Every Day Is A Fresh Start…

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Hello, it’s me…

Remember me? It’s been over a year since I last published a blog post on here, and who knows since the last time I even visited my blog to make sure it wasn’t hacked or something and there weren’t embarrassing photos of me circulating on the internet.

Oh wait, that’s all of my pics. Ha. Kidding.

Well, so, where the hell do I even begin? The last blog post I talked about how I had handled the anniversary of my breakup with my previous boyfriend and how life was going at my latest job, Jackson National.

Flash forward to 2020… and here we are in the middle of a pandemic. The me a year ago could have never saw this pandemic. No one could have. But, back to that in a minute.

Let me first catch everyone up on what else happened in 2019 prior to shit hitting the fan in 2020. So, life happened as it was supposed to, I guess. Nothing too exciting that I at this very moment can think of. Part of it is, now that we are all on quarantine and I am working from home, all of the days are turning into one big blur. So, pardon me for not remembering all of 2019 now, lol, and for any spelling/grammar errors that may appear in this post. I’ll write now, edit later. Bear with me, too, I am writing this post being as basic can be with a glass of wine to the of my laptop.

Ah, yes, laptop. Why of course, yes, I do have a beautiful, brand spankin’ new desktop in my office in my HOME that I could certainly being utilizing, but, seeing as I spend 37.5 hours, sometimes more already outside of work, in that room and on that desktop, I figured I would set up shop in my kitchen at table on my old laptop, which is really only good now for Zooming with friends.

Anyway, 2019 highlights included… me turning 29, woo, last year of my 20s; the birth of my latest niece, Minah; celebration of my sister and cousin’s 45th birthdays up north, which, honestly, was probably the highlight of my year because it was THAT fun; holidays, etc… the usual. And obviously, totes more, and if I forgot anything else spectacular, I do apologize.

And… a new relationship bloomed! Whoa. Huh. What. Who? Me? Who would have thought? Yes. The start of what would become official Jan. 4, 2020. 😉 Yes, I decided to quit feeling sorry for myself and realize that what my family and friends have told me all along is that a) I do deserve someone great and will find said person and b) that I will find that person when the time is right.

Well, it turns out, I had found him back in 2016, when I started my job at The Argus-Press. Sports editor. Sat right across from him. But, we didn’t become official until much later. Too long of a story that I am sure my boyfriend does not care to have me re-hash on social media.

Anyway, let me tell you, my heart has been on a whole other level since such a great human being really made me realize that good guys do exist out there and that I am worthy of one. And man, without even trying or wanting to, he turned me into a big sap. A big puddle of mush that always gushes about him any chance I can get.

But hear me out, to each their own. For y’all that have followed me on this blog for awhile know that most of my blog posts have been about the demise of my previous relationship and the aftermath of it. It took me awhile, a long while, to get over him.

Looking back now, I feel silly I let myself feel so down about how and why things ended, but, everything happens for a reason for me, it ultimately did help that I let myself feel the grief, if you will, of saying goodbye to a relationship on someone I fell in love with once long ago.

Of course, now slightly older and feeling more wise, I to this day do not regret my past relationships. Did I contribute to us breaking up? Certainly. Honestly, I felt a lot of insecurity, some of which I still unfortunately feel today, that made me feel like I wasn’t worthy of the guy I was dating — even though, in hindsight, our relationship was often tumultuous and probably wasn’t the best slate for basing my relationships on moving forward.

But, again, not bashing my past relationship(s). I thank those men for teaching me that he wasn’t the one. And that I wasn’t the one for them. Was I hurt/devastated/angry/sad when we broke up? Oh, yes. But, as time has gone on, I’ve learned it takes much more effort to be mad and dislike or even hate someone than it does to simply forgive them and move on. So eventually, I did.

I forgave him. I forgave myself for acting the way I did, but also forgave myself for allowing myself to think that that’s who was meant for me.

Flash forward to this relationship… It’s going to sound so cliche, but, I really feel like the happiest girl in the world. And, here I am turning into a sap, yet again — or maybe it’s the red wine I’m finally feeling — haha — but, I do sometimes feel like it’s a dream because, how on Earth could I snag a man as wonderful as him?

I won’t bore you with the mushy details of why I think my boyfriend is all of that and a bag of chips, although, if you really want to know — go check out my Instagram — that’s where I post my occasional “boyfriend brags,” lol. Sorry, Ryan!

Moving along…

Back in November 2019 was my one year anniversary at Jackson and coming up in just a few weeks on May 4, 2020, (oh, May the Fourth be with me! LOL) will be my year and a half anniversary. It truly amazes me how fast my time has flown by at Jackson. I guess it’s true, time flies when you’re having fun. I really have enjoyed my time working at Jackson and becoming good friends with my coworkers. I am happy to be back working and living in my hometown, which brings me to latest update from 2020…

As of January 31, 2020, I became a first time homeowner. Can you believe it? Yes! I looked at houses for couple of months, not too many, but, then I finally found the one meant for me. And now, more so than ever, am I relieved my realtor was able to make magic happen and have me close when I did because otherwise, my house hunt would have been put on hold for who knows how long due to the current pandemic.

It was an interesting experience. I looked on Zillow a lot for houses within my price range and it seemed as soon as I found one I liked and texted my realtor that we were interested, the next day it was sold. It was crazy. But, at least I found one and closed one day and literally moved the next day. I still have long-term projects to work on — the main one being painting, with the help of my dad and grandpa, etc. when the stay at home order and lifted and things can return to normal — or, our new normal. My dad talked about remodeling my kitchen, but, my mom and I don’t hate it nor feel it needs it so, we’ll see if that is actually something that happens. I am also trying to find a new couch to buy for my living room that won’t cost me a freakin’ arm or a leg, as well as eventually a new coffee table and entertainment center for living room. Other items I would like longer down the road are to buy a day bed for my guest room and to finish the now partially-finished basement. I’m sure between now and who knows I’ll find other, smaller, but still important things I want to accomplish, but, truth be told, I’ve been successful in making my house feel like my home as much as I could so far.

Of course, being a homeowner comes with its own set of challenges, which, in all of my almost 30 years I haven’t had to deal with personally, lol. Like: mowing my lawn; shoveling snow in my driveway and sidewalk — woof; changing my address on my license; updating all of my mailing/billing addresses for banking info/credit card; myriad other things. It’s been a learning curve. And thankfully, I guess thankfully, the weather here has been so back and forth that I haven’t had to worry too much about mowing my lawn but, now we’re at a point where, well, I need to get myself a lawnmower ASAP. Baby steps. Also, if you know of any local lawn care places that can hook me up once the stay at home order is lifted, let your girl know. 😉

Well, I guess that’s all for now. Outside of work I’ve been watching TV, Netflix; Zooming with friends and family; drinking wine; napping; coloring; keeping my therapy appointments via telehealth, which has been detrimental to making sure I don’t lose my mind by being cooped up inside. No shame in sharing that and I believe more people should be more willing, if able to, give it try if needed. #MentalHealthMatters #MentalHealthAwareness

P.S. If you have any additional ideas outside of the ones I’ve posted above about how I can make sure to not lose my sanity during this time, leave a comment below. 🙂 Thanks in advance.

Anyway, until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

The first step to living the life you want is leaving the life you don’t want…

Happy New Year, readers!

We’re two days into 2019 and I thought with the kick off of a new year, I’d share some highlights of what I’ve been up to lately and my goals/resolutions of sorts that I have for this year.

So the last time I blogged was back in October, right before the one year anniversary of my breakup with my ex-boyfriend. It came and went as expected; I believe I went out the night of to distract myself and have fun. I tell ya, and I know I’ve said it countless times before, but I wouldn’t get through the tough times without my friends (OK, and of course, family, too).

Anyway, the day came and went and I always kept thinking about the day we broke up and the time we spent dating in the back of my mind every now and then, determined to finally get over him and the situation. Of course, like I’ve also said countless times before — that’s much easier said than done.

After that came and passed, I didn’t spend too much dwelling over it because, well, I had something very, very exciting to look forward to — a new full-time job! I was offered and accepted a position at Jackson National Life. The position is totally opposite of my former job as a reporter but let me tell you, I absolutely love it. I am so beyond happy and was absolutely thrilled to have been offered a position in my hometown, something that has always been my goal. Saturday marks two months since I started working there and I am so beyond eager and excited to see what the next 10 months (until my one year work anniversary) and beyond hold for me. I have a feeling it’s going to be great.

In addition to that, I spent my holidays with all my loved ones, family and friends — my friends and I did a friendgiving dinner and Christmas party gift exchange, which my cousin and his girlfriend — my best friend — were gracious enough to host at their house.

Soon enough the new year was here and right before it arrived, I met up with my ex-boyfriend.

*Cue the silence*

Yup.

We both got invited to a mutual friend’s going away party and before I knew it, we agreed to meet up beforehand for dinner.

Let me tell you how I felt…

Well, at first, I was honestly speechless. After having not seen each other for more than a year and barely talking on social media outside of that, I wasn’t sure how to feel about meeting up with an old flame.

Alright, so maybe I did. Honestly, albeit maybe even a bit (or a lot?) pathetically I had dreamed/imagined about what it would be like if we ever saw each other or hung out with one another. I tried my best not to give it too much thought, though, sort of, because based on the few conversations we had had it just didn’t seem like a likely scenario.

But, cue to the week before the party and we agreed to meet right before the party the day of. Honestly, I tried not to hold my breath because I just had this gut feeling tell me things would fall through. But, as the day of the party approached, he messaged me to ask if I still would like to get together. I did my best to play cool (lmao) and agreed. But what would we do — coffee, drinks, dinner?

I had already had a coffee shortly before we met up so we agreed on dinner. The next question was, though, where would we go? I being the indecisive person I am, let him decide and of course he just happened to pick my favorite restaurant. Not sure if he even knew that, but I was both thrilled and confused as to what, if anything, it meant. Although, based on how things went into the night and next day, I don’t think it meant much, if anything.

We agreed to meet at the restaurant and I arrived early, texting my friends I felt sick to my stomach. Why? What was I so nervous about? Oh, I don’t know because I was going to see my ex-boyfriend who I hadn’t seen in more than a year and didn’t end on the best terms with at the time. I really didn’t I think could do it. Yes, me, a grown ass woman (who deep down knows I don’t need a man and shouldn’t be freaking out over an old flame) was panicking about how things would go. How would we greet each other? What would we talk about? Would we even talk at all or simply sit there awkwardly and stare at each other?

As it turns out, you can’t let shit like that bother you. It went fine. And our greeting with a hug took me back to a good time when we used to date. I guess, yes, old feelings came flooding back but as I had told myself numerous times before and he made clear — we were just friends. Dinner went fine and smooth; us catching each other up on what the other has been up to over the past year. Even learned of a short-term girlfriend he had and honestly, I wasn’t bothered. The younger me would have been, as silly and ludicrous as it is, but as time has gone on, and what I remind myself of all the time — is that time does heal wounds. I was happy that he was happy.

Following dinner we rode to the going away party together and again, I still had those old feelings in the air, feeling both happy and sad at how much had changed since we first met and even started dating. Don’t get me wrong, it was nice, but as the night went on it felt like we could have been a couple, which threw me for a loop because I know realistically we can’t. And I was even more sure of that by the end of the night and New Year’s Eve.

It’s not to say I wouldn’t maybe date him again — or, that was my thought until Monday. Something about it being a new year and having had a chance to see him again after so long — made me more determined now than ever, to let him go. Maybe some day we can be friends or lovers again, but for now, I need and so badly want to focus on my exciting future both personally and professionally. I’m ready to give my all, my love, to a man who’s just as motivated to give the same back to me. Someone who is as certain about me as I am about them.

Remember ladies and men, know your worth and don’t let anyone treat you like you’re less than.

Anyway, something about the clock striking midnight had me feeling so excited, even more so than in years past. I don’t know exactly what it was, what my pinpoint was for my happiness and eagerness but I know one thing for sure, this year is going to be MY year. I have hope for this year that I’ll excel in my job, make new friends and meet new people to possibly date. Aaaaand eventually get around to actually working out in addition to eating healthier.

Life is too short to not take advantage of what it throws at us, good or bad. The bad times make us stronger and more appreciative and the good times are memories you’ll be able and want to cherish forever.

Who knows, too, maybe, just maybe my Mr. Right will appear in my life. Cheesy and cliche, I know. But at the same time — I think it’s about my time. I’ve been patient enough in waiting for love so bring it in 2019! LOL! Even if I don’t find Mr. Right this year, there is always next. And dating in the mean time should be fun. As Old Dominion sings…

“You gotta love like there’s no such thing as a broken heart.”

So no matter what your new solutions are, or whatever you’re letting go of and saying goodbye to in 2019, maintain the positive attitude that life will reward you with something new.

Until next time, readers…

XO,

Anamaria

A lot can happen in a year…

Five months. Boy, do I really know how to maintain a blog.

Oops!

Well, regardless, here I am at the beginning of a new month and a few weeks into a new season: fall.

I like fall, and a new season in general, but if I’m being completely honest, the shorter amount of sunlight during the fall/winter days makes me not at my peak of happiness.

I don’t believe I have actual seasonal affective disorder and to be clear, I’m certainly not saying there is anything wrong with those who suffer from it.

Then again, this month marks something of somewhat significance. OK, I shouldn’t say somewhat because it was an experience that meant a lot to me and one I cared for deeply, and unfortunately it didn’t turn out how I had hoped for.

I’ve talked about it before — the last time being in May, which was coincidentally also the last time I blogged at all — that time about how I had felt like I moved on. Now, that wasn’t entirely false. I had, I did. But slowly old feelings re-emerged and I realized maybe I hadn’t given myself quite enough time to grieve my heartache like I should have. Of course, the saying goes, it takes half the time you dated someone to move on from them, and in May it had been half the time. But, now in a matter of days (Oct. 12 to be exact), it’ll mark one year since I said goodbye to another chapter of my life in hopes one day I might be able to open that door again, if only even in the form of a friendship. But, eventually would I learn the truth that some things can never go back to the way they were.

And that’s a cold, hard truth.

And it’s not a surprise, nothing new. I’ve said goodbye to former flames and even friends without reconciliation, but even as I’ve gotten older, I realized it never quite gets easier because of that. Especially in the day and age of social media and how advance it has become, like Facebook reminding you of past memories of every day of the year. Yeah, great for most memories but not like the night when you treated your now ex-boyfriend to an expensive dinner only to have you guys break up an hour afterward. (Actual true story, by the way.)

I guess I’ve always tried to give people the benefit of the doubt. I think in my mind it was my thought process that a person needed to change (I thought they should) and that if they did, everything would go back to the way it was. But, I learned that that isn’t reality and we can’t make people change — especially those who don’t think they need nor want to change. Plus, maybe it’s not even that we think people need to change, but that in our mind we become so consumed with that thought because it’s the only way we can wrap our mind about why said person left our life to begin with and wondering what we could have done to make them stay.

But get this — and people have and I know will continue to tell me this until I find my Mr. Right, or even if I simply close the door to a friendship — that what’s meant to be, will be. It can be so easy for us to become attached to a human, think that they’re beyond right for us, only to be faced with the cold hard truth that, said person leaving your life isn’t doing it to be mean, but simply because said person knows they’re not meant for your life.

For me, that’s a particular hard pill to swallow. Which, in all honesty it shouldn’t be as I feel I have personally written people off for a lot less — people I originally wanted so badly to stay in my life.

And those people who have done what I do/did to those leaving mine, trying desperately to do whatever I can to keep that person. I try my best for one more chance, only to be told it isn’t going to happen… like ever (hey, T-Swift); just like others have asked me for another chance, whether intentionally or subtly, I must and have to close a door.

What I’ve learned about breakups and ends of friendships is that even though they suck, I have been beyond blessed to be surrounded by loved ones, both friends and family, who offer a shoulder to cry on or lend a listening ear. They let you say you miss said person, that you want to see and talk to said person, only afterward to be that good friend or family member and remind you of everything you have to offer to someone who will actually cherish it.

Sure, we all can fall into these funks, especially when we’re hit with a new season that comes with less daylight and messes with our serotonin, the happy, feel good chemical our brain releases. But, like the time it actually happened, the breakup of a significant other or a friend, we find ourselves relying on our loved ones to get us through and remind us we’re strong; we’re capable of overcoming our feelings of sadness and loss; and most definitely will find another person to fall in love with or create an everlasting friendship with.

And like I’ve said before, while breakups in particular suck, no matter how long or little you two dated, or even how long ago the split was, in my opinion I will forever be grateful to have loved and lost rather than to never have loved at all.

So for those of you reading this who have mourned a romantic breakup or end of a friendship, know the storm doesn’t last forever. It’s so cliche, but like I mentioned earlier, I felt peace at one point before and I know in time, especially when this one year anniversary is over this month and a new season comes upon us — preferably spring/summer — I’ll be back to feeling 100 percent how I was before I even began the relationship or friendship.

It’s not just a matter of time healing all wounds, it’s a matter of changing your mindset to “I know I will be OK. I was OK before said relationship and I know I can and will be OK afterward.” Things happen in life that we don’t always agree with, but I believe they ultimately happen for a reason (even if it takes us awhile to fully understand that reason) and shape us into the person we are meant to be.

And trust me, there are far worse things in life to be sad about than someone not liking you. Their loss! Am I right or am I right?

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but building on the new…

As we’ve all been waiting for April 30 so we could post the N Sync meme about it’s gonna be “May,” at last it is here.

As always, I tell myself I should and want to keep up with this blog better but as a reporter, sometimes (usually) when I’m done at work I just want to take a nap, not write more, ha.

But, I realized it’s been a couple months since I last posted anything new so I thought I would do so today because new things have gone on in the past two months.

Finally feeling more “moved on” and OK with my previous break up. April 13 marked six months since it took place and among another thing or two, I realized enough was enough. I needed to quit dwelling on what was. I definitely (well, for the most part) don’t regret things in my past because I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason,” but, like I said, it was time to move on. Everyone moves on and heals from a heartbreak in a different amount of time and I am no exception.

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Eventually, I meandered into the online dating world via Tinder and while I had some conversations with guys, they were typically fairly short and fell flat, unfortunately. Some might argue I am too picky, but then my closest, best friends remind me time after time that I should never settle and that someday some guy will see how fabulous I am and think I am worth it. And so that’s why I don’t settle. But, until then, I have to go through the process of dating “frogs,” and at times that can be a lot of work.

Why, you may ask?

Because, I’m not in a position where it’s as easy as it used to be like when I was younger to meet people. I live and work in a small town, and it’s still working on attracting younger people to the area. So, most of the time my searches on Tinder have been for guys near my hometown or other areas, which are at least 45 minutes away. It’s definitely not the worst case scenario, especially considering my last boyfriend lived an hour away from me, but, still. Slim pickings.

Plus, the previous guys I’ve dated have been friends of mine–that’s how we met and got to know each other–so trying to get to know a complete stranger right off the bat can be a challenge. For some reason, it really is quite strange, at least for me, anyway, to meet people because… my job is all about talking with strangers and getting to know them. But, like I’ve said to people before, it’s easier in my professional life versus my personal life. That, and because I consider myself a fairly shy, reserved person outside of work (well, I guess even at work, too, but not quite as much) I tend to not open up as quickly as the guy does and then he’s  likely left thinking I am not interested… that, or they just think I’m weird, lol.

And plus, what are the “rules” when it comes to dating? How long am I supposed to wait to call or text a guy? How long before we have “the talk” about being exclusive? Are there even rules anymore? I mean trust me, I’ve seen enough rom-com movies and the entire Sex and the City series, but, that’s fictional. This is my real life and I’m smart enough to know that what works in TV or movies doesn’t always translate well to real life.

So, I’ve decided I think I just need to take a break, and listen to my family and friends again like they’ve told me time and time before, to not go searching for love, but let love find me. (I personally think it’s super cliche but, I know they all mean well, lol) Well, I’m trying to let things happen that way but, I have to be honest, it can be hard sometimes—especially when I’m constantly comparing myself to others and wanting to be where they’re at in life… i.e. married, having kids, living in a house, etc. etc. Something I am working on for sure. Plus, I know that realistically, my job is going to come first for me until someone really special comes along. Then, they’ll be equal… or close to it. 😉

The truth is, I’ve been single long enough both from this most recent breakup and my one long before that that I can be content with being single but I don’t always want to be. Ya know? There are times when I go stir crazy at my apartment because I have no one to talk to. Of course, a boyfriend isn’t the only person I could potentially talk to, which brings me to another point…

I’ve lived here for just more than a year and for whatever reason have struggled to make friends. Yes, I meet new people every day but again, that’s in my professional life. I have to remember to differentiate who’s going to be my professional contact and who can be a personal contact. Usually, it’s best just to have a professional contact. Plus, like I mentioned earlier, there are still many young people that have yet to venture to this town and lay down roots. Because most people here are either people who have lived here forever, and typically older, or families with young children… so it’s like where am I supposed to fall in between all that? You see, it’s not always as it seems to make new friends versus acquaintances.

Aside from that, over the last two months…  I’ve gotten to see my cousin and best friend who are dating close on a new house… my other friend is seeing a new guy… I’ve started taking a new FDA-approved appetite suppressant, which as a result as helped me lose some weight over the past three, almost full four weeks I’ve been taking. Now granted, I still need to work on and focus on actual dieting, say such as Weight Watchers, which I am actually signed up for (oops), but, I have cut back significantly on pop, which, is a huge deal for me. I’ll try to have one here or there but it’s gotten to a point now where I can have a sip and then be instantly disgusted. It seems as if somehow my taste buds changed, and with coffee, too! Who would have thought? I actually am almost freaked out (lol) by that because I looooove coffee, so the thought of no longer being interested in is crazy. CRAZY!

I learned while taking this medication that I am going to focus more on how my clothes fit rather than rely on the scale since I didn’t weigh myself before and record it. If I had to guess, I would guess I’ve lost about 6-8 pounds, give or take. Of course, I’m part of Facebook support groups for this medication, which has been nice (for the most part) but then I see people posting about how they’ve lost like 40 pounds in two months, which discourages me. Now, again, I could have likely lost much more than I have in these past few weeks had I been more strict with my eating habits but your girl just loves beer and wine… and fast food. *sigh* BUT, I have noticed that I am not eating as much as I used to when I order food, which is nice/a good sign. My goal, with a new month having just started, is to hopefully lose about 22 pounds by my niece’s wedding in mid-August. If I truly work hard enough, I know I can get there so, keep your fingers crossed for me and if you feel compelled to, feel free to send some encouragement my way. 🙂

Other than that… Work is going well. I am really enjoying my time working and living here and have met some pretty great people through stories I’ve written. I’m happy it’s May because that means my birthday is next month. Towards the end, but still, lol. I will be the big 2-8. Crazy. I am getting closer and closer to 30… which, I think is in part why I am constantly comparing myself to others because when I was younger I always pictured myself being married by the time I was 26 and well… that didn’t happen. But, I am reminding myself that everything happens for a reason and in its own, right timing.

So until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

Photography is the beauty of life captured…

Let me tell you something. Something random.

I love pictures. I love being both in front of and behind the camera.

Why?

Because pictures capture moments, memories. You capture people’s personalities, sometimes even a glimpse into a rare, not often seen side of said personality.

I love pictures because even though relationships among the people in those photos can change, those photos themselves never will. A picture is a treasure you can keep and cherish forever.

Every so often I find myself scrolling through my Facebook photos from previous years and I feel an array of emotions—mostly happiness—I get happy reminiscing about those certain moments I shared with my loved ones, family and friends. It’s almost like I can remember exactly how I felt in that particular moment and wishing I could experience some of those moments again, because they were so fun and wonderful.

For example, being with my best friends on St. Patrick’s Day last year. It was the first time in a long time the four of us had hung out. It was a bittersweet feeling; bitter knowing it would likely be a long time again before the four of us hung out again, but sweet in the sense that we got to hang out period that day.

Or the time I got see Sleeping Bear Dunes for my first time last May. I had only ever seen photos and to experience it myself, hiking to the top, was exhilarating, exciting.

The time with my two former coworkers at one of their weddings. How grateful and blessed I felt that day, having been invited to her special day when having known each other for only about a year but, feeling like it has been much longer.

My 27th birthday at the Crystal Bar. My favorite bar, my hometown bar. Celebrating turning a year older with my family, best friends and then boyfriend. My favorite photo from that night was one of me and my then boyfriend–it didn’t make social media, but it was of me having had one too many and leaning against him, both of us sitting in chairs and him with my plastic birthday crown on his head. It was such a silly picture but one that, despite how different things are between me and him now, makes me smile and laugh any time I see it. That was a good birthday, probably one of my favorites. The other two being my 21st and 25th. 🙂

Visiting my best friend/former college roomie in Nashville and us visiting Arrington Vineyards. The background was breathtaking, a shot of the entire vineyard behind us. How breathtaking that view is.

That time I made my then boyfriend ride a camel at the fair. I laugh whenever I see that picture because it was so random; he never had ridden a camel and I’m pretty certain the guy operating the camel rides thought we were children.

The picture of my grandpa and me at my nephew’s wedding all dolled up. It’s not very often we get pictures together, especially all dressed up.

And oh how that day was anxiety-ridden at first; knowing my first ex-boyfriend would be there, but I was proud of myself for being the bigger person and going over and talking to him briefly before the night was over. I thanked him for helping my grandma find her way about since she can’t see that well anymore.

Anyway…

The pictures of my niece and I meeting our favorite band, Simple Plan during their meet and greet. I love those pictures because it’s actual proof I got to meet them. LOL! They are such sweethearts/down to earth in real life. All the more reason to love them.

The picture of my best friend and me in front of the MSU rock on campus; it having been at least a year or close to it since we saw each other last. That day was so fun. I got to finally meet her boyfriend and she got to meet my (then) boyfriend.

The picture of my two best friends and me in front of the state capitol during Silver Bells. A tradition we had done so many times before.

That’s why I love pictures. Each picture represents a certain time and even though moving forward the people might change in them, the pictures themselves don’t.

I know phones and cameras can sometimes be a nuisance and that were told to focus more on the moment itself rather than trying to capture the “perfect moment” but sometimes, just sometimes, capturing a particular moment on camera can be just as great. Just look back on your past pictures. Remember how they made you feel. Remember the scenery, the smells, everything.

So here’s to another year, until next March, or whatever month I just happen to catch myself looking at pictures from the year before.

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

Fall in love with as many things as possible…

Love. A four letter word that can mean different things to different people.

Tell me: what do you love?

I love a lot of things. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my job. I love shopping. I love traveling. I love coffee. I love writing. I love shoes. Clearly, I love a lot of things. The list is… almost endless. Because you see, although there are many things I do love, I know there’s a whole range of things out there that I have yet to love.I got to thinking about what I love, what I want to love, and what others love while I’ve been enjoying this much needed, fabulous vacation to Tennessee these past five days.I saw that others love each other. They love their baby. They love their cat. They love their dog. They love their home. They love smiling, laughing. It made me excited and eager to one day share those same feelings of love on my own some day.It’s strange, how life kind of flashes before our eyes sometimes.To this day, when I hear someone is expecting, or engaged, or moving in together, getting married, I think, what? No way. We’re too young. Only then to realize that I will in fact be 28 in just over three months and my close friends only trailing one year behind. We’re not as young as we used to be. Of course there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a fact that’s taken me awhile to get around to realizing.I’ll admit, I get envious in the beginning, seeing my friends and others people I know experiencing all these milestones, thinking about how when I was younger I had this idea and plan in my head that I would be married by the time I was 26, be living in a house with my husband and experiencing that happily-ever-after I saw my parents experience being high school sweethearts.But, as I got older and time went on, I learned that my life likely wouldn’t pan out as I had hoped and wanted. And it took me some time to be OK with that. It took time for me to accept and be happy for my friends when they hit these milestones. After all, that’s what I should want for my friends–for them to be happy. What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t want that for them? Of course, though, too, I always want what’s best for them.Visiting my best friend and college roommate this weekend has made me over-the-noon happy to see just how in love her and her fiancé are. It makes me even more happy and excited for when I get to experience the same thing one day. I don’t know when exactly it will happen but I have hope and confidence it will.In the mean time, I’ll continue loving what I already love and learning to love more along the way. I hope to fall even more in love with my life in general. Being grateful to be alive and see another day, especially given recent current events where people’s lives were cut much too short.I hope to fall in love with trying new things, whether it’s an activity, a food or drink, or something like going out on a date! Keeping my options open. ;)I hope to fall in love with seeing cute kids and not being instantly annoyed when I see them, LMAO, because God forbid I have my own some day. Lolol.I love chocolate. I love the beauty of nature. I love driving with the windows down and the music cranked up. I love feel good news stories I get to report on. I love Target. I love sunshine. I love being up north at my cottage. I love being out on the lake. I love… many things.I hope to fall in love with so much more than I already have in my almost 28 years of living. I have to remind myself every once in awhile that I’m still young and I have my whole life ahead of me.See, loving something doesn’t always have to be about romance but if it is, all the more amazing it is. 😉So tell me, what do you love right now? What do you hope to fall in love with in the future?Until next time…XO,Anamaria

A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot…

 

gratitude

 

Guys, it’s almost 2018.

Like, in 18 days, a new year will be upon us.

I keep coming across “On the Day” memories on Facebook and to think of where I was this day last year, yesterday last year, or even the first of this year, so much has happened that I could have never even imagined.

While none of us are ever certain what the future holds, it’s exciting to experience it firsthand as it unfolds right before our very eyes.

Of course, I can’t recall every exact moment as it happened but the big ones, of course I do. Around this time last year I was contemplating and wondering if a change might happen where I would end up back in Michigan. Little did I know at the time, a month later, I would be.

Living and working in Indiana at The Chronicle-Tribune was a great experience. I remember driving there, by myself, two and a half hours to my interview, nervous, not knowing what to expect, but hoping with all my might I would get the job. After all, it had been almost two years since I had graduated from Central Michigan University and at that point, my optimism about me landing a job as a reporter was starting to dwindle.

But, into the office I went and talked with Dave and Tyler, and after a few minutes feeling a sense of ease. I wasn’t as nervous and suddenly thought about all the possibilities there would be for me there if they offered me the job. Of course, like most jobs, they had other candidates vying for the position, too, and so a part of me couldn’t help but wonder, what if that person was more qualified than me?

So I wait for the next few weeks to see if I hear anything than them. I was constantly checking my phone and e-mail, only to see “no new messages.” Finally, it got to the point where I felt confident enough to follow up with them myself and see if the position had been filled.

I was extremely nervous calling and half of me was expecting yet another “Sorry, we ended up going with another candidate” or some variation of that message, only to be pleasantly surprised that I had been offered the job.

I wanted to scream! I was silently jumping up and down on my end of the line, trying to contain my excitement while still remaining composed on the phone.

I thought, could this be real life?

Of course while I was excited I knew I had a big decision to make. Would I accept, or respectfully decline?

I wanted to say yes immediately, but given the job was out of state and that I knew very little, if anything, about Marion, that I would need to do thorough research about where to live, cost of living, etc.

I didn’t ponder this while on the phone but I did let them know I would need a day or two to think before giving them my final answer.

Looking back, I can’t remember now if I actually even waited a full day or two, but I do remember excitedly calling up my all of my family and closest friends that day, gleaming with pure excitement.

Fast forward to my first day, and I was nervous. I was super excited, but I was nervous because it was a new environment for me, both the place of work and the city I was in. I remember being very reserved and quiet around my coworkers, not sure how to break the ice with them and become more than just coworkers, but friends, too, and I spent a good long while simply keeping to myself to make sure I stayed in the good graces of the big bosses and doing as I was told.

Fast forward even more, and soon Amy left go to back to teaching at Indiana Wesleyan University, which meant we had a vacancy for a new reporter. I was nervous who might join us, but later I would find out I had no reason to be nervous.

Andrea ended up joining us and soon her, Navar and I became best buddies, laughing, tweeting, Snapchatting and group texting 24/7. We would even go out to lunch together on a regular basis, too. It was a blast.

But, while as much fun as I was having with them, and enjoyed getting to know the Marion community and local officials, there was something gnawing at me on the inside that told me I wanted to come back to Michigan.

Michigan is my home. It’s where I grew up, what I’ve known my whole life. It’s where my family is at and family is the most important thing to me. And while my job was just as important, I knew I wasn’t completely 100 percent satisfied, even if I kept telling myself I was.

So, flash forward some more to end of December 2016/beginning of January 2017 and I am scheduling am interview at The Argus-Press.

Talk about being nervous. I was even more nervous about this interview because I knew at that point I had to be discreet about it seeing as I was still working for the C-T.

In the end, everything worked out just fine, but the whole experience of ending one job and beginning another brought a mix of emotions.

Ultimately, I would learn, it would be one of the best decisions I made.

In just over one month, on Jan. 16, 2018, will be the one year anniversary of when I began working for The Argus-Press.

Looking back on the year, both professionally and personally, it doesn’t feel as though it’s been a whole year. I think of certain memories and think, no way could that have happened in January, or no way could that have happened in May, etc.

I traveled to Nashville, my youngest nephew turned one, I was able to celebrate holidays (albeit however Hallmark-ish they were, lol) with a special someone, went camping in an actual tent for my first time (LOL), turned 28, gained a new cousin, gained new friends, parted myself from things and people who no longer served my life in a positive way and so much more.

So much has happened, none of which I could have pictured at the end of 2016. So as I sit here and wonder about what will happen in 2018, I won’t be nervous. I will look forward to the new year with excitement.

I don’t know what will happen, nor does any silly Facebook quiz (LOL), but here’s what I hope will happen:

I hope for a new year filled with happiness. Although as I know life goes, I’m sure it will be bound with some tears here and there, but only temporarily.

I hope to open myself up to love again. I can’t tell you how much I love the concept and idea of love and how excited I am, whenever it may be — whether it’s in 2018 or the year after or the year after that—to fall in love.

I hope to fall in love with my job even more than I already have.

I hope to make new friends here, not just work interview sources, but actual people I can call my friends.

I hope to really get to know more about the city here and the surrounding areas so I am apt to stay in town more on weekends I don’t work.

I hope to travel more, which I am already planning to at the end of February to visit my best friend and her boyfriend in their new house they now live in together.

I hope to make new friendships in general, just not here where I’m living.

I hope to be able to better let go of circumstances and people who no longer serve me or put forth the same effort to have me in their life.

Most of all, aside from my own happiness, I hope that my family and friends experience happiness throughout their new year as well. every day, because they deserve it.

Like I said, no one ever really knows what the new year will bring but I have a feeling mine will be just a great, because while I won’t expect it, it’ll be whatever was meant to happen to me… because everything happens for a reason.

So don’t be scared or anxious… Be excited about the future and remember to always cherish past memories because it’s all we have at the end of the day when the day is done and over with. 🙂

So tell me, what do you hope the new year brings you?

Tell me in the comments.

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria