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

 

 

 

Why are we so scared?

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Don’t lose your sense of adventure.

Open up to strangers and invite love into your heart.

Sit on the bus and ask how the person to your left is doing.

It’s not creepy, it’s how we used to meet people.

Stand in line at a coffee shop and tell that girl who dressed up that she looks lovely.

She won’t give you a weird look, she’ll smile.

Pick up a book and read your favorite quote to someone you want to connect with.

Your favorite words will tell them so much more than your Facebook account.

Smile with your eyes and dress up so you can say damn, I look GOOD.

Stop racing for a goal and breathe in the moment you’re living.

Why are we so scared to live in a world where no matter what, you’re going to get hurt?

It’s true isn’t it?

No matter how guarded you are, how careful you are, how safe you live your life- you’re bound to get hurt at some point down the road.

Tripping on the side walk.

Criticized by your boss.

Rejected by your crush.

Hurt is going to happen.

So why do we fear it so much?

It’s a huge part of us.

A part of living, growing stronger and pushing forward.

I’ve seen people cringe from pain so much that they’ve become immune to being alive.

They hide themselves in a shell so tough that they can’t even begin to understand how someone could open it.

And it only grows thicker.

The part of them that could really live gets hidden as they go through the motions- waiting for anything to break through that shell.

Well it’s not up to a force of nature.

It’s up to you.

It’s up to you to face your fear and live in a world where you embrace rejection and let it push you.

By the thousandth time, you’ll be a professional.

By the thousandth no, you’ll hear “there’s a different plan”.

Don’t be scared to live. 

Embrace the fear and do it anyways because we’re all a little insane to hope that just enough courage will earn us the happiness we all deserve.

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

 

 

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

Dressing Up In a Midwest College Is Apparently… a Very Big Deal

When I choose to curl my hair and dress up all cute, the truth is it is NOT for you or my peers. It is for ME. (sassy post alert)

I am pretty sure I just heard a bunch of judgmental girls snicker through my laptop screen.

It’s the truth though. When I get all dolled up, I feel so much more confident. Sure, I can say the whole “I don’t give a flying fairy about what I look like” and pretend that it is true. I really could and I bet some days I even mean it but mostly, I’m lying.

Every single girl knows that when you try to look your best, you strut just a little bit harder and hold your chin just a little bit higher. It’s a boost to your self-esteem to hear people say you look like a dream. Who doesn’t love compliments and awkwardly trying to accept them?

As a college student in the midwest, I get a lot of looks for trying every day.

Last year, I spent days in sweats and leggings and that is fine, but I wanted a change. So I promised myself that I would make an effort to dress nice this semester in order to gain self-confidence and can I be honest? It has WORKED. When I feel all dolled up and pretty, I feel really good about myself.

These students don’t know that though. They wonder who that girl is because let’s face it “she’s either a freshman or trying way too hard”. I’ve been asked by people why I dress up so much or what the special occasion is and in reality, it’s just to make myself feel better.

A good outfit can change your whole mood. 

So here in the midwest, there is not much “fashion” at all. People wear camo and sweats and that’s fine. I will sometimes as well. However, I’m starting to think that people are going to think I wasn’t born here if I keep up this effort.

So ambitious little fashionistas reading this, you keep going. Put on that red lipstick and curl your hair to the equivalence of an LA model. Strut your stuff no matter where you are and just dress up for you. You are the one who deserves to feel beautiful.

Until Next Time,

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

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

California Here I Come

When things don’t go right, go left. Way left, all the way out to California. At least, that’s my plan.

A few weeks ago I had plans to embark on a fun-filled road trip but due to some uprising conflicts, the trip has been cancelled. While I am really sad that I won’t be able to experience some of the unique history held in our country, I AM excited that a new opportunity came up.

For the traveling souls, we know that sometimes, you just have TO GO. So when I was talking with my cousin who lives out west, we came up with the idea of me going out to visit her for a couple weeks. A vacation to escape the world I’m used to and give myself time to feel like myself again.

I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch the past few weeks. Because of this, I thought, maybe I should just stay home. I almost did until I thought what would Anna have done one month ago? Answer? She would have bought the ticket yesterday.

I booked my ticket a few days ago and leave in ten days. Spontaneous traveling will be my safe haven. It will allow me to see more of the world and come to terms with the vast possibilities and adventures that await over the horizon.

So California, here I come. Days filled with sunshine and the most therapeutic method of all- the ocean.

I cannot wait to be with someone who has lived a few of the same stories and who is such an inspiration to me. I cannot wait to go on adventures and catch up with myself to process what my life has been like for the past few years. Not many people get a chance like this. To just take a break and breathe. To adjust and understand where they want to go next. I need it and I need it with someone as wonderful as my cousin.

Maybe you don’t get an opportunity like this but I think it’s always important to take time to realize where you are and how you’re doing in your somewhat made up ten year plan. Are you happy? If not, what’s holding you back?

Those two weeks are going to help me recognize what’s important. Once again, travel is going to save me. New faces, new places and new memories. I am going to live every single day to it’s full potential of adventure because that’s what this trip deserves.

Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll hear all about it.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Finals: I’m Too Tired to Think of a Clever Title

My fingers are dragging over the keyboard. My eyelids are in slow motion. My body is screaming nap time but my mind is whispering the final assignments that are due in a few days. Finals week, this battle has been hell. I will not let you win but you can throw a hefty left hook. I just need a minute to catch my breath.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Yes.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Yes.

For those who are in college good luck. For those who aren’t, I’m sure you have felt another comparable, stressful situation. I didn’t think much of finals when I was a freshman and I didn’t think college was too difficult until I got into my major and realized all of the work that has been demanded from me.

Today is the day that positivity needs to be carved into my skull. The days I lose motivation and the grey skies win over my mood. The days that textbooks seem a thousand pages thicker and words seem much too difficult to string into a coherent essay. The days I drag myself around in an attempt to be functional. Man, I am burned out. College is hard. It’s not a new revelation I’ve made, but it deserves to be said.

So for those of you who need to hear it, you can do it. You are almost there. You have a few days left and if you keep up the pace and push yourself until that last minute of that last exam, you will be so proud of yourself. It will be worth it. Take a deep breath and keep trucking. You are almost done. Then you can scream to the skies and let the sunshine hit your face.

Think of summer. Think of how great it will be to enjoy the summer knowing you pushed yourself to the last possible hour of the Spring Semester of 2015. You will jump in the air and time will freeze in your happiness. Okay, maybe not quite that blissful, but you can grab a glass of wine and watch Netflix without feeling guilty for the first time in months.

The simplest pleasures. They are quite worth it. Keep pushing.

Until next time,

Anna Marie