The Honeymoon Phase

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It’s been two months since I’ve officially been in a relationship and I’ve been high off my ass on euphoria. My boyfriend and I have been sharing all the experiences that new couples do; staycations in San Diego/Hollywood, buying theme park passes, sharing each other on social media for the first time, experimenting sexually, and even promising long term commitment. We are the new couple on the block that all our friends keep asking about.

The one thing I hate hearing most however, is that we’re in the “honeymoon phase.” I am consistently reminded of that fact every time I share details about my relationship and it annoys me. It bothers me.

But I truly know that this hatred only stems from my own fear of facing what is beyond the honeymoon phase and finding out the answers to questions like: What will our first fight be about? Will my insecurities get in the way of things? Will we get too comfortable with each other? When will the honeymoon phase end?

In the back of my mind I’ve been playing scenarios of each situation and trying to prepare myself for what could happen next. But our young and budding relationship is so refreshing and so passionate I feel like these problems are lightyears away.

If this is indeed the honeymoon phase though, I never want to end.

To describe our first two months of monogamy, our major place setting is in the privacy of four bedroom walls. Our wild attraction to each other is what we share most in common. In our theatric play of love we are two fictional characters that exceed human boundaries and meet in the stars. There in the middle of the stage, our best performance is in the whispers in each others ears and the naked, intimate look into each others eyes. Even a Cirque du Soleil show would be amazed at our spectacle. The affection between us is unparalleled and our performances range from one to three acts daily. This show, is just one of the many driving forces behind our relationship.

For the first time, I feel a love so different than before. Our polarities are so drawn to each other, so magnetic and so sensual that the energy between us has always been palpable. It may be a repetition of what I said before but even sometimes I can’t get over how much our lives changed for each other.

Every time I find myself on the verge of the beginning or end of a relationship I ask my myself, does this individual make me a better person? The question has been the deciding factor leaving a previous toxic relationship but also the guide I needed to finding this relationship now. With my boyfriend, he brings out the simple yet rewarding things about me. Naturally, I am a fly on the wall homebody; a true Taurian lazy oaf. But his Scorpion willpower rubs off and I find myself living a lifestyle that is healthier mentally and physically. I am up and active, helping around the house more and feeling more myself around his friends too. I can even see our two worlds merging without losing my true identity. This might be his competitiveness speaking, but I aim to be better than I was yesterday.

So for now, I won’t worry about the bad things that haven’t happened yet, I’ll only try to delay them as long as possible.

The Plastics: Four Women and their Stories of Cosmetic Surgery

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Source: @huldaguzman

I woke up to a bright white light squeezing into the slits of my eyelids. Strapped down by each carpal and tarsal, I was crucified on a surgical table in downtown Santa Monica. I awoke with an inability to breathe, gasping for air from what felt like two cement bags pushing on my lungs. The nurse asked, “Do you need more morphine?” and with a quick reply of “yes,” I was sedated again.

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Workout Wednesday

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At the beginning of this month I joined a 6-week bootcamp at a CrossFit gym thanks to my trainer boyfriend (eye roll lol). Originally I had no intention of joining whatsoever and was content with my only-workout-to-eat-and-drink-whatever-I-want lifestyle but of course, girlfriend duties mean that I respect his work.

In the corner, weighing in at 145 pounds, standing at 5 foot 7 inches with 27% body fat, Jillian Salas ready to rumble.

Although I’m at a particularly healthy weight for my size, I joined the bootcamp to see if I can push my body to levels I haven’t before. Prior, my workouts included going to the gym lifting for 30-45 minutes then cardio for another 30, with basic knowledge on form and diet. Now, at high intensity training using just body weight and dumbbells programmed specifically for the bootcamp, I am already seeing results in strength as well as endurance.

The bootcamp classes are held every weekday and night with about 5-15 attendees varying from each class. We have two coaches that lead the classes and assist us with proper form as well as introducing new workouts. They push us to reach our goals and to make sure we are staying on track. This is only the third week of bootcamp but I feel like my healthy lifestyle choices are improving overall. My diet is more consistent and now I workout on a daily basis.

 

My personal goal is to lower my body fat percentage to 24% while gaining muscle by the end of the six week program. Part of the bootcamp includes free consultations for meal prepping and showing us what supplements aid in proper muscle recovery. My daily routine looks something like this:

Supplements: Vanilla Whey Protein (to feed protein to muscles after workouts), Multivitamin & Carnitine (fat burner) taken 1-3 times a day, BCAA (amino acids taken while working out to protect muscles), Glutamine (restore glycogen levels), and occasionally pre-workout to get me through bootcamp.

Meal 1: Egg whites with banana and peanut butter wheat toast

Meal 2: Quinoa kale cauliflower with lean steak; stuffed quinoa avocados; black bean patty sandwich with hummus and wheat pita; ground lean turkey with veggies; salmon and baked sweet potatoes

Post Workout: Protein Shake with vanilla protein powder, glutamine, almond milk, peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, ice cubes

Snack: Greek yogurt with blueberries

My body is still adjusting to eating four times a day so often times I feel bloated. Since I work at a restaurant I also have problems with snacking too much before eating my meal. I TRY to save it for the weekend but sometimes I can’t resist 🙂 but alas I’m also working on my discipline. Three weeks and counting but soon enough you’ll see the new and improved me!

Valentine’s Day

 

 

No words can describe the way I feel towards him, but I’ll try my best to do so. Since first saying ‘I love you’ to each other our relationship has only bloomed into a beautiful field of flowers. In our garden, aromatic bursts of passion and scents of excitement intoxicate the surroundings; if love was in the air then you’d be suffocating on it.

Our first Valentine’s Day was perfect. We began the day at 6 a.m. to fit in a CrossFit workout before our complete and utter cheat meal day commenced. By 10 a.m. we were fresh and already on the road to Pasadena. Our champagne brunch was served at Barney’s Beanery in downtown complemented with the American take on Mexican breakfast. We were there to watch the Champions League game Real Madrid vs PSG. There my back to back champions defeated PSG in a 3-1 upset that shocked football fanatics (and my boyfriend) to the core. But me, being the savior of the day, didn’t let him drown in his sorrows because his gift was PSG Nike Windbreaker and a Barcelona Nike training pullover. Although one day, I’ll convince him to wear a Ronaldo jersey.

Hand in hand we walked down Colorado Street on a beautiful mid-February day once the game was over. Cars were driving from light to light and the season casted a temperature just over 75 degrees. Love really was in the air that day and it was radiating just from our connection.

At our hotel we toasted to our relationship with a handmade cocktail. The room was decorated with chocolates and flowers per his request. I was so in love, my heart filled to the brim with his kindness. He could have given me rock with a bow tied around it and I still would have been happy.

With him, it’s something that feels so real. So tangible and alive that it makes life easier. To have the person you love by your side, to share that same feeling with each other, it is the most deadly yet compassionate drug ever. I have his heart, and he has mine.

We later had reservations at Ruth’s Chris and again he swept me off my feet with an amazing dinner. A glass of Duckhorn Merlot and a medium rare filet, my stomach was as happy as my heart. For dessert was him, and a slice of mixed berries cheesecake.

The best thing about this relationship is looking forward to the new experiences we get to share with each other. We promised to take care of each other and in my most intimate inner thoughts, he is there right beside me.

Victory at Sea

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Courtesy Ballast Point | Calm Before the Storm

I boarded the wooden ship to set sail in search of a mythical creature. I, the captain, was preparing for battle.

Into the ocean I hoisted my sails, gazed upon the stars for direction and left everything I knew behind. I was vulnerable and alone in this voyage. The day turned into night and I found the beast alone in his cave. Ready to attack, he made the first move.

He was conniving. He knew my weakness, my obsession with defeating him. Our quarrel began at the strike of midnight and I was lost at sea with the creature unknown.

The waves of the ocean tossed and pounded my vessel onto him. Back and forth we were  both fighting for air. The wetness was everywhere, our bodies glued from the sweat and salt water precipitating from our skin. The current was aggressive. Just like the beast, it was rough and insurmountable but we rallied through the night. He was thick and large, again pounding onto my ship like every blow was going to be my last.

It was a dance through the night, parlaying each other’s sanity for the final strike. Our formation was unbroken. When I finally took the lead, I thrusted forward and attacked. Waves grew higher around us and crashed in the form of a tempest, swallowing our energies. Back and forth, back and forth, we were crawling into each other’s skin.

In between the respirations and battle cries he let out a whimper. A whimper so soft I couldn’t believe it. It was what I traveled the sea for, what I came to conquer; it was his heart. In the misty night he said “I love you” and I dove into the cave in which he lived. Every guard I had up, every drop of patience, was for this moment. There, in a split second our forbidden love turned into something real. So real that we were both afraid of it but we had each other to navigate this course.

The battle between woman and beast had ended. And in that night, I claimed victory at sea.

Mexican Mother, American Daughter

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Courtesy my cousin Leslie quoting her mom on Facebook

It’s hard to come to an understanding on my personal life when a language and culture barrier still separates my mother and I.

On my end, I want to express my freedom of liberty, sexuality and expression. On her end, she wants me to be her perfect stay-at-home-daughter. I want to travel the world and move out of the house, she wants me to do the chores and run the errands. I want to go out on weekend nights with my friends, she wants me to stay inside and lock me in my room. I want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, she wants me to regurgitate it back up and wash the dishes.

The complex is: What should a 24 going on 25 year old daughter do when she still lives in her mother’s traditional Mexican household? Do I choose selfishness or do I succumb to prehistoric standards?

I read in Octavio Paz’s Labyrinth of Solitude that the Mexican woman can never be herself as she must play the roles of wife and homemaker. Although he’s speaking to the native born female of the 1950’s, this concept was how my mother was raised throughout the 70’s in Mexico.

She was conditioned to be the perfect household mom. Her schooling was that of my abuelita’s where her and her other nine siblings received lectures of cooking and cleaning. Emigrated by 18, married by 23, first child by 25, my mother’s path was set in stone.

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Courtesy: @undocumedia

As a daughter I carry the same weight of those traditions. Since nothing is more important to me than to make my mom happy, I oblige to most of them. Our sincerest mother-daughter connection even comes from the kitchen when she’s teaching me how to make chile rellenos or bestowing the recipe for my abuelita’s salsa. In the intimate setting of our kitchen our love is wrapped up in a tortilla, served with a side of arroz y frijoles, and shared with nuestra familia.

But in the Mexican Mother, American Daughter complex, our disagreement on her outdated norms bring us to each other’s necks.

 

In light of the growing relationship between my Mexican-American sancho and myself, I’ve had to make the decision whether I want my mom thinking of me as a “bariloca” or “borracha.” Our puppy love between my man and I means that I spend most weekends at his house, MIA at times from the place I call home. Since he was born a male, and I, a female, our star crossed love was doomed from the start.

The head of my house, Guadalupe “Lupita” Maria Tamayo Cruiel, Ruler of Rules,

IMG_8063.jpgGiver of Life, deems that her middle born child has no need for boys. So I, being the middle child that I am, will make up excuses and say I’m spending the night at a friend’s house. In return, she thinks I’m out partying every weekend when really I’m just watching Netflix with my sancho.

So after spending a few nights here and there in a bed other than mine, my Mexican mom has blessed her American daughter with angry voicemails on her phone.

Another fixation I have is in regards to the Mexican-American-Sancho’s-Parents and the Mexican-American-Sancho’s-Lover (me). Why is that when I stay the night at my significant other’s family house, the parents are so welcoming to bring me in? Does this only happen in Latino households? Are we viewed as the one to settle their son down? Now that I’m 3 for 3 on the subject, I’m also still wondering why I can’t even bring a boyfriend into my room.

I guess this is a topic of discussion for another time. Until then, as my mom would say, “Pónganse a limpiar!”

 

Eurovision

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Petit Palace Boqueria Hotel Barcelona

Six months after I left Spain I was on the next 12 hour flight to Barcelona. I was so homesick for Europe, for countries that spoke different languages, for a time zone that I was never quite able to adjust to. So there I was again, March 2017, my second Euro trip but this time with another.

I planned the majority of my vacation as a solo traveler but three weeks prior to my departure date my ex-boyfriend joined the ride. At an incredibly awkward time in my life where I wasn’t ready for literally anything and where this was the first time we had spoken to each other in months, we spent 24 days together traveling throughout Europe.

The trip was planned around specific dates; Las Fallas in Valencia, Real Madrid fútbol game at the Santiago Bernabéu, Drake concert at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin and whatever museums, monuments, and structures I could fit in between.

The whole trip in itself was actually a lot of drama considering you could have cut the tension between my ex and I with a baby’s spoon. Anyways, back to traveling.

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