I’ve always had challenging birthday experiences since I moved to the US but this year, I promised to truly put myself first and be happy. After soul searching, I decided to go to PR with my sister and it was the best experience ever – We bonded and learnt a lot about each other.
While I was on vacation, I reflected on my year so far and couldn’t help but congratulate Adeola for growing emotionally and staying strong this year without even realizing it.
You may ask, what is she talking about?
Well, I’ve been working through childhood trauma and more with my therapist and it’s messy, difficult and moody! If you’ve ever been lost in other people and the past, you know it’s like crawling out of a deep dark well. No one can pull you out of it, you need to climb up! Luckily, anytime I fall back down, I see the light and climb again (In my dad’s word, I am resilient – I honestly know I am).
Referencing the same metaphor, if you’re close enough to the top of the well, someone kind might hear your call for help & stop to assist you. Not just because they are kind but because they can see how far you’ve come on your own and are willing to help you be free. They don’t go inside the well with you and you shouldn’t expect them to either. The moment you expect that, then it’s no longer about you. You’ll get distracted and possibly fall deeper than you were before.
You see, finding myself is not a journey I can fully describe. I do not need any pity party but for context, any unfortunate event you can think of has probably happened. To make it even worse, I started to hate myself and wonder where God was. It felt like I was the only one I knew not progressing in life.
Puerto Rico refreshed my mind and helped me climb farther than I had since I started this journey. I found that girl that consistently won the most pleasant child in school. I found a kind girl who genuinely cared about other people’s happiness including her own. I found a girl who has unknowingly battled anxiety but has maintained sanity through it all. I found fragile, highly sensitive yet tough Adeola. I realized I did not take care of her and if I didn’t slow down, I may not live past 30. Literally.
I’m always so afraid to let my guard down because ever since the fat bullying, achievement based environment & multiple painful events, I thought that was life. So I lived based on those things and didn’t really let go of the past. I suppressed emotions, ate emotionally, isolated myself, dated so I won’t be alone or have to deal with myself, lied about how I felt about almost everything, settled for mediocre friendships and even thought about suicide here and there but why?
Truthfully, it’s because not dealing with pain is easier but you owe it to yourself to try and push through. Find out who you are without all the baggage and just be that. It’s only possible if you are patient and take things one day at a time. Hell, one hour at a time!
Be as you are and just see.
Set yourself free and tell your friends and family you need help. Stop pretending or performing like we all don’t need love.
Some of us are out of the well and helping others while some don’t even know they are in one. This is for those who don’t know and those who are climbing.
Keep going – See yourself through and slowly but surely you will smile when you’re alone & not fake it for the gram or any external party.
I end this post urging us all to pay attention to and take care of ourselves. Life is short and true love is gentle, patient, peaceful and kind. We must be that for ourselves first before we can be that for others.
Thank you ❤️
On a lighter note as requested, here are some of my happy places/recommendations if visiting Puerto Rico;
Cafe Magnolia – delicious breakfast!
Cafe Marquesa – For keto/diet baddies
La Casita Blanca*** – Great local food, be sure to get the tres leches for desert!
La Barrachina – the best pina colda!
El Vagon – juicy tacos!
La Calle lobloica
Oceano – Bougie joint by the water!
Ladis place (seafood)
Bakery Espania/ De casitos
If traveling solo or a couple, an Airbnb is the best option because you’ll rarely be home as there is too much to see and do!
If going with a group of friends or family, Airbnb also has Great villa options available.
If you have to do a hotel, Condado Vanderbilt is your best friend! It is beautiful and right on a beach with an amazing view, pool and bars (first picture above).
Experiences & Views
Baracadi factory Tour – $160 to customize a bottle but it is brief, interesting and fun! Be sure to get a mojito!
La Terazza de San Juan
Old San Juan Tour (morning & evening available)
Outdoor Salsa class
La coca waterfalls at El Yunque rainforest
Hiking at the El Yunque forest – get some local food too!
Culebra Island – Flamenco beach
(Plan to spend the night if you can and exfoliate with the sand)
Vieques – Mosquito Bay (bioluminescent bay – fun to kayak at night!)
Luquillo beach – Bikini bar is fun!
La Casalinas – Pink beach!
La Placita – fun area with several clubs
(get a rumchata with a fireball)
La factoria (expensive club)
I hope this helps and let me know if you enjoy these types of recommendations when I travel!
My favorite pictures from the trip will be on my travel page next week so stay tuned.