Category Archives: Piece of my mind

Spring is here!

No, I’m not wrong, spring has just begun here where I live (in Buenos Aires, Argentina) and even though it started a couple weeks ago I still wanted to ramble a little bit about how much I love spring. So here we go:

Spring is here and I couldn’t be any happier! I love spring, is my favorite season ever.

I don’t know what it is, and I’m going to write this even though I’ll probably sound crazy and cheesy, but beside allergies (I am VERY allergic to a lot of stuff), every time this season starts, love and happiness are in the air! I wake up happy because when I wake up in the morning, the sun is already up! It’s not too cold but also it’s not too hot. There is a nice breeze and everything you’ll need for the rest of the day is a nice hoodie and you’ll be good to go.

I can feel like almost every animal is happier, the birds chirp louder and everything looks so alive. The air smells so cozy and warm. I can’t even try to describe it. And maybe I like spring because it seems like the beginning of the Swan Song of the year. You start to feel like the year is coming to an end and to me it means that I’m closer to achieving my goals, which makes me so happy. Also, it means we are getting closer to my favorite holiday (Christmas) and that makes me so excited!! OMG, I love Christmas so much.

I have a lot of fond memories during springtime, when I think about previous years I remember that I was happy at this time of the year. Also, I started dating the love of my life five years ago around this time. And a lot of TV shows are returning and beginning and that’s always good news!

So I guess you could say that I have a million reasons to love spring but I have to say that I really don’t know what it is but the minute I start smelling spring in the air and the weather starts to feel a little warmer something clicks in me and I feel really happy.

I don’t really know why but I wanted to write about how happy spring makes me. I know it sounds weird and pointless but with so many awful things happening on the Earth right now it’s nice to think and write about things we like and things we love; it makes the world feel a little bit warmer.

Ok, my “I love spring” show is over, how do you feel about springtime? Do you like it? Do you have that same feeling about a season?  Which is your favorite season?  I would love to read your answers in the comment section! If this is your first time visiting Ideas That Build Cities please feel free to check the rest of the blog out and subscribe so you’ll be notified when I write something new! And if you don’t like giving away your email address that’s ok, you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, where you’ll be able to see whenever I post new content.

Anyway, I hope I see you next time…bye!

-L.S.

 

Using your phone is like smoking in the 50’s

We are all addicted but we just don’t know it.

I know the title it’s a little too much, but I swear I have a point. I personally think everyone or almost everyone is addicted to their phone.

It’s crazy, but every time I look around when I’m on the bus or the subway or even walking on the street; all I see is the top of people’s heads. Why? Because they are looking down at their phones. I know it’s crazy but I’ve noticed that nobody is paying attention to their surroundings anymore. They are looking at life through Instagram (I’m not going to talk about this again, I’ve already talked about how bad I think Instagram is, you can read it here), Facebook or Twitter.

cellphone Head

And I’m starting to feel like it’s a dangerous addiction. I’ve realized that I’m capable of spending 2+ hours on Social Media. And it’s just a waste of time because I’m doing literally nothing. Sometimes my daily commute to college is shorter because I lose track of time because I’m on Twitter or Instagram and it scares me. I’m trying to stops using social media so much because I feel like it’s dangerous to me. I lost track of time and somehow I can’t stop using it. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up and the last thing I do when I go to bed and I hate it. And it’s like I can’t control it. I’ve noticed that when my friends and I get together there is a moment when everyone is just silent and going through Instagram. Maybe it all started with a “Let’s just take a picture so we can post it on Instagram” and one posted it, and the other went to Instagram so they could like it and comment on it.  And then we were sucked by it. And maybe I’m overreacting but I feel it’s happening to everyone lately.

It’s awful to see how everyone is looking down at their phones in spite of being in a great place or having a nice day at the park. They aren’t looking at how green the grass is or how blue the sky is. They are looking at the latest meme or they are taking a selfie.

cigarrillos 2

And the worst thing is that it’s accepted worldwide. Everyone does it. And when we try to stop it, we use an excuse like “It’s funny”, “It’s not that bad”, “It helps me to stay connected with friends from all around the world”, “I’m socializing”, etc. And maybe it is true, but I believe it’s a little too much. I think it’s an excess of over-sharing information. I think we need to start to tune down the sharing and start living.

cigarrillo 3

 

Sometimes I think it’s like smoking in the 50’s: everybody thought it was cool and it was socially accepted. Like here in Argentina people were allowed to smoke inside the hospitals (like wtf?) even in front of sick people. They were also allowed to smoke in rooms where there were no windows and only one small door. When we think about it now it seems crazy, but that’s how it was before. And I think it was because no one realized how bad it was until people started to die. I’m not saying using our social media is going to kill us, but all I’m saying is that it’s not healthy for us. And the reason as to why we don’t realize this is because there hadn’t been enough evidence to point it out because everything is so fresh and sudden. We need time to see the real repercussions of it all.

Maybe I’m crazy, but that’s how I see it. And that’s why I’m trying to use it a lot less than I used to. Do you feel the same way about phones and social media in general? I would love to know what you think, let me your thoughts and comments in the comment section, please! Thank you so much for reading this and if it’s the first time visiting please feel free to check my blog out! I hope I see you next time… bye!

 

-L.S.

I don’t know what I’m doing

I don’t know what I’m doing. Honestly, I don’t. Writing this blog is something hard for me and there are several reasons as to why.  English is not my first language. Spanish is, but somehow I feel more comfortable writing in English than writing in Spanish. I’ve carried out a few blogs in Spanish, but I don’t know, they didn’t feel right. But that being said, writing in English is so hard for me and I tend to make mistakes while writing and I am afraid that those mistakes are going to cost me readers. But anyway, I wanted to take that chance.

Secondly, this blog is my baby. My project that I’m working really hard on and I refuse to let it go without a fight. I don’t have much money so it’s hard for me to spend money on my blog. I don’t live in the U.S. so it’s also hard for me to monetize my blog. But I also refuse to focus on all the negative aspects of my blog, I will push so I get the chance to make this blog work. I honestly don’t have a product to sell to you guys and I don’t have a niche:  I only have my feelings, my knowledge and my thoughts on certain topics that I would love for people to read.

And I also go to college. I’m about to get my masters in Biology and it’s so hard to keep up with posting and the social media. But here I am. Sometimes I would say that I am failing, but I’m doing everything I can to make this work.  I won’t stop writing. I know I have to keep going because even though I’m not seeing the light at the end of this dark and mysterious tunnel, the light exists. I’m going to see the light eventually if I keep going. This blog is going to make it.

Also, I’m getting surgery tomorrow. I have something on my left hand that needs to be fixed and that means I won’t be able to write for a while. That’s why I’m on a crazy marathon trying to write a billion posts so this blog won’t end up lost in the internet world.

I honestly don’t know what I’m doing but I know I’m doing everything in my power to make this blog work. Because I believe in Ideas That Build Cities and I believe in myself. I believe I’m capable of achieving great things and I won’t give up no matter how much it takes.

If you have ever felt like I feel right now, please let me know in the comment section below. I would love to read what you think about this. I hope to see you soon…. Bye!

Instagram is the most unhealthy social media there is

As a woman in her early twenties, it’s really easy to see why everyone feels drawn to Instagram. It’s all about capturing moments and posting them online. It’s all about the looks, about vanity:  the perfect summer body, the perfect room, the perfect house, the perfect sunset, the cutest cat, the perfect smile, the perfect outfit of the day, the perfect theme… it’s clearly about perfection and about rubbing it in everyone’s faces. When we all see that, we want that. Our brain tells us that such perfect things are possible in life and that if we do “things right” we can also have that. But that is a lie! Why? Because we try to recreate something that is not real:  we just don’t realize how fake all those pictures are.

Take the “I woke up like this” selfie for example. You woke up, you turn on your phone and you try to take a picture. Of course you’re gonna look like hell without makeup and using your frontal phone camera, I don’t know what you were expecting.  The ugly thing is that we probably don’t ‘look like hell’ but we think we do because we don’t look like that selfie with the 20,000 likes.  We never realize that those “domestic selfies” are probably taken with a professional camera, with the girl wearing professional makeup and with a little help of 4+ hours of hard work on Photoshop.

Also, it seems our lives revolve around it. We go out to eat and we first take a picture of our dish to upload it to Instagram instead of just tasting it because if there is a chunk missing it isn’t perfect anymore. We hang out with our friends and we pose for the camera as if we were having the best of times, instead of actually having them. We upload everything and we see the reactions: how many people saw it, how many of them liked it, etc…

Instagram is an unhealthy competition where everyone is competing to see who has it better: Who looks happier, who looks thinner, who goes to the most beautiful place and gets the perfect picture…  And all of the sudden you start to think about your life as an Instagram theme. And the worst part? It doesn’t even make us happy. We are not capturing moments like in the old times when we would take a picture to cherish it in the future. Now we take a picture so we can share it with the world and let them know how happy we are and how perfect our lives are.

In an era where looks are everything, Instagram comes as a dangerous weapon in this unhealthy fight.

So tell me, what are your thoughts about Instagram? Do you feel the same? What are those Social Networks that you think are damaging us the most? Do you think I’m overreacting and it’s not that big of a deal? I would love to read what you think in the comment section below!

See you next time… bye!

Bet on yourself – Don’t let fear stop you.

Have you ever had that moment where the fear of doing something almost stopped you from doing it? Like I mentioned in my last post, a few months ago I went to El Calafate and I said that I walked on the famous Argentinian Glacier: The Perito Moreno. I can say that I did it because I actually walked on it (even though it was one of the most challenging experiences in my life), but at one moment I almost didn’t do it because I was too afraid.

When my boyfriend and I were booking the excursions we read this excursion called “Big Ice” and we thought “Let’s do it!” because it sounded great. I mean, a three-hour walk ON the Perito Moreno? We had to do it. We made a few calls and asked a few questions about it and we found out that even though there were some specifics requirements, we could do it if we wanted to.  So we booked it and we didn’t think too much of it until we got there.

When we got there everyone was like “Oh… the Big Ice, you had to be ready for that. That’s no piece of cake” and others were like “You are going to do the Big Ice? It’s a little too much; you have to be prepared for that! I heard you have to escalate a few rocks, that it’s dangerous, and you have to listen carefully to what your tourist guide says or you can hurt yourself really bad” and that really got me thinking. Because, well, I exercise from time to time; I’m no couch potato. I’m always moving but I’m not let’s just say… a fit person. I have an extra pounds but it’s not like I’m fat.

Anyway, the day before the trekking on the Perito Moreno, I was so scared that I started to worry my boyfriend. All I could think about was that I didn’t want to be the girl that would hold everyone back; I didn’t want to be a burden.  Besides, we paid a lot of money for it, so I wanted to be able to do it and I didn’t want to ruin it for both of us.

Somehow my boyfriend assured me that everything was going to be ok and I decided that I was going to try it. I wasn’t going to let fear get the best of me. I have to admit: I didn’t sleep well the night before, but the day of the excursion I decided to wake up and do my best. I grabbed everything I needed and we parted.

59

When we got there I was really scared and when we started the tour guides warned us that everyone that was the last call to back off, but I was betting on myself and I wasn’t going to quit. So I stayed, and I started to walk. This Big Ice tour consisted of three parts: a 40 minutes trekking on land (it was hard) until a base camp, a 3-hour walk on the Perito Moreno and a 40-minute trekking on land to come back to where we started.

Let’s just say I almost quit during the first part. I was so close to finishing it but I wasn’t able to breathe anymore. We were so high on the mountain that there wasn’t enough oxygen, I had a lot of clothes on (it was really cold outside but I was moving so I started to get hot) and my blood pressure was low, really low. I almost fainted. But I stopped and  I tried to calm down. A good lady and my boyfriend helped me and I was able to recover from it. All I could think in that moment was “They were right, I am not fit enough to do this, it’s too much for me” and I remember looking to my boyfriend and say “I don’t think  I’m going to be able to do it” but he told me to calm down and breathe. And that’s what I did.

After recovering I was able to finish the first part of the tour and the tour guides asked me how I was doing and after eating candy and drinking water I decided that if I was going to die, I might as well die on the Perito Moreno and not right next to it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So I got all the gear and we started to walk on the Perito Moreno!! It was amazing, after the worst part (the first one) was over, everything was breathtaking! It was gorgeous, kind of magical! And that’s when it hit me… I almost didn’t see ANY of that because I didn’t believe in myself! Everyone told me I wasn’t going to be able to do it and I almost believed them. Look at all this beauty! And I was able to see it because I made a last minute bet on myself.

72

80

So here is my advice: trust in yourself, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and what you cannot do. Try everything. Push yourself, find your own limits. You are capable of a lot of things, don’t let fear stop you from doing amazing things and from achieving incredible goals.  

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I would love to hear your stories! Have you ever had one of those moments? What happened? I want to know, please leave me a comment in the comment section below!

See you next time… bye!

 

Our obligations are killing our hobbies.

Why is it that when you do something for fun it’s not as important as something that you actually have to do? I mean, the reason why I haven’t been uploading anything lately is because a new college year started and I always have to do something college related first in order to “feel productive”. And I think my problem is that I don’t think that something related to my well-being is as important as an obligation. Why do I have to do everything that I “have to do” first, in order to be happy and be able to do what I actually want to do?

Why do we procrastinate ourselves so much?

I know this might sound weird, or crazy, but I have this theory that when we procrastinate we don’t do that thing we actually want to do, we “lose track of time on social network” or we “end up organizing something” but it’s not that thing we wanted to do in the first place because in order to have our ‘treat’ we need to go through something bad, in this case: an obligation. And because of that we even end up procrastinating something we actually enjoy doing!

For example, if I have to do my homework and I want to write on my blog, I need to do my homework first in order to be able to enjoy writing on my blog. So every time I end up procrastinating doing my homework, it’s because I lost track of time gathering my strength to do it while scrolling down on my social network. It’s like I’m cheating my obligations with something I don’t actually want to do so it doesn’t feel like cheating because I am not enjoying it as much as I should.

But obligations aside, I think we feel like we owe society more than we owe ourselves. Sometimes we need to put ourselves first, we need to let society down once (and not care about it) in order to do whatever we want to and to be able to enjoy it. If we forget  we need to be happy we will end up doing a bunch of stuff we don’t want to do and we’ll think our whole purpose in life is to do what society tells us to do. That is so messed up it needs to stop.

So here I am, I decided to leave my class today and came home earlier because I was feeling a little blue and I wanted to write a little bit so I chose to put myself first. And I am actually happy that I did it, even though it was a tough call. It’s never easy, at least for me, to walk away from an obligation. I tend to push myself to the limit in order to feel like I’m capable of doing anything even if it means to push myself to a “ let’s have a mental breakdown” limit. And that… well, it’s not healthy at all.

Let’s try to put ourselves first and see how it goes! Let’s give it a try! I promise that I would try it and if I succeed, you will be seeing more posts from me from now on. And please, let me know in the comment section below: is it hard for you to put yourself first? What is that number one obligation you feel like you have to do first?  I would love to read your comments!

See you next time (I hope it’s anytime soon!)… bye!

Taking everything for granted: the reason why things have to end.

I know, I know, I’ve been so M.I.A. that it’s not even funny. I’ve been so busy guys. I went on vacation (If you are following me on Twitter you already knew that) and it was awesome but it also left me no time to write. And the week before that I was really busy with all the planning and buying all the things I needed because guess what: I was so focused on my blog that I completely forgot about my trip and I remembered a week before leaving.

But let’s focus on what’s important: today’s blogpost. Today I’m going to talk about endings and how hard it is to say goodbye to some things in life.

Lately I feel like a lots of things in my life are coming to an end. My neighbors moved out of their house and they moved to another province, my favorite TV show (The Vampire Diaries – I know, don’t judge me) finished last Friday and my favorite TV show of all time (Bones) it´s coming to an end too. I also feel like a lot of things in my life are about to change and even though I am not able to not panic, I’m a little excited for what’s to come.

I feel like things has to come to an end so new things can begin to happen. There has to be a balance, we need closure so we can appreciate what happened and we can accept the new things in life.  Sometimes closure involves crying and feeling sad, it’s not easy, I’m not saying that. It’s just that I feel that it has to happen at some point. If something is forever, that means it’s never going to end and we might take it for granted instead of appreciating. Why do I have to try to enjoy it right now if it’s going to be there forever, right?

Instead of that, since life is a constant surprise, we don’t know what’s going to happen next. Sometimes we end up saying goodbye to someone that was supposed to be around for a lot longer and we never saw it coming. We get mad because we weren’t ready and we regret not saying certain things or spending more time with that person. And even though it’s painful I feel like we tend to appreciate things and people even more after those things happen. We acknowledge that sometimes those things are a matter of luck and not knowing when they are coming to an end helps us to make the most out of it. Isn’t that the whole point of “You only live once”? The premise that life has an expiration  date is the very thing that encourages us to do things we might not consider doing ever? To do something now because you may not be able to do it later? It wasn’t until my neighbors told me they were thinking about moving away that I started to try to see them as much as I could. Before that, college was always first or I always had to do something first: I was taking them for granted. It wasn’t until I knew that them being my neighbors had an expiration date that I started to see them more often.

I feel like any important ending in your life marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. I’m really sad for the things that lately ended because they meant so much for me and they began to happen when I was in a really dark place and they really helped me, but I’m also excited and a little terrified of all the things that are to come. In this new phase of my life I’m sure a lot of things are going to change, but I’m open to it.

Well, this is me rambling about endings.  It just that lately I was overwhelmed about things coming to an end and I felt the need to write something about it. I hope it makes sense. I also hope that this inspires you to not take things or people for granted, to appreciate them for as long as you can without knowing a goodbye is going to happen soon. I hope it helps you to enjoy the things in life because you can, because you are alive. Just because. I think it sounds silly but even writing this made me rethink a lot of things and I really, really, really hope it made you rethink too.

So tell me what you think, do you think we need an expiration date to appreciate things? Has this happened to you, that when you knew you were about to lose something/someone you started to appreciate it/them more? Do you feel the same way? Did this post made you rethink something? Let me know in the comment section below! See you next time, bye!