Amethyst Afar Has Moved!

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

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The Declaration

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

I am a Writer.

That’s right world!

Recently I joined hundreds of other bloggers around the globe as a participant of Jeff Goins’ 15 Habits of Great Writers. Today, Day 1 of the challenge, we were asked to declare one of the hardest things for any writer, especially one in the beginning of his or her career, to declare; “I am a Writer”. As I sit here with my eyes fixed on the blank screen in front of me, completely blocked of any thoughts I might find even remotely relevant to this post, I start to question myself; “Am I really a writer or am I am inadvertently chasing after the shadow of someone elses life?”.

When I initially began to write, I was doing it for very personal reasons. I had just gotten out of a pretty heartbreaking relationship and was looking for any kind of outlet to source the echo of negative thoughts endlessly consuming my mind. Writing was the perfect way to balance out my thoughts and feelings in one of the most creative ways that I knew how.

Nowadays, I am not only writing for my personal blog but I have also advanced to technical and creative writing for websites and professional blogs.You may ask, “Nina, how did you accomplish this without any background in writing or a degree??”. The answer is quite simple; Because I have a passion for writing.

Remembering the reasons I began writing in the first place and knowing how far I have come up to the present day not only inspire me to keep going but help me to say, with confidence, that I am a writer. I will say it again and again. I, Nina Elena Galíndez, am a writer.

graphics by Mariposarte

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Sincerely, the Opportunist

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

In today’s society, when someone says they are an opportunist, it normally has a negative connotation attached to it. The idea is that opportunists act impulsively and selfishly when favorable circumstances are presented to them. While it is easy to see how this can be looked at in an unforgiving manner, it needs to be understood that there is also a respectable side to opportunism.

Most of you that know me personally remember when I decided to pick up and move to Argentina. This was one major point in my life where I was an opportunist and in fact I am quite proud to say that. During that time I was being completely selfish and definitely a little impulsive. I chose to disregard most of the warnings that people were giving me and didn’t think about how my decision would affect the ones around me. I listened solely to myself and acted upon the window of opportunity that I had in front of me, tempting my heart with all of its unknown possibilities. Now, 6 months later, I can safely say that this was the best decision I have ever made and I would not go back and change it for the world.

While it is easy to look down upon selfishness as it may seem disgraceful in many circumstances, I believe that we could use a little more of it in certain parts of our lives. The problem with a lot of us is that while we have our own desires and needs, we push them aside to be “people-pleasers” in order to spare the ones we care about from any harm. In theory it is a wonderful and noble idea but in reality it is not always the best choice. In some cases people give up so many of their hopes and dreams for others that there is nothing left to feed their soul. They become bitter and weak overtime and very regretful of their past.

We as human beings need to stop constantly giving up our own lives. We need to start living them to the max. More importantly we need to start living them as we desire. Society plays a huge role in how much of ourselves we give up in order to be accepted by our community. It places certain expectations and pressures on our lives and if we do not meet them we are instantly judged.

A perfect example of this would be in 2009 when I started practicing mixed martial arts (MMA). I honestly can’t remember a time when I felt so many eyes on me and for all the worst reasons. People were judging me from left and right saying that what I was doing was a man’s sport and how I should try getting involved in something more “lady-like” such as pilates or zumba. Despite everything people were saying, even my “close” friends at the time, I continued practicing MMA because it is something that I loved to do. I was in amazing shape and I felt incredibly strong and confident not only physically but mentally as well.

Oftentimes, I like to think about the people before me that crossed over the line from ordinary to great. What about them made them so successful in life? What did they have that the others clearly lacked? Well for one thing, they trusted themselves and followed their hearts no matter what anyone else thought. They bravely set their goals high and broke a few rules along the way to reach those goals. Most importantly, they overcame the fear of failure.,

There was an incredible artist from Buenos Aires named Lucio Fontana who became well-known for his painting of “the hole” which in fact you could hardly call a painting at all. It was so much more than that. Fontana’s main media for the piece was light and space. He opened up a whole new world for contemporary art by reducing the limitations of the canvas. He did something different that no one before him had ever successfully achieved and now you can see his “holes” and “slashes” hanging up in museums all around the world.

I was sitting in a cafe reading one of my art books for some inspiration when I first observed one of Lucio Fontana’s masterpieces. I was flipping through the book when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it. The picture of the yellow painting transfigured by the rugged black holes. The art captured my attention in an instant and it was impossible for me to look away. Underneath the picture was a quote that seemed to run through my head for the next few weeks. It read;

“As a painter, when I work on one of my perforated canvases I am not setting out to make a picture; what I want is to open up a space, to create a new dimension for art, to bind it to the cosmos constantly expanding beyond the closed plane of the picture. With my insertion of the hole that repetitively opens up the canvas, I have not tried to decorate a surface but, on the contrary, to break its dimensional limits.”

-Lucio Fontana

With the quote continuously returning to my thoughts, it made me realize how similar people and art really are. Every one of us starts out as a clean canvas. As we grow up and society begins to play its influences on us, we tend to paint the picture that everyone else wants to see even though it may not be exactly who we are. We paint it because they says it is “right” or because it is accepted. However, we should be breaking the dimensional limits of our lives in order to achieve greatness. We should be living without boundaries, seizing the best moments while we can. We should become more opportunistic taking immediate advantage of circumstances, some of which may only come once in a lifetime. Become a little selfish in order to reach your goals and live your dreams because only then, when you are truly happy, can you become the person you wanted to be all along. You can be the flawless employee, the child that parents always brag about, the best friend and the perfect spouse…now is your opportunity, so take it.

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

Two months have gone by since I have posted a blog…two very long months full of self discovery and reliance. My journey here has not been an easy one but even through it’s faulty mishaps, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t having the time of my life. I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the world who have really opened my eyes to so many new things that I otherwise may have never seen before. I have become more appreciative of myself and what I have left behind yet at the same time I understand that in order to keep growing in the positive direction I have been going, I have to keep moving forward. This does not mean that I can’t move back to Memphis. This means that I have to be cautious not to fall back into some of the same patterns that I had while I lived in Memphis that were clearly not good for me.

So, in order to keep moving in the right direction, I decided to throw a little positivity out into the universe by sharing a few things that make me happy here in Buenos Aires.

First on the list: Mate

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my Mate! This traditional South American infused drink is the national beverage of both Argentina and Uruguay. You can also find it in Chile, Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. Gourd mate cups (pronounced “ma-teh”) are used to drink a tea made from the yerba plant; both the drink itself and the gourd cup are known synonymously as mate. The silver straw that you use to drink the mate is called a bombilla (pronounced bom-bee-ya or bom-bee-zha depending on local accent). The wild yerba plant can be found in Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay although now it is starting to spread to many other tropical plantations around the world due to the high demand. Mate is a prized organic tea. When the yerba leaves are dried up they are used as a type of infusion very similar to tea but much stronger. The yerba leaves contain quite a bit of minerals and vitamins as well as a substance associated closely to caffeine. This beverage really kick starts my morning before I begin working. One or two mates in and I am wide awake. Not only that but it clears my throat to a disturbing point where I want to sing all day long but I am trying not to run off my roommates just yet.

The second thing on my list: People of Different Cultures

Buenos Aires is a massive destination for foreigners looking for something different. That to me is one of the most beautiful things about living here. If the people that you met here counted as seeing whatever piece of land they came from, I feel like I would have almost seen the whole world by now. I get so excited when I meet someone new from a place that I have not had a chance to hear about first hand. The stories that they have to tell about their home and the adventures they have been on are truly amazing and definitely eye opening. Even the people from the states that I meet here in Argentina have so many interesting stories to tell. Just goes to show that when you are able to step out of your boundaries and take risks in your life… THAT is when you truly begin to live it.

Number 3: Architecture and Art

Buenos Aires has a fun mixture of Spanish and Italian influences. That proves to be especially true in their architecture and art. Just walking around the different barrios you can find some beautiful landmarks from San Telmo to Puerto Madero. If you are ever in el centro, take the time to learn about some of these buildings and statues as they have some very interesting history behind them. This is a major reason I love to walk around versus riding the bus or the subte. I love to discover new places and Buenos Aires is a good city to explore. One of my favorite destinations so far is the cementary located in Recoleta. It is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever walked through.

The yummy fourth: FOOOOOOOOOD!!

This is the one I know everyone is most interested in and I hate to disappoint you but the food here sucks, especially the meat. For one, if you go to a Parilla (BBQ), all of the meat there is too fresh and they cook it just perfectly! I don’t understand it. Match it up with a good wine or beer and you really have a bad meal coming your way. Secondly, you have so many different varieties of very delicious meat. Who wants to make these kind of decisions? Well anyway, I really don’t even need to go on about how bad the food is here. You can take a look for yourself…

Terrible isn’t it?

Well I have to be honest, for those of you who talk to me on a daily basis you know I have been struggling with a few things since moving here. Although it is a natural thing to develop culture shock and become homesick, it is definitely not an easy thing to cope with. Some days I love getting out in the city and exploring but other days I rather not go out at all. From now on I need to remember that it is up to me what kind of experience I have here, whether it is good or bad. I am in control of my thoughts and my thoughts are in control of me. So, as long as I keep positive and remember all of the great things that I am getting to be a part of here in Buenos Aires, the more likely it is that the outcome of my trip will be a satisfying one indeed.

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Bed of Nails

 

 

 

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

We all want to be comfortable. Whether it is socially, emotionally or physically we expect to have a certain sense of support and ease in our daily lives. However, lately I have been realizing that being too comfortable can be a dangerous thing for me. At those wonderful times when everything in my life feels just right, I tend to become lazy and unmotivated. Luckily for me it has gotten better this year considering so much in my life has been changing and moving around. A fast paced life will definitely keep you on your toes. When I arrived in Buenos Aires, despite everything around me spinning in chaos, I seemed to slow down a little. I assumed I was just adapting to the Argentine lifestyle. It wasn’t long until I noticed how comfortable I was becoming in a place bound to turn on me at any moment. Buenos Aires is a big place and it is no doubt dog eat dog out here. Waking up to this realization was like going from a bed of soft, fluffy pillows to a bed of nails that turned my stomach sideways.

Now before you go feeling sorry for me…don’t. This was a very good thing for me. It has gotten my head back in the game and ready to fight. Today, I am challenging myself to take on the people, the language and the culture with full force. I faced fear when I made the decision to come to this country despite many peoples disagreements. I faced it in Cordoba when I was speaking with taxi drivers and waitresses and trying to find my way around. I definitely faced it when I made the choice to come to Buenos Aires. Now it is time to brace myself and do it all over again.

To be honest, I don’t know how long I will be here. I have no clue where my life will lead me in the next few months. I have become overly appreciative of Memphis, the city I left behind in the cold with its winter steadily approaching. I remember the long nights I spent with my friends walking down that famous, blues stricken road with the smell of whiskey and BBQ in the air. I remember relaxing with a paint brush, a book or just my thoughts in the fresh, clean air surrounded by the green grass and lakes of Shelby Farms. Sitting here in this drafty apartment and looking out the window I see the run down buildings and I hear the cars honking and the people shouting and I often wonder, “What was so bad about my city? Why was I so miserable there and what made me want to leave so bad that I went as far as Argentina to get away?”.

Well, the answers to my questions are quite simple. I was not running away from Memphis. I was running towards something greater. I was running towards an adventure and a learning opportunity. I was running towards meeting new people and trying new things. I was running towards seeing more of my family and finding my roots.No matter how uncomfortable I get here or how difficult it becomes, I know I need to hold out for as long as I can. Once I feel that I have satisfied my needs I will go home. That may be in February when my visa expires and I don’t feel like renewing it, maybe it will be in May after I have spent 6 months here, or maybe I will spend the whole year abroad and go back in November like I originally planned. Either way, I have an obligation to myself and the people in my life to finish here what I came to start.

 

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Buenos Aires (An adventure inside of an Adventure)

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

As many of you know I have been fighting the urge to go to Buenos Aires for some time now. Of course, it is not because I don’t want to, it was because my family didn’t want me too. In the beginning I listened to my family because I thought they knew what was best for me. They constantly said I would have no support system there and that it was too dangerous for me to go alone. Over the past few weeks I have been applying for jobs in Argentina. There have been numerous businesses wanting to interview me in Buenos Aires and hardly anything in Cordoba. I was beginning to question if staying in Cordoba was the right thing to do for myself.

Then, a thought crossed my mind; They say it is too dangerous for me to go to BsAs alone when I came to Argentina alone. I have already made it, I just need to keep going. I have been preparing myself for this trip for a while now and I know what I need to do. BsAs is where I need to be in order to succeed!. Later I consulted with my friends on the situation and they fully supported me. They know I have been talking about Buenos Aires for a while now and that there was no way I could pass it up without even giving it a chance.

I spoke with my mother that night on Skype and told her how I was feeling about the situation. I could tell that she wanted me to go because she knew it would be good for me but she just could not say it. As my mother, saftey will always come first to her. Knowing this I asked her, “If the reason you want me to stay in Cordoba is for saftey and the reason I want to go to BsAs is for success…which one do you think is more beneficial?” In essence, success can bring you safety. Not only that but if I were to decide not to do this, emotionally it would haunt me forever. I have never felt more certain about something so uncertain in my entire life.

Today, my family is more supportive. I think they all feel this will be a good experience for me and in turn a necessary move to make. Even my father is helping me with my plans this week. It’s nice to actually bond with him even if it is just a little. Their support, though I don’t need it to go to Buenos Aires, makes me feel more confident in myself and for that I am very grateful.

I felt like today was a good day for a Rune reading. This is what I pulled and it could not have been more perfect for me at this time in my life:

Breakthrough
Transformation Day

Here is the final Rune belonging to the Cycle of Initiation. Drawing Dagaz often signals a major shift or breakthrough in the process of self-change, a complete transformation in attitude, a 180-degree turn. For some, the transition is so radical that they are no longer able to live the ordinary life in the ordinary way.

Because the timing is right, the outcome is assured although not, from the present vantage point, predictable. In each life there comes at least one moment which, if recognized and seized, transforms the trust, even though the moment may call for you to leap empty-handed into the void. With this Rune your Warrior Nature reveals itself.

If Dagaz is followed by The Blank Rune, the magnitude of the transformation might be so great as to portend to death, the successful conclusion to your passage.

A major period of achievement and prosperity is often included by this Rune. The darkness is behind you, daylight has come. Nevertheless, you are reminded not to collapse yourself into thoughts for the future or behave recklessly in your new situation. Considerable hard work can be involved in a time of transformation. Undertake to do it joyfully.

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White Blank Pages

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

 

On March 13th, 2011 my life made a drastic change.

This was the day that I decided I was going to move to Argentina. A month beforehand I had broken up with my boyfriend and was unsure of what I wanted to do next. Somewhere in the relationship I believe I lost a piece of myself and I knew that I had to find it again. I had been making new friends and was getting involved in numerous activities. Everything seemed to be going good…just not good enough. I wanted more. I wanted adventure, exploration and the chance to learn and grow somewhere new and different.

The months ahead would lie heavy on my shoulders. I began to tell my friends and family of my plans. Many of them were not very supportive thinking this was too risky or not even believing that I would go through with such a preposterous idea. The other small percentage that supported me I was and still am extremely thankful for. My original plan was to leave in August 2011 but as the months raced on I realized I would need more time. That, and a little part of me was not ready to leave. My relationships in Memphis were growing like wildflowers. Never have I had such good friends and I knew it would be difficult to leave them.

In addition to my friends and family, my relationship with another was growing as well. There was a new man in my life and while it was initially unwanted and entirely unexpected, the connection between us continued to emerge with time. I went from disliking him to respecting him. That respect quickly grew to like and before I even realized it, I was in love.

Love can be a scary thing, especially when there are big changes occurring around you. Emotionally, I was beginning to breakdown. I was confused and started questioning everything I did. When you have so much going on all at once it can be almost impossible to know if your motives are correct and your decisions are sound.  The only thing I could do was trust myself and let my heart lead the way.

Before I knew it October was here and I only had a few weeks left in the states. However, even that close to my time of departure none of it felt real. Well, that is not entirely true. It felt real when I was with him. When I knew my valuable time with him would soon be no more that’s when I felt my heart begin to sink and once again I would start to question myself.
Finally, November was here and it was time to leave. With my bags packed heavy and my heart even heavier, I said my goodbyes and went on my way. This I can safely say was one of the most intense moments of my entire life. Ahead of me were white blank pages that I would soon be creating beautiful memories on, memories that would remain with me forever. I was eager to begin my journey.

As my plane began to take off all I could think of were the people I was leaving behind. How long would it be before I saw them again? The little specks of Memphis lights quickly passed by. The plane flew clear over the city and within minutes it was gone. Just like that it vanished into the early morning sky. The sun began to sneak up over the horizon with vibrant colors. They reminded me of the painting I made before I left, the painting which he now possessed and he who I was leaving for much longer than I desired. In my heart I knew this was necessary but no one said ‘necessary’ would be easy.

I was sure now that this was real. It settled in like a ton of bricks but the excitement and curiosity for what was to come continually lifted that weight off of me. The skyline ahead kept getting brighter and I could feel I was heading towards something amazing. There was no turning back now.

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Three Little Words

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

“I love you”

These three words seem so familiar to me yet every time I hear them I can’t help but to feel unsure. Why, in today’s society, do these words seem to flow like the US dollar? While there appears to be value in it, there is little to none. It’s just a green piece of paper with the fluidity state of tap water.

I wish I could believe that everyone means it when they say it but that’s obviously not realistic. So why do we say “I love you” when we truly don’t meant it? It could be a number of things…

  1. We don’t understand the word.
  2. To avoid Conflict.
  3. Sex.
  4. We feel pressured.
  5. Reassurance (to hear it back)

Whatever the reason may be, if you don’t honestly mean it, just don’t say it. Save you and the other person a lot of trouble and heartache. Honesty is the key to getting you to a better place in a timely manor.

Another issue that’s been on my mind is how accepting we can be of this little phrase. I am guilty of this one. I hear it and my heart flutters instantly (even if I feel that it may not have been entirely sincere). Recently this has been the case and it makes me wonder, are we programmed to accept “just good enough”? Why don’t we fight for more? Life is so beautiful and at the same time so short. There is no time to waste it on “Okay”.  We should be striving for, as my good friend always says, “Outstanding”!!

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Revival: Mind, Body and Spirit.

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

True peace of mind can be a very hard thing to come by for most of us. Our busy schedules, complicated relationships and even the struggle that we take on within ourselves seems to weigh so heavy on our mind and heart. Most of the time we are physically and emotionally unavailable to take the time that we need to collect and relax. Sometimes, you just need a little “Om” in you life.

So with that in mind, I have been doing some work on myself over the past couple of months in order to achieve peace, balance and bliss. I have to be honest, this has not been easy for me. However, I have grown strong during these months and have learned to let go of poisonous toxins, both internal and external, that were taking control of my life and slowly killing one piece of me at a time. These toxins come in many different forms such as people, bad habits, lack of respect (for yourself, others and life in general), suppressed feelings of anger and/or sadness….the list goes on my friends. We all have our poison and can recognize it most of the time.

A huge weakness of mine that I have been trying to overcome is my own thoughts. I put myself down more than anyone else around me and because of that, when others start to take those phsychological jabs at me I begin to truly believe them no matter how ridiculous they may seem. My last break up naturally stirred up a lot of personal attacks on me as well as the other party involved. I even stopped writing in my blog because it became too much for me to handle. I started distracting myself with friends and hobbies which  seemed to help but only temporarily. If I wasn’t getting a daily dose of those I was like a drug addict coming off of heroine. Not a pretty sight, trust me on that.

I realized at that point that I needed something more, something deeper to go along with everything that I had and was doing. I started to see that I was not being completely honest with myself or to the people around me because I was afraid to open up. I thought if I kept everything inside it would eventually go away but nothing is that simple. Once I started to let out all of the suppressed feelings that I had unnecessarily been holding onto, it was like someone lifted a mountain off of me. I felt so free and light that I could almost fly.

The respect I now have for my mind and body has created a sort of mass army of positives. The positives not only get rid of the existing negatives but they keep other negatives from coming in. In a way this new respect has conditioned me to stay balanced in all aspects of my life. I have found my song and I have decided to sing it and sing it loud.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~George Bernard Shaw
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The Long Road

Hi friends!

I just wanted to let you know that my blog has been moved to become a website. You can find it here.

I have a couple of new posts with many more to come! My website was designed by Frayed Goat Designs.

Hope you enjoy it!

♥ Nina

New adventures are on the way. It is hard to believe we are already in March 2011! Life feels like it has been slipping through my fingertips faster than I can embrace it. When everything seems to be moving so quickly and it feels like time is limited, it can be hard to stop and take a breath. However, with every new breath I take brings with it a massive amount of peace and clarity. Balance has slowly been showing it’s face around me again and I am finally able to move on to new and better things!
For the next six or seven more months here in Memphis I will be preparing myself  for a one way trip to Cordoba, Argentina where I will be visiting with family and learning all about their culture. I plan on staying for at least a year but possibly longer depending on my status by that time. I know this experience will be one I will never forget. It has always been a dream of mine to travel around the world and Argentina is a wonderful place to start.
Leaving Memphis to go abroad will no doubt be extremely fun and in many ways a little scary. I am thankful for everyone that has been apart of my life so far and for my loving support system who stands by me on a daily basis. I have had many great influences. People will place the “good” and “bad” label on anything but I have stopped doing that.  I don’t want to label things as a regret or a mistake. I am looking at everything as a learning experience so that I may have no regrets but instead be grateful for the knowledge I have gained.
“The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination.
There are no ordinary moments.”
 ~Peaceful Warrior
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