Well, we made it to Friday after a hell of a week. Every time I have started writing this post in my head, I have emotionally exhausted myself and tried to put the thoughts aside. I’m an emotional, sensitive person, but I try to keep this space positive. However, it is ultimately my space, and since I process things best by writing, I’m going to write what I want when I want. Just like I did after Aurora. And Virginia. And now Orlando.

This isn’t about me, but I don’t think it’s out of the ordinary to relate to some tragedies more than others. Newtown. Boston. Charleston. San Bernardino. These all hurt, but some hit closer to home for some people than others. That’s Orlando for me. I grew up three hours away and have many happy memories there. It’s a city of joy and escape for millions. And now all I can think of is the terror.

And the victims. The names, the faces, so many sound and look familiar because they were part of one of my communities, the greater Latinx community. This was a hate crime on multiple levels. But what all the victims had in common — Latinx, black or white, LGBTQIA or ally — is that they had gone out for a night of dancing and fun and the freedom to be themselves. How could there be so much anger and hate over love?

That is something I don’t understand, and I don’t want to understand.

Here is what I understand: I am heartbroken. I am tired. I am angry.

I am heartbroken for what the victims, the survivors and their loved ones have lost. Their lives will never be the same. I am heartbroken that a place of safety and acceptance was exploited.

I am tired of seeing these stories in the news, only for them to fade the headlines within days. I am tired of people staying silent.

I am angry with politicians who send their “thoughts and prayers” instead of springing into action. I am angry with politicians who actively work to limit the rights of LGBTQ people, as well as other minorities. I am angry that people continue to perpetuate hate, instead of fighting for love and equality.

Enough has been enough has been enough.

I hope that there will finally be some action, instead of empty words. I am tired of waiting. I hope other people out there are also tired of waiting. I’m passionate, but I don’t want to tell you what to think. That’s not my place. But if you’re also passionate about these issues, do your research. Get involved. If we and our elected officials don’t do anything about this, it sends the message that we’re ultimately okay with this. And guess what? I’m not. I am tired of this. This is not what I want my country to look like. But I truly think it’s the realist in me that believes love always overcomes hate.

Arya was featured in the Philly PAWS 2016 Calendar for June, Pride Month.
Arya was featured in the Philly PAWS 2016 Calendar for June, Pride Month.

~ Sarah

Graphic Tee Time #2: No Place Like Home

Florida Home T with denim jacket

Let me preface this by saying that when Priya and I first started emailing about this collaboration, I was envisioning this tank tucked into a swingy skirt topped with the denim jacket (kind of like these outfits). But no… Philadelphia was all like, “Remember that heat wave in March? It was a false promise and it’s too cold to go bare legged without tights.” (I am not putting tights on again until the fall. Refuse.)

You can take the girl out of Florida, but you can’t take the Florida out of the girl.

Florida Home T with denim jacket

If you don’t already own a Home T for your respective state, get on that. They are so soft and the dark gray is perfect. (They also have v-necks and baseball tees and totes and I want all of them. Did I mention they’re made in the U.S.A. and help support M.S. research?) My tank was actually a really thoughtful bridesmaid gift last year. I loved growing up in South Florida (and I always have to make that distinction), and I miss it constantly. (Yes, even though Floridians are constantly trolls and trolled on. It’s fine.)

Florida Home T with denim jacket

Anyway, back to the outfit. Seeing as the temperatures in Philly are not nearly as warm as Florida, an extra layer was a must. I love the pop of color the denim jacket adds (but goodness the color is really starting to fade after a few years — last seen here). The look was still missing something, so I added this floral necklace (remember accessories really elevate basic looks). The blues are an almost perfect match. A tinted lip balm and sunglasses, and you’re good to go.

Florida Home T with denim jacket

Some other notes…

  • I promise I own more than this pair of flats
  • I did not intend for most of these photos to be so ~smirky~
  • Yes, I know I need to get my hair fixed up ASAP
  • Go visit Priya’s blog to see how she styled her California tee!
  • Two more weeks until our #GraphicTeeTime linkup! Hope you’re enjoying all the inspiration, and don’t forget to join us!

California Home T

linkup button final

Teapot graphic by Taylor

~ Sarah

Florida tank: The Home T (gift)
Denim Jacket: Easy Pickins (similar)
Ponte leggings: Kohl’s
Flats: Old Navy (similar)
Necklace: Avon (similar)

It’s Where The Heart Is

I was uprooted last December.

Weston FL

I was excited to be back in South Florida celebrating Christmas after a one-year hiatus when I found out that my parents — divorced over 10 years, but always living within 10 minutes of each other — were moving back to their respective home countries. They were both living in Latin America by February. All of a sudden, Christmas 2014 became my last Christmas at home, for real this time. (Not “my last Christmas at home before college, x, y, or z.”)

Not only did I have to essentially mourn the loss of my parents’ proximity to me, but I also had to mourn the loss of my hometown. Yes, it’s still there to visit, but it won’t be the same. I don’t know when I’ll be back, and when I am, I won’t get to stay at my mom’s house, or in my childhood bedroom. Those roots are gone. It’s a moment I knew would eventually come, but I wasn’t expecting at 24.

Now, I’m really not sure what “home” means. My place of origin will always be Florida. The familiarity is comforting — the friends, the food, the Publix stores, the humidity, the mazes of highways that I can’t drive but are still etched into my mind. But it’s not my home base anymore, and I never necessarily fit into the stereotype: the hustling, the glamour, the swag that South Florida thinks it’s all about.

Is Philly my home? That would imply that I consider myself a Philadelphian, but I don’t. Arguing about what makes someone a “true” Philadelphian (or New Yorker, Miamian, etc.) is neither here nor there, but it’s not a way I choose to identify myself right now.

For me, it keeps coming back to the idea of love and friendship. For the most part, when I’m with my friends — from growing up, or college, or now Philly  — and my family — Nick and Zamboni included — I feel happy and at peace. For now, that feeling is home. I’m laying down roots again, and who knows how long or how deep these will take hold.

Over Colombia

This past Saturday, I flew to see my mom in Colombia: the first time I’m here in four years, the first time I’ve been here since my grandparents passed away, and the first time I’ve been here since my mom made her old home her new home. It’s been less than 48 hours, but it feels different. Some of the places and faces have changed, and I have a new place to call home (for a week): my mom’s apartment, where I can be myself and speak English as freely as I want.

On the trip down, I had the briefest of layovers at the Miami airport. It felt completely foreign to my body — I’ve never had the need for a layover there in my life. It was always the start of my adventure or my final stop, not a stepping stone. I spent most of my time back in Miami waiting in line at a Cafe Versailles stand. The guava pastelito I bought, that tasted like home too.