Advice / Health / Lessons / Life / Personal / photograph / photography / positivety / Relaxation / Relaxing / short story

Don’t Torture Your Body. Reward it!

Don't Torture Your Body. Reward it!

On occasion it’s better to let your thoughts slow and allow your body time to unbend.

Some days as much as one feels they must do something–they have got to remember: lists and chores only “have” to be done because ‘people’ have made them a priority. Why not make it a priority to allow yourself just a few minutes of relaxation. Take a short walk to your favorite bakery. Take an extra 30 minutes on your lunch break to eat with a friend. At work close your eyes–even for those five slow seconds you are allowing your mind to rest and letting your computer-staring eyes relax for a minute. Take a deep breath–even if you don’t have time today–give yourself time tomorrow or the next day.

As much as you believe in work, or spending time with your family, or doing things for school–you should believe in caring for yourself and for the body that allows you the ability to accomplish all of your daily tasks. Give yourself a break and promise yourself a moment to unwind.

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Family / Lessons / Life / Personal / photograph / photography / short story

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things

Weekly Writing Challenge: A Few of My Favorite Things

Rain drops, the size of acorns fall rapidly onto the tin roof–I cuddle with grandma. Every night since we’ve arrived rain has spilled over the town at exactly 6pm. Each storm sounding as though a metal bucket was being held over our ears, as Niagra Falls poured in.

That is my first experience in El Salvador but not my first memory of it.

When I was little I can recall my grandmother bringing back towels, white shirts made of “manta” and crosses that were to be worn around ones neck. One of the more commonly recognized things she would bring back were wooden letters–all with the same symbols painted onto them. Each object is referred to as “tipicos” or rather (A typical design one will find in El Salvador) The older I got the more I would see these symbols: in my house, on change purses and especially on crosses both my grandmother and mother had, specifically, on black string and in my grandmothers case hanging on the wall in her bedroom. These symbols were so evenly weaved into my life that I never realized what they truly meant. My grandmother–had brought a piece of her land back to America. She shared it with us. Ingrained even the smallest images, of objects, that surrounded her when she was younger so that we could be part of that too.

It wasn’t until I turned fifteen and traveled to Tenancingo, the small town where her, my grandfather and the rest of my moms side of the family grew up, that I realized how close we had been all along to our roots and our past. It took just seeing those small painted figures to realize how much I already knew. How much my grandmother had previously shown me and taught me. In that moment and in those memories of El Salvador, I saw how meaningful and telling an object can really be.

So today I can recognize that my most prized possession is a small hand-carved piece of wood. A letter many have seen before–but that I bought for myself in El Salvador–Not because I wanted to hang it on my bedroom door or have it decorate my room, but because it reminded me of something. It reminded me of my family and always will.

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Family / Lessons / Life / Personal / photograph / photography / short story

Growth

Growth

(1) The process of increasing in size. (2) The process of maturing mentally.

For the majority of my life I have been one of the only girls “growing” in my family besides my mother who had already reached her maximum height around the age of twelve and my grandmother who instead of growing, seemed to remain ageless. It wasn’t until September that all of that changed. My mothers stomach began to develop. And on April 9th 2009 she gave birth.

For many years I had only experienced the mother-daughter relationship between my mother and myself. Now I see something different. I see my mother cuddling my sister. Singing her goofy kid songs until she falls asleep. I watch my mom sleep with her–watch her rest my sister on my fathers side of the bed, until she’s fast asleep and my dad no longer has a place to rest. My mother has patience now–patience I never experienced her have with me.

As a teen I was mischievous, staying out after hours. Spending nights at friends houses whose parents were neglectful and allowed us to leave their home whenever we felt necessary. That was a time in my life where I could of cared less about what my mother thought. But now things have changed. I watch her with this young child and I wonder–was she this same woman with me? This same mother? Did she cuddle me in bed until I slept? Until my eyes were closed shut and I was dreaming?

Maybe her yelling was good.

I watch my sister now and wish for her to be good. For her not to go through things I went through and even if she is a young-dumb-teenager, that she’ll learn the way I did. I want her to be able to grow–to be able to stand on her two adult feet, and be proud of herself.

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Family / Lessons / Life / Personal / photograph / photography / short story

Bent

Bent

For the past three years now it has been a challenge to call two places home. To be able to rest my head on two pillows and stay comfortable is hard. I am a strongly family oriented person. It wasn’t until about two years ago that I realized having lived in a one-bedroom, basement apartment the majority of my life has the most to do with it.

Continuous nights I slept tightly next to my younger brother on a mattress that to this day rests on the carpeted floor. My head pressed against what my brother and I have called my parents, “up-bed” for the longest time; or rather “a normal bed”. Three years ago my sister was born and no matter how much larger our family grew we all continued to be happy. We learned to not deal with each other but love each other. We never ignored our living situation it was just normal.

Now I sit typing in the living room of my two bedroom apartment and it feels empty. Roommates stay in rooms with doors shut. Each one of us watching shows separately on our computers. There are no meals eaten together. The couches still appear unused even with the knowledge that past residents have reclined in them. Living here has just felt empty. Many a time I’ve tried to fill a room with music–I’ve tried to sit in the living room to make it feel lived in, keep a decent amount of food in the fridge and on nearly every hour I have free of, essays, photo printing or studying, I walk. It isn’t until now that I’ve realized my walking is a way of me filling my days–filling my life up here, until I head back home for breaks.

Although living in a basement apartment isn’t the ideal for a family of what is now five. A cluttered three rooms and the people living in them is what I miss. And being around people who actually interact with each other, eat dinners together not because they are forced but because they want to, will always be better than a vacant heart and an empty home.

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