HOME         LAW SCHOOL         GOOD EATS         WORK IT         BOOKS         BLOGLOVIN         CONTACT

Friday, September 5, 2014

Reflections: Do you ever just sit and think about how much your parents have done for you?

For no reason in particular, I spent my morning browsing through old Facebook albums on my computer. While doing this, I stumbled across some photos from my last trip to Haiti in 2013. The pictures were taken in Fonds-Parisien, a small town near the Dominican border, where my father grew up.


I remember learning in the 8th grade that Haiti was the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and that Fonds-Parisien was a poor town, in the poorest country, in the Western Hemisphere. At the time, I was a little embarrassed. Now when I think about it though, among so many other feelings, I feel proud. I am proud of my parents and I am grateful for their journeys.

I was a brat when I was a younger. Don't judge me ... I think even the most humble americanized child will reveal his or her inner brattiness when faced with the daily struggles of living in a 3rd world country. Whenever I visited Haiti, I hated it. I hated the mosquitoes that ate me alive, the non-existent plumbing, the outdoor makeshift communal showers, and the goats that always got a little too close to me for comfort. I was a brat.

As I got older though, I realized that this was the reality for so many people in this world and that many of them would never know of anything different. I also realized that this was my father's reality growing up and that he probably never complained (he's so pleasant).  Further, I realized that I am only one generation removed from this lifestyle. This could have easily been my life.

So why isn't it?

Now I know that it's because God has blessed me with the most amazing, hardworking, selfless set of parents that a girl could ever dream of. I think every parent wants to give their child a better life than they had and my parents have done that and more.


My parents' successes did not happen over night. They worked really hard in school and eventually they were able to emigrate to Brooklyn, New York. This is a pivotal part of the story because Brooklyn is where I was born (my birth being arguably the greatest thing that ever happened to their lives ... shhh! Don't tell my sisters). They worked smaller jobs in Brooklyn to get by and this city was able to offer more opportunities than any they left behind in Haiti, but still, it was not without its cons.

The area in Brooklyn where we lived wasn't the safest and it can be really really difficult to raise a family and make a decent living in Brooklyn. That being said, after 8 years of living there, they once again emigrated to Toronto, Canada.


Toronto is where everything finally began to come together for them. They both continued their education, earning Graduate degrees at their respective universities and were able to have really great careers in both healthcare and finance. When I think about the childhood I had, growing up in Toronto, it seems baffling to me that somehow my parents were able to make so much of the cards they were dealt. I had a really great childhood, in a great neighborhood, with a huge yard to play in and I went to really good schools. I had everything I needed in life and most of what I wanted. When I look at the pictures above, beginning from the town where my father grew up and ending with our neighborhood today, it doesn't seem real to me. It's baffling that someone could make so much out of so little.

I have the utmost respect for my parents and their hard work. They've taught me that I really can accomplish anything I set my mind to and their story is a constant reminder that I have no excuses. They've literally done every possible thing to ensure that my sisters and I could have a decent life and they are the biggest inspirations to me. I can't wait for the day when I can finally say to them "you can stop working now, I got you!"

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why Bad Relationships Make You Stronger In The End?

"A woman has got to love a bad man, once or twice in her life, to be thankful for a good one."

I've been wanting to do a relationship post for quite some time now, but thinking of what to write exactly has been really difficult. Primarily, it's been difficult because I'm a really private person when it comes to that part of my life.  I don't like to share the really good and happy moments on social media or even with the people I'm close to because I have this irrational fear of having to explain to people what happened if something goes wrong.  I also don't like to share the not so pleasant experiences I've had because well, it's not a good thing to air your dirty laundry and I never want to be that person who has nothing but negative things to say about someone she once cared about or dated etc.

In my attempt to find a happy medium, I actually contacted someone from one of the first relationships I've ever had.  Like so many others, what we had started off great but then it got ugly...  really ugly.  We're obviously on much better terms now, but he gave me this idea for a topic.  Without going into the really messy details, here are a few reasons, from my own experience that I feel exemplify why bad relationships make you stronger in the end.

1. The First Cut Is The Deepest 

I would say that this one has been the most significant reason for me.  The first time you are hurt by someone, it doesn't feel like that hurt will ever go away.  I literally remember thinking about this particular guy, "I will never want anybody more than I want him."  Well, I was in high school and that was a lie.  Eventually, you do move on and you find someone else.  It doesn't mean that the next someone won't hurt you too- they probably will!  But the difference is that this time, even when it feels like you'll never be happy again, your rationale will kick in and prove to you that this isn't true.  You can remind yourself that better days will come, because you've been through this before.  You know the drill.

2. You Can Recognize The Signs  

Again, I was really naive the first time I fell "in love."  Of course I'd watched more than my fair share of romantic dramas and comedies growing up, but still ... for some reason I just believed that I would have better luck.  When the person I was with told me he would "never hurt me," I genuinely believed him.  This isn't a joke.  I actually, truly thought that if he said it, he OBVIOUSLY meant it and therefore I was safe.  I'm not that silly anymore.  Now I know that if that person isn't making time for you, they don't care about you.  If you always have to initiate any kind of conversation, they don't really care about you.  If they won't go out of their way to see you and are only willing to come over if they're already in the area, they don't care about you.  Obviously there are more signs than these, but you get the point.  Recognize when the relationship you want is not the relationship you have.

3. You Realize That You Can't Make Someone Care About You (and you respect the realization)

I've been in relationships where I knew that I wasn't a priority in the other person's life ... but I just wanted to hang onto them so badly that I was willing to overlook it.  I'll admit, I've been guilty of thinking that if I change this about myself or do this for them, they'll learn to love me.  This is the absolute worst mind set you can have.  You can't make someone love you.  Period. I know that now.  I know that I'm a great person and that I'm a good person and that I care about people and that I'm nice (sometimes) ... but if someone doesn't love the person I am, nothing I do will change that.  It's better to respect that, because then you can be happy and live your life, not worrying about pleasing that person.  It's way too draining trying to persuade someone to be in love with you.  It takes far less energy to love and appreciate yourself.

4. You Start Embracing All Your Flaws And Quirks

I'm an awkward person.  Especially when I'm around someone that I'm really into... I can't help it.  But that's me and I'm okay with that.  I ask a lot of questions and I ramble at times.  I'm that person who sends three separate texts, instead of combining my thoughts into one. I can be moody a lot of the time.  I bump into things because I'm just not that graceful.  Once, I even walked out of an interview with a "Hello My Name Is: Jennifer" sticker on my butt by accident.  I'm so weird, and I'm also annoying.  But I'm finally okay with it. I had to learn to be okay with me so that I could focus on being the best version of me.  I'm still working on getting better everyday, but I am who God made me.  

What's the point of all of this?  I guess that I've learned over the years that relationships can suck.  I'm going to get hurt a lot, and I've hurt other people as well.  The hurt won't last forever though and it's worth it to hurt a little bit because I really do believe that everything has shaped me into the strange but stronger person that I am.  Maybe one day, I'll find someone just as strange to share this little life with :)

A Wise Lady Once Said ...

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”

- Meryl Streep 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Temecula Monday! Happy Birthday Tasha!

Labor Day was my friend Natasha's actual birthday, so we all drove up to Temecula to spend the day wine tasting and eating delicious foods! Although I love wine, this was my first time going to a vineyard and actually wine tasting. I'm so glad that I was able to experience this with my favorite people. We decided on Ponte Winery for the tasting. This winery was both incredible and affordable!

I actually took this trip very seriously as I needed to find a new favorite wine to drink. After trying six different wines, I selected my two new favorites: Beverino and Vernaccia Nera. The Beverino is kind of a sweet wine while the Vernaccia Nera is a delicious sparkling wine. Both were sooo soo delicious!  

After the tasting, we drove down to Callaway Winery and had dinner at Meritage. The food there was amazing! I ordered the steak fries and I don't regret a single ounce of fat or calorie that came along with it. It was seriously one of the highlights of this trip for me. Also, I had such a good time with my goofy friends. This photo below is one of my favorites because it completely captures the essence of my two good friends, Jill and Rae. 

This next photo is of the birthday girl herself!  It's crazy to think that we've been friends for six years now. We've come along way from taking tequila shots at soccer parties! I'm so blessed to have such amazing friends in my life and look forward to many many more years of nothing but good times!



Monday, September 1, 2014

San Diego Sunday

This past weekend, I celebrated one of my good friend's birthday down in San Diego.  We've been friends since undergrad but we live in different states so we don't always get to see each other as much as we'd like.  For that reason,  I was really excited that she chose to celebrate in California! It was a fun filled weekend that fit perfectly into my hectic law school schedule!  I woke up super early on Sunday morning and drove down from LA with my sister.  I hate driving, so anyone that I drive longer than 45 min to see should feel pretty damn loved.

We started off the day by renting some beach cruisers to help us get around the boardwalk.  I must say, I forgot how much of a workout just riding a bike could be.  My legs are slightly sore today but it was so much fun and the bicycles were available in the cutest colors.  We rode around pretty much all day and had lunch on the boardwalk (before taking a LONGGGG nap on the beach).  I did wake up just in time to pose for the ridiculous shot featured below.

Following our beach day, I stumbled across this little coffee place that I absolutely had to go into.  I love coffee (you all know this) and I fell in love with the decor at this little shop.  I went in and tried the caramel buzz coffee, which was pretty impressive.  It was certainly the perfect way to end the day.  Stay tuned for the best part of the trip ... wine tasting !

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day, New Year ! 2L !

Sweater: LF, Jeans: Levis, Jelly Sandals: LF, Bag: Zara

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Life Lately

Since I finished my internship at the District Attorney's office, I've been somewhat enjoying my last few days of summer.  I say "somewhat" because I really only had a week off and I spent it mentoring the incoming first year law students during their orientation.  Although it was quite a trek, driving back and forth between LA and Malibu, I really like my mentees!  They were so fun and enjoyable to be around, so they definitely made the trips worth it.  I'm excited to get to know them better as the school year goes on.

Also, it might sound crazy but I'm actually excited for law school to start again tomorrow.  I feel more sure of myself than I did going into my first year.  I know what it takes to do well, so I'm excited to have an even better year academically than last.  I'm taking three required classes this semester: Corporations, Evidence, and Criminal Procedure, so it should be challenging.  In addition to that, I'm taking two elective classes and I'm also on a journal this year.  

They say:
1L they scare you to death
2L they work you to death
3L they bore you to death 

... So I guess I will see how true the phrase is (of course I'll keep you posted).

P.S.  I also tried Cookie Butter from Trader Joe's for the first time.  Soooooo sooooo delicious!