when things become the norm

​​you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

After reading a Jon Acuff post yesterday, it really made me think. For the entire background and context of my post, read the post entitled, Divorce is so ordinary we sometimes forget the extraordinary pain it causes. If you aren’t going to read that then, know the quote to follow is where this entire post spins from, “If you grew up with divorced parents, are going through a divorce or are divorced, I’m sorry for all the times that twitter replyI didn’t understand how hard that experience can be. It might be common, but it’s never easy.”

I never, not even once for a split second want someone to think I had it “bad”. I don’t want anyone to ever feel sorry for me or to give me pity because I grew up in a “non-traditional home”.

Allow me to give you some of my background before you think I’m on a high horse. I want you to know (here’s the disclaimer) this is MY story and MY situation. As you might be able to figure out my Mom, was a single parent. After my parents divorced my Mom was taking care of two girls, and my Dad saw us on the weekends. Now, keep in mind both of my parents had full custody even though they were divorced. My dad got remarried twice and Lynn is the person I’d consider to be my Stepmom. My Mom got remarried to her now husband, Joel and I couldn’t be happier for either of them.

Now, as a child of divorced parents, I get it, but I doubt I’m the “textbook” case. Having divorced parents as a young child and growing up in a split family stinks, but you play the hand you were dealt. Things can only get better. I appreciate the kind words that Jon has, but the last thing I want is for someone to feel sorry for me because of how I grew up and because it wasn’t the “perfect” family situation. Growing up how I did and in my less than “normal” family was perfect for me. Honestly, I couldn’t imagine my mom with a better match than my Stepfather, Joel. As all of you know, I never refer to Joel as my Stepfather because he is so much more than that. To me, Stepfather or Stepmother gives such an awful connotation. Thanks to Disney movies we just see Stepparents, as evil-not-good-enough-not-my-real-parent type of figures in your life and that couldn’t be more wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, things weren’t always rainbows and butterflies, but just like any relationship there is give and take. For awhile, I grew up with my parents living a few blocks from each other, then my Dad moved about 45 minutes away and that got harder and then he moved again, a state away which was even harder, but we made it work. Due to the distance, I wasn’t able to see my Dad as frequently, so my Mom obviously played (and still does) a huge roll in my life; so did my grandparents and then Joel.

Rather than sulking over my parents divorce, I’ve embraced it. I would like to think I always did, but as a child it was hard to see my Dad drop me off at home and I remember countless times crying to my Mom, “asking her why he couldn’t stay or when would I see him next?” Don’t feel sorry for me, because I had a moment of sadness, we all do. This isn’t anything out of the ordinary. In hindsight, I know I can look back and feel grateful for the awesome parents (both sets) that I got. With four parents you have the potential to learn and experience so much more than the average kid. Without my parents divorce I wouldn’t know what it’s like to start all over, travel the world or even push myself to be an independent young woman.

Sure, my situation is different than the 13-year-old boy that Jon referred to in his post, but my situation really made me who I am. I couldn’t dream what my, my sister’s or mom’s life would be like without this life turning event happening. I hope that over the years, that boy will understand why his parents got divorced; that he knows it’s not his fault. I hope his parents keep communication with each other and have pleasantries to exchange even if it is a show for their son. It’s hard now, but it will only get better. Understand that parents are ALWAYS taking into consideration their children’s best interest and splitting up could very well be one of them.

Parents, if you’re reading this (which I know you are), thank you for pushing me and helping to mold who I’ve become. Thank you for showing me the world, giving me countless opportunities and always cheering me on. Without you in my life, so much would be different. You’re gems and I’m happy that I get to introduce you as my parents. I love you!

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rejection

it makes you work harder

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

If you don’t take chances, you will never get rejected. Sure, rejection is a scary thing and yes, we are all scared of it. In the long run, rejection pushes us to our dreams and goals. Without rejection, would you be the best you can be? Take a look at this. It’s a rejection letter that Bono got back in 1979. What I am trying to say is, everyone has been rejected in some fashion or another, but it doesn’t stop you dead in your tracks. Thanks to this rejection letter Bono received, we are now graced with such ( dare I say it, even better) music than he was producing prior to 1979.  u2

picasso

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Today, is about learning how to do one new thing. What you learn does not have to be huge, it just has to be new. It’s the fact that you are learning. Take the time and learn one new thing today and follow after Pablo Picasso.

I am always doing that which I cannot, in order that I may learn how to do it. – Pablo Picasso

slow & steady

wins the race

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

After dragging my feet and having a ho-hum attitude towards my job search and current job situation, the perfect pep talk happened. This pep talk could not have occurred at a more perfect moment. 1533888_601591936544053_1909135317_nNow, I cannot tell you the exact conversation, but let’s just say the following phrase sums it up, “It might take a year, it might take a day, but what’s meant to be will always find its way.”

I have faith that everything will work out exactly how it is supposed to. Things will all fall into place and everything will be great. But keep this in mind, in order for everything to work out (no matter how long it takes), you have to keep pushing, you have to be your biggest fan, and you have to get up every time after you’re knocked down.

Folks, don’t take little things for granted. One conversation could change everything – all you have to do is listen.

homage

paying a little respect

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

In the summer of 2010, I made my way to DC for the first time. I landed an internship through an internship program. As a joke, the internship program was always referred to as “The Program”, which is how people still refer to it. I’ve realized that through it all, I don’t know if I would be in DC now without participating in this internship opportunity in 2010. So here’s a little shout out to The Program and everyone who made it possible. One year later in 2011, I wrote an email to the CEO. This is what I had to say, and I couldn’t have said it better myself a second time around.

It’s been one week, six days, 9 hours and some odd minutes since I finally had the opportunity to meet you and hear your story in DC on June 8th. As I sit in front of my computer, I realize a lot has changed. I cannot seem to articulate my thoughts into the right words to express my sincere thanks, but nevertheless, I will try. The cursor is continually blinking in a rapid motion to my John Butler Trio Pandora station while the thoughts in my mind are bouncing off the walls, much like an intense game of squash. These thoughts of my dreams, the future, goals and the past are rampant.

It is most cliché to say: thank you, but there are no other words I can say to truly express my appreciation and gratitude. Eric, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to participate in The Program in D.C. This program sincerely changed me as a person. Daily, I was being asked to step out of my comfort zone and to push past my boundaries.

Generally, I would have hesitated, but since last summer, I no longer say no. I take each opportunity that presents itself, because who knows what will come of it; love it or hate it the chance was taken. Think. The worst thing that will happen is I hate whatever I did and I know not to do it again, but the best thing is you will have one hell of a story and experience afterwards.

Meeting you nearly 8 months after I completed the program put even more perspective into my life as a dreamer. I genuinely, know nothing is impossible and no dream is ever too big. Last year, I heard parts of your story, but it never impacted me as much as it did on the 8th.

Enrolling into The Program was one of the biggest chances and leaps of faith that I took. It was incredible. I never wanted last summer to end. The Program gave me both confidence and reassurance. The Program made me realize it was okay to let the huge walls I erected come down. I know there are times I find myself frightened enough to rebuild these walls, though the kindness and gentleness you’ve shown though last summer and your dreams have helped me to resist the urge to wall myself off from humanity. When I left in August, I was terrified and sad because I thought the reinvention of myself might slide back into my old self, but fear, not it only became more noticeable. My friends, parents and even professors commented on the way I was carrying myself, talking and articulating my choices.

I believe many people come into our lives for a reason.  We start certain things for a reason. Those reasons are not apparent when we start or when we meet that person, but there are often other reasons that become apparent at a later time. Each day I am learning this to be true.

Coming back to DC this summer I had high expectations. I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish – a Summer Bucket List- if you will, and each week at least one thing has been checked off. Without last summer, I would not be the reinvented person that I am today.

dream chasing

reasons why people don’t pursue their passions

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

After countless classes, trips to my academic counselors and internships I never really could figure out what I wanted to do. Classes and internships helped me to see what I enjoyed doing. They also helped me understand that I didn’t want to sit down and call reporters and pitch stories to them all day– that’s not for me. Deep down, I know that I want to pursue a career that I want and that I was extremely passionate about. But it’s hard to find that perfect fit. What I’ve learned is sometimes, you just need to take a leap of faith.

From an article I recently read, I decided to alter a list of ‘Top 5’ list of the reasons why people (myself included) do not pursue their passions.

Aren’t willing to standout and be “weird”

 It is so much easier to go down the road that everybody else is taking instead of staying true to yourself. It is an awfully daunting task to carve your own path! As an impressionable undergraduate, it was significantly easier to go down the path of everybody else instead of following my own heart. You need to adopt the mentality and understanding that “normal” is the absences of creativity. I will be the first person to tell you that I’m weird, and I love it.

People are satisfied with ‘interested’

Most people I know settle for interested. They will tell you I’m interested in law/politics/writing/music. I think it’s easier to see and to understand that you shouldn’t settle especially when you have the opportunity to see individuals who ‘knew what they were suppose to do’. When you see these people you can just tell how much happier they were because they truly loved and enjoyed what they were doing.

Excuses

Promise me this, never again start a sentence by saying…If only I had ____. Listen, if I can do it then so can you. I had to overcome these obstacles, and so will you. I knew someone who decided to break into sports/entertainment marketing. He had no money to his name, no relevant work experience in four years of college, few contacts in the industry, not a clue where to begin, a huge student loan payment, and a degree from a college that nobody had ever heard of. But you know what he did it. He really did it, and couldn’t be happier. There is no such thing as an excuses. Chase your dreams!

“I had a dream…”

Countless times I have heard older people start off their sentences like this. It is truly unfortunate. You can never let others hold you from your goals and dreams.

Fear

We fear so many things in life it is incredible. Maybe your fear is that you never will accomplish your goals or dreams, and that’s one huge reason that you are being stopped from doing so. It’s better to try and succeed in some fashion, rather than not going for it at all.

I truly hope that this resonates with you. I hope this gives you the motivation to get up tomorrow today and take chances and get out there! There are a lot of questions you will encounter along the way. You have to remember that you need to go on with your journey which will turn into an adventure. For me I have to discover what I truly love doing and I won’t stop until I discovered it. I know I’m not in this boat alone, I will see you a long the way, my friends.