I Hope You Stay You.

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I hope, at the end of the day, you’re you.

I hope that the fire in your soul fuels your bravery and the criticism of society burns in the flames.

I hope you love so freely that it scares people away and attracts the deepest friendships of your life.

I hope you spike your hot cocoa to stay warm and breathe in the crisp winter air because the contrast is sacred.

I hope you fall in love so bad it hurts and he only stays if he let’s you be exactly who you are.

I hope you always stay exactly who you are.

Never a dimmed light-

never a watered down version-

always, 100% you.

I hope you eat french fries and skip the salad once in a while.

I hope you call yourself beautiful.

I hope you look in the mirror and accept yourself for your own beauty ideal.

I hope you talk to yourself like you would talk to your best friend.

I hope you practice kindness and stay genuine.

I hope you aren’t afraid to feel sadness and learn how to carry it with you.

I hope that you inspire yourself to be brave and believe in yourself to be fearless.

I hope you know that you can do anything.

Whatever you want, just do it.

I hope that you care for others in a way that makes them love you to the ends of the earth and fight like hell for what you believe in.

I hope your beliefs are never shoved down the throats of others.

I hope you listen to the silence for all that it says.

I hope you listen just to listen and not to respond.

I hope that you are missed by the ones you love and miss those you adore.

I hope you remember to smile.

I hope you aren’t too hard on yourself.

I hope that someone finds that light of yours and let’s it shine as bright as ever before.

I hope no one tries to take away your spirit.

I hope you never let them.

I hope you never apologize for what isn’t in your control.

I hope that you share yourself if only so you feel more confident in who you are.

I hope you never change.

I will always hope, at the end of the day, that you are you.

Stay you.

Love,

Anna Marie ❤

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To Be Inspired

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To be inspired is to laugh so hard your body shakes. 

To hug someone who has continuously given you their time and love.

To breathe a sigh of relief after a big test.

You know that feeling when you can feel something inside you building?

Courage, determination, strength or pure happiness?

And then you finally approach that person or run that extra mile and you just feel… good.

Not good- inspired.

Inspiration is driven from chalk being twirled and pressed into concrete.

From 26 letters of the alphabet creating a novel that erupts passion.

From that one person you couldn’t live without whose presence sends your mood to the moon.

It’s biting into a piece of pizza and closing your eyes because the combination is just right as it dances on your tongue.

It’s that wave of heat that encompasses you as you step from painfully frozen air into a heated building.

It’s the excitement of a stranger saying “Good Morning” or smiling at you just because they are  swallowed in their own happiness.

Inspiration comes from new eyes searching the world around you.

From appreciating the moments that we so easily forget.

Taking our pants off.

Falling into a warm bed.

Stretching sore muscles.

It’s the way we look at ordinary days.

Because those ordinary days make up our lives.

That’s how we will create an inspired life- by living and breathing the beauty that goes into simply waking up in a comfortable home that was created by you.

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

 

 

Are We There Yet?

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We all want to “find ourselves” or “create ourselves”. Well, are you there yet? 

Who I am is a bi-product of all of you.

Your compliments, your support, your insults.

Your presence has pushed me down, pushed me over, pushed me skyward.

Who I am is a reflection of how I chose to react to all of you.

Whether to fight with nasty words or bite my tongue, flip tables or sit at one calmly, let rage burn me down or fuel build me higher.

I am a direct correlation of responses to all of YOU.

To love fiercely as I have been loved, help a hand in need as I have been helped, pass on the kindness that has been given to me.

We can learn much easier and much quicker by following the examples of those around us… of you. 

You want to know what you created?

This is who I am.

I am fiercely passionate about people.

I care vastly and deeply, sometimes quite overwhelmingly so.

I laugh frequently and uninhibitedly, scaring the pain right out of my system.

I have become stronger than I can recognize through let down after let down and rejection slapping me in the face.

I’ve been brought down to me knees to realize that I can always stand back up.

My favorite feeling in the world is sunshine kissing my skin and the ocean sand squishing between my toes.

I long for adventure through mountain tops and exploring country after country. And I’ll do it, too.

I’m undeniably comfortable with the person I’ve become and overwhelmingly excited for the woman I intend to create.

Pride is hard work and deep breaths.

Humbleness is never forgetting the struggles you’ve chosen to fight through to get you where you are.

Ambition is recognizing the struggles you will have to face to accomplish the life you want so badly to live.

The life you are living right now.

Are we there yet?

Until next time,

Anna Marie

 

 

You Must Decide To Rise

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Breathe.

Breathe in light.

Breathe out darkness.

Raise your palms to the sun so your fingertips can be touched by hope.

Close your eyes so you can imagine how blessed you are to be so loved.

Wild and free.

Wind blowing throw fields of sunflowers so yellow it’s petals drip happiness.

Free as the birds who fly anywhere and everywhere with the option of home always in their hearts.

Wild as the drinks that make you dance on table tops and kiss strangers.

Breathe in.

If only to feel alive because spontaneity is played by those who crave adventure.

It’s for those who crave each other. 

Lust and love.

Fall in love with a one night stand for just one night but promise to respect your body.

Crave love in everyone you meet and long for a soul that will understand your own.

Have the patience of your mother and keep her strength too.

Be brave like trees swaying in hurricanes.

Pray for the opportunity to spread positivity.

Love fiercely, move fearlessly and chase what everyone is too scared to run after. 

Rejection isn’t for the weak- it’s for the willing who know they are capable of rising.

And you must decide to rise. 

Until Tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Sand Dollars and Solace

California came two weeks after a miserable break up.

I was devastated, heartbroken and exhausted.

Nothing was fitting clearly in my mind between the constant flow of excuses and reasons creeping in the corners of my brain and I was ready to jump in the ocean and let the waves carry me wherever they thought I should go.

IMG_6203IMG_6200I would drive to the ocean and walk the coast for miles, humming songs that filled my heart and dancing if only to leave beautifully intricate patterns in the sand.

Wind whipped my hair constantly and the waves would crash around my ankles as I hopped frantically out of the freezing water.

As I walked the beach, I would find pieces of broken shells everywhere. Soon, I found cracked sand dollars every few steps. The farther I would go, the more whole the sand dollars would become.

But I couldn’t find one that was whole.

Ironic,  I thought to myself, the broken girl stumbles across all of the chipped and cracked sand dollars, never finding a whole one because she’ll never feel that way again.

On one of my last trips to the beach, I remember sitting in the sand, digging my toes as far as I could into the earth and covering my legs until a mini sand castle kept me warm.

I ran my hands through patterns upon patterns, the sand felt so good running through my fingers.

I came across this sand dollar that was 90% whole and I held it in my hands. I spoke aloud to the universe and I said “If I can find one whole sand dollar, please let that be a sign that everything is going to be okay.”

I can’t tell you how stupid I felt saying this to the ocean. However, I had complete confidence in those words and so I said them aloud a few more times, begging for the universe to show me that eventually I would be okay.

I walked for miles down the shore and found one more sand dollar that was not quite whole and I smiled. Maybe this was it. A sign that even though this sand dollar was chipped, it was beautiful. I told myself that this is what I would find.

Still, I kept walking along the ocean.

Not even a minute later, I spotted another white circle buried in waves.

I remember this moment clear as day.

I gasped and ran to it, gently lifting it from the wet sand and washing it in the next crest that came to shore.

It was whole.

IMG_6230The happiness that swelled inside me brought tears to my eyes and I remember laughing by myself in the middle of the beach with the ocean right by my side.

That’s it, I thought,  I will be whole again. 

And it’s so strange that I needed the universe to tell me that I would be okay, but it did. Every trip to the beach after that never led me to another whole sand dollar.

It was my sign.

And maybe I made the entire coincidence up in my head in order to find the fight within me that I needed to heal.

But it worked.

I still have that sand dollar in my room, telling me that feeling whole is a process. I kept the broken one too if only to remind me that imperfection is still beautiful.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Inside The Traveler’s Soul

It’s true, us travelers are wired differently.

We don’t discover our souls, we create them. So once you’ve met someone who has decided to create a soul full of adventure and wander, prepare yourself for how they think and where their passions lie.

We crave change. I’m not talking about moving every few months or trips to Europe every single year. The change of scenery we need is more about exploring something new. We want our eyes to be awakened by new places and that doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

I can’t tell you how much small trips mean to us wanderers. Whether it’s getting coffee in the next town over or exploring a new park, we crave a change that will refresh our inspiration.

We seek adventure.  We need to have fun in a way that is new to us. An adventure can be as small as going to a new grocery store or searching for a new solitary. Walking new paths or searching for the oldest antique shop around, we just crave an adrenaline rush.

We want knowledge outside of our city limits. What else is out there? As soon as we’ve left, we realize how much we HAVEN’T seen yet. We start planning and plotting for new trips that will teach us more about the world than a text book every could.

Daydreaming is guaranteed to be filled with exotic locations and foods that we don’t even know exist yet.

We love solo adventures that help us create ourselves but we also love sharing our wanderings with loved ones. If you see the most incredible flower field hidden in a mountain valley, happiness consumes you. If someone is with you, you look right at them and smile from ear to ear because it just became a shared memory. You are both witnesses to a beauty that can never be translated into words.

Come on my fellow wanderers. What else makes our souls all about travel?

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

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

We Need To Stop The “No Expectations” Advice

“If you don’t expect anything, you won’t get hurt.”

You also won’t work for anything either. You won’t try but I guess you also won’t fail.

I understand what this “no expectations” outbreak is going for… don’t expect too much because you’ll put yourself in a situation that may make you unhappy. You may be far too demanding of those around you and constantly put yourself in a position to disappoint your own wishes. I get that, but NO expectations?

Don’t tell young people of this age that we should have NO expectations in life. There is SO many great expectations that we can hold that push us further and make us work hard.I have expectations for a lot of things. I’m human and believe that we should carry expectations for ourselves.

For example:

Relationships. We should expect to be treated with respect. If we don’t expect that, we can easily become a doormat. I don’t think anyone likes feeling that way. We should expect someone to care about us and show it because it’s what we need to share a happy relationship (at least for some of us). If we don’t expect to be cared about then what the heck do we even date for? You might as well marry a rock. Or a log. I don’t know. I don’t expect strangers to care about me and I can’t have you on the same plane as them.

We can expect to be loved. Isn’t that what you get into a relationship for? If I don’t expect you to love me then I probably don’t care about you at all. I expect you to work through problems with me because that is what you’re supposed to do in a relationship (in my eyes). If I don’t expect that, we will hold grudges or resent each other until we are such a dysfunctional couple we aren’t happy anymore.

When it goes too far… I don’t expect flowers or to be showered with gifts. I just expect some type of effort because that’s what I believe a relationship needs. I don’t expect us to never fight. I don’t expect you to be perfect or for either of us to always be right. I just want your love.

Career. We can expect to get a degree if we work hard and follow the guidelines to earn one. I wouldn’t be in college if I didn’t expect to get a degree at the end of it all. We expect to get hired eventually doing something we love because we will have earned a higher education to do so and have worked our butts off to get the special requirements needed.

When it goes too far… I won’t expect to get a raise because I think I deserve it. I won’t expect to get promoted if there are other great candidates around me. I won’t expect to work my way up easily.

Friendships. We can expect honesty. We can expect to be there for one another. We can expect to ask each other to hang out and put some effort in.

When it goes too far… I don’t expect me to be your best friend or your only friend. I don’t expect us to always be free or super close to each other.

It really makes me upset to see so many people say they just won’t expect anything anymore. You should have standards set for your goals and what you want out of life. Just don’t get carried away. That’s why quotes like this get popularized. Don’t expect TOO MUCH but please, for the love of all that is good and pure, expect something out of the world around you.

Until next time,

Anna Marie

Goodbye USA, Hello Germany

I am so excited to announce that I will be spending the next month of my life with family in Germany!

Not only is this an amazing opportunity to get to know my family overseas but it is a chance to learn about my roots. I get to see where my family comes from and learn details about my heritage. I am so blessed to have this chance and cannot express my excitement for these next four weeks.

I will be on a plane all day as I cross the ocean and as I’m cramped in the luxurious economy class seat, I will be thinking about how this next month will play out. I have another chance to unwind and repair all of the stress this summer has accidentally set on my shoulders.

This is a chance to immerse into a new culture filled with insanely yummy chocolate and potent beer. The memories made here will definitely be shared during my travel Tuesday posts and I cannot wait to see how Germany changes me.

Get ready for posts of family, castles and German everything.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie