Birthday Reflections – February 5th, 2018

Another year went by and I do not know where it went, yet I find myself, on this very day, utterly myself and utterly changed. I am 20 years old as of 4:50 am today and I have to say, I have never felt more Woman in my life.

I was talking to a very close friend of mine yesterday and she asked me if I think I have changed and how. The answers came flowing easily. I have less patience, in general. I cannot be bothered with feeble people and weak opinions, I want certainty and I want things my way. My demeanor has changed: starting university I decided to let people gravitate towards me, not the other way around, not caring if I had to be alone in order to be the person I always wanted to be. I immersed myself in my studies and the results are proof of that. My taste in partners has evolved: no more time for half-men and fuckboys, no more time for grey answers, it is either black or white. I have learned to live more in the moment and think before I speak. I have learned to not complain and be 100% positive, even when the circumstances are not ideal. I have learned to turn anxiety into energy and fuel.

I have grown so much as a person and as a woman and I am grateful for living the life I am living, for being able to study in an established institution, for having my small circle of friends who love and support me. There is nothing else I could think of that I need. I have it all.

My mother barged into my room yesterday, looked at me and said “Do you realise I am your mother? That I have been your mother for the past 20 years?”. And now I realise that and there is nothing I could be more thankful for. My mother is a great woman, who is good and kind and hard working, always with a smile on her face about to explode into laughter, while keeping me grounded and raising me into a self-aware and confident woman. She is my rock.

My 20th year will be my best one yet, I am certain. I hope you will stick around.

Thank you for reading.

xx

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Tom Ford Velvet Orchid Eau de Parfum – Review

I have, for a long time, wanted to buy a perfume that represented me, that was unique, and that would become my signature fragrance. Of course, as I often do, I started my search online and was intrigued by the aura of love/hate surrounding Tom Ford fragrances.

These fragrances are, how to say, particularly unique and have to be worn by people who are just that. The ones I have tried are everything but sweet and nice. They are strong and in your face and everything all at once. In the end, I decided to choose Velvet Orchid. I did also try White Patchouli, but it was way too unisex for me, and Black Orchid, which posed the same problem, but it also reminded me of sad days, in a way, and decided I did not want that.

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According to the Tom Ford website:

TOM FORD VELVET ORCHID IS AN ORIENTAL FLORAL THAT EVOLVES THE CARNAL GRANDEUR AND SEDUCTIVE POWER OF THE ICONIC TOM FORD BLACK ORCHID INTO AN UBER-FEMININE FRAGRANCE LAVISHED WITH NOTES OF COOL CITRUS, DRAMATIC PETALS, HONEY AND RUM.

I have to completely agree. The top notes, that hit you first, are cool citrus and bergamot. After a while, they merge into a mix of velvet orchid and rum, to then fade away into a vanilla background.

This is a very sexy and seductive fragrance. It is particular, yes, not everyone can wear it well, but I find it is so so alluring and noticeable in a sea of other perfumes. The lasting power is very good, I can still smell it on my wrists 10-12 hours after applying it. The sillage, which is the degree to which the fragrance lingers in the air, is pretty good as well. It only takes a gust of wind or a hair flip and everyone who is close enough can smell it.

Not to speak of the bottle, which is the quintessence of glamour and makes me feel very special every time I pick it up.

The cost, on the other hand, is slightly higher than other perfumes, but it is lower than most Tom Ford fragrances. I paid €140 for the 100ml bottle and I see it as an investment, as something that will make me happy in the long haul and help build my persona.

Score: 9/10 (because lasting power and sillage are never enough for me)

Thank you for reading.

xx

NYC Travel Diary

In March I went on a trip to New York City, which lasted about 9 days. This trip was the culminating event of a course I have been taking since November. This course is called National High School Model United Nations (NHSMUN). It is a branch of the Model United Nations (MUN), aimed at high school students.

The whole course lasted from November until February and it focused on diplomacy, diplomatic language, modern history, geopolitics and such. We then did a simulation in Rome, in a parliamentary room, where students from Central Italy came together to work as one.

Finally, we had to go to NYC to take part in the big simulation, which brought together students from all around the world. I was part of the Economic and Financial Committee (ECOFIN) and I was representing Mauritania, alongside a girl from another part of Italy.

Let’s get started with the trip.

We left on the 13th of March from Fiumicino Airport, in Rome. All of our flights were operated by Iberia, so naturally we had layovers in Madrid.

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Waiting at the airport. Luckily, there was a student who could play the piano and he made time pass faster.

The flight from Rome to Madrid lasted 3 hours and was uneventful. There we had about an hour layover, but since the gate was pretty far, we had to run there to catch our flight. The next 9 hours, strangely enough, passed quickly. I saw the film “Arrival”, which was neat.

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Finally, we arrived in NYC at about 7pm. It was quite late, I had no internet on my phone, thinking that I could catch some wifi. That did not happen. It was very very cold as we waited for the car which would take us to the hotel.

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Tired.

We finally arrived at our hotel, Hilton Midtown. It is a very nice hotel and the room was cute, once you figured out how the heating worked. The elevators were also quite a challenge.

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We were 4 girls in the room and let me tell you, it was such a mess that the cleaning lady refused to clean it. That was quite a hint.

That night we went out for McDonald’s in Times Square. It was so so cold that it started lightly snowing. We got back towards midnight and then we went straight to sleep, too tired to function.

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The next day, on the 14th, we were faced with Snow Storm Sally. At the beginning it was cute and new, but then we had to face the cold and the metres of snow. We had breakfast at Joe & the Juice, near our hotel, where I had a protein smoothie.

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We then tried to go to the Museum of Natural History, which was closed. I was on the verge of a nervous crisis as we walked through Central Park, in the snow storm, with our guide who was not a good enough guide and did not know where she was going. Fortunately, I made a new friend who I am still on touch with and we took a taxi back to the hotel, instead of walking.

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I was so cold I felt like crying. We ended up just staying in the hotel for the rest of the day, since it was so cold.

On the next day, we actually started working. But before that, we finally visited the museum! As always, we had to hurry to make it in time for the Opening Ceremony, so we only had an hour. A friend of mine and I managed to visit almost everything.

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After this, we got dressed up and we attended the Opening Ceremony, after attending a couple of briefings on the rules of procedure and such.

The 16th was the most intense work day, since we had to attend 2 sessions in the afternoon, while in the morning we attended a conference. That evening most people went to the Empire State Building, but I was not feeling well and remained in my room.

The next day we attended our last two sessions and we were finally free to go. We visited the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), that was close to our hotel.

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That night we also attended the Delegate Dance, but I only stayed and danced for a bit, since my feet were killing me, having worn heels all day.

The next morning we left for the UN Headquarters and we attended the Closing Ceremonies. It was nice, being seated in the front row, and watching people make their speeches.

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In the afternoon we visited the Guggenheim Museum. I liked the way it was structured on more floors and how there were little to no stairs.

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On the next day we went to visit the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and then the Brooklyn Bridge. We had to walk quite a lot to get to the subway station, since there was a marathon going on.

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Before going to the Brooklyn Bridge, we visited Wall Street, where I was excited to see the statue of the Fearless Girl.

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After that, we visited the 9/11 Memorial. It felt surreal. All the names written there really gave it a spectral atmosphere, and despite there being hundreds of people, it was silent.

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Finally, we arrived at the Brooklyn Bridge, and we walked all the way to Brooklyn. It was tiring, but it was most definitely worth it.

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On the 21st of March we left. Unfortunately, our layover in Madrid lasted 6 hours and I fell asleep on the table. I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. We finally got home on the 22nd.

What I left out of all this diary entry, so to say, was a very deep emotional experience which saw its beginning and end in the same week, only to leave me heartbroken, then mend my heart and then break it again a couple of days ago. But this experience would not have been the same without my heart experiencing a whole array of emotions, from love to panic.

Thank you for reading.

xx