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The Wrap Up

This semester, my assignment for my social media class was to blog every week. I chose to format this blog as a personal diary of experiences. This was a huge challenge for me!

You would think talking about your week would be an easy subject. Let me tell you that it is not. Week after week I had to try to come up with ways to talk about my life while following specific parameters. First thing I found out? My life is not that interesting.

Either way, I’m glad I was able to record some parts of these last few months. Once I could figure out what I wanted to blog about, I had a lot of fun doing it.

Will I continue blogging? That is yet to be decided. I want to start a Latin food cooking blog but for that I need time actually to try the recipes! For now, I need a writing break. My brain is completely fried after this last year of working on my Master’s full-time and job searching. Both tasks have come to a fruitful and happy ending (thank God!), and now I want to relax and enjoy the new adventure that begins.

After having blogged for the last year (I have another blog about digital marketing), letting go of this discipline might be a little hard, so maybe I’ll be back right after Christmas. Stay tuned for updates.

Happy holidays everybody!

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I Waited in the Cold for Versace for H&M

Versace for H&M

Yes. I waited in the cold. Mostly out of intrigue.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I’ve never been a fan of Versace; he doesn’t design for me (a more serious, less daring person–although only in clothing style). Versace designs usually lack the classic element that I look for in the labels that I love.  I am very picky with the designs I invest in. Versace is bold and busy; I love boldness but rarely feel comfortable in busy.  However, there is still an artistry in the designs that is worth my admiration. Plus, Versace is iconic, and I cannot deny that.

The Versace for H&M collection came out Nov. 19th. I got to the Metro Center store in DC at 7 AM and thought that I was going way too early. How can somebody stand in line hours in the cold for H&M? Well, had I done my research or read the blog post-Versace for H&M by Take An Intermission, I would’ve known that all of their designer events are a huge deal. By the time I got there, the line circled the block and the bracelets that determined what time you were allowed in to see the collection had already been handed out  (people actually started getting in line the afternoon before!).  This meant that I would be able to go into the store when they opened at 8AM but I would not be able to shop Versace until 1PM. Bummer.

A sneak peak of the collection (and the determined shoppers).

I stayed for a while with my friend just in case there was a chance to get in before the assigned time but it was useless. By 9AM the men’s collection and the women’s accessories were sold out.  I kept seeing people come out of the store with huge bags full of stuff and kept asking myself: if you have that much cash and love Versace that much why don’t you splurge on a few original pieces rather than by the whole H&M line?

Turns out, a lot of people there were buying to sell. Freaking genius. The famous Versace leather (pleather) jacket was selling for $600 bucks on eBay! I can buy a real leather jacket for that price, what is the big deal?  I love designer fashion but mostly I love their quality and craftsmanship. I am sure this line is beautifully made, but does the cost justify the quality?

Take An Intermission writer wrote in her blog: “Will I be there? Honestly, probably not. Lol… as much as I would love to get my hand on some of those items, priorities (code for “Work”) always takes prevalence. I could go on my lunch break, but I’m pretty sure everything will be gone.”

I have some inside advice for you. Go now, there was so much impulsive buying that day (since customers are only allowed 15 mins to see the collection) that this week returns must be pouring in. In fact, I heard from an employee that through returns is how employees get to buy these special collections. Don’t count on getting your hands on the leather jacket though; any smart cookie will be selling that on eBay for a huge profit.

The closest I got to Versace for H&M was the store front.

Getting The Job…Finally!

As you might’ve seen in the last few posts, I have been surrounded by a lot of uncertainties lately. What is going to happen once I finish school in December? Am I going to move? Where would I move in search of new opportunities? When do I need to make a decision? All these questions have been haunting me for a few months.

I have been living with one foot in D.C., another in Miami–I’ve been working remotely for a PR firm there–and my eyes back home, in Puerto Rico because it is the most cost efficient option while I find a full-time job. I would sweat every time somebody would ask me: “what are your plans after graduation?”

Well, not anymore. Today, I received the phone call that every unemployed person is desperately waiting for. This was not a regular “we want to join our team” call, this was the “we want to give you the opportunity of a lifetime” call… I accepted.

Throughout my job search, I felt like companies were looking for this niche candidate. A candidate with very specific experience that included very specific requirements, in addition to the basic skills. Although I had no doubt that I could do the job and easily learn the specifics, I soon realized that companies didn’t want to teach. They want a person that already comes with the required skills, and they can do that because there are so many great candidates actively looking for jobs right now that they can afford to be picky.

For the first time since I started my search eleven months ago, I knew this job was describing me… but a better me. It was describing my experience in their requirements, and it was also describing where I wanted to go professionally in their expectations for the candidate.

I went through four interviews and one writing test. With every step, I yearned more for the position. This was the right job for me, at exactly the right time–since I am only a few weeks from finishing my master’s degree.

Today, as I was working on my capstone project, I received the call and I want to share my excitement with the whole world. My mom always tells me that everything works out at the end and I have never doubted that. All those jobs that I interviewed for and applied to didn’t work out because Somebody had other plans for me. Now, I cannot be more grateful for the time I spent searching for the right opportunity.

If you are in D.C. and are looking for a job, good luck. It’s an uphill battle but don’t give up. Below I’m including some web sites that were very useful in my job search. I hope they help!

  1. Brad Traverse Job Listings
  2. JobsThatAreLeft
  3. DC Public Affairs and Communications Blog
  4. Monster
  5. Indeed
To those of you who are looking, good luck and don’t give up! If you ever need advice, you know where to find me. You can tweet me or comment on this blog.

The Coca-Cola Side of Life

Today, I was having coffee with a friend. The last few weeks have been super hectic, and we haven’t been able to catch up. She is planning her wedding and dealing with all of the headaches that go along with that. I am working on my capstone project and dealing with all the headaches that go along with that.

I told her about my blog, in an effort to get inspiration to write this week’s post. I told her that my blog talked about what things I wanted to accomplish in the near future and it also randomly reminisced on my good times in DC.

My very assertive friend picked up on an interesting thing. For a long time now (almost a year), I have focused on either remembering the past or hoping for the future. This made me think, what is so wrong with my present that I refuse to live in it?

Before I answer this question, I will give you a little summary of the events that led me to this exact point in time.

I moved to DC in August of 2007 for an internship with a prestigious senior member in Congress. After completing my internship, I was hired by a committee office in the U.S. House of Representatives. For three years, I went with the flow of things. Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Congress, I just always felt like this time was a life parenthesis for me. These were opportunities that I had to take because anybody would kill for them. But, what did I really want?

I wanted to live the moment. Enjoy life. Learn new things. Push my limits, and all this, I did. In December 2010, when the Democrats lost the majority of the house, I lost my job. Although I always knew my job was not what I wanted to do forever, this was a devastating loss because it wasn’t my choice. Life had imposed on me the end of my parenthesis. Now, what?

Thankfully, I never let go of my professional aspirations and in spite of my crazy/long hours in Congress. Earlier that year I had started my master’s degree in public relations. For the last year, I have studied full time, taking on consulting projects and seeking guidance everywhere I can think of in search of the right opportunity.

It hasn’t been easy, studying, consulting, and job searching has taken all the energy I’ve got and more, but looking back I see that I am where I need to be now. I forget that a lot. Not many people have the incredible opportunity to dedicate full time to their post-graduate studies or any education. Not many people have the amazing support system from friends and family that I have.

When I look at my life, I tend to look at all that is missing, and I seek comfort in my memories and my hopes for the future but in reality nothing is wrong with my life. I need to stop that, ASAP. Life is great  and life needs to be lived now.

I did a year abroad is Spain when I was in undergrad, and Coca-Cola had this great campaign there about always looking at “the Coca-Cola side of life”. My friends and I still say “gotta look at the Coca-Cola side of life” to each other from time to time when we want to be funny and sarcastic about happiness and our pursue of it. Thinking about it better, Coca-Cola has a point. Life is all fun and games but you have to be willing to enjoy it and be grateful for the friends and family who go through it with you.

Now, in order to celebrate happiness, friendship and why they are important (oh… and continue promoting Coca-Cola), here is a video that always reminds that when you have friends and you are having fun, you don’t need anything else. 

How about you? What makes you happy?

What Midnight Runs To Walmart Have Taught Me

For the last three years, I have lived alone in a great apartment in downtown, D.C. After two failed experiences with roommates, I decided I was better off living alone. That way, I have control over everything. I don’t get home to find my roommate wearing the dress I was planning to wear to work the next day. I don’t wake up in the morning to an empty jug of milk. I don’t get home from a trip to find that the Mickey Mouse Club (yes, mice and lots of them) have moved in, or that the kitchen sink has been clogged for two days and nobody has done anything about it.

When you live alone, you get home to a house that’s exactly how you left it. When you look for your new blouse to wear to work in the morning, it’s hanging in the closet like it’s supposed to be. But, I do feel that I am missing out at times. For example, during the snowpocalypse, I was bored out of my mind. Also, I sometimes feel the need to chat with somebody at three in the morning.

That said, I’ve been living with two crazy Latinos for the last two weeks. They showed up at my doorstep and haven’t left. Having them at the house has helped me remember the fun part of having roommates even though they are terribly annoying at times. (Exhibit one: one of them is currently screaming at her father over the phone, and he is on speakerphone screaming back, while I try to study. Exhibit two: the other one refuses to let me take a nap and diagnoses me with depression every time he sees me reach for the Nutella.) They are pretty awesome company. Having them around has helped me forget about all the slightly-less-than-wonderful things that are happening in my life right now. Their spontaneity and nonsense ideas have had me laughing non-stop for the last 11 days, and I love it.

Last night, we went to Walmart. We’ve been trying to study all weekend and, between all of us getting sick and general silliness, have gotten very little done. It was midnight and the mountain of work was too overwhelming to deal with on a Monday night, so a run to Walmart seemed logical.  We didn’t buy anything written down in the carefully thought through list. Instead of laundry detergent and paper towels, we ended up buying arts and crafts supplies so we could paint new art for my walls.  I can buy laundry detergent at CVS later, but the memories of three twenty-somethings running through Walmart in little kids costumes should not wait. Life must be lived now.

Sometimes, I forget that life shouldn’t be taken so seriously. My new living situation has been showing me that. I feel full of life and energy again, and I’m excited to see what lies ahead while living and enjoying the present. That is what I want to accomplish with my bucket list–I want to rediscover the passion that I once had for this city. I have lost that in the last year because I have been too focused on trying to be a grown up–and whatever that is supposed to mean–to enjoy the ride.

Now, I realize that it’s not that bad if there is no milk to put in my coffee, and I have a new appreciation for having it black. In the past, I might have thought that I can’t live without my ‘cafe con leche‘ but now, I can spare the milk to enjoy the company of the two loved friends that finished my milk and are fighting over the last piece of toast.

The kids section at Walmart should have age restrictions.

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The Bucket List

As suggested by a good friend, I decided to make a bucket list of things I want to do before I leave DC. Considering I graduate in December, I have about three months to complete this list. Some of these I have done a million times, but can’t get enough of, and others I am ashamed to say that I have completely ignored during my four years here.

1. See History Channel documentary about DC Monuments that I bought at least three years ago to sound knowledgeable whenever somebody comes to visit.

2. Visit the World War I Memorial.

3. Visit The National Museum of the American Indian

4. Attend a concert at 9:30 Club. (I cannot believe I haven’t done this either)

5. Walk the National Mall and the monuments around it at least one more time. (I’ve done that plenty of times but it never gets old.)

6. Have jumbo slice pizza in Adams Morgan. (Various times, preferably.)

7. Go one more time to the Butterfly Garden at the Natural History Museum. (Favorite place in the whole world.)

8. Visit the Cocoran Gallery of Art.

9. Attend a concert or play at Wolftrap.

10. Take a bike ride or a jog through Rock Creek Park. (Accompanied, of course.)

11. Have very expensive drinks (or even dinner) at Citronelle.

12. Complete a mission at the Spy Museum.

13. Go to eat at Jose Andrés Minibar. Alone . (I heard from someone who has been that it contributes to making it an even more interesting experience.)

14. Go to the DC Aquarium. (Yes, there is one.)

Any suggestions? Which are your favorite places in DC?