Forgiving you is my gift to you; moving on is my gift to myself…

Seeds of Growth

It’s officially Monday, and I meant to write this yesterday but sleep and work won so here’s my post now. Although, as exhausted as I am I should be sleeping right now, considering I have to be at work in the morning.

But, Sunday marked something important and prominent in my life that I felt the need to address it and talk about it.

What is this certain something, you ask? It’s the fifth year anniversary of my break-up with my high school sweetheart. Like to the DAY, five years ago. You’re probably wondering why I’m mentioning this event as an anniversary, but, for a lack of better words…

It was five years ago on a Sunday that a phone call would change my life in a way I would have never imagined.

At that point in time, being almost 21 and having dated my then boyfriend for three and a half years, I couldn’t fathom that it was happening to me. I knew break ups happened all the time between people but, after having dated what seemed like literally forever to me, I couldn’t believe it was really happening.

Like, having spent three and a half years of my life with someone who wasn’t just my first love, and friend first, but he was my best friend. Someone I was fortunate enough at the time to have a part of my life.

To be honest, it hadn’t even dawned on me that the 13th of March was the day it was official that we broke up except that Facebook’s Time Hop reminded me. Thanks, Time Hop.

But, after realizing it, and having just had a conversation about it with my best friend, it felt appropriate to talk about it on here and how much my life has changed and how I’ve changed personally, for the better, because of this break-up.

I’ll admit, it is a little strange to think that FIVE years have gone by since that fateful phone call. Of course at the time I was sad, and for quite some time after, not even fully understanding or accepting that we were in fact over. I was hurt. I felt I didn’t deserve it; I thought he was my soulmate. But my, what time can do to a person.

In the past five years I’ve worked on being who I am meant to be.

I finished college, earned my Bachelor of Science degree in journalism. I joined a sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, and served as the public relations chair in fall 2012. I celebrated two milestone birthdays, 21st and 25th; took my first airplane rides by myself (which, to me was a very big deal the first time I did–I was terrified, haha). I worked different jobs, spent more time with my family and friends; grew closer to my friends. I’ve grown up. I’ve changed in ways I never thought would be possible because when the break-up first happened, and like I said, for awhile afterward, I truly thought I would never move on. And then I remember at one point my one brother telling me I have to accept the fact that I may never talk to or see my old boyfriend again. Of course, that wasn’t entirely true as we talked briefly last November but, that didn’t end on the best of terms so we are back to no longer speaking.

But you know what? I’ve accepted it. It’s okay. I am not opposed to being his friend if he comes around to changing his mind but, I don’t hold it against him. Five years later and I am at that point my life where I can look back on the relationship and be happy. I don’t regret it. Some days I used to, but, I now know everything happens for a reason. So, I am thankful for having had the relationship with him. No, it didn’t work out, but every experience in my life, this one included, helped shape me into the woman I am today.

So, in honor of it having been five years, I’ve decided to write a public letter. No, I’m not going to mail this to him, but, I am writing it not only for my own sake of fully letting go of the past and accepting it, but also in hopes of other women seeing it and realizing they too can move on from a break-up, a heartache, and be happy again. ūüôā

I will admit, it is a little terrifying to put my thoughts like this out there but, at the end of the day it only matters what I think of my thoughts.

To The Boy Who Broke My Heart:

It’s been awhile since I’ve spoken to you. I’m almost certain I saw you out driving where I was out filming for work the other day but I can’t be 100% positive. It looked like you though, as did the truck look like yours. Of course I thought it was strange, only because what were the chances we’d both be in that area at the same time. That, and I was also wondering why you would be on that side of town anyway.

But, enough about that. I want to say I hold no hard feelings toward you. Sure, I wish we could be civil enough to chat–not on daily basis or anything–and to be friends, but, I guess it just isn’t meant to be that way. And that’s okay.

I will admit that for many months, and well, a few years I held both resentment and sadness about us breaking up. After all, you were my first true love, and the truth is, a small part of me will always hold on to that. I used to say I hated you for breaking up with me, but, looking back now, it’s kind of silly to hate someone because they don’t want to be with you anymore/don’t love you anymore. Why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t love you back? I questioned that for a long time and I now know that us breaking up did us both a favor.

When I think back to our relationship, I think of all the memories–both the good and bad. Mostly the good, as I don’t want to live with resentment over the bad times, and I smile. We had some great times and while there are times to this day I wish I could send you a text or call you up to tell you something funny, I thankfully have other people in my life for that. No, we’re no longer part of each other’s life, but, I wish you well.

During the time we dated you taught me a lot about love. I fell in love with you and you fell in love with me in return. You and I were opposites and yes, at times I wasn’t sure if we would date for as long as we did but, indeed we did. When I dated you I truly felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Like a princess. Not to say our relationship was perfect, because ours wasn’t, and no one’s is, but, the good times we had I am so happy I will forever have those to cherish.

I thank you. I thank you for asking me out. Oh, the way you asked me out–Won’t ever forget that. Too funny. You were more than just my boyfriend and first true love, but also my best friend. And of course, you were my first real heartbreak. But, as the saying goes, time heals all wounds. It took a long time, yes, and at times I thought I would never fully get over you–as pathetic as that sounds but boy, am I one determined and strong woman who was finally able to say “goodbye” to that chapter of my life. For the longest time I thought my life was over because we ended but oh how wrong I was. I realized that our relationship was just a chapter in my life, not the whole thing. It is in fact when my life really began.

Now I know you may never see this, and we very well may never talk again, but I do want you to know I wish you well. I’m grown up now and no longer not wish you well. Because, you know, I had to be young and immature by wishing you the worst. That of course was before growing up to be older and wiser. I no longer wish that. Because another thing I learned is that it takes up too much time and energy to hate someone. I have so many hopes, dreams and desires I intend to achieve in my life that I decided and realized I would no longer dwell on the past and think you’re a total jerk for breaking up with me. Like I said earlier, you did us both a favor. But, looking forward, if I ever have kids some day, or even if I am just talking to friends or my family (nieces and nephews) as they get older, I’ll speak fondly of our relationship. We had fights but, I choose to focus on the good of our relationship and for that, I am thankful.

Thank you for loving me, and allowing me to love you back. Thank you for allowing me to be such a special part of your life for three and a half years. Thank you for being a part of my life during those years and being there for me through both the good times and the bad. I wouldn’t have made it through the bad times as easily without your support.

I hope you too can look back at our relationship and not hold resentment toward me. But, should you, that choice is yours. I won’t hold it against you. I truly wish you well and if our paths happen to cross again, whether as acquaintances or friends or whatever, wonderful. But, if not, that’s fine too. Just know, no matter what, you’ll forever hold a special spot in my heart for having been my first love. And that for that I will be forever grateful. Thank you.

Ana

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

Invest in people who invest in you…

investment

Walking into my house with the smell of Kipper lingering in the air isn’t exactly the welcome home I envisioned upon returning from being gone all day.

Thankfully I work at Bath and Body Works and am obsessed with our candles and have countless of them that I lit one right away in hopes of the smell fading. So far, the Kipper is still winning. -_-

And I’m thinking about how I need to allow 12 hours to fast before tomorrow morning since I have to get blood work, etc. done. Because you know, nothing says “Happy Friday” more than that. Ah… Good times. Thankfully I’m heading to visit my best friend after that for the night. Haven’t seen her new place since she’s moved.

Speaking of friends…¬†I got to thinking today how friendship should always be a two-way street. If it’s not then is it really a friendship to begin with?

I tell ya, friendship is something I hold dear to my heart. I consider myself an extremely blessed person for having the friends I do in my life. My closest friendships, especially, have endured some tough times. Sure, we’ve had countless fun times with endless laughter, but, the true test of friendship comes, in my opinion, when you can endure hardships together.

And, I have more than one best friend.

Now, if you ask my brother Tom, he’ll say you can have only one best friend but, I disagree. I consider my group of “best” friends the best for a reason. Some I’ve known since kindergarten, others middle school, junior high, college. While I’ve known some longer than others, to me it isn’t about who I’ve known the longest but, who’s been by my side from the beginning and never left–even when times got tough.

Now I know that’s a cliche, but, it’s a cliche I find to be very applicable to my life. And in recent years, months, I’ve come to realize that while I consider myself to¬†have a decent amount of friends in general, not everyone may consider me one back.

I’ll be the first to admit I am not the perfect friend. I’m human, and I make mistakes and say stupid things. But, I make up for it by being what a friend should be to begin with. Loyal, honest, trustworthy, apologize when necessary, and overall just be a listening ear when there are no words.

But, in general, like I mentioned above, friendship should always be a two-way street. I think when you’re the only one putting time and effort into it, or the other person offers effort when it’s only convenient for him or her, then perhaps it’s time to cut your losses. After all, life’s much too short to spend it on people who only want to be in your life part-time.

parttimefriends

It’s funny how friendships work out though. Or don’t. For example, a prime one… Today, I spent the day “working” with my friend, Melinda, who I just met in January through our internship. We had so much fun together that it honestly didn’t feel like work. And those are the type of friendships and people I value and appreciate having in my life.

We’ve only known each other for just two months now but, after today, I feel like I’ve known her much longer. She is genuinely one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, and, I realized in some ways, we are exactly alike. (Which, to others, I am not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing, LOL!) But, like I mentioned above, friendship isn’t always about who we’ve known the longest. Sure, I’ve only known her for two months but, she’s someone I’ve come to know as kind, loyal and trustworthy. And also, freaking hilarious! I seriously laughed so hard with her today that I snorted, and I’m sure some people thought I was totally nuts. (Side note: I was getting a little slap happy and acting a little loopy since I am so exhausted and don’t even know how I am still up, writing a blog right now. Oh wait, yes… COFFEE! Coffee for the win!)

Anyway… Some friendships in my life I feel as though I should ween myself off of simply for the fact because I feel they don’t serve me much purpose. Like, I wonder what I am gaining from these individuals? Especially, when they’re the ones who are only in it partially.

I get it, people are busy with their own lives–myself included, but, if someone really wants a friendship to work out, he or she will make the effort to make it work. Now, for some friendships, in my life for example, I don’t¬†need¬†to talk to my friends everyday to know we’re still friends. And I’m sure other people are like that too. To me there’s nothing wrong with that–it just reaffirms my friendship with that person and shows how truly strong our bond is.

longdisffriends.jpg
But, for other friendships, I feel as though more semi-frequent communication/contact with each other is essential. Or, just, nice. But at an appropriate time. Like I also mentioned above earlier, I am not the most perfect friend and I don’t always make the time to touch base with my friends when I should but, thankfully I have wonderful friends and they realize we’re all busy with our own lives sometimes. Other people though, I feel as though they treat a friendship with me, in this case, or in general, a person, and only contact them when it’s convenient for him or her, or, otherwise, when he or she is simply lonely? Bored? Not sure what the right word is but, the bottom line is, it’s not a full investment in the friendship. And that’s just something I can’t get on board with.

Sure, it’s something I myself need to work on because I’m sure I come across this way to some of my friends, and after feeling as though I’ve been treated like this myself, I definitely wouldn’t want others to feel the same way. It’s not a great feeling. So, in honor of it still being considered a “new” year (in my mind anyway–who cares if it’s March, lol) my goal is to better myself as a friend (touch base with my friends more often, listen more carefully) and personally weed out the friendships in my life that I consider dying/don’t really serve me a purpose and say “bye” to them as needed. It’ll suck, but, it’s not the end of the world, and who knows, it may not actually be forever. After all, just like other types of relationships, sometimes friendships just need a break.

partingways

And, also remember, some friendships just aren’t meant to last forever. Same goes for romantic relationships, jobs, etc. I don’t say that to be harsh or a Debby Downer, but, to speak of reality. But, if you do¬†want to make it last forever, or you know, for a long time, then you need to be willing to¬†INVEST¬†in it. It cannot be a one-way street or it will just never work out.

“You get out of it what you put in.”

That above applies to many things in life so, keep it in mind.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

Never chase love, affection or attention…

Why do we do this?

Both men and women. Boys and girls.

alexandgigi

Trust me, I’ve seen He’s Just Not That Into You, enough to know when a guy is not interested.

And yet, I, like the main character, Gigi, continue “chasing” after these guys like they’re something extremely special and think maybe, just maybe he’ll come to his senses and like me back.

Psh!

WRONG!

But it’s not just me, no. I see it all the time in movies, television–real life.

And I always wonder, why do women do that to themselves, and guys the same?

Like Alex says in the movie, if a guy likes you, he will make it clear. He won’t play “games”.

You’re probably wondering why I am even writing about this, right?

Well, because I believe not only do I deserve the best and shouldn’t be “chasing” after men who clearly aren’t interested, but, neither should other men and women.

I firmly believe in soulmates and so I got to thinking that perhaps it’s not working out with the current men in my life because my soulmate is still out there.

Okay, so it sounds cheesy and not everyone believes in soulmates, but, I do. I believe in that happily-ever-after with the right person… At the right time.

Ah, time. That brings me to my next thought.

Why is everything about timing?

clock

I’ve spent the past few years being single, for the most part enjoying it.

After all, I was and still am young while (currently still) being single and it’s allowed me to not only grow as an individual, but, also made me realize what I will and won’t settle for in a relationship.

But fast forward to the present and I see all these people I know dating, living together, getting engaged and married; having kids. Like, when did that become the thing to do? Am I missing out? Did I miss some memo?

I’m not saying I’m ready right this second to move in with someone or even get engaged right off the bat, but, seeing everyone living this way, it makes me question if I’m right where I should be at this very moment in my life right now.

My point is, while I’m sure the people who are dating each other, living with each other and getting married are (hopefully for the long run) meant to be, what about the rest of us?

I’m not meaning for this to be a pity party, no. I’m just sick and tired of not just myself but other men and women putting themselves out there only to be rejected. Like if you’re not interested in someone, make it clear, lay it out flat. Otherwise, that person is left thinking maybe there could be some spark ignited while that person knows damn well it will never progress to anything more.

Sure, the truth will hurt, but, I’d rather hear the truth and hurt for a little while than be lied to and think in my head something will progress into something more when it really won’t.

telling-the-truth-quotes-7

Besides, isn’t honesty the best policy, anyway? I think it is. I mean sure, people tell white lies every now and then, usually to spare someone’s feelings, but, when it comes to the dating world and men and women, I think it’s important to be up front.

If not, then, you must be into playing games. And I tell ya, after how long I’ve been single, the last thing I have time for is games.

Yes, I am still young, but, like I’ve said, I’ve had the time to think about what I really want out of not just life in general but, in a relationship too. I want someone who’s just as crazy about me as I am about them. I want someone who loves me for me and doesn’t care if I dance like a fool when a good song comes on Pandora, or don’t want to interact with people until I’ve had coffee. Someone who understands it takes me at least two hours to get ready. I can get ready in less than that, but, I like to lolly gag and dance like a fool to Pandora, lol.

I want someone who appreciates my quirks, supports my dream of being a reporter, enjoys big families and doesn’t mind my family’s uniqueness (lol). I want someone who not only enjoys this but, can handle it.

Perhaps I may be asking for too much but, I know there are people out there in the world who ask and have received much more so, really, I don’t think I am asking for too much. But again, maybe I am, hence why I am still single.

In the mean time I am going to continue pursuing my dream of being a reporter–work on my professional life–and, you know, still be on the online dating scene, and I guess the real world dating scene, even if my prospects are just average. Who knows? I told myself earlier this year that this year is the year of taking chances so, I am going to try my best to be even more open when it comes to dating but, at the same time, not just being open for the sake of being open. I gotta draw the line somewhere, right?

Ah, until next time…

XO,

Ana

Lights, Camera… I’m Live?

This blog post is dedicated to my first two (so far, anyway) real flops of doing live reports at HOMTV thus far. One part¬†of me wishes these videos could be deleted from cyberspace forever, but, the other part of me knows that at the end of the internship I’ll be thankful ¬†that I can look back at these and see just how much I grew as a reporter–and laugh some more about it.

reporter3216

Reporter at the March 2, 2016 Environmental Commission meeting

So the first live shot is in Okemos on the bridge on Okemos Road. I think I may have been cued wrong, and I also thought I could wing it¬†without¬†my script, even though my boss told me explicitly it was in fact¬†okay¬†to hold it while on air, and told me to have in my hands, but, I decided to think I could do without it and well, you can watch what happened…

Meridian News Now (February 8, 2016)

And then there was tonight (March 2, 2016)…

Meridian Township’s¬†Environmental Commission¬†meeting… So, the beginning part, before the meeting started wasn’t too bad but, it’s the AFTER the meeting where I am always fumbling over my words and having a deer in the headlights look. (Not cute, by the way–embarrassing, lol)

Environmental Commission meeting

But, before I go, as embarrassing as it is to watch this myself, let alone have other people watch them (and probably laugh/cringe), it’s important for me, like I mentioned above, to see when the future comes how much I’ve grown as a reporter at HOMTV. We’re nearly halfway through the semester so it can only go¬†up¬†from here. Right???

RIGHT.

Plus, I want other reporters out there who may just be starting out (or even experienced ones–after all, no one is perfect)¬†and have their own horror/embarrassing stories to know they’re not alone and that it’s okay to make mistakes. We’re human, and that’s what practice is for. It’ll make us better. So, like people tell me (and I try hard to actually believe), hang in there–you WILL in fact¬†improve! ūüôā

Oh, and one more… The Planning Commission meeting from February, 8, 2016…

Planning Commission meeting

Until next time….

XO,

Ana

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself…

I was in fifth grade when I officially declared I wanted to be a fashion designer.

fashionsketch

For our yearbook that year we had our own mini “bios” if you will, about what we wanted to be when we grew up, along with what our favorite activity, color was–or something along those lines. But, for what I wanted to be when I grew up–I had no hesitation of what to list.

 

I can’t recall the exact time that aspiration faded but, looking back now, I am happy I didn’t pursue that dream. Nothing against fashion designers–hell, I love fashion and give designers¬†MAAAAAAJOR¬†credit for all the hard work and effort they put in to making fabulous clothes, shoes and handbags. No, nothing against them at all. I just eventually realized I didn’t have the creativity, passion or even patience, to continue pursuing it.

After that dream fizzled out, my next and current dream was to write for a magazine. What magazine you may be wondering. Why, Cosmopolitan¬†of course.¬†I have loved that magazine for as long as I can remember.¬†And again, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew I wanted to be a writer/reporter/journalist in general, but, I would say it was definitely solidified in high school.

LUCY HALE in Cosmopolitan Magazine

LUCY HALE in Cosmopolitan Magazine, September 2012 Issue

I wrote for the school newspaper, Ramparts, and at one point served as the Opinion Editor. It was a blast. I loved writing for the newspaper then and continued that line of work in college, where I wrote for Central Michigan Life as well as Grand Central Magazine.

However, now that I’m graduated from college, going on almost two years, I can’t help but sometimes wonder¬†when¬†my dream of being a full-time writer/reporter/journalist will come true. I know I shouldn’t but, I find myself constantly comparing myself to others– especially those in the same field, and wonder, why isn’t that me yet?

It’s a struggle from time to time, more often than not, but, thankfully through this blog and my work at HOMTV, I know that when the timing is right (hopefully by this summer), I’ll have landed a full-time job in my field. It’s tough though–I’ll talk to people outside of the news industry and when I tell them my ultimate career goals, they give me this look–probably not meaning to make it look so obvious, but nonetheless it’s still there–like why on Earth would you want to be a journalist? The news industry (specifically¬†print, which is my¬†main¬†and¬†ultimate¬†career goal) is dying, they say. As if I haven’t heard that before… Right?

Anyway… I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was younger and I don’t recall anyone trying to talk me out of that dream (now granted it was only fifth grade but still–if I said that now I would actually hope¬†for someone to talk me out of that one, ha!) and so why now that I am an adult, and spent five years in college studying journalism, do people want to essentially tell me “good luck getting a job” with that degree? It’s not that person’s dream so why do he or she feel entitled to tell me my dream/degree sucks? I think some other people’s dreams suck/are stupid but, I don’t go around telling them that to their face. It’s none of my business, and if it makes them happy, then great!

My point is, my dreams I had for myself when I was younger are different than what they are today.

In fact, while at this very point in time I think I have my hopes, dreams and goals all figured out, the truth is, I really don’t. I¬†think¬†I do, but, only God knows what the future holds for me. What I want and what I actually end up doing could¬†be totally different. Although, obviously, I hope my dreams come true. Not just for my professional career but in the personal aspects of my life as well.

For example, my dream is to be a reporter for a print publication. But, my internship position right¬†now is a TV reporter. That doesn’t go to say I’ll¬†only¬†apply for print jobs when I’m finished with my internship–I’ll of course apply for all and any kind of¬†journalism/news¬†job–but, what’s most important to me is that I am happy with what I am doing. And yes, this internship is an awesome experience. I’m so thankful I was given the¬†opportunity to do it. I have great bosses, co-workers; they want us interns to be successful and will answer any and all questions we have. And trust me, I have¬†a lot¬†of questions. LOL. I am learning so much that I can’t wait to apply to future jobs and show potential future employers my demo reel I’ll have made at the end of this semester.

But, if I’ll actually end up at a TV station once my internship is complete, I’m not sure. I tend to stress and worry too much about the future when I can’t control it–only the present–and it’s something I need to work on more. I would love to actually know and be people to share with the world that yes,¬†this¬†is what I will being doing come May, but, the truth is, I don’t know.¬†I would love to say yes, I will be a reporter at¬†X location, living in¬†Y location, but, the future is unknown. And that’s both exciting and scary. More often scary than exciting but, still.

Right now I can only focus on continuing to better myself as a reporter and become more confident in my on-air ability and interviewing skills. After all, those are pretty darn important as a reporter.

So, instead of focusing so much on the future, I’m going to try my best to¬†focus my mind on the present. And if anyone has any tips or advice on how to stay focused on the present and/ or¬†improving my skills and abilities as a reporter, I would love to hear them. I am all ears.

Or, perhaps a suggestion for a hobby–other than blogging (*although, I really do want my blog to take off and be substantial enough to where people who follow and read it, are genuinely interested in what I have to say. So, please, bloggers/writers/etc., send me some topics to blog about; I would¬†GREATLY appreciate it) and shopping (ha!), let me know.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana