Dear Me,

Sometimes it feels like you’re being overlooked. I know that high school/college/work can be tough, especially when you feel like transferring schools or jobs may help you in the long run and make you happier.

However, before asking to move, please read the article I have here for you.

Not being a team captain or getting the most playing time can be a struggle. I get it. I lived through it.

Guess what?

I survived- and so will you. You may be depressed right now, but I promise, life gets better.

Asking why you aren’t asked to perform a certain task takes some guts. However, read this and see if you actually need to ask. Maybe it’s you. Maybe it’s them. Until then, do whatever you can to make yourself the best, and then ask away.

http://www.dancemagazine.com/inside-dm/in-training-cast-aside/

As a former dancer, I know training and working hard is of the utmost importance- especially when you know you aren’t the best on the team. There’s always room for improvement, even though your stubbornness and pride get in the way and you think you don’t need the help.

Guess what. You’re wrong.

Pride and stubbornness are what defines you, but it is also your weakness. It’s true what they say- your greatest strength IS your biggest weakness.

Not wanting to ask for help on something could be a mistake- who knows what could happen if you ACTUALLY asked for help? Mastering an art could take you further in life, you just don’t know it.

Independence

Seeing as how the 4th of July is in two days, I feel it’s as good of time as any to write about living independently.

Being on your own sheds a new light on life.  You realize how you took for granted all the times your parents did those extra chores when they could’ve been doing other things.  Things that were fun.  Cleaning isn’t fun (I say this as I sit here and look at the piles of laundry and dishes to be done), especially on beautiful sunny days.  Those days you say, “Oh, I can do this tomorrow.  It can wait.”

Lo and behold, tomorrow is another beautiful and sunny day, with absolutely no motivation to stay indoors.

Then comes the weekend.  Who wants to clean on the weekend?  Then again, who has energy to clean after working for 9 hours during the week?  Who has time to clean in general?

Light bulb moment: A cleaning service, that’s who!

Then you realize- oh wait. I don’t have money to hire someone to clean. #realityhits

When living on your own, the value of a dollar sets in.  Especially when you realize each dollar could be used to buy your freedom from those awful student loans that mount up to the worth of almost two brand new cars.

You start to realize as well how much everything costs. Food. Gas. Clothes. Internet. Phone.

But, being independent also has its benefits.  For instance, no one will care that I don’t clean because when you live on your own, you have no roommates to judge you.

Also, having your own space is really nice. And I mean really. You get a taste of how you like to decorate, if at all.  Growing up, my parents (Mom especially) loved to decorate the house with items that reminded them of the outdoors, such as birds, deer (for my dad, our mounted 12 point buck is his decorating contribution), or flowers.  Pictures of flowers, indoor plants, and having our back patio covered with pots of flowers that Mom made sure to protect from rabbits and squirrels by letting our dog chase them away.

Now, nature is still appreciated, but the taste has grown.  In addition to vases of fake (unfortunately, I don’t have time to have/produce a green thumb) flowers, art on the walls includes posters and frames of urban life- Paris, Italy, NYC skyline, etc.

Being apart from everyone doesn’t necessarily make you more dependent on them.  In fact, it makes you appreciate your time with them even more than you realized, especially as loved ones pass on or move away and realize that they have helped partially make you into the person you’ve become.

20 Things You Should Know About Dating An Independent Girl

So many things on this list are true- guys, please don’t take offense to these. We can’t help ourselves.

Thought Catalog

1. We need alone time. A little each day and more than a little on other days. It doesn’t mean we’ve lost interest in you.

2. We don’t mind if you don’t call or text us every second. We like it. We won’t be contacting you either. That said, if you’re late, don’t keep us guessing as to when you’ll show up as we’ll make other plans.

3. We can clean up our own messes. We’re not waiting around for you to fix our problems.

4. We are perfectly fine doing chores, running errands, and exercising by ourselves. If you want to join us, we’re glad to have you along, but don’t talk to us while we’re in the zone.

5. We sign up and attend charity events, races, and cultural exhibits on our own. We don’t need a date to feel comfortable at these things. Set us loose in…

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New Life, New Lifestyle

So…. I realize I haven’t written in quite awhile, so for those of you that follow me and would like an update, here goes!

Since last time, I’ve graduated from college and accepted a position as a Multimedia Assistant at KBJR 6/Range 11 and KDLH 3 news in Duluth, MN. My first day was St. Patrick’s Day, and have since had experiences writing news stories that aired on television and shooting my own video in this beautiful city!

cityscape

Not only have I been working at the station, but I have also continued my life in retail, working at Dress Barn at the mall as well.  Working two jobs has been rough at times, but I’ve made the best of it so far.  As long as I don’t get to miss out on the Rose Garden or the view of the lake, I’m not too concerned with my work schedule.

rosegarden
The Rose Garden- you can smell the roses from the parking lot. Highly recommend coming here to just relax and meditate on life.

As far as living goes, I live by myself- but I must admit, after living with roommates for the past 4 years, it’s been pretty nice to have a place all to myself.  The studio apartment is a perfect size for me, and the neighborhood is nice as well.  Sometimes I wish I had someone to talk to, but with the hours I work and the (very little) amount of housework I get done in a week, it’s probably for the best.  Little known fact: I hate cleaning.  So much so that I wait until the last minute to do EVERYTHING  and then I procrastinate even more because I don’t want to or don’t have the time to clean everything I need to.   Or I want to enjoy a beautiful view of Lake Superior instead.

As much as I wish this was the view out my window, it isn't.  But it's pretty close, since I'm only 4 blocks off the lake!
As much as I wish this was the view out my window, it isn’t. But it’s pretty close, since I’m only 4 blocks off the lake!

Well, it’s a Sunday night, and it’s after midnight.  I plan on cleaning tomorrow (for real this time- I even have the laundry sorted already.) For those of you who know me pretty well, you know that’s an accomplishment of itself.  So, if I plan on cleaning the whole place, I should probably quit writing and get some sleep.

However, that brings me to my last point.  Ever since I’ve lived by myself I’ve started finding out what I like or don’t like- I’m truly finding myself here.  I’m growing in ways that I couldn’t in college.  For instance, I found out that even though one of my passions has been writing, I’m also enjoying photography as well.  I truly believe that every person should try living by themselves, even if it’s just for a month or two if they can afford it- you learn so much about yourself in such a short amount of time.

Alright, for real this time- good night!  I will hopefully be writing on here more now that I feel I will be in one place for a long time.

Journalists Get Their Own Holiday!!

So, it turns out that in Chile, journalists are nationally recognized for a day. And no, it’s not just some random holiday like National Donut Day or something like that.  It’s actually recognized.  For example, on Thursday of this past week, the mayor told the journalists before he even started the press conference congratulations on our day and that we have a great one.  The reason for this celebration is the opening of the School of Journalism in Chile, and Thursday just happened to be the anniversary of that.  So, for us lucky journalists, that means we get a bunch of sweet candy and cupcakes, and a huge party at a local club which was Friday night (or as the locals call it, a discoteqa- yes, that would be the origin of the word “disco”).  Lucky for me, I was able to go. Only 2 other coworkers were at the party, but it was fun.  My host mom used to be a journalist, so she was there with me as well.  Due to when my birthday is and the time that school was out and when the trip started, I didn’t have the opportunity to go to a club in the U.S. before this, so I’m not sure how they differ, but I can guess that they’re pretty much all the same.  Laser lights, fog machines, loud music that makes your ears pound when you leave… Dancing was a lot of fun!  I’ve always liked to dance, and the Latin music made it so much better.  There was also some American pop music as well, and earlier in the night the d.j’s were playing music out of the 80’s as well, since there were some people there that were from the previous generation.  As the night went on, the music changed to more present day songs.  I was glad that some American music was played, that way I was able to recognize songs here and there.  There was a group of us dancing together throughout the night, but eventually I was the last one there with my “mom”, so we left at about 3 a.m.  I know back home bars close at 2, but here everything is open until about 4.  My knees hurt from dancing so much, and I was super thirsty, so we left before it closed. 

On a more serious note, I got my first story (nota in Spanish) done this week.  I pulled a 13 hour day in order to get everything edited on Wednesday, and today the guy that puts the extra video in over the voiceover segments was going to finish that part, since he had more time today than he does during the week.  It probably won’t air since I’m just the intern and my reading skills are more elementary aged than professional in the Spanish speaking words, but if it does I’ll be extremely proud. 

I was sick on Monday, but Tuesday I was back in Tome for more protests.  Wednesday I worked only on my story, and Thursday and Friday I continued shadowing.  I’m not sure what next week will bring- I’m supposed to do a month of production after a month of journalism, so there could be a switchover in the middle of the week.  I’ll make sure to keep everyone informed. Sorry there weren’t a whole lot of posts this week.  I’ll be home in less than a month, and back in St. Cloud in just a matter of weeks.  I feel like there’s still so much to learn, but yet so little time to learn it all.  I know that sometimes it just isn’t possible to learn everything you want to, but I almost feel like that I have learned double what other journalism students have, because I have learned from professionals in an environment outside of the United States.  The style is different than from what we learn, and the newscasts are set up differently as well.  It’s nice to get an outsider’s look once in awhile, and I hope that this perspective will help me in my future as a journalist.       

Culture!

Alright, I know some of you might not want to read all about the news life, so I’m going to try and fit some culture in here as well.

On Friday night, my host mom had a party, a Chilean barbecue to be more exact.  Lots of vegetables, and some good appetizers with meat as well.  Veggies on the table were beets, tomatoes with olives, and some mushrooms stuffed with cheese and bacon bits.  There was also some cheese and crackers, and to top off as a beverage, Chilean wine.  It was a sweeter red wine, and I could choose between that and a lemon flavored drink that was made with eggs as well.  I have no clue what the names were of the beverages, but I do know that I preferred the sweet wine over the lemon drink.  Our meat consisted of small pieces of steak, and then had sides of corn and pasta salad.  So basically, the food we eat is the same, this was just at 11 p.m. instead of some culture’s 5 or 6 p.m. time.  We listened to some music, and one of the men there yelled out “The Cueca!”, which happens to be the national dance of Chile.  Here’s a link to an example.  The dancers are dressed in “traditional” Chilean clothes, but I haven’t seen anyone wearing these clothes except for performances of the cueca.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxfX04AW7oM

And for anyone that might be planning on traveling to Chile in the future, plan on traveling during the northern hemisphere’s winter- it seriously rains here every other day, and it’s supposed to be my summer!!

If you want to rent a car, you’ll probably need to know how to drive manually, since every car I’ve been in so far is a stick shift.  Someone once asked me if I wanted to drive somewhere, but I couldn’t since I don’t know how to drive stick!

Every day, people greet each other by a cheek to cheek kiss, but men do a sort of handshake or handshake/hug with each other, depending on how close they are to each other.  And with each greeting comes with a how are you?  It’s a little more welcoming and warm than a typical American just saying hi each day.

Went to a local mall/market yesterday, where you could buy all the fresh food you wanted.  It’s a little different on how food is purchased here- you pick out the produce, they weigh it and give you a slip with a price on it.  They keep the produce while you go to the register that’s about 10 feet away to pay, and then the cashier gives you a receipt saying that you paid for it, and you walk back to get your produce that’s still by the scale.

Hoping to have a better week than weekend, I ate some bad food at a Chinese buffet on Saturday and was sick all day yesterday and have been recuperating today.  Back to work tomorrow though, so hopefully some exciting stuff will happen again.