I’ve gathered some of my favorite shots from 2013.
In 2013 I experienced Haiti in March, and the Bahamas in December. I witnessed the beauty that is my stubborn and exquisite hair growth. I successfully completed 75% of my graduate program in Speech language Pathology. I inked Costa Rica’s unofficial motto on my hip. Life was great to me in 2013. Cheers to an even more delicious 2014!
Read more about my exquisite goddaughter here and here.
I am currently in the thick of finals and I am so distractable! 8 more days until the Bahamas and my mind is elsewhere right now! But I have to take 2 finals before then: one for my Dysphagia (swallowing disorders) class and the other for my Voice Disorders. My Thanksgiving was swell this year, I was invited to the Jersey Shore to celebrate with a dear bloggie friend. It’s my second consecutive year spending Thanksgiving with her. The day after Thanksgiving, she was itching for a new tattoo and I was still thinking about the tattoo I never got for my birthday. Throwing caution to the wind, we went and did it. Just like that. Okay, maybe with just a little peer-pressure on her part.
Now, I’m not going to say I wasn’t scared. I was. I won’t say it didn’t hurt. It did. But once I got over the drilling noise (which reminded me of the dentist) and I turned the other way while he worked, I was fine. Before long, the pain turned to pressure. Uncomfortable pressure, but nothing I couldn’t stand. The healing process is underway now. The tattoo went from being sensitive/red and sore to the touch, to peeling and dry looking. The ink is not as dark as it once was, and now you can see how it’s engraved in my skin as opposed to looking like someone wrote on me with a Sharpie maker. So it’s set.
I will say my tattoo artist, Jimmie, wasn’t very comforting. My friend held my hand and talked me through it before he began and through the first few minutes. I practically self-soothed afterwards. I always watch the tattoo shows and think it’s pretty cool when the artists try to build rapport with the clients, although they may not possibly ever see them again (maybe they just do that for TV). It’s important, as a first timer, to feel that this person with painful instruments who is in close proximity to you wants to make sure you’re cool and happy with what is going on. Jimmie didn’t feed into my fantasy. Well, now it’s over and I’m not sure I’ll go for anymore tattoos. Not because Jimmie didn’t baby me. Just because I can’t see anything else I want that bad on my body.
So…I know you’ve been waiting to get a glimpse of my new INK!
PURA VIDA and its significance
“Pura vida” is Costa Rica’s unofficial national slogan that is used in everyday conversation. The literal translation to English “pure life” loses its essence as is common in word-for-word translations but it basically evokes the spirit that ´life is good.´In essence, Pura Vida is a mentality, a daily reminder to take life easy and never lose sight of what’s really important in the bigger scheme of things.
“A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” George Moore
Although the mere thought, fantasy, or idea of any type of trip gives me inexplicable joy the fact that I have somewhere to call home is also very comforting. During this extended time away, I learned that I love spontaneity as well as stability. I love the ability to get up and go and not worry about paying anything but a storage unit. I don’t like being tied down to a job but I know that in order to pay to travel, I will need to dedicate myself to a field for a significant amount of time. I’m equally in love with the idea of home, a place quietly waiting your return. A refuge where you refuel, relive memories, rest, and plan for your next trip. My next goal in life will be to balance a career and home life without sacrificing or apologizing for my deep desire to travel somewhere new once a year. I don’t want to work for vacation, instead, I want to fully challenged and satisfied at work to make vacations that much more meaningful. I want to love what I do, both at home and away.
In spite of the fact that I’m ready to stop calling NYC home, I’m glad to have been bred in a City that many only see in movies and read in books. There’s nothing like seeing NYC with virgin eyes. On my way back home, my flight flew into LaGuardia Airport. In preparation for landing, the plane hovers low over the island of Manhattan (see left, not my picture though). Looking out of my window seat that night with no cloud coverage, my eyes were captured by the conglomeration of lights around 42nd Street, also known as Times Square. How beautiful, I thought to myself. It had been a while since I thought of NYC as beautiful. Home has received me very well, I must admit. Maybe because I know my time here is short, since I will be beginning my next endeavor in 2 weeks (details soon). Maybe because I’ve been away long enough to appreciate what I’ve missed practically all summer. Whatever it is, I’m still learning how to incorporate PURA VIDA when I’m not in Costa Rica. More specifically I’m striving to be present daily, how to not beat myself up for planning ONE TASK a day, how to stay away from fast food, and how to remain active mentally and physically. I don’t know when I’ll be back to Costa Rica again, but I have enough memories, pictures and blog posts to remind me of all the things I have learned.
I came back to NYC to find that: although your environment shapes you, it shouldn’t rule your attitude or happiness. If it does, do what you can to change it!
Ever had an epiphany on your way home or after returning from a trip?
“Pura vida” is Costa Rica’s unofficial national slogan that is used in everyday conversation. The literal translation to English “pure life” loses its essence as is common in word-for-word translations but it basically evokes the spirit that ´life is good.´ The expression conveys the state of happiness, peace and tranquility that the political stability and high quality of life bring to Costa Ricans (also known as Ticos/Ticas). Pura Vida celebrates the constant appreciation of the simple life void of unnecessary technological distractions. It values the fact that no matter how many deadlines, appointments and responsibilities are ahead life is still good. The phrase can be used as a greeting (in place of “hello” or “goodbye”) a response to “how are you?” or as a well-wish to someone at the end of a conversation. In essence, Pura Vida is a mentality, a daily reminder to take life easy and never lose sight of what’s really important in the bigger scheme of things.