What Does T-R-A-V-E-L Stand For?

Give me a T! Travel.. defined. I split down the letters of this magnificent word to give you a deeper reasoning to what this word could mean to you.

T: ime! This is huge. We have earned the time off to treat ourselves. We WANTED this time to either get away or explore. Maybe we wanted the time to just breathe and stop our fast paced lives. Travel is time that you have to truly do what makes you happy and reset.

R: elaxation! It makes sense doesn’t it? We leave our homes in hopes of coming back refreshed and ready to conquer our days with a little more OOMPH before we left. The goal is to feel like you don’t have to worry as much because you can handle any daunting tasks when you return. This is the time to just breathe and be for the time being, stress is not invited.

A: dventure! When traveling, you’re usually in the mood to see new places you haven’t ever been to or at least come back to a place that you haven’t been to in a while. It’s common to try new things and explore the nooks and crannies of a new area. Get out on a new path and please those eyeballs with new sights.

V: alidation! Taking a trip is one of those times where you are free to think about whatever it is that is happening in your life. Therefore, it’s the perfect time to figure out what you want and to validate where you are headed in your life. Maybe you’re just validating why you needed this trip and resetting yourself. Either way, validating why you’re traveling, what you’re feeling or where you are can really become an important discovery on a trip.

E: xperience! Travel for the memories of course. You want to be able to say you went to Columbia for a few weeks and share all of the experiences you enjoyed. You want to make sure you lived as fully as that time offered you because you’re making memories that will be stories one day. Experience the world around you.

L: earn! It is my philosophy to always learn something new when I travel. Whether that be about the place you are visiting or something about yourself, take the time to learn. What’s the history behind your vacation spot? Get to know yourself again. What is important to you and your journey? Find out something new that you love. Just learn.

So get out there and T-R-A-V-E-L! The benefits are never ending and the memories last a life time.

Until Tomorrow,

Anna Marie

I’m a Damn Butterfly 

When ranting to my best friend about life’s challenges and uproars, we usually start throwing out insane expressions to make us laugh off our frustrations. Lately, we both have had a lot of changes get thrown into our laps and had a long conversation about how we were just trying to make it through the next day without crumbling into glitter dust. We felt like cringing at whatever life’s next blow might be even though we both knew we deserved something good to happen.

We’ve been in a super fragile and sensitive place. To emphasize, we cleverly announced how fed up we felt. “I feel like slamming my head against a tree”  in which she responded “Me too and then please let it fall on me. Lift if off when life is normal again”.  We laughed over our creative words and talked about how we would propel each other through these times.

As the conversation progressed, I said “I’m a damn butterfly.” I was referring to how fragile and overlooked the little winged creature is.

I said this and then I realized that it was the most accurate description possible.

I am a damn butterfly for a few reasons.

1. Change: I’m going through a lot of change in my life. I’m going through my own kind of metamorphisis that is making me into a new person. A stronger, more capable woman. Someone who can trust herself to get through the most screwed up situations.

2. Fragile: I cry in comedies now. I tear up when someone says something really kind. I’m so emotionally exhausted that I am super sensitive to everything happening around me. I wouldn’t choose this but when you’re feeling raw and scathed… You’re left feeling a tad vulnerable.

3. Beautiful: that’s right. I am beautiful. I laugh and I share love. I have really great days and I know what I want and what I have to offer the world. I am confident in who I am becoming and I don’t want to change that. 

4. Flying: I wish I could really fly but metaphorically speaking, I am just learning to navigate a new sky with wings that are a little bit weaker. But the more I practice, the stronger they will become and the more familiar the sky will be. There will be storms and winds but they always pass.

5. Grace: I will handle my situations with grace and kindness. I will be gentle and never let the way others treat me affect how I treat someone else.

Sometimes, really crappy things happen to the least deserving of people. I am positive that everyone reading this can relate to the effects that can have on you.

It makes you a damn butterfly. A fragile, beautiful creature getting used to new wings and learning to fly.

Until tomorrow, let’s raise those pretty little wings to the winds.

Anna Marie

New Song: Bonfire Heart

It’s a lyrical Thursday. So, I will introduce you to this song and leave the lyrics here for you. At first, I thought it was catchy and now I have it on repeat constantly. I love it. I love the chorus.

Bonfire Heart – James Blunt (you know… the guy who wrote “You’re Beautiful” and then kind of disappeared)

Watch Music Video Here!

The video is alright. The song itself is best.

LYRICS!

“Bonfire Heart”

Your mouth is a revolver
Firing bullets in the sky
Your love is like a soldier,
Loyal ’til you die
And I’ve been looking at the stars
For a long, long time
I’ve been putting out fires
All my life

Everybody wants a flame,
They don’t want to get burnt
And today is our turn

Days like these lead to…
Nights like this lead to
Love like ours.
You light the spark in my bonfire heart.
People like us—we don’t
Need that much, just some-
One that starts,
Starts the spark in our bonfire hearts

This world is getting colder.
Strangers passing by
No one offers you a shoulder.
No one looks you in the eye.
But I’ve been looking at you
For a long, long time
Just trying to break through,
Trying to make you mine

Everybody wants a flame,
They don’t want to get burnt
Well, today is our turn

Days like these lead to…
Nights like this lead to
Love like ours.
You light the spark in my bonfire heart.
People like us—we don’t
Need that much, just some-
One that starts,
Starts the spark in our bonfire hearts

Our bonfire hearts
Our bonfire hearts
Our bonfire hearts
You light the spark

People like us—we don’t
Need that much, just some-
One that starts,
Starts the spark in our bonfire hearts

Days like these lead to…
Nights like this lead to
Love like ours.
You light the spark in my bonfire heart.
People like us—we don’t
Need that much, just some-
One that starts,
Starts the spark in our bonfire hearts

(Our bonfire hearts)

(Days like these lead to…
Nights like this lead to
Love like ours.
You light the spark in my bonfire heart.*)
People like us—we don’t
Need that much, just some-
One that starts,
Starts the spark in our bonfire hearts

[* – not sung in the official video]

THANKS AZLYRICS!
Enjoy this new song I stumbled upon. 🙂
Anna Marie

If It’s Good, If It’s Right… Choose Love

I read this absolutely beautiful post called “Marriage Isn’t For You” by Seth Adam Smith yesterday and his words sent my mind into a thinking attack.

He talked about how you don’t love someone for yourself and you don’t marry someone for you, you do it for the one you love. You marry someone for them not for you. You do it because you choose to make them laugh each and every day and choose to work through challenges thrown in your direction. You want to give that person happiness and so you’ll fight through.

It was truly beautiful. 

So I thought to myself, when I loved, was it for me? Did I choose love?

I know that you can’t help but feel sparks with certain people out there and you may not help yourself from being attracted to that person.

A few months down the road, maybe you start dating and you dive into the honeymoon phase where bliss is never ending and he or she feels like the most perfect person you could have imagined coming into your life.

They’re not perfect. You’ll figure that out. Once that honeymoon period fades… and it will, you will feel as confused as a llama standing in Times Square. You feel different, you’re not sure if this person is right for you, you question every part of your relationship, you wonder if this person could be the one you’re sitting with on a porch swing 65 years down the road.

It’s hard to know if what you’re feeling is normal or not.

This is when you can make the choice to love. That initial attraction and insane whirl wind romance has faded and what is left? For some people, it’s not enough. Or it doesn’t feel normal. Or maybe it’s just really scary and overwhelming when the fireworks show has ended. Are you going to leave alone or with someone?

It’s not easy. 

But I’ve been in this position. I went through every single emotion and question in my mind and searched the corners of the universe to figure out if this was normal thinking and I figured it out. I chose love. I look at the words Seth Adam Smith typed and I think “yes, I loved for him, not for myself.” I didn’t know it at the time but I loved to make him happy and I poured my love into what we had.

That is a choice that I will never regret.

Was he perfect for me? No, of course not. No one is. But we had something my 21 years of living could not describe and I knew that I would not give up on what I knew the future could be. Every single couple goes through this transition and it’s a choice if you want to love anymore.

The scariest part about choosing love, is if it’s not chosen by the one you love.

Sometimes, people aren’t strong enough to make it through that decision and they can’t think about it anymore so they choose themselves. That’s okay. Maybe it was the right decision and you’re setting up both sides of the relationship for an even better love down the road. Or maybe you just lost the love of your life (Devil’s Advocate).

But let me tell this to the people of the universe, if you EVER feel like you may have screwed up with love, don’t you ever be afraid to fix it. You won’t be able to tell until enough time has passed but make sure you feel confident in your decision.

To the other people of the universe, if someone HAS NOT chosen to love you, don’t you dare wait around for them. You need to choose someone to love that is going to choose you back. We all deserve that much.

Because we all deserve to choose our love. 

From the hopeless romantic to her readers, choose love. If it’s right, if it’s good, if that person is your best friend, please just choose love and don’t you dare let that person go.

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

Patrick’s Point, California

My vacation to California has been an incredible journey mentally, physically and emotionally.

I have spent my days in Northern California exploring multiple beaches, forests, state parks, small towns, etc. and just yesterday my cousin who I am staying with asked me what my favorite part has been so far. I just sighed because this indecisive demon in my brain could not possibly choose between all of the adventures I’ve been on.

Until I went to Patrick’s Point.

There are things that I loved about every place I wandered here in California but I have never been so continuously awed by the views and feelings I had when I set foot on the paths surrounding Patrick’s Point.

It is this beautiful hiking course with paths along the Pacific Ocean that over look the ocean and the rough, rocky shore. I’ll let you look for yourself.

Naturally, this place is stunning. If you think it is gorgeous in pictures, we all know it’s ten times better in person. The waves crashing over the rocks just sent your mind reeling over the power the ocean had.

I witnessed a whale peeking out of the ocean as well as sea lions playing with each other and slapping water into the air. It was just beautiful to see the world move around you. The sun glittered on the horizon and the fresh air was so crisp. You could feel the warmth of rays kissing your skin and the wind kept you cool.

These views were taken from one of the view points called Wedding Rock (probably named because you fall in love and want to marry a State Park or whoever you’re with you just want to give a romantic hug to). Below is little ole me standing on Wedding Rock (picture taken from the Patrick’s Point look out).

… and another of the rock itself.

Wedding Rock was absolutely stunning and an easy climb for the peace you had when you get up there.

Next we went to the Rock Lookout area and it was just as stunning. It was a place kind of on the outskirts of the main looking area and so nobody was there in the time I sat down and thought about life. It was beautiful. I sat and watched the waves crash onto the rocks as my thoughts just became fluid. It was the perfect place to think.

This leads me to why Patrick’s Point became my favorite place in California.

When I was sitting here, staring over the water, my thoughts seemed healthy. I felt calm and peaceful. It was as if the waves would heal my mind with every splash that landed on the coast. I felt alive and happy. I felt an overwhelming amount of gratitude for the opportunities I have had and the memories I have shared with others.

I have been going through a lot of really random events happening in my life lately and this place brought all of the loud thoughts in my head from a 10 to a 2. I could just breathe for a second before going back to deciphering my life again at a lower volume.

The natural beauty of Patrick’s Point was inspiring to me. It gently helped cleanse some wounds and wash away some of the negativity I’ve had thrust upon me. I felt more aligned with the path I wanted to take and more sure of my decisions and actions lately. It is the ultimate thinking spot.

I fell in love with Northern California. This was the place that had absolutely everything for someone going through a bit of a tough time who was standing back up again. It will give you serenity and love. Nature’s hug is always the warmest.

Please find a place as magical as this or visit here if you can. Your happiness will sky rocket. 🙂

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie ❤

Words

Words give meaning to feelings and emotions. The importance of what you say can mean the biggest difference in getting angry or understanding. Use them to your advantage.

Example:

Someone who is angry might shout “I hate you” when what they really mean is “I’m angry and betrayed by you”. Very different words that can cause very different reactions.

I compiled a few pictures off of the Facebook Page “Word Porn” to give you a taste of what words can convey.

I love the quotes they offer me. Word Porn at it’s finest. Check it out!

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

YOU are awesome! 100!

I just reached a huge goal on Inspired She Lives!

100 FOLLOWERS! 

100followers

I want to thank you all so much for taking the time to read any post I have written. Whether it was one or twenty, I feel so honored to gain the respect and interest of readers everywhere. I didn’t start this journey with the intention of getting so many kind words from you all and to have your support as I trek this crazy life means more than any typed words.

This blog was started in order to force myself into a mindset that I knew I could achieve and I can’t even begin to measure the amount of progress I have made. I am so much more optimistic and inspired than when I wrote that first post. I have laid out personal stories and put my soul into paragraphs and am so proud to have this journey push me forward. Writing for myself has turned into writing for others as well and for that- I am truly blessed.

Please have the best of weekends and stay inspired. 🙂

Anna Marie ❤

Sorry, You’re Never Going to “Find Yourself”

Do you find yourself often thinking or saying to others I just need to find myself or I finally feel like I’m starting to find myself? 

I was having a conversation with one of my biggest inspirations last night and in the midst of talking about life I told her that I feel like this year I finally felt like I was starting to find myself.

She stopped me right there and taught me a very important lesson.

She told me that I am never going to find myself. Here’s why. 

How can you find yourself when every day you change a little more and every year you feel different from the person you were before? You can’t.

By the time you find who you were a year ago, you’re already going to have to look for the person you are today. It’s a never ending chase that you just can’t win.

Let me repeat, you are NEVER going to find yourself. Do you know what you can do though?

You can learn about yourself continuously. You may figure out certain things you need right now and what you want for yourself at this time but honey, that’s going to change as the days go by. You aren’t always going to want the same thing and you aren’t always going to want it as bad as something else.

You’re going to get confused as hell and question everything you have ever done. You’re going to change your mind about the future and wonder what the hell you’re doing. Sometimes everything will fall into place and make a world of sense to you and sometimes nothing will make any sense anymore.

In effort to search so viciously for ourselves, we can actually destroy ourselves. We question the people around us and cut some of them off or push them away. We get so frustrated that we don’t know who we are so we start to think we’re the only ones who don’t have a grip on our life. The consequences? Fear and the gut wrenching feeling of being alone.

It’s not just you, it’s 90% of the population.

So what can you do?

Stop panicking. Just breathe my friend. What are you really stressing out about? Are you scared for the future? Did something happen to make you question yourself? You’re a smart person who may not ever figure it out and that’s okay.

You need to know that you cannot control everything that comes your way. You can’t help a lot of feelings that happen or a lot of incidents that occur in your days. Let go of that aspect of control. Know that if you are constantly trying to control everything around you, you’re going to be way more stressed out than you need to be. Embrace that you can’t know everything and the unknown is going to happen.

Live right now instead of constantly thinking of the future. If you enjoy someone’s presence, hang out with them more. If you know that going on a walk will make you happy today, go for it. Start doing what makes you happy today and make that happiness go towards your future. It all starts with keeping what makes you happy close to your heart.

Learn about yourself daily. Know that you can never fully find yourself when you are constantly going through changes. Instead, learn something about yourself through circumstance, tragedy and happiness. Learn through it all and slowly find out what you want right now so you can start to build an idea of what you want in the future.

Who is surrounding you? They say that the five people you hang out with the most will show you the person you are becoming. Do you like that idea? Love those around you and make sure they will push you to be better.

That’s all I have for today. I hope you found something valuable in these words.

Just remember, you are never going to find yourself when you are searching too hard and changing so much. So do what you love and love everything around you. Hold on to that and your future will play out favorably. 

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

The Quirky San Francisco

It’s a compliment! When I usually think of traveling to experience a whole new lifestyle, I think of going abroad. Little did I know that you could experience the same kind of awe and amazement in your own country. I know that not all places in the USA are the same, but I did not expect to see so many unique features in just a few days spent in San Francisco and I fell in love. What a beautiful, quirky city.

I flew in to the airport at 5:30 p.m. and from there, was picked up by family. Just on the drive to the hotel I saw mountains (at least to me, they’re probably considered hills) and bright colors splashing the unique architecture. Homes were attached side by side, all holding unique gates, windows or an extremely bright paint job.

When we drove into the city, I was awed by the mixture of old and new buildings. Beautiful brick infrastructure that stretched on for several blocks and new modern cafes that looked like a box sliced with windows and an entrance. The streets were flooded with orange Giants fans headed to the AT&T Park.

The hotel was gorgeous and the waitstaff was so kind to us. They gave us suggestions for night time fun, restaurants and the best places to dance the night away. So of course, that’s what we did. We grabbed a burger and went out to dance the night away at a nearby dance club. I’m not going to lie, I was out of my comfort zone but everyone I met was so nice and it wasn’t a tons of horny adults trying to have sex on in the midst of a crowd. What a relief.

The next day was jam packed and an absolute blast. I explored with my cousin and her man. Listing all of the fun things we did:

DSC_00081. Union Square- For a poor college kid, walking into Union Square made me feel almost ridiculous. I was surrounded by Saks, Tiffany’s, Gucci and so many other expensive stores. Out of curiosity, we went into Tiffany’s just to see what kind of insane diamonds they had and it was a dream. I saw the prettiest ring of my entire life, it sparkled a hundred different colors and was so shiny it looked animated. ALL for the price of… wait for it… $58,000!!! WHAT! I just about crapped when I heard what someone would actually pay for this. It was pretty but I’d rather buy a car or two with that kind of money.

When you walked into some of these stores, they would size you up and know if you were there for sight-seeing or to shop. Most stores didn’t even have prices out because if you’re in Union Square, you probably don’t care how much something is. It was insane.

Union Square also has these heart statues that they change every so often which was so neat to see. The day I was there, there was one filled with polaroids and one filled with how to say hello in many different languages. Of course, there is also a beautiful statue in remembrance of the Philippine-American War.

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2. Fisherman’s Wharf- This place was so crowded but so unique. There were old looking shops along the coast with tons of sea food eateries and touristy gift shops. We did a wine tasting in which I had the best wine I’ve ever had (I’m in Wine Country now) and tasted some pretty good cheese to go along with it. We ate at a seafood restaurant and watched street performers do their thing. There were beautiful views of the ocean. You could see Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

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3. The World’s Most Crooked Street- We somewhat stumbled across this gem. It was so unique to see and was really crowded with a long line of cars who wanted to drive down the street. The flowers around the street were breathtaking along with the view of the city.

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4. Ghiradelli- We went and saw the original chocolate factory and tasted some delicious chocolate and ice cream. YUM.

DSC_01445. Full House House- For all of you fans out there who loved this show as much as I did, we did a quick stop and found the house and took pictures of it. It looks different from how it did years ago of course but IT’S THE HOUSE.

6. Golden Gate Bridge- How can you go to San Fran and NOT see one of the most iconic bridges in the world?! In person, this bridge is absolutely majestic. It’s huge and the skyline of SF behind it just adds to the drama. The color, the ocean, the size… it all plays in to what makes this iconic bridge so grand.

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Another fun thing about San Francisco which I kind of mentioned is the different kind of homes and buildings you see. The architecture is so different from what I have seen around the USA so far. It’s really different and beautiful. Also, the streets are SO hilly and angled. It’s insane how slanted they are. If it were to ever snow there, all of the cars would be sliding into one another. People who live there probably have killer calves.

That’s a nice summary of my time in this grand and quirky city. I definitely recommend seeing it for yourself as soon as possible.

Until Tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Life’s Little Therapies

There are certain instances in life that you just sit back and think “WOW, did that just make me feel better…”

Life has a funny way of teaching you therapeutic ways to make yourself feel better without you even realizing it. Check out the examples I came up with below.

Riding in a car with the music loud… There is just something about loud music that speaks to you in a car that let’s you experience the environment around you. Riding in a car soothes the soul and rocks your anger to sleep. The music lets you belt out your favorite words and says exactly what you are feeling. The combination drowns out the thoughts in your head as your journeying to somewhere different (even if it is just on your way back home).

Seeing something new… Whether it’s a back road you’ve never taken or a town 15 minutes away that you have never explored, a change of scenery is stimulating. It occupies your brain and can erase your worries for the time being. It’s a reminder that the world is huge and there are opportunities everywhere.

Sticking your feet in the ocean… Grounding yourself. Letting the waves wash over your toes and sinking your feet into the sand is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. It’s a gentle motivation to stay calm and breathe. It makes us feel peaceful and whole in the mass of the world. It is by far one of my favorite therapies.

A get together with your closest friends or family members… There is something about sharing laughter with those closest to you that can lift your spirits. Reminiscing on old times, creating new memories or just sitting in their presence can make you feel so much better. The presence of someone who cares about you can really make you feel less alone and give you something to look forward to. It’s a way to distract yourself from negativity and reach for the ones who can make your happiness soar.

Indulging in something you love… What is your favorite hobby? What is something you haven’t done in a while? Whether it’s cooking, reading, running or calling your grandma, do something that you know will make you feel relaxed or calm. Sometimes we don’t feel like doing anything at all but by letting ourselves just sit around, we aren’t taking a step forward. At least grab your favorite snack or dance around to one song. Do it for you.

These are a few of life’s indulgences that can raise your mood and make you feel even just a smidge better on a gloomy day. Remember that time will pass whether you are enjoying it or not. Take advantage of what days you have left and be happy.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie