Living in the now with Snapchat

Colors of Autumn

Last week I received a notification that someone had subscribed to my blog. I was in shock. In shock because it’s been ages since I’ve written a blog post.

Clicking on my site, I was saddened to see it still had the autumn leaf wallpaper from last fall. I felt emotional, mental, and physical pain to realize something I had worked so hard to build had been nary but abandoned.

I cringed at the thought that I had joined the ranks of bloggers who work tirelessly to build a relationship with their readers only to stop cultivating it.

Nevertheless, in spite of my apparent indifference, someone had shown an interest in my earlier work and clicked the subscribe button.

Feeling like a wretched ingrate, I pushed myself to put things right. I updated the theme, changed the wallpaper, added some things, deleted others, and in the end, felt happy with the results.

I wish I could tell you I’ve been lazy, or that I developed writer’s block. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The truth is things have been rough at Casa Bella. In the past year, the Significant Other has had three surgeries, a close family member has ended her marriage after 25 years, and I’ve had to conquer yet another bout of pneumonia.

Yes, once again life has gotten in the way. And this time, I have not been practicing the art of “dolce far niente” for the sheer pleasure of doing so, but because I’ve been forced to do so.

During this process, I’ve given new meaning to living one day at a time. The journey has not been an easy one but we seem to be coming out of the woods. Healing has been set in motion and believe it or not, smartphone photography is one of the things that has kept me sane.

Waiting in hospital emergency rooms and in doctors’ offices lead me to the discovery of apps like Snapchat. For those of you who haven’t heard of Snapchat (something I seriously doubt), it’s an app which allows one to take pictures which once viewed, disappear instantly. That is, unless you choose to add them to your “story” or “memories,” (Snapchat’s equivalent of a cloud). Snapchat followers can view your story as many times as they like for up to 24 hours, and then like magic, it’s gone. It’s important to note they can also replay an individual snap once.

My snaps, quite like the changing seasons, have varied this past year. There have been hospital snaps, surgery snaps, and grieving snaps. There have also been funny snaps, silly snaps, and snaps that don’t seem to make much sense. And while my new “hobby” might seem a worthless pursuit, let me assure you that capturing these moments has lead to many a discovery.

The writer in me has recognized that these snaps or moments, when strung together, allow a story to unfold. This alone has allowed me to focus on the positive and stopped me from worrying about what the future holds.

I’m grateful to my new subscriber for reminding me that unlike my snaps, my writing can last for as long as I want it to. And while I’m not ready to give up snapping, I am eager to resume writing blog posts.

I don’t want to end this post without saying I have missed you, dear readers. I pray you’ve missed me too. Stay tuned for upcoming posts and if you’d like to follow my adventures and finally discover what country I live in, follow me on Snapchat! Not only will this give you a window into my day to day, you’ll also get to see what little Roxy is up to!

If you wish to do so, my Snapchat username is: curvybella. You can also add me by using the snapchat code located on the right hand column of this blog.

Thank you for your patience and loyalty. I am deeply grateful.


Where, oh where is the one that got away?

beach 2

We all have one.

Thoughts of what if allow our minds to wander.

We play house, picture ourselves living in different lands, different continents.

Closing our eyes, we see ourselves carrying out the role of wife, mother, lover.

We drift.
We dream.
We yearn.

And for a couple of brief moments, we think how different our lives would be.

The one that got away.

The one we thought we were destined to be with, grow old with.

We question why it didn’t work out.
Why we’re not in his life.
Why we let him go.

We curse destiny.
Scream profanities at fate.
Demand the universe give us answers.

Where is he?
Why did he go?
Why did we let him get away?

We think of a time when we were inseparable.

A time when his voice gave us goose bumps, when his laughter left us breathless, when his touch turned us into liquid butter.

A time when we were happy.

Staring out into the sea this morning, I experienced the shifting of worlds.

Slowly walking into the water, my mind waved goodbye to my body and effortlessly traveled to another place in time.

A whimsical place, bathed in sunlight, and bright colors.

The place where my heart told me I was destined to be.

One where he and I equaled two.

Two people in love.

No leaving.
No chasing.
No getting away.

A trio of children splash water nearby.

I open my eyes and realize I’ve left the alternate reality where he lives; where we live.

A deep sigh fills my lungs with air.

I breathe in the present.

A salty tear falls softly, intermingling with the salty water below.

The one that got away.
The one who left me breathless.
The one who made my heart sing.

He drifts further away.

Hands outstretched, I reach out.

And once again, he gets away.

The Mediterranean Sea.

Powerful inducer of dreams.
Formidable fantasy spinner.
Brilliant creator of what should have been.

Taking one last look at this lovely lady, I swim back to shore.

beach 1

beach 3

What prompts you to think of the one that got away?

Dreaming in sunny Spain,

Is life passing us by?

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Chris Gin

Long after I’d eaten the bruschetta, drank the wine, and hung up the phone, my mind kept wandering to something my sister had said.

“Life is passing us by.”

For days, I’ve pondered if there’s any validity to this statement, or at least, if it applies to my life in any way, shape, or form.

However, my pondering hasn’t been continuous.

I’ve taken breaks.

I’ve let the words sink in; let them marinate.

After all, how can one dismiss or embrace such a statement without first letting it make a fold in one’s cerebral cortex?

As this thought process has taken shape, I’ve accepted that yes, there are days when I wake up and think, is this all there is to life?

But there are also days when I think, life is good.

What causes us to shift from one perspective to another?

What makes us believe that life is passing us by?

I think that at times it might be, for example, discovering that a friend has gotten a promotion at work, or that an acquaintance is going off to explore the pyramids in Egypt.

Other times, we might find ourselves embracing this train of thought when we look in the mirror and see how premature wrinkles and gray hairs have made an appearance, without so much as a word of warning.

And yet other times, we may realize that another month has passed and we don’t have any recollection of where the time went or how we spent it.

In some of these circumstances, we might choose to be happy for the parties involved; we might choose to ignore the signs of aging and accept them as life’s natural course.

But when we don’t, when we’re hell bent on thinking we’re not the ones progressing in our careers, or seeing the tombs of ancient pharaohs, that’s when we might start believing life is passing us by.

But is life really passing us by, or is our attitude prompting us to feel this way?

I believe that while it’s true that life is passing, it’s not passing us by.

Instead, we’re steering its course; we’re playing a lead role in its grand scenario.

Because life is not static.

It doesn’t stand still when things are bad or good.

Life continues to move forward and we continue to evolve, but only if we choose to do so.

If, on the other hand, we elect to stay immobile, stubbornly refusing to take a step, life will not pass us by, but we will remain in the same place, the same spot, until we choose to take a step.

Backwards, sideways, forward, or at an angle, the choice is up to us.

No one can tell us what to do.

It’s our life, after all.

However, if at any time we’re feeling like life is passing us by, this could be life’s way of telling us something is wrong.

Our frustration, angst, and dissatisfaction could very well stem from the fact that we’re not happy; that we don’t feel fulfilled.

Nevertheless, it’s up to us make a change.

And in taking the necessary steps to change our circumstances, we will influence how we see life’s passing.

Have you ever felt that life is passing you by?