I’m Still Waiting For My Hogwarts Letter ⚡️

I am 26, and I 100% part of the Harry Potter generation: kids, teenagers, and adults that where touched and transformed in every midnight book launch and movie screening. We are the reason that theme parks have memorialized our world, and given us Muggles a piece of it.

I was around 11 when the first Harry Potter book came out. English is not my first language, so I remembered having some trouble with that first book: I had to read and re-read, to make sure I was understanding all the adventures of my new friends. I wasn’t even sure on how to pronounce a lot of the words, names, and places. It took just one book to make me fall in love with the HP world: it’s such an amazing story of courage, friendship, and what is wrong and right, and how to handle it.

So, 2016 has been the year of HP resurgence with the launch of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and eventually, the launch of Fantastic Beasts: The Movie. To satiate my obsession with the stories of my favorite characters (and the fact that I won’t be making it to London to see the play any time soon), I got my hands on the screenplay of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.

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It took me a 2hr30min flight to finish the 300-something screenplay. It was that good. No spoilers here, but seeing this new aspect of the Harry Potter world has me amazed. JK Rowling never seizes to impress me: her imagination to keep this world alive for so many of us is admirable. I just got my hopes up again that my Hogwarts letter got lost, or that at least, whenever I have kids, they’ll get their letters.

Changing My Ways :: Growth, Health, and Why’s

Changing habits is hard, especially when you’re set in your routine. Once you start, is hard to maintain that new routine unless you see results fast enough. You need to remind yourself life is marathon and not a sprint.

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After two years of trying to figure out what was causing me pain in my feet, hands, and joints, I have a diagnosis: psoriatic arthritis. In my case, diagnosing it was very hard since I had no visible signs of psoriasis (mine has contained itself in my scalp, and it only comes out in times of stress).

With this diagnosis, as well as some other factors in my life, changes are in order. So, I am starting to research changes in my diet – like going full out vegan and gluten-free –, best ways to exercise since running – for now – is out of the question, and trying different treatments so I can attack the pain.

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I am seeing the silver lining in this diagnosis: creating healthier habits, and documenting them in this little space in the internet. For the first time in a while, researching new information has gotten me very excited!

Lover of the Light :: Digital Detox

Days, weeks, months have flown by. I have barely been able to keep up with my intentions, working little by little on them. But working on them I am. Something I promised myself this year is that I need to get to know my country more.

About three weeks ago, I took a week off for the first time in a while. With two friends, we headed to Pedasí and Playa Venao in the Los Santos province of Panama. My favorite part? No cellphone service, so automatic digital detox. I took it very seriously: I didn’t even take out my DSLR camera from the car, and just took these photographs from the trip.

With a stressful work period, I will picture these snapshots on my mind and repeat to myself that I will, soon enough, be back there.

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Summer Haze: Recharging for the New Year

Time flies. It might be a cliché, but it’s one of the truest clichés ever. With a blink of an eye, January is here without asking permission, expecting the world’s inhabitants to live its every single day to the fullest. January means new seasons, new lifestyles, new promises; it means change and expectation. January is a moment to summarize the past year, and dream of the 366 days ahead of us with wide eyes and expectant dreams.
2015 was a roller coaster of a year: I loved, I cried, I traveled, found my self, lost myself (took several wrong turns finding myself), and a year permeated with a typical quarter-life crisis. All in all, 2015 held some amazing experiences like:
  • Visiting my college best friend in Guatemala, and exploring some amazing places like Semuc Champey and Antigua

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  • Visiting Las Vegas for one of my high school best friend’s bachelorette weekend
  • Watching said friend say yes to the most amazing man we could’ve asked for her
  • Finally meeting ‘My Lady In One’, the baby of the family

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  • Spending quality time with the whole family, especially during special occasions and holidays

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  • Ending the year with family and friends, wishing for an even more amazing 2016
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Now, 2016, I know for sure you’re starting on the right foot. Even if it means exchanging Panama’s beautiful summer for Washington DC’s dreary winter. This year, considering I want to live it with more intent, I do have some goals [which I consider very different from forgotten and horrendous New Year resolutions], that include, but not limited to:
  • Visit as much museums and cultural events as possible during the 10 weeks I’ll be in DC
  • Successfully complete Georgetown’s Global Competitiveness Leadership Program
  • Meditate for 10 minutes a day, at least every weekday
  • Be more mindful of what I eat and how I exercise
  • Keep my mind active and read, for every academically-mandated book or article, at least one for fun
  • Travel, travel, travel
  • Which leads to saving, saving, saving

Cheers to new long letters, full of promise, written in a summer haze! Let’s conquer 2016.

In 2016, Say Yes To New Adventures

2016: A Year of New Adventures

The 2015 chapter of our lives is about to end; a year of growth, ups and downs, and tough – but not less magical. 2015 was full of trips, reconnecting with old friends, making memories with new ones. Now, it’s time to plan for what 2016 has in stock: a clean slate, a chance to start fresh. But, with this new year, instead of a bucket list or laundry list of ‘things to do’ or resolutions, I really want to focus on intentions, because an intention is an ongoing effort. Happiness comes from within, and I want to cultivate my own happiness and positive attitudes, reinforce my personal wellbeing, welcoming new energies, and focusing on how I want to feel rather than the material things I may want on a whim.

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I am still going over my list of intentions, but I know the most important ones that will lead me into 2016, and living a full, holistic, and positive life. Most importantly, I want to be gentle, loving, understanding, and kind to myself, in order to be that same way with everyone that crosses my path. Starting off on that, my intentions for 2016 and the years to come, include:

– Committing to take care of myself, love and honor myself

– Connect with more inspiring, amazing, and fierce women 

– Always, always, always find a way to give back to my community

– Commit to embracing my passions, including traveling, photography, and more

– Never stop looking for new and fresh perspectives: always be a student of life

Positivity, kindness, and light will guide this coming year.

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Let’s Share More Stories

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Photos like this make remind me of the hundreds of ways of telling a story; through a camera, through pen and paper, and so much more. They also inspire me to tell more get better at storytelling with an actual pen and paper. I imagine people’s stories, without actually asking them more about it, and writing it down.

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I’m pretty sure the faces behind my lens would have stories much more fascinating than I could ever imagine. Every reality is so different from what we can actually imagine, that not in my wildest dreams am I able portray each imagined story how it really is with just my pen and paper.

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What I love about photographs is that I can capture a mili-second of a moment, but I’m starting to realize that I am missing the complete moment by not recording the words that go along with these stories. I know that smiles like these have hundreds of stories to tell that I want to get to know more in-depth.