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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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

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

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

Tips to Help you Save for Travel

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For those of you who are loving followers of Inspired She Lives, you know that I am a college student in love with the idea of experiencing every corner of the world. I have had many questions from friends asking me how I can afford to travel while I am paying for text books, rent and other expenses. Below are some personal rules I go by when considering my next adventure.

1. Have an Income: This seems pretty obvious but it’s true. You have to be working in order to have an income to go on a trip, there are sweepstakes and such but you might be waiting forever before that can happen. Find a job, even if it’s a part time deal. I had two jobs and now only have one and don’t make even $9.00 an hour. Which leads me to my next tip.

2. Budget your money or be aware of your spending: This is the MOST IMPORTANT part. You can make a very small income but if you know how much you can put away in savings for your dream trip, you have a time frame of when you think you can take the leap for your trip. I realized how badly I wanted to travel and every time I was about to make a purchase I would think of how it might affect my future goals of travel.

I made a budget using Microsoft Excel and put in my spending predictions as well as my income so I knew approximately how much I should have by the time I wanted to leave for a trip. It made me realize where my money was going and in some cases, I was shocked about how much money I spent.

For instance, I got coffee probably 4 days out of the week at a coffee shop. This cost me about $15 a week. It doesn’t seem like much but that is $780 dollars a year. That is an all inclusive trip to Cancun that I just gave away for a cup of joe. Some choose that coffee shop but I will always choose adventure. I also used to buy a lot of “stuff” that I didn’t really need. I would just ask myself do I want this $65 pair of jeans or do I want to go to Europe next summer? In my mind, the choice got easier as my savings increased. If you want to travel that bad, you’ll make it happen.

What I tell people most when they ask how I afford to travel is “I don’t spend money… ever.” This isn’t true because of course I still go out to eat and grab coffee once in a while but compared to the average person, I am really strict with my money. I would rather pay for an experience than pay for stuff that I don’t need. I have never regretted spending my money on travel.

That is why this step is the most important and the most difficult because it involves a lot of self-control for some people.

3. Decide a dream travel destination and do your research: Knowing where you want to go is essential in starting to save. That way you can picture your vacation and daydream about the experiences you could have there. If you start saying “I’m going to this place” you will be more conscious of every day spending decisions that might inhibit you getting to this place. Also look into if you want to go with a tour company, by  yourself, with a vacation package, etc. It’s as if you are setting a travel goal. You will psych yourself up  if you start doing your research and can name reasons why you want to go to this specific place.

4: Get excited and tell your friends: They will either want to come with you or ask you all about how you plan on going on this trip. Either way, you will get excited and more invested in making the trip happen.

5. Use Social Media or technology: I created a Pinterest board of where I want to go and have my computer background of the next place I want to see. I am always itching for a new adventure and constantly seeing beautiful pictures reminds me that I am going to try my hardest to get there. If you’re visual, use it.

These are the most important aspects I use when considering my next travel plan. If you have any further questions for me, please feel free to comment below and I will gladly help out a fellow inspired traveler.

Until tomorrow,

Anna Marie ❤

Photography and Video Editing: Doing is Learning

I am currently a student in media production and a volunteer learner of photography. So what better project could come along when my professor told me that I would be creating a still image project with only two seconds of video and at least three layers of audio? A creative project, that is.

It’s time to talk about one of my biggest passions and inspirations. I love creating video projects. I’ve been editing since I was in 8th grade and shooting pictures for as long as I can remember. I have always had dreams of using my talent in a career and I still dream of the day I can live that reality.

So here below, I wanted to share some of my photography from the shoot and ultimately the finished product. Comments are welcomed. Enjoy!

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And as promised… this what happened when hundreds of these photos came together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM1TTtEPC6w

I hope you enjoy my project and thank you for stopping by Inspired She Lives!

Until TRAVEL TUESDAY tomorrow,

Anna Marie ❤

Stressed Out? You’re Not Alone

They say that if you do something one thousand times, you’re an expert at it. Ladies and gentlemen, I am an expert at becoming stressed. I’ve been feeling a little bit a pressure lately and knew that writing about stress might, in fact, help me cure it.

If you’re like me, you have the super power of knowing when you are stressed out. Therefore, you probably have recognized that when you’re stuck there, it just takes time to unravel your knot of to-do’s swimming in your brain.

Not to fear, I’ve been there.

As a self-proclaimed adult, my life can get way too cluttered with feeble attempts to build a nice life resume. I started becoming way too obsessed with what I needed to do rather than what I wanted to do to make my time spent on earth worthwhile. I knew what would make me a good candidate for jobs after I graduated and I got lost in that mindset.

The first step to becoming a less stressed person is knowing what situations make you stressed out. I figured out that my tendency to bite off too much is the main reason why I have been a little overwhelmed on and off the past few years.

This can truly be the hardest part. Sometimes, it’s hard to not blame your stress on something that’s right in front of you or that just happened. For example, when I was feeling a lot of pressure yesterday it was because I thought I had a ton errands to catch up on when in reality I did a really good job of getting everything I needed done. After sitting down and taking a big ole loud breath, I realized that I was more stressed out because I haven’t had much time to hang out with my friends. This made me a little lonely and crabby and therefore I got stressed out because of it.

The reason your stressed can sometimes be hidden beneath all of the little things you think are making you upset. Once you do figure out the core of the stress, it’s time to breathe.

Step two is to know what makes you feel better when you are stressed out. Do you like to be alone and think it through? Maybe distracting yourself with music or TV works best? Perhaps you are like me and want to talk about it with someone and then move on to a nice distraction.

Do you know what makes you feel relaxed? Good, now do that. If you can’t or don’t have time, take a few breaths and plan out the next chance you will have to do what makes you feel better.

The worst part about being stressed out is not knowing what it is at the time and not knowing how to counteract it. But once you figure those two crucial things out, you will know how you work better and how to help yourself in the best way.

Let’s hope this post gave a little more comfort than stressing you out even more.

Breathe in, breathe out and conquer the world. 

Until next week!

Anna Marie