About Me.

My favorite color is green– lime, light, grass, sea foam… I love them all, but olive is the best kind. My favorite number is 5 and letter is R, don’t ask why because you’re not going to understand (hint: kindergarten coloring books). I have only had one pet and his name was Oscar the oscar fish. I loved him with all of my heart and I still do. We buried him in the dirt parking lot of our apartment complex in the Philippines. Books were my first love. I don’t remember a time when I couldn’t read. My favorite books are The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Great Gatsby, Eat, Pray, Love, Angels & Demons, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, all of the works of Agatha Christie, John Green, and (shamelessly) Nicholas Sparks. My first dream job was a scientist. And then an astronaut. Then surgeon. Then nurse for third-world countries. Nurse for children with disabilities. Doctor. Pathologist. After a whole lot of soul-searching, I’ve finally settled on becoming a teacher and a part-time poet. The greatest decision that I’ve probably made was switching to an English major. I’ve never been happier. I hope to publish a book of poems one day. I mainly write about love: broken, angry hearts from unrequited love and unconditional, heart-plunging passion/appreciation. I am blessed with a creative mind. Call me crazy but I love going to church. I consider myself a pretty religious person who struggles with earthly desires of the flesh. But I’m not too hard on myself because I am human, after all. I don’t watch a lot of movies because I’m a chronic movie-sleeper (never take me to the theaters), but my all-time favorite flicks are Sleepless in Seattle, Nacho Libre, Parent Trap, Like Crazy, Silver Linings Playbook, and Princess Diaries. I’ve re-read the Harry Potter series at least five times and I really don’t think anybody loves them more than I do. Learning to play the ukulele has got to be one of my top five biggest accomplishments in life. That’s an exaggeration– maybe top ten; but I’m still amazed because I believe myself to be musically-challenged. I want to live in a world where we don’t need cell phones. I have been vegetarian since February 22nd and I plan to be for the rest of my life. I’m going on my fourth year of working in the pizza business and it’s a total love-hate relationship: I hate how much I love pizza. Yes, I struggle with body image. A lot. But I’m getting better, I really am. Constantly learning to love myself more and more each day. Sunflowers are my favorite. If I could choose one food to eat for the rest of my life, it would be dark chocolate. I have been playing tennis for a long time now, and this is my last few weeks of playing competitive collegiate tennis… and I don’t know how to feel about it because it has all been an emotional roller coaster. My favorite music is indie folk rock, which is a nonexistent genre because I actually like folk rock and indie rock respectively although they honestly sound very similar to my ears (labels are dumb). The Lumineers are the greatest thing that has happened for my ears. I am a major heart-on-my-sleeve type of gal and that is probably my biggest flaw. Or maybe it’s my sensitivity. Nonetheless, what I’m trying to say is that I’m just a big ol’ softie. But not really big because I am exactly five feet tall. I love San Francisco with my entire soul and that is where I am most happy. My favorite scents are play-doh, fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, and whatever smell comes out of the air conditioning when it is first turned on. I’m the biggest dreamer you’ll ever meet but I try not to show too many people my mushy-gushy, hopeless-romantic side because it’s way too much cheese, even for myself. My mother passed her OCD onto me. I can’t share a lot of things but I’ve gotten better (I can share straws now… with certain individuals). My biggest fear is earthworms. I cringe even just typing that. It’s ironic because my favorite weather is rain– as much as I love to be outside when it’s pouring hard, I can’t because I’m scared I’ll step on one. My insomnia is really, really bad. My humble roots propel me to be the strong, independent human being that I am now. I hate money and what it does to people and what it’s done to our society. I live to travel, inspire, love, write, and eat. I worry more than I should and care too, too much about how everybody feels. I have the deepest conscience ever but that’s probably a good thing. I’d hike everyday if I could. Italy is my dream country (gelato is the reason why I could never become vegan). I am a math tutor and I love it. I am the clear-cut, dictionary-definition of a Pisces. Maybe I’m biased, but I think Asian food is the best kind of food. I’m trilingual. I appreciate every little thing. Keen observer. Minimal complainer. Lover of life, lover of love, lover of God. Friendship is a complex subject for me and relationships are a foreign language all on its own. I never want anybody to feel afraid to approach me because I like to think that I’m probably the most welcoming, least-judgmental person that I know. I view beauty from the inside in others. I collect Archie comics. I can write backwards and twist my right arm all the way around. I don’t like to sit in restaurant booths and I pay close attention whether people wash their hands or not (and call people out on it… I’m sorry!). Laughter is my medicine and my sanity. I find people fascinating and life beautiful.

I have a lot of issues but so does everyone else. Every single person has their own story, missing pieces, a misshapen heart. What I’ve done is given the blogosphere a little glimpse of me, Viña Mariel Banzuela Bautista. The epithelial tissue, and a little subcutaneous. What the naked eye can see, and a little bit more. Bits and pieces of what people already know about me, peppered with a few deep facts… but that’s all that my heart is willing to reveal, because I am so scared. I am scared of not being loved for the person that I am beneath all of my likes and dislikes. The truth is, I am very scarred from a painful past of broken friendships, unreciprocated love, being taken for granted, and being misunderstood. And I cannot open up, or at least, find it extremely hard to. Sometimes I don’t speak about myself for so long that I forget who I am.

Which is why I did this. I want to remind myself of the being that I am. I have an identity– a very special, unique one, but one that deserves recognition. I think it’s important for all of us to understand that our worth is not dependent upon anybody else’s criteria or standard. We are in complete control of how we value ourselves, and it would be absolutely unfair if we don’t give ourselves the opportunity to feel good. We were all made with conviction by His perfect hands.

“I know the Artist…”



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