Post College Disillusionment

It has been two years since I graduated college and I’m not even close to where I thought I would be right now. I thought I would be close to finishing a two year contract at a small town news station moving on to the next step in my career. I never thought it would take me almost a year to find a “big girl job.” But when I finally did, that job ended up being an administrative role at a government communications department, which is pretty much the complete opposite of what I thought I would get into.

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Class of 2014. Go Bulls!

I’m completely thankful that I ended up there though, we have one of the best communications departments in the state of Florida. We also have our own local public access station, where most of our programming is filmed, edited, and produced in house. It’s not hard hitting news but it’s story telling and that’s ultimately why I wanted to get into broadcasting in the first place. I’m lucky enough that they know what I want to do with my career, so I get a good amount of projects on the television side which helps reinforce my future career goals.

Even with this great opportunity I felt lost and I realized I wasn’t the only one my age going through the same thing. A lot of people who are ages 22 to 25 are either graduating college or have been out of school for a few years. For the first time you’re truly out on your own, paying your own bills, scheduling your own appointments, and so on. It’s one of the weirdest times in a persons life because 1. You’re basically pushed out into the real world and told by the more grown up adults “Good luck! See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!” and 2. You actually have to figure out how to be like those more grown up adults mostly through trial and error. Then next thing  you know it you have to start paying off your student loans and your bank account ceases to exist as we know it.

 

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I read this article about how 23 is the hardest year of your life, and let me tell you so far 23 was the worst year of my life. I turned 24 almost five months ago and I’m still recovering from the mess that was being 23. One of the few bright spots was the fact that me and my roommates became best friends and the fact that we still talk everyday even though we all live in different places now. That aside 23 was a hard year to get through and 24 is slightly easier but there’s still a bunch of things you have to go through before you find your place in the world. Basically put it’s life and it’s hard but it can also be fun once you realize that it’s not permanent. You will become successful, you will figure out what you want in life, and you will find love or a bunch of cats if that’s what you want (I’m not here to judge, I myself want a husband, 5 dogs, and a cat). Basically one day you’ll look back and realize that the struggle was real but the struggle was there to help you appreciate your future success. Now I don’t know for sure because like I said I’m still living the struggle, but Tina Fey and Oprah were struggling at my age and now look at where they are. Looking at examples like that gives me hope.

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Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

 

I might not be exactly where I thought I was going to be right now but ultimatley I know it’s okay to struggle, I know it’s okay to feel lost, and I also know it’s okay to have hope that every experience that I go through is ultimately getting me to where I want to be in life. And with some hard work and motivation I’m hoping I’ll get to where I want to be, even if I don’t know for sure what that is just yet.

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It’s Not That Easy: A Daily Struggle Of An Adult Picky Eater

Photo Credit: Evolvedworld.com

I don’t really like to talk about it but I’ve struggled with picky eating since I was a little kid. I don’t eat fruits or vegetables, I’ve never had a hamburger or hot dog (even though my father offered me hundreds of dollars growing up), I’m disgusted by lettuce and onions, and I don’t like certain foods on my plate or touching the food I will end up eating. I’m now 23 years old and I still struggle with it every day.

It’s an interesting thing to experience because anyone who finds out thinks they can give you the advice or help that will finally change you when really it’s so much more than that. It’s a psychological issue that isn’t that easy to get over. What’s worse is some people will make fun of you and even make mean comments because they don’t understand why you are the way that you are. I didn’t choose to be this way but I can tell you I would do anything at this point to be able to eat those foods that make me cringe. I even bought hypnosis downloads that are supposed to help people like me. I got a good deal I couldn’t pass up and I can’t tell you for sure if it’s working but I have had less anxiety trying new foods. Honestly you can say what you want but that’s an improvement in my book.

Photo Credit: Thestylishstandout.com

Going out to eat with friends, co-workers, even family is a stressful event for people like me. If I’ve never been to a restaurant before I stress over what I’m going to be able to eat that will be a “safe” meal. Thanks to the internet going places has gotten easier because I can screen the menu before we get in the car. But sometimes if I don’t have enough time to screen the menu beforehand I have to try and discreetly look up the menu in the hopes that I can find something that will be “Ariel proof.” I generally order off the kids menu and get made fun of or I order an appetizer and get asked if that’s all I’m going to eat. There’s no real way to look normal when you’re an adult picky eater.

Just like with any other mental health issue in America, people tend to not be understanding of why you have this problem. I’m lucky that I have a few people who understand and don’t judge me but more times than not I have people who act like my problem isn’t really a problem. I’ve been told it’s not that hard to try new foods, that I should just get over it, and even that somehow my issue is a joke that shouldn’t be taken seriously. Those are the hardest comments to hear because not only do they lack compassion, they literally make you feel like the majority of people will never even try to step into your shoes and understand your mentality.

Slowly but surely I’ve added things like baked zucchini and tomato soup onto my acceptable food list. I’m a huge fan of Pinterest because I scroll through pages and pages to find things that I would be willing to make and (hopefully) try. I’m also a big supporter of therapy and will start to go to a local doctor in my area to see if I can get to the root of the problem. Also thanks to the Internet I found out that I’m not the only one with this issue.

Photo Credit: Someecards.com

If you ever meet someone like me who says they’re picky with food, remember that compassion is key. Foods that might be a no brainer for you to eat might be a hurdle a picky eater has to get over. For me trying a new food and not hating it is an accomplishment, and “not hating it” is usually the sentiment I give to new food that I’m okay with. If you ever interact with a picky eater the most important thing I can say is: It is that hard to try new things and we can’t just get over it. Maybe one day I’ll love eating fruits, vegetables, and possibly even salads (Even though there’s no good story that starts with eating a salad). But until then I’ll slowly start to find what foods I don’t hate and personally I’m perfectly okay with that.

 

E.L James Will Never See Any of My Money: Here’s Why.

For those that don’t know, E.L. James is the author of the 50 shades of Grey series. Last week she did a Q & A on twitter giving fans the opportunity to ask her anything they wanted about the books. In theory this seems like a good idea but in reality it didn’t work out so well for James. Her books are known to be controversial for many reasons, one of them being that people feel like her books promote an unhealthy, abusive relationship. Once people caught wind she was doing a Q & A they took the opportunity to ask her about that aspect of the books. Unfortunately for those people James and her publicity team started blocking those people from the conversation. The people that were blocked weren’t pleased and after reading a few articles about the incident I’m not pleased with James either.

Credit: Vintage Books

I know several people that are survivors of domestic abuse and because of that I’m a strong advocate for survivors. From a media standpoint James and her team handled the situation all wrong. Some of the tweets were from domestic abuse survivors asking her to explain that aspect of her book, or even donate to a charity that helps domestic violence survivors. By blocking those people from the conversation and not responding to them shows that she rather not talk about uncomfortable issues stemming from her books. Personally I think she should have tried to talk to them about their viewpoint and then explain how she thought the books were meant to be perceived. If she would have explained herself, instead of blocking the people asking the questions, I and many other people might have had more respect for her at this point. But since she chose to block those people I have officially lost all respect for her and her books.

I probably wouldn’t have bought those books before the incident last week, because I have no interest in reading them. But after seeing the behavior of the author I definitely won’t be putting any of my money into her books. Instead I’ll be putting the money that could have been spent on those books and put it into a donation for a charity that helps domestic violence survivors. I hope other people will follow in my footsteps, because honestly the money will be better spent on helping survivors instead of reading an awful series of books that showcases an abusive, controlling relationship.

In case you’re wondering how much money that would be, I estimated all four books to equal about 50 dollars based on the prices I’ve seen in the bookstore  (12 dollars a book give or take and I rounded up to 50 just because I felt like it). I plan to donate the money to the Crisis Center in Tampa Bay because I personally know the great work that they do, if you would like to donate to them you can do that by clicking here. I encourage anyone who is against the message in these books and the behavior of the author to do the same. You can find a domestic violence charity of your choice to donate whatever amount of money you feel you can donate at the time. Of course money isn’t the only important resource for survivors, charities always need volunteers so if you don’t have the money but you have the time you can try and find a way to volunteer at the charity that you picked. No matter how you do it supporting survivors of domestic violence is time and money better spent than reading books that potentially promotes domestic violence, written by an author who rather block her critics than respond to what they have to say.

23 Things You Should Learn Before Turning 23

Recently I’ve started to realize how fast this year has gone by. My birthday is only a few days after the new year starts so whenever I realize the new year is almost here for everyone else, it also means a new year (age wise) will be starting for me too. I’ll be turning 23 in a little less than 1 month and there’s a lot that I’ve learned this year and a handful of things that I’m still learning. I started thinking about it so I decided to make a list of what those things are, or aren’t, and maybe by the time January 4th rolls around I’ll have learned everything that I put on this list. Here it is, the 23 things you should learn before you turn 23.

 

1. You don’t always have to have your life together

2. It’s not your business to judge other people

3. Exclusion is for high school

4. It’s okay to cry as much as you emotionally need to

5. It’s okay to do your own thing

6. Worrying about the past is a waste of time

7. You should try to get out of your comfort zone

8. Making new friends is an important part of life

9. Make decisions based on what you want to do, factor other people in later

10. Romantic relationships aren’t something you should make fun of, they’re actually a wonderful thing to experience.

11. Stop saying things like “My life sucks” or “Forever Alone” because it probably doesn’t and you’re probably not, respectively.

12. A grown up wardrobe is something you should start accumulating.

13. Getting drunk to the point of blacking out is something for your 21 year old self, you’re 23 drink like an adult.

14. Say thank you to your parents every chance you get (Thanks for everything Mom and Dad!).

15. Put your phone down and interact with the world around you, you might miss something great if you don’t.

16. It’s okay to treat yourself every now and then.

17. It’s okay to laugh at yourself, especially if someone is trying to laugh at you. It shows you can rise above someone being rude and that you don’t take yourself so seriously.

18. Don’t always resort to buying fast food, you’re not in college anymore so try to prepare your meals as much as possible.

19. Try to start a regular gym routine, or go to a fitness class. Good physical fitness is an important thing to have as you get older.

20. Don’t sweat the small stuff

21. Remind yourself of a few reasons to be happy everyday, I did the 100 happy days challenge and it made me realize that even on bad days there are reasons to be happy.

22. Everything will be alright

23. Make the most out of everyday

22 has been a real roller coaster of a year so I’m excited to move on to a new year with new possibilities.This list helped me realize how much I’ve learned and I hope I can grow from it in the next year. If you’re feeling like this past year has been a trying one for yourself, make your own list of things you’ve learned so you can put everything into perspective. Trust me it definitely helps!

 

The Robin Williams Discussion Revisited

A few weeks ago Robin Williams passed away of an apparent suicide. I thought long and hard about publicly commenting about this on my blog but I felt it needed to be discussed with all the different view points being thrown around.

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A piece of my heart felt like it was gone when I heard the news about his passing. Like many people my age, I grew up watching his movies and appearances on talk shows. I have countless memories of seeing his movies with my family members or just watching them on television whenever they would come on. Even though a lot of us never actually met him, it somehow felt like he was a part of the family which is why so many of us took it so hard when we heard he was gone.

I was shocked to hear that he was so depressed that he got to the point of wanting to take his own life. But that’s the thing about depression, some people are so good at hiding it that you would never guess it was a problem. I’m not going to pretend to know what he was going through because I’m not a mind reader and I don’t know what was going on in his mind.

I know many people can write it off as him being selfish for not asking for help and deciding to take his own life. If you have this mindset than that’s perfectly fine but at the same time I feel like I can understand how hard it might have been for him to ask for help. Depression has a weird way of making a person feel all alone even when they are surrounded by love and support. I can’t imagine what was going through his head but I can imagine that whatever he was going through was so terrible that he couldn’t take it anymore. I hope people who believe he was being selfish can try to understand that even with all the help in the world that sometimes for a person with depression, it’s just not enough.

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I wish it would have been enough for him but I’m trying my best to understand why it might not have been. I hope anyone reading this will do the same. The most important thing I can hope for is that Robin’s spirit is at peace now, and that somewhere inside his heart he knew how beloved he was by his fans, friends, and family. Thanks to Netflix I will continue to reminisce and watch all the classic Robin Williams movies I can make time for, including my favorite Flubber.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts please call 1-800-273-8255, National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US).

 

Summer Internship: Then and Now

Summer internships are a great tool to utilize while in school or in the mid-term of finding a real job. I’ve utilized it for two summers now and I wouldn’t trade these two summers for anything because both of my internships have given me incredible life experience that I will take with me into the professional world. Now that I have these two internships under my belt I can definitely see the similarities and differences of the two.

I’ll start with my summer internship then…

I was about to start my senior year of college and I needed an internship in television. Summer internships for the television industry are in my area but they are extremely competitive, so I feel I was lucky enough that I got the opportunity to intern with CW44 Tampa Bay.

This was probably the best first internship I could have had because I learned the inner workings of a television station. I was able to write articles for their website that actually got published. I also got to shadow and help with the production of their shows and commercials along with the three other interns. The biggest thing we got to do was create a mock promotional campaign for their fall programming. We all worked together to create the look of the campaign, as well as using the studio to film examples of what promos would look like. Once we were finished we presented it to everyone who had worked with us over the summer, and as nerve wrecking as that was (for me at least) it was just as rewarding when we were applauded for being the first group of interns to do something on that level.

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Filming day at CW44

I feel like CW44 was a great first internship because I got to see the day to day of working in a television station, which is what I want to do in the future. I tried to apply to other internships in following semesters but decided with work, school and extracurricular activities that it would be best to take a break from the outside world of internships. School gave me a lot of experience for my field anyways so it wasn’t a total “break” from learning about the professional world that I will join one day soon.

Moving on to my summer internship now…

It’s weird how things come about, and my internship with Limelight Photography was one of those things that I found and decided to take a chance on. I’m glad I did because even if I’m not getting experience in the news field I’m still getting professional experience that will help me immensely in the future. Rebecca, the owner of Limelight, is all about having a learning environment which is great as an intern because it takes a lot of the pressure off.

I came on as a video/ public relations intern and as the summer went on I brainstormed with her on how I can utilize my skills with video editing. We have a couple of ideas in the works and I’m really excited to get the ball rolling on those projects. On top of being a video intern, I’ve also gotten the chance to shadow at a few weddings, help with an intern retreat, and even take home a camera to learn how to use it on my own time. Now that I’m officially returning for fall I’m excited to continue my journey as a Limelight intern to see what else I can learn while I’m there.

Shadowing at a wedding for Limelight

Shadowing at a wedding for Limelight

I believe that certain things happen for a reason, and both of these internships have clear reasons on how they have or will affect my life in the future. I can go on for hours on how both internships have helped me so far but in short, CW44 gave me experience in the field I want to go into and Limelight is giving me experience and skills that will help me in my future profession. I’m so grateful for both of these internships, and if there’s one piece of advice I can give on looking for an internship it’s that you should look at every option and figure out what’s best for you. Even if it’s not the internship you thought you would have at least apply and see how things work out, the best option will stand out when you least expect it.

Why You Should Be Honored That I Want To Watch ‘Friends’ With You…

I have a group of friends that I’ve enjoyed, and sometimes tortured, from the amount of times I’ve made them watch my favorite show… Friends. Many times I hear the usual comments like “Ugh not again!” or “This show is outdated, let’s watch something else…” Me and my best friend make jokes on occasion that she’s tortured me just as much by making me watch her favorite shows, but I think sometimes the point of me watching Friends with my friends gets lost in the shuffle. Just like those other shows or movies that my friends wanted to watch with me, for me Friends holds a special meaning that I never really thought of until recently (mainly because it’s a regular joke that gets brought up these days).

Growing up, when Friends was originally airing, Must See TV night was included in my family time. I remember that it was a good time for my family to sit down and bond over the funny story lines and the characters on the show. Since the show ended in 2004, it’s been in reruns and has become one of the highest syndicated shows in television. There’s even a deal with Warner Brothers and the Tribune Station Group that will keep it on the air at least until 2017, which basically means I’m not going to stop watching it anytime soon. I’ve probably seen every episode at least 5 to 15 times each, depending on how much I love each individual episode.

Since the show started airing in reruns I moved to college and started watching the show with my friends that I’ve met here. As I said before it got excessive to the point that sometimes they think I’m trying to torture them… which for the record I’m not… I promise!

The reason(s) why you should be honored that I want to watch Friends with you are:

1. It’s my all time favorite show.

2. I associate good memories with this show and want to continue having good memories watching the show with new people.

3. I feel comfortable enough to watch the show with you because I can see you as a close friend in my life similar to the group of friends on the show.

4. The show makes me happy and you being in my life makes me happy and the both combined together equals me being super happy.

There are more reasons than these four, but this is the basic gist of why I always want to watch so many hours of the show with my friends. I’ve tried to cut down on the hours I watch Friends with my friends;  But occasionally if in the future an episode is on and you happen to be one of those friends that I want to watch Friends with hopefully you’ll understand that it comes from a good place and not from a torturous one.