In my first blog post, I mentioned how I've acquired quite a few affectionate nicknames over the years. One of my favorites is abuelita or "little grandma", which my cousins tease me with when I sign off super early at night from our group chat. But come on, I wake up at 6 am most days of the school year. Ya girl needs her sleep!
That being said, I'm always trying to mentally expand my life scope & trajectory and if this last year has taught me anything its that I haven't exactly been living my best life. I'm a planner and finally, at 23, I can admit that sometimes I limit myself to things I know I can achieve so as to avoid the rejection or embarrassment of trying something new. But I've been stressed, tired, and bored for most of 2018 (2017 too!) and I'm hoping these small changes will gradually lead me toward a more adventurous 2019.
While I wouldn't say I've reached a point financially where I can travel often (I mean, what poor student can???), I was able to plan and make a few trips to nearby cities like St. Louis and Indianapolis, and I drove from Florida to Illinois again with my new roommate (IO editor Isabelle!). These little trips definitely helped me become more comfortable on the road and on my own in some senses.
One trip already in the planning stages is Miami in December. Surprisingly, I've lived in Florida for over a decade and have only visited Miami like twice, both for the beach and nothing more! I want to see the vibrant culture Miami has to offer now that I'm not restricted to car and curfew restrictions (Love you, ma!).
In March, the major conference in my field is being held in Atlanta, Georgia and I want to attend. Although it was in Chicago last year, I couldn't spare the time or registration money in between classes to go. However, this year a few other friends have expressed interest in going and we will most likely carpool. Going into my last year of graduate school means future jobs are always on my mind and, if nothing else, a big job fair is enough excuse to take a few days off and drive south!
A little less feasible, but still floating in the back of my mind, is the possibility of visiting my best friend in Japan. She's teaching for one more year and it would be great to visit both the country and her. We already have plans to possibly meet in Miami, but you can never have enough travel adventures with your bestie!
So, I've been living in the black hole called Academia for the last 5 years (AT LEAST) and haven't prioritized meeting someone AT ALL. I dated in high school and I've had a few awkward encounters in undergrad but 1) haven't felt the need to date and 2) haven't had the time to date. With grad school finishing in a year and the possibility of moving back to Tampa pretty high, I should have more time to commit to it. Now I just have to get over my shyness and take charge!
Honestly, I'm in this weird middle place where I'd like to date seriously but also am cool with casual. I'm stuck feeling young and old at the same time. I got abuelita habits despite my young mind and I'm liable to get in trouble if I'm up doing crazy shit like dating past my bed time! I'll just let my friends drag me to bars and meet ups this year and see where it goes.
I enjoy sports. Since I was about 8 years old, I've spent a lot of time on the couch with my father watching all kinds of sports. Some of our favorites include basketball, soccer, and baseball. We watch the Olympics (both winter and summer) and FIFA, the Triple Crown, and more. Some of my fondest childhood memories include watching the Mets play. But I've never been the best at participating in sports.
Honestly, I'm pretty slow on my feet and while my hand-eye coordination is decent (thank video games!), I've never had many opportunities to participate in sports (other than marching band, which I will argue to death is just as hard!).
A few years back, my friend and gym-guru Ingrid and I would occasionally experiment at the USF gym and throw some ball around. Racquetball is awesome with Ingrid and I'd love to try again. I was comfortable at the time because I didn't really care if anyone was watching me. I was there to have fun and sweat the pounds away. I'd like to get back to that mentality and find another awesome gym partner to play some sports with who won't judge my terrible ability. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and meet a potential date at the gym. ;)
Some pictures of me and some of the places I've seen! I'm not a professional photographer so don't expect anything grandiose!