My First 5k!

This St. Patrick’s day weekend, I had the awesome experience of going to a 5k. While most people over 21 would not see a 5k as a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, it was something I would not forget.
Back in January, I made a decision to take my health more seriously. And what better way to motivate myself to train than to sign up for a 5k?
January was off to a good start, until I got into the thick of school and Mother Nature paid a visit. That derailed me for about a week or so. Which turned into almost all of February.
Once March rolled around, I thought all I need to do is just make sure I run a few times before the race so that I make it through. And I told myself, after talking to one of my sorority sisters, that I could finish the 5k in an hour.  Did I run/jog/walk leading up to the 5k? No. Did I still think I could do it in an hour? Yes.
So on Saturday, March 17th I woke up at 4:30 am ready to get to the 5k. Luckily, my mom and brother came along with me for support. Shout out to them for coming with me so early in the morning. I didn’t eat that morning and in hindsight maybe I should have had something more sold. Not that anything bad happened to me physically, but food is the body’s energy source.
We arrived at Dodger Stadium around d 6:20 am and after waiting for a while in our very warm car, we went to check in.
From that moment on, the 5k became real. I was so excited to get out onto the course and just be with everyone. So this led me to checking my phone every 10 minutes to see if I was getting any closer to the race starting at 8am.
Leading up to the start, the energy just climbed. At 6:45 am, the energy level was at a solid 6 or 7. But by the time it was less than ten minutes to start, the energy level was at a ten. I was so pumped to go out to the course by then.
Then the race started and I sent through the hills around Dodger Stadium, finishing out the 3 miles in an hour and three minutes. Which means I did exactly what I wanted to do.
In case you do want to run a 5k, here are some things I recommend:
  1. Train: Even if it is walking around the neighborhood. Eventually add more and more miles so that on the day of, you actually can make it all the way.
  2. Know your location: I should have been doing a lot of stair master workouts because those hills killed my legs. That would have been a great help to the whole event .
  3. Have game plan for the run: I honestly did not think that I would need to make a game plan but I’m glad I did. I figured out that if I were to get bored of the podcast I was going to listen to, I could run to some electronic music to keep me going. Luckily I only needed the podcast to keep me going. Also having water in the car for after is great.
  4. Enjoy: this is such a fun thing to do and it made me want to start running again. Which means that I 100% need to train for the next one
Even though I did not run the whole 5k or even one mile, I felt so good just being part of something so fun like that. And I look forward to doing it again. But this time with more running under my belt. All in all, the morning was so much fun and I totally recommend that everyone do a 5k race. It was full of moments where I had to tell and convince myself to do something I didn’t particularly like. Turns out, I actually listen.

Being a Minimalist in a No-So-Minimalist House

Just after Christmas 2016, I watched The Minimalist’s documentary, Minimalism: A Documentary about the Important things and it changed me. After watching the film I was so connected to the message of living with less and it made me realize that I’d been trying to live with less for a while. I’m not saying that this process has been easy, however. Because it is really hard if you are the only one on the “minimalist journey” in your house, community, or even in your group of friends.
What started out as going through my closet and removing bags of clothes that either didn’t fit or I didn’t like, turned into going through old memorabilia items that I hadn’t even looked at. Minimalism eventually helped my put my values into perspective and reminded me that I needed to value myself and my time. But again this isn’t easy.
I actually cleaned out my closet at night and i didn’t tell anyone because I knew that people would be unhappy with what I was doing. I threw out birthday cards people had given me because I wasn’t even looking at them. I stopped doing a lot of things because I was sacrificing my mental and physical health and I got judged for it.
Being different isn’t easy and living simply isn’t…simple. It’s actually really hard because it forces you to come to terms with whatever you have in your mind, heart and environment. And finding support around isn’t easy. That does not mean that we shouldn’t do something.
Sometimes it’s easy to give up something because of what others think about it. No one likes to be judged, myself included, but it happens no matter what you do. I still get judged a bit by my family, as  The Minimalist’s say, “everything we do is steeped in irony.” Shopping trips are usually the worst because why would I buy something if I’m a minimalist? Because I think that thing is going to be of value or necessary. There’s always the lack of control that you have when you share a space with someone, or multiple people. I would like counters to be cleaned but that also requires the cabinets to be reviewed. But that’s not the reality
And no matter what, you also cant change the perceptions of the people around you. In my minimalist journey, I can only control what I do and not what others do. That means I can’t change the habits and the way that others show affection for me even if that means they are giving me gifts or trinkets that I don’t necessarily need. All of this makes it a bit harder to keep up with being a minimalist.

Still Choosing to Be a Minimalist

Everyday we choose to be something or someone, whether it be intentional or not. Everyday I choose to be a student, mainly because I have to since I am in college. Sometimes I choose to be mindful and I really get into yoga, meditation, and journaling. But everyday I choose to be a minimalist. Does that mean that I want to have little to nothing? No. It means whatever the hell you want it to mean (favorite moment from Seinfeld) and to me it is a part of the intentional lifestyle I want.
So despite my family and the people around me not understanding why I am choosing t have less or do less of what others want, I am perfectly happy. I set up a whole document where I word vomit why minimalism looks so good. And at the end of the day, I know I want to travel and the less I have, the less I have to worry abroad. I also really like clean spaces, which by the way aesthetics is a great motivation to cleaning stuff up.
But i also know that I like to have the things that I need with me, which does make me look a bit crazy. in the end, being clear of what your “why” is for anything you want to pursue is incredibly important. It serves as a lighthouse when you are lost and ready to give up. It’s a reminder that what you want is not all that far away.

2018 Reading List

Every new year is a chance to do things differently and almost everyone jumps on the bandwagon of change. For one month or so, we get good at sticking to new habits. But they tend to fall apart as the year progresses. This year I did something different because we actually have 365 chances to change our lives. So I challenged myself to change habits monthly and to keep building on the layers of good habits. That way change isn’t sudden and overwhelming.
Anyway, I wanted to finally read all of the books that are on my bookshelf this year. As a college student, I never had the time to sit down and actually read a book. But as that journey ends, I have more time to do the things I love-like reading. These are the books on my shelf (and on my phone) that I haven’t read and will be focusing on this year. And as I finish them I’ll be crossing them off the list. This also means I won’t be getting any new books until I finish these. Guess I have to start reading.
On my shelf:
  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  • Urban Monk
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
  • Divorce is in the Air
  • I Like Him, He Likes Her
  • Never in a Hurry
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Writers
  • All the Living
  • Girls in Trucks
  • A Gesture Life
  • The Hours
  • Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
  • Billy Bud and other Stories
  • Unlearn by Humble the Poet
  • Unlearn: Beneath the Surface by Humble the Poet
  • Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
  • American Pastoral
  • Black Like Me
  • Attitude is Everything
  • On Chesil Beach
  • girlfriends
  • Gilead
  • Everybody Needs to Forgive Somebody
  • Resisting Happiness
  • Revolutionary Road
  • You are a Badass


On my phone:

  • Ghost Huntress: the Tidings
  • How to Date Better
  • Read this if…
  • All the Reminders you need to get you through anything in life
  • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do
  • What I Didn’t Post on Instagram
  • The Curated Closet
  • 101 Essays that Will Change the way You Think
  • The Art of Letting Go
  • Aren’t You Glad you Read This?
  • Radical Self Love by Gala Darling
  • Self-Help
  • Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?
  • All the Words I should Have Said
  • Your Should is a River
  • Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List
  • Sense and Sensibility

Wish Me Luck!

Pulling Yourself Out of a Rut

A little over a year ago. a few friends of mine ran the LA Marathon and the following days, they walked as though they were hit by a truck. And although I’ve never run a marathon, or been hit by a truck, I know the feeling. Well maybe not the physical feeling, but the mental one.

Sometimes life gets overwhelming and our insides feel as though we’ve run a marathon. You know the feelings too: sluggishness, less will and/or desire to do things, and the desire to just veg out due to the constant exhaustion. I’m right there with you.

Maybe it’s something subconscious or maybe it’s the winter blues, but I’ve found myself in a rut. It’s been really tough to get myself out, mainly because I get really stressed and panicked about what I need to too. Which leads me to not doing anything. But I’ve been actively trying to pull myself out of this rut. These are a few of the things that have been really helpful in making great strides.

  1. Do something that you love to do

Obviously one of the things that I’ve started doing again is blogging. The structure that I put in place motivates me to write weekly and to keep being creative. I also started to bullet journal again. I started bullet journaling in 2017, but I thought I would use the Catholic Planner that I was gifted. Turns out I love the crafting aspect of the bullet journal that allows me to be more creative. And I definitely feel more on top of my tasks.

2. Spending time with Friends and Family

I’m sure that I’m not the only one to say that hanging out with people you love is helpful. Not only does this give you an opportunity to talk things out, but it also gives you a chance to get out of your day to day routine and distracts you.

3. Balance

With all things, there needs to be a balance of good and bad. So that might mean eating well,  exercising, yoga, journaling, and doing what feels right to you. Sometimes I need to spend time alone and others I want to go out with my friends. Right now I need a nap, so I have to let myself do that.

4. Practicing Self Love

One of the things that I’ve learned is to practice a lot of self love. Now this has surfaced as just validating that the things I do or do not decide to do. And not making myself feel bad for whatever happens. This is really hard and I usually have to have a conversation with myself. At the end of the day, I have to be okay with what happens. That takes a lot.

5 Have Something to Look Forward To

I recently started picking upside projects like sending letters to my friends (with a little gift), buying crafts for my bullet journal, taking classes offered by Brit + Co, and planning for the future of my blog. Creative tasks always get me in a great mood and finding new ways to be creative makes me really excited.

As of right now, things are getting better. There are still days where I don’t want to do anything and I have to push really hard to do things. But some days, that are becoming more frequent, I’m able to do things easily. So maybe the winter blues won’t be so long lived. If you’re going through a rut, remember that it’s okay to be unproductive and it’s okay to do everything all at once. Just take your time and you’ll get through this.

Self -will get you through,


Driving Through Resistance

The other day on my drive home from school, I encountered some pretty heavy winds. This isn’t too out of the ordinary since I’m used to having really harsh wind conditions hitting us pretty spontaneously. Anyway, if you’ve driven through some serious wind you know that I’m not lying when I say that driving through the wind is a bit challenging. Not only are you trying to drive the speed limit, since the wind feels like it’s slowing you down, but there’s also the fact that you need to keep your car in your own lane. And to be honest, driving in the wind is the perfect metaphor for my life right now.

I started a brand new quarter at my college and ever since it’s like I’ve been zigzagging all over my life (if it were a freeway). I’ve been letting my life be dictated by the things that are happening and not taking control to navigate myself forward. That meant letting go of things that are important to me like my health and fitness, personal development and this blog. Admitting that sucks, but it’s the truth.

     I’m finally taking the wheel back into my hands and course correcting for the rest of the year. I would say “life” but it’s all about baby steps. And with those baby steps, I’m making a conscious effort to implement things that are important to me back into my life. Especially my blog a.k.a my brain baby.

If you have, or haven’t noticed, I’ve changed the name of my blog yet again. Intentionally Trying to Be Authentic is the latest iteration of the blog. And I want to share the reasons why this may be the last name change.

  1. One of the main focuses in my life now is to be intentional about the things I say, do, eat, buy, etc. I really want my life to be filled with things that make me happy and I am going to make sure that I am mindful throughout the process of making my way through life.
  2. I also want to focus on being my authentic self. Not just in my day to day life, but online as well. It’s going to be hard to share all of my stories with you, the world, or anyone else that wants to read, but I know that someone will appreciate hearing a new perspective.

I have a lot planned so far for the new year and I can’t wait to bring you guys along with me. I’m finally going to be talking about all of the things I love (finally…) like planning, religion/spirituality, crystals, style, health, and everything else that comes with being a 21 year old on the precipice of change (a.k.a college graduation). While also sharing my personal life, I’m writing all of these posts with the intention that someone else can learn or take something from them. I think there’s a lot of power in words, mainly because I’m a writer and book lover, but also because there’s something to be said in the strength that it takes to open up and share what’s going on inside of you with the world.

So I’m looking forward to this new start. Keep your eyes open for posts coming your way soon! Just like in the photo, at the end of it all the sun is shining and there is hope for something greater.

See you soon!

…You have to Divorce a Family Member.

Happy almost New Years! I hope your holidays were not as tense as mine. Wasn’t I just telling you that my life has been crazy? If you can’t tell by the title, this post is not going to be easy. Mainly for me to write about it. So let’s just get to it.

A few weeks ago, I heard my maternal grandmother saying some not so nice things about my family. I was in so much shock that I started to cry. Luckily one of my best friends was able to just listen to me and make me feel better. So shout out to her.

But after that moment, I knew that I could no longer ignore the fracture that was between us. And if I’m being honest, I’ve known about the space between us for less than five years. It’s apparent to everyone but her.

I could not allow myself to continue to pretend that things were okay between us. We were both guilty of it. So I stopped because this time felt more urgent. And it was. People always say that you should surround your self with people that are good for your mental health. Truth is, she hasn’t been in a long time.

Dealing with this divorce has been hard. And to be honest I still haven’t gotten used to it. I stopped calling or referring to her as “grandma” but as “my mom’s mom”. I stopped talking to her, but we haven’t really talked in a long time. I made a resolution to stop driving her places or doing her favors, which she deems a right because she is my relative. And I have to work through being okay with the fact that things will never be the same.

Most of all, I decided to take care of myself. This choice wasn’t easy but when I justified it to myself, I realized that family doesn’t do that. At least my version of my family doesn’t. Not in the way that she did.

I wanted to write about this because I know that this isn’t an easy choice to make. And I want to let people know that it’s okay to cut someone out of your life if they are not good for you. Even if there are people who do not agree with your choice, it is yours alone to make. Stay strong because we will make it through this.

Also remember that you are not alone. I’ve been taking every opportunity to talk to friends and family about this situation. Healing comes in all forms and personally, my load is lightened when I can share it. So heal in whatever way you need to. I’ll see you all in the new year!


A Honest Look Into My Life

Merry Christmas everyone! I’m so glad to be back writing consistently for not only you, but for me as well. I wanted to make time on today’s post to address what has happened in the last two weeks. My life has been a whirlwind of emotions and events. So before I start, I’d like to say that you for being so patient with me.

This holiday season has been stressful. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around, I was ending my Fall quarter in school which meant essays and finals were on my mind. I was so stressed that I had taken the initiative to plan out all my assignments and what I would work on daily for the last three weeks.

On top of that, my paternal grandmother was undergoing a brain surgery to remove brain tumors. This was going to take place during Thanksgiving week and I was completely in the dark about what was going on. She entered the hospital a day early and before I knew it, in the blur of assignments and classes, she had her surgeries.

Thankfully, she’s recovering and back home. She can’t be alone for now, just to make sure she doesn’t fall. So my family has been running in circles to make sure that my grandma is okay. And because she is my grandmother, I have been trying to help out as much as I can while still taking care of school.

And in the wake of all of it, a lot of my routines have fallen to the wayside. Not only was I not posting here, but I was having a hard time finding my normal quiet time journal or meditate. Or even get a moment to wrap my head around everything that has happened. But as of right now, I’m happy to say that my life has slowed down.

Yet, I don’t want this post to be about justifying my absence because the only person that can justify my actions is me. But this post is reminder to not only myself but all of you as well, that we should not have to justify what we do or say.

It’s something that we do all the time. When we say “no”, it’s typically followed by a reason why. But “no” is a sentence in itself. A friend of mine told me the other day that I should not feel bad about missing weeks of church. And this was because of the fact that I was taking the time I needed in order to function during the week. And he was and still is right.

Me not going to church, classes, or even posting was a necessary part of my dealing and healing with all of the things that were going on in my life. And it’s okay. Those actions do not have to be justified.

So please remember that as you tackle this holiday season. Saying “no” is a form of self care that only you can decide if it’s appropriate.