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

 

 

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

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

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

Love is Real, Love is Consuming

I’m sure you’ve been asked the following questions before.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Do you believe in soul-mates?

Insights of a hopeless romantic. No, I don’t believe in love at first sight, but I DO believe in lust at first sight. I don’t think you can love someone just based off of looks but I do believe in connecting with someone immediately on a level you haven’t before. Is that love? No, but it could be.

Soul-mates? I want to believe that there is one person we are meant to be with, but don’t you think that would be rather cruel? There are over 7 billion people in this world and you are suppose to find “the one” in order to live out a fairy tale? I would like to think that we have a few soul-mates out there.

I think love is so much stronger than that.

I am not a relationship expert, nor do I pretend to be so my theories are skewed to my own personal experiences. Alert: here comes my love story.

The best kind of love that I have been and still am in, was when I was least expecting it. I feel like this is what all of the old people tell you when you ask them how they met their spouse but I really didn’t see this guy coming. We were friends. Really good friends. When we met, it was an instant friendship that was filled with laughter, jokes, and music. I didn’t have a clue that I really was starting to like him until he leaned right over and kissed me. At that moment, there was no question in my mind that I wanted to be with him.

Here he is! My man. December 2014.

Here he is! My man. December 2014.

Pause, you know that saying that says you’ll just know when someone is right for you? I have never had this happen to me. I was always filled with indecision and debating what I should do but this time? Doubt didn’t have a chance to fill my mind before I told him I’d be his. I knew.

Everyday was filled with adventure and the more time that passed, the more I fell in love. We were flawlessly entangled in each others lives and to this day I can’t believe how easy it was for us to get so far. He is my best friend and my go to person. He makes the ugliest faces, has the best laugh, and never stops loving me. I’m truly grateful to call him mine. HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY?!

ANYWAYS- where I’m going with this is that I am in a love that consumes me. With every day that passes, I feel so blessed to have found someone who can make me a better version of myself. I truly wish for everyone to find this kind of love.

So do I believe in love at first sight? No. Do I believe in soul-mates? Not really. Do I believe in a love that can consume you? I do. Because I feel like there is no better way to love someone.

Until next time,

Anna Marie

Accents and Adventures

Let’s set the mood. You’re watching a movie that makes you feel incredibly giggly and hopeful and then all of a sudden someone dies or a bomb explodes and the credits start rolling. In this moment, all you can do is squeeze your fists as your body and mind try to process the emotion explosion that’s making your heart hurt.

This is what summer camp feels like.

I went to a summer camp as a camp counselor in New York during the summer of 2013 and it still causes an emotional labyrinth in my mind today. I did not know any of the other camp counselors and the first 6 out of 8 weeks were filled with demon children, weird accents, and little sleep. I went through culture shock in my own country when I realized that 12 year old girls make sex jokes and cut each others clothes up as an act of revenge. Not to mention how British people pronounce lilac and ADIDAS way differently than any American I know.

Let me break it down. The first day we got there, the head of the camp told us that when we leave, we will have made lifelong friends that know you better than the ones at home. I was skeptical. We arrived without the children, got to know each other, and waited for the kids to arrive. As soon as they did, we realized that if we did not support each other, the kids would make us want to jump in the lake and swim away.

My close friendships with people of completely different cultures was the only reason I made it through summer camp.

Some of the kids you met were so kind and wonderful but then some kids were just awful. They were late, rude, disrespectful and just plain old MEAN. I never thought a 12 year old could make me cry until the moment it happened. Ironically, I took the job because I love kids. Now, not ALL of them were that bad; there were some great kids there but the best thing I got out of summer camp were the lifelong friendships I made with other counselors.

New York City. July 31, 2013. Times Square & childhood dream.

Looking at this experience the right way really changed my whole perspective. I was really down while I was in New York. It was long, stressful days with only 5 days off in 2 months. Amazingly, you would never believe what those days did for you. I went camping on a river under the stars, stayed in a sketchy hotel with a really nice pool, and explored as much of New York City in 6 hours that a girl can. These days were spent with people from all over the U.S. and all over the world. It was amazing to be a part of a staff that was 75% international. Now, I didn’t get to know everyone, but a few co-counselors truly impacted me and I stay in touch with them to this day.

This is why. When I had an especially horrible day, I could reach out to these few girls and go on a quick walk with snot running down my nose and tears watering the sidewalk. I don’t have any idea what I would have done without them. So many times I wanted to call a cab to take me to the airport but they convinced me that if I wait it out, I wouldn’t regret it. I would call and talk to my mom and friends from home but no one quite understood what you were going through like the people who were stuck in the storm with you.

August, 2013. Camp Besties.

August, 2013. Camp Besties.

We were able to remind each other that we had to keep our chins up and smile because this experience had to be a good one. So, better late than never, I forced myself to smile and started to look at things in a more positive way. I reached out to more counselors and became friends with even more people. I began feeling a little more like myself every day until the final day came. The day we all went our separate ways to go home.

I have never cried so much than when I had to leave my camp best friends. You don’t know when you will meet each other again, but you do know that you will never forget how extraordinary those 8 weeks were and how it changed you and the ones around you. That picture is of two of the most incredible friends I have in the nation.

My co-counselor who became my international best friend. New York. 2015.

My co-counselor who became my international best friend. New York. 2015.

In this other picture is my English treasure, who I am hoping to visit this next summer. Without her, the children would have destroyed all strength I have and I couldn’t believe how two people from different worlds could become so close. From trying to teach her an American accent that always sounded Texan, to her making fun of the way I destroyed the English language, I will never forget the friendship we built by being there for each other when it was much needed.

SO.

Does my story make you think of one of your own? Something that changed your perspective? If not, think of any memory where you felt down. TWIST it. What was good about it?  Try to do this when life throws hammers at you and remember that the first step in fighting for happiness is standing back up after being knocked off your feet. 

 

Anna

My heart beats to a good song.

I believe that music has the opportunity to say what words can’t, make you feel what people cannot, and lift you up higher than a spaceship. I think that when two people have the same taste in music, they have the potential to have a really strong relationship (friend or more). Therefore, I’m cutting off a chunk of my life and handing it to your ears in hopes that you and I can make a connection and become friends (or maybe just feel a little less lonely in the world).

One Republic Concert. 2014. How can you not feel incredible in this moment?

One Republic Concert. 2014. How can you not feel incredible in this moment?

I don’t know if you feel this way, but for a while, I was really protective of my music taste. I wouldn’t really share my favorite songs with people because they were always really different than the majority. Strangely enough, when I started jamming out to my favorite genre- which I could best describe as Indie/Indie Pop- I was shocked to see how many others would come to love some of the songs I did. It was the beginning of some of the best friendships I have, including one of those friendships turning into my relationship I am in now.

I am sure you could think of at least 5 songs that make you super happy and comfortable when you listen to them. They take you to a place that just gives you familiarity and content- both things that I really enjoy. So here we go, get your ears ready and take a little dip into who I am and what I love.

My top five favorite songs in order as of this moment are:

5. Luck by American Authors (my belt it out because I want to sing song)

4. Reflections by MisterWives (my dance around the room singing into a brush song)

3. Unsteady by X Ambassadors (my mellow/sad mood song)

2. Luna by Bombay Bicycle Club (my long-time favorite that makes me feel adventurous)

1. Geronimo by Sheppard

I have literally been listening to Geronimo for the past few days non-stop. Not only do I love the lyrics but I love the feel of the song and the female vocals that sneak in. Chills. It has been my obsession and I am so very unashamed.

What do you think?

Here is your challenge. If you can, pick five songs that you really love right now. Write them down (or not) and think of why each one speaks to you. Is it the feeling you get? The lyrics? Is it catchy? Whatever it is, try to understand why you love the genre you do and how that relates to your experiences and reasons.

Do you have it?

Share it with me. I’d love to hear what songs makes your heart beat.

Have a good weekend and watch out for my Monday post!

Anna Marie

The Why and the Reason

Today is the day. I am starting a new adventure on this blog and I can’t wait to see where it takes me. Every hint and trick to starting your own blog tells you that you need to find your niche that your passionate about and go from there. Well, here it is.

The reason I am starting “Inspired She Lives” is actually quite personal. I find myself lacking the stimulation and excitement I feel I need to thrive. I don’t know if its from being stuck in a small town or being stuck in a mind set. My gut tells me it’s a little of both. Therefore, I am going to be searching for inspiration in every day routine. Since I am not feeling as excited as I once did about this place I call home, I want to start recognizing little things in my life that made it so exciting to start a new chapter here. Hopefully, I will be able to share with you how you can start to flip your mindset as we go down this road together. Basically, I’m blogging about happiness and where I find it in my life.

I can’t promise you that I will not stray from that topic, because sometimes there’s just a great story waiting to unfold in your life that you have to share with the world. However, I am quite passionate about becoming happier for my well-being and hope you will join me as I share what makes my glass half full.

Click that follow button and let’s get started.

-Anna Marie