12.31.2010

Best Posts of 2010: from Tica's Perspective

Here are what I classify as my best posts this year, no matter what analytics say!

For laughs:

So apparently, everyone flocks here only to read about Elevator Etiquette.

Antonie Dodson
- As if he hasn't been on TV enough.

My Pet Peeves
- We all have them.

Regarding Traveling:

Florida Vacation- Visiting Mom Dukes.

Dinner in Philly
- A taste of Cuba 2 hours away (warning: long post!)

Heartfelt Stuff:

The Ever Contagious Compliment - On my becoming a Godmother.

Career Limbo- Guest post on the reality of post-degree life.

25 Years on this Earth
- Lessons Learned.

Baby Fever
- Who hasn't had this?

Best wishes to you for the New Year! Hope you enjoyed this look back!

If you've also written about your favorite posts of 2010, leave me your link in a comment!

God's Blessings,

12.29.2010

2010 Travels Laughs-in-Review

Here's some of my favorite candid pictures from trips I took this year, in no particular order:

NASSAU, BAHAMAS:

I think this daiquiri from the famous spot, Twin Brothers II, is trying to say something to me.

The high cost for fresh breath!


Ft. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

I was fortunate enough to speak to this homeless drug-addict, looking for some alcohol late one night:


I decided to give her a makeover instead, and take her out on a cruise:
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She cleaned up pretty good, huh? LOL- just kidding Mom! Love ya!

All jokes aside, what I love about traveling is leaving my mark wherever I go. And knowing that place has taught me something new about traveling, no matter how close or far it is.















@ the Daq Shack

















Last but not least, I like to call this one:

Baby you'll be famous
Chase you down until you love me
Papa-paparazzi


If you want to feel like a celebrity, you've got to walk the walk!


Here's to more candids and greater memories in 2011,

I'm a Reverb Reject: Updates


In case you were wondering, my vacation didn't turn from one week to three. I went to LA for a week without taking my own advice of checking the weather before I left and was met with 'cool' weather (nothing as serious as New York) but basically I was unprepared. Thank God I'm a jean-freak because I was able to rotate those 3 pairs, and recycle the sweaters I had taken with me. I had a great time being around friends and family which included meeting new babies and updating people on the changes in my life back in New York. I especially got plenty of quality time with my friend Dakota, she was like the perfect host and I will not forget the Sunday (which miraculously climbed to 76 degrees) at The Grove mall, and my tell-all dinner at the Wood Ranch Barbeque and Grill.

Now I'm back to the daily New York City grind. This December has been a very hard month to blog, mostly because I've been wanting to write, but I don't want to whine. Why the whining? Many reasons but generally I've been in this funk- affected in one way or another by the following thoughts:
  1. I'm having a hard time valuing the holidays without my grandmother (who is retired and moved back to Costa Rica).
  2. It's cold and I want to attribute my sadness to the weather.
  3. I've been feeling extremely lethargic. Sometimes I don't want to get out of bed until the PM.
  4. I've been anxious about 2011 because I've got some hard decisions to make (including another move!)
  5. I've been thinking about how to manage the direction of the content of this blog, should I make this my open online diary or should I get more professional and keep my life stories at a minimum?
  6. My relationship will also be going through major changes next year, and I feel like I have no control over the situation.
Have you ever felt like the New Year was overwhelming before it even got here?

Maybe this is the reason why I wanted to send out some positive reverberations with this online initiative- you might recognize it #Reverb 10. I was only one of 4,000 subscribers to sign up for e-mail prompts. Now those prompts have built-up in my inbox, taunting me, like some school assignment I wasn't responsible enough to complete. Unfortunately, I could not get through the prompts this month causing me to be a Reverb Reject. Way to be positive huh? The bottom line is, I need to stop lying to myself regarding these 30-day challenges. At this point in life, I have no time to post or physically write daily. And in reality, that's okay!

I really liked some of the prompts, and hope to get to answer some of them one day, including:

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)


December 10 – Wisdom. What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)


December 15 – 5 Minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)


December 18 – Try. What do you want to try next year? Is there something you wanted to try in 2010? What happened when you did / didn’t go for it? (Author: Kaileen Elise)


December 23 – New Name Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)


December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words.


December 26 – Soul Food What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author: Elise Marie Collins)


December 27 – Ordinary Joy Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year? (Author: BrenĂ© Brown)


Cool prompts, huh? Especially the one about food! They are very time consuming, but in the end worth the reflection when you read back on it.

I might even turn it into a scrapbooking project!

How do you reflect on the past year, in a fun, easy and non-burdening way?


12.28.2010

White & Mild: A Tale of NYC

It's funny how a simple house chore can turn into a moment of self-reflection. After being cooped up in the house for 2 days after the awesome post-Christmas blizzard in New York, I ventured to work today and then came home and decided to shovel some sense into the mass of white slush in front of the house. I didn't come home with the intention to shovel, but I felt how mild the weather was (compared to the paralyzing winds and bitter cold of the past few days) and I picked up the shovel with no real strategy as to how I was going to break through the rough exterior of the snow. With no gloves on, I began to work the snow...and clear my thoughts.

As I focused on the task, the thoughts started rolling:

I haven't blogged in so long, my followers must think I'm not committed.
This is such a family-friendly neighborhood, I wish I knew my neighbors by name.

I wonder if anyone is thinking about me tonight.
Being alone is exactly what I need sometimes.
Uninterrupted thoughts are invaluable.

I like feeling safe where I live.

This is more productive than watching Teen Mom.
I should blog about this.

Today I learned that shoveling snow (after 9pm when walking traffic is minimal) can be therapeudic. I hadn't begun shoveling as some dreaded chore, I just had a sudden itch to do it and I didn't think twice about it. I shoveled, I thought, and I enjoyed being. I haven't just been in a while- without dwelling on what I still haven't done, what else I could be doing, how I should
stop what I'm doing to do something else. But I didn't stop. And not only did I clear my head, but I accomplished this...

I'm the path-making QUEEN! :)

12.05.2010

On Vacation...Good News!


Fellow followers: I will be away visiting family next week on the West Coast (of the US), but will continue to journal my Reverb10 prompts. I am looking forward to the time away, and the good news is that Tica {Em}bracing the Globe will be getting a facelift hopefully by the end of this month! Just in time to welcome the New Year. I'm so excited about it! Hope you're excited for me!


Reverb Days 4 & 5: Cut and Cultivate

Here's the 2-for-1 weekend package. I'm finding that realistically I won't be able to post everyday, but I will try my best to indulge the questions and post ASAP!

Day 4:
Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

Okay, am I the only one stumped by this prompt? I feel like I've got to revert to my English major-ness to decipher what I've got to be writing about. So, like a true student, I went to find someone else's post to see what this means. Here's what I found: The definition of wonder is 'to be filled admiration, amazement, or awe'-- I feel I'm constantly doing that each time I travel. That's like a given right? You see new things when you travel, new experiences even when you're visiting a place you've already been. That's not my answer. I think I've cultivated (which refers to a seed planted that I've watched and tended growth) a sense of awe and excitement when I decided to start my book club- and make that a priority. This is not something I wanted to do halfway, and I found someone as dedicated to it as me (because two heads are always better than one!) Everyday I'm thinking of new books to share, ways to share my love for books with other, inviting them out to meet new people and read something they don't usually. It has really become a passion of mine, and something I look forward to every month.


Day 5: December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

This year I've let go of the notion that friends are supposed to be around forever. I have a bad habit of getting really attached to people, and when they don't respond the way I want them to, or we get into a disagreement we don't bounce back from I get really emotional. I've been told over and over that there are some friends that are only around for certain seasons, but that doesn't necessarily make it easier to let them go. I'm learning when those things happen, God always brings me around or closer to people who I already associate with but don't intimately know. They usually turn out to be good people, and even if they are not around for 5 years, or even 2, I'm trying to stay focused on how important they are to me now. And making sure they know that too.

Reverb Day 3: This magic moment...

It's crazy to be thinking about 2010 as the past year, but I love reminiscing, so today's prompt excites me:

Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

I get an adrenaline rush when I get to chance to go (especially on a plane). Anywhere, anytime of year. I can't think of any place that I will say' no!' if you ask me to go. Anytime I can pack my North Face bag, my neck pillow, blankie, and camera I'm happy.
This picture was taken this year at Harbour Island, Bahamas. This quaint little island where you need go-carts to get around boasts the world-famous Pink Sand beach (a result of the breaking up of the red shells from a tiny sea creature called 'foraminifera'). I loved the privacy on the beach, you could leave your belongings on the sand and not worry about keeping your eye on them. Most of all, the water was calm, beautiful and clean. I came to the Bahamas during a sensitive time, questioning why after a year of searching- I couldn't find an internship, why my relationship was falling apart, why overall I did not feel fulfilled by life. 4 months later, things have improved and shifted in my life but my love for travel and simply changing my environment remains constant!
I love this picture and am thankful this moment was captured. The beauty at the bottom of the hill, just like what awaits us in life sometimes, is hard to see when you're at the top of the hill- it's still hidden by all the obstacles in the way. This picture reminds me that there's still beauty to be found, even in the middle of the craziness.

12.02.2010

Reverb Day 2: Click-Addict

This whole month will be dedicated to Reflections. I challenge you to join me @ #Reverb 10, leave me your link in the comments and I'll be sure to check out your blog!

Day 2: Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

As I immerse myself more and more into the blogger world, I recently discovered that I'm a click-addict. Visiting my daily distractions (such as this site- written from a Black father & husband, and this one- a cartoonist and thought-provoker) and the joys of finding new wonderful sites (like this blog from a Mom trying to capture her baby's daydreams and the Hypocrite's Almanac column from the Park Slope Reader- practical advice from a columnist who won't follow it) I just can't get enough of reading about people's journey's, children, bookshelves, and relationships. Reading helps me keep in touch with trends, and see what's relevant. The problem is, I read so much and skim so quickly in short spans of time that at the end of the day I never feel I've truly absorbed anything. I feel empty.
I can't deny the fact that I sincerely enjoy reading good writing and indulging in awesome design and concepts. I love the creative freedom and how you can really brand yourself with your website. The bottom line is, I'm not going to stop reading. What I can improve is the way that I read, which is ironically, similar to the way I eat. I scoff my food down and rarely indulge in it. I know I should eat slower, but I don't. I know I should read slower, and I will try to. I'll try not to click around so much, and browse more for substance. I think with practice, this will truly contribute to my writing.

12.01.2010

Reverb 10- Join the Challenge!


And so we begin the last month of the year! December 1st means so many different things for different people- rent is due, the holiday season is officially here, countdown to final exams, Christmas lists are being compiled. No matter where you are in life, we should all understand the power in Reflection. I know, I know, 2011 is soon upon us and maybe you want to forget everything that happened in 2010 and focus on your 'Resolutions' but I believe Reflection should preface Resolving. After all, how can you really plan for the future if you haven't come to peace with the past? As we remain in the season of thanksgiving, this is the perfect time of year to think of 2010- the good, the bad and the ugly. Make a plan on how you're going to make 2011 better, list specific goals or make a vision board and indulge in the end of the year (for it will soon be gone)! That's what I plan to do as I start this challenge, and I urge you all to join me! I don't care if you're not a writer. You don't need a blog to do this! All you need is pen and paper! I promise when you read your entries back in 2011, you'll be shocked, surprised and pleased.

Reverb 10 is "an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. The end of the year is an opportunity to reflect on what's happened, and to send out reverberations for the year ahead. With Reverb 10, we'll do both." For more information, to sign the contract for the 31-day challenge, go here! And if you signed up, leave me a comment so I can check your site out and support, support, support!

DAY 1
December 1 One Word.
Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?
(Author: Gwen Bell)

My word to encapsulate 2010 will have to be paradigm-shifting. The one single experience that sticks out about 2010 will have to be the move from my childhood home. This change has caused me to mature in ways I've never had to before- I've had to change the way I used to spend my money, how I maneuver my expenses to have the rent when its due, how to make a place feel like home, among other things. I think as young adults we tend to think things are easier alone- but I'm also realizing how depressing it could be not having that social support or interaction I believe most people crave. My thoughts on relationships and monogamy have also been shifted this year, I'm doing my best to keep from turning into a cynic.
The word I want to encapsulate 2011 will be joy. More than being happy, which is an emotion that can change from one minute to the next, I want to experience permanent joy even in difficult situations. I pray next year comes with more clarity in terms of career moves, and fulfilling personal goals. I believe to a certain extent, I still feel limited in terms of the places I want to go and the jobs I want to pursue. Next year, I will be eligible for citizenship, which will only open more doors in terms of government jobs, and service projects I hope to pursue. I want to remain in a state of joy through stressful and trying times, part of this I know will be continuing to trust God wholeheartedly and not letting fear take over my mind.


What one word for you describes 2010, and you hope will describe 2011?

The Buzz on 'Little Bee': Book Review

Little Bee by Chris Cleave is truly a gem of a read. I haven’t enjoyed the sensory and minor details of a book in a while, and Cleave’s writing style is beautiful, worth-while and memorable. I can honestly say I really and truly delayed reading the end of this book but I knew as soon as I dove into the storyline I would be sitting here writing this, trying to figure out what I can really say to give the book the praise that it’s due.

Title: Little Bee (US) or The Other Hand (UK)

Author: Chris Cleave

Gist: The basic storyline is of two female protagonists: that of a young Nigerian refugee who is locked up at a detention center in the UK and one English career woman, wife and mom. Their lives cross way before the story begins in a most unusual way, and you’ll have to pick the book up to find out how/why.

Pro’s: Fast read and thoroughly entertaining, the fact that the narrative goes back and forth between the two protagonists makes the book complex and hard to put down! I think the language and every word was chosen so tenderly, it’s these type of books that make me want to make believe I can write fiction.

Con’s: I was so involved in this book, I walked around hating some characters; things they said and did. I took the book so personally! I was on a rollercoaster of emotions, and a book filled with so much dark moments/subject matter lightened by glimpses humor may not be for everybody at all times. I can attest that there are some books you may have to put down at certain times and come back to.

Best Lines:

From Little Bee:

“I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to deny them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay?... Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.”

From Sarah:

“From the spring of 2007 until the end of that long summer…my son removed his Batman costume only at bath times. I ordered a twin costume that I substituted while he splashed in the suds, so that at least I could wash the boy sweat and the grass stains out of the first. At four years old, sleep or awake, my son lived at constant readiness.”

Recommend: Yes! Out of 5 stars I give this book 3.5, only because the ending left me a little confused and pouting like a child who wants more candy. It still can’t take away from the beauty I witnessed from chapter to chapter. Do add to your Christmas list! Oh- I will warn you that this book has some graphic subject matter not suitable for those weak in spirit or heart. There is also foul language in the book.

For more information about the book, visit the author's website here.

Happy Reading!