Change is inevitable, progress is optional…

So, it’s been a minute since I’ve last blogged.

Okay, so it’s been two months but, I’ve busy with work, a bridal shower, a bachelorette party, my 26th birthday, patiently (okay, not so patiently waiting) for the arrival of my nephew, etc. etc.

Alright, so maybe I haven’t been that busy to where I couldn’t blog but let me tell you, sleep is my number two priority after work. LOL. When I am not working or busy with other commitments you can guarantee I am sleeping or watching ridiculous Lifetime Movie Network movies.

Anyway… Moving along.

So today actually marks the two month anniversary of when I moved into my apartment and then on Saturday it will have been two months since I started my first day at C-T. (That’s The Chronicle-Tribune for those of you who don’t know the abbreviation, lol, because I don’t feel like repeatedly typing it out)

Work has been a learning process–fun, cool, exciting. I still consider myself a rookie because coming in I felt a bit rusty. I had just finished up my internship at HOMTV and yes, I obviously studied journalism and got my degree in it and had my intern at WLNS, etc., but, being back in a print-focused atmosphere was something I was struggling to get a hold of again. Thankfully my co-workers and boss are awesome and have been helping me out along the way. I mean yeah I still have more to learn, and always will, I believe with any job it’s like that, and thankfully I’ve had great mentors along the way.

Of course, while I’m learning a lot and still getting to know the town of Marion, I wouldn’t be being completely honest if I said I didn’t have some challenges along the way. Like for example, after the Fourth of July holiday weekend when I was leaving my cottage to come back I got upset, and quite honestly, it was hard to say my “see you later’s” to my family. My mom saw it firsthand, and as any good mom, she told me everything would be okay. And deep down I knew it would be, but, at that exact moment I didn’t want to leave after having spent an incredible weekend with my whole immediate family, plus my uncle Steve.

Fast forward to this past weekend, and same thing happened. I know, it sounds pathetic, especially being 26-years-old–an adult–living on her own but, it did happen again and, I have no doubt it will happen again until I become more familiar with Marion and meeting friends and having people to hang out with instead of just constantly being by myself in my apartment when I get home from work. Anyway, this time it happened not while I was leaving from home in Michigan to my home here, but rather, leaving Nashville and coming back home to Indiana but wanting to make it all the way back to Michigan for just the night so I could finally meet my nephew Stone.

So Stone was born on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. My sister-in-law, Jamie, went to the hospital early Tuesday morning (like the middle of the night), and my mom called me at 6:30 a.m. to tell me she had so. Of course that was the morning I was scheduled to drive down to Nashville to stay with my old college roommate and friend, Kayla, and see my cousin’s new house and then spend the rest of the weekend celebrating the bride-to-be, Alison, and I was put in a tough spot. Part of me was dying to go home instead so I could be there when he was actually born but, the other part of me wanted to stick to my plan and go on to Nashville because I thought it would be rude if I didn’t. Plus, what ultimately made me choose Nashville over the birth of Stone was that I knew I wouldn’t get to celebrate Alison and her bachelorette party again, but, that Stone would and will always be there when I visit home next. It was still a tough decision for me and as soon as he was actually born and my mom sent me pictures I felt like I was immediately starting to regret making the trip down south. He was more beautiful and perfect than I could have ever imagined. Words couldn’t describe the feelings I had when I saw him (in picture form) for the first time. But, let’s just say I was at out shopping at the mall at the time and definitely started tearing up, in the baby clothes department, looking all kinds of pathetic. LOL.

Fast forward to Tuesday, two days ago, and when I found out I would get to leave early from work I knew I had to make the 2.5 hour drive home to see my nephew. Sure, I will be going home again tomorrow but, I seriously just couldn’t take it any longer. I drove home as fast as I could and when I got to my brother and sister-in-law’s house, I RAN to the front door. (And for those who know me, you know I don’t run for anything–I HATE running, lmao.) I open the door and see Jamie feeding Stone, and I am even more shocked and taken away at how precious, beautiful and perfect he really is. I called Jamie as I was leaving town to tell her I was coming home and wanted to see him and also warned her I would probably cry when I saw him. Thankfully I was able to hold my tears back but I kid you not, every time I look at a picture of him, and even yesterday when I was out shopping for groceries at Meijer but then “somehow” ended up in the baby boy clothes section, I started tearing up. LOL.

I’m sure some of you are probably wondering why I am so emotional over Stone and maybe even some of my family members are thinking back to when their babies were born and how I didn’t act like this. It’s not that I love any of my other nieces and nephews any less or anything like that–I will tell you now that being an aunt is my greatest “gig” yet and I’ve been lucky enough to be one since I was 2.5 years old. But with Stone, it is different. And I will tell you why…

My older brother Adam, is someone, who despite us literally fighting sometimes or him just being a natural big brother and picking on me from time to time in general, is someone I appreciate and look up to. I look up to all of my siblings, yes, and I love them all the same. But, for those of you who know Adam–you know he is, how do I put it? A bit “rough around the edges”, if you will. He’s not perfect by any means but, who is? No one. When he was growing up he wasn’t a horrible teenager but, he wasn’t an angel either. (Love you, Adam) And so of course when he and Jamie told the family at Christmas last year that they were expecting I lost it. Mind you, I had a few glasses of wine in me, lol, but, even to present day, I get emotional thinking about him as a dad. I guess to be honest there were some days, some moments where I thought, “Adam as a dad? Yeah right, not any time soon–more like not for a long time.” And, I think part of me thought this because I had always known him to be the one who likes to have fun, doing whatever it may be. But, after the news broke and time went on, I knew he and Jamie were going to be forced to “grow up” (not saying that they were careless/reckless or anything like that) or rather, “upgrade” to parent status. It was weird to think about, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have doubts but, at the end of the day, I knew they would make great parents. Like any parents, I imagine (I can’t speak 100% because I myself am not a parent yet), they will make mistakes and deal with Stone acting out as he grows up and gets older but, that’s normal for any family with kids. Seeing Adam transition from the “having fun” guy to dad, is something that’s very sentimental to me. (If that’s the right word to use??) Not that I am not proud of Jamie, or my other siblings with kids, but, this is my big brother, Adam, we’re talking about. It’s just something that’s hard to explain without it coming out wrong so if you’re reading this and taking it the wrong way, I am sorry. It just is something different with Adam being a dad. Even just typing this is making me emotional.

At the end of the day, I love all of my nieces and nephews the same. I hate that they grow up so fast, though, which, is also part of the reason I think I am so obsessed and in love with Stone. That, and we haven’t had a baby boy since… Calvin, I believe, and he’ll be 10 (?) this year. REALLY?! It’s just crazy how fast time goes by and how quickly each one of them grows up. Even Annabelle, who will be 3-years-old in December (OMG, that just hit me… THREE?!), has grown up so fast right before my very eyes. And that’s not to say my nieces and nephews aren’t as fun when they grow up, but, their priorities shift as they get older just like mine did. My niece Madi has two daughters, is engaged… My nephew Drew is in college, has a job… My nephew Zach is a SENIOR in high school and will graduate next year… My niece, Gabi, will be fourteen, WHAT?!… My nephew Max will be THIRTEEN (I think, right? See, I myself am getting too old to remember everyone’s age, LOL) in December AND he now has his own cell phone. I texted him a couple times so far and one time when I texted him asking him if he was watching Big Brother he said “no” and then didn’t really say much to me after that so he must have been too tired to text me too ūüė¶ LOL… My niece Amelia and nephew Calvin will both be 10 in November… My nieces Raelynn and Gigi will both start Kindergarten in the fall… And like I said earlier, Annabelle will be THREE in December. And then my niece, Ashlyn, and her girlfriend are both working and have a place of their own and then my nephew, Corey, and his fiancee have their own place too with their two kids and pets. I mean, they’re all grown up! This is partly why I freaked when I wasn’t there when Stone was born because I there for just about every other birth of my nieces and nephews and to not be able to be there for Stone tore me apart. Even now, living away, it’s hard because I know I don’t get to see him all the time like I did growing up with my other nieces and nephews.

I have to remind myself though that I don’t live that far and can always come home on a weekend if I don’t work, but, living away in general is still taking getting used to. My mom and dad assure me it will be fine, and I know deep down they’re right. It’s just going to take time.

Hopefully soon I will meet people to hang out with and stuff, but, even if not, it’s a part of the growing up process–just like my mom told me. I am an adult now and she said herself, I can do it. I’m thankful to have the best parents in the world who refuse to let me give up when times get tough. They believe in me enough to know that I can work past whatever it is that is thrown my way. So mom, dad–thank you both. Thank you to all of my family for giving me that push I needed to make the move to work my dream job and do what I love most.

I know there will always be challenges here and there in the future, in whatever aspect/stage of life, but, they’re always there behind me.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

Dreams don’t work unless you do…

Well, I did it.

I not only accepted a job offer that would allow me to do what I love most and have always wanted to do–write and be a reporter–but, I also moved–OUT of state. What? Can you even believe it?

I still can’t.

I’m sitting here on a Friday night, having successfully completed my first week as a reporter for The Chronicle-Tribune. I tell ya, every time I walk towards my building and see the name on the building (AND¬†see my byline in print)¬†I get all tingly inside.

I know, it sounds a tad lame, but, after almost nearly two years of applying to journalism job after journalism job, I was beginning to think I might never get to work in my field. I thought, maybe I would be like most other college graduates where they earned a degree in something specific, but, then did something completely non-related–and not by choice.

After I had my in person interview I gave it a lot of thought and wondered if I could and actually would move away from home. Sure, I lived away for college, but, it was in the SAME state and only ONE hour away. My new home now is just under three, which is actually not quite as far is my cottage is up north, which is nice. But, I remember doing the Disney College Program three years ago and feeling happy on one hand I was working at the happiest place on Earth, but, then having the other part of me feeling like a part of me was missing because I was so far away from my family. And I mean yeah, I knew it wouldn’t be for forever–the program was only a semester long but, to me, it felt like it was going to be forever until I saw them again.

Flash forward three years later, to now, and here I am at just two weeks away from turning 26-years-old, living on my own, and working my dream career as a reporter. I smiled as I typed that because it just still seems surreal. While I am not 100% unpacked and therefore don’t feel 100% absolute settled in, I’ve been doing my best to adjust my life accordingly at my new apartment, my job and the town of Marion in general. And yes, I miss my family and friends like crazy but, honestly, I keep so busy that sometimes I just simply don’t have time to miss them. (Of course I don’t mean that as a bad thing. I always miss them in the back of my mind.)

Let me give you my opinion on the town of Marion…

It’s definitely different than back home. But, like any town across the U.S., it has both good parts and bad parts to it. The good/nice part about it is that it¬†is¬†trying to rebuild itself; it has the huge General Motors factory; and, it has some of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. Sure, I’ve also had some “different” encounters, but, it’s what makes this new chapter of my life so interesting. And then there’s the bad–there’s some areas that are really run down, there’s a big heroin and pseudophedrine problem here. But, like I said, this town has good and bad just like any other.

Now, as for my job, even though it’s only been one full week of working at it, I really do enjoy it so far. My boss is awesome, as is my other boss, and my co-workers have been nothing but extremely helpful. It’s definitely a fast-paced job–probably more so than I was actually expecting, but, my boss cares about all of us employees and he even checked in with me today to make sure I was doing alright. Speaking of… I had a story due today for an upcoming Rubber Duck Race and, by accident, I deleted the interview from my phone through voice memos, and, sadly, in this day and age of iPhones, it couldn’t be retrieved. Now of course I did what any good reporter would do and I also wrote information down in my reporter’s notebook, as well as immediately told my boss what happened. He was understanding, and told me to write the article to the best of my ability. I told him I would get right on it, although, a small part of me on the inside was panicking, not thinking I would be able to pull it off. But, I did. And while it was aggravating for me to make a mistake like that so soon in the game, I was proud of myself for overcoming it.

Other than that flub, today and this week in general has been interesting. I say interesting because I can’t really think of a better way to describe it. I don’t mean it to be a bad thing but, the stories I’ve gotten to write have been unique. My first story assignments were about GM celebrating its 60th anniversary today at its Marion plant and the other was about the first performance for the Concert in the Park series. That was really cool because of all the people it brought to it, and the cute elderly couple I had the pleasure of interviewing and talking to. Another story I did was the goat show yesterday evening. Now that one I will tell you, I was¬†super¬†nervous about because I didn’t know anything about goats, let alone a goat show. But, I somehow pulled it off and I think it was a good piece. Which reminds me… A man who participated in the show wanted me to e-mail him a copy. I’ll do that later.

And then of course there was my story today. At the local county jail 34 men and women were baptized. Going into it I had my own personal thoughts about it, but, as a reporter it’s my job to be objective. So I went and interviewed a young woman who had tears in her eyes as she told me about how growing up she had a hard life and wanted to really turn her life around and how she thought getting baptized was a step in the right direction. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what it was like to be in her shoes or any of the other inmates in there. But, deep down, I did hope that their baptisms really do lead them in the right direction. As did the sheriff there–you could tell by the way he interacted with the men and women that he really does care for them, and, he even told me he has high hopes of these individuals turning their lives around.

So as you can see, this week has been a whirlwind. I’m exhausted, and like I said, I’m still not fully unpacked, and, as I was working on unpacking some more before writing this post, I realized I have TOO. MUCH. DAMN. STUFF. Well, okay, so I blamed the small closet and cabinet space and lack of dresser but then I snapped myself back to reality and realized it’s just because I have too much stuff. If you look under my bathroom sink and see all of my Bath and Body Works¬†body washes and hand soaps you would think I was a hoarder, which, maybe I am just a tad. ūüėČ

But anyway… Fun/random fact… My dad was kind enough to buy me a hammer and nails so I could actually be an adult and hang the rest of the stuff he and my grandpa didn’t get to last weekend. LOL. So far I’ve hung TWO things. Woo! Making progress. HAHA!

Other fun facts…

  • I asked my friend Dennis who is originally from Indiana if they return bottles here and he said no, and said if I ask anyone that that they will call me a communist. LOL!
  • I’ve had three people ask me what church I go to–and have one man go out of his way to get me to join his. I appreciated all gestures.
  • The bar I went to last weekend that remind’s me of the Crystal Bar has SALOON doors as their bathroom stalls in the women’s bathroom. I died laughing.
  • Everyone here is SUPER nice–at least, the people I’ve met¬†so far
  • My landlord said I had a neighbor that she thought was a doctor, however, I have seen no sign of ANYONE in the apartment as a piece of paper has been in the door ALL week and it’s been nothing but silence — ALSO, there’s been this car in the SAME spot ALL week as well, with clothes in it, and so no joke, I’m wondering if the person got kidnapped or…. Well…. Something…
  • My one neighbor’s dog downstairs barks at really obnoxious times–like almost every time I am walking up the stairs coming home from work and DOESN’T STOP barking
  • My other neighbor and her two sons are SUPER nice. Her one son was kind enough to help my parents, grandparents and me move stuff into my apartment last weekend
  • I almost hit a cat on my way to work yesterday. I know, awful. I kept thinking that if I¬†had¬†hit it I most certainly would have thrown up. Crisis averted.
  • On my way¬†home¬†from work the other night, a dog ran out in front of me and it made me sad that no one was even remotely close around looking for it ūüė¶ I wanted to bring it home but obviously I wasn’t about to get fined by my apartment landlord, and I didn’t know if it was a nice dog or a mean dog. I do hope it found its way home or that someone else took it in.
  • Yesterday I got to do a phone interview with the country duo, LOCASH, who will be performing at next week’s Concert in the Park. Sidenote: They were SO nice! ūüôā

I could go on and on about the little things I’ve observed/done in the week I’ve been here but, it’s now 11 p.m. and my laundry needs switched over,¬†and¬†I need to get some sleep tonight so I can wake up bright and early to pack and then hit the road back to Michigan tomorrow for the night. And as tired as I’ll be, I am SUPER excited because Cassie and I are going to Taste of Country¬†in the afternoon¬†AND¬†my brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew are coming to visit from Illinois. It’ll be a quick and bittersweet trip, but, well worth it. Especially since I’ll eventually have to work some weekends–hopefully not my birthday–but, even if I do, it’s okay because, I am doing what I love and practice will only continue to make perfect. ūüôā

So, until next time…

XO,

Ana

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere…

This week is my last week as a HOMTV rookie reporter.

It’s crazy to think I began this journey back in January and it is now May. When I first started I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but, as time went on, I gained a better understanding based on my own personal experience and through the advice of advanced interns.

While I came in to this internship with some previous newsroom experience, which was helpful, I learned even more throughout my time at HOMTV. I believe the hands-on experience at HOMTV is unparalleled to any other internship in the area.

youthacademy

As I think back to my first day of orientation and meeting the then other 11 interns, I wondered what my relationship with them would be like by the end of the semester. The advanced interns from the fall 2015 semester came to talk to us that night and one shared how our fellow interns would become like family since we would be spending so much time together. At the time I wasn’t sure if I fully believed it, but now, I can say with certainty I do.

While we had some interns leave prior to now, I am so thankful to have met each and every one of them. I couldn’t have asked for a better group to share this experience with this semester. And so I want to give a huge thanks overall to the 11 other interns I started out with, and a special thanks individually to the 5 interns that remain.

Maya: It has been such a pleasure to meet you this semester. You are an extremely hard-working individual, and I truly believe you will go on to do great things in the TV news/sports industry. You have great potential. I thank you, too, for always helping not only me out, but others as well, when needed.

Treasure:¬†Where do I begin? You are one of the funniest and kindest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet this semester. I see great potential in you and believe you too will go far in life. Thank you for always making me laugh and keeping my sanity in check when I at times thought I was losing it.

Brittany:¬†You are such a helpful and kind person. You have been a coworker who is always willing to help others when they need it, and providing laughs as well. You are a hard-working, determined woman who I believe will go far in life as well. You have great potential–not just based on the stories you’ve covered (and kicked ass at), but, but being a great co-worker and team player as well.

Bri:¬†You are someone I see with a bright future ahead of you. It’s been awesome to have experienced this internship with you, and I thank you for always helping¬†me out specifically when it comes to tear down or set up of meetings–like with the cable cords. LOL. But really, you have been a great person to work with over this semester.

Alexis: It has been so great to work alongside you this semester. I feel we connected so well because of our background and interest in print. It has been a pleasure to have met you, and thank you for being such a great co-worker and friend and the many laughs this semester.

While I am eager and excited to see what the future holds for me post-HOMTV, I am sad to be saying goodbye to my fellow rookie interns. Like I said, I wasn’t sure if I would make that close of a bond with them like the advanced interns had talked about but, I did, which is what makes me sad about leaving.

I couldn’t have asked for better people to do this internship with and I thank them all, both the current 5 left and former ones, for making this an experience I won’t forget.

Of course, before ending this post, I must give thanks to the staff at HOMTV as well, for giving me and the other interns the opportunity to do this internship. I have learned so much during my time at HOMTV and it wouldn’t be without the knowledge and training bestowed upon us from everyone there. THANK YOU.

And, of course, a special thank you to our internship coordinator, Brandie, for being so helpful and always pushing us to do our best and help us see our true potential.

So, here’s to my last week and enjoying these next few days before I become an official HOMTV alumni.

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

There’s No Place Like HOM…

It’s Thursday night, and I am currently sitting at my kitchen table, feeling a tad hypocritical for having just had leftover pizza for dinner, and wanting an ice cold beer, but, not having any, while I stare right at my new It Works! starter kit that came in the mail today.

For those of you who don’t know the gist of It Works!, it’s that “crazy wrap thing”… That aims to help you tone, tighten and detoxify your body. Along with a line including a bunch of other products designed to help you be healthier.

Anyway, not my point of this blog…

It’s Thursday night, and I have officially completed week one of my internship at HOMTV.

HOMTVmug.jpg
HOMTV coffee mug.

While it has only been a couple of days, I must say I am super eager to see what the rest of this semester/experience holds. I have already learned so much in such a short period of time, that I can’t wait to find out what else I will learn from the program/workshops itself, but through my own trials and tribulations.

The first day was orientation, where learned the overview of the program along with the usual procedures and policies. Oh, and we went over dress code… Note To Self: Create shoe bag and leave in car.¬†LOL! I am seriously going to find my best shoes and put them in a bag and leave them in my car so I am always prepared. I wore my Ugg boots to the Wednesday night workshop and while no one said anything, I accidentally¬†forgot my work shoes from my coat closet at home. But, given the weather this week, my initial thought was Uggs=WARMTH! LOL.

We also got our picture taken for the HOMTV website, which, I am super geeked about. And yes, I just used the word “geeked.” (A one-time thing, I swear, lol) Not only will this picture be used on the main HOMTV website, but it will also be used for my soon-to-be in live action, FACEBOOOK FAN PAGE! Yep, that’s right. Us reporters get a fan page! I am telling you this now so you can remember to “like” it on Facebook as soon as it’s up and running.

The following day for my morning shift we watched archive videos of past newscasts and wrote our bios for the HOMTV website. It was a little strange at first, writing in the third person, about myself, but, once I got going I couldn’t be stopped. I wrote the serious stuff, like where I graduated from, what I studied, and where I see myself after the internship. And then, of course, I put the fun stuff–like that in my free time I like to watch my favorite TV shows Pretty Little Liars and Criminal Minds, and that I am a coffee mug collector. And course love Chipotle and shoes. (Although, Chipotle, not so much lately… You know, given their whole E-Coli deal…)

Then, later that evening was our first workshop–the reporting workshop. During this we learned about the¬†Society of Professional Journalists: Code of Ethics, the various terms used in television, and watched previous interns’ work, i.e. packages and stand-ups. I most excited about this workshop, as this is the track I will be focusing on–reporting.

The second day, morning shift, we continued/finished watching the archive videos of old newscasts and began working on our first exam. Our first exam is due Tuesday. Will work on that this weekend. EEEK! The evening portion was our field production workshop–where we learned all about how to use a camera. It was a lot of information to process, but, I definitely learned a lot. It makes me even more eager (although just as nervous, too) to get out there and start shooting stuff.

HOMTV1
Me and Ar-Rel getting ready for our future close-ups.

This morning I had off. In the evening we had our editing workshop, which involved even¬†more¬†information than last night. I feel super nervous and overwhelmed at the moment, but, after talking to some of the other interns and a seasoned intern, I can move forward knowing it’s okay/normal to feel this way and that everything will be okay. The workshop tonight taught us how to import, export and edit our footage. It’s a lot to do and a lot to remember, but, like I said before, I AM looking forward to it! Can’t wait to see how I improve over the course of the semester. Yay!

Anyway… So that is what my first week at HOMTV was like. I’ll try to update this more frequently as the internship goes on, but, I know the internship itself will keep me fairly busy so, we’ll see. Anyway, look for me on Facebook soon–my fan page. And, if you haven’t already, be sure to like the HOMTV Faceboo0k page itself by clicking¬†here¬†as well as their Twitter handle at¬†@HOMTV.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

You only fail when you stop trying…

Hello!

I meant to update this last week and then I kept using “I’m tired” as an excuse to not do it but really, I was just being lazy. Oops!

Anyway, I am back with an update since my last post to let you all know how my first couple weeks, actually, almost a whole month, has been at WILX.

So, I had just about one week of training when I was expected to produce on my own.

It was overwhelming, and a lot to learn, but I am grateful to have such helpful co-workers who want to see me succeed.

The first show, obviously, had some hiccups, and even the shows after that, but since then I have been non-stop taking notes and taking everything in.

I can’t help but feel this is still a dream.

It seemed like so much longer than a year I was waiting for my “dream job” and then finally the day come.

To some, their major they study in college is just something they either merely “like” or think will make them a lot of money.

Now I’m not saying that’s the case for everyone. For me, it definitely wasn’t.

Journalism, for as long as I can remember, has been an extreme passion of mine.

I’ve always had an innate curiosity for news, whether local, national, or international, as well as a curiosity for people’s stories in general.

I can’t pinpoint the exact point when I became so in love and passionate about the industry but since then, I’ve never thought about studying anything else.

Well, okay, that’s not entirely true… During the period I was applying for jobs and thought at times I would never get one, I thought I had maybe picked the wrong major.

But, ultimately, as I sit here, I can’t help but be glad, happy, that I chose this major and never gave up on my dream of working in the news industry.

It’s refreshing to be surrounded by like-minded people who share the same passion about news.

Because I am working in the industry I am most passionate about it makes me that much more determined and motivated to do well, work hard, and eventually–hopefully–become full-time.

I want to stay in this area, my hometown, and grow and learn with some of the best–people who I’ve long admired from watching in the comfort of my own home for years.

I know I still have a lot to learn, even though I’ve already learned so much, and know I will still make mistakes along the way… But, I am thankful to have a team of people who want me to succeed and do well and are willing to help me do so.

Anyway…

If you’re an early bird or even if you’re not and have DVR, be sure to tune in or set your¬†DVR¬†to 7 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday on WILX to see my newscast I produce.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

She believed she could, so she did…

Last week I received a phone call that would be the phone call I had been waiting on for just over a year.

In August 2014 I received my Bachelor of Science degree in journalism. It was more than a major I studied but an extreme passion of mine. I couldn’t wait to see what job opportunity would be awaiting for me once I received that official piece of paper and started applying for my dream job.

Well, it turns out, landing my dream job would take much longer than I anticipated. I applied anywhere and everywhere I could think of. At first I limited it to just Michigan but then after some time I decided to apply outside of Michigan as well. But, as more time went on I decided that I in fact DID want to STAY in Michigan. After all, I grew up here, most of my family lives here, and I just like Michigan.

After three months of having graduated I finally landed a job at Becky Beauchine Kulka Diamonds and Fine Jewelry. I was ecstatic, especially since I love jewelry (and later on became OBSESSED with Alex and Ani). I worked there until July of this year when deep down I knew my one and true passion was to work in the news industry. I enjoyed my time at BBK and definitely learned a lot, especially about great customer service, but, I knew I wanted to focus on pursuing a journalism job. While my ultimate goal was to work in the news industry, I knew that was probably going to take some time, again, to land so I decided to apply and work at Bath and Body Works in the mean time to focus on gaining sales experience. I had gained some while at BBK, but, I wanted to expand on it at BBW. After being at BBW for little bit, I learned I was accepted into an internship program at HOMTV in Okemos. I was beyond excited, thrilled, and couldn’t wait to start. I was going to be a social media/promotions intern and I knew this experience would help me in the long run. But, little did I know, I would later have to respectfully rescind my acceptance.

A week ago on Wednesday was when I received the call I was being offered the job of news assistant/producer at WILX in Lansing. I kid you not as soon as I got off the phone I was jumping up and down freaking out. I couldn’t believe it and was BEYOND excited that my dreams of working in a newsroom were FINALLY coming true. During the phone call I immediately said yes before Kevin, the news director, could even finish explaining the details. He even paused for a minute to say how agreeable I was being. I told him I had been waiting for over a year for someone to give me a chance to get my foot in the door. He said, well, now you have your foot in the door. I couldn’t stop smiling after I got off the phone. I was on cloud nine.

He asked if I could start one week from that day and I of course said yes. So here I am on my second day of work and I still can’t believe it. It’s an incredible feeling working in the field I am most passionate about and to be surrounded by people who share the same passion for news.

While this journey took a long time (to me anyway) and at times I wanted to throw in the towel and say “forget it”, I’m certainly glad I didn’t. And I didn’t because of the constant and continued support from my family, friends and colleagues. And after experiencing it myself, I’m telling you, to whoever is reading this and still waiting to land their dream job: DON’T GIVE UP. It can be easy to want to but, like so many people told me, something WILL come along. So hang in there, and don’t stop trying. You never know when you’ll get that dream offer via phone call or email. ūüôā

As I continue to learn I will be trying my best to blog about my experience on a daily or weekly basis. As you know, I LOVE to write and being able to share my experience working at WILX is a great way to showcase that love.

Also, before I end this post, I must give a shout out to a former WILX member for being an inspiration and a huge reason I wanted to work here. I can’t wait to learn from the best and showcase what I learn. So thank you, for the advice and support along the way to landing this job. It’s nice to know I can now call you a colleague.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana 

To travel is to live…

Wanderlust: A strong desire to travel

It’s my last day in California and while it’ll have been a brief stay, I am already wondering when I can make another trip out here.

Back at the end of January/early February a conversation was struck up between old friends. I didn’t realize that just a few months later I would be flying across the country, alone, to visit this friend.

I’ve traveled by myself to Tennessee before, which was no biggie, considering who I was going to visit was my roommate in college for four years. But this time, getting on a plane to head thousands of miles away, I felt a little, well, nervous. 

Don’t get me wrong, I was super thrilled and excited to come out here but I’m not gonna lie, I was nervous. But that feeling went away as soon as I set my eyes to the gorgeous scenery awaiting for me outside of the plane. In that instant I knew this was going to be a trip for the books.
The scenery/land here in California are like nothing I have never seen before. It truly is stunning and breathtaking. Now unfortunately with the state being in a drought, everything is brown, but nonetheless, still beautiful.

 

Nate took us on a scenic drive today and I wish I could take the views home with me. It’s that amazing. So many vineyards, hills, pretty landscaping. So much to take in, it was hard to know at times where to look. 

On Friday when I arrived we went to the Walt Disney Family Museum and San Francisco. The WDFM was awesome! As a huge Disney fan it was cool to learn more about Walt Disney and his family, along with his vision to make Disney World and Disneyland what it is today. After the museum we headed to Ghiradelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. We walked around, ate lunch and did some shopping. I even found a little California souvenir license plate with “Ana” on it. My one “big”, “tourist-y” purchase but well worth it, lol. Oh, and I totally got to ride on the Golden Gate Bridge and it was so awesome! Happy I can check that off my bucket list! 

  

 We also walked by a cupcake shop that I of course had to try. I love my cupcakes. Plus, they had the cute little pink boxes and you know if they come in a pink box they’re bound to me good. Okay, maybe that’s just me, but still. I got a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter ganache frosting and it was DELICIOUS! Kara’s Cupcakes knows what’s up. 

At Fisherman’s Wharf they also had a Madame Tussaud’s wax museum and while we didn’t actually go through it, there were wax figures of Beyonc√©, Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio outside to take pictures with. I was so excited! I’ve always wanted to see the wax figures in person and that fact that I did was awesome.

  
There were a lot of people at Fisherman’s Wharf and lots of camera shops, which was just an observation I happened to notice and I thought was kind of strange. But, I guess people do still use cameras to take pictures, not just their cell phones. Ha ha. 

Another observation I noticed are…

– Starbucks are a plenty around here

– People love their In-And-Out Burger

– Mexican restaurants on what seems like every corner (my kind of city!!)

– You have to PAY for your shopping bag at most stores here if you buy something. If not, you end up like me at the Disney store walking out with my t-shirt and receipt in hand. 

– The bathroom stalls at the Oakland airport are nice and ROOMY! (It’s the little things that excite me, lol)

– The sales tax here is higher than ours, ouch.

– People driving motorcycles are allowed to pass other vehicles via in the middle of the lane–looks scary, I wouldn’t dare try to do that

There’s probably more but I can’t think of any off the top of my head so moving along…

  
Yesterday we went wine tasting and it was so much fun. The woman serving us has been at that vineyard for just four months but with how knowledgable she was I was impressed. There’s a lot to know I feel like. But she knew her stuff and even explained to me what the difference between “dry” and “sweet” were since when people ask what kind of wine I like I just say I like ALL and ANY. (Side note: My sisters and aunt are probably shaking their heads right now over me not knowing the difference, LOL)

  
After that vineyard we went downtown and ate lunch (can’t recall the name right now) and ordered a flight of beer. Yeah, not the best idea because I was so tired after that. But, I hung in there and after we ate lunch we stopped by a restaurant called Barn Diva where Nate’s friend works at. They have mixed drinks there like none I have ever had before but boy were they good. Plus, we basically had the place to ourselves since they were closed and had a wedding going on. Of course those drinks only made me more tired but I hung in there the best I could, lol.

After that we walked around for a bit more and then came back to the apartment. Later we ended up going to La Rosa, a Mexican restaurant, where I had a burrito with, get this, FRENCH FRIES in it. Talk about beat of both worlds. I love me my carbs and potatoes. ūüôā Their chips and salsa were on point too, delicious!

Once we got done with dinner we met up with Nate’s friend from earlier, Chris, and got drinks at Bear Republic Brewing Company. So Nate told me this is THE place for people to hang on any given night. I was still surprised to see there was a line and while I am not one to wait in lines (I’m so impatient) I was pleased we did because the beer was so worth it. Something worth mentioning… I’m definitely not used to drinking “good” beer back home–I always stick to my usual Bud Light (lol)–and so having all of these IPAs caught up with me quick. Still had a fun time though and glad I got to meet and hang out with Nate’s friends.

Today was fun being able to simply enjoy the scenery and check out another winery. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to since I felt a tad hungover from last night (oops) but a little hair of the dog seemed to go the trick. As did the In-And-Out Burger I had.

So, I guess In-And-Out Burger is like THE fast food place to eat here in California? Or maybe just Santa Rosa, but, the place was packed and there were cars wrapped around the building for drive through. My verdict: it was good but not a place I would spend that much time waiting for to go to. But maybe don’t listen to my verdict since I’m not even a burger person to begin with so… Moving along…

Oh, so there was a shop nearby I found out that sells Alex and Ani and while I didn’t want to buy them elsewhere, I couldn’t pass the opportunity up, especially since they had some really cute beaded ones that are being discontinued. Sales people know how to get me to buy–discontinuing, you say? I’ll take them! ūüėČ

An unexpected but nice surprise after that was getting to meet Nate’s parents and grandparents, and finding out his sister is engaged. His family was so sweet, they treated us to ice cream and his grandma had me cracking up. They were all very sweet and it was a pleasure to meet them.

That was a wrap up of the day today since Nate has a rehearsal for his play to go to tonight and poor kid is driving me to the airport super duper early tomorrow. Yikes! I’m bummed to have to leave, although I am looking forward to sleeping in my own bed. So hopefully it’s smooth sailing tomorrow and I get home at a decent time so I can get some sleep. There’s a three hour time difference between here and Michigan so that’s cutting into my sleep schedule, lol.

But anyway… I’m definitely going to be coming out here again because like I said it’s so beautiful and I just want to experience what not only this state offers but this country too.

Well, better get to making sure I have everything I brought with me here packed and ready to go home.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

Finding a prince in a pond full of frogs

I don’t know about other women my age or at the same point in their life (post-college) but I feel like the dating pool is kind of small. Or maybe I am just blinded and missing the greater dating pool.

It could just be my over-picky-ness but in all honesty, where are women my age and at this point in life supposed to meet people? Hell, I wasn’t even sure where to find people when I was in college. The bar? A coffee shop? A concert? The bar seems to be the typical place to meet people for twenty-somethings and while I am a twenty-something, I feel as though I am not into finding my soul mate, my one true love, while having already consumed a couple beers and then some.

Don’t get me wrong, I love going to the bar and just hanging out with my girl friends but when it comes to meeting people (i.e. potential significant other) I feel as though it can be difficult. In my opinion people use the bar and consuming some liquor for well, liquid encouragement. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that considering I’ve done the same but, in the end it just doesn’t always work out as well as hoped.

Let me again reiterate that I don’t think there is anything wrong with people meeting their S.O. at the bar. I know some success stories from doing so but, since I’ve already gone through that phase, or at least attempted to (but really, was too shy/chicken shit to) I feel like it’s not for me anymore.

Which begs the question: Where do twenty-something women, post-college, meet men who are at the same point in their lives, if not even more established?

That’s part of the problem. I have people tell me I am much too picky when it comes to¬†guys–whether it be to casually date him or something more serious and long-term. Now I will admit I suppose I am just a tad picky but I also don’t want to settle. On the other hand, the people I know who are dating someone or will date in the future are probably people I wouldn’t ever date. That doesn’t go to say the people they’re dating are undesirable or anything, it’s just a different taste than what I am looking for. After all, everyone has their own¬†tastes, etc. and there’s nothing wrong with that.

I’m sure some people reading have probably written me off as someone whose standards are too high that no guy will ever be able to meet but, I disagree. It might not happen anytime soon but as people always tell me–things happen when they’re supposed to and when I least expect it. I am a firm believer every person has a soul mate in the world (should they believe in/want love–regardless of it results in marriage or just something monogamous without a piece of paper) and therefore that is why I don’t believe my standards are too high. Perhaps to some they are but for me I know what I wan’t and don’t want and I refuse to settle.

Perhaps there is that small part of me that still believes in those Disney fairy tales. The fairy tales where the princess rides off into the sunset with prince charming and they live happily-ever-after. Who wouldn’t want that? Okay, so not everyone wants that or believes in that but I do and I’m sticking to it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being single. I’ve been single for some time now and it’s been great. But, at the same time, I’ve always been one who believes in love, wants love, had a great love once, and am looking for one again. I am a believer in fairy tales and while I don’t expect to literally ride off into the sunset with my prince charming, I do look forward to finding my soul mate and well, living happily-ever-after, on our own terms, however that may be.

Not everyone longs to find true love, their “other half”, and that is totally okay. But for me and seeing people in my own family (and friends) experience that feeling of true love/happily-ever-after I can’t help but feel I am meant for that too–and it’s what I want. But until then begs the question of where do I meet my so-called “prince charming”?

Can I still meet guys at the bar? Or am I past that? I personally think I am beyond that stage of my life now but perhaps I am wrong. I am curious, people who are reading this–where are twenty something women my age meeting people?

If you have any ideas on where to meet people I’d like to know. It¬†obviously isn’t my life mission to pin point my prince charming this very second but, it’s certainly something I am interested in happening at some point. In mean the time the hunt for a job continues and hopefully saving up enough money to have my own place again. It’s best to just live life in the moment, right?

Until next time…

– Ana

If your dreams don’t scare you then they aren’t big enough

In one week another school year will begin at my soon-to-be alma mater.

As I read the many Facebook updates, tweets and snap chat pictures, I get a feeling of nostalgia knowing I won’t be resuming classes with the rest of my friends. Classes for me ended in May and this summer I spent my time fulfilling my last collegiate requirement, an internship, before graduation.

At times I thought spring semester would never end. I’m pretty sure I was ready for it to be over even before it began. That feeling of knowing I was so close to the end I could taste it made it a challenge to stay focused and put 110% effort into my school work before getting to that point. But, as time got closer to filling out my last ever S.O.S. form and studying for my last ever final exams, I knew I was going to miss it.

I think the moment it truly hit me was when I was going through senior farewell for my sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, on April 26. Now I know the sisterhood is a lifetime commitment and membership but not being physically there with my sisters for more school years to come on a regular basis¬†is extremely weird, and sad. And it’s not just my sisters I’ll miss, but my non-Greek friends too–as well as my professors and CMU itself in general.

Flashback five years… Moving into my dorm freshmen year I didn’t know what to expect. But then again, did anyone really? I’m sure people had conjured up their own images of what college life would be like but for me I knew that anything I had imagined would probably be different in reality. There wasn’t anything wrong with that but I knew if I kept imagining things then I would be let down when reality set it¬†and it wasn’t the same.

During freshmen year I had as much fun as any college student could have but, I was still missing home a lot. It was a new experience for me, for all the incoming freshmen, but I just couldn’t bear being away from my family and boyfriend at the time. Thankfully I didn’t live far so I could go home when I pleased but I can’t help but sometimes wonder what the weekends I went home would have been like had I stayed at school.

Fast forward… Through the rest of my college years to (almost) graduation. Looking back on my overall college experience I enjoyed every moment, good and bad, of it. It’s crazy how fast time flew by and how I am now on the hunt to finding my first “big girl” job.

There were honestly more times than I can count when I thought college might never end. It was during the not-so-good, super stressful times, that¬†I couldn’t wait to leave. And while I am super eager to see what my future holds post-college, I can’t help but wonder if the people who always told me “stay in college as long as you can because as soon as you enter the real world you’ll miss it” were right. The second I got on the highway to head home on Thursday, May 8 I instantly¬†missed my sorority sisters, my friends, professors and the campus itself. I missed everything and everyone so much I started tearing up, thinking my college experience had flashed right before my very eyes. But, as time has gone on since that cloudy, windy day,¬†I realized I will always have the memories to cherish. And the friendships I’ve made will always be in tact as long as I’m willing to put forth the effort, which I will. It will be tough at times, especially once I find and begin my big girl job and become super busy, but, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s… “No matter where I roam CMU will always be my home.”

I can’t forget where I come from, both my alma mater and my actual hometown. It will be tough, it will be an adjustment should I ever move away (whether it be an hour or hours), but, I know if I am serious about making my dreams come true then I have to go above and beyond my comfort zone. I have to do whatever it takes. I say this with every intention of following through, even though deep down somewhere I know I will probably run scared in the opposite direction but, it’s the thought that counts, right? I’m not a huge fan of change even though in theory it sounds great. And well, it is said it takes 21 days for something to become habitual. Who knows, maybe after a 21-day adjustment period I will become adjusted to whatever change comes my way. But I guess since nothing like that has actually happened yet, post-college life anyway, I shouldn’t worry so much. Perhaps that’s something I could work on–not worrying so much about the unknown future or about things in general.

Anyway, while I continue the process of applying for big girl jobs and hoping I am given a chance to showcase my skills and previous experience I’ll enjoy what’s left of this summer with my loved ones, friends and family, and cherish every single moment.

Until next time…

– Ana

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