Hello, 2018!

South Rim Trail – Snowmass Village, Colorado
Miles: 6.60
Ascent: 1,212
Temperature: 32F
Steps: 4,104
Playlist: Today’s Top Hits (Spotify)

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On the very first day of 2018, I decided to go for a hike.
I wasn’t trying to do a “New Year Hike” or a “New Year, New Me” thing. I’m not planning on making this a regular habit, like how everyone wants to start the year by doing something healthy, although I really should.

Honestly, I just wanted to go up the mountains and just be by myself for a little while. Somehow everything is just easier when you get up there.

I literally felt all my worries physically pulling away from my body and staying down in the ground. The higher elevation I went, the more I stopped thinking about all of the things that has been bothering me in the past few weeks. I wanted to just focus on myself, and that’s exactly what happened.

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I went up to go find the Yin Yang Spiral Point at the very top of the trail. It was somehow symbolical in a way. The Yin-Yang; the perfect balance. Balance of what exactly, I didn’t really know. I sat down on one of the benches overlooking the whole of Snowmass Village and just reflected my past year. I guess this was a “New Year Hike” after all.

I loved having time for myself, and being able to acknowledge what really mattered. I’m thankful to have had this “pause” from the regular world nonsense- I wasn’t even able to think about anything else but the beauty of what I was looking at. All I know is, I needed a breather, and I had one.

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I think sitting on a bench feeling like I was on top of the world put a lot of things into perspective. 2017 was about taking risks, and I’ve jumped in so many cliffs this year, that I feel like, everything I’ve done was a risk at some  point. Some decisions have been “brave” while others have been stupid. Maybe this year will be about, facing the repercussions of my bad decisions, or doing something to make the changes I needed in my life. That part, I still haven’t figured out completely.

I didn’t make any resolutions for this year, because I never really follow through on all of them; and instead of focusing on the failures to come, I wanted to just start the year in a positive note. So even though, I can’t make any promises on resolutions or any of the sort, I decided that this year, I will try my very best to appreciate things that I usually take for granted. It’s not exactly a promise, or a goal, like I said: no resolutions. It’s more of a reminder, to look at the good things instead of overthinking the bad.

Re-shifting my focus for 2018!

New Year Hike from Find Gizel on Vimeo.

Hope you’ve had a happy New Year.

xx Gizel

Ending up where I needed to be.

Hello peoples!

It’s been a little over a month since my move to this new state, and since then, I have made a few new friends, found a job, and kind of(sort of maybe but not really) figured out my footing.

I’m still getting to know the town, and learning about some of the aspects of living here, but so far, I feel like I have made the right choice.

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People are so much nicer over here, and honestly I think it’s the fresh air. Strangers smile at you, bus drivers tell you to have a good day, and even cashiers in the little groceries try to make conversation with you. It’s not creepy, even though I sort of made it out to seem like that, but people are just genuine here and the community is tight. It’s extremely difficult to be mean to them. It’s a complete 360 from the drunken tourists that I get the displeasure of “experiencing” in Vegas on a daily basis.

The mountains are really a good place for a fresh start. The fortune teller was right when she told me I needed the mountains in Colorado (but that’s a story for another day.) Hiking definitely takes a toll on your legs, but its good for the soul. You get a lot of thinking done during hikes, you have time for reflection and even catching up with your hiking buddy- which is also your roommate, (so I really don’t understand how we still have the need to catch up!) Aside from the mental peacefulness it brings, it’s also a great workout and does good things to your butt. There’s so many things you can do here in the mountains. People would always be hiking, camping or biking, plus the view is undeniably amazing!


I came here to get away from the loud city life, and the fake people, and I got exactly what I wanted and needed. I have no regrets whatsoever.

I love you, Colorado.

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xx Gizel

Saying Goodbye.

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So I guess, this is how it feels to say goodbye to something you never thought you’d fall in love with. I sound like I just broke up with someone. Which is technically kind of true, I just broke up with my job. Been in the company for eighteen months, been relocated twice, been under three different bosses, and went through a buttload of associates.

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Every single time I talk to people about my work the first thing they would ask is “Do you like it?” and I would always undoubtedly respond, “I like the people I work with!” And it is true, I LIKE the people I work with. The job is not so bad. It’s not the field I went to school for, it’s not what my passion is all about, but it is pretty fun, and I learned a bunch of stuff that I never would’ve learned anywhere else.

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The people is an entirely different story though. My associates have become my family. I fell in love with every single one of them, even the few that I’ve come to despise, haha! I’ve been their manager, adviser, therapist, teacher, big sister, and even a mom at some point (but that’s kinda pushing it coz I’m a child most of time).

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In return, they have been there for me with almost everything I went through. They’ve heard the worst of my hunger complaints and body pains. It got to a point where, whenever they hear someone craving for chili barbecue fries, or talk about having back problems, it would immediately remind them of me. They have forced me to come see the doctor, and got scared for me when I talk about my health with them. They have seen me ugly cry over the most trivial things, and they have made me laugh so hard that I almost peed myself. I’ve been with them through the good days and the bad. My kids (as I call them) have taught me so much more than I have taught them.

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They’ve seen me grow into a “mature” individual even though most of the time they see me goofing around and just playing. Who knew a bunch of 18-year-olds could change me?

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My company have been both good and bad to me. As any other company who has their pros and cons, but it’s more pros rather than cons. Working in this company, I started out as a timid, soft-spoken person afraid of confrontation. Now, I know how to pick my battles and I’ve learned not to be a push-over. Trust me, for me, it’s a good thing! I have learned to be brave, and fight for what I know is right. I have a stronger backbone (even though technically I have actual back problems, haha!) and I have learned to face stress with a level head and an objective point of view all the time.

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The management team have been literal brothers and sisters to me. We’ve gone through a lot, and I mean, A LOT. They’re my best friends but they have become like actual siblings to me.  If you had to work with the same group of people for 40 hours of the week, you could never avoid conflict. We’ve had our fair share of arguments, and horrible fights, but we’ve also gone through so much that we literally cannot go a day without talking to each other, just like siblings. We joke that we are all alcoholics, because we would all go drinking together even after work. They are my family inside and outside of work and I feel like no matter what had happened to this little family I’ve created in my short stay in this company, everything has a reason why, and I will still love all of them.

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Leaving this job felt like an actual break-up. I knew I was eventually gonna move to another state, and quitting was inevitable, but I can’t deny that it still hurt. On my last day, everything was emotional. My last clock-out, last close, pretty much last everything! I wrote my “kids” and “siblings” a long-ass letter to say goodbye, and everyone who’s ever known me knows how much I hate saying goodbye. I couldn’t do it properly that’s why I wrote it down. I’m thankful to every single one I’ve met in this company for all the good and even bad experiences.

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I’m off to another new chapter in my life: a completely clean slate, but you guys will always be in my heart. I will never forget you!

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Thursday Throwbacks: Cartoons that should come back.

Remember those days when you used to wake up early in the morning, and the first thing you’d do is turn on your television?

You wouldn’t even bother to brush your teeth, or greet your mom “Good Morning” because there’s nothing  more important than knowing what happens in the life of Madeline.

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Watching Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon was what I did on a daily basis even until I was in high school. It probably is the reason why I have such a crazy imagination. I mean, growing up thinking that parents can give birth to a cow and a chicken, or that you can have the power to stop a crazy monkey, if you were made of everything nice can do wonders to your brain.

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Re-watching old cartoons in the internet is my guilty pleasure. You can test me on the names of all the kids in Hey Arnold and make me recite the whole OBB to The Wild Thornberries, and I’d be able to do that.

For this Thursday, let’s travel back to a time when I wasn’t even four-feet tall, and I had my thumb stuck to my mouth all the time (awkward visuals, I’m sorry) and think about the life choices we’ve made that were influenced by the cartoons we used to watch.

Rugrats

tumblr_inline_mvpcyio7D51qkxnah I am a hundred percent sure that when I was just a baby, and incapable of speaking the human language, I had full conversations with my baby friends, and complete understanding of what was happening around me. Also, I had complete adventures including a reptar car and a plastic screw driver. I only grew older, and forgot that stage of my life, damn.
tumblr_mvnfsebGjB1sdmnkco1_500I feel you, Chuckie.

Powerpuff Girls

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Being three girls in the family, you’re bound to be drawn to stories with three sisters as well. You each pick which ones you’d be and there’s usually no debating that. Your older sister would be the responsible leader, your younger sister would be the adorable favorite, and being the middle child, you’re the one with the temper problem.

Dexter’s Laboratory

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When I was younger, I keep on pressing random buttons around the house hoping my secret laboratory would pop up anytime soon. Dexter was my inspiration on how my very first dream career was to be a scientist. My mom fully supported that dream, even bought me “My Little Scientist’s Kit” complete with a microscope and all.

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Plus, I totally understand the ANNOYING-SISTER problem he faces everyday.

Hey! Arnold

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I loved watching Hey Arnold because I could relate to him growing up with his grandparents, and being surrounded by awesome friends. Also his room with a glass-roof was my childhood dream-room.

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Helga Pataki was the girl who taught me how to keep my feelings towards my childhood crushes hidden. Because of her, I have mastered the art of the POKERFACE.

Recess

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Recess taught me that no matter how much differences you have with other people, they can still be the best friends you could ever have.tumblr_marxfki6Jd1rbqqfoo1_500

Kim Possible

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There’s no other cooler female role model than Kim Possible. She’s a high school spy that has the coolest gadgets in the world! Plus, I did have serious butterflies when her and Ron finally got together.

Scooby Doo

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WORD.

The Wild Thornberries

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The Thornberrys are the coolest family ever. They’re part of the reason why I crave for adventures in rainforests and jungles. They are also the reason why I promised myself that I will drive and live in an RV (for a year, maybe) when I grow up.

Courage the Cowardly Dog

This cartoon almost never made it to the list because it had the most disturbing scenes I’ve ever seen in my childhood. But, it also left the most important quote that I’d always usually say:

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xx

Gizel the cartoon lover.

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The Perks of having No Technology in a Road trip.

aaaahh road trips.

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photo from Kristine’s instagram

There’s just something about being on a bus or your own car, where sitting for hours until you arrive at your destination is the most calming thing ever.

Or maybe it is in my case, because the view of the countryside is just amazing.

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A few days ago, I went on a spontaneous road trip (on a bus) with my friends to the Southern part of the province. Before any of that happened, I have been frustrated because I lost my iPod. I can’t find it anywhere and it seems, I can’t live without it. Or to be specific: music. Music is an integral part of life, and well, road trips.

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I settled with my phone that have seen better days. I had just a few songs saved in it and the battery dies easily, but whatever.

On our way there, I sat alone while all my friends sat beside each other. I didn’t really mind, as a couple of strangers and STRANGE-errs took turns sitting beside me. It was fun to observe different kinds of human behavior while trying to listen to my “road trip playlist” through my faulty set of earphones.

Aside from my almost drug-addict-like dependency on my music, I also used to be the kind of girl who never fails to bring a camera wherever I go.

I think it came with the training of being part of the yearbook and photography club in high school, needing to document almost every special event that happens in the day, I used to lug my camera around with me everywhere.

This time however, I didn’t. I got tired of taking pictures of every single thing and every single person, and finally decided it’s time for me to stop hiding behind the camera.

So basically, during the trip, I had no “proper” music, no camera, no cellphone service, and most of all, NO WIRELESS INTERNET CONNECTION. (A most common Cause-of-death of every annoying teenager.)

Nowadays, people go to places just so they could show off in social media sites.

The moment you pass by an amazing sunset or a great view of the beach or the mountains, there would automatically be somebody a few feet from you holding up their iPhones deciding which filter to use for their new post. (#youarenotheretoseethis)

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photo from Marc’s instagram

Same goes if you’re eating something that’s really good, or really weird that couldn’t be found anywhere else, somebody around you is bound to find the area where their 3gs or wifi hot spots could be turned on. (#myfoodisbetterthanyours)

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Of course I’d be a hypocrite if I said I didn’t do that as well, but sometimes, the instagram fad is starting to annoy me. I know it’s fun seeing posts about where you went, or what you ate or what you did, but it somehow defeats the purpose of travelling.

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Traveling is about enjoying nature, and everything it has to offer. A moment to think, relax, and clear your mind.

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In a way, I was thankful that we didn’t have internet during this trip. It feels so much better to socialize with your friends for real instead of on Facebook. You get to have meaningful conversations with them while appreciating the amazing view of the province and waiting for the sunset together.

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There were no distractions of earphones to tune you out from the conversations, and there was no constant ding from your phone to tell you that somebody sent you a message. You learn to appreciate the view, the company you have, the silence, and even the small town kids who you realize, still play those nostalgic physical activities, rather than some silly iPad games.

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Also, it felt liberating not having to bring your camera with you. Bringing your camera gives you this sort of responsibility to capture a moment, which in the end makes you unable to be part of it. Besides, if you left that assignment to others, you get the most accurate and amazing candid shots of yourself, experiencing the appreciation of the so-called life’s simple moments.

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xx Gizel

(photos by my friends Marc, Kristine and Cleo, because I was keen on not holding a camera, and really participating in this trip. 😉 )

Why Surprise Parties Always Fail

If you are like me who can most probably keep a secret unless you allow me to finally share it (or unless I really don’t like you), you’d probably be a master at surprise parties, or in a way, you’d be able to keep it from the surprisee.

However, not a number of people has my skill in poker-facing, or mastery in straight-out lying. (probably not right to be proud of that talent in particular, but hey, it comes in handy at times) Surprise parties tend to always be known before it happens, or just– fail.

Here are the reasons why:

1. Something’s different about the people around you.

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I don’t know how they could think they’re not suspicious but, if people tend to do something on a special particular day (i.e. birthday, anniversary, etc) that they don’t normally do on a regular day around you, they’re bound to be up to something.

2. They are constantly on the phone.

tumblr_inline_mr4r17zngV1qz4rgp Yes, I know. “People can’t live without their phones.” Right. But if you check your phone and your watch every twelve seconds, and talk to someone in hushed tones while trying to give me inconspicuous glances, yes, you are becoming a bit too obvious.

3. Freudian Slips

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tumblr_inline_mse68tEWt01qz4rgpIf their behavior isn’t weird enough, they keep accidentally giving you hints as well.

4. You are forced to look good.

tumblr_mphvb5WGSh1rjxfbno1_500You have no plans for the night, but somehow, you’re manipulated to wear your prettiest dress and your most uncomfortable shoes. Hmm, preparing you for something, perhaps?

5. SOMEONE IS BOUND TO SPILL.

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And you don’t know whether you will thank this person, or not.

If you don’t already know, I call my blog lastaugustday because, I’m one of those people who aren’t smart enough to think of a username other than my birthday, and a few days ago (the last day of August) was my birthday, and my sisters and friends decided to surprise me.

Funny situation, but still, despite all the signs, I never really expected these people to actually give me a surprise birthday party. With all the sketchy behavior around me, I still believed that I was going to have a quiet night with my sister. So when I opened the door to a room where I was supposedly just gonna have a simple dinner…

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Thank you everybody! You made my birthday EXTRA special!

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xx

Gizel

A letter to my 25-year-old self.

Dear 25-year-old Gizel,

Are you a model yet? hahahahahaha!! Do you see the first question you ask yourself?? I’m writing this in a joking manner, but I’m actually a bit serious. If you’re not a model, (or have been) please at least be at a point in your life where you are happy, and living your dreams. I know it’s too much to ask, but this is a head start already.

Six years ago, you were at a low point in your life. No you are not a failure. You’re just sad. You’re sad because you think you’re going nowhere. You’re sad because you are afraid. Afraid of not being able to amount to something. You will. I know I’m speaking from the past, but I have a huge trust in you.

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At this moment, you believe in surrounding yourself with positive energy. I hope you’re still doing that. I also kind of wish that I wrote this letter at a time where I’m happy with my life so you won’t have to remember the depressing parts, but I’m not. And it’s okay. It’s okay to remember these sad days because it’s a huge part of who you’ve become.

I’m not gonna have huge expectations of your career now because I don’t want you to feel disappointed. I just want you to remember what you were like as a nineteen-year-old. You were full of dreams and huge aspirations. You have impossibly high and extreme goals, but that’s not a bad thing.

If you’re not successful yet, who cares? You still got time. Make another letter to your thirty-year-old self. If you are, then CONGRATULATIONS!

Is it anything I ever thought it would be? I wish you’re having fun now. I wish you’re happy and contented. Whatever happened these past six years, I wish you’ve grown into a better person.

Are you still friends with all your friends from today? Hopefully you are. They are the best people in your life right now, they make you happy a lot, and I hope you never lost touch over the years. If you have for some reason, I’m telling you, please call them right now, and tell them that you miss them.

Did you have your heart broken in the course of writing and reading this letter? Remember him right now (or them, if you’ve been that lucky.) Whatever went wrong, don’t feel bad. If it’s WORTH fighting for, then fight, if not, then FORGET.

If God forbid, you’re still single at this age, go out tonight. Please don’t be a prude! What have you been doing??

And if however, the stars have aligned and you’re in a happy relationship right now, give him a kiss, for me? I know you tend to be detached and unfeely from everyone you’ve ever known, so I think he deserves at least a little bit of cheesiness from your part. If you have changed, and become this showy person, then good for you! I’m proud of you, I know how hard it is for you to bare your emotions, I’m glad you are doing it now.

I feel as if, when you read this message, I should give you a sign from today. Well right now, your horoscope says “Something may be offered to you soon that you will not need, or even want to any significant degree. Know when to say no.” Well, that’s shit-crappy advice, but really, your 19-year-old self believed too much in horoscopes. It’s a good thing though, to at least have something to believe in.

Have you gone full agnostic now or do you go to the church? Whatever it is, I hope you;re still praying.

Hey, how’s your family? Promise me that after reading this letter, you’d buy a gift to both of your sisters and tell them you’re giving it to them, “just because.”

You love your mom so much but you kind of hate your dad right now. I hope you don’t anymore. I hope you have a great relationship with your mom and your dad. They are your parents after all.

Oh, and have you travelled to at least 3 continents before you turned 23 just like you promised yourself? If not yet, SAVE! And buy the first promo flight you get today! It doesn’t matter if you travel alone, and you get it booked for the next year! It will be worth it!

I know I seem to demand a lot from you. I have all these ambitious advice in this letter, I mean, what do I know, right? I’m just a dumb teenager. But I hope you at least made true some of my dreams at this age because, I’m pretty sure that the choices and decisions you are making at this moment is making the dreams (or at least some of it) of our 30-year-old self come true! I really hope you do get to read this.

Love Yourself.

Love Always,

You.

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