celebration

A New Year, A New Me.

I’m over people who make stupid resolutions.
This year, I’ll stop biting my nails.
This year, I’ll stop getting blackout drunk and making out with randos.
This year, I’ll continue using deodorant.
STFU.

Surely, you can also argue that some people make totally impractical resolutions.
This year, I’ll get a promotion.
This year, I’ll end world hunger.
This year, I’ll learn how to speak whale.
No… You STFU too.
There is no way you can control these things.

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. If you’re trying to better yourself and your lifestyle, then you should do that every single day, whenever you spontaneously think of something – not just because it’s a new year.

                                        

When death stares you in the face, everything changes. I mean, everything. I don’t only want good health, but I want a better, pure life. So, here I am making 10 promises for 2014 even though I’m totally against New Year’s resolutions.

          1. God never gives you more than you can handle. Let him in.  In troubled times, I will not push him away, but rather pull him closer. I will look at stress and depression in the face and smile. No day should be miz. Every living day is a blessing. I just need to have the strength to accept things as they come. I am strong. I will only become stronger.
          2. Don’t talk shit about anyone. Just don’t do it. You never know what’s in someone’s heart until you truly know them. Accept people as they are, and if you don’t like them then pray for them.
          3. Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood (thanks John Mayer). I always thought about getting that lyric tattooed somewhere on my body. It’s just so intelligent. Fears are only an act of imagination and if you don’t have the strength to think of it in that manner, then every fear can be conquered and fought.
          4.  Walk more, sit less. When I couldn’t walk after surgery, I broke down. I felt like a child. So fragile. I promised myself, as long as I live, I will walk and stay active. I will also open my mind to new things and discover the world’s wonders. Being curious and learning new things each day will allow me to grow.
          5. Spend more time with family. I am so blessed to have such a large family. Some people don’t even have parents far less for cousins. I’m so lucky to have three grandparents still alive and in better health than me. They have stories to last a lifetime. It’s also important to make them feel special – because they are. If there’s one thing I learned during my days in the hospital, it’s that family will ALWAYS be there. No matter what.
          6. Enjoy life and embrace awesomeness. Most days, I’m tied up in homework or running my magazine. I’m always fussing over something. I never take the time to really count my blessings. It’s the little things that make life so precious. If you haven’t read The Book Of Awesome then you should get off of your ass and head straight to Barnes and Noble. Something so small as putting on underwear as soon as it’s out of the dryer, or walking barefoot in wet grass is what makes life special. We never take it into consideration. Every moment is awesome. I need to recognize that.
          7. Help others. There are so many people in the world with nothing. Rather than throwing coins in fountains and making wishes, you should collect change and donate it to your favorite charity. Every penny counts. More importantly, try not to donate. If you can psychically be present, then do it. Go on the street and help the homeless, go to a school and tutor the illiterate, go to an orphanage and play with kids.
          8. Be positive. A smile goes a long way. Instead of looking in the mirror and saying, “Ugh, I look like a beach whale,” say, “Damn, my eyes look gorgeous in this light.” Identify beauty and the good in everything and your life will change significantly. Buh-bye, negativity.
          9. Be honest. Be honest with yourself and everyone around you. Lies only lead to more lies. If you’re the girl who bursts everyone’s bubbles, at least you’re doing the right thing.
          10. Meditate. I have to do a million breathing exercises and it’ll take months till I feel back to normal. Taking 10 seconds a day to just sit down, breathe and reflect on life can make a huge difference. It also gives me a time to say thank you to God for all that he has done. Happiness will flow through my veins. I know it.

                                        

Right now, all of my friends and most of my family are in Tobago lying on a beach with the sand in their toes and the sea breeze in their hair. They’re all bringing in the new year together.

The rest of my friends are in NYC getting trashed, pouring champagne (or vomiting) all over the club’s floor, and ending the night with a really romantic sloppy midnight kiss.

I’m staying home with my family – home being Florida, not Trinidad.

I guess both Christmas and New Year’s wasn’t what I originally had in mind. But I am with family, and that makes up for the serious case of FOMO I’m experiencing.

What Christmas Means To A Girl Who Almost Lost Her Life

…. And what it should mean to you too.

I am a Christmas miracle.

During my surgery, the doctor called my parents and said, “If this is cancerous, I’ll have to close her up and send her home.” With a tumor the size of a cantaloupe, there would have been no hope for me – even with chemotherapy.

After being discharged from the hospital and driving back to Florida, I made the decision to stay put. I wasn’t mentally or physically able to fly back to Trinidad just yet.

We were lucky enough to find flights for the rest of my siblings to meet us three days before Christmas. And that is what counts the most.

It’s extremely different. It doesn’t feel like Christmas at all – or at least that’s what I thought.

I planned to build snowmen, put up a tree in my apartment and sing carols all November long to prepare myself for a great Christmas. We all know those plans went down very quickly. And my spirit had been shot after spending so much time in a hospital that only had one wreath hanging.

Usually, at home, I celebrate Christmas with all 100 family members on both sides of the family. There are red decorations, red food, and red everything in every corner.

BUT there’s a hustle and a bustle that I did not miss. Where and when did we lose the meaning of Christmas?

We’re always running around, starting mid-November, looking for gifts for this person and that person. We’re always lying on the floor, looking under the tree, and counting how many gifts have our names on it. Who cares?

That’s not what Christmas is about. Christmas is about being with your family, and most importantly being able to celebrate having your family with you. I’m so blessed to even see another Christmas.

Christmas is also about giving. Sure, we should give to those that we love, but what about the less fortunate? There are so many children that Santa never gets to. There are so many people that don’t even have bread on their tables while we make and eat unnecessary amounts of food.

photo 3 (3)

I kept crying about not being able to go home. I felt guilty and I wanted to be with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins more than anything else in the world. They’re my rock. But, there is good in just having my intermediate family here in Florida. We can really understand why Christmas is so important. What happened over the last few weeks should make our love for each other grow so much more and we can really learn to be grateful for having each other. This gives us time to reflect and build upon our experiences.

I am so happy to spend yet another Christmas with the most amazing people I could have ever asked God for.

Also, I finally got the experience of having a real Christmas tree. YAY!