Good deed gone wrong

My husband came home and told me about his friend Erik. Erik moved to Chicago about 6 months ago after breaking up with his girlfriend and while trying to detach himself from his father, who is part of the notorious hells angels in california. He supposedly was sharing an apartment and was giving his buddy the rent money who was then pocketing it. Erik got evicted from his apartment and had no family or friends to turn to. Upon hearing this, I offered for him to stay at our house until he got back on his feet. I figured that since John and him worked together that we had nothing to worry about. I also felt that we could be something good for Erik and a positive influence in his life. I truely believed that we would be able to help… but sometimes a good intention goes sour.

Erik moved into our guest bedroom about a week before I left for my trip to Italy. At first things were some what smooth. We never saw each other and he came home and late hours of the night and left before we woke up. However, as the weeks progressed what was supposed to be a short stay of a week or two turned into a month. With the passing weeks came surprise after surprise. While I was in Italy I was told by my husband that he was bringing over women to our home. This did not sit well with me concidering I never met them and had no idea what there women’s intentions were. Two weeks passed and I came home to find mess after mess. Every morning I would wake up and spend an hour cleaning the messes he would make around the house or his bathroom just to do it all over again the next day.

I looked in his room and it looked like the Tasmanian devil had been through there. Not to mention the fact that my carpets seemed to be stained with black dye. One morning we got to talking and he opened up telling me that he also has HIV, which wouldn’t had been a problem had he not been skipping work because of “health issues”. Erik was a guest in our house. He did not pay rent and he even was offered a plate at my dinning room table. I knew things were getting out of hand when I had cooked dinner for us and he asked me for a piece of foil. It just seemed to be one thing after another. I told my husband that I needed him to be out before I began my masters. As much as it broke my heaRt to kick him out of our house I had to face the fact that a good deed on our part was mistaken for weakness and in the end we got used. The night that he left he brought over a girl showered with her for 40 minutes and then took his things. Leaving behind two bags that he couldn’t fit onto his motorcycle. He then came to get those last bags two weeks later while taking yet another shower at our house and literally throwing soap all over the walls in the bathroom. 

To make matters worse a week before we officially left he was fired from his job for not showing up. Unfortunately there was nothing we could do to help. He was a grown man of 39 years old. That is 15 years older than me and as a 24 year old and 27 year old my husband and I were not able to take care of him or support his ways.

He left without barely a thank you. We were left to piece back together our home with stained carpets, a trashed guest room, a dirty bathroom. a large water bill, and the insecurity of what he was doing or if he’ll be back. The lesson that was learned was that sometimes being nice can be taken advantage of. There’s no way of knowing when a good deed could go wrong until you do it. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and that’s what this experience was… a lesson learned. A home is to be respected especially when living and eating for free out of the goodness of ones heart. I wish him the very best and pray for some positive change in his life. I truely hope something good came out of us having him here. 

Our Engagement Story


Haven’t written in a while so I figured I would write about one of the most memorable and unforgettable moments of my life.. our engagement.

It all started with a trip to Italy. It was the first time J had ever been to Italy and to visit my hometown located smack dab in the middle of Italy and in the middle of mountains. This was where I was born and grew up until my sister and I left for America with our mother. Our town is unique In a variety of ways, but to me it is particularly special because it holds my favorite place in the entire world. On top of the main Mountain in our small town lies a castel that was bombed and destroyed during WWII; however, through all the wars and earthquakes it had undergone, it has managed to retain one tower. From the center of town to the top of the tower takes about 1.5 hours to reach. It’s my favorite place earth because I remember going up that mountain with my father but also because once you reach the top you can’t help but smile because of how georgeous the surrounding view is. In that moment your speechless because of the beauty that surrounds you.

When we arrived to Italy it rained for several days. This postponed our climb up the mountain and to the tower. Finally the rain had stopped and we prepared to make the walk uphill to reach the top. There was a group of us that decided to make this journey together. This group consisted of my sister el, my boyfriend at the time J, my two Italian friends and myself. The five of us took off and began the brutal walk uphill in the summer heat. Although tretorous, the climb was equally beautiful. As you get higher and higher you begin to see the little town where we came from fade off into the distance. It’s was a georgeous sight with ever growing anticipation to reach the top.

After about 1.5 hours we reached the final climb; the stone steps up to the tower. I let everyone go ahead of me and when we finally got up there it felt as though a breath of fresh air had just hit me. It was just as I remembered and more beautiful than ever having shared it with my significant other. We stayed a while and chatted as we took in the view. I stepped next to j and joked with him saying “this would have been the perfect spot to ask me” he joked back saying “yeah it sure would have”.
Our time was up and everyone began to make their way down the tower steps back to earth. Oddly enough I was being blocked out making me second to last in line to walk down the steps. Just as I reached the first step I felt a pull on my arm and j said “little did you know that I did have something planned” thinking it was a joke I gave him a playful shove and said “not funny” as I once again tried to make my way down the steps. To my surprise I felt another tug on my arm as J pulled me back and had a ring in his hand up to my face saying “I’m not joking”. Shocked and wordless I stood there looking at him as he got on one knee and said “Elisa, I love you with all my heart and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.. will you marry me?” I smiled (still speechless) grabbed his shoulders to stand him up and said “give me a hug”. He did just that as I said “why do you look so nervous?”. He responded “because you haven’t given me and answer yet” and just like that I said “of course I will”. And so began a new chapter in our lives.

All I could do after was smile. As we walked down the tower my sister had a handful of wild flowers picked ready to hand me. Our excitement was enormous as we ran hand in hand down the moutinain side back to earth.. I don’t think anything in my life has been as picture perfect as the moments that followed and the unexplainable excitement and happiness that we felt running down the mountain. It was dreamy… it was a day I will never forget.

Getting into grad school…

Getting into graduate school is probably one of the most difficult and stress invoking things you will do in your whole life. It begins with completing the right courses, getting the right grades and makes those grades that are not so hot As. From there the application process begins. Depending what you are going to for can make this step of the process more simple or more stressful. For many programs it’s an easy step of the application process and is part of your current process but for many healthcare professionals higher education does not work that way. For most healthcare higher degrees it consists of interviews, letters of recommendation, personal statements, volunteering experience, hands on patient care experience and much more.

Most healthcare graduate or doctorate degrees require things such as your GRE or your MCAT. These are standardized tests that basically place you on a scale in comparison with those who also took the test. Basically, this is a means of rating you. These tests are looked at and weighted heavily when it comes to your application. That being said, it is important that you do well THE FIRST TIME on these type of exams to ensure your application is at its very best. In order to ensure I did the very best on my GRE I hired a tutor who tutored me for four months and who received a 100% on his GRE. Therefore, tutors, resources, and some serious study time should be utilized throughout this process.

Once the testing is over and you received the score you hoped letters of recommendation and personal statements are next. Begin these as early as possible and have multiple people read them. Especially when it come to your personal statement. You want someone to get the full picture of you within the word count allotted. I was lucky to have a teacher who worked with me on this who basically specialized in personal statements, reaching out to faculty to help is a great idea when it comes to personal statements.

Once you have gathered all you need you complete the application send it off while your heart is beating 200 times a minute. Be sure to apply to as many schools as you can afford to heighten your chances of approval and to ensure you go to a school you will like. You press the send button and that’s when about a month to three months of anxiety begin. The waiting period is by far the worst part of the whole graduate school application process. The past however many years of your college career swarms your head and you will think of every mistake you made, everything you made right, everything you could have done differently and then it hits you the big phrase we all think: “maybe I’m not good enough”.

Then maybe you get an interview slot. This is key! This means your halfway there and I hate to break it to you but the interview will make you or break you. Be prepared! Practice questions, jot down things about yourself you want to get across. But a suit! Look presentable and be confident but not cocky. Show yourself in your best light and be prepared because these interviews are what will get you where you want to go. Each program uses different methods of interviewing such as group interviews, panel interviews and one on one interviews, feel free to reach out and ask the school what type of interview you should prepare for. They are usually open about these types of things. Do your best! Sometimes you will think you did terrible but actually do wonderful and others you think you did wonderful and actually did badly. It all comes down to the interviewer or interviewers. Just do your best and remember your half way there!

After your interview comes the hardest part, waiting. This process continues for the duration of the application reviewal process. If you feel your loosing your marbles and like an anxiety ball of craziness it’s normal, but some piece of advice I will share. Remind yourself that sometimes there’s a plan for us bigger than what we imagined for yourselves and that if this is meant to be it will. Who’s to say how many times or how long it will take to get what you want or into the program you want if it is meant to be and you don’t give up you will get there. This is the point where you let go of the wheel and have faith that whatever is mean to be will happen. Realize your acceptance is out of your control. When you do this whatever letter comes your way rejection or acceptance you will be in a place to deal with it.

Applying to graduate school is a roller coaster. For some it takes several years, for others it takes one try. For me, I promised myself that whatever was meant for me was going to happen and that the first thing that fell in my lap was right. So I did just that. I got accepted, I cried, I was overjoyed and I took my place where I wanted to be and where I was meant to be. It’s a long rough road but just like me you will get there, and when you do you’ll know this was the path that you not only wanted but that you were meant to follow.

So keep your head up. Keep your grades up. Keep you friends and family close for support. And most importantly never ever give up, because chances are, if you feel in you’re heart you are good enough and meant for a specific career then you are and nothing will stop you. Good luck!

13 reasons why.. an honest review

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13 Reasons Why has blown up the internet, Netflix and bookshelves in the past few weeks. For those of you who have watched it/read it you can probably understand why. The issues this story deals with are ones that all people can relate to. The main issues that it deals with are bullying, suicide, treatment of others, body shaming and an abundance more, in fact the issues and lessons that can be learned from this story are endless. After finishing the story it took me several days to recover from the emotions that it evoked. Most importantly, it took several days to make sense of the thoughts it evoked… but of all the thoughts that it evoked not one had to do with placing the blame only on Hannah…

There was one particular comment made by someone regarding this story that particularly got me considering the fact that people have missed the point. This comment was as follows “choosing to commit suicide is no ones fault but your own”. I agree, that IF we lived in a world where we were alone and unaffected by others then YES, there is no one to blame but one self for committing suicide. However, you must consider the fact that we don’t live in a world by ourselves. We live in a world with a million other people and we interact with at minimum 10 people a day. All people in which impact us in some sort of way, whether it be positive or negative. Irregardless of the impact they have on us, we are nonetheless still impacted. For those of you who try to argue this point I ask you this: if you want to believe you are not impacted by others then how do you feel when your bullied? How do you feel if you are raped? How do you feel if you are beat? Did it impact you? The answer is yes. If it didn’t impact you in some type of way then a bubble is where you might live. In that case, I envy you for never being impacted negatively or positively. In reality, in REAL life, the people around us impact us. Whether we want to admit that or not they do. The point is that we don’t live in a world on our own we live in a world with a million other people and whether we want to admit it or not the people around us impact us.

To make a statement that it’s no one but her own fault for taking her own life, in part is true. She did indeed take her own life (in the story of course) and for that she is to blame, PARTIALLY. However, the whole story in which you read or watched goes beyond this obvious fact. THIS RIGHT HERE is the point that has been missed. The whole point of the story is that everyone contributed to her death and lead her to feel a particular way about life. In life we have minimal control, we cannot control what happens to us and (as much as people want to believe) we cannot control how people make us feel. Feelings are sometimes uncontrollable. If you want to argue this point I will make an example. Try loving someone and being told not to. Try being stabbed and try not hurting. As you can see, we can not turn ourselves off to what we feel. Feelings, whether we like them or not are there and we must deal with them as they come. My point here is that we cannot control how others make us feel nor can we control how we feel at the end of the day… feelings are there.

This all being said, there is a proper way to address the topic of suicide and that is to talk about. Let’s have the conversation! Let’s discuss why this happens, because maybe just maybe understanding it can change something in this world. And this is exactly what this story is trying to get people to do: DISCUSS suicide and take responsibility. Suicide, is not a popular subject, in fact, no one wants to talk about it, but it should be talked about because it’s something people face every day. Here is a quick fact for you, nearly 43,000 Americans alone die from suicide each year. That is in AMERICA only… does that number surprise you? It should, because that’s a LOT of people. This clearly shows that something has gone wrong here. These are people who don’t want to be here anymore, why? You might ask, well… 13 Reason’s Why addresses some of those reasons…. and it starts with US and ends with them.

What this show/book is trying to show is that ALL of us contribute to someone’s decision to commit suicide. Our contributions, small or large, make us in part, responsible for their death. You can easily ride off the blame by saying something like “they had an issue”, “they were messed up in the head”, “they were unhappy”, “it’s their choice and their the only ones to blame”, but the problem with that is you haven’t looked at yourself and how you might be to blame. THIS IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS STORY! This is exactly what happened in the story. The students, her friends, rode off the blame, just as we do when we say something like “there is no one to blame but themselves”. By riding off the blame and responsibility you are doing exactly what the characters in the story initially did and that is not taking responsibility for the impacts you made.

The moral of this story is that we need to re-evaluate ourselves and most importantly re-evaluate the way that we treat people, talk to people and what we do to people because we DO have an impact on other peoples lives. At the end of the day it is our decision whether or not we are going to make that impact a good one or a bad one. These are the things we need to be thinking about while watching the show and reading the book. This story opens the door for discussion to talk about what we can do to make our world a better place or what we can do to give someones life a little more purpose. This story forces us to look at ourselves and some of us just aren’t ready to do that, but if you want to make this world a better place that’s exactly where you have to begin, with yourself. This story opens the door to the fact that we need to come together and make this world a better place to live in so people want to live in it, it all starts with US.

All for the love of that dog…


Meo is going on 6 years old. I first got him when I was 18 years old and finishing high school a year early to get away from the bullies. At the time he was the best thing that ever happened to me. He took my heart and kept it safe. I spent my time caring after him and loving him. In a way, he saved me from my troubling years of high school and my abusive high school relationship.  He was there when I needed him most and I focused all my energy and love into raising him. This little fur ball saved me and in the biggest of ways gave me purpose again.

A year ago (2016) I came home from work to find that he severely broke his leg. My fiancé had to break the news to me which resulted in me staying up all night crying and hugging him. It hurt my heart to see him that way. He’s the closest thing I have to a child and even though they have tendencies to be annoying as all heck sometimes, he’s one of the best things I have. And so began my journey of a month from hell.

Mind you, I was in school, working and leaving that weekend to do PA observations three hours away in a different state. I suddenly found myself depressed, helpless and shocked at the cost of surgery. Every place I went to in Chicago wanted to charge me thousands of dollars. I was only 23, and the only money I had was that saved for our wedding in a few months. I was faced with some crazy options like amputating his leg or putting him down. I sat for 6 hours holding him in my lap at Animal Welfare League to see if they could help me and within 15 minutes they said sorry but it’s too severe to repair here. No one could help. This was truely one of the worst times of my life to feel so helpless in such a difficult situation, but I was willing to do what I had to to get him the surgery within two weeks and get him better again. And so I did. I found a way.

A year later we are running into some problems with his leg again. This time because of the plate. Although, it seems as though the doctors can’t really say for sure. So here goes surgery number two.. but going through this a second time I know I won’t stop at anything until he’s well again. It’s crazy though to think of what you would do for another living thing. What you would pay or go through to ensure they are alright.

It’s crazy how something so small can mean so much. I never thought that I would go to the lengths I did to fix him to make him better. I realized how crazy love truely is.. just looking at it from the perspective of ones love for their dog. Out of one of the craziest, most terrible and stressful situations I came out with a lesson… that we will do anything for what we love. Money, time, stress… it’s nothing when it comes to what we love. This goes to show that for every one of us in this world there is something, someone out there that we would do anything for.. and maybe just maybe the world would be a better place if we acted towards one another like I do for my dog…

Abs-olutely!

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Seems like now more than ever the world is obsessed with body image and the way that we look. The goal is to make the pendulum swing where people become obsessed with being healthy as opposed to body image. Just because you look good does not necessarily mean you are a healthy individual. Healthy does NOT mean skinny or having abs, mind you. What I mean by healthy is living a healthy life-style. Some exercise,  healthy food, and minimal harmful substances to the body. To eliminate harmful substances (ex. alcohol or deep dish pizza) however, is easier said than done. To be completely honest, I say it’s impossible and some what unnecessary. There is no reason to take health diets and workout sessions to extensive lengths. To achieve a happy medium is what your body is looking to do. To cut out a night drinking your favorite wine or a deep dish pizza meal would make life miserable and to be honest will make your goal of leading a healthy life-style miserable. It is proven that if you feel your punishing yourself from eating or doing things you like then the diet and health plan will fail. The key is to find a happy medium and that’s what my diet plan has done for me and with some tweaks can be achieved by someone else to achieve a happy and healthy state where your confident with your body and plan of maintaining optimal health.

In preparation for my wedding I attempted a few diets and tried to work out as much as I could while also eliminating all “bad things” (alcohol etc) from my routine. However, it always failed. I was determined to find something that would fit me, my busy life-style and that would not fail after two weeks. I was looking for a diet that wouldn’t leave me hungry or angry (that I couldn’t consume some pizza), I was looking for a workout that was quick and to the point that didn’t require me to go to a gym and I was looking for ways to optimize my energy and cleanse my body. Lastly and most importantly, I was looking for something that would allow that cheat meal or that cheat drink and let me be rebellious at least once a week and cheat on my health plan without feeling totally guilty and horrible about myself. I did my research and realized what I was looking for didn’t exist. So my next step was to develop my own type of health plan. I took elements that worked for me and proved to improve weight loss and a healthy life-style and I combined everything into one. I stayed on my health plan for about 6 months and lost a total of 16 pounds and found that I indeed was burning fat, loosing weight, increasing my energy and feeling a while lot better as a whole. I began to post my progress and I got bombarded with questions about what I did to achieve what I did. Because I got such a huge response to my results I decided that I should publish my health plan and what I did so that others can tweak it (according to their own lives and wants and needs) and accomplish what I did while making it a routine to maintain a healthy life-style. Can you accomplish this?

Abs-olutely!

 

Elisa’s Health Plan (2016)

Morning:

-Right when you wake up take a shot of apple cider vinegar diluted with lemon juice with a glass of water (this helps to kick start your metabolism and to cleanse your body, apple cider vinegar has a variety of health benefits. Be sure to dilute it and only take it in the morning; excessive swallowing of acid can wear away at your esophagus and you don’t want to cause any hard to your throat.)

-Take supplement (this is a weight loss pill which also helps to maximize energy and curve craving — there are a variety of supplements out there, I did heavy research before I settled on one and the one I settled on was as natural as it gets. It’s important these supplements are used as directed and that you do your research! Ps. Make sure you also are aware that these are only to be used temporarily and eventually you will lean off them. Supplement pills are also not magic so alone do not expect them to really do much, it is a combined effort)

-Drink protein (lean) shake with fruit as a meal replacement for the morning.

-If possible do a workout focusing solely on the area of interest. For example, I was primarily focused on my abs; therefore, I did about an hour of ab work outs created by myself. If an AM work out is not possible then plan to do one sometime throughout the day or split up the workout 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the evening. (PS YOGA COUNTS– you’d be surprised how much yoga works your core)

Lunch:

-Half hour before lunch take a supplement. Be sure to drink water and stay hydrated throughout the day.

-Lunch should be consumed before 12:30 PM (if you eat carbs this is your only meal of the day that you can have them– if not then reserve your carb intake for a cheat meal. I downloaded my fitness app to ensure that whatever I was eating for lunch was appropriate in calories, fat and nutrients, it is a good app to check what is in what you are eating and can help you keep track of what you eat throughout the day)

Dinner:

-Dinner consists of a protein and veggies (no carbs). I always cooked a steak or chicken and a healthy side.

-If you have a sweet tooth and are craving a sweet dessert there are some protein desserts you can make that are high i protein and taste good, one of them is a mug cake and all you need is chocolate lean protein powder and 1 egg white.

-All food must be consumed before 7:30 PM.

*Allow one cheat meal a week and if you like your wine you’re allowed one night of wine drinking.

*NOTE- I consume very little sugar if any at all throughout the day. The goal is to eliminate sugar and most carbs from your diet. I gave a general outline of my plan so that you have the liberty to take your health into your own hands and find meals, work outs and supplements/protein powders that suit you. Once you get into a routine you should shed weight and feel much better (as far as energy levels, concentration and mood). I cannot explain how much better I felt when I was on this diet, I hope the same is for anyone who tries it. Also, after about three months all supplements should be leaned off of and discontinued. The routine should become a life-style and not taken to extremes. They say it takes about 3 months to break a habit or become addicted so lets become addicted to a life-style change! Good luck & if you have any questions feel free to ask.

xox,

Elisa Electra

 

 

A little about me…

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Elisa Antonietta Electra De Feo-Romanucci is my name, complex but it suits me. I just added the last name Kelly into the mix in January, so to avoid too much confusion, I go by Elisa Electra. It’s a good pen name  and it just seemed to stick. Simple, sweet and kinda out there; so the shoe fits. Just like my name, my life and story are just as complex. I was born in a small town in Italy and moved to America with my mother a few years later. My life consisted of taking yearly trips to Italy to see my dad and my Italian side of the family. In a strange way, I lead a split life. I lead half a life in Italy and half a life in America. Although both amazing in their own ways, this “split life” was nonetheless challenging. Having to come to a new country, learn a new language and somehow make sense of my life was harder than one can imagine. However, I managed and successfully was able to lead a split life and with that I learned to value time. I learned to value the time I spent with my mom because come summer I would be in Italy for three months without her. I learned to value time with my dad because come September my sister and I were back in Chicago with our mother and beginning a new school year.

Time was of value. I always felt like there was so little time, even as a child, there was just never enough. At seven years old, my dad died suddenly. The thing that hurt the most was that I never felt I spent enough time with him, and I was right, I didn’t. He was 33 years old when he died and I was 7, that’s only but a small piece of my life that I got to know or spend time with my dad. Now, at 24, that’s the thing that hurts the most. The lost time we could have had together. I decided then that time was of the essence and that I was going to make the most of every minute I had. Some people say this figuratively without true action or meaning behind it, but when I said it I meant it. People who know me know that I am a FREAK about time. I am always on time, I make sure all that I do is worth the time and effort it takes, and I know my time (like everyone else’s) is limited on this earth so it’s now or never.

Years pass too fast and so many things happen within that time I wanted to somehow find a way to salvage it. Although I have a nack for writing I didn’t feel writing a book would be appropriate. I felt a blog would be the best way to document my time, my journey, my accomplishments, my failures, my mistakes, my goals and my life. I felt a blog was the best way for me to get my story, thoughts and experiences out there to document them for myself, for my kids (someday in the far future) , for my sisters and family, or for someone out in the world. If just one person in the world were to read even just 1 blog post and it change something in them and motivate or help them, then this blog has accomplished it’s goal. All in all, I feel my blog has a variety of purposes, but most of all it is a window into my life to somehow help others with theirs.

So a little about who I am what I like and where I am going. I am 24 years old, I am a dedicated/hard-working student and proud nerd currently in the process of receiving my second bachelors degree and in the process of applying for graduate school. My education goal is to receive my doctorate degree and practice medicine. I currently work at a children’s hospital in Chicago and am heavily involved in volunteering. I truly believe in giving back to others even if it’s as simple as donating your hair to cancer, small things count! Besides this boring stuff, I am the second of 5 girls and the daughter of my amazing hard working mother and dedicated and strict step-dad (how he has put up with all 5 of us I have no clue).  I am the wife of a strong, motivating and amazing man that I first laid eyes on 11 years ago. I am  also a friend of some amazing women and men that make this world a little better by just being in it. I am an unique person and I promise you will only meet someone like me once in your lifetime. My interests are many. I enjoy sports (ice skating is my favorite), reading, writing, fitness, education/learning, teaching, fashion, traveling, food, beautiful places, dogs, motorcycles, art, spending time with family and friends, advocating for those who don’t have a voice and breaking barriers. You will get a little bit of everything because that’s just how I am.

What is your blog going to be about you ask? Well, everything. There is not just ONE thing that sums up my life. My life is made up of a variety of experiences, trials and errors, ideas, thoughts and experiments and it will all be documented here. Everyone’s life is unique and different from the next person’s and that’s what makes mine unique from the rest. So sit back relax and grab some popcorn because if your following you’re in for a bumpy, upside down, once in a lifetime type-a-ride.

xox,

Elisa Electra