My New Domain!

Hello, everyone! I’m inviting you to follow my journey on my new website! Therefore, I will not be posting on unziptheselips.wordpress.com any longer.

My new website will consist of recipes, yoga, creative writing, lifestyle topics, book discussions, personal blogs, and more! It’ll be more engaging and there will be more frequent posts. You can follow my WordPress feed to access new posts in Reader and/or you can subscribe on my website via email or access my RSS feed.

The next post that is coming soon will be about how to make a blog and how to upgrade it to your own domain (and what that even means!).

I hope you will join me!

xx Vic

Welcome to the first official blog post on my new domain! Wow! I never expected to take my passion for blogging further by purchasing my own domain, but I did it! My supportive and loving girlfriend was part of the process toward believing in myself and taking that leap of faith…the Truth + Dare Podcasts…

via Investing in Myself — Unzip These Lips

Getting What You Want

When I finished the second season of the Podcast, “Homecoming,” I played the latest episode of my other favorite Podcast called “Truth + Dare.” The Journey Junkie, who is my favorite online yoga teacher, produces it with one of her best friends. They are both currently live on a boat with their husbands, and I find them to be super inspiring.

Anyway…it was so ironic that the first episode after their break was about Difficult Conversations because I’ve been avoiding a difficult conversation myself. The conversation I’m afraid to have is with my sister, who is a year and a half younger than me, but for some reason, I have a very small backbone when it comes to addressing issues with her. The issue I am having with her right now is how I feel like she completely ignores my girlfriend most of the time. I always give her the benefit of the doubt because 1. I don’t want to confront her and deal with whatever that entails and 2. sometimes it seems like she does acknowledge my girlfriend! But I shouldn’t be like “oh, she said hi to her this time so everything is fine” because she should be showing common courtesy every time, not just when she feels like it.

The negative impact of avoiding a difficult conversation has been manifesting in my relationship with my girlfriend as well as in my overall mental health. My girlfriend and I have been discussing the conversation that I need to have at length, I went to therapy recently to talk about it, and it consumes my mind. I’ve been worrying in the shower that I will never be able to be my authentic self unless I move out of state, away from my family, and rarely talk with them. It’s gotten pretty ridiculous, but it was perfect timing for this podcast to be released!

I didn’t even finish the podcast yet but one of the messages that really resonated with me was a quote that they shared from Elena Brower.

“What you are afraid to say is the doorway to your freedom.”

This isn’t new knowledge for me by any means, especially considering how one of my majors is Women’s and Gender Studies and this theme is critical in our discussions. Plus, this quote closely aligns with my favorite Audre Lorde essay, which is the premise of my blog!

I suppose that being confronted with this specific message again at this time was just because I needed to hear it again. In my WGS seminar yesterday, we talked about how the different contexts for when you’re reading something affects the significance of what you’re reading. For example, if I wasn’t afraid to say anything, then the quote probably wouldn’t have resonated with me as much.

Unfortunately, I am afraid to address my sister and therefore, I am suffering. I must talk to her though because it’s causing so much toxicity in my life that can be avoided. So I’m going to go through one of my DBT worksheets I got from a group therapy session in the summer to think this through. Perhaps this model will be helpful to y’all too.

How to Liberate Yourself By Asking for What You Want

(Based off of DBT handout 5)

 

  1. Describe the situation.

  2. Express your feelings about the situation.

  3. Ask for what you want.

  4. Explain positive effects of getting what you want and/or the consequences of not getting what you want.

1. So…I will describe to my sister how I feel like she is not particularly courteous with my girlfriend.

2. I will say that it makes me feel uncomfortable when we’re all together and by ignoring her, it hurts me because she is very important to me.

3. I will ask my sister to be more courteous toward my girlfriend because everyone deserves that, and if she had a partner or a friend around, I would be considerate of them.

4. Then I will explain that it would make me more comfortable hanging around with her and like I have a more cohesive identity because she takes an interested in the people that I am interested in.

Some arguments that my sister may have may include that she doesn’t like my girlfriend, that she didn’t realize she was being rude, and/or that she is jealous that I spend more time with my girlfriend than I do with her.

I can counter by saying that it’s okay if she doesn’t like my girlfriend (although perhaps she should consider getting to know her more before making that rash judgment), I just want her to be more respectful and courteous. If she says she didn’t realize, I will ask her to please be more conscious of it going forward, because it upsets me. If she says that she is jealous of my girlfriend and that she wants to spend more time with me, I will respond by saying that…I guess this one is the trickiest one. Perhaps I can suggest negotiating this with her more but reaffirming that it is critical that she be more courteous.

I found this exercise to be particularly helpful! I want to ponder the last counterargument a bit more but otherwise, I feel a little more prepared.

xx Vic

Stifling Heat

I stared up at the ceiling fan as it whirled overhead. It was attempting to provide a breeze in the sweltering evening heat but to little avail. My oversized t-shirt clung to my back, sticky with perspiration. I raised my feet into the air, feeling the slight breeze tickle my soles. Then I rolled onto my right side and stared directly into the electric fan. The wind it created was aggressive and loud. My hair blew off of my face and I sighed blissfully.

Then my phone pinged.

I glanced at it, unamused, and snatched it off of the chipping, white side table. It was Ashley.

I heard what happened to you and Tom. I’m so sorry.

I frowned and turned off my phone. She’s not sorry, she is probably thrilled that he’s now available. She always liked him. I could tell by the way she looked at him and how she talked to him.

I rolled back onto my back and resumed staring into the ceiling fan, hoping to be hypnotized into a deep sleep.

Sleep. What a foreign concept to me at this point. I haven’t slept since we broke up a week ago. It’s been even longer since I’ve slept alone. Two years. It’s been two years…I don’t know how to sleep alone anymore.

I closed my eyes, hoping that if I pretended to be asleep, I’d eventually trick myself into falling asleep this time. Instead of looking at the back of my eyelids though, I was confronted by Tom’s face hovering over me, illuminated by the moon through the window. He was smiling mischievously, some locks of his golden hair falling into his eyes. Then I felt his warm, calloused fingers draw circles on my right arm. His breath was warm when he leaned in and whispered in my ear, “Tell me what you want.”

I smiled, relieved that he was back. He tenderly kissed my face, but when I tried to kiss him, he shook his head, his grin widening.

“Tell me first,” he said, kissing my neck. The sensation sent chills down my body, and simultaneously ignited my skin. “Tell me what you want.”

I slid my hand across my hot stomach and brushed the top of my pubic bone.

“I want you,” I gasped as my fingers dipped lower, probingly.

“What do you want me to do?” he asked, kissing his way down my chest.

My touch sent a wave of warmth over my body. “I want you to…” I panted.

“What do you want me to do?” he asked, looking into my eyes.

“I want you to—”

Then my body shook, and everything felt like it was on fire.

When my breathing slowed and I relaxed, I whispered, “I want you to be here.” I opened my eyes expectedly as if I had just performed a spell to summon him. All I saw though, was the whirling ceiling fan in my dark room. I was alone.

My face crumbled. The satisfaction that I created dissipated and tears streamed down my cheeks.

© 2018 Vic Romero – Performance Poetics Spring 2018

Young Yogin

I’ve made it my goal to practice yoga daily, and so far, I’ve maintained it! It’s been…over thirty-one consecutive days. I’m not sure how many more days than thirty-one…perhaps it’s only been thirty-one days…but regardless, I’ve been practicing it daily for the entirety of January, and possibly in the tail-end of December.

Right now, I’m practicing it when I wake up, which isn’t always early. I try my hardest to get up at 7am but I end up reading the news on my phone, snoozing for a little longer, or I don’t know what I do, but I end up practicing around 8am, and sometimes later like at 11am. I’m trying to practice in the early morning though because according to Light on Yoga, a great book I’ve been reading and using to foster my practice, yoga must be practiced either in the early morning or in the late evening.

Light on Yoga has been a great, informative book because it provides a background to the practice as well as pictures and step by step instructions for pretty much every asana I’ve encountered since I began my practice in late August. Additionally, it includes yoga practices for various ailments one may have and it has courses to develop the skills necessary to improve, strengthen, and deepen your practice. It’s an excellent book. I’ve taken some notes on the book so I will publish what I’ve learned at some point because I think it’s important to know. Some yoga practices have completely appropriated it, and I think it’s important to know the roots of it.

Also, I am looking for other books about yoga that provide insight into the culture and history of the practice. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know!

Anyway…yes so my practice has been great in the month of January! I had my girlfriend take some photos of me to see my improvement. I’m not going to post them here right now, but I will. I want to incorporate more photos into my blog.

The cool thing about photos and about having her take them is that I didn’t realize until she told me, and showed me, that I was doing the “down dog” pose wrong. My back was super arched and my knees were bent so…I worked on it a bit and now I can do it properly.

Initially, my yoga goals were to achieve crow pose and wheel pose, but my right wrist is quite weak from playing tennis for several years prior to college, so I am going to work on doing a split and wheel pose. This week I’ve been working on stretching my hamstrings, and there has been a significant improvement, but there is still a long way to go. I have barely attempted back flexibility because I have several fears surrounding it…but I am working on it. Just more slowly.

The last thing I want to share is that I am considering either attending a Yoga Teacher Training or a Yoga Retreat! Since I will be graduating in a couple of months, I would like to take that opportunity to expand my practice. I’ll update y’all if this idea comes to fruition!

 

xx Vic

Family and Significant Others

How do you navigate this? By this, I mean the title of this post. Specifically when your SO is the same gender as you are.

I worry that I’m not dealing with this appropriately…lemme explain.

My family knows about my girlfriend and they’ve met her. She’s come to the house several times. They don’t seem to have any objections (believe me, if they did, they would make it known) but they also don’t seem particularly excited about her. I can only assume it’s because she is a woman, but honestly, who knows. Reasons I have come to this conclusion though include:

  1. They never ask me about how she is.
  2. They never ask me about how we are.
  3. They don’t get excited when she is around, whereas I would expect them to get excited if she was a guy.
  4. My sister barely acknowledges her when she’s literally next to me. Perhaps she feels shy/uncomfortable though?

constantly worry about how they perceive her, and why they perceive her a certain way. For this reason, I tend to be hesitant to share activities we do together and anything that kids may tell their immediate families about their significant other.

I’m stressed that either 1. they don’t take our relationship seriously and/or 2. they’re just tolerating her because they care about me, but they don’t really like her, or accept her, for whatever reason.

I’ve been considering to bring it up with them but then I don’t want to address it because I’m afraid of instigating a dispute or an intense conversation…I just want them to more openly welcome her and to care about her because I care about her.

Of course, I’ve discussed it with her at length because I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable or bad about anything. She says she fixated on it before but she doesn’t let it get to her anymore…unfortunately it continues to affect me because they are my family.

If anyone has any suggestions for me in regards to how to navigate this, please let me know. I would greatly appreciate it.

xx Vic

Trusting the Universe

I should do this. So should you.

“You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

-Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata

I seem to frequently forget this when I’m pitying myself and inviting anyone close to me to join…but my girlfriend kindly reminded me. She wasn’t being intentional when she reminded me, she was talking about her excitement for life after college (which is the main theme of my pity parties lately), and she said something about things always working out. Which reminded me…things generally, eventually work out for me too. So I should stop throwing these pity parties. Besides, they’re not a good look.

But yeah…the universe unfolds as it should. It didn’t forget about me. I’ve written about this before, several times. There are years of evidence that whenever I feel like my life is going to crash and burn for whatever reason, the universe tends to swoop in and keep me afloat, and I usually am able to even swim too.

So…in regards to this “after-college-job-search,” I’m going to get a job offer! Soon! I’m going to continue to sell myself and be the best I can be and someone is going to eventually come around and love what I have to offer. I am a desirable candidate who is intelligent and who has a lot to offer!

I will keep this in mind when I attend the job fair this week. Wish me luck!

xx Vic

 

Quiting Smoking (Version 2)

We ignited quickly,

The sparks between us

Became consuming flames

We burned bright

On dark, cold nights.

It was refreshing

To inhale you

And to exhale loneliness

 

You may have been comforting,

But you weren’t good for me

You sucked out all my oxygen,

Filled my lungs with tar,

And singed my fingers.

I had held onto your fire

For far too long

 

So I let you go…

Dropped you to the ground

To find a way out

Of your ensnarement.

 

You were addictive, though.

 

A couple of days would pass,

But I could never last

For very long

Without your fire

 

© 2017 Vic Romero – Creative Writing Fall 2017

Read the original version of this piece here.