Category Archives: Essays

5 Keys to Relationship Success

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Halloween 2014
The Queen of New Orleans and Frankenstein!

If I have learned anything in my 27 years, I have learned that marriage will be one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of living life. Four years ago I committed myself to my partner in crime, my better half and my best friend. I am extremely lucky that I have found that one person who will be there for me for the rest of my life and with every day we live together, I feel I learn something new about myself and our relationship. Although I don’t consider myself an expert on the subject of relationships, in my young life I think I have successfully discovered top successful key points to being in a happy, healthy relationship. From my humble mind to your willing ears, I hope that these tips can help you succeed in any relationship that you have in your life.

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Emma VS: Growing Old

growing up

When a person grows older, they are a part of a very lucky group of people. To grow old really means that you can have multiple chances to live out your life in whatever way that makes you happy. To grow old, isn’t as much as a bad thing as some people define it. To grow old can mean that you can stay up late at night, eat ice cream for breakfast and go to parties without needed your parents’ permission. To grow up isn’t a bad thing either, you get to see the world in a different light. Yes, sometimes the world looks a little darker and a little less rose-colored but growing up can offer you new things to appreciate. Growing old and growing up are two things that I always kept separate from each other. But the older I get, the more I appreciate being older and to opportunity to grow older. With growing older I can get the chance to learn from my mistakes, and grow up into the type of person I wish to become. Growing older helps you grow up not just as an adult but as a person you are meant to grow into. I feel like to truly enjoy life that you must grow old but keep a small amount of your young ways.

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What do you think? Do you like growing up and growing old? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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“Where My Nerdy Girls At!?”

NG-Essay-HeaderCheck out my latest post on the STL Nerdy Girls Blog!! 

 

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5 Tips on Achieving Your Dreams in Life

196295_1760744710777_6297414_nWhere I stand in life, at this current moment, is in transition. I feel like I am in transition from one dream to another and some days I question my ability to follow a new dream. What keeps me going? The sole fact that I have already achieved my childhood dream, to be a professional musician. Sure, some people might say that I wasn’t technically a “professional” because I didn’t make it to that MTV Music Awards stage but still for a year of my life I lived the life of a musician. At the end of the day, I feel accomplished and satisfied in my successes as a musician.

So, in my efforts to continue to find motivation and drive towards the next dream, I have compiled my top 5 tips on how to achieve your dreams. In hopes that it will not only keep me motivated to achieving my next life dream but maybe give you, my reader friend, a new way of looking at the goals and dreams you have set out in your mind and just how to complete them.

  1. Never take “No” for an answer. “No” is a very ugly word but when you are searching for achieving the one thing in life that you dream of, you can’t see it as an ugly word. You have to see it as a another wall to break down to get to the other side. How I also see it, if you take “no” as an answer to anything, it makes me question how much it really means to you. For example, if you want to walk into a bank looking for a loan on your dream house and they tell you that you have bad credit and won’t approve you the loan, what would you do? Accept the bank’s answer as final word and miss out on that dream house? Or fight for the dream of living in your own home and consider your options? That’s right! You would fight! You would march towards that loan officer and demand to find out why your credit is so bad and how you can fix it in order to get your dream house.  Now that is the way you never take no for an answer because you find out other ways to make your dreams work for you.
  2. The Bigger the Better. My life mantra has always and will forever be, “Dream Big, Live the Life.” From this point forward, it should be yours too. If you want to dream you might as well have the biggest dreams in all of the universe! No one can stop your mind from dreaming and that is the beauty of dreams. This is the stage of living the dream life that is one of my favorites because I can imagine a whole array of things for myself that I wish to achieve. This is not something that people should feel guilty about nor should you feel unhappy about dreaming bigger and better things for yourself. It is all about being honest with yourself and understanding that if there is something you dream about and you question it then maybe it isn’t for you or maybe it is just the thing you need. While you are dreaming big make sure you are also dreaming honest too. That is the only way you will ever truly get what you want out of your life.
  3. Failure?? What’s that? Have you ever thought to yourself, “Well, I could do this but I might not be any good at it?” Well, that my friend is being afraid of failure and that is when you need to get up and shake that off. Literally, get up off your butt and do a  booty dance. Trust me it will make you feel silly in all of the right ways and put a smile on your face. See you already forgot what your were dreading about in the first place! Don’t be afraid of an end result that you haven’t even given a chance to yet. The only failure you can receive from your dreams is not trying to achieve them. That is the ultimate failure you can have with achieving your dreams, is just not trying to go for them because you are afraid of failure. You are doing the one thing you are afraid of by being afraid! so get that booty shaking and with it all your doubts and fears but we are doing this, we are following our dreams!
  4. What is your motivation? After all that booty shaking, you must now think about what is it that is ultimately driving you to achieve your dreams.  Consider this, September 17, 2012 was the day that I decided to quit smoking. It has now been over a year that I have not only quit smoking but I also have taken up yoga and exercising as well. My motivation? What drove me to quit a bad habit and make a better person physically out of myself? It was the fact that, when I was younger I told myself I would never be absent in any part of my life. More specially, I wouldn’t be the type of mother that I did not have when I was growing up. I would imagine myself with my future children and just think, “Okay Emma, you want to meet them, right? Well, let’s jog this mile!” That is what you need to do, find the things that makes you want to be a better you. Ultimately, that is what we dream about right? Being a better version of ourselves?
  5. Have a kick ass support system. Most people often skip this step and not entirely on purpose either. It is just some people don’t realize how important the people your surround yourself with are to you and your greater well-being. So that is why this tip is probably the most important tip that I could offer. Having a support system of family, friends or even co-workers can do wonders for your dreams and for your motivations. When it comes down to it, when others believe in you and your dreams, you tend  to find it easier to believe it them along as in yourself as well. For me, it was my husband. He was the one that I could fully rely on to support my dreams to being a professional musician. When I had my doubts and times of weakness, he would lift me back up and show me my own strength. Even when I consider other dreams that I wish to achieve, I still remember his epic speeches and those comforting hugs. Those are the moments that still stick with me to this very day. Having support from those you love and trust will help you with every other aspect of achieving your dream because it will give you the greatest thing of all: confidence.

Whatever your dreams might be or even if they change so frequently that you never quite know where you will end up, never forget the things you are dreaming about because those dreams are the very things that will make you change your life for the better. With these tips I am confident that anyone can achieve whatever dream they wish to dream. For me, it is one of my many dreams to be able to inspire someone to go after what they dream about. So if my tips help in any way, please feel free to share that with me!

 

 

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*”The Real Mrs. Banuelos : A Feminist Essay”

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photo credit : TLC Events

Picture this. You are standing in a beautiful courtyard about to make those famous ten steps down an aisle that every woman has at some point dreamt of. Along both sides of you are a multitude of people that are amongst your closest friends and families and a majority of people are those you have no idea who they are. Right at this moment, women think about a multitude of things. They question the choices from the floral arrangements, the dress, the bridesmaids and some even question the man they are walking towards to. Some think about the journey that got them to that very point in time and the journey that is ahead, still waiting to be lived out. Fears, hopes and dreams lace the mind of a woman making those very famous steps, literally towards a new future and what they don’t realize is that life as they know it is completely out of the picture.

Many couples do not completely realize how much change they experience when it comes to getting married. That newlywed glow tends to blind the couple into thinking that they are special or different than everyone else and that they will not succumb to those cliches. Well, nonetheless they are there, waiting for you when you get your vision back. It is only a matter of time before you realize that you have to adapt to a new person, your husband. “Where does he put his socks? Why does he eat peanut butter out of the jar?’ Not only is there the adaptation of your new spouse, there is also the question of: ‘Who do you become after marriage?’ Of course, you’re probably thinking “I don’t change, I’m still me.” Well honey, there are some things that you begin to notice that you start to change. Yeah there are typical gender roles that you start to notice you do, like pick up the clothes, clean the bathroom or start cooking weekly dinners because you are working on the weekends. There is nothing wrong with any of those things whatsoever, I don’t want you to question that at all, especially if you are happy with it. My debate that I like to bring your attention is the idea of changing your last name after getting married. That is a change most women do not realize is a conflict they feel until either after marriage or close to the ceremony. There are many options to this conflict; firstly of course being keeping your last name secondly being to have your husband’s last name hyphenated with your maiden last name and lastly is the option that is most popular which is to change your last name to be the same as your newly named husband.

Granted the history behind this tradition started a long, long time ago when it was based on the belief that a man owned things such as a house, a horse and a woman. After a ceremony where the woman would be given away by her father to her husband, whom was approved by the father or was probably arranged by both man and woman’s families, and thus the woman would be claimed as the man’s “property.” Thus allowing for the logic to be further stamped into the society that woman was the property of man. It was also a belief that it created a symbol of unity, for example the symbolism of the lighting of the unity candle (which I file in the Witchcraft folder but that is a whole other essay) and some also took a religious stand point behind the tradition and claimed that the meaning was to ‘become one under the eyes of God.’ Religious folk do see the taking of the man’s last name to be a tradition that has been seen since the beginning of man, the Bible states in the book of Genesis about Adam and Eve and how, Eve would be subservient to Adam. One of these subservient actions would be the taking of the his last name to show unity under the eyes of the Creator. Nonetheless, its an old tradition that has seen a multitude of discussion and mostly so, after the second wave of feminism in the 1970’s.

In recent years, many women have questioned the practice of this tradition when wedding bells start to ring off in the distance. There are more open discussions about it within couples resulting in more couples deciding to not go the traditional route and chose to hyphenate their last name. The big question now is whether or not this tradition is sexist? My opinion? In today’s time, no I do no believe it is sexist or demeaning to a woman if she chooses to take her husband’s last name. Now if women were still treated in a way of a “man’s property” then my answer would definitely be different. The intent of a tradition is what really is at stake when we consider these types of decisions. Just because it is a long standing tradition does not mean that a woman should feel forced to obligated to to something that she does not want to do. Should it be questioned as a tradition with value in present day life? Absolutely! Women have a choice to change the name that they will be known by for the rest of their lives and there should be no retribution for questioning the validity of a tradition when it comes to a topic that will be with you for the rest of your life.

Women do not have to be a feminist to question topics like these. Feminism in my experience is so much more and should be so much more than exclusivity; curiosity is and should be encouraged. To question a tradition, like taking your husband’s last name, is not something that would turn you into an unfaithful or unloving wife-to-be. It makes you look like you are considering all of your options. Marriage is a life changing event that makes for many aspects come up under the microscope. There is nothing wrong with questioning if changing your name is right for you. Just make sure to communicate any concerns you have with your husband-to-be because if you haven’t learned yet you will soon, the fact that you two will be partners for life and that means for a lot of communication exercises.

I have been happily married now for two and a half glorious years. When the time came for me, I was deadset on keeping my maiden name. I tied it to my history and my personality which led me to these questions: “Would I lose who I was?” and “Would I be respected by my peers or disrespected based on my decision?” That was my first mistake, looking back I should’ve never questioned this tradition with my peers in mind. Its is one of those things where they had nothing to do with it and shouldn’t of been in the equation. The first question was something that I struggled with because I was at an age when I wasn’t even sure who I was and if this change would damage the process of self-discovery. That is something I think every woman would have a personal journey with yet for me I decided that it wasn’t as if I was losing who I was, I was growing into the person I was becoming. I was gaining a piece of me that was missing and I think that is a lesson for marriage as a whole. Again, the topic of communication with your partner comes up as that is what I did with my now husband. I discussed why I felt it was a disgusting tradition and what his views on the tradition were and how I felt it affected me. We even talked about changing both of our last names to a combination of our names. Which would’ve been neat and further proof that I am married to a very open-minded man. Yet in the end I made my decision to take my husband’s last name and my decision was based on ultimately following a tradition that had been handed down since the beginning of time. Not because of the weird property and ownership ideal but of the aspect that I would be taking a new name and with that a new life. That is a beauty that tradition has in as a whole, the fact that so many generations before you were standing in the same exact spot that you are and felt the same way that you did. There is a power behind it that makes me feel like I am a part of something, maybe a little part of history who knows but still a part of something special.

In conclusion, the honest fact of the matter is that, I personally did feel some sort of need to discover who I was becoming after marriage and changing my last name had a portion to do with that. With all of those women who are making their way down the aisle keep in mind that, traditions mean a lot to those surround you and a majority of the wedding is for the enjoyment of your future in-laws but that doesn’t mean you should lose focus on what those traditions mean to you and your soon-to-be husband. As well as the fact that, your decision does not have to be made right after you say “I Do”, you can take a few weeks even a couple of months to think about it and really communicate (there’s that word again) with your partner what it means for yourself and the both of you. Most importantly of all, don’t let anyone force your decision. By all means, you didn’t let anyone force you to marry the guy, so why start letting people force you to follow traditions now? On your very important day as you glide down that aisle to greet the love of your life, hold onto the most important part of any wedding…the cake. (insert laugh track here.)

-Mrs. Emma Banuelos

*Author’s Note: This post was originally posted on my Tumblr account on May 30 2013 I decided to reuse it on this blog. Feel free to follow this link to the original post and to check out some of my previous writings.

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