Everything you want is on the other side of fear…

I am fully aware just now neglectful of this blog I am but with an apparent short attention span and a full-time job as a reporter, it can be a challenge to want to sit and write some more outside of what I do for my job. 

Anyway, it’s been five months (yes, five months, O-M-G!) since I’ve posted anything and quite frankly, a lot has happened, in a sense.

So two months after my last post something incredible happened. I was given a second chance at a relationship that I was really hoping and praying wasn’t the end of it for good the first time.

Now look, I’m sure there are some people reading this wondering was this relationship really worth a second chance? If there’s anything useful and important I learned in life it’s to not worry about what others think — especially when it comes to YOUR relationship. On the other hand, I do believe that not all relationships are meant to work out (i.e. my previous relationship during high school and part of college) but, looking back now, I’m pretty sure that was doomed from the beginning, I just didn’t see the signs. But, I certainly don’t regret that relationship because it taught me about love — and the things that come with it — what I should strive for in my next relationship, what I will accept and won’t settle for etc. But this relationship I’m in now, I knew it was different. I’ve known that since the moment I met him.

It’s funny, and kind of bizarre — we met at work not even two years ago but we actually went to the same college at Central Michigan University for all four years before that. We just never met during that time. It seems weird to me on the one hand that it has been such a short time since we’ve known each other because I feel like I have known him for much longer.

Now let me tell you — up until a certain age I think I believed in love at first sight. But then, as time went on I thought, ‘there’s no way that’s possible. In fact, people who think that are out of their mind,’ but — at 27-years-old now, I am beginning to change my mind again. I’m not sure if it’s that I actually believe in love at first sight but, I do think that two people can meet and just have a special instant connection. Something else at first sight.
I feel kind of scared — OK, I feel absolutely terrified to even be sharing/revealing this but — I do believe in that special connection and I feel as though I am experiencing it currently. I say I feel terrified because, it’s a new thing for me. I’m not saying that with my last boyfriend I didn’t feel it but, let’s be real — that was young love (yes, I was in love with him some years ago) and now I am a grown adult — a lot has changed about not only myself personally but how I feel towards relationships, love and even fear.

I am also fearful for another reason but, I’m coming to realize that fear really doesn’t have a spot in my life. People get scared all of the time about different things but do they let it hold them back? NO. Or, you know, they try their best to not let it hold them back, which is something I am currently in the process of working on. I am fearful because what if the feeling isn’t reciprocated? I am not saying that’s the case — and definitely not limiting that feeling to just my relationship — but for anyone out there. I know where my relationship stands, however, I can’t help but feel a different kind of happy, go-lucky, giddy feeling than the same feeling I felt when I dated my previous boyfriend. I think part of it might be because back then I was young therefore a bit naive, and didn’t know any better. Well, now I am older and certainly know better, or, like to think I do anyway. I guess what it comes down to is, I think I am trying to shift the focus of who thinks what of how I feel to others — rather than myself. Even though in reality, it’s me who I am worried about I feel. It’s not that I am not confident in how I feel, but, on the other hand, am I crazy for feeling this way so fast? Of course, while I really cannot compare my relationship to any other as no two relationships are the same, (and I need to quit trying to compare mine to others) I have considered others’ relationships and for them, to me, it seems like they have that feeling I do only they’re not questioning it like I am. They’re just going with it. And for me, that’s much easier said than done.

Like I said, it’s not because I don’t actually feel it. I do. I have this intense feeling of “fondness” if you will, toward my relationship but I think maybe I am feeling it too fast, too soon. Of course no one but myself and my boyfriend can be the judge of that, but, I do look to others because I simply admire their relationships. Take my parents for example — they’re high school sweethearts.

When I dated my former boyfriend I had long assumed and hoped that’s what our relationship would be. It didn’t up being the case of course, which, for the both of us ultimately was the best thing for us, but, the me now wants that same kind of love my parents share.

Love — yes I said it. I love love. I really do. And it is because of not only my parents, but Disney fairy tale cartoons, too. Call me cliche, call me cheesy, but I have always been one of those girls who idolized the princess and prince charming ending up happily-ever-after. Although, side note: If you’re an adult watching Disney movies then you can see just how truly barbaric some of the story lines are. I mean, a prince “rescuing” the princess a.k.a. damsel in distress?

OK, not my point. My point is, aside from the somewhat outdated story lines, it’s the elements behind it. Cinderella, for example, while she was “rescued” from her evil stepmother and stepsisters, she wound up living happily-ever-after with her prince. Now of course, this is modern day, and reality of course, not some scripted cartoon movie, and relationships don’t always mean a happily-ever-after. That’s not to say people won’t stay together forever, but rather, relationships “aren’t always rainbows and butterflies.” (Cue: Maroon 5, for those of you who caught that reference.)

Relationships take work. They take patience. Kindness. Understanding. Everything. And I am beyond grateful and can’t thank God enough for allowing me this second chance at this relationship I’m in now. For quite some time after my former relationship, even sporadically until now, I have carried that emotional baggage around with me. Eventually, I knew I had to let that baggage go in order to fully accept and actually be present in this current relationship. Of course, while I let go of that baggage it seemed I picked up new “baggage,” if you will, only this time — about the future.

Obviously I or anyone else has no idea what the future holds but for some reason, I am determined to try and figure it out. Never in my life have I wondered, or worried, so much about the future. I guess maybe it’s in part because I have gotten older and will only continue to get older, just like everyone else because it’s a part of life. It’s inevitable. But, on the other hand, I feel like that’s just maybe who I am as a person — a worrier? But why? That remains a mystery to me.

I’ve been trying hard to be more present and focused on the present and it’s a process. I started, sort of, a hand-written journal that I truly hope I can utilize regularly to my benefit. It’s part hand-written, part “vision” journal, meaning I am cutting pictures and images out of old magazines for both short-and-long-term goals I hope to achieve.

The journal is a work-in-progress, much like (me) trying to regain focus on the present outside of my journal and being grateful for the now of my life because well, it’s pretty damn great. But I will say this, as another potential reason for my worry about the future: I don’t want history to repeat itself.

I know, I’m 27-years-old (Eek! That’s still so weird to me sometimes), a grown adult, and really I only have the one other relationship (that was significant and had a major impact on my life) to compare things to, but, that heartbreak was hard. Of course, all heart breaks are hard (even if it was ultimately a blessing in disguise), and everyone handles them differently. For me, as a woman who’s always been an emotional being (for whatever reason), it was one of the more difficult things in life to go through. It obviously wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever experienced as I consider the death of a loved one or pet, or something along those lines, as the worst things I’ve had to experience in life. But anyway — the heartbreak was difficult then, and even during my last “heartbreak” in this relationship during the two months we broke up and hardly spoke, were awful. I really wasn’t sure and didn’t entertain the idea too much if we would get back together. I had hoped, obviously, as our relationship just hadn’t felt like it should have ended there and thank God and my boyfriend, and myself too, for realizing the feelings were still there and that in order to move on some things would need to change to make the relationship even better the second time around.

And let me tell you, they are. When he and I met up for the first time after two months it wasn’t at all awkward like I kept telling myself and my friends it would be. I was terrified to see him in person because I honestly had no idea what to expect. He was simply just “coming over to visit.” But, it turned out what I could have only dreamed of and from there it’s been much different, but certainly in a good way.

My point is, there’s a lot of unknowns in life. And fear is a thing that never goes away. But, we find a way to overcome the fear and accept the unknowns as they make their presence known in our lives. And as for feelings, which in this particular case mine are tied to fear — I can’t let it. I can’t and shouldn’t feel scared, or sorry for the way I feel. I can only hope and pray for in the future for things to be equal among us.

For now, I will continue my relationship, and life in general, as it is. Enjoy each moment and it comes and try not to stress out so much about the future. Be confident in where I am in life now. And that goes to you, too, whoever is reading this post.

Until next time…

— Anamaria

Great things never came from comfort zones…

goals

Hey there!

March officially kicked off last week and with the spouts of warm, sunny weather we’ve had recently it’s gotten me really excited for the spring season and overall just new goals this month. I came across a fellow blogger’s post about goals for the month of March and decided to follow suit and do the same.

So here is what I hope to accomplish in order to break out of my usual comfort zone…

  1. Actually finish Bethenny Frankel’s book, I Suck At Relationships So You Don’t Have To
  2. Be more conscious of what I eat — not be so hardcore at counting calories that I set myself up for failure but, cutting back (hopefully) on pop and fast food. I recently have become addicted to pop again and with a vending machine at work that offers it, it’s easy to give in.
  3. Be happy. Simple. There’s always going to be negativity in the world but it’s up to us individually on how we react to it. We can’t let the negativity define us or make us bitter. We must allow it to make us better and rise above it. And that goes for things that happen to us personally or in general. And of course, if it’s something we can fix, then we should most definitely try.
  4. Understand and realize that not everything is as it seems. What I mean is that just because someone posts/presents a certain persona on social media doesn’t necessarily mean their life is as perfect as it may seem to you, the viewer. I for one often think this and then compare my life to theirs and feel like I am missing out on something but then I bring myself to reality and realize that while yes, people may have their own fantastic life, it may not always be perfect. And it’s totally acceptable to realize I too have a fantastic life, while not always perfect but, fulfilling, nonetheless.
  5. Give people chances — but, not too many. I am the type of woman who wears her heart on her sleeve and whether it’s my family, or your my friend or my significant other, I will care deeply for you. I may not always show or tell it, but, I love the people in my life more than anything else in the world. My family, for example, are people I would truly be lost without. And while I may not always tell them, I do love them and most definitely will always fight for them. But by giving chances I mean being open to the opportunities that present themselves to me, whatever it may be. Whether it’s saying ‘yes’ to someone asking me out on a date (after all, what do I have to lose?), writing a story I may not have a ton of interest or expertise in but be willing to learn, giving people a chance to redeem themselves after a mistake, but, also not letting them take advantage of me. I can and will only give people so many chances. And this month, and continuing in the future, I vow to myself to not let people take advantage of me in any way by giving them too many chances.
  6. Actually listen to what people are telling me and be actively engaged. I’ve noticed I tend to be hearing people but not always fully listening to the details and then later trying to piece together what exactly it was they were talking about. And this goes for both interviews for work and conversations among my family and friends.
  7. Smile. Sure, this may sound silly but people always say, ‘fake it until you make it?’ right? Well, even when times are chaotic or I’m going through something where I’m feeling sad or down, I am going to grin and bear it. After all, life is much too short to be spent down.
  8. Get moving more. Whether it’s something as simple/little as taking the stairs at my apartment or dancing to music while I’m getting ready for work or even putting my laundry away, I want to do my best to make sure I am moving more. After all, exercise gives us endorphins and endorphins make you happy. 😉
  9. Keep in touch with people better. Lately I’ve realized that I am not always the best at keeping in touch with loved ones, like my friends. I tend to get so wrapped in my love for my new job and my new apartment that I let other important aspects of my life, such as my friends (and family, too) fall to the way side. I vow to be better at texting my friends and asking them how life is.
  10. Lastly… My goal is to try and blog more!

What about you? What are YOUR goals for this month and the remainder of the year?

Leave me a comment!

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

What it’s like being a journalist in a world of ‘fake news’…

If you’ve been paying attention, you’d know President Donald Trump has declared a war with the media.

Why, you may ask?

Because according to him, all the media prints are ‘alternative facts’ and ‘lies.’

Well, I for one, call bullshit.

I’m not saying that news outlets are perfect and never make mistakes, because we do–usually unintentionally–but, what he is implying is outright ludicrous, offensive and damaging to our credibility as journalists. And I especially take offense because I am a journalist. And I’ve worked damn hard, just like the rest of us, to become one.

Now I can’t sit here and claim I’ve never made an unintentional mistake or two here and there because that would be a lie. I’m only human, after all. And Despite Trump doing his best to make media the anti-Christ, there are people out there who, thankfully, still believe in us media. They rely on us to report the truth, inform them of current events and breaking news happening locally, nationally and internationally.

And to those people who support us, I thank you.

As for those who are on Trump’s side in regards to the war with media, I am astounded. I am astounded because so often I come across people on social media sharing and re-posting news articles that aren’t from a reputable or even real news site but, believe it’s real. They fail to do any work of their own to check the credibility of that site/publication and instead  just assume that actual, legitimate news organizations are just full of straight crap.

As a reporter, I strongly urge to anyone reading this to please, please, please in the future consider double-checking the news sources from where you’re getting stories and re-sharing from. Because not only do I take offense to this on a professional level, but it also makes me lose respect for your personally to see you didn’t care enough to even bother double-checking your source(s).

It truly is a shame that there are so many people who side with Trump when it comes to blasting and ragging on the media day in and day out. And I don’t simply say that just because I am a journalist. I would be pissed even if I wasn’t a journalist because I would still rely on them to report the news and keep me informed and educated. I would rely on them even if I wasn’t a journalist because I know that they actually went (or you know, should have) to school to earn their degree in it. And yes, a degree in my opinion separates the real journalists from the non-real journalists. But, that’s a completely different topic in itself.

Being a reporter in the present when Trump is president is tough. It’s not easy. And while the chances of Trump ever noticing and calling me out personally or the newspaper I work for on something we reported on are like 1 in 1 million, I still stand by my fellow reporters across the state, across the nation and across the globe. And I appreciate so much the news outlets who took a stand against Trump and Sean Spicer regarding their recent press conference by not attending it even if they were actually on the very exclusive, small list Trump created.

Being a reporter in the present when Trump is president is frustrating. Even though I work for a small paper, I (well, mostly the paper I work at or any newspaper/other news outlet in existence for that matter) still deal with and experience people’s nasty comments on news articles we write–saying we’re this and that because of what we report; or how dare we report on this; how dare we not report on that; etc. Of course, there is always going to be something, whether it’s Donald Trump or regular everyday people sitting behind their computer monitor, that people dislike about what my newspaper or other news outlets report on. And that sucks.

No profession goes unscathed by people who call out their flaws and rag on them now and then but, in Trump’s term as president right now, the media is definitely subject to more scrutiny and hatred a lot more openly and frequently.

So my point is, please consider formulating your own thoughts about the media before just blindly jumping on Trump’s (or any one who is anti-media) bandwagon. Perhaps through your own fact-checking you’ll see that maybe it’s not actually the media that has it wrong, but the viewer/reader of the news just happens to have a different perception of what is being reported.

It’s OK to have different perceptions, thoughts, opinions — all that. That is what is great about this country–our ability to have different perspectives. But, what’s not OK is simply bashing the media and/or other people/professions just because you don’t agree with them on every minute detail. The media can’t and shouldn’t be the enemy just because you or Donald Trump don’t agree with what is being reported. You can’t claim something is a ‘lie’ or an ‘alternative fact’ simply because you disagree.

Like I said, I for one stand with the media whether I am a part of it or not. Who knows, maybe one day in the far future I may no longer work in the media but you can be sure as hell I will still support them 100 percent. And trust them. They do have a degree in it after all. And, because I know well enough and understand that journalists are human, too, and make mistakes from time to time but that just because they do doesn’t mean they’re bad people, ignorant, stupid, or reporting ‘alternative facts.’ Sure, you can be a Trump supporter all you want but, for crying out loud, politics aside, even before this war was declared with the media by Trump, you should have been doing your damn research. And so if you haven’t, now is as good a time as any.

Just be informed, OK?

Again, even if I wasn’t a journalist, I would still be urging you to do the same–fact check. But I am even more strongly urging you to be informed because I am a journalist. Trust me, nothing makes anyone more annoyed (I can only assume), when people don’t bother to fact-check and make sure that the news they’re seeing,  re-sharing and believing is actually legitimate.

So please, do your part by verifying the news site’s legitimacy before hitting “share” on Facebook or “retweet” on Twitter. It’ll give a lot of people, but especially us reporters, less of a headache.

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

Know that the pain will pass and when it does you’ll be stronger…

 Relationships, they’re a tricky thing. They shouldn’t be, but, they are. And anyone who says otherwise is lying to you.

I came across a video on social media this week explaining what one of the top relationship killers was. It was about people believing the illusion of couples’ relationships being perfect based on what they post on social media, not taking in to account what goes on between couples off social media. It was a good point, and definitely one I believe can be a relationship killer but, that’s certainly not the only one.

Just within the last few months I was new to dating. After a longer-than-I-care to admit hiatus from dating, I entered a relationship — and from the beginning was guarded. For those who really know me, know relationships aren’t something I take lightly. No, I haven’t had countless ones but, the ones I have had I took to heart and during the relationship treated and cared for it deeply. That’s why I was hesitant at first to even start dating again — I didn’t want to have to learn it wasn’t going to work and result in a break up, leaving me to think I feel like the one who’s more heartbroken, even though that’s likely not true. That’s just who I am. I feel things twice as hard.

I get angry, sad, happy, in a cycle. Some people go through the actual stages of grief when they experience a break up but, it’s different for everyone. I try to be angry and then accept it and move on, but because I’m an emotional person, I just get sad and eventually, in time, I find the strength to move on.

I know people will disagree and probably think I’m being cold when I say I feel this —  that I feel like I wasted time on these said relationships but — it’s true. That’s time I won’t get back. Sure, I appreciate the experience but, I’m at the point in my life where I don’t want to “date around.” I want something serious and lasting. And I know I maybe shouldn’t have so many expectations but if I didn’t have any expectations at all then I would be dating frogs for literally ever, which my best friends (and mom) made a good point about needing to “date some frogs before finding my prince”, which I understand, but, I don’t want to do it forever.

I’ve come to know what I want, deserve and need in a relationship. I’ve been fortunate enough to have parents and other family members who model the type of love and relationship I want one day. Their relationships teach me how people in love should respect and appreciate each other. Their relationships show me that they’re not perfect — arguments happen — but that they handle them and find a way to do better next time.

It is because of these relationships and yes, ones I’ve seen in fairytales and even rom-com movies that I know what I want and and deserve. I want to fall in love with someone who’s ambitious, goal-driven, always striving to be the best possible version of himself; surprises me just because and is someone who appreciates when I surprise him just because. I want an equal balance of spending time together and with our own friends. I want someone who enjoys going out with me just as much as he enjoys staying in with me — enjoying any company at all with me. I want someone who appreciates big families and makes an effort to engage in conversation with them at events; and I do the same for him with his family. Family is extremely important to me and I want someone who appreciates their own as much as I appreciate mine. I want someone I can go on vacation with, or simply go on a long drive and that be hanging out together in itself.

There’s a long list of things I seek, love and want in a relationship. And I know that not every item will be met because, well, that would be unrealistic. Relationships are about giving and taking, compromise, and not all of those qualities I’ll be able to have at once. That’s okay. But I hope that that someone is willing to make compromises of his own.

Relationships, they’re tricky. They’ll make you feel your highest highs and can also make you feel your lowest lows.

Arguments and disagreements are a normal part of relationships — and those can bring you lows. And anyone who tells you they aren’t, aren’t telling you the truth. However, having arguments or disagreements in a relationship more often than not is not a normal part of a relationship. And it’s sometimes in those disagreements that you start to see a clearer picture of who someone is and that maybe, just maybe, as much as you may want the relationship to work and be with that person, it’s just not meant to be.

Or maybe, for you reading this, it’s because he betrayed your trust somehow, did something so unbearable that you can’t find it in your heart to forgive him or believe in his “sorry.” Things just happen, and no matter how badly you may want to be in a relationship with someone, some people just aren’t meant to be.

That’s something I’ve learned the hard way, unfortunately, more than once. And even though I’ve experienced it before, it doesn’t sting any less then next time it happens. But the great thing is is that it is possible to overcome. Sure, you’ll be angry, sad, happy — and have every right to be so — fighting to remain happy after being sad and angry but, eventually letting yourself, and your heart, feel the emotions full force and be sad again. It is a process. One I find myself going through right now. I didn’t want to but, it’s a possibility of any relationship — to experience a break up. I know in time my heart will have healed — and thankfully I have an amazing support system and a passion for writing, to get things off my chest — that will allow me to move on and perhaps try at love again, but it is still a process to handle.

It’s what I want and what I believe in. Like people are telling me now, have told me in the past and will tell me in the future, I’ll find someone when the timing is right; find someone who is as crazy about me as I am about them; someone who realizes that relationships will experience disagreements but instead of walking away and ignoring the problem, he’ll stay to fix it; someone who realizes relationships involve compromise; maintaining our own interests while also sharing in our significant others; and so much more.

I’m certainly more hard on myself than I need to be. I will try hard to remind myself I’m still young and have a whole lifetime to find love and settle down with someone, not for.

Until then, I’ll enjoy continuing to love and focus on myself first, enjoy the company of my family and friends and focus on working my dream career.


Relationships, they’re tricky. And they’re a rollercoaster of a ride — especially the potential break up that can follow, making you feel an array of emotions. But, it’s something to get through. It’s something I’ll get through this time, again.  It won’t happen overnight, no, and I won’t expect it to. It’ll take time, and just like that time, I’ll love and find love again when that timing is right.
Until next time…

XO,

– Ana 

Another year, lots of new dreams…

So we’re in the second month of the year, I know. I also know I am really bad at keeping up with this but, it is what it is.

Anyway… Since the last time I posted, a lot of things have gone down.

Good things, of course.

The biggest thing to happen was… I accepted a job offer and moved back to Michigan.

Let me tell you, that was one of the most difficult yet happy decisions I’ve ever made. While I was sad to say my “see you later’s” (*I don’t believe in “goodbyes”) to my coworkers in Marion, I was beyond the moon happy to be moving back to Michigan–to be closer to my family, my friends. Being back in the state I am and will forever be proud to call my home.

I’m a Michigander at heart. No, I wasn’t born here but I was raised here and I for one, think it’s a pretty damn cool state. Except the winter. I could do without the harsh winters–especially being a working adult now and still having to go in no matter what. (*I so miss snow days as a student) The job isn’t in the city I grew up in but it’s muuuuch closer than Marion was so, I took it.

Now I’ve only been at this job a few weeks, well, now almost a full month, and living in my apartment for not even a full week (it’ll be a full week tomorrow) and let tell you, I love it. I had support from everyone moving back, although there were a few “Owosso, really? Mmmmk.” But, of course I didn’t let that discourage me from accepting the job offer and making the move to live here too.

The first couple of weeks I commuted from my parents’ house, which wasn’t the worst, but, it definitely wasn’t the best, either. Having to leave my house at 7 a.m. to get to work by 8 a.m. was less than ideal when I had to wake up around 5-5:30 a.m. to get ready. Thankfully, though, there were only like two major slippery/snowy days commuting and by taking my sweet time on the road, I made it in one piece.

Just a side note, I haaate driving in the winter. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. It gives me the worst anxiety and I am totally that person going 50 on the highway. I know, it’s just as dangerous to go slow on the highway as it is to speed but, it’s my life and the lives of others we’re talking about. And I know, we’re all just trying to get to work or to drop off our kids at daycare before work but, trust me, being a minute or two late given shitty weather conditions I think will have people empathize with you.

Anyway…

So like I said, it’s only been a few weeks but I seriously love it here. I love the job itself, my coworkers and town. Sure, it’s a small town, not much unlike Marion was but, there’s actually businesses still thriving here and a variety of businesses to pick from, whether it’s restaurants, grocery stores or fast food joints. Plus, my apartment I am even more in love with. I knew the moment I saw pictures online that I just had to see the units in person. And boy, am I glad I did. And I’m even more glad and thankful that a family friend made me aware of this apartment complex. I love it because it’s a loft style unit–a studio–and even though it’s a studio it has a partial wall so I have somewhat of a sense of privacy. It’s also a very secure building, which was huge for both my parents and me as I do live alone. The only downside is not being on the top floor because anything below you can hear people walking above. But, all in all the unit itself and the updated look to it is enough to overlook the poorly built floors and ceilings.

Of course while I do enjoy it here so much, I still miss my coworkers in Indiana. Thankfully we still talk often and Indiana really isn’t that far away but, I definitely miss our Snapchats pictures and group texts to each other when we’re sitting across from each other in the newsroom. 😉 On the bright side though, my co-worker did tell me I am still invited to her wedding this summer. YAY! (I love weddings! LOL!)

In other news… Since I last blogged in OCTOBER

Cheeto Man/Toddler… Oh I’m sorry, I mean PRESIDENT Donald Trump was elected as our 45th President of the United States. What crazy news that was! I remember sitting with my coworkers at my apartment after leaving the office late and staying up as late as we could to find out who would win the election.

We would later find out, to my extreme disappointment, that he had in fact won. 😦 I know, people kept and still keep saying to “give him a chance” but man, he acts like a freakin’ toddler every time something doesn’t go his way. YOU ARE THE PRESIDENT! START ACTING LIKE IT!!!!

Anyway, enough about him.

I’m just going to pretend like I live in some sort of alternate universe until four years from now.

In the mean time, I am trying really hard to get back on the diet and exercise plan. Ever since my best friend’s wedding last August I fell as much off the bandwagon as I could. Like, to the point where I am embarrassed for myself. No one has said anything to me about it, which is great but, at the end of the day your self-esteem and your own thoughts of yourself are what matter most.

I remember in 2015 doing so well with diet and exercise and having lost 15 pounds. It wasn’t my goal weight but, 15 pounds, even 5 pounds, is a major accomplishment in my books. Of course, people, my loved ones, would never tell me I need to lose weight, but thankfully they’re there to offer support for when I tell them I want to lose weight.

It’s just hard though. I don’t know why I think or make it hard. I just love food too much and part my issue, too, whether it’s actually stress-related or not, is I tend to overeat, which, if I am not exercising is going to translate to putting on weight more quickly than if I didn’t overeat nor exercise.

Part of the reason I ended up getting discouraged, though, was because after awhile I started to get such bad shin splints that is discouraged me from working out. All I could think about was the pain and it turned me off from wanting to go to the gym. So then there went my days of actually kind of looking forward to and actually working out to being a couch potato hiding in my room watching TV. Which, unfortunately I still do, but, I am hoping I can work my motivation up enough to start working out again, in addition to eating healthier. But of course, that’s much easier said than done.

Well, that’s all the updates I have for you guys now so —

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

Review: What Was Mine [novel] + other random thoughts

what-was-mine-9781476732350_hrEarlier this week I finally began a book I had bought about a month ago at Target that was marked 20% off. At first when I read the summary on the back of the book it sounded right up my alley, until I did a double take and realized it was probably better suited or relateable  for someone who has kids. But, I gave it some more thought and ended up buying it anyway.

I had the day off today so I decided I would do my best to finish the book since it was much shorter than the last one I had just finished on Sunday. Well, I did finish it today and I definitely have some mixed thoughts about how I feel about the overall book, and have strong feelings about how it ended.

The book is about a woman who kidnaps a four month old baby from Ikea whose mom walks away briefly for a work phone call, and ends up raising the baby as her own. She makes the decision to kidnap her after having tried for years to have a baby of her own, even suffering a miscarriage, as well as trying adoption. And then on top of all of that she and her husband separate.

The chapters alternate from the different viewpoints of the characters in the book. The woman’s name who stole the baby is Lucy. The biological mom’s name is Marilyn and her daughter’s real, legal name was Natalie, but, Lucy changes it to Mia. There are other characters who narrate the book, too, such as Mia’s nanny Wendy, Wendy’s husband, and child, Lucy’s ex-husband, and Marilyn’s husband, and children.

Overall, the book was written in a way that for the most part kept my attention and wanting to find out if and when Lucy would be caught for having kidnapped a baby and raised her as her own for 21 years. But, as I read on and it got to the part where *SPOILER ALERT* Mia finds out Lucy’s secret and she then questions her identity, it made me feel… indifferent. She acknowledges that Lucy is the mom she’s known her whole life but, after finding out she isn’t her “real” mom she feels a sense of betrayal and feels as though she no longer has a mom to turn to–neither Lucy or the mom her gave birth to her.

Here is why I feel indifferent. I understand the feelings of Mia, as it is definitely understandable and she has every right to feel the way she does. Now I know she is a fictional character and it’s a fictional story–but–situations like hers have very much happened in real life before and the way she feels, people in real life have and can definitely feel too although maybe not necessarily in the same manner.

For example… And I am not referring to myself in this scenario, but, for other people out there who have been adopted, or raised by someone other than their biological parents from when they were less than a year old (and therefore the people who raised them are all they know) they may have felt similar feelings that the character Mia did.

My problem is, however, that the character of Mia completely writes off Lucy when she finds out the truth. I get it, and like I said above she has every right to be angry at the news itself, but, to never want to be able to forgive her mom (although *SPOILER ALERT* she ends up doing so) and resenting her for lying to her all those years, she fails to recognize that while her “adoption” by Lucy wasn’t legal, she fails to recognize that she still was able to grow up in just as loving of a home had she not been kidnapped. She just assumes she now has no one to love her and lost her identity as soon as she found out she wasn’t who she thought she was.

Okay, so now I’m starting to not be able to make sense of the thoughts I had in my head before sitting down to write this but, what I am trying to say, is that this character was so willingly and able to disown her “mom” Lucy and go off and live with her biological mom, Marilyn, across the country, and a woman whom was essentially a stranger to her. I obviously don’t believe in kidnapping babies–whether fictional or real life, lol–but, Mia fails to realize that while what Lucy did was against the law, and bad in the eyes not just of the law but morals of the people around her, she kidnapped her to take care of and raise her–not to harm her. As I read on in the book I realized Marilyn was not a bad mom overall, she just made a human mistake of walking a little too far away to take a phone call, but, again, it’s fiction so.

I just felt that while Mia had every right to be angry and upset and feel like her identity was gone, it shouldn’t have been presented that way. Being a(n) (real) adoptee myself, I can’t imagine myself, should I ever be in that situation if I were to ever find/know my biological parents, that I would feel like my identity of the woman I today was gone. I was raised by my mom and dad since they adopted me when I was four months old.

Whoa, sidenote, I just realized I was the same age as the fictional character in the book. Anyway…

I don’t know a life any different, and while I wouldn’t be opposed to meeting or knowing more about them sometime down the road, it’s not something I’ll be sad and angry if I don’t. My identity and say, my culture and its history, is different than and not tied to who gave birth to me. I am in no way lessening the important role birth parents play in adoptions but, this book just seemed to me, to have it backwards. I tie my identity to how and who I was raised by and with. I tie it to my own likes I acquired on my own growing up. I of course tie it to my Guatemalan roots as well, as that is a part of me, but, it’s not all of me. I was raised in America.

Which brings me to a completely different point and in no way related to my loose review of the book…

I shake my head and literally have no words when more often than not in recent time have I been approached asking in some form, where am I from?

When people ask me, Where are you from? I respond: Michigan.

This answer, for the most part, satisfies people but, then you get the occasional, and seemingly more now lately, people who look baffled and question me even more. Take for example, my Uber encounter last weekend when I was back home.

I get in the car and the driver starts making conversation with me and he asks where I’m from. I tell him from the area and to his dismay, he presses on, and asks if I am Mexican.

Number of times in the last month I’ve been asked some variation of that question (or, if I speak Spanish, which I do not): A HANDFUL. 

I took a deep breath, trying not to lose my shit after wanting a simple, no big deal, and QUIET ride home from the bar, and respond, “no”.

Of course, he looks dissatisfied and questions me asking where am I really from, as if somehow, for some reason, I am lying. Then to satisfy him and shut up him, even though it clearly shouldn’t matter nor should it be any of his damn business, I tell him where I was born.

As you’re reading this you may be wondering why I would get so worked up and annoyed by such a simple question. Here is why…

The Uber driver, like others I have encountered over the last month, are making an assumption about me based on how I look. I clearly do not look Caucasian, I get that, I do. But, you know how many people I myself come across who clearly aren’t Caucasian and don’t assume or ask about where they’re from as a way to pry and be nosy, instead of the usual small talk like when I say to people in Indiana, “Oh I just moved here.” To which they reply, “Oh, where did you move from?” To which I answer, “Michigan”, and alas that’s the end of it.

But other times, such as during this Uber ride, he didn’t ask me to make small talk. Or, perhaps he did, as it was a ride home from a stranger but, to me, it doesn’t seem appropriate for small talk. It’s just like when people automatically start speaking to me in Spanish or ask me if I speak Spanish and when I say no they look all confused.

I get annoyed by that because I don’t look at people who aren’t of the majority race and ask if they speak what I speculate could be their native language, or even just their race. It’s not how I was raised and I just don’t see it as polite. It’s other people making an assumption based on how I look. And I am no in way saying that being Mexican or any other nationality or race myself would be a bad thing, it’s just not who I am and I don’t appreciate that people are so quick to assume things about another.

But that’s enough about that.

Just something I thought I would touch on going along with my brief review of the book I read.

That’s all for now. It’s #TGIT so that means it’s almost, kind of, time for my TV shows to come on.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

Thoughts of the day Thursday

So I decided I would try something a little different with this blog post today and do a list of my miscellaneous thoughts I have while going about my day. Could be interesting… I think. LOL!

 

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As of 11 a.m. Thursday, these are the thoughts I’ve had since waking up.

  1. Why in the hell is my volume ALL THE WAY UP on my phone when my alarm is set? Obviously forgot to turn it down last night–must have been too distracted pondering why and how the hell Jordan won Big Brother.
  2. Why do I have to be up before the sun is up? My mind still thinks it’s night time and therefore should still be in bed. But no, I am not in bed. I get up groggily being pissed I haven’t had my morning cup of coffee yet.
  3. Why is it going to be so damn hot outside today and the rest of this week AND for the next few weeks? Today marks the first day of fall but, must be April Fool’s Day because the temperatures outside DO NOT reflect the season. Then I wonder what to wear because 99.9 percent of the time the office is freezing like Antarctica but then I step outside and “bam! It’s a heatwave.” I choose to be sweating outside rather than freezing on the inside so I leave my apartment dressed in a long-sleeved black wool sweater and blue jeans and over-the-knee boots. LOL. Thank God I only had one interview scheduled for OUTSIDE of the office. I win! Although *side note*, the office isn’t even cold today so… that’s awkward. LOL.
  4. What do I want for breakfast today? Keep telling myself I need to and am going to diet but then what happens? I sabotage my own plan and eat fast food, etc. I think to myself that this morning I might as well eat the food I bought from the grocery store earlier this week so it doesn’t go bad–without regard for proper food portion since I already sabotaged my diet for the week, right?
  5. Prepares said breakfast food, which is a bagel–turn up the dial just a little bit higher than than the other day since the bagel did not toast. What happens today? The toast literally starts smoking and stinks up my entire kitchen. Does not eat bagel for breakfast, running out of time. Have to drive 45 minutes to Huntington today. Aint nobody got time for this. LOL.
  6. Why do I always get stuck behind slow cars? ALWAYS! I AM going the speed limit, and I would appreciate it if you did the same, or simply pulled over while I pass you, jerk.
  7. Why is that semis here in Indiana don’t seem to know that if you’re going to get in the left lane then you need to speed up just a hair and actually pass the semi that was previously in front of you. Michigan semi drivers know this, why don’t you? I have places to be, people!
  8. Once off the highway, I get stuck behind slow people yet again, this time behind a school bus and pick up truck. Cooooome on, people! I am literally so close to work I can smell it! LOL. But that’s okay, don’t think I don’t have anywhere important to be. Time apparently isn’t of the essence to some people.
  9. While doing an interview…  I really need to work on my eye contact vs. looking away ratio. I’ve realized I’ve gotten really bad at staring people down and not knowing how, when or where to look away and then I just come across as even more awkward as I am. HALP!
  10. I am so beyond excited this office got new computers AND a coffee maker, even if I am only helping here temporarily. It makes me really want to bring my extra Keurig from home to our newsroom. Think I will put that on my list of things to bring back here with me next weekend when I visit home. Also, great job and shout out to Tina for doing a deep cleaning of the newsroom and buying wallflower plug ins because the place smells and looks AMAZING!

Okay, those are all my thoughts for now. I’ll update this later after work because I’m bound to have countless more miscellaneous thoughts throughout the day. And as I’ve been told, even if only by one person (LOL), that my snap chat videos of my thoughts are funny so I am hoping these thoughts in print are just as funny, too.

*UPDATE: 7:04 p.m.*

1. Currently (trying to) enjoy(ing) dinner before I head home from work… wondering why this restaurant doesn’t have a “please wait to be seated” sign or anything out and then making me look like a fool for just standing there awkwardly waiting for someone to acknowledge me.

2.  Wondering why restaurants don’t make special sections with small tables for people who choose to dine alone.

3. Wondering why I am surrounded by families with kids and ALL the kids are annoying. Little boy, sit down. Eat your food and just be calm.

4. I am WELL AWARE I am Hispanic and that you assume I speak Spanish based on how I look but I don’t and you will, or SHOULD know after I talk to you IN ENGLISH, that I in fact do not speak Spanish. So why you insist to ask me IN SPANISH if I SPEAK SPANISH is counterproductive.

5. Like can’t a girl just walk into a Mexican restaurant and NOT be gawked at or it be assumed I speak Spanish. Please?

6. Family beside me is still super annoying and wondering how they haven’t left yet. Why are your kids so fidgety?

7. Just serves as another reminder as to why I don’t want kids.

8. Thought about getting a drink but seeing as I have to drive 45 minutes I passed but will be having one as soon as I get home. 

9. I had so many Kermit the Frog moments today, hence the needed drink. I just don’t get some people but, to each their own. I have bigger fish to fry so better luck next time.

10. Family beside me is FINALLY leaving. Slowly, but surely. 👏🏽

That’s all for now.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana