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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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

 

 

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

What You Should Love

I have to brighten up a post- they’re all pretty dark lately (healing slowly).

So here are 21 things that I absolutely love.

  1. The results of a photograph after all of the constant editing and nitpicking. Like this one pictured in my post. 🙂 DSC_0131_Fotor
  2. My bed. It’s so incredibly comfortable.
  3. How excited a dog is to see  you when it’s been ages since you were last reunited.
  4. Any exotic chocolate.
  5. A raw conversation.
  6. Words that twist your mind and make you physically feel something.
  7. Traveling to a place you’ve never been.
  8. The ocean, the smell, the sound, the waves swirling around your toes.
  9. The warmth of the sun that causes your hair to stand on end.
  10. Hugging someone who is just a great hugger.
  11. The look of excitement someone gets when they talk about their passion.
  12. The first sip of coffee in the morning.
  13. When you cause genuine laughter that is uncontrollable.
  14. When a stranger or friend compliments anything about you kindly and respectfully.
  15. Watching someone let loose and thoroughly embrace their weird, fun side.
  16. The warmth of the fluffiest blankets in the world.
  17. Hugging your mom, dad, grandma or grandpa after not seeing them for a long time.
  18. Watching your favorite show on Netflix after a long day.
  19. Witnessing two elderly people still madly in love.
  20. Spraying whipped cream directly from the can into your mouth.
  21. Waking up on a Sunday morning with the whole day ahead of you.

I loved making this list more than you will ever know and so I am telling you to make your own. Reminding yourself of what you love in every day routine is so important to becoming inspired by the ordinary details.

I am only going to carry this positivity with me as I move forward.

Thank you for your constant support,

Anna Marie

At Least I Had Love Letters To Rip Through

I’ve had a hard time finding time to write on this blog and I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve lost a bit of inspiration or if it really is because senior year is wrestling me to the ground. Either way, a new commitment (mentally and now electronically) has been made to bring back the effort to this site.

I wrote this at 1 am last night while laying in bed.

I have found that writing through my emotions and pain (however long and grueling a process this is) has been the best way to deal with what I go through. It’s kind of insane how I can feel so incredibly content until I am exhausted at home from the day and have to sort through this mess of whatever I’m feeling.

Sometimes I get jealous of those who aren’t emotional at all.

Then again, they probably wouldn’t write anything like this…

I ripped through your words tonight.

I was waiting to burn them but I couldn’t wait anymore. 

I ripped every picture and bribed my heart.

I told it that if I could make it through this moment without a single tear that I was stronger than I thought.

And I didn’t cry.

I wanted to. I wanted to read every word one more time and then hide them in a corner just to know that I wasn’t dreaming what I thought I had. 

But I ripped through them instead because I knew that I wanted love back, not you.

I ripped through diaries and stories and I love yous gone to hell.

I ripped through ticket stubs and anniversary cards and I took them straight to the dumpster in the pouring rain. 

But you know what? At least I know what it’s like to have love letters. 

But I don’t ever want to know what they said anymore.

And as I walked back up the stairs to my apartment door, damp from the rain, my head became light and I fell onto my bed.

For a night, I could finally breathe. 

And if you see me as weak, pathetic-you name it. I am far from every single one of those words.

I am worth more than dead poetry and used to bes.

I am more than false hope and biased memories. 

Last night, before I ripped through the past, I reached the end of my rope.

I want you to know I felt so awful, I would have done anything to get the crushing weight on my chest flown off of me. 

But I couldn’t think of  a single thing. 

It was crushing and suffocating.

Until I ripped through those memories. 

Every single rip rang in my ears and put something back together.

Every tear of another page made my heart ice over the searing heat that had left me so angry.

Tonight- I felt something that I haven’t felt in a really long time. 

Not closure, not a heart beating anew, not healing… I felt myself inch forward.

A fraction of an inch that I took so proudly that I can’t bear to tell you how destroyed I had to be to get here. 

These tiny inches are battles that I am fighting every single day and to tell you that I’m okay or that everything happened like it was supposed to would be a lie. 

Every day, every hour feels different. 

But my god, that fraction of an inch felt so good. 

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

No One Knows What’s Going On

Can I be honest with you?

No one knows what they’re doing.

No one has a plan for every single thing in their life.

If they do? I can guarantee you something will lead them astray.

We live day by day, putting our feet in front of the other if only to make it to tomorrow.

Some days we make giant leaps in becoming the exact kind of human we want to be.

Be the human you needed when you were younger.

Our choices need to be selfless yet selfish. Don’t you ever do to someone what you wouldn’t want done to you.

Didn’t we all learn that in 5th grade?

Why is it so hard to get to know someone now-a-days?

Why are walls built so high?

How do we trust people anymore?

In a world filled with selfishness, who decides to be selfless?

It’s not a demand and it sure as hell isn’t easy.

It makes it a little bit easier on those around you,

but a little bit harder on yourself.

You see, when you decide to be selfless, you decide to do for others what people haven’t done for you.

You decide to care deeply about strangers just because their struggles are different and comparing battles never gave you strength.

You stop looking at yourself as an image and start to know yourself as a person.

Don’t we all just want to be seen as people?

Weren’t we told to never judge a book by its cover?

People see a future only by looking at the surface of someone and that’s why things fail.

People don’t care anymore.

They’re too involved in who’s on Facebook and who snapchatted them today.

But if we could just sit down and get to know someone face to face, I bet you’d see them a lot differently.

I bet you’d stop thinking about selfies and instagram captions and start wondering about their journey and how they became who they are today.

If we would all just stop for one second and really look at the world around us, I think we’d be surprised.

I want to see genuineness, kindness and compassion.

Because right now, when I do see that, it seems like an amazing ordeal and the truth is it shouldn’t be.

Holding the door for someone shouldn’t be out of the ordinary.

Complimenting at least one person a day shouldn’t be over the top, it should be a habit.

People need to care more about each other and lifting each other up.

It’s important to have the balance between selfishness and selflessness.

But the teeter totter is stuck.

We need more people to start walking to the other side.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

You Can Shine in Darkness

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When it’s dark outside, demons have a way of crawling in-between the spaces I have created happiness in.

They take shape in memories and what if’s… always preaching about what I could have done or how I’ve failed.

They whine like wolves to my heart strings, screeching and howling until I bleed from the sound.

My demons slither beneath my skin and swallow any light I’ve found within me.

But I once heard you have to friend your enemies.

And I slowly deceived the demons. 

I let the wounds bleed and would dab at them with reminders of what I love to do when they were not looking.

I got to know them and their plan to control my happiness and I quietly learned the reasons behind their savageness. 

I crept silently into their world only to befriend the enemy and discover strategies of all different calibers. 

Only after the enemy tore my spirit limb from limb did I blast through the scars with a light so bright my eyes couldn’t remember the sight of darkness.

And I shined.

And I healed every wound with a petrifying force that created a warmth so compassionate the demons started weeping.

I started weeping.

And I won’t ever forget this feeling of what it once was to feel so dark inside that only my own happiness could cure the shadows.

Because I thought that every ounce of light had left me when it was always patiently sitting, waiting for when I was ready.

I’m ready now.

I’m shining.

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

I’m Terrified to Talk About It

I’ve started so many posts today but I couldn’t finish a single one.

I have burned through topics and conversations and the only thing I want to write about terrifies me.

Because I’m writing about love.

And what is more terrifying than talking about love?

I had it. 

And they don’t tell you about the waiting.

They don’t tell you about what happens after experiencing love, an all-consuming kind of love, and having it slip through your hands.

Yes… wait.

Wait for time to forgive and accept that not all kinds of love conquers. But knowing that the right love will conquer all.

Wait for you to taste what you had before in a more explosive and delicate way.

We’re simply stuck waiting. 

The mode I’m in is a fragile patience.

It’s not a desperate need but more of a mutual understanding with my heart.

I’m in a patient stage of contentment with myself and where I am. I don’t feel the need to constantly be on the look out for love. I am not seeking a partner to have in the next 24 hours and while I miss kisses on my forehead and waking up in someone’s arms, it means a lot more when that someone is in love with you.

No, I’m okay with being patient.

For a girl who dreams of a certain kind of love… I know what I want. I know what I can offer and where I want to go and I want a partner who is the same way.

I’m waiting for someone who I don’t have to force myself to like. Someone I know who will fight for me because they see the value I have. Someone who isn’t into the games this generation likes to play.

I’ve realized how hard it is to let go of the kind of control I wish I had over love.

You can’t control love.

You can’t control how you feel, why you feel it, thoughts that consume you or how long it takes to fall completely head over heels or out of a broken dream.

But I can focus on anything and frankly, everything else, while that part of my life is stagnant.

Patience is my virtue as I continue to wait in this in-between of knowing what love is and looking forward to the day I can call it mine again.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

The Spoil Yourself Project

If you live your life in any way, shape or form that resembles mine, you are a giver. You constantly are trying to console, advise or listen to those around you and sometimes you completely forget about the person who might need all of those things the most- you.

It’s not that we don’t love being there for others because believe me, it’s built into our DNA. However, I have been told quite a few times that I should just take a breather and focus a bit on what I want out of life and begin to do certain things just for me.

We have our dreams but are we doing anything to get us there? We have the ideal person we imagine ourselves to be but you will never be that person unless you start to work at it right NOW.

So here are a few simple things you can do to start something I have named the “Spoil Yourself Project”. Simply because I keep forgetting to do things that will make me a happier person. Therefore if I write them down and PLAN them, I do it and take that step closer to the person I want to become.

IMG_78711. Make a list of things you love to do or things that make you happy. I wrote down everything from painting my nails to laying in bed with the Christmas lights on and candles lit. Make it endless. Do you love walks by the river? Reading books? Make a giant list of what you love that makes you happy.

2. Do you have a planner? Schedule an item for EVERY day of the week. That’s right, you should be doing something for yourself every single day. Write it down so you can cross it off and feel good about accomplishing something simply for YOU that day. Maybe even just schedule a time you want to do something for yourself and then take a look at your list and choose. It’s truly up to you.

3. When you are doing whatever task you want, make sure you relish in the moment. Don’t treat it like a chore because it will defeat the entire purpose of spoiling yourself. Now is the time to focus on YOU and it’s important to appreciate the small joys that are a part of your being.

4. GO! Hop to it and eventually, you won’t even need a penciled in reminder that you should be doing something for your well-being every single day.

Best of luck with the ones who need to be spoiled by themselves.

Until Next Time,

Anna Marie

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