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

Enjoy the little things…

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This weather today and yesterday, yuck.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s better than snow in my opinion any day, but still, it just makes it a drag to get out of bed for work? Am I right?

So, I’ve decided to compile a list of things you can do after the work day while it’s still drizzly and gloomy outside…

  1. Light a candle, plop on the couch or a comfy chair and read a book. Maybe it’s a book that’s been collecting dust on your shelf (er, maybe that’s just me) or one you just bought but you’ve been so bogged down with work you haven’t had time to crack it open yet. images
  2. Journal/blog. Nothing releases pent up emotions or just random thoughts in your head like letting it all out on paper. Grab a pen or pencil and get to writing (or typing if you’re blogging.) I did this last night on my phone instead of texting people and let me tell you, I felt much better about it this morning.
  3. Create a dream board. Or in my case, a dream journal. It’s been a little bit since I’ve worked on it but when I started it I had a lot of fun. I have a bunch of old magazines that I just cut words and pictures from and pasted them in my journal. They serve as a reminder to not dwell on the little things and always keep reaching for your dreams, no matter how big or small.
  4. Watch a TV series or movie. Same as reading s book, maybe it’s one you haven’t watched or ever seen. cropped-cropped-download
  5. Sit with a cup of coffee or tea and just listen to the rain. Open the windows and just listen. And/or think. Just let whatever comes to come mind come, and then let it go, especially if it’s a negative thought.
  6. Call a friend. Think of how often you only text with a friend. Or, write a letter. Who wouldn’t love getting an old-fashioned snail mail letter? Dial that number or grab that pen and write a “just because” letter to your friend. Or perhaps even to your future self about goals you hope you accomplish. e05415757e0a2242917c7ec4685c0c8b--vintage-telephone-vintage-phones
  7. Draw, color, paint. Nothing gets the juices flowing quite like that.
  8. Do some season cleaning. It’s the fall now, so perhaps you still have a plethora of spring and summer clothes lingering in your closet or dresser and you don’t wear much of now or probably won’t ever again, so clean them out and donate them.
  9. Listen to music. Simple as that. A day without music is a day wasted, in my opinion.
  10. Take a nap. This is always number one for me on days like today but, I thought I would have a greater chance of people not reading this list until the end if I put napping as No. 1. 😉

Whatever you chose to do, make sure it’s a fun activity.

Until next time…

XO,

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

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

Advice for incoming freshmen preparing for college…

Six years ago I was packing up everything I could fit into suitcases, bags and boxes to get ready for the move up to Mount Pleasant, Michigan. It would be a matter of days before I began my first day of my first semester at Central Michigan University. I was sad to be leaving behind my friends and even more so, my family, but I also couldn’t wait for what was ahead for me. As a new school year is set to begin for returning college students and a brand new, first school year for incoming freshmen, I thought I would share some ways you can prepare yourself for that transition.

  1. Buy a planner/get one for free at campus (at CMU they gave them away)
    I can’t stress the importance of a planner enough. Some students may think they have a great memory, which they might, but between everything else that goes on at college (football games, parties, extra-curriculars) it can be tough to remember what day and for what class you have an upcoming exam for or project due. I had a planner and I used it all the time–l used it so often that I did color-coding with pens and highlighters. I was a bit obsessive. You don’t have to be as obsessive as I was but it is definitely handy to have a planner to write down important dates and meetings.
  2. Make sure your classes don’t overlap/make sure you have enough time to get between classes
    While some professors simply don’t care or have the attention span to notice if you’re absent from class, others do, and will even even just tardies against you if you make being late become a habit. In college it isn’t required for you to go to class like it was in high school and before that, but, when you don’t show up it will inevitably hurt you. Most of the classes I took the professor offered 3 unexcused absences before he/she started counting them against you. Although some professors don’t even allow that. So be sure to plan your classes accordingly and actually GO to them ALL the time.
  3. Invest in a few staple pieces of clothing
    I’m not saying you need to dress up fancy for every single class–and you can actually even go in pajamas if you wish (I never did, but, to each their own)–but, you’ll be happy you wore something other than fuzzy printed pajama pants for your solo or group presentation and/or club meeting(s), etc.
  4. Talk with your roommate(s) to make sure you don’t end up with doubles of items in the dorm room 
    You don’t need more than one microwave, mini-fridge, shower curtain, shower caddy, multiple lamps etc. Plus, checking in with your roommates before gives you the chance to get to know them a bit before sharing the same corridor with them.
  5. Take the time to walk around campus before classes start
    Depending on the size of your campus and number of classes you’re taking you’ll be thankful in the end if you spent time prior to classes starting getting to know the layout of the campus.
  6. Read the syllabus for your classes
    As crazy as it may sound, some professors post the syllabus for his/her class several weeks in advance. It’ll have important information such as if a textbook is required, office days/hours, exam dates, etc. Plus, if you have that planner I mentioned earlier, you can write it all down so it’s easily accessible later on.
  7. Do proper grocery shopping
    It can be easy to get caught up eating Ramen noodles and leftovers from the night before, but, trust me that there will be times you wish you were eating a home cooked meal, especially when it’s still a ways from a holiday break when you can actually go home for a properly cooked meal. It’s fine to indulge in junk food every once in awhile (or more than that for me, oops) but freshman 15 is real if you let it be. 😉 Also, like #4, be sure to talk with your roommate(s), if you wish, to decide what you guys will be sharing/buying or not sharing/buying so you don’t have doubles of everything or eat food that isn’t meant for the other. Set some ground “rules”, if you wish.
  8. Bring sentiments from home but, don’t go overboard
    Depending how far you live from your college and how often you plan on going home, it could be a few months before you see your friends and family again so it’s important to bring items/pictures that you remind you of them until you get to see them again. Pictures are always a great choice and also can serve as decor, or something small like a trinket. For example, my grandma bought me a tiny giraffe trinket to remind me of her because her favorite animal is a giraffe. 🙂 It was the perfect treasure.
  9. Take advantage of the various events held before classes start–they tend to give away FREE stuff. And who doesn’t love free stuff?
    At CMU they have different events that give away freebies like planners, coupons, etc. (I can’t think of specifics right now, lol, sorry) and like I said, who doesn’t love free stuff? Plus, it’s a great way to meet other students who will be there and make plans for welcome weekend.
  10. Don’t forget to fit in fun along the way
    Obviously your main goal in college is to be successful and pass your classes and eventually graduate, but, don’t forget to fit in some fun along the way. And as the saying goes, “If it’s something you’ll regret in the morning, sleep late.”

Tell me, what advice do YOU have for incoming freshmen/returning students at college? I know I didn’t add everything they should know but, I tried to highlight what I personally thought were the most important. In the end, regardless of how much or little you are prepared for college, enjoy every single moment because it truly does go by in the blink of an eye–even for me, who was in college an extra year beyond the traditional four.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

What I love about fall

In less than a month fall will officially be upon us.

As sad as it is summer is over I can’t help but feel a twinge of happiness that soon the leaves will be changing colors and I can get all the hot caramel apple cider drinks in the world as I want. (Sorry, pumpkin spiced latte)

Below I will share a list of what I personally think is awesome about fall, even though it means not as much sunshine and laying out by the pool/lake:

1. Hot caramel apple cider from Biggby

I put this as number one on the list to draw in people’s attention. It draws attention because I’m sure like just about everyone else in the world is drooling over Starbuck’s pumpkin spiced latte. Don’t get me wrong, I am team Starbucks any other day but when it comes to fall drinks the hot caramel apple cider from Biggby is where it’s at. To me that is what fall tastes like–if fall had a taste, which, is what I am sure everyone else thinks pumpkin spiced latte tastes like. Sorry, not sorry. I’m sticking to my hot caramel apple cider. Try it and you WON’T be disappointed. This is a staple of the fall season.

2. Sweaters

Who doesn’t love being able to throw on a cute sweater with some jeans and boots as the air gets cooler? We can still wear sweaters in the summer, more so at night when it cools down but, the fall season is prime wearing time. I love to shop enough as it is but when fall arrives as do new clothing arrivals in store, you know I’m all over that. Sweaters are cute to layer over camisoles and/or wear with long dangling necklaces or even scarves. Oh, don’t even get me started on scarves… LOVE!

3. Scarves

Alright, guys and girls, if you don’t own at least one staple scarf that you can rock all fall long then you might need to reevaluate your current wardrobe situation. I love, love, LOVE scarves, I can’t tell you enough. I love them so much that just a few years ago when I first started with my big scarf phase I told my family and friends I wanted to open up my own scarf business called “Sassy Scarves.” (Can I register that name?) But in all seriousness, if you’re not a huge jewelry fan whether it be necklaces, earrings or bracelets you can never go wrong with a classic scarf. A scarf can go with just about any outfit, but looks best with a chunky sweater. Find one that suits you and you’ll be set to stay on trend this season.

4. Leaves changing

Not to sound biased because I live here but Michigan has the best view, in my opinion, when it comes to the leaves changing colors. Seriously, if I had the time and didn’t look like a total weirdo with an iPhone (because that’s what I use as a camera) then I would totally set out and play photographer and capture all the greatness that is the leaves changing. Everything is just so pretty and tranquil–you should consider yourself blessed if you live in Michigan and experience this every year.

5. Boots, boots, boots

As if I didn’t already have a shoe problem (the first step is admitting you have a problem, right?) but come fall I can not be held responsible for any pair of boots I find and fall in love with and happen to buy. Seriously, since I don’t have a boyfriend at the moment shoes, particularly boots, is the next best thing. 😉 I aspire to have a closet like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. Boots, like everyone just knows, is another symbol of the fall season. My favorite are the ones that go over the knee or the ones that reach mid-calf. You can pair some boots with just about any outfit but they tend to look best with a pair of jeans and chunky sweater. (Fall is all about the chunky sweater, right? A classic that never goes out of style, in my opinion.) If you do decide to wear a dress or skirt I would suggest a short ankle pair of boots to keep things balanced. The important thing is to find a style of boots that best suits you and your personal style.

6. Bonfires

Bonfires to me are great, perhaps perfect, in the summer, but, you can’t argue they’re great in the fall too. The temperatures are cooler and it’s a way to bond with family and friends doing something low-key. Not much to say about bonfires other than it’s a given they’re laid-back, chill and ALWAYS a good time. I’d say it’s damn near impossible not to have fun at a bonfire. Right? Plus who doesn’t like roasting marshmallows to make s’mores? 😉

This is just a short list of things I personally love about fall. I’m sure other people could name countless other things that they enjoy about the upcoming season but, I’ll leave my list at this. Tell me what your favorite thing(s) is (are) about fall in the comments.

Until next time…

– Ana