Decade in Review 2009-2019: Being Gabriela

By: Gabriela Yareliz

I thought it would be fun to briefly take a short walk through this past decade to highlight some memories that helped make me, me.

I started this blog at the Marston Science Library at the University of Florida. I was probably wearing corduroy pants and a shirt someone passed down to me. I graduated high school in 2009, at the top of my class. It was an incredible decade, filled with so much. I found my love, tried learning three more languages, obtained two degrees and a diploma, lived as an independent woman for 4/5 of the decade, and learned so much about myself and life along the way.

Below are some memories and also things you may have heard about here, years ago, depending on how long you have been following along. In this past decade, this blog has been read by more than 120,000 readers from around the world. I am so grateful for your trust, your time and your support. Thank you for letting me be a part of your decade. 

Before we get to the memories, I figured we would do a review of each year’s top post(s), and following that, there are some little photos, and then my songs of the decade that bring all the feels.

Let’s do this! 


I started this blog at the end of the year, so my top post was The Things that Don’t Change at Christmas Time, a gem detailing regifting the Origin of Species copy we got for free on campus and Puerto Rican traditions.


Jeux d’enfants was my top post. That movie is one that really f’s with your head. Leave it to my favorite people, the French. “Cap ou pas cap?” Oh my gosh. I haven’t thought of this in YEARS. This was back in the days when love, in my head, was still very much a game we had to win against fate.


This also began my Marion Cotillard hair phase. In 2010, people were also very into the “About Me” section, which I take as a compliment.


Continuing on the theme of love, my top post for 2011 was Valentine’s Day. It’s a blast from the past account of what Valentine’s Day was like growing up in suburb Midwest America. Sweet as chocolates.


My now private Chronicles of a Law Student got more than 300 views, and then there was the post on Providence. My love for A.R. Rahman shines through in this one.


The song of the year:

My exploring NYC posts also got some love (Queens and Jackson Heights and Little Italy’s San Gennaro). I also couldn’t help posting poetry by Javed Akhtar.


My post on Love Without Limits and Nick Vujicic scored the most attention.


My thoughts on Ravi Zacharias’ Cultural Relativism and the Emasculation of Truth garnered the most attention, that year. I was thinking deep, and so many of those thoughts are still relevant today.


So many people found my Letter for a Confused, Frustrated, Sad Soul. This post has brought the most people to my page. Thank you Google and SEO. 

I also wrote this character analysis on the protagonist of Yash Chopra’s last film.


My repost of T.B. Laberge and this Autumn Thoughts (a set of quotes) were the most popular of the year. I was very into quotes.


Short thoughts on Schopenhauer made people smile. I was also holding onto Tony Evans’ Faith in a Dead Situation message.


Quotes from my namesake Gabriela Mistral were the most popular.


A post I wrote on A Walk to Remember in 2015 was the most popular this year. Looks like we were all looking for a sign pointing toward our miracle.

Here are some of the things I did this decade, in no particular order (captions have the details):

These are the cheesy photos they make you take before your senior year of high school. Long hair, flare jeans– do I look Floridian enough?
Science lab; probably about to get yelled at. This is my nerdy joy. Look at that smile. It’s called the joy of learning, guys.
Photos before graduation, 2009. On the high school campus with my friends Akash and Jack.
Felicia and me with our cords, looking so cute and graduated.
Meet Bunny.
I won a stage in France at the French competitions. My cousin Pipo made me this dress, therefore, you will see it again.
I was a camp counselor summer of 2009.
2009 when we found out we were going to be Gators.
A cinimini high school moment. I am holding Felicia’s drink.
Liz came to visit.
In France, being hosted by the city hall.
Enjoying France with some amazing friends.
On one of the Gainesville buses on campus. We in college now. (ft. Felicia and her bangs).
More nerdy moments. Magazine launch party. I was a French and Spanish staff writer for The Anole, a multi-lingual publication on campus.
Design class homework. Guys, our cameras at the beginning of the decade were not what we have now. I repeat.
I am not totally convinced by our cover-up job.
Who didn’t take group photos on the laptop instead of studying? High school reunion at the college campus.
When the cramps hit hard. Fall of 2009. Me trying to be an influencer for Advil, before it was a thing. Advil, I am still available. My liver hasn’t failed me, yet.
And this is why we should have been kicked out of the science library…. This is the place where I started this blog. And it was always at that one computer. I should buy it a plaque and a corduroy seat cover for the chair.
Grey’s was on somewhere in the background, I guarantee.
I became a cricket reporter, where I met some amazing brothers.
This was pretty much always me with them. They were so funny and awesome.
Here we are taking a break from cricket and doing bowling at the campus lanes. I AM STILL UPSET TACO BELL IS GONE.
Always a child at heart. Not sure what is going on with the metal chairs….
Felicia capturing my fashionista moments.
My dear Meriem.
This is my friend who was fighting cancer, and I would take her around Gainesville. Here we are with her sister at the Museum of Art.
My friend Ali. I was looking for gators swimming in Lake Alice.
4th of July at St. Augustine with the grad students from the engineering dept.
Protesting in Flagler college. Kidding. It was hot and the cool tile felt very nice.
I am graduating, momma! I am a journalist!
Graduation with Dilip and Prateek.
Saw Harshul in DC when I was interning.
Interning in DC.
Proof I attended class in law school. That is my head with the headband, and that is our professor trying to figure out how smart we were.
Lizzie visited me in Gainesville.
Celebrated Holi in NYC.
Puerto Rican Bar Association Gala with my friend Luz.
Law school BFF, Ren. Celebrating Chinese New Year.
One of our many adventures. Went with Ren to see the adjustments on his tailored custom suit.
Met Sarko. (President Nicolas Sarkozy)
My 21st birthday on the wall– a surprise from my family.
Lizzie came to celebrate with me (birthday and graduation)
Cricket friends in NYC.
Visited PR.
Law school graduation. It was also the day of my first taxi ride, and I almost had a panic attack bc the taxi driver was determined to kill us.
A doctor mood.
Brothers graduated from high school.

And here we are. There are too many adventures and things to post. I focused mostly on older stuff and people– you know, a blast from the past.

It was an era of all of us being convinced we were gonna be together forever with all the wrong people (we thought they were right, but boy were they wrong….), stupid crushes, hard work, books, cricket fields, Florida star-lit nights, boba tea, NYC walks, true love, laughter and so much hope.

Not featured, but so important is the fact that I met my love in the latter third of this decade. (Not posting photos to protect that privacy). These years were filled with a lot of laughs, magic, love and incredible friendships. God has certainly blessed.

Seeing all of this reminded me of how much magic was there, even in the most mundane moments, and how much can come to us when we live life with an open heart that is ready to receive joy.

Despite hardships and pain that are not featured in this photo scroll session (wouldn’t that be a fun album), there was still so much goodness. I smile at the fact that I lived every year of this decade with incredible resilience, discipline and joy in the simple. No matter what happened, I found joy in that moment. I used to wonder how I could live out that verse that says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” I realized that I know what that means because it is the only thing that has carried me through.

I am praying I can continue cultivating the joy I have experienced. These past few years (not exactly featured here) have held so many changes but also so many triumphs and profound, life-changing joys. Also, so many new friends. I am fully convinced that the best is yet to come. I can’t wait to continue walking it together.

Lastly, music is something that can take us back. The best music that does this is the music that took us forward, in the moment we found it. Here are the songs that make my heart flutter.


Dear past decade,

In you, I was a latina high school graduate. I was a cricket reporter. I watched so many Bollywood movies I could understand them without subtitles. I followed every Cannes Film Festival. I graduated with a degree in journalism. I went to La Rochelle, France. Got over a man I thought I was going to marry. Stayed focused. Had my first kiss. Moved to NYC. Went to law school. Learned to love Manhattan (and walked all of it). Interned. Got a JD. Got a job. Rejected some pretty awful love prospects. Fell in love. Wrote two book manuscripts. Started saving money. Started investing money. Learned so much about my body and became my own endocrinologist. Started Modern Witnesses (my own version of apologetics). Went on so many adventures. Went apple picking several times. Saw two childhood friends get married. Saw my mom get remarried. Learned to stand up for myself. Spent time with a young girl whose life I really want to influence for good. Decided I can do anything.

Thank you for everything and everyone you brought my way.

Despite all of these changes– that girl is still me.

France 2009. C’est moi.

Bring it 2020– and everything beyond.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

2 thoughts on “Decade in Review 2009-2019: Being Gabriela

  1. That’s a wonderful overview and you are such an amazing and brilliant person I am proud to have you as a friend and I’m sure the next decade will be a success… most important Keep up the big smile


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