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Operation Christmas 2021

“Why did you decide to do the Christmas baskets?” My sister asked during a facetime call; I am not going to lie, I was a little hurt by her question. Did she not think I was capable of doing nice things? After exchanging a few more words, she added, “I just wanted to understand your why.”

As many of you already know, El Salvador is a huge soft spot for me. I have found ways to help from a very young age. I will attribute most of it to my parents; they often volunteered me and my services to help the community be it interpreting, filling out forms, or fundraising; before I knew it, the obligation turned into a passion.

I have been living in El Salvador for over a year now, and I can say I feel like I belong to this community. A few days ago, I had food poisoning, and all my friends came over to check on me. Two of them went through all the mom-and-pop shops looking for Pedialyte, so I would be hydrated. This is just one example of how everyone looks out for everyone.

I love my community; they are selfless and have ALWAYS been there for me. In return, I wanted to be there for my community.

President Bukele sent government workers to distribute boxes with “essential goods” in late April. I was able to get a box myself and saw all things they included- why is this important? This was the guide I used to decide what to include in the baskets. I didn’t need the items in the box, so I gave them away. This helped me realize what items were valuable- what items people wanted and the most likely items to remain unused.

There have been many changes in the country in the past 12 months. For the first time in years, the minimum wage went up. It went from $320 to $360 a month, but as usual, so did the cost of living. In passing conversations with my neighbors, they complained about how expensive the propane gas is, how their electric bill has gone up, and how it is getting harder to live a sustainable life in the canton.

Another conversation with a man from my community was the last spark I needed to ignite the fire and go through with the idea. He told me how when he would go to the butcher shop, the meats were segmented- the top tier meet was reserved for commercial use and the more affluent while the meat that was subpar was given to those living in poverty. He said to me in a defeated voice, “a los pobres siempre les toca lo peor.” Which loosely translates to “the poor always get the worst bargain.”  

That did not sit well with me- it never has, but I knew I could try to do something during the holidays to show them that that is not always true. I went to various supermarkets looking for pre-made baskets. They seemed so voluptuous and pretty. After a closer inspection, I saw the items it included- an XL bag of chips, 1-liter soda, napkins, toilet paper, soap, refried beans in a bag. All of that for $15. I was baffled- who in their right mind would spend that much for those things?

A basket, in my opinion, should contain essentials that people need. Things that people want.

I created an excel sheet and started comparing the price of items I thought were essential at different stores until I found a store that sold things in bulk. At first, they offered to make the baskets for me, but the trick was I would not get wholesale price. After doing some quick math, I realized it was more feasible to buy everything in bulk and package it myself.  

I did just that.

With the $876 raised through Instagram, I purchased 75 baskets. I was able to stretch the money so that I could also include some sort of sweets. I remember my family telling me that growing up, the only time they could afford to drink a Coca-Cola or a soda of any kind was Christmas- so I did my best and ensured each basket included a soda. It is not essential, but if someone who does not have the means to splurge on a soda can have access for the holidays- mission complete.

Once I took the items home, my friends quickly reached out and helped me pack the baskets. It was so much fun bonding with them and getting them involved in such a great activity. I would not have been able to do all the packaging alone- that’s for sure.

The process of giving the baskets was incredibly humbling. I received so many hugs, I was met with so many tears and many faces of relief. 

Thank you for giving 75 families a wonderful Christmas.

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Bye Bye Nine to Five

Language: Español

Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.

I quit my job. After five years of giving my all, it was time to part ways.

It was not an easy decision to make. I knew I wanted to leave for a while, but I could not find it in me to walk away. I always talked myself out of quitting. Every day I would tell myself: “just make it through today… then tomorrow… then the next day”.

I finally reached a point where it was hard to get up in the mornings. It was hard to focus on anything.  I felt so far removed from my job and I felt like I didn’t have anything else to give. No one talks about the stigma of walking away from a “good-paying job” for the sake of your own mental and physical well-being. I am here to tell you, though, to do what you have to do. For yourself. It is your life. You are the main character. Live accordingly.

If you follow my social media, you have seen me showcase the stunning places all over my beautiful country of El Salvador. Contrary to popular belief, I do not spend every day traveling. Even when I would take some PTO, it was “pretend time off.” The calls, e-mails, and texts never stopped. Although I was working remotely, I felt like everyone still had access to me around the clock. I did not have peace of mind. I was perpetually tired. Tired of the sleepless nights, of the constant state of anxiety, and the lack of support and growth.

I am the kind of person who LOVES to learn. I get bored if I am in a setting where I am not being challenged or learning something new. Some love the routine, but I am an adventure seeker. I live for challenges and experiences that will help me grow professionally and personally. While I am beyond thankful for the opportunities I had and the knowledge I gained in this role, I had served my purpose. It was time to move on.

If I said I wasn’t worried about all the hearsay I would be lying. I was quitting a job that had great benefits and that had temporarily allowed me to live the lifestyle I wanted. I say temporarily because, as restrictions were being lifted, it was only a matter of time before my employer would want us in the office again. I know my family would be the first to talk and to judge. I mean are they even family if they don’t do that? I dreaded the conversations that would ensue: “Why did you leave? Did you find a better-paying job? What are you going to do now?” Let’s not forget the comparisons: “Well so and so is doing this, what are you doing?”

Quite frankly, I had to learn to step into my power and remember not everyone deserves an explanation for my decisions. Plus, no matter what I do, people will always have their opinions. I might as well be happy and content with the life I choose to live.

Do I regret quitting? Absolutely not. I am more at peace now. My body has shown me that it, too, is slowly healing from the years of constantly living on high alert in active stress. For my women in the workplace, please listen to your body. For those of you that don’t know, I have a medical condition, PCOS. During my last three years in this role, my body tried to tell me it was not okay, and I did not listen. Since I was “promoted”, I lost my cycle. I tried everything – I lost weight, changed my eating and sleeping habits, and exercised. The stress from this job heavily impacted my body. It has been two months since I resigned, and my cycle is finally back. I am sleeping so much better and on most days I feel good.

Did I risk a lot? Yes.

Am I making as much as I did? Not yet.

Would I make this same decision? Absolutely.

Stay true to who you are. Always value yourself because more often than not, the company you work for will not value you- to them you are replaceable. Make sure you are taking care of yourself.

Always,

Analucy

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Ni de aquí, ni de allá 

I’ve spent two years attempting to write this. I have endless drafts, but none of them succeeded in expressing how I feel. None of the drafts articulated my thoughts and emotions because I could not articulate how I felt when I wrote those. I began writing this piece because I wanted to understand these found emotions. Why was I feeling this? Did I always feel this way?

Why was I conflicted with my identity? Why did I feel guilty for loving one country more than the other? Why did I feel a sense of rejection? Why did I feel like I did not belong?

I thought I knew the answers. At a surface level, it was simple when I looked at it from the outside; people saw me as a privileged white-passing Latina born and raised in the US. How dare I be ungrateful? How dare I complain when I am privileged to live a life others die for? What happens when this Salvadoran-American isn’t American enough but also isn’t Salvadoran enough?

I was raised in a traditional Salvadoran household, the “hay comida en la casa” and “no you can’t sleepover or go over your friend’s house ‘porque uno no los conoce y uno nunca sabe.” I grew up saying “mande” when an adult spoke to me, saying “con permiso” when I had to walk past adults that were talking, and I was guilted when I didn’t like the food by being reminded that kids in Africa were dying of hunger while I was being an ungrateful brat.

In my household, we didn’t watch football or the Superbowl; we watched futbol yelled GOLASOOOO, and waited for the world cup. I never had the American coming of age experience. I did not even enjoy college if I am honest. I struggled to embrace American culture because I did not know much of it. I was a very sheltered child, and I did not spread my wings until I was twenty. It was only then that I began to understand life from my own perspective. I spent my entire life trying to be what people wanted me to be. Recently, I’ve started living for myself- digging deeper, confronting my traumas, my fears, asking the hard questions, and trying to understand all the repressed emotions that have been building up for the past twenty-seven years. Most importantly, I asked myself, why did I always have a hard time making friends and fitting in? Why was I stuck in between my two cultures, and why was it so hard for me to embrace them both?

I am the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants; my first language was Spanish. I am pretty sure the first words I learned were also in Spanish because I did not come into contact with the English language until it was time to enter the education system. Once I was enrolled in school, English slowly started to become more prominent. I was placed in ESOL because of “my accent” and because my parents’ first language was Spanish. Little by little, my native tongue began to feel foreign, and I adopted the language of the colonizers. Once I mastered my English, the desire to speak Spanish was slim to none. Before I knew it, I began to think in English, and slowly I began to lose a part of my identity, but I would not realize it until years later.

When I was in grade school, I experienced my first identity crisis. At home, my parents were loud and proud to be Salvadoran; we even had a huge Salvadoran flag hanging in our living room, and I, too, felt proud. So when a staff member asked me where I was from, I was quick to say, “I’m Salvadoran,” with a big proud smile. She wasn’t amused and began her line of questioning, and eight-year-old me was a little confused. It’s not that deep what more could there be to her stupid question? She continued, “well, where were you born?” looking back at this interaction, I am angry because it was none of her business, but I remember saying to her, ” I was born here [in Maryland].” Then she hit me with, “then you’re American.” Ma’am, I am whatever I say I am; that is what I wish I could tell eight-year-old me to tell that lady. I can remember feeling confused; I did not know there was a right or wrong answer and who was that lady to tell me otherwise.

The older I got, the more my friends would joke with me when I visited El Salvador. They would poke fun at my accent when I spoke Spanish. I swore I didn’t have one, but apparently, I do. In my time living here, I have been singled out, and I have gotten the “white tax” because “the way [I] speak gives me away.” It makes me angry how do I have an accent in my native language when it’s the only language I spoke at home? Then I remember the years I spent in ESOL trying to rid me of my accent, trying to perfect my English. I remember feeling ashamed because I was always pulled out of class, so I let the English language take over. As much as I want to say, “I never cared about fitting in,” that is not true. I did care. I was just good at hiding it. However, the older I got, the less important it became to “fit in” in social settings. I chose growth over the need to “fit in.”

I became an interpreter at a young age. Interpreting in various offices and translating documents. I remember more than a fair share of rude and racist remarks, but I was too young to really understand what was happening then, but I understand now. I wish that was the worst part; looking back, the part that hurt the most was seeing how my parents attempted to shield me from the cruel world.

As an anchor baby or first-generation American child, I had to do a lot of learning on my own. I remember the first time my parents were no longer able to help me with my homework, the sadness and frustration in their eyes. They had no support system, and they wanted to help me- it wasn’t that they weren’t smart; they didn’t understand the way certain things were taught in the American school system. I will forever be grateful for them and all their sacrifices because, despite these obstacles, they supported me in every capacity they could.

How could I love a country that discriminated against and took advantage of my parents? A country that continues to take advantage of my people? How could I love a country filled with xenophobia? How could I love a country where we are made fun of because of the way we speak? How could I love a country that funded a civil war that tore my extended family apart? Tell me, how could I love a country that did not love me? How can I love a country that will never love me back?

I couldn’t. So I loved El Salvador. A country that welcomed its long-lost daughter with open arms. A country that loves me even though I am not a native but a country that loves me more than America ever will.

For many years I struggled to identify why I never belonged. Now I understand. at one point, the US embodied the American dream and the unattainable in other countries. The US represented hope, economic prosperity, the land of opportunities, and so much more; at least, that is what my parents sought when they immigrated. To me, the US represents trauma, xenophobia, systemic racism, isolation, and so much more. I come from a huge family with a sense of community, something that as much as I want in the states is unattainable, and that is why El Salvador has always felt like home.

I will no longer feel ashamed for loving the motherland more than I love the US. I will no longer feel ashamed of loving the land where my family’s beginnings are deeply rooted; The land where my ancestors lay at rest. I acknowledge my privilege in being American, but if you ask me, “where are you from?” I will say with a huge smile, “soy orgullosamente Salvadoreña.”

Love Always,
Analucy

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Full moon empty heart and many worlds apart.

In each loss there is a gain, As in every gain there is a loss, and with each ending comes a new beginning.

Buddhist Proverb

It’s been seven years since I last held your hand since I was able to hug you and tell you how much I love you, but these seven years have felt like a lifetime. so much has happened in these seven years, and it hurts that you are not able to celebrate with me. Of course, I am blessed that I can celebrate with mom and my sister, but a part of me wishes you knew that all the sacrifices you made were not in vain.

I no longer wake up with night terrors every night as I did for the first couple of years. Now they’ve subsided to once a month. For a very long time, I had the same dream over and over again. Night after night, I relived your death. I dreamt that I rushed you to the ER knowing what was to come, and I warned the doctors. I begged them to operate before it was too late. I begged them to save you, but you never made it.

For the longest time, I blamed myself for what happened, and that’s a heavy burden to carry. I always wondered, “what if?” what if I had been around more? What if I would have insisted we go to the doctor when my gut told me something was wrong? What if I wasn’t away at college? What if I wouldn’t have signed the papers to take you off life support? What if… the truth of the matter is “what-ifs” only serve as reminders that there are no re-dos; that there aren’t any ends to the ifs.

I lost you when I was twenty; now I am twenty-seven. In these seven years, I have heard stories you never once shared with me. I have learned about the struggles you faced, the injustices you lived, the sacrifices you made. You shielded me from all of that hurt and all of that trauma, and you protected me, and here I am, feeling like I could not protect you.

When I visit your friends and hometown, I am always met with an overwhelming amount of love. The love is suffocating but in such an amazing way. It is a breath of fresh air to see your memory is still alive and to see with how much love you are still remembered. These are the seeds you planted, and now we reap the fruits of it. It saddens me because when I hear these stories, I realized there was a whole other side to you that I never knew… Just like you never got to know this version of me.

Thank you for always guiding me and preparing me to be the best version of myself. Even though you’re not here, I know that through all my struggles and wins, you are there, cheering me on.

Love Always,
Analucy

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Creating a conscious community: River Clean Up

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

While there are so many beautiful places in El Salvador to visit and showcase to the world, there is a stark contrast that is the reality to a majority of Salvadorans. Many Salvadorans are struggling with poverty, social insecurity, lack of education and resources, just to name a few.

I promised I would showcase the good, the bad, and the ugly but lately, I have just been showcasing the beautiful landscapes and places my country has to offer. Today I want to take some time to talk about the real El Salvador.

I am living in a hacienda; this particular Hacienda has a long and complicated history that I will discuss in another blog post. Long story short, it is private land, but the inhabitants own the land they live in.

In the Hacienda, there is a river that flows through the community. Growing up, I remember my friends and I would go down to the river and be there for hours. Two years ago I visited with my best friend, and the river was completely dry.

The River in the Hacienda in 2019

The owner of the Hacienda uses the river to water his sugar cane plantation, and in doing so, he was one of the many factors that led to the river drying up. These are things the newspaper does not write about, and other media outlets also turn a blind eye. Although you won’t find an article, the people who live here and are affected by it can tell you in detail how their source of living is depleted by the greedy and wealthy Hacienda owners.

Now that I have got that off my chest, the river has slowly begun to flow again this year. Since my arrival, I have gone down with my friends for old time’s sake and to admire its beauty and all the life the river brings into my community.

That was when I noticed how members of my community do not care for this precious body of water as much as they should. They constantly liter and burn their trash alongside the river. Sometimes they block the water from flowing, and the water begins to smell.

After my birthday and my stay in mizata, I was truly inspired by Josh’s work and his ties with the community. Eager to do the same, I asked my close friends and family to help me. We decided to form a small group of 6 people and set the date- May 1st.

In preparation, I began to research how we could properly dispose of the garbage. I was disappointed but not surprised when I realized there aren’t garbage disposals in El Salvador for small and rural communities.

So we had to do what we could and dig some holes and set what we could on fire while taking the plastic and collecting it until we can take it into the city.

To help incentivize and build a stronger sense of community, I met with my group of friends, and we came up with a design and slogan. It uses our countries slang and a call to action. My friend @Rychieboi designed the art, and as always, he made my vision come to life. (you can purchase the shirt to help us in future clean-ups)

http://www.instagram.com/rychieboi

I will show you all the difference in the sector we managed to clean; it’s disheartening seeing old tires, chip bags, water bags, styrofoam, and detergent and bleach bags everywhere.

I think that there are many issues my community faces, one is not knowing any better, and secondly, it is not caring enough to learn.

Even though I cannot create a larger impact or more awareness right now- teaching my friends and the youth that joined the importance of keeping the river clean and hearing them say “it’s for our benefit too” is already enough. To know that these other five community members are already thinking differently and are conscious is a huge start. Stay tuned for our second clean-up and more stories about my community.

For now- No seas dundo y cuida el mundo

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Synchronicities, spirit guides, and the universe.

And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it.

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Over the past two months, I’ve experienced things that have left me speechless. I’ve always felt like I’ve had a sixth sense. Often I am very sensitive and receptive of the unknown, but I’m constantly in denial. 

After the experiences I’m about to describe, I can no longer ignore or deny that a greater power is at work. There are signs everywhere the universe is speaking to me, and I’m finally ready to listen. 

When deciding to move abroad, I had many goals in mind. The most important one was getting right with myself. In doing so, I picked up several books that I wanted to read. I had those books on my desk snd kept telling myself I’ll start on it tomorrow, but tomorrow never came.

In January, I picked up a book written by a friend of mine titled “when the universe speaks.” After reading the foreword and first couple of pages, I was hooked. I can’t remember what happened, but I had to put the book down, and since then, I never picked it back up until I moved. 

When I purchased the book, I purchased a bundle. It included vegan hot cocoa, a chakra realignment session, and the book. Coincidentally, my friend and author of the book reached out to schedule the chakra rebalancing session. I had intended to book it before moving but did not plan accordingly. 

What was interesting about her timing was I was halfway through her book. I was experiencing a lot of synchronicities, and I had different people pushing me and pulling me in the same direction. 

This is my second time having my chakras rebalanced, but my first time doing so virtually. When I joined the zoom call, just hearing Nina’s voice and being in her presence put me at ease. 

I began explaining to her all the weird things that were happening. I was having lucid dreams and kept waking at odd hours between 1-4am. On tik tok I kept receiving tarot readings that were scarily accurate to what was happening in my life. Last but not least, I kept seeing Angel numbers and felt this intense energy around me that was just unexplainable. 

As we began our session, we could not believe this was the longest distance ever for a session. Excited and nervous, I began to meditate and relax. As Nina worked off-screen, I let my mind wander as I heard the sound baths. At certain intervals, I could also see colors vividly. This occurs when people are in tune with their mind, body, and spirit and have a strong third eye.

I kept seeing waves of green, I saw Waves of violet with hints of indigo, and toward the end, I saw an orange and yellow flame. Before I knew it, the realignment was complete, and Nina came back on. She mentioned that my heart chakra was blocked (hence why I saw green). Then she explained my crown chakra and throat chakra were out of balance (the purple and indigo). Last but not least, she mentioned my sacral was also blocked when we started discussing this; Nina said that she envisioned a candle as she cleansed that area, and I got chills. I had seen the flame. 

Later we began discussing other synchronicities. One of them is that whenever I visited my dad’s grave, I always encountered white butterflies. It had been more than one occasion that one landed on my hand. 

The last time I visited I wore green pants and a black top. We drove by a village, and my sister and I spotted some cool chairs and took some pictures. Later that night, I came across a video that I will link below. I cried. I could not believe the timing of everything. 

I messaged Nina, and she has been the very best at hearing me and encouraging me to listen and be unafraid of the universe and its plans for me. 

When the universe speaks- listen. 

A little back story Bruce came into my life last year. My job had him reach out for mental health reasons. I was going through a traumatic experience and loss. Granted, I did not want to talk to this man because I’ve never needed to talk to anyone. I just go through what I go through and keep it moving. When he began to speak, I felt like I knew him. I was no longer on guard but very receptive. There was a connectedness that I could not explain. Instead of focusing on me and my pain, he led the conversation gracefully. He avoided asking, “how do you feel?” instead explained how my feelings were valid and he too had suffered significant losses. He gave me a message that resonated so much, and I decided to keep in touch. 

@cdtarot

Pay attention to birds/butterflies. Clearing road blocks. #spiritguide #tarot #guidance #message

♬ Sparks – Coldplay

Fast forward to this week- I had a rough day at work and had just wrapped up my workday when I get a call. I put down the knife and stopped chopping- it was Bruce. 

Back to the present day- The last time Bruce and I spoke was on New Years’. This time He called a week after my birthday and just wanted to see how I was doing. Let me tell you, I believe God or the universe used this man as an Angel or messenger because his timing is always Devine. 

He called me and said he heard a “great shift in my voice.” I told him I had moved, and the first thing he said was, “I know deep in my heart being closer to home, and your ancestors will help give you more clarity and help you find your life’s purpose.” The crazy thing about his statement was Nina and my cousin had also said this in the previous months. 

He began to tell me about organizations I should look at, and when he described them, I was in shock because I had recently applied to a program exactly like the one he was describing. Then he mentioned an organization by name, and I realized a month prior I had applied to it on my own. 

This Interaction was extremely cathartic, and I cannot even express how I know it was Devine intervention. Something overcame me, and I asked him to do something I have NEVER asked anyone to do for me before. I asked him to pray for me and he did. I had chills and broke down in a way I cannot explain. Towards the end, he asked me if I had someone in my life, and I was taken aback. Truthfully I don’t have anyone, but there’s always that one person who comes to mind when you’re asked about a special someone. 

Then he said, “I want to tell you what I would tell my kids… don’t settle. You are a beacon in light, and you should not let anyone dull your light. What is for you will always be for you. Trust and believe that God will help you find someone who will appreciate you and let you shine without holding you back.” 

I was speechless. I NEEDED to hear that. Mind you, I have never met Bruce in person. For him to just know this and say these things was almost like God telling me, “since you want to miss all the signs you ask for, here is an explicit sign you can choose to ignore- or not.”

These past couple of months have been so damn emotional, but I know in my heart I am where I need to be. I know my angels are watching over me and pushing me in the path I am destined to embark on. I have become more receptive to the messages being sent my way, and now I can say thank you, Nina, Bruce, and Chalo. 

When the universe speaks- listen.

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Moving Abroad Part II: The Big WHY

“If your world doesn’t allow you to dream, move to one where you can.”

-Billy Idol

Since announcing my move abroad, I have received an overwhelming amount of support and well wishes. One of the other things I have received an overwhelming amount of are questions. The biggest two being “why?” and “what?”

Why did you decide to move? Why now? What made you commit? Why El Salvador?

These are questions that I had not yet addressed fully within myself. I could answer them at a surface level, but that would be the tip of the ice burg. My response has been tacit in saying mental health, financial stability, and personal health. However, I decided to sit down with myself and journal as I tried to answer those questions truthfully and with all the vulnerability in the world.

Why did I decide to move abroad, specifically what made me move to El Salvador?

There is no doubt of my ever-lasting love for el Salvador. I have come every other year since being born. I have friends that I consider family, a family home, knowledge of the country, culture, laws, and bureaucratic processes. Although those mentioned above seem like enough reasons, there is so much more.

Since my first international trip to Cuba, I was exposed to living abroad and living alone in a country with no outside connections. It opened my eyes to all the possibilities and how much I actually disliked residing in North America. As I continued to explore the world, I realized how much the American lifestyle was not for me. I hated the capitalistic nature and the egocentric views held by the majority of people in the U.S. I hated that all I did was live to work rather than work to live.

Every time I visited El Salvador, going back to the DMV became harder. I would sit in the airplane and cry for about two hours because I did not want to leave. Truth be told, a part of my heart is buried in El Salvador, and that is what makes leaving a little hard. Being in El Salvador makes me feel closer to home. It sounds weird, but I can honestly say that the States has never felt like home, and I do not think anyone place will ever feel that way.

On my last visit in November 2020, my cousin met me for dinner. He discussed how he had encountered an American woman, and they had a brief conversation. She mentioned she would be teleworking and exploring El Salvador. Since then, the idea of moving while my job allows us to telework was planted. The idea kept growing and growing until it came to fruition.

I have been teleworking for a year due to COVID-19. To say I have struggled in all aspects of my life is an understatement. I am super social and love exploring. Since the pandemic started, I felt like a caged bird and little by little my soul was being crushed. I had little to no will to talk to my friends anymore, write, draw, or do anything for myself. I became a person I did not like and could not stand.
I gained so much weight; I was creeping back into the black hole we call depression; I was a grey blob of sadness and frustration.

The nature of my job in itself is very depressing, don’t get me wrong, for the most part, I enjoy doing it because it’s what I dreamed of. Working in humanitarian services helping people. But how could I help others if I was not helping myself?

I was drained. Emotionally, mentally, and physically, I had lost all motivation. Then I remembered the conversation with my cousin.

I ordered a box to ship my belongings, and I stared at it for a month. Unsure if I should do it. I would write down reasons to do it and reasons why not to do it. Then the voice inside my head started messing with me and telling me, “wouldn’t you rather do it and try rather than wonder what if?”

Realizing that opportunities like these do not often come around, I decided I no longer wanted to be a victim of my circumstances. I wanted to effect change and make the decisions that I would be proud of. Decisions that would help me get to where I want to be. Decisions that would make me feel fulfilled.

If I am honest, I did feel extremely guilty. I recognize my privilege in every sense, from teleworking to moving abroad until my job requires me to move back. I felt guilty for my family and friends that have to go in every day and I felt guilty because I chose to leave.

In the past, I have lived abroad for the wrong reasons: for love, to escape my problems and to escape my reality, but this time none of that is true. What pushed me to commit to moving was realizing I had become too complacent and comfortable. The need to feel independent, save money, and create both physical and arbitrary boundaries is what gave me the last push.

I am living in El Salvador with a US Wage. I am forcing myself to live as close as possible as a true Salvadoran. Allotting six hundred a month for living expenses and saving the rest of my income. I am still adjusting, and even though it can get tough I know it is doable. I can eat out with $4 and no longer have access to fast food or uber eats. Which has already allowed me to make gains in my wellness and fitness journey.

As for setting boundaries, I have always allowed others to have access to me; even if it was not beneficial or healthy for me. I have always struggled with saying no and being stern. Moving abroad has not only severed that access but has allowed me to gain more personal space and has enabled me to learn how to say no and not feel guilty about it. I am continuously working at this, and I know it will not be easy, but it has to be done. I am protecting my energy and my well-being.

So why did I move? What pushed me to move? The love I have found for myself and the desire to be a better version of myself is ultimately the answer. I have a deep desire to fully understand myself, fully love myself, and moving has already allowed me to further that process. There are so many factors, but it ultimately comes down to me. I finally chose to do what makes me happy. I decided to take a risk and commit to myself because I deserve that.

If you take anything away from this- I hope it is the following: it is okay to take risks. It is okay to do what makes you happy, even if it is unconventional and scary. Love yourself as fearlessly as you love others and put your wants and needs first. Remember you can’t pour from an empty cup, and last but not least, enjoy the journey and trust the process- the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Always,
Analucy

Featured

La Libertad Weekend Getaway

Collect moments not things

-Unknown

It’s Pisces season! But why is this relevant to my post? 

Over the weekend, I celebrated my little sister’s birthday in la Libertad. If you have ever met or interacted with the pink princess herself, you know how extra and over the top she can be.

This year she wanted to spend her birthday outside of the United States and on the beach. So she followed me to El Salvador. 

Planning this getaway was stressful as fuck, to say the least. The hotels that we have wanted to stay at were completely booked for the dates we needed. Going from point A to point B seemed impossible, but somehow, we made it work.

Since the hotels were booked, we looked into Airbnb’s, and I successfully reserved our stay at Black Rose.  The views were amazing, and the experience was overall great, but you should know a few things if you decide to book a night or two with them. 

Black Rose is located in La Libertad; getting there was a bit of an ordeal. I was traveling from Usulutan, and it took approximately three hours to get there by car. There is a lot of construction happening now; you can expect 30-60 minute delays. There aren’t any signs indicating that you’ve arrived, so you will have to drive slow and be alert. Worst case scenario, you will pass it and have to make a u-turn. 

There is only one parking spot per house, and there are three houses on the property. The place is divided into the “social space” at the top, meaning living room, kitchen, pool, and bathroom and bedrooms at the bottom. If you want to go to the bedrooms, you will have to exit the social space and go down a set of stairs. There you will find two rooms each with its own bathroom. 

You can comfortably have a total of six guests. If you want to cook, you will have to shop for groceries before entering la Libertad. There is a Super Selectos, but since it is in the beach town, it is pricier, so you may want to check out grocery stores before entering the beach town. If you wish to order food, Black Rose will deliver food from La Isla, a nearby restaurant. The food from La Isla is okay. I was not crazy about it, and it was pricey. Not to mention the wait time was ridiculous.

The wifi sucks. If you want to play music or surf the web, you will find that the reception there is terrible. I suggest downloading a playlist of your favorite songs and bringing a speaker so you can play it by the pool. While staying there, you won’t really want to be on your phone anyway. 

The pool is very comfortable and maybe about three feet deep (0.9 Meters). It does not have railings, so you have to be smart and not try to go over because you will have a nasty fall. There is no beach access, but you will have front row seats to the sunset and sunrise. 

I would 10/10 recommend spending a night here. It was everything I imagined and then a little more. Just remember to pack your bathing suits, speaker, playlist, and BYOB.

One night at Black Rose is valued at $255 to give you a reference. This is during their low season. As you may be aware, prices on Airbnb fluctuate depending on the seasons and the demand, so you may be able to find a better price or it may be the same.

The last tip- secure your transportation; it will make your trip all the more enjoyable. 

Let me know if you decide to book with them.

Always,

Analucy

Featured

Rebalancing My Chakras

The past couple of months have been challenging, as I can imagine, they have been for everyone. I have struggled to find a healthy work-life balance since I began working from home in March. I have tried many things but ultimately get overwhelmed and find myself becoming paralyzed.

I had stopped journaling, writing, posting, and creating content. I felt like I was never in the “right headspace”, or when I finally sat down and picked up a pen, my mind drew a blank. I had told this to a couple of my friends, and I tried the basics, creating a routine, working-out, mediation, and positive affirmations. I started a workout routine and slowly changed my eating habits until I had a schedule change. That was all it took before I knew it I was back to square one -fighting to not go down the dark hole.

If you are not making time for yourself and your well being, try reframing it to, ‘I do not have time to do what I love because I am not a priority’ and see if that sits well with you.

One of my friends mentioned she had gotten her chakras rebalanced and referred me to a holistic healing coach. If you’re a yogi like myself, you know about your chakras, and you know when they aren’t balanced. If you don’t know, I will give you a quick introduction and explain.

Chakra: (n.) from Sanskrit cakra’ wheel or circle,’ from an Indo-European base meaning ‘turn,’ shared by a wheel.

Any of several points of physical or spiritual energy in the human body according to yoga philosophy. 

Chakras are energy points in the body that respond to nerves and major organs. These areas affect our emotional and physical well-being. There are hundreds of chakras on the body, but seven main points run along the base of your spine to the top of your head. When your chakras are blocked, you will most likely feel stagnant and show physical and spiritual ailments. 

The charts below will better explain the 7 Chakras

As I stated earlier, I hadn’t been feeling like myself for a while and felt like my creative juices weren’t flowing; I was at the point that not even yoga made me feel better. So I booked an appointment with Nina.

When I arrived, she was very welcoming and very mellow. As I walked in, my chest felt tight, my shoulders heavy, and my jaw clenched. I was so tense. I walked to a quiet space, and I filled out a couple of forms as she explained the process. I laid down and began to meditate. I became very aware of each breath, each sound, and each movement. She began to burn sage and other things. As she worked on certain parts of my body, I started to see flares of colors.

When she finished, I felt lighter and mellow. She began to explain what Chakras were blocked and let me tell you she was spot-on. Everything I felt and was experiencing coincided with the blockages. She gave me a chart, and she answered every question I had. Nina also provided me with additional information via e-mail.

Before leaving, she asked me to pick a crystal card- one fell, and we decided to keep it- what it said was in line with some of the conversations we had prior. I got chills. The universe will always align and give you signs; it’s up to you to allow the message and trust your gut.

I loved my session with Nina and will return when my body feels the need to. If you would like to book a session, you can find Nina’s instagram here. You can also purchase her book When the Universe Speaks.

If you are not making time for yourself and your well being, try reframing it to, ‘I do not have time to do what I love because I am not a priority’ and see if that sits well with you. 

If you decide to try it, please let me know your thoughts.

Disclaimer: As Nina balanced my chakras she worked around me and did not touch me, This was my first time balancing my chakras. I appreciated that she walked me through the process before the session started and informed me that there would be zero physical contact. If anyone decides to do this be aware that there is no need for physical contact, and you can end your session at any time if you feel uncomfortable.

Always,

Analucy

Featured

29 Rooms

If you’re visiting 29 ROOMS I highly suggest bringing a fun friend with you because there will be a long wait. If I’m being completely honest I was a little underwhelmed by this installation. It might be that they have little time to set up because they are a traveling exhibit or it may be that they haven’t figured out the logistics of entry time to make it a more enjoyable experience.

as I walked to the DC Armory When I first arrived at 10:30AM Saturday morning I saw 3 super long lines moving oh so slow. It took me about 10 minutes to finally get inside then I had to go through security. (If you’re planning of bring your water bottle, They make you throw out your water and refill it inside.)

As Mary and I begin to explore what we thought would be 29 rooms we were met with walls… it was not what I had pictured. The images online made it seem as if every exhibit would be a room you could walk into and explore…It was not.

There were some exhibits that were sort of like rooms as opposed to the walls. Like Mary said it wasn’t really art for the sake of art but art for the sake of Instagram. It was very instagram friendly but I expected more.

There were two rooms in particular that I enjoyed. 29 questions and Blind date with destiny. In 29 questions you sit with a stranger and the curator makes the first 30 seconds extremely awkward. There I met Jenny. We began drawing cards and asking questions. It was a beautiful moment because we got deep really fast- we were open with each other with no fear of judgement and for a second it felt like we were lifelong friends just catching up. I realized we had a lot in common. When our 10 minutes were up, I felt like I wanted to know more. So we exchanged info and are planning a sip and paint soon.

It’s so interesting how in a time where we are all “connected” via social media we are the most disconnected in society. When was the last time you talked to someone new? Or hand a face to face conversation?

Blind date with destiny. I walked into a room and gave my palm to a stranger to read and they did the same. It was pretty interesting because my results were accurate. I’m still wondering who read my palm in case you’re wondering.

All in all I would not pay $42 for another exhibit like this one the reason being we only had 2.5 hrs and the lines to get in where long and the lines to enter the installations were longer. So you’re not able to see or do everything. I was only able to check out 5 exhibits. I think if they would have had differently entry times for groups of people the experience would have been more enjoyable for everyone but that’s just my opinion.

Always,

Analucy

Featured

Exploring El Salvador

“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you.” – Anthony Bourdain

I decided to take an impromptu trip to El Salvador this summer. I had many reasons why I wanted to go but the most obvious reasons: I wanted to get to know my country on a deeper level and I also wanted to capture it’s beauty to change the narrative. I have been traveling to El Salvador since I was born and I know that it has a lot to offer, things that aren’t talked about in the media. So I wanted to shed light on this beautiful country that I call home in hopes of showcasing the beauty and culture that has marked me in many ways. (That will be a whole other post)

Many times when I tell someone I am going to El Salvador I get remarks such as, “Ew, why are you going there? There’s nothing to see or do” or “Good Luck hope you make it back alive.” As a seasoned traveler I would like to point out that there is danger everywhere. It is all about traveling smart and avoiding certain areas and being out at certain times, that goes for traveling in general.

Because my trip was filled with adventures from sunrise to sunset I will break it down by days. I was able to visit a total of 10 Departments – those are equivalent to states. There are 14 total so next go around I plan on visiting them all.

Day one

Arrived at the Airport San Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport (Previously known as Comalapa International Airport located in La Paz) around 12am, made my way to Usulutan where I would be staying for a night. Slept for a bit and then visited my fathers grave in Uluazapa just in time for father’s day. After visiting my dad’s grave I stopped by Pollo Campero- it’s a must.

Day two

Woke up super early to get a head start and get ready for a long ride. I was going to start my travels on the western part of el Salvador and work my way to the East. I was headed to Santa Ana where I wanted to see El Lago de Coatepeque, Volcan Ilamatepeque and Cerro Verde at night. Per usual things never really go as planned but that’s the fun part. Santa Ana was a 3.5 hour drive from Usulutan. We made a pit stop in San Salvador and checked out Los Chorros, entry plus parking for Salvadoran citizens was a total of $4USD ($2 per person and and $1 Parking).  Los Chorros is a combination of nature and fun, the water that fills the pools come from various births of water that seep from the Volcano in San Salvador.

Los Chorros Turicentro – CA-1, San Salvador

Another pit stop in Izalco because look at that view.

Three and a half hours later and we were ready for lunch , I wanted to have lunch on the water but I was also starving so I decided on El Tekunal, let me tell you… BEST DECISION EVER.

The pork ribs and the shrimp were delicious. Super affordable and not to mention we had an amazing view. They also had a variety of drinks from cocktails, Natural juices, sodas, and coffee. Did I mention the mojito was super good and only $4USD? Oh lets not forget about the dessert. A freshly made cheesecake with a maracuya (passion fruit) topping.

Also funny story, the main reason I wanted to go to Lago de Coatepeque was because I wanted to see the turquoise water. It turned turquoise the day after I left Santa Ana. Just my luck.

Restaurante Tekunal – SAN01S, El Salvador

After lunch we headed over to Cerro Verde because we wanted to drop off the luggage and see if I could hike to see Ilamatepeque’s crater, I didn’t make it because groups leave at 11am and it’s a 4 hour hike round-trip. I did however get to watch the sunset at Cerro verde and it was breathtaking. I stayed in a little bungalow in cabañas Campo Bello super affordable $60USD a night. (If you want to save $25 on Booking.com you can use my code 4655F388)

Cabañas Campo Bello – Cerro Verde, Santa Ana

Here are some tips if you decide to book your stay there. Learn from my mistakes! If you would like your trip to run smoothly I’d suggest the following:

  • Pack food. It is very much like a campsite. There is not a kitchen or any appliances. They do have a little grill outside that you can make use of. There are no restaurants or food nearby.
  • Take Towels and Blankets. The site does not offer towels or blankets and it does get chilly and night. The hot water does not always work, so you may be cold after a shower.
  • Buy wood for a campfire. Upon arrival, I realized I could have made a campfire but there wasn’t any wood for sale and the road to get there is pretty rough.
  • If you want to go hiking- you should be there before 11am because that is the only time the group leaves. It is a 3hour hike roundtrip.
  • If you are planning a trip here just be advised that it is like you are camping, the only difference is that you don’t sleep in a tent, you sleep in an igloo.

Day 3

By 6am we were on the road again. Next Stop Ahuachapan. I was headed to Apaneca to check out the maze. But first coffee. After I had my cup of coffee I decided I wanted to try and navigate the maze. I met some cool people from California and some of their friends (Shout out Orfa, Uriel, Oscarito and ili) . We managed to find the exit together after a million dead ends.

Laberinto Albania- Ruta de las Flores (Apaneca), Ahuachapan

On the way to my next destination I took many detours. I stopped by Molina’s farm. It was just one dollar to get in and they had GOATS. If you know me, you know I LOVE goats.

Also drove by this chic café/ store and felt the need to check it out. The cafe was called Axul like Azul (blue) replacing the “z” just made it sound cool and to be honest I totally fell for it.

Back on the road and headed to Sonsonate, I wanted to check out a place by the name los Cobanos. The water there looked super blue and they had normal color sand (El Salvador’s Beaches have black sand).   I wasn’t impressed but I can say I’ve been.

After los Cobanos I headed to my final destination for day 3. I was headed to Palo Verde in El Zonte, La Libertad. This is an ecofriendly hotel average cost is about $120 USD. The facilities, food, and staff were amazing not to mention the views were also great.

Day 5

Stayed the night in Suchitoto in a place called El Tejado, I booked last minute so I paid $85USD. Had a delicious dinner at Lupita del Portal. You’ll have to try a strawberry mint lemonade I promise it tastes SO GOOD.

El Tejado was a cozy spot, had a nice view to La Laguna de Suchitoto. It also had cute little parrots and a pool, which I enjoyed and had basically to myself. The city itself is super colonial. The roads are made from rocks and the houses look ancient but believe me when I tell you IT IS BEAUTIFUL. Also the food there was AMAZING.

El Tejado- Suchitoto

I visited Casa 1800 because I wanted a cute picture on the famous chair but it was broken.

Then I Checked out Alejandro Cotto’s House/ Museum and learned a lot. One cool thing I learned: King Juan Carlos I of Spain visited Cotto’s house and gave him a medal in recognition for all of the work in the arts and activism Cotto did for El Salvador.

I also ventured in and bought souvenirs at Casa de la Abuela. Aside from being a coffee shop and souvenir store Casa De La Abuela is also a petite hotel. When I was done shopping for souvenirs I took advantage of the location and took pictures in front of the cathedral. Suchitoto is such a cute city! There is a chance for cute pictures in every corner.

After I was done being a tourist in Suchitoto I headed to San Salvador to visit family and have dinner. We found a cute restaurant called Pueblo Viejo. I do recommend. Unfortunately, I was too hungry and forgot to snap some pictures. You’ll have to take my word for it.

Day 6

I was finally back home at grandma’s house so I decided to sleep in. It was going to be a very chill day after all. I headed to the airport because one of my besties was coming to join me on my adventure. I was an hour late (sorry Ruthie).

Hacienda La Carrera- Usulutan

Once we were united we drove off and of course I had to get her her first coconut. While waiting for our coco’s on the side of the road it hit us that we were starving. Initially were set to go to La Libertad’s center but due to traffic on La Litoral (one of the main roads) we took a detour and had food at this random restaurant near the beach Las Flores.

Somewhere in La Libertad

After a delicious lunch we were on our way to our Airbnb in Cuscatlan to rest for a little and drop off our bags. The Airbnb was a dream, if I could move there I would and I’m not even a city girl.

Once it started to get dark we decided it was time to head to Los Planes de renderos. There you can see the city lights and it’s just so pretty. They also have bomb pupusas and hot chocolate.

Los Planes De Renderos- San Salvador

Day 7

It was once again time to head to Grandma’s in Usulután but not before breakfast. We made a pit stop at a gas station that had an interesting little restaurant called “la campanita” we tried their tortilla soup and bread pudding. Let me say this I’ve never had so many delicious desserts- I was so amazed by the taste and price.

Once we arrived in Usulutan we headed to Alegría. First we checked out the lagoon. The lagoon formed in the crater of volcano Tecapa. You could definitely smell the sulfur. The volcano has erupted before long ago in prehistoric times. Now the lagoon is known as America’s Emerald.

Laguna de Alegria- Alegria, Usulutan

The rain forced us to move on to our next adventure- The town of Alegría. There we explored a nursery by the name Cartagena. In Cartagena they have a cafe, restaurant, and different types of birds. The view there is surreal.

Cartagena – Alegria, Usulutan

Aside from the nursery it also had a cute little plaza and a lookout called Mirador de las 100 Gradas. We started to make our way down until we realized the way up was going to suck, so we opted out to eat mangos instead.

Mirador de las 100 Gradas- Alegria, Usulutan

Day 8

Vamos a la playa a mi me gusta bailar! Ruth (my bestie) had asked for one thing- a trip to the beach. So I took her to playa El Cuco. Since we weren’t sure about our plans and if we wanted to stay the night we sort of winged it. We ended up staying the night at Vista las Olas and had the time of our lives.

Vista Las Olas- Play El Cuco, San Miguel

Day 9

Started our day in a small town called Chirilagua, I wanted to show Ruth the Markets as well as buy some tropical fruits.

Day 9 was very special for me. I took a trip to La Estrechura located in Chirilagua, San Miguel. That’s the cantón where my father grew up. In 2017-2018 I made a promise as Miss Sister City and committed myself to a cause- The construction of new bathrooms for the school in the village in hopes of reducing the gender inequality in education. On this day I was able to see all of the hard-work and dedication he HTA I’m a part of and the community put forth to make my vision come to life.

Centro Escolar La Estrechura- La Estrechura, Chirilagua, San Miguel

I also showed Ruth the community center in the canton that was built and named after my father.

Let’s take a minute to appreciate this place.

Day 10

Another special day. Thanks to the help of some friends I was able to give back to my mom’s hometown in Hacienda La Carrera. We took clothes, school supplies, games, and shoes for the students. The look on their faces is everything you need to realize that doing things like this is what makes it all worth it. Shout out to: Leslie (My sister), Jocelyn, Javi, Conquer Thrift and AdoboDMV for making this possible.

Centro Escolar Jose Roberto Wright- Hacienda La Carrera, Usulutan

Once we left the school it was time to send the post cards I had bought, buy things I wanted to bring back and pack my bags.

Correos- Usulutan

I hope this itinerary is helpful if you’re planing to travel to El Salvador.

If you have any questions or suggestions on what else you’d like to know please write a comment.

Adios Al Trabajo de Oficina

A veces  la decisión que mas temes es la decisión que te liberara.

Renuncie a mi trabajo. Después de cinco años de entregarme en cuerpo y alma llego el tiempo de partir.

No fue una decisión fácil. Aunque hace mucho tiempo sabia que quería renunciar nunca tenia el valor suficiente para hacerlo. Siempre me convencía a mi misma de que solo tenia que “terminar el día laboral, luego tenia que terminar el día de mañana, y después, pasado mañana.”  

Finalmente llegue a un punto donde se me hacia difícil levantarme por las mañanas. Ya no me podía enfocar en lo que hacia. Me sentía tan removida de mi trabajo y de mi vida. Sentía que ya no tenia nada mas que dar. Nadie habla del estigma o de lo difícil que es dejar un trabajo que “paga bien” por motivos del bien estar mental y bien estar físico. Estoy aquí para decirles, hagan lo tengan que hacer sin ningún miedo. Háganlo por su bien. En tu vida tu eres el personaje principal. Vive tu vida como personaje protagónico y no como personaje secundario.

Si me siguen en las redes sociales talvez han visto que siempre subo fotografías demostrando la belleza de mi país el salvador. Pero contrario a lo que han de pensar no paso viajando todo el tiempo. Cuando sometía tiempo de vacaciones en el trabajo en si no eran “vacaciones.” Nunca cesaban las llamadas, los textos, y los correos electrónicos. Aunque trabajaba desde casa sentía que todos tenían acceso a mi 24/7.  No tenia paz y estaba perpetuamente cansada. Cansada de las noches que me quedaba sin dormir, las noches de desvelo. Cansada del estado de ansiedad y cansada de nunca tener el apoyo ni la oportunidad de crecer profesionalmente.

Soy del tipo de persona que AMA el aprendizaje. Me aburro rápidamente especialmente si estoy en un entorno en el cual no hay retos ni oportunidades de aprender algo nuevo o oportunidad de crecimiento personal y profesional. Hay gente que ama la rutina, pero yo, yo amo la aventura. Vivo por los retos y las experiencias que me ensañan algo nuevo, Vivo por los momentos incomodos que me impulsan a crecer y salir de mi área de conforte. Estoy extremadamente agradecida por las oportunidades y la sabiduría que me dio mi empleo y este rol, pero ya había servido mi propósito y era tiempo de superar esta etapa.

No les voy a mentir- me preocupaba el que dirá de la gente. Estaba renunciando a un trabajo que tenia beneficios buenísimos y que me había permitido temporalmente vivir el estilo de vida de nómada que yo siempre había querido. Digo temporalmente porque cuando comenzaron a levantar las restricciones de COVID-19 se especulaba el regreso a las oficinas centrales. Solo era una cuestión de tiempo hasta que recibiera la llamada diciéndome que era tiempo de regresar a la oficina. Sabia que mi familia tendría muchas opiniones acerca de mi decisión y sabia que me juzgarían. ¿Es decir, si no te juzga tu familia en verdad son familia?

Temía las conversaciones que estaban por venir. ¿Porque dejaste el trabajo? ¿Encontraste un trabajo que te paga mejor? ¿Y que harás ahora? Y no. Olvidemos las comparaciones pero fulano de tal esta haciendo esto y tiene buen trabajo, y tu porque no?  

Honestamente tuve que aprender que yo tengo todo el poder. Yo decido lo que me afecta y si dejo que me afecte lo que dicen los demás o si simplemente guardo y aprecio los consejos buen intencionados y dejo que me resbale lo negativo. La gente siempre va hablar y tendrá una opinión pero ultimadamente, soy yo la que tendré que vivir con mis decisiones sea que me hagan feliz o me enseñen una lección. Pero por el momento estoy contenta con la vida y las decisiones que e elegido.   

¿Me arrepiento de haber renunciado? ¡Por supuesto que no! Por fin tengo una paz interna. Mi cuerpo me ha demostrado que el también esta sanando lentamente después tener que vivir en alerta y con altos niveles de estrés. Para las mujeres en la fuerza laboral por favor háganle caso a su cuerpo. Para los que no saben yo he sido diagnosticada con el síndrome poli cístico en los ovarios. Durante mis últimos tres años este rol mi cuerpo intento decirme que no estaba bien. Pero decidí ignorar los síntomas. Desde que me dieron una “promoción” en el trabajo perdí mi ciclo. Intente todo lo posible para recuperarlo. Baje de peso, cambie mis hábitos alimenticios, me ejercite, hasta cambien mis hábitos de dormir. Pero el estrés de mi trabajo impactaba demasiado a mi cuerpo y estos cambios no fueron lo suficiente. Hace dos meses que renuncie y por fin lentamente estoy recuperando mi ciclo. Ahora también duermo mejor y la mayoría de los días me siento bien.

¿Arriesgue bastante? Si.

¿Estoy ganando los mismo que en mi empleo anterior? Aun no.

¿Si tuviese que tomar la misma decisión otra vez, lo haría? Absolutamente que si.

Siempre se honesta contigo misma. Tienes que valorarte, sobre todo. Mas veces que no la compañía por la cual trabajas no tendrá tu mejor interés en mente. Para ellos tu eres reemplazable. Asegúrate que hagas lo que es mejor para ti.

Con mucho amor siempre,

Analucy

Moving Abroad: Part I

The first step to getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are

-Unknown

This year I decided to move to a different country. As lame as this is about to sound, I always looked at influencers and thought to myself, ” I wish that were me.” Then I thought, “why can’t it be me? What’s stopping me? So I did it.

Deciding to move was not an easy decision to make. I had to weigh the pros and cons. At first, the cons outweighed the pros, and this was partly because a part of me had many fears about moving.

I constantly thought of the life I was leaving behind, and that poured into what if this goes wrong? I had to stop myself then and there. I am always overthinking and asking, “what if this goes wrong?”

As I landed, I had an uneasy feeling. Why did this feel wrong? Why didn’t I feel excited or happy? After thinking about it, I realized I was under a lot of stress because moving abroad within less than a month is stressful as fuck. Secondly, I felt exhausted and guilty. I do not know if it is just me, but in the Latino community, you always face a certain amount of backlash and criticism when you do something that is “out of the norm” for older generations.

A part of me always feels like I am not deserving of good things. I know I think like this because of my past experiences and trauma. In the past, moments intended to be happy were short-lived. I convinced myself that nothing good could happen to me. I have worked on changing my mindset and embracing the good, the bad, and the ugly throughout the years. This time I stopped myself and thought I always worry about things going wrong, but what if I believed that things could go well this time?

I shipped a box with my belongings and bought a one-way ticket. A part of me acted on impulse, but I had to; the longer I waited and weighed my options, the heavier my heart felt. I did not tell many people that I was leaving, in part because naturally, they would begin to worry about my safety and well-being. I knew that if I shared the news, I would get lots of questions, and I did not want anyone persuading me to stay. So I left in silence.

I had to reassure myself that success and opportunities are on the other side of fear. I let myself know fear, and I did it anyway. I knew that to grow; I had to step out of my comfort zone. I stepped 5159 KM’s outside of my comfort zone.

A part of me is still scared. Did I make the right choice? Am I selfish for leaving?

I do not know if this was the right choice, but it sure feels like it- as for being selfish, it is the first time in years that I have put my wants and needs first. I am letting go of the things that weighed me down. I am accepting that I do not have complete control, and that is okay.

For the first time in a long time, I am on my own; My journey to growth and healing. I am determined to get to know myself better, accept myself, and fall in love with all aspects of myself. For so long, I was taking care of everyone and everything around me that I neglected myself.

Today I chose myself and begin my journey to self discovery, self-acceptance, and self-love.

Always,

Analucy

Another year around the sun

This year is far from what I expected it to be- at least so far. Like many of you I had plans for April but they fell through due to the current pandemic.

I had planned to be in South America taking a breather, getting lost, and exploring new places But I am home because life had other plans for me. Instead of exploring a new city and a new country this year I’m exploring new and old feelings, thoughts, and goals.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t initially upset, because I was. After processing everything that’s happening around the world and here in Maryland my mindset quickly shifted.

I quickly realized how lucky I was… how lucky Am I to be able to welcome another year of life? That in itself is a huge blessing. Then I started to think further of my situation, and even though I am not always happy I have the ability to be.

I have been blessed with so many great things that I often take it all for granted. So I decided to take a step back and instead of complaining about what I couldn’t and can’t do this year on my birthday/currently, I would celebrate all the great things I can do.

Now that’s easier said than done but with positive affirmationsand acts of gratitude toward myself and others I could take the first step to being happier and letting those around me know how grateful I am.

Amidst the chaos and by the grace of god I am healthy and so is my family. We are able to be quarantined in our home and I am able to continue to work.

This year I spent my birthday with my mom, sister, grandma and my pops (my dad’s brother). Which lead to my second thought… what really matters?

For me it was easy- my family, our health, and stability matters. This year I brought in my birthday very intimately with a lot of love and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Life has a strange way of humbling people. This year I am for thankful for the lessons learned and the opportunity given to me to spend time with my family and introspect. I am grateful that I was able to understand and appreciate what really matters. This may not have been the birthday I initially wanted but it was the one I needed. It was one of the best ones… I am beyond blessed and I am hopeful that better days are coming. Until then I’ll make every day count and make it the best I can by sharing my love and gratitude.

Always,

Analucy

 

 

A Decade In Pictures 2009- 2019

The past ten years have been a roller-coaster in every sense of the word. I have had high and lows. I’ve been terrified and thrilled. Through out these ten years I have learned, lived, and lost so much. These years were filled with adventure, heartbreak, success, failure, growth and so many other things.

There were so many lessons learned each of them very valuable. I am so happy to see how far I have come and how I have grown emotionally, intellectually and in all aspects of life. I would have never imagined accomplishing all that I have, losing all that I have… Losing myself close to the point of no return but then picking myself up and choosing to be resilient.

Embracing everything that was thrown my way. The good, the bad, and the ugly and learning from it all.

This decade broke me in order to make me the person I was afraid to be, but nonetheless the person I needed to be, the person I was destined to be.

Thank you to all my friends and family that have been with me every step of the way. Encouraging me and believing in me, when I was unable to believe in myself.

I could not have made it through the decade with out you all.

Always,

Analucy

2009

Began high school at Eleanor Roosevelt in Greenbelt MD. Overwhelmed because I did not know anyone.

2009

Turned 15

2010

My father Juan Aristides Benavides Navarrete (center) gathered his friends and families and formed the Home Town Association (HTA) of Comite La Estrechura Maryalnd.

2012

Graduated from ERHS with Honors becoming the first in my family to graduate from High School.

2012

Received a scholarship and acceptance letter to Syracuse and UMD. Decided to stay local and attend UMD for undergrad.

2014

April 26th 2014. Maryland Day. This was the last picture I ever took with my father. Later that evening he hemorrhaged and remained on life support until May 6th 2014. He was then taken to El Salvador for his burial.

2014

September 2014. Four months after my father passed my maternal grandfather came to the States to visit. It was the last time he visited he passed away four days after his arrival in Maryland.

2015

In 2015 I traveled so much. From Central America to the Caribbean and back, to the Iberian peninsula and southern part of central Europe.Meet so many amazing people. These trips changed my life completely and helped shape me.

2016

Graduated from UMD with a BA in Government and Politics

2016

My wittle baby came home. Leslie got King and he stole our hearts and money.

2017

The community center my father envision when he created the HTA was finally constructed and named after him.

2017

My little sister graduated high school. Overcoming so many obstacles and tribulation.

2017

Participated in the My Sister City Pageant in the DMV representing my fathers hometown of La Estrechura, Chirilagua, San Miguel, El Salvador and won. Taking on a social project to reduce the gender inequality in education.

2018

Partnered up with the FLAVOR of the DMV. ADOBO. Daniel and Walter helped me by co hosting an event to raise the last of the money needed to finish my project and change the out houses in a school to flushable bathrooms.

2018

Partnered with Washington Adventist University’s ENACTUS program in order to bring development and health awareness to my dad’s hometown in El Salvador.

2019

Ventured out and helped my mom create Tia Chingona. A carry out like food stand in Hyattsville MD. That makes the BEST pupusas in the DMV.

2019

Took a leap of faith at attended Coco Rocha’s Model Camp in New York. After the program I was transformed into a more confident force to reckoned with. Making new friends in the process.

2019

After 12 years we said goodbye to the first family fur baby. Wiley wiley wiley.

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