Posted in Advice, Love

Experience is the Best Teacher

If you asked me at 18 who I’d be today, I would be surprised to see who I see in the mirror. I never thought I’d see someone who has broken hearts and had hers broken. I never thought I’d come out stronger than I expected and exceeded the expectations of some. I never thought I’d be jaded and cynical.IMG_8932

I thought I would believe in true love and a romantic love as old as time, but I was taught first hand how wrong my thinking was. I thought I was going to have that unbelievable Disney fairy tale of love. I thought I’d be the exception because I wanted to believe in the power of love. My unbelievably high expectations of people has been and seems to always be proved wrong in which people never step up. My belief of old romance seems to have died with the times, but I remained hopeful to be treated right and respected. I’m not asking to be put on a pedestal, I’m not looking for someone to treat me like a princess (well not every day), but I do demand respect and equality.

My 18-year old else wouldn’t believe this young woman standing before her today. She’s been called “cool” a phrase never uttered in her formidable years as a teen. Yet here she is, being called cool, being desired, and feeling like she can take on the world. Nothing scares her, well that’s not true, there’s still a lot which gets into her head, but she’s developed a cool and calm manner of dealing with it. She’s learned to channel the charm and engage flawlessly. She turns on her smile and the world falls to their knees.

Nothing humbles you quicker than learning you don’t have all the facts. And nothing raises you up better than seeing a look of love. IMG_0292

Posted in Advice

Find Out Who Your Friends Are… Through the Tough Times

Over the years I’ve lost touch with friends, I’ve ended friendships and I’ve started new friendships, but what remains constant are the friends who’ve stood by me through it all. We may be in different cities and living different lives, but I know I can count on them for anything!IMG_8928

I have an old co-worker who has been going through some tough times with the job and also in her personal life and without a doubt, I’m there for her. She’s one of my favorite people who’s taught me so much and has always treated me as a friend (something my old job didn’t believe in) and no matter what, I have her back. She’s always got a place to stay and a listening ear.IMG_8315

I feel the same with my friends as well though, since the long-term break up, my bestie sent me half a dozen mini cupcakes and an inspirational letter to help me make sense of the loss. I was able to call and chat with my various college and hometown friends, to cry to and then to vent, and then to laugh with. I had a support system that spanned beyond the city and I felt the love. I didn’t need to retreat, I did, but in my own fashion. I’ve learned sometimes being strong is the only option you have.

Your friends can inspire you to be great again. They make you laugh. They bring out the happy in your eyes. The spark comes back. The memories and laughter. It’s what makes friendship so important to life.

Posted in Advice

Open Letter to the Women Who Have Inspired Me

I want to thank the powerful, strong, awe-inspiring, beautiful, and inspirational women who surround me. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for your years of wisdom and guidance to help shape me into the woman who stands before you today. I want to thank each and every one of them because without their experience, advice, and tough lessons, I wouldn’t be standing here. I understand these lessons have come from love and to better me, although at the time I might not have seen how they were trying to guide me. In the following posts, each will be a tribute to a specific woman whose polished away the rough edges and started to help create a diamond.

Life is much too short for fellow women to tear each other down and I’ve been incredibly lucky to have women who have pushed me the be the best version of myself time and time again, never giving me the chance to do less than I’m capable of.

This open letter isn’t just to the women who have touched my life personally, but to all the strong women who work so hard to change our world for the better! I write this not realizing that International Women’s Day has come and gone, but in a reflection to celebrating women each and every day. There’s always going to be a controversial woman figure who’s a celebrity or star who’s going to shake our feminist beliefs, but I think it doesn’t matter what they do because they’re getting attention to us. You’ve got people like Kesha who is fighting a legal battle over someone who sexually assaulted her and can’t get out of her contract with him directly, you’ve got people like Kim Kardashian who is in the media for her outrageous publicity and infamy, but she’s still an icon to our generation of women. That’s not to say I support her or think she’s worth speaking about, but she’s an icon. You’ve got Taylor Swift, who I personally don’t like, but she knows how to sell herself into a “role model” for young women. Then you’ve got Adele, a personal icon and inspiration in my life. She’s the laid-back and drama free kind of woman who speaks from her heart and doesn’t feel like she has to censor herself (too much).

This letter is to every woman who has worked so hard to make sure women are treated equally, Malala Yousafzai, Hillary Clinton, Susan B. Anthony, and the list goes on. We have to stick together.

Posted in Advice

5 Years Have Passed, What Do I Have to Show?

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It’s interesting to look back on who you were only 5 years ago, and see how much you’ve grown and changed. Not everyone has the introspection and some people just don’t want to, which is fine. But I think when you can take a step back and reflect on the challenges you overcame, and the triumphs you celebrated, it shows us no matter how old we get, we are constantly experiencing change. Doesn’t mean it has to be big or life-altering, it can be the decision to try something new or face a fear.

We wait so long because we’re always waiting for our “real” life to start, guess what? It’s been going on for 20+ years now and we’re just sitting idly by. I think we (millennials) need to stop romanticizing the idea of “the future” and realize our lives are passing us by as we wait for everything to just fall into place. Nothing ever worth keeping is ever just handed to you. You bust your ass. You work til your fingers bleed. You work with no sleep and tons of coffee. You don’t give up until you made it according to you. Nowadays it seems so many are willing to complain about how it’s not enough for them, but fail to put in the time and effort to make it worth their time. If people worked half as hard as they complained, maybe the world would be in a better place.

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5 years down the road and I’ve developed a backbone. 5 years down the road and I’m not afraid to get political (although I prefer to avoid it). 5 years down the road and I’m becoming stronger with each passing month. I also think I have to contribute my ability to step into my adult shoes with having a solid group of friends who have inspired and shaped me. I might not have the biggest circle of friends, but for those who have stayed in my life over the years, I know have my back. They’ve laughed and cried with me, they’ve come through in my toughest hours and cheered for me in my brightest. I can honestly say that life has been improved having known the influences in my life. I’ve started to branch out and make friends who live in the same city as me, both work friends and pup friends. I believe I’ve learned a little more in how to make friendships last longer instead of having transient ones. 5 years and I’m beginning to really like who’s coming out of the wood work.

Posted in Advice, Travel

How Life Changes You…

I know I’ve talked a lot about the break-ups and losses, but I think they contribute so much into who we are as people and how we choose to grow from there, we must write to understand and to see what has changed in our life.

If you asked me how I would react to a break-up, never would I have thought it would be possible to make peace with it before it happened. Yes, tears will inevitably fall because we must mourn the loss of a love. But I look back and see I removed myself from a relationship which was slowing and breaking down. 

 

Once the final goodbye was stated, I felt it. My heart shatter. In a different way from the last time my heart was broken. This time it was a quiet shatter. Barely heard above the sound of my breath. It was a thin knife slipped into your heart, you don’t immediately realize the damage that’s been done until it’s too late. Yes, it still hurt to breath, but I realize after a little while, it was  easier to breath. I  never noticed before I wasn’t getting a full breath of air. After it was over, I could breath again. I could take deep breaths of fresh, untainted, new air and let my lungs sing. The knife in my chest was holding me back, it had grown to be something I just ignored, not seeing it was restricting me.

IMG_0711The break up was like trying to grab a cloud, we know we can’t have it in our hands, in a tangible manner and yet we try to grab it. We want to hold it, encompass it and own it. The harder we cling to the dying relationship, the quicker it leaves us. Some things we can control, some thing are beyond us, but we fight no matter what for the tiniest amount of control we can maintain in our lives. To admit it’s over is to admit you failed. To admit you failed, well I don’t know many people who openly acknowledge their failures. To tell friends and loved ones, a relationship ends is never easy, but what makes it harder it when it quietly fades away.

Life has a way to make us more cynical and guarded as we get older, but part of me tries, oh so hard, to not lose my sense of wonder of the world, to maintain parts of the carefree and young aspects of life. I read so many quotes about how we need to live a life we’re proud of and to make a mark bigger than our jobs. I truly believe we need to make our lives remarkable beyond what is that “status quo”.

Life changes us in ways we never foresaw because that’s how life is. Through loss, familiar, romantic, and just randomly, we grow into stronger people. We fight our way to the top and when we get there… the view is incredible.

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Posted in Advice

Growing Up Looks A Lot Like Chaos

I realized I deserved more than I had gotten before. A great start to a college relationship and toward building a future. I thought I had finally found someone who would see what I was made of and treat me as such. A relationship takes time to build trust, but it’s so easy – oh so easy – to let the winds of the past shape the future with another. It’s so easy to let those doubts and fears overrun your new try. As I got older, I’ve started to look at the people I was building a relationship with as potential partner.

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Advice I wish I’d taken sooner… but I learned, boy did I learn.

I never foresaw myself with someone who didn’t have the same high ambition, dreams, and aspirations as myself. I was always taught to dream big, I have always been fearless, even when I’m so not sure of where to go. I’ve always been a leader and a go-getter. Never one to put up with bullshit and wait around. Bu I ended up, stagnant in a place that never loved me back with someone whose passion wasn’t close to mine.

For the time in college, it worked, dating was easy and simple. Hang out, drink, go to parties, throw parties, have no real responsibilities, but when one starts to grow up and transition into being an adult, change happens. At that point, I started to accept my pending adulthood and how I could no longer hide behind the world of no responsibilities.

IMG_0708I never thought I’d become complacent in my own world and life. Let others dictate my actions. When I look back on my choices in college, both romantically and academically, I wonder what I was thinking. Man, if I could do it all over, I’d take a one way ticket to Europe, travel, meet like minded people, fall in love with a country, a nation, a culture, and find myself there.

If I could do it all over, I’d pick a school I felt at home with, I would challenge myself to be a different person. I would pick a school because I could see myself living in the area, building a life, and being happy. I wouldn’t change a lot from my life, but if I really understood what people meant about you settle where you go to school, I would’ve picked differently.  I hope for my future children their decisions are always their choice and never because they let themselves blindly follow what everyone else is doing. Be  brave and forceful.

Posted in Advice

Open Letter to My Friend, Sorority Sister, and Role Model

Words can’t express how excited and happy I am to be a part of your day of celebration with your other half. Truly I mean he’s your other half, because man, he’s so deeply and madly in love with you. 

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I’m so happy I met you through Sigma and over the last 4 years we’ve been friends, granted the last two we’ve drifted apart and I haven’t seen you, but know you hold such a special place in my heart. I remember the new member sessions we went to together and after got Starbucks as you told me about your squirrel food and how they were hidden all around at your work.

 

You’ve inspired me in how to be a better person, with big goals, to take charge of life, and to just always remember to laugh. You’ve taught me it’s not always bad to have a little madness in life, to always stop and pet the pup you see, to go forge a new path and sometimes it’s just the kick in the butt another person needs. You taught me to be strong and to rely on myself. You taught me it’s easier to try new things with friends with you and to never take life too seriously.

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I’m thrilled to get to see you, after too many months apart, for your bridal shower and I’m so happy I get to be a part of it. As I get older, I’m beginning to see the friendships made in college which withstand the test of time and distance, are worth putting the time into to make them last. I owe it to you and myself to come see you and make the trek to Boston.
College was that much more fun having you by my side. From you and I laughing uncontrollably, like that one time I wanted to go to Thunder from Down Under (still wish it wasn’t sold out) to you watching Sparky and having him love the Frat life. From our spontaneous trips to AC to our adventures on First Fridays.

Posted in Advice

It Starts Again… (part 7)

Fast forward a few months later and here I am. Feeling like the best possible version of myself.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you, you can’t start again. We can always write a new chapter. Hell we can write a new book. No one gets to tell you how your story ends.

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I’m truly blown away at how my life has changed (for the better) and it’s all thanks to being brave and seeing that starting over is sometimes the best thing that can happen to us.

 

Posted in Advice

End of An Era

One day we’ll be friends. One day it won’t be a reminder of the long-lost memories. But for now, you live in a box, separated from the rest of my life. Obviously I care, but not in the way you do. I think I broke your heart. You may never admit it, but I won. I’m not being petty. I think overall, I can out stronger than you did. When I think back to us, nothing stands up as a memory I’ll never forget, except for the tears. So many memories I have of us are with me in tears.

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There is a montage, at times, a reel of happy memories, but nothing which makes me smile for no reason. I hardly remember our first kiss, except that me being me, I asked if you’d make a move. So much of me got lost in the three years together. So much of me that made me the person I was when we met. I missed some of those parts of myself. I learned after our relationship I won’t compromise my vibrant and kooky self. I won’t play down my desire to dress up and be fancy. I won;t lost the unique parts of me for a guy. I won’t lose my smile, laugh, love of doing new things, or my sense of adventure. I’m beginning to see how love is different each time. It starts differently each time and as I’ve written, I can’t take my baggage from a last love with me to my new relationship. If I want to give us a fair shot, I have to wipe the slate. To off-load past insecurities and worries isn’t fair to the new person and it can lead to doubts.

As I was talking to a friend, she was worried that her new bf was essentially dating her as a “placeholder” for his last relationship. A valid fear but it worked itself out nicely for her. The doubts which plagued her were fair though since her gut thought he might just be transferring feelings of the ex to her.

Posted in Advice

It Starts Again…. (part 6)

In starting new relationships, it’s funny how we don’t always know how to communicate with each other. We each want to be accommodating and easy going. Not too high maintenance or demanding.

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Upon this occasion, it was me who wanted to be a party pooper since I wasn’t feeling great, but we ended up going out to dinner instead. (Like I would give up a chance to go out with him).

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What eventually came to the surface was the fact that both of us would have been equally happy staying in bed, eating pizza together, and watching TV for the evening, but it was a very fun and enjoyable evening all the same.