Category Archives: SoulBeats

Words. Ideas. Thoughts.

Pain: The amazing capacity to endure.

As we know, life is a journey. The destination of it all (for me at least) is a hazy, unclear end, yet a boundless open opportunity. And, as we all know, with life comes pain, death, change, heartbreak and doubt.

As I look around, watch the news, and learn from my own experiences, I have slowly come to find how amazing it is the amount of pain the human heart can really endure. And how, with that pain, I see people choosing positive change, growth and strength from it.

A smile on the face of a man who recently lost his wife, joy found in hearts of impoverished communities and families, or strength emerging from a broken girl’s heart. The addicts small victories on his struggles towards sobriety, the sexually abused daughter’s search for love and inner peace, or the strength found in a man who use to be a shy kid with severe social anxiety- the trails we go through, no matter how small, change us and shape us into the people we are.

To have no fear of pain. Is that even possible? Maybe one day I will be able to say I believe that to be possible- but not for now. However, I do believe that we all have the strength to endure it. And really… that’s what matters.

People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel
– Jim Morrison

The pain we have all felt in are lives is beautiful, even though it doesn’t feel like it at first. The pain in my life is for a reason, and each trail, I know must have happened for a reason- even if the reason is still unclear to me. But as humans, we have the amazing capacity to endure.

And nothing great in life has ever come without much enduring.

So if your going through pain right now, I’m sending you light, love and strength from my tiny room in Texas, from the corners of my dimly lit desk, and from someone who is also enduring, but choosing to learn and grow from it all.

❤ M.

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Jazzy Austin: Summertime

Two months has come and passed, and I’m finally feeing like things are starting to fall into place. I moved to Austin two months ago and since then I have moved into a new house, had three different roommates, worked in a restaurant, found a new job at the University of Texas, quit my job at the restaurant, landed a sweet internship with my Italian University, LdM, found an apartment for the Fall semester, started a relationship, had my heartbroken, gotten in touch with long-lost friends, figured out the bus routes, gone to museums, gone to concerts, explored Austin, done yoga, felt depressed, felt liberated, sat in more hipster coffee shops then I can count, attended church for the first time in a year, bought a vintage bike, eaten my share of Tex-Mex and started planning my travels for the upcoming year.

As much as the summer in Austin has been lonely for me (seeing since I’m a newbie in town), it has really been positive despite it all. I am starting to see that  this is where I need to be right now… and im loving watching everything fall into place.

Ever since moving here, the electric, colorful, and youthful atmosphere of Austin has put a little more jazz and soul into my life. It’s vintage appeal, funky style and abundance of music has put a little more hopeless romantic in me, a little more starving artist in me, and given me a jazzier view on life.

My life is slowly transforming into a smokey, sexy, black and white, whiskey drinkin, growling, purring whispering, classic melody, and I’m loving it.

Here’s to a year in Jazzy Austin. May it reap good friends, good times, good art and good music.

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Coming home: Sognare, esplorare, fare.

In 18 days I will be on a flight home to the US, and needless to say, this year has been the best year of my life. I have lost myself, discovered myself, and, even if only just a little, improved myself.

I am not sad to go home, but I am sad to leave…

I am leaving behind positive things, but I am also coming home to others. My family will be all together once again after three years of jobs, school and life pulling us apart. I will start my last years of college at UT Austin, and I will be starting fresh.

It’s all bittersweet.

This past year I have fallen in love, both with people, places and friends. I have fallen out of love, had my heart broken, and been treated badly by people I thought were friends. I have lived on little money, and I have found fortunes. I have traveled to 12 countries, I have had my stereotypes changed, and I have changed other’s stereotypes. I have been in danger, I have felt like I was standing on the top of the world, I have made friends I will never forget, and I have gained weight. I have battled my depression, and I have always won. I have started smoking, and I have stopped smoking. I have been alone in Cosimo I’s room, I have stood in front of Botticelli’s, Donatello’s, Lippi’s, Bellini’s, Michelangelo’s, Leonardo’s, Ghiberti’s, Cimabue’s, Masolino’s, Massaccio’s, Giotto’s, Bronziono’s, Delacroix’s, Turner’s, Titan’s, Eyck’s, Vermeer’s, and Gentileschi’s. I have read Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch. I can understand Italian, and kind of speak it 😉 I have been lost, and I have been found. I have believed in God, I have believed in Buddha, and I have believed in myself. I have grown, and I have fallen back again. I am not perfect, but I am different. I have wanderlust, and I know everything really is possible if you make it. I know life is what you choose… I know life is in your hands. I have realized you must be your best friend first, and depend on other second. I have discovered I am sexy, I feel my inside glow, and see the positivity I bleed out. I know I am strong and independent when I look back at all the things I have accomplished and overcome in the past year. I have learned to never judge at first sight, cause 9 times out of 10 you are wrong. I have learned to never categorize someone, because you never know when you’ll miss out on some of the coolest people in the world because of your judgements. I see that you must let go of things, and others you must hold tight. I realize friends, loves, wealth and moments where not meant to last forever. They were meant for that time in your life when you needed them the most.

I just know Austin will be positive for me, and I know I will bring fragments of Florence with me there.

This is a new chapter, with new friends, a new job, a change of pace, a change in daily culture and something I am looking forward to.

So heres to Florence, to Austin, to Italians, to Turks, to Americans, to Europeans, to dreams, to friends, to food, to wine, to spirituality, to love and to discovering yourself.

Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Sognare, Esplorare, Fare.

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Find pride in your story: Leaving a Legacy.

I have lived abroad for almost a year now, and in that time I have learned and discovered much about myself and about the world around me. I have seen, watched, and read so much, but out of all the great lessons I have learned in this past year, the greatest would be that, no matter what, you must be proud of who you are and where you come from. Whether you are from high society, or you are from hardships and poverty. Whether you have never had the opportunity to go to grade school, or you have a college degree. Whether you come from a dysfunctional family, or everything has been picture perfect. No matter what your story is, I have come to find that the worst thing you can do to yourself and to your image is to apologize for who you are and where you come from. Because I have discovered that you must first love and respect yourself, before you can ever expect the same from someone who grew up in a different culture, social circle, or continent than you.

When I first traveled to Europe, I remember feeling something I had never felt before: I was embarrassed of where I come from and the culture I grew up in. I was thrown into a country where Americans are not number one, cultures are different, and the opinions of who Americans are is very low. I would see American girls and boys making a fool of themselves, ignorantly talking to everyone in English, acting superior in a foreign country, and running the streets at night getting drunk and giving Americans a sexually easy reputation. I have found that Europeans think Americans are uneducated in literature, music, visual arts, and language, and this fact made all of my years of going to school and hours of studying feel so insignificant as I compared myself to the cultured Europeans. And as I learned what the stereotypes of Americans are, and specifically Texans, and I found myself ashamed because of these stereotypes. I began to walk the streets in silence just so no one would hear my English, I stopped wearing the bright colored clothes I love so much and instead reverted to wearing only blacks and neutrals so I could seem “more Italian”. I stopped smiling so much, stopped taking photos for in fear of looking like a tourist, ordered coffee how Italians order coffee, found myself taking up things that I do not enjoy, denying who I am, and all for the sake of not getting labeled as a stupid American.

Yet, as time has pasted, and as I have experienced more abroad, something has changed within me. I finally got fed up with hiding who I really am and being ashamed of where I come from just because some Americans choose to taint the American reputation. So I pulled out the bright colors, slapped on a smile and decided my goal for being abroad would not be to blend in with the Europeans and the Italians, but to own up to who I really am and where I come from. My goal is, even if it was only to changed the opinion of one person, to change someone’s ideas and mindsets of who Americans are, shatter stereotypes, surprise people in a good way, and leave a positive legacy abroad.

I have found that the most important thing to do is to be proud of yourself and where you are from. Because no matter where you go in this world, you will find people who judge you because of where you come from, your skin color, and the language you speak. But if you first respect yourself and find pride and beauty from your story and your situation, it is surprising the respect that comes to follow.

This issue of leaving a positive legacy and being proud of who you are and your background is very near to my heart. I believe that if more people acted on this instead of accepting the preconceived stereotypes given to them and their culture, the world, and all its people, would become that much more united, because everything great always starts with little actions.

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Celebrating yourself: Valentine’s Season.

So as most of you have probably already noticed, it is that time of year again… Valentine’s Season.

Everything seems to be glazed over in pink and red, the engagement ring commercials are non-stop, the Victoria Secret (for some odd reason) is making you feel like you need some red lingerie, drugstores are being transformed by candied hearts, teddy bears and roses, and just as they say, love seems to be is in the air. It is that time of year again… that holiday that seems to have no middle ground, no grey area… it is either a wonderful or a tragic time… it’s Valentine’s Season!

It happens every year: the ‘I hate Valentine’s Day’ parties, the ‘bashing of exes and people-who-are-in-love’ fests, and the eating chocolate and drinking wine till it’s better remedy that never seems to quite work. And I am first to admit it… I have done ALL of these! I have even been on the opposite spectrum: I have been THAT obnoxious, lovey-dovey couple who can’t get enough of each other (which is equally as annoying as the bashers I might add). I have made the season all about the person I love. Made sure to find them that perfect gift, buying them cards and candies, taking the time to write a love letter to tell them how wonderful they are, and really making the day about them (which is in no means a bad thing). But as I sit here and think on myself, I find that there really isn’t that many times I have done all that for myself… I never tell myself how wonderful I am, or point out the positives I find in me. When do I celebrate myself? I mean, how many times in a day do you find your inner-voice saying: ‘WORKOUT!”, “Your hair looks like shit! @&$^@*”, “Put the cookie down fat-ass!”, “I’ll never be good enough”, “He hates me… I wish I wasn’t this way”, “I can’t do that”, “I wish I looked like her”, “I need to change”, “He told me he no longer loves me, I feel so empty now…”? Cause I do it.

I find myself apologize for the way I am, beating myself up, and judging myself based on what other people think of me, on a daily basis. I too often times define myself around people, and I do not take the time out to define myself, my interests, my hope and dreams, and why I am a great person on my own. And really… that’s a damn shame.

My challenge to myself, and to everyone else reading this, is to, despite whether you have a significant other or not, to make this Valentine’s Day a little less about someone else, and a little bit more about you. And maybe even make this challenge not just for Valentine’s Day, but for everyday. To make everyday a little bit more about defining who you are and finding your own happiness, and a little less about beating yourself up. I honestly think we should all stop depending on others for our happiness so much (myself included)!

Being able to be happy alone, proud of your accomplishments, defining who you are, not focusing on your shortcoming, and being able to celebrate and love yourself, in my opinion, is sexy and beautiful!

So, to wrap it up (hehe, romantic pun much?), take a little more time this season to focus of who you are, why you are wonderful, and how no one has the power to define who you are unless you let them.

Happy Valentine’s Season you sexy things!! 😉

“Plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.”
– Veronica A. Shoffstall

More wonderful, loving yourself quotes 🙂

XOXO.

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