Back to Blogging- 2013 In Review

Back to blogging! Oh my gosh..hello??..is the screen showing?!!?..yee..yess..yes! Hi everyone! I did not forget about you, and I hope you did not forget about me haha… 🙂

It has been one crazy and hectic semester! I was so on top of blogging this summer and once the semester hit and classes got going, it was simply too hard to keep up. I give credit to all of those bloggers that can handle writing posts almost every day. Well, winter break is here, and my blogging is back. I finally have time to do all of the things I could not do during the semester and the to-do list is quite long! I wanted to write a post that reflects on this past year and all of the people that have influenced me in more ways than one.

If I had to describe the year of 2013 in one word it would be the year of… losses. I tend to lose things all the time from my iPhone to my house keys to you name it. My family knows it and now my roommates accept me for it, but those losses are usually just careless misplacements rather than permanent removals.

For starters I lost my teenage years and entered year 20, (almost 21 woop!) and am no longer a kid anymore but starting to enter into the years of adulthood, and most of all responsibility.  A lot can happen in ten years.. and now that I am in my 20s, I have just begun a new path.

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Mom and I share a birthday!

I lost my blindness to the realities in the world. When I went to the Philippines this past summer for a class seminar  there was so much that struck me. My favorite part was seeing the street children. Erin, a fellow student, and I are working on a documentary about street children in the Philippines, and something about them has stuck with me even long after the trip. Maybe it is because I also have video to assist the pictures, so I can still hear and see the setting I was once in, bringing back memories. I often wonder to myself, how was I so fortune, by God, to be put in the place that I am, with the opportunities I have, with the people who surround and love me. What makes me any better than those kids? I have been given so much in life and am so fortunate with all that I have, that I want to change the world. Change the world, and be a voice for those who do not have one in society. I think about how I would feel if I were in their shoes and someone could help me, would I want them to? Yes!

Here in America, the idea of the rest of the world and the hardships so many face are pretty foreign. Sure we see it on TV, but it does not hit us when we walk outside our door, and often times we spend our days blind and enclosed in our own individualistic lives. In the Philippines, although the people do not have much, they are all about others and the community. A life of just having the basic necessities is enough. Most the family works hard and puts their children and their children’s education before themselves to better their children’s lives. I think if we followed the Filipino people and started to truly care about others and just giving what we can, even if a small fraction of what we have, the world would be a better place.

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The Philippines crew!

This trip lead me to take a human rights class this past semester and has lead me down the path to prepare for law school and get a degree in international law.

I lost my slump for running. About a year ago I decided I wanted to get good at it, so every day I worked towards improving my miles. It was this past summer that I really got cranking from 6-10 miles. Why does 10 feel normal on a regular basis? I feel stronger because of it and like I can conquer anything. Now, running has become a form of therapy, time that I plug in my earphones, turn on my playlist, and clear my mind. I reflect on the day and think about what is to come. Running outside and seeing everything around you…there is something so beautiful about it. Rain, snow, heat, the bitter cold, nothing but wind has stopped me so far.

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This is my favorite spot to run to! It looks like this in the summer 🙂

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This is what the view looks like now- still beautiful!

I lost my old roommates and ended up with two great new ones, who I would not change for anything in the world. It was that loss that lead me to another..

IMG_7247I lost my rigidness in seeing life’s obstacles thanks to one of my roommates, Emma, who has just given me this energy to focus on the beauty in life and ALWAYS look at the positives. She taught me that in my perfectionism, I do not need to hold myself to such high standards and that I should give myself more credit for all that I do. I have this positive spirit from her, and even more so a warmed heart to always feel for others. She has brought that feeling of warmth back into my life, and I now share that with others.

1385942_10151941711342138_111892667_nMost recently……., I lost the guy who I have found to be the closest thing to my real life Prince Charming. “Prince Charming” is really just the ideal guy for every girl, technically we don’t know much about Prince Charming from Cinderella. Well, my ideal guy, “prince charming”, is not perfect–tall, dark, and handsome. Okay…. handsome yes, but this guy was one who challenged me, he was not like all the others who were chasing after me. I could see and admire his faults, while he appeared to be perfect to everyone else. Truth is he had yet to know the real me and that I had a secret of somewhat equal merit. Losing him showed me maybe not what I want, but what I deserve, and that’s not him. As a result, I distract myself and become busy with others things while trying to numb out the pain before it hurts me. Most of all I go on with my life—focus on my studies, hobbies, family, friends, and wait for another opportunity to come by.

IMG_7484From all these losses there has been many gains and the people who have helped me through it all are the ones I want to thank.

To my roommates of 39, I love you girls so much! Thank you for making me a better person and showing me the strength I never thought I had within myself. I tell people this all the time and I mean it when I say this..you mean the world to me and are my second family in our home away from home. We complement each other, each of us are learning each day from each other– whether it be about organizing our schedules, homework, boy advice, or even just being there to lend a listening ear. We don’t lose our autonomy amongst our integration, and I think that is what gives us such good balance. We had quite a year and I cannot wait to ring in the new year, 2014, with you girls. After all, we are all turning 21! AND going to be seniors in college soon..AHH! I often tell people I would not be the person I am today without you girls. You have helped me discover who I am and what I want in life– and for that I am grateful and forever blessed.

IMG_7248I want to thank my family for loving me and all of my goofiness. Grandma and grandpa, all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, godparents– you all make my time home so enjoyable and in all of our craziness we make each other smile. You said it the other day Aunt Sue- All you need is family for the holidays 🙂

1441209_1439351992945431_1303455967_nMom, Dad, Mel, and Will-I am constantly reminded that you are my #1 fans and I thank you for supporting me and loving me with big ideas, enormous dreams, expensive price tag, and priceless memories.

IMG_4878This year I realized its time to truly focus on the now, and enjoy the present because so much of life is rushed towards the future. Often times I am so caught up in what I am doing next that I never take in the current moment. So let’s enjoy 2014 and have it be the year of the presence, being in the now. Like you always tell me dad, “Life is about the journey, not the destination.” Let’s enjoy every step of this upcoming journey in 2014. I want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Years!

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From my family to yours–Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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XOXO, Gabi

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