I Found Love

A year ago, I prayed for love.

I was broken and betrayed and I wished with all of my heart for love to come find me.

I screamed to the heavens with sorrowful begging.

PROVE to me that I am worthy, I thought.

I cursed karma and told myself how hard it would be to ever trust a man again.

I hated the idea of letting someone else break me.

360 days have gone by and I realize that I got exactly what I asked for.

I found love.

No, a man did not come and sweep me off my feet and fix my broken heart.

But I sure did.

Prince Charming did not ride up on a silver horse and hand me my self-worth.

I built it day by day.

I found love through myself.

Love for the weird quirks that make me who I am.

Like laughing at my own jokes or talking to myself in the emptiness of my apartment.

The inability to make good comebacks and tenderness to cry at the tears of someone else.

I started a journey to truly love the person I am and see my own worth as valuable currency.

I stopped spending my energy on those who didn’t appreciate it.

When I did that, I started meeting new faces.

I found love.

I found friends who cared so deeply for me they would listen to me talk about the same dilemma for hours and days just so I could walk myself through it.

They took me on crazy adventures and introduced me to more and more people until I built a network of love and support.

Losing one person led me to an incredible family of friends who have loved me and protected me in the exact way I need it.

In the way that never leaves.

They have shown me the selflessness it takes to make a relationship work, friendships or any type of relationship.

They have supported me with every dream and decision and pushed me forward when I need a little nudge.

The people I have met in the past year have become indispensable and incredibly valuable.

They have continuously encouraged my self growth and self love.

I prayed for love and at the time, I wanted a man I could call my best friend.

I got something so essential to what I need.

I got a team of best friends who have loved me more than anyone has before.

And I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

Love,

Anna Marie

 

 

 

 

 

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College Seniors: We’re Terrified

We are all just FREAKING OUT.

I don’t know if I could ever accurately describe what it feels like to be a senior in college.

I know that the hours of good sleep I get averages about maybe 15 hours a week.

I know that even though my head hits the pillow at 10 p.m., I fight my thoughts until I’m so exhausted my brain hurts too much to fall asleep.

By the time I wake up, I feel more exhausted then I did the day before.

I’m a full-time student with a 15-credit load who is in class 4 hours a day, works 5-8 hours a day and does homework for 2 hours every night on top of applying for jobs who say you’re under-qualified and inexperienced.

Even though I’ve worked three jobs in the field with two internships and a college degree.

I don’t even know where I’m going to be living in a month and a half let alone where I’ll be working.

And who is going to take a chance on a girl who has clawed her way to even have a shot at her dreams.

As a senior, you realize that the 16 years of schooling you’ve done, every single thing you know about routine, every system you are familiar with– it’s all about to change.

You are told you have to take a job you won’t love because we have to start somewhere.

We are told that the real world is awful and ruthless.

We have spent the last four years loving our peers and freedom and now it’s time to leave.

I have talked with other seniors about the countless panic attacks and breakdowns we’ve had in the past months.

Because when you’re told your entire life where to go and what to do- it’s terrifying to be thrown into a pit of self-doubt where your entire life is judged on a piece of paper and a 10 minute interview.

And we have to keep our head above water and tell ourselves to enjoy this last semester because our days are numbered.

We are all terrified and panicking.

We are all screaming with excitement to start our lives.

We just can’t tell you how or when they will start.

Seniors, I heard something from an older man who has been in our shoes and it is so simple it hurts. Don’t rush.

Easier said then done when we have been drilled to soar above expectations but remember to breathe. The right opportunity will come when it needs to.

Keep your head up and your heart strong.

Anna Marie

 

 

 

Manic Mondays and Love

I wasn’t able to sit down and write today. There is something about being a college student, an employee, a business owner, a friend and a daughter that consumes my life and so today I wanted to share something with you that gave me inspiration.

It is a video about love and who love is.

It’s beautiful and it made me think quite a bit.

Enjoy. ❤

When Love Arrives

The Terror of Leaving Home

11373964_164868337184836_54135550_nIts scary isn’t it?

You’re used to the way your bed fits in your room, the weird quirks of the microwave and the neighbors surrounding you.

You’re used to the neighbors and the dog that is constantly barking.

And now you want to move somewhere new. 

Why?

Maybe it’s the memories you have in this town or maybe you’ve just outgrown it’s borders.

Maybe you crave a new lifestyle or different weather.

Maybe you want to move to the mountains or the oceans.

There really is many reasons why you can love your home so much but still want to leave.

I’ve been fighting with this dilemma for a while now.

And to be honest, I don’t know if I want to stay because I’m scared, realizing I could really have some great opportunities here or just terrified of leaving my family.

On the other end, I don’t know if I want to leave because I’m running from something, naive or in love with the idea of starting over in a place I choose as everything I want out of a home.

It’s terrifying and exhilarating.

I have nothing and no one holding me back and that is the beauty and danger of being on your own.

You get to decide exactly what you want to do and it’s a lot of pressure when it comes down to it.

I have 9 months to decide where I’ll go and I don’t have any idea what my decision is yet although I’m leaning.

I’ve wanted to leave for even just a couple years, ever since I was little. I’ve wanted to go anywhere different from where I have been.

I think, but I’m not sure, that it is what I truly need to do. Maybe.

This plan has changed and twisted several times due to people and experiences and that’s okay, but now that I can dwell on me, myself and I, the clock is ticking.

I’ve grown a beautiful cocoon in this place I call home, but I think it may be time for me to spread my wings and fly somewhere else.

After all, I can always fly home.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Why I Chose Communication

If I was to give you the short answer about why I chose the major I did, it would be curiosity. Curiosity for how movies are put together, curiosity for how companies build relationships and curiosity for the way people feel. I chose to study communication with an emphasis in public relations and media studies because of the endless list of questions that race through my mind.

When I was in elementary school, my mother and I would always watch the behind the scenes clips that came on the special features section of the DVD. From Titanic to Pearl Harbor, there were inside peaks of how they built the most incredible sets and created worlds that mystified me. I wanted to know exactly how much work was put into the design, filming and post-production aspect of these movies so I did what a lot of kids do when they have questions. I searched for answers on Google.  

As questions were answered, my curiosity only heightened. Throughout high school, I became familiar with editing software and camera techniques that only made my love for videography grow. When I took my first production class at my university, I knew that this field was where I wanted to work for the rest of my life. I was challenged creatively and artistically and there was constant growth in my skills that were proof of hard work.

It wasn’t until I started working at the campus activities board on campus that I became passionate about another subject my school had to offer. While learning the ropes of my new position, I learned how to promote events. I had to be creatively unique and think of new ways to grab the attention of students on campus. I was forced to think outside of the box to make my events go above and beyond the scope of what was expected of me. This challenge gave me so much satisfaction.

Not only did I love my job, but I became so involved in thinking of new ways to do what the position has been involved in for years. I got to know so many students on campus and realized how much I love to build relationships with the public. I was able to learn how they think and what kind of material they like or don’t like. They became friends as well as the people I work for. I loved feeling a sense of responsibility to bring them an event that they would enjoy.

Yet again, I found the curiosity settling in. I wanted to know what I could do better or what I could change. I searched for new ideas to make the next event even grander than the one before and I enjoyed the experience of constantly being pushed to think differently. I wanted to understand why people would love certain ideas and not others.

I couldn’t choose just one emphasis after starting this job and so I decided to choose a double emphasis with media studies and public relations. Now, the curiosity I feel can have effort pushed towards both fields and leave me with options to explore whichever one I choose after graduating. Though I can’t say for sure, I can see myself working in both fields at some point in my life.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Pushing Play on a New Chapter

As several chapters come to a close with the end of summer, one very exciting chapter is officially underway- my senior year of college.

I don’t know where the time went or how life can whip by so fast but the taste of the word “senior” on my tongue is still foreign.

But here it is. 

I’m going to put all of my effort into making happiness blossom from this year. I am going to write every single note with a heavy sigh only to remember why I signed up for this place way back in the beginning.

I love my University. I love the people here, the campus, the places I’ve been and the professors who have taught me so much. I love the experience of learning and becoming someone I’m proud of. I am blessed with the experience I’ve had so far and I can’t believe my fourth year is already here.

These have been four of the best years of my entire life.

I’ve grown up. I’ve turned into someone different every semester and I keep growing. I’ve become independent and learned so much about not only my major but about myself. What I want, where I want to go, the kind of people I want to surround myself with… the list goes on.

To say college has changed me is the biggest understatement of my life. I am not even remotely the same person I was three years ago. I can’t even remember the freshman who moved all of her stuff in.

Well, the caterpillar is in her last year before she spreads her wings.

I can’t wait to see who I will be when I graduate in May. 

More to come this week, forgive me for how busy I’ve been since getting back!

Cheers to a new semester!

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Laughing in a Foreign Country

When I came to this little European small town, I never expected to meet so many people. I really didn’t expect to become such good friends with so many of them. Being here has given me the chance to be so extremely happy and I can’t believe my time here is coming to a close.

I know the question that will be asked over and over when I go home. What was your favorite part of the trip? The best way I found that answer?

I stayed in this town and lived like a local. The best way to answer it? Rattle off one of these answers from the list of favorites I have created. 🙂 Enjoy.

merryI went to the local fairs and festivals. We went on rides and discovered that German fair food includes Chinese noodles and chocolate covered fruit on a stick. YUM.

I wandered the cobblestone streets until I knew them as well as I know my home town. I still awe at the architecture and differences that make this country so unique.

I learned that they don’t refrigerate their milk or eggs and how convenient that would be if I could just take a few boxes home.

The cheese here just can’t match the tastiness of growing up in the US cheese state but their bratwurst and sauerkraut are to die for.

Every night, I take a walk with my sister on a trail that surrounds the entire town of Kriegsfeld and that more often than not, our walks will be intercepted by local friends who want us to join them for a night of crazy memories. If not, they’re filled with sunsets and sights that never get old.

Flunkyball is a game that taught me to chug a German beer faster than some men.

The stars here shine so much brighter because it’s not very populated and one night we laid in the grass as a group and watched a meteor shower. I saw about 25-30 shooting stars that night and I realized how happy I was when I couldn’t think of many wishes to put in the hands of the falling star. 

Making some yummy eggs!

If you stay out with friends until the wee hours of the morning, it is tradition to make eggs at someones house and then go home.

I’ve thought so much more about what I’m saying because I can’t speak complicated, messy sentences or no one will understand me. I have to be concise and simple. It taught me the important lesson of talking with a purpose.

Football (soccer) is life. We’ve been to the local town games and are adventuring to a big town game today.

The people are amazing. The girls and guys our age were so accepting and excited to talk to us. They were hilarious and never made us feel like outsiders.

The cart system at grocery stores make so much more sense. Pay a quarter and return the cart so there’s no mess and people put their carts away. Also, you have to pay for plastic bags. So bring your own reusable ones!

If you have any German language training at all, it is so different once you are here. The dialects make the language sound quite different than a classroom setting but being here for one month has definitely improved my understanding of some conversations.

Family is everything. They love you, care for you and spoil you. Without them, this experience would have never happened and they are the reason I had the time of my life.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

How To Be Your Own Hero

“I’ll lay my hands on the glass to see through the mess I’ve become. I’ll gaze beyond the cage I feel safe in to try and see the world outside again. But daydreaming isn’t always as comparable to dreams. But I’ll stare out of this glass pane anyways.

While wishing out a window I remembered what was mine. I remembered a time I felt whole. Wishing out a window was as easy as it seems, our hearts were filled with dreams, one memory at a time. Now I’ll keep wishing for the day when all the pain I feel goes away or I find the strength to believe in all I need. I’ll keep praying for a sign on stars that refuse to shine to help me understand that the only hero to my tragedy is me. The hero to my tragedy is me.”  

Sometimes, it’s hard not to rest your fate in the hands of a miracle. It’s hard not to sit around and wait for yourself to get better. It’s hard not to wait for someone to put you back together so you don’t have to. It’s hard to trust yourself to become saved by the one and only you.

It would be so much easier to just let ourselves be defeated and stay down but what happens when a year goes by and no one has saved you? No miracles have happened and time hasn’t changed anything at all? You have to choose to pick yourself up. You’re the hero in this story my friend.

Here’s a few things you can start doing to get yourself where you want to be.

1. Push yourself to do something even if you don’t feel like it. 

You don’t have to go somewhere every day but binge watching Netflix for three days straight is not a good way to work on your happiness. At least break it up with a walk or go meet a friend for coffee. Most of the time, you’ll feel better afterwards. Make your day have purpose. Make yourself feel like you need to be somewhere or doing something to be happy.

2. Reach out to friends or make some new ones. 

A way to get yourself through anything is to surround yourself with people who will catch you if you stumble. Take this time to grow friendships and reconnect with old ones. Go see your family and recognize those who truly care for you. Laugh and love.

3. Make yourself think of two positive thoughts for every negative thought you have. 

Write it down if you have to! Every time you start thinking about regrets, guilt, events leading to those feelings, stop yourself (if the time is right). You need time to heal of course but at some point you have to tell your mind to move on and think about it less and less. We must learn to push forward with pain. It’ll get easier.

4. Every morning, wake up and ask yourself what you want to do to make yourself happy. 

This sounds so silly but we often forget to think about the small things that will give us joy. Is it making yourself a big breakfast? Is it going for a walk? Sometimes these things don’t sound too fun but we know that after we do them we’ll feel a little more productive and joyous for the rest of your day. Do it even if you don’t feel like it. Make yourself happy.

5. Love yourself. Do something for yourself.

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times but I can’t stress enough how important this time is for you to do something that’s going to make you feel new and happy. Redecorate your apartment, buy yourself a new toy, get in the best shape of your life, join a new club, take archery lessons… whatever it is, just go for it. Do something, or several things, for yourself and consider it the beginning of a relationship with YOU. Date yourself and start by spoiling the crap out of you.

We can’t chase happiness, but we can learn habits that will help us stumble into it much easier.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Traveling Cheap: It’s About Who You Know

As a poor college student who works part-time and just above minimum wage, I’ve been asked by several people how the heck I can afford to travel.

It’s about brains… and hugely based off of who you know.

I’m not talking about befriending the son of the man who built the Hilton Hotels so you can get a special deal or marrying the woman who can get you free airfare.

It’s about friends, family and simply asking to stay with them. Out of the travels I have been on so far, exactly half have been with friends or family. This cuts down the price significantly because I didn’t have to pay for hotels or nearly as much food. Just transportation and souvenirs. The BEST part? I get to rekindle family love.

Hiking with my cousin throughout the beautiful California land.

So I took off on a road-trip with my cousin a few years ago. Just a few months ago I asked if I could visit my cousin in California who was more than happy to pick me up from the airport and let me stay with her. Now, I am currently in Germany with extended family who is from here and able to stay with them for an entire month, no charge.

Now, don’t be thinking I’m only visiting these places to travel. To be able to grow close with family that has moved across the country is THE biggest perk of this idea.  I’ve dreamed of this trip to Germany since I was a little girl and was so blown away by the love and kindness we received as soon as we landed here. (This is for another post altogether! 😉 )

Visiting family world wide has helped me grow as a traveler and as a person. It’s always scary to ask an extended family member if you can stay with them if you aren’t too close but trust me, they will almost always say yes. They will enjoy your company and appreciate the time you spend visiting.

Start making a list of the people you know in places you’d love to see. Not even that, just make a list of family who’s moved far away and who you miss quite dearly. Next, ask them if you can make a journey out there and here is where your adventure begins.

Whether friends, acquaintances or friends of friends, it never hurts to ask. The best case is you save money and make a new friend, the worst is that they say no.

Take advantage of those who are living elsewhere and invite them to take advantage of you. The more people you meet, the better chance that you will find someone through connections that can help you save a little bit on your next trip.

Start your engines and begin planning,

Anna Marie

A Thailand Montage

I always struggle with the internal dilemma of whether I should take pictures/videos on a vacation or not. However, I can’t say I’m disappointed with my decision to capture some of this beautiful country on my camera. I lived in the moment every day and took just enough video to remind myself why I fell in love with the Thai culture.

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It made me realize there is such a fine balance between taking things in on vacation and going overboard with pictures that will never capture such a beautiful place.

Watch my adventures and you’ll be searching for the next flight to Bangkok. .

Watch It Here!

P.S. If you want to read more in depth about my Thailand adventure, you can click on a previously written blog post here!

Happy Tuesday and until tomorrow,

Anna Marie