Juggling Life and Work

Juggling Life and Work JUGGLING

Realizing how hard it is to juggle life and work
I’m trying to do all of this at once but I am afraid I cannot. I want to be able to do all of these things but for one reason or another I can’t. I have to be honest, I haven’t been the most time efficient with my free time, not that I have a lot… but when I do I could put it to better use. Therefore, my blog has suffered tremendously.

I am working on a new project but cannot help thinking about my blog and how I just let it go. I am writing this because I’ve been having similar thoughts about my current project, I am currently working on it but like anything in life there’s good days and bad days and we cannot get discouraged for a bad day and that is something I need to work on. I need to learn to be focused and always have in mind the final goal. I get easily distracted by my surroundings and my focus gets affected sometimes making me feel discouraged and stressed until the point of forgetting why i’m even working on it.

I do not want to sound like a quitter, because that’s not who I am I believe we all have hiccups along the way and I am hardly looking to succeed and always reminding myself about it by reading and looking up to people that have succeeded.  I recently ran into this TEDx Talk from Mel Robbins a motivational speaker that talked about “How to Stop Screwing yourself over” I saw this title and it instantly talked to me. I saw the video and I identify myself completely with her speech and wanted to share it.

You have life-changing ideas for a reason and it’s not to torture yourself

We have all the tools to succeed and it can even be simple but not easy. It takes great dedication to make something work and I need to constantly remind myself about this. This is why I enjoy reading articles, watching videos and putting myself in this kind of mentality to remind myself of the success I am looking for. It is so easy to quit and let things go but that not what I want to do and I definitely want to experience success and get to a place where I am happy and at peace with myself and the choices I make. I have realized that there are somethings I need to work on and for this reason I wanted to share them here.  I am a working process and I hope to be on the right track to tackle those things I need to fix and get to a better place not only personally but also professionally.

Please take the time to watch this video…
It will motivate you and inspire you!

It’s All About Attitude!

It’s All About Attitude!

attitude

Recently, I finished reading No es Cuestion de Leche es Cuestion de Actutid,” a book written by the Venezuelan author Carlos Saul Rodriguez. “No es Cuestion de Leche es Cuestion de Actutid” or in English “Is Not a Matter of Luck, It’s a Matter of Attitude.”  was recommend to me by a family member as I felt helpless about getting a new job as it would not help my situation personally. I wanted to do something  bigger, something created by me but I could not get to what that something was.

I started reading this book hoping this would help clear some things out and perhaps help me answer some questions. This book talks about overcoming obstacles and achieving goals, the author talks about his life and how he was able to become a successful motivational speaker and life coach. Carlos Saul Rodriguez coming from a small town in Venezuela and a low income family, worked hard to overcome all obstacles and  have a better future. Throughout the book, Rodriguez, explains that in order to succeed we have to have the attitude, nothing will fall on our laps if we don’t work for it. We have to be ready to work hard for it and always be open to opportunities because within an opportunity lies another opportunity. Life is full of connections and although things may not have a  clear meaning right now, everything happens for a reason and eventually we will be able to look back and connect the dots.

Reading this book helped me find the motivation I needed, it also put me in a positive state of mind that anything is possible! Reading this book allowed me to once more believe that we are capable of doing anything we set ourselves to do. Although, I have heard this many times before, it was good to be reminded about it. The timing for reading this book couldn’t be any more appropriate because it was at the beginning of the year where many of us already have a list of things we want to accomplish by the end of the year. But I have noticed that we shortly forget about it and never get around it. – I know I am this way. The reason for this could be laziness, life, stress or a combination of all of them but I decided I want to change this.

It feels so good to accomplish things no matter how big or small they are, from reading a book (which is in my resolutions list) to running a marathon or even starting your own business. No matter what the goal is, we have to work towards it until we achieve what we set our minds to do. I am applying this philosophy personally and I decided I want to:

  • Read more books (Motivational/self-help)
  • Run a half/full Marathon (SF Marathon)
  • Write more (Re-establish my blog)
  • Be fit (Crossfit)
  • Start a food business (I love food!)
  • Learn about Spirituality  (Yoga/mediation)

I came up with this list by thinking of the things that make me happy and enjoy doing. I love running and although I already have ran a half marathon I still have yet to run a full marathon. I want to keep pushing my body and show myself that although it is hard to run 26 miles/42 kilometres I can do it. I have understood that if we show ourselves that we can do physical work that seems imposible to do and yet we are able to do it with hard work, we can easily translate this into our day to day lives and show our selves that nothing is imposible.

Food and cooking is everything for me and although I never planned on working in the food industry I think there is a good opportunity for me. I am in the early stages but I know there a lot of opportunity and competition here in San Francisco and I am excited about doing this. I’ll expand more on this as it goes along!

I am currently working on achieving these goals, I want to get to a place where I feel good about myself for not only accomplishing what I set out to do but also feel personally fulfilled. For that reason, I want to learn more about spirituality. I feel I have been able to get a glimpse of  what it could be by reading this book (not that this book talks about spirituality) but I honestly feel changed, full of hope and motivated. I want to keep working on feeling this way and share my experience doing so.

I am very grateful of having the opportunity of reading “No es Cuestion de Leche es Cuestion de Actutid” I feel very lucky to encounter the story of Carlos Saul Rodriguez and find it motivating to achieve my own goals in life and fight for what I want.

So… What Happened?!

So-What-HappenedSo.. What Happened?!

Okay, I totally feel like a BIG flake…. Many months ago I said I was gonna come back and I came back for second and disappeared again and I am sorry about that. This is not the case this time, I promise! I owe everybody who cares about this blog an explanation about what happened and why I went away for a while.

As some of you  know, I created Zabi Knows it All a couple of years ago to talk about my experience coming out and hopefully help others through this process. I thought this would not only help myself by looking in retrospective at how far I have gone in my journey to self-acceptance but also inspire others who struggle with this.

I did this for a while and I truly enjoyed it, I still do! But at the time it was really hard to balance my time and maintaining the blog. I slowly started pushing it to the side until I completely let it go. Work, money and time had a lot to do with this and my priorities shifted, not that this is not important to me but at that time I needed to focus in other areas.

Not checking my blog periodically led me to lose my domain. I no longer owned zabiknowsitall.com, when I stopped blogging I always knew I would come back, I just needed the time to work on the things that needed my focus but after losing all of my information I thought, I moved my domain to zabiknowsitall.net and keep blogging that way. I did all the backend work to transfer all of my information from .com to .net (which for me is not easy at all!)  but when it was time to actually write and blog I was not present. I guess, my circumstances did not help which I will talk about on here.

This time I’m coming back again and I am committing to making this work. I love connecting with people from all over the world and talk about things that spark my interest about life and the struggles we encounter every day and how to overcome all of them.

Coming Out: Parents

Coming Out: Parents

coming-out 2

Summer time in San Francisco can be very depressing, it’s the coldest and foggiest time of the year. Being tired of the weather and a much needed change of scenery, I decided to make a quick trip to Miami. It happened that that weekend was my  birthday too, so it was the perfect excuse to leave San Francisco and go home to spend time with my family and enjoy the warm weather.

Having thought about it for a long time I had made up my mind and was ready to come out to my parents. It felt right, I no longer wanted to lie every time they would ask me if I had a girlfriend. I did not want to have that stress in my life anymore. I wanted to tell them the truth about myself and feel good about myself. Even if they did not approve and cut me off financially  I already had a job, which I could support myself completely. I didn’t think my parents would cut me off financially but I wanted to have a plan in case things did not work out my way.

My visit to Miami was very short, given that the flight from San Francisco to Miami is about 6 hours plus time change, basically a lost day just travelling which left me with two full days in Miami. My main objective on this trip was to come out to my parents, I didn’t tell my sister that I was planning on doing this because I did not want to have any negative feedback (You should wait…blah blah blah), I was determined to do this and it was time for them to know. I had to find an appropriate time to tell them but because of my short visit this did not happen. I wanted to tell them both at the same time so they would not feel there was any favoritism and perhaps hurt them. But as I said, I did not find the right time to do this.

On my birthday, we went to the beach had a good time and before going home we decided to stop at Target. I decided to grab a coffee at the Starbucks inside Target, I sat with my father to drink the coffee. I had him in front of me, this was it! I wanted him to hear this from me but as I thought about it, I got more and more nervous. I couldn’t do it – I didn’t. For one reason or another my father switched places with my mother and he went shopping with my brother. My mother was now sitting in front of me, this was it… Now or never.

I felt my heart was going to get out of my chest, I started by saying: “Mom, you may already know but I needed to tell you, I’m gay” her face with dropped with sadness and shock, she said: “Why?” I explained further and we were both crying at a Starbucks in Target – Yes, I came out at Target! She held my hand and told me she loved me no matter what. She said: “you are my son as long as you are happy I’m happy”  I was very relieved with my mom’s reaction. I knew this would be a long process but we were definitely on the right track. I told her not to tell my dad because I wanted to tell him. She agreed to this and I thought I would be able to tell my father in time before I left. This never happened and I left for San Francisco the next day early in the morning.

It was hard to do this in such a short time, I don’t think there was time to process this information and talk more about it. I told my mother the night before leaving and then the next day I left very early in the morning. After coming out to my mother, she would call me everyday. I guess, she was worried about me and my well-being. Her hopes and dreams for me had been shifted (marriage, kids, family, wife?) Because I had asked not to tell my dad, she was not able to talk to him about anything, I was planning on telling my father the next time I was with him but given that we both live apart from each other, this would make it difficult to do.

It had been about a month or two and I noticed my father would not come up to the phone to talk to me and if he did it would be very briefly. I suspected my mother had told him, I asked my mother if she did. She told me she did because she felt she was keeping a secret from him and could barely sleep at night. I asked her how he took the news, she said: “Our love for you will never change.” I guess my father needed time to process this information, which I understood completely – It took me about 2 years to finally accept myself.

One of the things I was worried the most when coming out was how my family would treat me. Would it change? Would they look at me differently? What would they think of me? Would our interaction change? In my experience, nothing changed. Everybody in my family was very supportive and embraced it. Some of them did not quite understand it but accepted the fact that I’m gay. I know I cannot expect to be 100% fine with it because it took me a while to be fine with it myself but I had made the right step in order to move into that direction. They were all open to learn more about the gay community and try to understand.

I look back and think about the many years I thought about this to the point of almost driving myself crazy about the negative scenarios that could possibly be but this never happened and now this was finally over at least the harder part. I remember keeping this secret for the longest time and thinking I’d rather die than letting anyone know or find out about my sexuality. Over thinking something can bring us into a really dark place, where we can be our worst enemies.

I think we all know when is the right time to come out. We have to expect the worse and hope for the best as we never know what our family’s reaction can be. I decided to be honest with myself because I hate lying and I just wanted to be free of it all and live my life the way I wanted to – Luckily things worked out for me.

Changes and Transition

Changes and Transition

TRANSITIONS

There comes a time in our lives where we are so used to the routine that when is time to change we freak out. We think we have everything figured out and when it’s time to go further to the next level we are afraid or just not ready. This is exactly what happened to me right after college, I had been looking forward to graduating and being a responsible adult but when the time came I realized I was not ready for these changes.

After four years of hard work, I had finally reached my biggest goal yet, to become a college graduate – A professional. It was a mix of emotions because I was super excited to have reached something that I had set my mind on getting for a long time but at the same time I was hesitant for what was to come. I no longer needed to study, which I had done most of my life, and now it was time for me to act as an adult and support myself.

Luckily for me I landed a job right after college. I had the opportunity to be at an office and work from 9am-5pm having experienced this and working there for a few months. I realized I was too young for this to be doing this for the rest of my life. I was only 22 years old at the time and felt I needed to travel and have new experiences.

I was going through a weird transitions where I did not know where I stood, I had studied all of my life and that was what was expected from me. Now, this was over and now I had to face reality and  be a responsible adult. It was a tough time for me because I had to re-structure my life and set my priorities which had changed now that I had reached my biggest goal yet.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life,  I felt I was at time in my life where any decision I made would affect the rest of my life. If I keep the job, I would probably work and grow professionally and not have the time to travel and see the world. If I travel, I would probably have a hard time finding a job and most likely be stuck in life. I had thought about this over and over and I knew I did not want to go home, it felt going home would be a big step back in life and that was not the direction I wanted to go.

I knew I wanted to travel and see the world, I had never been to Europe other than Spain. I still wanted that experience of traveling and getting to see the different cultures in these countries. I did not just want to visit, I wanted to be there and learn about their lifestyle. It was obvious that I wanted to go somewhere else, San Francisco had been an incredible place that helped me grow and get to know myself better but I knew it was time for a change. I had been in San Francisco for 4 year and I was ready for something new and exciting. I was not sure how this would  happen but I knew I would make it happen.

Finishing a chapter in life and starting a new one is not always easy, I can frankly say that. I thought I was the only one but having shared my experience with friends and family, I have learned  that it is a common thing we all go through at some point in our lives. There is never a right or wrong answer when we decide what to do with our lives. We just have to take risks in life to in order to move forward and even if we don’t have the answers to our questions, take a break and soon you’ll find them.

Confident and Shy

Confident and Shy

Shy-and-confidentHaving talked about my new phase in life and how i felt great about myself (Self-Confidence), I noticed I am a shy person. Yes, I feel good about myself and though I do not think I am a hot, I know I am good looking person but going to bars and trying to start a conversation with an stranger is very hard for me.

As I said before, I have many friends and I consider myself a very social person and make friends easily but when it comes to meeting and there is an interest in between, like being physically attracted, I immediately shut down. I get nervous, shy and try not to talk to that person instead of doing the opposite. It’s a weird way of thinking but I do not want the person to know I am interested because it would be too obvious.

It can be very intimidating going to a bar and seeing many men staring at you. When that happens, I try to look everywhere but their eyes, I know if I look at their eyes I will feel uncomfortable and awkward, at least for me it will. I am not sure how to behave in a situation like this, should I look back and stare at the other person until they look away?

I have realized, I do not know myself in that sense, I don’t know what to say or do. I now have the freedom to pursuit what I want and what I like but I feel I do not know this part of me. I have never made a move on someone before, I never tried going after a girl because deep down I knew I was gay and never with a boy because I did not want people to know about my sexuality.

I am assuming that is another reason why I never had a relationship with a girl besides knowing that I was gay, I never knew how to hit on a girl. I guess, my confidence level to talk to someone and confess my interest was something that I avoided doing for being scared to rejection. I know rejection is part of life and we have to be okay with it when it happens but growing up I preferred not putting myself in a situation like that.

I was now aware that it was time to change this and be “less shy” time to get out of my confort zone to get the things I wanted. Even tough it is harder said than done, I was very optimistic and willing to push myself to change this about me. As my family says: “being shy does not take anywhere…. you miss many opportunities.” This is completely true, I now look back and though I knew I needed to change this about me it took me more time than I wished but at this point in my life I truly feel like the shyness in me has gone in regards to meeting people and holding conversations with strangers.

Gays and Girls

Gays and Girls

gaysandgirls

I have noticed friendships between a gay and a girl work great. I think it is the perfect combination, both parties complement each other and there is no interest in between. I usually have a special bond with girls and we tend to end up being good friends. I can honestly say, I have more girlfriends than boyfriends for some reason I bond easier with girls than boys.

After thinking about this for some time, I decided to share this with my my sister. She, on the other hand, gets along better with boys. She thinks girls are competitive and catty. I can agree with this because I have seen it happen but I guess I try not to get involved in the cattiness and the dramma that usually happens amongst girls. I enjoy spending time with my friends but when it comes to dealing with dramma, I try not to get involved. I am not a confrontational person, so whenever there is an argument, I am the first person to remove myself from a situation like that. I always try to include different groups of friends and hope everybody gets along. This doesn’t always work out but it is nice to get friends together and hope my circle of friends gets even bigger.

Relationships between gays and girls is very honest. In my experience, I can talk about anything with my girlfriends and they usually let loose and open up too. Sometimes, conversations get too raw and dirty which I find it interesting because I realize how comfortable they feel about our friendship that we can discuss things like this. I should ask my girlfriends about this but in my opinion girls like spending time with gays because we are honest. We do what we want we do what we like…. In other hands we do not deal with the BS.

In life, gays learn to not care about what people say about them, having to deal with the daily judgement from society, makes us stronger individuals and we learn not to judge people as people judges us. For this reason, I believe many girls enjoy our company, we usually say it like it is and we dont care what people think, we live an honest life and do what we feel.

I love my girls and genuinely enjoy spending time with them. I would appreciate to hear from the girls about their opinion about this or share their experience with gay friends. Do you agree with my opinion?

Gay Snob?

Gay Snob

snob

I know the word snob has a very negative connotation and perhaps I am using the wrong word to describe myself. I don’t believe I am a snob, as the word is defined as a person who believes that some people are inherently inferior to him for a variety of reasons. I consider myself to have a good taste and like good things (food, restaurants, bar, clothes, etc).

I consider myself someone open-minded, I can adjust to any environment and I genuinely enjoy it, I love when there is a variety of options and in my opinion that’s what makes things special. I can be at the nicest restaurant and the next day eat at the ugliest food truck that has the best food. I don’t necessarily consider myself a snob because I can see more than there is. I don’t close myself to the opportunity of going a a bar or restaurant if is not in a nice area or if is not cool enough. I know people that would not even make the attempt to try something new just because they have no interest.

I am saying this because I sometimes feel like a snob in the gay community, why? Because when I go to gay bars the majority of them are trashy/tacky and though I enjoy going to them, is not a nice environment. People do not take the effort to make it a nice place, it feels like they just open a place where there’s music and alcohol, and they know all the gays will come. I wish there was more of a variety of places, in my opinion they are all very similar and not sophisticated at all. I have talked about this with my closest friends and they agree with my perception about gay bars, I am not sure if they would be considered snobs too but I think it’s more of having options rather than wanting to go to “nice” places.

I think many gays are snobs in the sense they like good things and like to have a good lifestyle, I consider myself to be a hard working person and hope to be able to afford the lifestyle I am used to and more once I become financially independent.

Last Counselor Visit

Last Counselor Visit

last-counselor-visit

After visiting my family for the break, I was ready to finally being back in San Francisco for a new semester in school. I was ready for the changes a new semester in school would bring. I felt much comfortable in school I kind of knew what to expect in classes, I already knew some people and that obviously made a big change from being lost on campus and not knowing anybody.

I was happy to be back in San Francisco, I felt home. Even though being home [Miami] was more comfortable because I had a bigger room, bigger closet and obviously my family was there, I felt I already had my life in San Francisco. I guess, I was appreciating my “independence” I was behaving as an adult, taking charge of my life and making my own decisions. I felt I was moving forward and though like anyone some days were better than others but I no longer felt bad about my life. For this reason, I decided to make my last visit to my counselor.

I decided to see a counselor a few months back because I knew there was something wrong with myself [Internally Homophobic] but I accepted to see one because it was confidential, as I was afraid my family would found out. The only downside about my school counselor was that they only allowed about six free sessions. Had already used four of them I decided to stop because I felt good about myself and though I did not have everything figured out, I knew I could continue on by myself. I knew other problems or questions may come up in the future and I wanted those two sessions to be there in case I needed them.

I discussed my decision to stop my sessions with my counselor, I felt we were running out of things to talk about and I did not feel the sessions where being as helpful as the were in the beginning. I told him I felt much better and I wanted to have those last two sessions in case I had other curiosities. I knew the minute I met someone I would have new questions, new things would come up as I did not know that part of myself. He understood my decision and before I left the room, I asked him for a hug. We left things opened to a new session in the near future.

I was so grateful with my counselor, he helped me work through problems I have dealt with all my life and find a solution to them. I appreciated his help and had grown to like him as a friend. I will never forget him as he has been an important person in my life to find internal peace.

I recommend to anyone who needs help to talk to a friend, family member or a professional about anything that might concern you. It is important to let everything out and not in as it can slowly eat us up and put us in a bad place. In my case going to see a therapist helped me infinitely. I love going to see a therapist because it’s an opportunity to talk to someone who does not know you and look at things from an objective perspective and help figure out the right path to find the solutions.

 

Home Visit

Home Visit

Family-visitIt was time to head home for the fist time after leaving for college, I was excited to see my family because it had been a long time since I last saw them but at the same time I felt guilty because I was doing stuff that my family would not approve of. I was worried because I knew I was going to have to deal with my feelings once again and I did not want that. I was happy living in San Francisco having my freedom and here I had to go back to being cautious about my behavior. I felt I was going backwards, I had improved so much and felt good about myself but not being able to fully be myself around my family was making me uncomfortable.

I was finally home and though I enjoyed my time with my family, I felt in a way I was being hypocrite. I was in a different stage in my life and coming home would bring me back to a place where I never want to go back. I had many insecurities: I did not know myself well enough and I was easily influenced by people but I was no longer any of those things. I had matured and gotten to know myself better, in other words, I had a defined personality and nothing was going to change that.

After being home for a few weeks, I realized I had changed a lot. I noticed I no longer found certain topics I looked forward to talking with family and friends relevant, I no longer cared about going out to the “cool” clubs that my circle of friends at home would hang out. I no longer cared about any of these things, I was actually disappointed to know that nothing had changed since I left. Same people hanging out with the same people, frequenting the same places, and doing the same old thing. I was definitely used to my new lifestyle, doing other things that I found more fulfilling than going out and showing off.  I had met people from all over the world that added more value to my life. I was learning about new cultures, lifestyles and languages. I was interacting with people I never thought I would have the opportunity to meet.

In the other hand, I came home to see my friends doing the same old things and I realized I could never move back home. I find home [Miami] to be a very superficial/materialistic place. It is a place predominantly ran by society levels, the more money you have the more interesting you are. Everybody seems to be in constant competition to show off what they own and nobody is happy. Even though I was used to that lifestyle before I left for San Francisco, I realized there are other places where people do not CARE about things like this.

Moving to San Francisco, helped me open my eyes and look at life differently. I grew up in a place where everybody did the same things, visited the same places, and behave a certain way. I have to admit I did all these things but not because I liked doing those things but because I wanted to fit in and more or less I felt forced to do them. I knew when I decided to move to San Francisco, I was looking for a change in many ways, I was tired of the lifestyle, the people and the behavior. I wanted to explore a different place where people would be more accepting, friendly and welcoming and gladly chose a great place to do that.

It was clear to me that I was growing and changing, I was no longer the innocent, awkward kid that left Miami. I knew exactly what I wanted and what made me happy. For a long time I felt I did not fit anywhere but now I was getting to know myself and discovering myself in different facets of my life.