraid that my anxiety is stopping me from being the best person that I am crafted out to be.

a short but sweet love from the 90s

I’ve always wondered where we would’ve went, if I hadn’t expressed how I felt. You met me when a pen and paper were all I needed to let my emotions down. It seems like now; I can’t even get a word out. A part of me wishes that you remained the same when I first noticed you. Until the other part of me remembers the woman I was before I met you.

I’ve always wondered if I picked up my phone less, stop checking to see if you were checking for me, maybe I wouldn’t stress about your absence. When I met you, even moment felt timeless, it felt like what the 90s would’ve been. Even though our shared path didn’t last long,
“nothing even mattered… at all” To me, at least.

I no longer want to wonder how it could’ve been, if the timing was aligned with a shared connection. Whatever is meant for me, will be for me, effortlessly I gave you my honesty, shared my raw emotions, and even uncovered my body. All I wanted was your time, until you stopped noticing my company.

Reflection

Hi my love,

You’re staring at your reflection and you can’t help but think “when did you let yourself go?” The helpless look in your eyes, and the words that come out of your mouth are dull and weary. You’re searching for answers but you can’t seem to find them. You used to be good with picking yourself back up and mending your heart when you were down. You give your love away too quickly, and you put 110% effort in everything and everyone around you. You may look the same on the outside, but you’re definitely not the same on the inside. Your reflection says it all. You cannot lie to yourself, you know yourself better than anyone else.  When did you lose yourself?

i wish you well

A lot has changed over the past few years. I’ve grown a part from many people that I didn’t think I could live without. I’ve become friends with people within a short amount of time yet, it feels like I’ve known them for my entire life. I’ve learned that some people are temporary, while others are inevitable. Many will come and go, some will be there for a lifetime, no matter what the distance may be, while others, our time together has ended and there is no reviving of that. However, I can honestly say that there isn’t any bad blood or harsh feelings on my end.  Some may think that I’m being distance but in reality, I’ve become such a private person. Life got in the way, I’ve learned many lessons and you know what, sometimes it sucks. I often miss many of the people that I grew a part from, but life goes on, and I wish them well.

Glow

Listen, whenever you feel sad, or you feel as though you won’t ever feel happy again…don’t’. Happiness will always find its way back to you, always. I promise you that because everyone finds that place of happiness within them once they acknowledge that once you’ve hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go from there but up. The people who fucked you over or left you heartbroken, they don’t matter.  Sometimes it’ll feel like you’re the only one on your side, and no one understands you but you and that’s okay. You will make mistakes along the way, you will fall and hit obstacles but that doesn’t mean you won’t ever get back up. The power of accepting your downfalls, and learning from it is something that no one can take away from you because it will shape you into the person that you are meant to be; stronger, wiser and better than who you were before. The person who you felt like you couldn’t live without, will be a nonfactor to you once you find the peace and happiness within yourself. That’s more important. The day that you find that within you, will be something that no one can take away from you and they’ll appreciate you for loving yourself to the core. You will glow and radiate an energy that will attract so many people around you, and when they ask how you’re able to do it, you’ll look back and remember the times where you felt like you couldn’t and understand the strength that is embedded within you. This is something that I couldn’t see within myself not too long ago, and I can honestly look at myself now and appreciate the beautiful flower that I have blossomed to be. Find your peace on the inside, and you’ll radiate an aura of happiness on the outside.

I have fallen

I’ve fallen in love with a guy that lets me know how loved and how wanted I am before he falls asleep.

I’ve fallen in love with a guy who constantly cracks jokes because he loves hearing the sound of my laugh.

I’ve fallen in love with a guy who sees a vision through my eyes and puts in an effort to make them come true.

I’ve fallen in love with a guy that knows that things won’t be easy but makes the journey worth it.

I’ve fallen in love with a guy that has been bruised and broken time after time, but has taught me how to get back up and love my scars because we wouldn’t be who we are without them.

I’ve fallen in love with a guy that loves his dog the way he’d love his future child; charismatic and warm, protective but sensitive.

I’ve fallen in love with a guy who loves our Heavenly Father and prays to Him through every trial, and through every celebration, because without Him, he wouldn’t love others in the way that he does.

I’ve fallen in love with a guy that isn’t afraid of hitting the bottom, he isn’t afraid to start over and climb to the top again because he knows that once we climb that mountain, the sky is the limit.

I’ve fallen in love with a guy who saw my inner beauty before my outer. who dug deep into my soul and found every flaw, every strength, and every aspect that made me who i am today. he learned my habits, used my heart as a canvas to paint a picture of our love.

Most importantly, I’ve fallen in love with this guy because after our worlds came crashing down, he held my hand and together we built things back to together. Everything feels uncomplicated and I love being in love with someone who shares my same heartbeat.

find your happiness within

“I started dressing the way I wanted to, I began to have a positive outlook on things around me,  I cleared my mind from negativity. I didn’t want to be sad anymore, yknow. I woke up one day and I told myself that I was going to be happy.”

Being able to go away to Niagara for a couple of days was extremely needed. After finishing a long semester, I was mentally drained and even physically exhausted. I was so tired that my body would ache. Niagara was a sweet escape, I don’t even remember the last time I was so relaxed. I was hardly on my phone, there’s literally no more space on my camera, Vince & I experienced SO much, and my heart & mind were at complete peace. It’s always important to check with yourself, mentally and physically. Are you happy where you are in life? Are you content with the people around you? Are you taking care of yourself?

We all want happy endings. We all want the career that we’ve dreamed of, we all want to fall in love, we all want to be happy. We deserve it, we really do. And we will get where when the time is right. Everyone goes through battles in their lives, sometimes it may feel like the battle never ends but, it will. Trust me, it will. And man, when it’s over, look at how strong, graceful & amazing you’ve become. Happiness starts from within, I’m continuing to learn that everyday, I’m continuing to grow everyday. Knowing that my mind, body & spirit isn’t where it used to be a year ago, or even six months ago, there’s so much beauty within that itself.

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’til next time, Niagara!

Finding Serenity

I have always been the type to deactivate all of my social media accounts for short periods of times, take a break from the social world and explore the outdoors. Especially during the summer, I try to spend as much time outside, and less time locked up in my house. Whether I’m taking my journal to the beach with my best friend, or going to lakeshore and listening to the waves, being able to have a mental break from social media is so important.

Continue reading “Finding Serenity”

This is a place for love, happiness and positivity. You’re more than welcome to join me. 

Apart of the reason why I started this blog was due to the fact that I have been through QUITE the journey in the past year and a half.

Some, I’ve shared with my loved ones. Most, I’ve kept to myself.

I’ve watched myself mentally grow through some of the worst situations that a person could go through when it comes to shitty relationships. Mind you, I was young, naive and still learning about myself when I met these people who have been in and out of my life. Without these experiences, I wouldn’t have half the young woman that I am today, and what’s amazing about it is that I’m still growing as a person. Everything was a learning experience and for that, I am thankful.

Continue reading “This is a place for love, happiness and positivity. You’re more than welcome to join me. “

‘You came for me.’

It’s amazing how the lyrics to a song can feel like it was written just for you. I have been trying to put the way that I feel into words, but how do you describe a feeling that feels so… foreign. As if this ‘feeling’ is in a different language. Something that I’m not familiar with, something that I have had trouble trying to understand.

Continue reading “‘You came for me.’”

what a blessing to be a woman

What a blessing it is to be a woman.

To be a vulnerable, overbearing
emotional, overly passionate,
far too loving, sensitive,
new life bearing, hopeless romantic,
soul searching, lustful

Yet to be so elegant, strong and beautiful.

Continue reading “what a blessing to be a woman”