Both of our birthdays are in the fall, which always provides us with time for deep reflection as we mark both these personal milestones, and prepare for the end of the calendar year.
Each year we get that question, “how does it feel to be a year older?” Although routine, it is something we start to experience differently as we mature. Are we where we want to be and where we expected to be? We know to expect the unexpected aspects of life, and know that they always come with a silver lining. However, we often have moments of anxiety about the unknown, as most people do. The two of us always find a way to come back to the saying, “we are like fine wine, we get better with time!” All of life’s experiences mold us into better versions of who we were just one year ago.
To mark that we are not only heading into a new year, but a new decade, here are our 10 life lessons of the past decade! Let this serve as your opportunity to think of what lessons you’ve learned over the past 10 years, and which ones you will carry into the next 10. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!
Ask for help
Embrace the unexpected
Celebrate wins, big and small!
Since we are celebrating the end and start of a new decade it seems appropriate that we pair this post with a great champagne! The Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut is delicate, elegant and balanced. The striking freshness and vivacity of the floral and fruity fragrances (yellow fruits and fresh fruits) take root, before giving way to subtle notes of vanilla and butter, lending the wine a fruity and consistent character.
Pinot Boutique | 227 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19106
Friday, July 6, 2018 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
We hope you will uncork and unwind with us on July 6, 2018, at our official launch event! Part of our vision for Sarcasm, Wine & Everything Fine is to curate memorable events that connect wine enthusiasts, influencers, bloggers, and anyone else who resonates with our blog. Each ticket includes 5 wine tastings and light fare.
During the launch we will share our inspiration for creating Sarcasm, Wine, & Everything Fine, and share some exciting new developments. In celebration of our launch event, we have designed a new logo (see below), and will be launching our monthly newsletter this month. Be sure to sign upfor the newsletter and purchase your tickets, it will be a great evening with great wine!
As we celebrate Mother’s Day today, we want to recognize our mothers and other inspiring women who make a difference in the lives of others daily. Mothers have a special place in our hearts because of their nurturing spirits, and the unconditional love they provide. Often times mothers are a daughter’s first friend, and as we grow older, we learn to appreciate this relationship even more.
As I continue to mature I become more thankful for the love, wisdom, and sacrifices my mom continues to make, to ensure that I am successful. She is my biggest cheerleader, ensuring she is front and center for all my milestones and encouraging me during my most difficult times. One of the many characteristics I attribute to her is my work ethic- which meant I always have to put my best foot forward. Moreover, her dedication to our family instilled in me a sense of community, and the need to ensure that I always lifting as I climb. She underscores the value of being a blessing to someone else, and that if you do not give, you will not have room enough to receive. Furthermore, she provided me a strong religious foundation that I has helped me through my most trying times in my life , which I am forever grateful. Through this foundation my mom cultivated a community of loving women around me whether it’s been my grandmother, aunts, godmother or adopted aunts, that have poured into me. These women are individuals that I learn from, lean on, and can count on to support all of my endeavors. Lastly, like many moms, my mother has a way of providing a humbling love, to always remind me the importance of staying grounded, and ensuring that I am doing things for the “right” reasons. I am forever grateful for the love, time, care, honesty, and occasional shade that only a mom can give.
My mother has always been my best friend and biggest cheerleader, no contest. I vividly remember us staying up late together one night when I was maybe 4 years old, and promising that we would always take care of one another. Whether it was the time I had a scraped knee, the time I was being bullied, or the time I was confused about the difference between a box spring and a bed frame (more recently than I’d like to admit), my mom has always been there to support me, laugh with me, and make the painful times a little better. For many reasons, she is a woman I deeply admire.
Denise De La Rosa always chooses love. When she’s been hurt, she loves harder. When someone she cares about is struggling, she drops everything to help out. When strangers need advice or a listening ear, she provides it. And she does it all with a strong belief that things will work out for the best. While I may make fun of her for watching corny Hallmark movies with predictable endings, or maintaining that Disneyland really is the happiest place on earth, I know that she is the perfect balance for me. When I feel like I’m at a complete loss, my mother is there to lift me up with a special kind of magic I may never figure out. Today, I celebrate my mom as a woman of boundless courage, strength and love.
Best advice from our moms:
Be your own woman,
Always make decisions you’re comfortable living with the consequences of
Always position yourself to be independent
The sky is the limit
You never know what someone else is going through. Treat people with kindness.
You can do anything you set your mind to. Believe.
Today, we raise a glass to our moms, and the many women in our lives who have provided love, guidance and support thus far in our journeys.
This month’s pairing is Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut. This champagne is made as both vintage (Reserve) and non-vintage (Carte Jaune or Yellow Label). Tasting notes below!
Vintage: A refined nose showing subtle notes of stone fruits and brioche. Lovely refined texture and bubbles, ethereal freshness and a tense profile on the palate. Precise yet streamlined. A beautiful rendition of minimalist elegance.
Non-Vintage: a refined nose showing a harmonious fusion of white-fleshed fruits, mirabelle flesh and floral notes. The same array of aromas recurs on the palate, emphasised by fine texture and pronounced freshness, all of which is precise and persistent. A great classic.
In our March blog“Resist with Rose” we provided some mental health resources to our readers, understanding that many individuals navigate their mental health in isolation, especially in communities of color. While brainstorming our next topic, we thought it fitting to provide mental health awareness its own article, to underscore the the importance of removing the stigma associated with mental health. In 2005, NPR did a broadcast titled the The Stigma of Mental Illness in Communities of Color. During this broadcast they shared :
“The National Institutes of Health says almost half of all Americans will develop some form of mental illness during their lifetime and that many of those diagnosed first experience symptoms during their adolescent years. But in communities of color, the numbers may be more devastating because of the stigma involved.”
If individuals do not take time to tend their mental health they can develop or exacerbate other health conditions. Furthermore, it can lead to unhealthy habits such substance abuse and addiction to things such as drugs or alcohol, which are temporary fixes.
I first began therapy my freshman spring of college. I had finished my first semester at Bryn Mawr, and I felt a ton of emotions. During this time, I was navigating my course load, my multiple campus jobs, extracurricular activities, familial dynamics/responsibilities, while also being on the receiving end of someone else’s nervous breakdown and untreated mental health. Moreover, I was adjusting and accepting what being in a predominantly white space, that was formed on the precepts of white supremacy, could do to the mental psyche of a student of color. At that moment I remembered the College offered 6 free counseling sessions to students, and I signed up for my first appointment. In the back of my head I knew my family would be supportive of the idea, but at the same time I did not want to share this at first because I did not know how me enrolling would be perceived, did it mean I was weak, or wasn’t strong enough to navigate and persevere through. After attending a few sessions, I began to feel a weight lift as I was able to talk to an objective individual in a confidential space; it gave me the freedom that I needed at the time to determine my stressors and what I could control. As I continued at Bryn Mawr, every spring I found myself in the counseling center, because that time of year I always found myself the most stressed. After a while I comfortable sharing this with other people beside my mom, because I saw how much it helped me and I thought it could help others.
After graduation, I did not continue therapy, and often made plans to find a new therapist, but I just with life demands , I never get around to it. In the last year, I have dealt with a variety of emotions, and life events in a condensed time frame, and I felt I needed that outlet again because it provided me the outlet to find balance. I spoke with my primary doctor who is a woman of color about my experiences and she underscored the importance of managing stress, and being intuned with my mental health, which was an important reminder. During my search for a therapist, I determined a black female therapist, because I did not want to have to always provide context when explaining a certain situations. Through my research I found black female therapist who approaches counseling, from a social justice advocate lens, which was like music to my ears. Through this process I have been able to find the language and the verbage to articulate how I was feeling, but also validated my experiences. Through this process I am continuing to learn more about myself and the importance of making sure I’m whole.
From a very young age, I learned to cast emotions aside and mask my negative thoughts and feelings with a false appearance of happiness. To be clear, there were many times that I was genuinely happy, but the periods that I wasn’t were incredibly difficult to push through. I can’t count the number of times I was told to smile, “think positive thoughts,” and sweep things under the proverbial rug. I embraced books as my escape from reality when everything seemed too overwhelming to process, and journals were welcome friends with whom I shared my deepest thoughts and secrets. To this day, I have at least 3 journals lying around my apartment at all times, for those moments I need to write out what I don’t wish to share with the world.
In high school, I started meeting with a counselor without even realizing I was engaging in therapy. It was a completely new world for me, and I greeted it with open arms. Mental health was not a welcome topic in my family, stemming from both a strong cultural stigma and individuals’ negative past experiences with therapy themselves. In college, when I decided to pursue a different career path than one I had set for myself at the age of 5, and was just beginning to deal with past trauma and anxiety triggers, I knew it was time to make my mental health a priority. My senior year, I regularly attended therapy sessions, which I am forever grateful for. The summer after my graduation from Bryn Mawr, I desperately needed to talk with someone. Fortunately, after a few months of hiding, I reached out for help.
In July 2015, I was sexually assaulted by someone I had been seeing throughout my senior year of college. I reverted to (horrible) coping mechanisms I had honed carefully over time, and pushed my feelings so deep down that it’s taken 3 full years to pull them back out. My therapist not only helps me continue to heal, but also helps me better understand myself each week. It doesn’t matter if I’m working through my past experiences, my professional life, or my relationships, I know that my time in therapy is a safe place to open up and really engage with my emotions, and work through healthy solutions. It’s perfectly fine to not feel okay 100% of the time, and it’s been a blessing to learn and accept that. This process is empowering for me, and I look forward to continued growth on this journey.
As we go into May which is Mental Health Awareness Month, let’s work to de-stigmatize mental health. Dealing with mental health can be a very uncomfortable topic, however it’s important to navigate our health in ways that makes sense for us. For some it may be therapy, others may find other outlets such as religion, or meditation. No matter the strategy, just remember to take the time to recharge and focus on you.