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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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

 

 

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

 

 

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

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

THIS Is What You Deserve

You deserve to love the way freckles kiss your face.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of your mind and the strength in not only knowing what you deserve but doing everything you can to be as deserving as you think you are.

You deserve the best night’s sleep. To wake up with a smile that fills you with ambition and energy throughout your day. To have the perfect ratio of creamer to coffee or to buy yourself a cup just because you’ve earned it.

You deserve sunshine warming your veins or the calming pitter patter of raindrops against your window. To feel purpose in what you do and appreciated for what you have done. To feel satisfied in your work yet able to know when to go home and enjoy the other side of your life.

You deserve to be loved by family. To not just know that they care about you but to feel it in their actions and words. To feel supported in your dreams and in your choices. To become more confident in the person you are becoming because of the confidence they instill in you. To feel more of a connection than just blood.

You deserve the best kind of friends. The ones who choose to be your family and will always let you soak their shirt with tears. The kind who will not judge you but push you forward and towards your own goals. Friends who will let you be weak when you can’t be strong and make you laugh when you are in darkness.


You deserve to love who you are.
  To call yourself beautiful.To have pride in where you’ve been and excitement for where you are going. To love the way your hips fit into jeans or how your hair falls around your shoulders. To know that you are worthy of love and to always appreciate the small moments.

You deserve to fall in love. You deserve butterflies. You deserve to wake up to soft kisses and arms tight against you. To laugh louder than ever before and to fall for your best friend. To fit so well with someone that you want to make fun of each others wrinkles and white hair one day.

You deserve happiness. But it can’t all fall into your lap as a gift from the sky. It has to start with YOU. Your attitude, your willingness to grow and push yourself, your determination and your patience all have a say in what you will get, regardless of what you deserve.

Treat the world in this way and you will find happiness in what comes back to you.

Until next time,

Anna Marie

Hunting For Treasure

I realized, life is a treasure hunt.

When I was a little girl, I remember my grandparents teaming up with my parents to create a treasure hunt for my sister and I. We had an aged, frayed map leading us to riches buried deep in the ground and clues to further our journey. At every clue, we would glance around and then at each other, hoping we could decipher the clue as time ticked by. 

At the “Aha!” of knowing what direction to go, we would skip over branches and mounds in the woods, heading straight for the next clue until finally, we came to a big red X in the ground. This was it, what we were waiting for. We scraped through the dirt and leaves with our hands and not far below was a little brown chest. Squealing with delight, I pulled the little treasure chest from the ground as my sister immediately went to work on the clasp. 

As the lid flung open, we saw gold coins, pearls and even a little parrot. We gasped as we rummaged through the riches we found, displaying them for our family as we pulled them from the chest. It was everything we could have hoped for.

After carrying the trunk back to the house, we shared our treasure with anyone who wanted a prize. After all, they did hand us the map in the first place. The night was filled with chocolate gold and after that day, we were happy to wait patiently for the next map to arrive so we could find riches once again.

Like I said, life is a treasure hunt.

We start by seeking clues that boggle us. As we stare at the directions we can go, we wait for a something to click that will lead us down the right path. When we finally take a step in a direction, we can’t help but second guess if this was the right choice until we reach another clue. Another fork in the road, we ask those around us to make our decisions and tell us what choice will be best even though no one can know until it’s a memory.

We seek satisfaction or greatness and we go on a hunt to find it. We take forks in the road that we believe will get us where we want to be and decipher clues until we are confident in our choices.

When we finally see our dreams within reach, we run straight for it, doing all we can to undo the clasp and feel what it’s like to achieve. As we rummage through our treasure, we can’t help but decide if it was all worth it. Am I disappointed with what’s inside? Am I surprised? Or is this exactly what I wanted?

If it’s not, we wait for our next map to arrive with the hope that this time we will find what we’ve been looking for. With that, we take our first footstep into the next journey.

See? Life is a treasure hunt.

Until Monday,

Anna Marie

Goal Setting 101

Setting goals is a beautiful thing. Do you know what’s even more beautiful? That feeling that rises inside of you when you accomplish them.

One of the most truly satisfying things someone can do to increase their happiness meter is to set a goal, work hard, and achieve it. Whether that’s getting your homework done ahead of time so you have a little more breathing room or keeping your apartment clean for a week straight, that satisfaction and accomplishment can lead to more motivation throughout your days.

The worst part about setting a goal is thinking of something you want to commit to. It’s kind of scary isn’t it? If you do set a goal that you know you probably won’t achieve, then you just feel bad about yourself. On the other hand, if you keep setting tiny goals that you achieve daily but don’t have any bigger goals, you may feel scared to branch out and try harder.

Accomplished my first 5K with the Color Run!

Accomplished my first 5K with the Color Run!

Setting the right kind of goal is different for every person. You want something that is going to push you and yet, not something that will make you feel like a failure. For example, I wouldn’t make a goal to go on a run every day of the week because I know how busy my schedule is. Instead, I planned on running at least three days a week or more until I took part in my first 5K. Realistic and attainable.

Another good example is to think of something you WANT to do that you feel would make you a little better or happier in life. If that want is attainable, set it as a goal. If it isn’t, change it a little. Exampled below.

My goal: I started this blog because I wanted to write more. I wanted to become more creative and better at writing in general.My goal was to start having a more positive outlook. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to do a blog full-time so I set my goal to write a post Mondays through Thursdays in hopes of improving my skills.

Your goal: Did you have a goal in mind while you’ve been reading? Go from there and see where it takes you!

Alright, now your goal is set. When you start, you will be so motivated and the first few weeks will fly by. Now, comes the tough part. You get into your routine and feel good about starting a new goal and all of a sudden it gets a little muddy. You don’t feel as motivated, you’re wondering if you should have aimed less or you think of a better way to solve the problem that sparked your goal.

Don’t let your mind fool you. If you have been thinking of a goal for a while now and you have started the journey, don’t you dare give up just yet. Those first few weeks are the warm up, it’s when you get beyond that that makes you work a little harder. Chances are you set this goal for a reason and you know why you want to reach it.

It’s a test I want you to pass. So here’s what you can do. Think of why you set your goal and how good you will feel when you reach it. Setting yourself daily, weekly, and long term goals will be so good for you because you will gain confidence in achieving milestones and be able to inspire those around you to do the same.

Right now, just for today, set yourself a small goal. Are you going to skip the coffee today or get a jump start on a project looming ahead? Share your goals with me and we can all keep each other motivated! I’m excited to see some progress.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie

Capturing Happiness

Here’s what I believe.

You can really get to know someone through the pictures they share with you. Therefore, since a picture is worth a thousand words, I thought that today I would share one of my favorite hobbies. Photography. I love taking pictures and even more than that, I love to capture moments. I love to catch that moment of laughter or that real smile and it’s even better when the camera decides to work with you and catches that moment as well.

I am not very advanced with my skills but whenever an opportunity arises, I jump at the chance to capture someone’s moment for them. I am always learning and growing in my skills and so I thought I could show the world a bit of my work so far.

These are all property of Inspired She Lives- ENJOY!

Property of Inspired She Lives.

Property of Inspired She Lives.

Property of Inspired She Lives.

Property of Inspired She Lives.

Property of Inspired She Lives.

Property of Inspired She Lives.

Property of Inspired She Lives.

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I truly feel blessed to have captured some of the moments that I did. I even feel more blessed to have had these wonderful friends and family ask me to do these pictures for them. Looking back, I know they are not perfect and I am my own worst critic, but like I said before, I am learning.

I can’t wait to continue to have this hobby as something that makes me truly happy.

Thank you for reading this special post and I would love to hear about any wonderful hobbies you have!

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie ❤

Dance With Me

As a three year old girl, my mom said I couldn’t stop moving my little butt so naturally, she put me in dance class and my whole world changed.

I was in ballet, jazz and tap and absolutely loved every second of it. As an 11 year old, I started helping my teacher teach 3 year olds how to dance and started making up routines at home. After I got my 10 year award at my studio, I graduated out of the program and joined my high school’s dance team which sucked miserably and dissolved after my sophomore year.

I didn’t realize how much I missed dance until my freshman year in college when I was able to take a class as a general education requirement. I joined into some zumba classes as well and realized that dancing was such a good release from stressful days.

Even though dance wasn’t as big in my life anymore, I still loved watching it. I became a huge fan of So You Think You Can Dance and movies like Center Stage and Step Up. There was just something about the movements and details that made dance so beautiful. To show you a little of what I love to watch, I included a video of Chloe Lukasiak (recognizable from Dance Moms) doing a beautiful routine. Watch it and I guarantee you you will understand why I love dance.

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Somehow, dance is very unrecognized when it comes to all of the other activities and sports kids can join. What people don’t realize is how tough dance is. You are completely supporting your own weight and controlling your limbs to move in precise angles and shapes. Sound easy? Even when you think you have a move down, you might still look ridiculous because the technique great dancers have is absolutely incredible.

I have always been a huge admirer of dancers and wish that I would have stuck with it when I was younger. I will see videos cross my news feed from time to time and be in complete awe of what some of these dancers can do with their bodies.

STOP: Hammer time…

The best part about dancing is that you don’t have to be good at it to have fun. You can look absolutely ridiculous and still be put in a better mood. Not to mention dancing gives you a work out! Zumba anyone? What I’m saying is that even though I can’t do all of the special things I used to do when I was younger, I can still do that side step bobbing thing you see at high school proms that make you feel good. That’s all I need.

So dance it up from time to time. From dance parties with your roommate to weird dancing when you’re home alone, own it and do it because you know it will make you a little happier. At least, it’s something to this day- watching or doing- that makes me happy.

Enjoy your weekends and dance this Valentine’s Day away!

Until Monday,

Anna Marie ❤