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I said yes.
It was New Year’s Day, and we were all emotional. Not only were we reflecting upon our year, we were saying goodbye to 2020... a really, really, particularly difficult year for everyone.
We were in Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo spending the holidays with my family who we were finally able to see after a long time. He suggested we go and watch the last sunset of the year at the beach, just him, our dog, and me.
We got to the beach and he took out a bottle of champagne. I thought nothing of it because it was New Years! Everyone was in a celebratory mood.
He poured me a glass as he talked about our future together and asked me how I felt about our future. Again, I didn’t think much of it because it was New Years! Everyone was feeling emotional.
He made me a beautiful promise about our commitment to each other, and so I took a colorful ring that I was wearing and put it on his pinky finger as a promise.
Then, I turned to look at the most beautiful sunset in front of us and said “I want to do an Instagram live of the sunset, for all those people who weren’t able to leave their homes today”. He loved the idea and so I took my phone, connected to a live stream, and left my phone on the sand looking at the sunset.
He grabbed my hand and said “come let’s say goodbye to the last sunset of the year, stand up and let’s do a salutation to the sun”. He took me and placed me right in front of my Instagram live, which I wasn’t happy about because he was blocking the view for everyone! “Trust me” he said.
Then, right there, front center of my Instagram Live feed, he got down on one knee, grabbed my hand, put the ring on my finger, and asked me if I wanted to marry him.
I immediately thought he was kidding... I thought the ring he put on my finger was mine, the one I had just put on his pinky moments earlier... and I thought he was pretending to propose as a joke to my Instagram live. Also it was dark already so I couldn’t see the ring.
“Stop it!” I said. And immediately covered my hand with my finger. As soon as I did this, I felt what was clearly not my ring but and engagement ring... and went into COMPLETE PANIC mode.
I didn’t know what to do and all I could think of was the live stream! So I turned around and ran away... leaving him there, down on one knee.
I was hyperventilating, genuinely couldn’t think, and nothing... absolutely nothing was coming out of my mouth. He got up and came towards where I was, and then got down on a knee again and said “I’m not moving until you say yes or no”.
As much as I wanted to say something, NOTHING was coming out. My brain shut down for what felt like forever, and I was paralyzed. The shock was real...
I burst into tears because it was all I could do and then I saw his worried face, which is what finally made me react and say “Yes, okay? The answer is yes. But just give me a minute, let me breathe.” I walked a few steps, took a couple of breathes and then turned back to him and said “okay... I’m so sorry. Can you please ask me again?”.
He laughed, and asked me again, and my response was a bit better this time. Then we went back to the house where my entire family was waiting with the Bruno Mars song “I think I want to marry you” blasting full volume.
Even though we had been together for 4 years, and had spoken about marriage and future plans for a while, I was genuinely in complete shock. Somehow, I felt like I had thought about the idea of marriage but had never truly processed what it meant to me until I saw him down on one knee.
Never in a million years did I think that my reaction would have been like that, or that I would have been completely taken by surprise! (I thought I knew everything...)
The proposal was a very big lesson for me... I had always thought about marriage as an “obvious” thing in my life because I grew up with that belief, and so I had somehow (subconsciously) thought that I didn’t even have to think about it or question what I wanted. I didn’t actually need to ask myself that because “you HAVE to get married”. My whole life I had been so focused on getting someone to want to marry me, that I hadn’t actually asked myself if I wanted to get married in the first place.
When he asked me, I panicked, because for the first time in my life I was asking myself that question. It wasn’t even that I was so confused about the answer, or shocked by his proposal, it actually had nothing to do with him... I knew I loved this man and that I wanted to be with him, I was just in shock and a little heartbroken with myself by the realization that I hadn’t ever asked MYSELF that question until that very moment. I had always deemed this life changing decision as obvious, when honestly very few things are.
Thankfully, in this case, my answer to that question was in sync with what was happening, I wanted to marry this man. But I learned the importance of putting myself first and ME asking myself those questions before anyone else.
Now, we’re engaged and in love, and scared, and excited, and learning how to be a better couple every day. This is just the beginning of our story... and I can’t wait to see it unfold.
P.S. To all of you who are married or in relationships, what do you think is the secret to a happy relationship?
What is... Anxiety
I was asked by someone who didn’t believe in anxiety, what anxiety was for me. I wrote the first thing that came to mind (which probably confused that person even more) but here it goes...
An intangibly tangible feeling of overwhelming emotion caused by a mixture of fear and excitement, usually provoked by, or triggered by, a situation containing an unknown factor or an unexplainable question or fact.
A state of being that, if and when not addressed, becomes more and more apparent, slowly becoming the norm. Starts off with a thought, then a stream of them (usually filled with hypotheticals), then it becomes physical... thoughts interrupted by thoughts interrupted by a weird stomach pain, interrupted by the realization that every muscle in your body is contracted. Oh and you are also somehow not breathing.
Do you even remember what the initial thought that triggered everything was?
Probably not. But if you do, is it still relevant? Is it even real or is it a hypothetical? Probably the latter.
Does it really deserve this much attention? Does it really deserve YOU?
Not everyone gets it... but if you do, you know.
Work took 5 days of my week. I don’t have my favourite day. I’m not a fan of Mondays, I may say that I like No Plastic use Wednesdays, I’m excited for Fridays and Saturdays because I can drink without worrying about the next morning. While Holidays were just a bonus. There are days that you felt more hungry, more tired, angrier and happier than any other days.
We’re given less than an hour to have our lunch, not to fully enjoy them but to at least energize ourselves for the next 4 hours or more. To survive the working day still standing even just physically. I know you know what I mean especially if you work in a health care system, it’s a battlefield.
My senior workmate made fried rice for her son in the morning; she thoughtfully left a portion for me to have for lunch. While socially distanced, eating lunch with her, I managed to observe the weird taste of the fried rice that I’m eating. I told my senior, what ingredients she used because there’s something unfamiliar with it.
· This is how we simply do Chinese fried rice:
· Fry the rice by lightly browning in a pan or wok.
· Stir-fry the onions, garlic, and carrots until tender.
· Make a large well in the centre of the pan with the rice.
· Pour in the whisked eggs and scramble until small curds form.
· Soy sauce is optional but adds a savoury flavour to the rice.
· Add green peas at the end to retain colour and shape.
Adding more ingredients to it is optional so that I asked. While enjoying it she told me, maybe because of the onion leaves. Then I Just nodded “Maybe, maybe” but I’m not 100% agreeing with it in my mind. I also mentioned that her fried rice tastes better than those from commercial fried rice we can buy in a fast-food chain. Then, maybe after 5 minutes, she added “Ohh I almost forgot, I also added margarine to it. Then I replied, “Oh that’s it! The colour of the rice speaks for it!” That’s when I realized I finished the whole bowl maybe in just 15 minutes. That’s quick, right?
I ate the fried rice with sautéed mixed vegetables fresh from my Uncle’s cooking and a piece of veggie meatball. For my drink I had, a Grande Iced coffee, delivered before lunch. Not from my usual store of choice but it’s refreshing.
After maybe 30 minutes or so, my stomach started to feel weird. But it’s not the type when you are having diarrhoea. It’s more like the feeling like you’re going to vomit because the food in your stomach got denied you feel like a whirlwind of movement inside That’s when I realized, something upsets my stomach and it’s seriously a big deal for me. Because I don’t like treating my prescribed medicines or whatsoever because I’m sensitive to antibiotics.
When I got to the comfort room, I felt warm inside my stomach, but my skin so cold. I’m perspiring like I’m in hell while vomiting. I puked up everything solid that I had. In just a matter of an hour, I had at least 8-10 vomit incidents just to expel everything out of my system. What I know is that, if I don’t make them all expelled from my stomach, I will never be feeling okay.
The whole afternoon up to 5 pm. I just sat there in our pantry like a piece of shit, with a cup of warm water, a tablet of antacid which I didn’t what to take and a clean t-shirt to wipe my sweat. I slept for an hour. When I woke up, I’m feeling a little bit better. At first, the thing is we didn’t take the Friend Rice to be the culprit. My senior thought it’s the iced cold coffee. For me, I know within me it’s the margarine from the Fried Rice but I didn’t tell her because I’m not entirely sure.
When it’s time to time- out her son called and guesses what. He also got a stomach ache from the fried rice. For me, that’s only the second time I had that kind of reaction because usually, I can catch spoiled food just by smelling it before having a bite. But because I trusted my friend I didn’t even consider it to end up that way. My senior workmate apologized so many times, I just told her that’s it is fine; she didn’t do it on purpose.
I guess next time I just to be more careful. Ugh. But yeah I hated that moment. I didn’t like what it did to my body. Thank God for Gatorade.
He liked the game of love. But he didn’t like the chase. He didn’t like to fight to get you back. It was to much. He didn’t like you chasing him back. He just loved the game. If the game was there he was willing to play. But he wasn’t in the mood to search for the game. He just wanted to be a player. And let the game come to him. The game always ended and it never lasted. He never cared enough to search he just wanted the high of starting and ending the game. As if he passed a level and went higher up in the game. And he kept going as if he thought he was going higher and higher. Until he realized that he was never beating the game. It was all an escape of forever being alone. He didn’t want to fight for something he knew wasn’t gonna last. So he treated love like a game so he wouldn’t have to fight for it and date whoever. So he could never be so alone. That is what he called the game of love.
He started reading the Bible when he was very young. The only memory he has from his father is a letter he sent his unborn son from a prison camp in Vietnam. In it, the American soldier stated that he was quite sure he wouldn't make it back home, and the his son should take good care of his mother. He will never know if it was raining that day or if his father was crying, because the ink was blotted and some phrases could barely be made out. However, upon receiving the letter, his mother decided she had to be strong, a single Latino mother in Texas in the late 60's. When her son was born, she decided to name him after his father, and raise a strong independent young man, who started reading the Bible when he was very young. He found solace in the good book, and kept his fathers letter, not only as his only memory of him, but as a beacon to lead a life of virtuousness always taking good care of his mother.
Oh Christmas Tree
Hundreds of millions of people each year come to see the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, but most don't know how this tradition began.
SMALL ROOTS On Christmas Eve 1931, a group of construction workers bought a 20-foot fir tree. It was adorned with homemade decorations. Two years later in 1933, 30 Rockefeller Plaza opened and with it the first official Christmas tree was displayed with just 700 lights. The custom continued through the Great Depression. During World War II, trees weren't lit to comply with blackout regulations, but they were decorated in patriotic red, white and blue. In 1949, the tree was painted silver as if to appear draped in snow. AN ANNUAL TRADITION The first tree lighting ceremony was televised in 1951 on the "Kate SmithShow." Since then, famous celebrities and politicians have hosted the special each year. Though the tree is the main attraction, there are lots of other holiday fixtures around the plaza to see. The dozen wired angels first appeared in 1969. This year (2018), a new, 900-pound Swarovski Star is debuting, which contains three million crystals along 70 triangular spikes.Each year at the close of the season the tree is taken down and its wood is donated to the Habitat for Humanity foundation where it is used to build homes for those in need.
Lower Keys Underwater Music
Every summer I head to the Florida keys for a unique music festival that takes "water music" to a whole new level. Hundreds of divers and snorkelers tune in on a beautiful coral reef in the National Marine Sanctuary in the Florida Keys, where celebrity attendees like the Snorkeling Elvis's are a traditional part of the scene. Selections ranging from "Yellow Submarine" to humpback whale songs are piped underwater for an unforgettable music experience.
Julian has two doting grandparents, both of which were born and raised in Northern Italy, but now live in Australia. Julian will tell you that one of his greatest childhood memories revolves around the words 'gnocchi' and 'Nonna,' which means grandmother in Italian.
As a little boy, Julian would run around his Nonna's estate with his best friend and cousin, Adrian. They would play around the gardens enjoying the fresh air, popping their heads into the kitchen every now and then to say "hi" to their Nonna, who would be very busy making her famous gnocchi from scratch.
For years, Julian would watch his Nonna expertly produce pounds of gnocchi dough and place it into the freezer for the upcoming week. Julian and Adrian loved the uncooked dough so much that they would sneak into the freezer at night and eat the gnocchi dough when nobody was looking. Nonna's homemade gnocchi was the tastiest thing in the world.
Nonna's cooking raised Julian's standards of food forever! Nothing beats a home cooked meal by Nonna.
When you're young and on vacation, sometimes you get too drunk.
I was visiting the Bahamas with my boyfriend, a friend and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend happened to be my boyfriend's brother… So, we were basically sister-in-law's, right? The perfect partners in crime. Well, we were staying on her family's beautiful boat and planning to boat around the islands. However, there was a tropical storm over the course of our vacation, so we weren't allowed to leave the dock. We didn't mind because we were docked at the Atlantis Resort and had a beautiful boat to enjoy.
Upon our anticipated arrival, we unpacked and then began our evening with a cheerful glass of wine over happy hour. As the sunset while sipping our crisp rosé, we felt quite sophisticated. Eventually we moved on to dinner inside the resort and we upgraded to lychee martini's over sushi and great conversation. Before you know it, we were ordering tropical cocktails in the casino. What is even in a tropical cocktail? Rum, peach schnapps, sugary liqueurs… who knows.
As us girls started really enjoying ourselves, for some reason we decided it would be fun to ditch the boys at the craps table and order shots of tequila at the bar. (For the record, the Tequila was NOT my idea and tequila is NOT my friend.) In the following hour or so, we ordered shots for an entire college basketball team and made
great friends, defended each other in a bar fight and made
enemies and finally ended-up at a blackjack table. To my surprise my friend was fantastic at blackjack! Being a focused drunk, I started to worry that with one wrong hand she could lose all her winnings. So, while she drunkenly put all her chips on the table, I was drunkenly sneaking them into my purse, so she could cash in.
Apparently, the boys had become quite worried during our "missing hours" and eventually found us back in the casino. They weren't too happy, but we didn't care in the moment — sorry boys. As they escorted us back to the boat, I sobered-up into "mom mode" worried that my friend had one or two drinks too many. My friend went directly to bed and once the rocky waves hitting the boat shook my stomach, I went straight to the bathroom. (Keep in mind bathrooms on a boat, are quite compact.) This was not one of my finest moments, but admittedly, I fell asleep next to the toilet. YOLO.
In the morning as I awoke, I realized my friend was curled up on the bathroom floor next to me. As we both came to our senses, we realized we were both laying there, cuddling with a towel... naked?! It was awkward for a minute until we broke out in laughter. A very hungover laughter. We now joke that this moment took our friendship to a whole new level. When I asked her why she joined me in the bathroom, she said she came in to check on me and then thought that the cold bathroom tile felt nice.
When you're young and on vacation, sometimes you get too drunk and make memories of a lifetime.
Don't Love A Person with Your Whole Heart
Eliza is a young woman in her early 30's who has been around the block a few times. She knows a thing or two about relationships: love, lust and heartbreak. She understands these things with such a clear mentality, one could even say she is a professional! With that being said, Eliza often shares a poignant lesson… If you ever meet her, she will tell you, "Never give someone your full heart. Always, always, always leave room in your heart to love yourself first. If you don't do that and you become heartbroken, you will feel destroyed. You will have nothing to build your heart back to its fullness -- and we all deserve full hearts." Be kind to yourself. Know that you are worthy of a full heart.