Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bucket List: October 2012

175. Celebrate a college homecoming week

At FGCU, homecoming didn't exist.  All four years I was there they said they were going to try and create some sort of homecoming tradition even without a football team.  Never happened.

Now that I'm a student at The University of Alabama, I have the opportunity to do many things I couldn't do at FGCU...including celebrating a homecoming week and going to a homecoming football game.  Since this is my only year at UA, I did as much as I could, even though that meant going to the homecoming parade and (unexpectedly) going to the homecoming football game.  It was a blast.  That's the best way I can describe it.

Hopefully I can return to UA years down the road as an alumni to once again celebrate homecoming week.  It was an experience I won't forget.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Long Distance Relationships: The Hardest Part

The question I get asked most is, "what's the hardest part about being in a long distance relationship?" The simplest answer I have is "everything," but I know that's not helpful or specific.  A few days ago, I got to see my boyfriend, Alex, for the first time in almost a month.  It was amazing, but then I had to come back to Alabama.  I know some people have it worse than me, but only getting to see Alex once a month has been hard on me.  Last week I was working on a present for him when I began thinking about the hardest parts about being in a long distance relationship.  And here's what I came up with.

1. Not being able to touch, hug, kiss, see, hold, talk to, or just be there with them.
2. The way people judge your relationship and how you choose to handle it. Every relationship, long distance or not, is different.  But somehow, when you're doing the long distance thing, people find more ways to judge.
3. Getting into fights over stupid little things like your significant other going out instead of calling you or when they don't respond to your texts.
4. The slight fear that one day your significant other might just stop loving you...all because you're not there.
5. The price of things: the cost of a plane ticket, the cost of gas, how much it costs to ship presents.  There's also the fear that you might send them something and it gets lost in the mail.
6. The loneliness you feel.  You could be sitting in your apartment watching TV or sitting in class listening to a lecture when it hits you.  You can't control it, but immediately you feel a sense of loneliness.  It's crippling at times but you can't even go to them for a hug to make it better because they're so far away.  The littlest things can set it off.  Like seeing a friend in a long distance relationship with her boyfriend or when "your song" comes on the radio.  Or looking at pictures from the last time you saw each other.
7. Knowing the only dates you get for most of the month are Skype dates. Skype is a wonderful invention, and I absolutely love it.  But nothing in the world will ever compare to a face-to-face date.
8. The jealousy that you know is absolutely ridiculous but you just can't help.  It hits you when you think about the fact that there are people who get to see your significant other every day and take their presence for granted.
9. The sexual frustration.  Maybe this is a bit TMI, but it's true.  There are times you just want to lay in bed and cuddle and make out and have a sexy romantic evening together.  But you can't.
10. The pain you feel when you feel like your significant other is having an easier time with the long distance relationship than you are.  Then the pain you feel when they are down in the dumps and you're okay.  It's a never-ending cycle.

Obviously there are more than 10 things that make long distance relationships hard, but these are the 10 that I think about most often.  And I think they're true for many other long distance couples as well.

If you think of something else that's hard about your long distance relationship, comment and let me know!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fight Hunger this Thanksgiving with PTE

A year ago I was trying to do it all- taking a full and heavy course load, being Senate Secretary/ Superhero, having an internship, and trying to have more of a social life than I had ever had before. During the thanksgiving holiday season, everyone has food drives. Last year was no exception. With everything going on, it was hard to know who to help and where to turn.

A year ago I was interning for Pushing the Envelope (PTE), a mixed marketing communication firm in Fort Myers, FL. I served as their social media intern, which was the best learning experience I had during my undergraduate career. Around this time, Samantha came in with the idea for a food drive called "CAN IT! Putting Hunger in its Place this Thanksgiving." All of the food would be donated to Community Cooperative Ministries Incorporated (CCMI). The whole team got on board, including the two interns, and even though it turned into an internal competition, it was about so much more than that. In six weeks, the team donated more than 500 cans to CCMI. The internal winner? Alex Fernandez. The guy who is now my boyfriend.

This year, Pushing the Envelope is doing it again.  Welcome to CAN IT! 2012.

Even though I'm in Alabama working on my master's degree, I'm still determined to make a difference and donate to the CAN IT food drive. Not just because I want my boyfriend to have continued bragging rights, but because I know the difference it makes in the community. I know the difference one can or box of food can make. That's a meal. And one meal makes the difference between going hungry or having a full stomach when you go to bed. It really does matter.

I know there are a million different food drives going on this Thanksgiving, but if you're not donating to other food drives, donate to CAN IT! And if you really want to be awesome, donate on behalf of Alex and help him win again :) But in all seriousness, I urge you to help in any way you can. In Alabama, I'm going to be participating in a canned food drive called "Beat Auburn Beat Hunger," but when I make a trip down to Fort Myers, I'll be making a stop at Target so I can donate to CAN IT!

Pushing the Envelope works hard for their clients, but they also work hard to make a difference in their community. As an intern, I appreciated the hard work they put into CAN IT last year. I think it's awesome that they're doing it again this year...and that they have a bigger goal.

PTE's goal this year is to collect 1,000 cans for CCMI, and they have several drop-off locations around Southwest Florida. For drop off locations and more information, visit the CANI IT page on their website.

If you're like me and have a pantry full of food you'll probably never eat, donate those extra cans and non-perishables to PTE's CAN IT food drive. Also, take advantage of those BOGO deals at your local grocery store. With all of these opportunities, there's no reason for people to go hungry this Thanksgiving. Give others the opportunity to go to bed full and help those in need this holiday season.

If you want to get involved by donating or hosting a drop-off location, call 239-221-2858 or email

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bucket List: September 2012

166. Go to a college football game

It's always been a dream of mine to go to a college football game, but since I went to a college without football, I never had that experience.  When I was choosing a graduate school, I really wanted to go to a school with football...and I made that happen by choosing The University of Alabama.  Little did I know that college football is practically a religion at Alabama!  They don't joke about their football.  I went to my first college football game with Alex since he was visiting this weekend.  It was such an amazing experience!  The game was against Western Kentucky and obviously we won!  Two weeks later I went to the game vs FAU, but this time I was in the student section.  That was an amazing experience as well.  I can't wait for more games in the future!


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bucket List: August 2012

142. Live in a different time zone

I don't know why I've always wanted to do this, but having lived in the Eastern time zone all my life, I thought it might be fun to live in a different region of the country.  Even though I'm not super far away, I did check this one off by moving to Alabama.  I've lived in the north, I've lived in Florida (it gets its own category), and now I'm living in the south.  I'm excited for this experience!

143. Move to a city where you don't know anyone
This is one of those that's so much easier said than done.  Throughout my college career, I heard so many people say they wanted to move somewhere to get a fresh start.  I said it too.  But when it came down to it, choosing to move to a city where you don't know anyone is intimidating.  Fact is, you're all alone.  Your friends aren't here.  You have to start from square one.  Moving to Tuscaloosa has been one of the scariest experiences of my life, but I've been learning so much about myself along the way.  I'm happy to have the opportunity to cross this one off, but next time I move somewhere new, hopefully I'll have a boyfriend/fiancĂ©/husband coming along with me.  

150. Go to graduate school

After applying, waiting to hear back, and finally making a decision, I finally started grad school on August 22, 2012!!  It's going to be such a hectic year (I'm doing a 12 month program), but I know that this year will push me to be the best student and PR professional that I can be.  I can't wait to learn from incredible faculty members as well as my classmates.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Change of Heart

I've been in Alabama for a little over a week, and this past week has been one of the hardest weeks of my entire life.  I've cried more than I ever have, and I've felt lower and more alone than ever before.  I've had such a hard time adjusting to being on my own, and this transition is much harder than I thought it would be.  I thought this was what I wanted, but I found myself doubting my decision every day for the past week.

It wasn't until yesterday that my opinions changed.  Yesterday was my first day of grad school.  It was the first day of my program's orientation and we had an exam.  As I was standing outside the room waiting for orientation to start, I talked with a few other people in the program and for the first time in over a week, I felt excited.  For one, no one else really studied for the exam which took away all of my nerves.  Also, I wasn't the only person who just moved here and didn't know anyone.  For the first time in a week, I didn't feel alone.  I didn't feel like I was going through this alone.  I felt like I had just made 14 new friends and that everything was going to be okay.

For all of you interested in the one-year MA Advertising & PR program at Alabama, here's what you need to know for your diagnostic exam: (1) What is advertising? (2) What is public relations? (3) Why do organizations engage in advertising and public relations activities? (4) What are the similarities and differences between advertising and public relations?

Seriously, that's all you need to know.  Don't spend your summer slaving over the books trying to learn every single definition.  Know these four things and you'll be set.  (From what I've been told, these are the same questions they ask every year.)

Don't get me wrong, I'm still extremely nervous about the program and what these next 11 months hold.  But at the same time, I'm hopeful and I know I can do this.  The hardest part is being away from Alex, but knowing that he's supporting me in all of this makes it so much easier.  And in 15 days, we'll get to see each other again.  Those visits give me hope.  They keep me going.  He keeps me going even when I want to give up.

This year is going to be a whirlwind and it's going to test me on every single level, but I can do it.  In August 2013, I will have my master's degree.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Alabama Thunderstorms

Alabama thunderstorms.  They're nothing like the storms we get in Florida.  Alabama storms are vicious.  The rain is heavy and it's cold.  The thunder doesn't crack like it does in Florida.  It's more of a constant boom.  But the lightning is similar - it flashes, it cracks, then it's gone.

Being a Florida girl, I'm used to rain...but Florida has nothing on this.  During Alabama storms, I stare outside and wonder how it's not a hurricane.  I can't see a thing, but when I get close enough, I can see the lights flying all over the place.  Mostly, I just lay in bed hoping it will just end.  I close my eyes and hope I wake up to sunshine.

The one thing I will say is that after the crazy, scary storms there's sunshine.  The sun comes out and you can breathe again.

I guess I can relate.  Right now, my life is an Alabama thunderstorm.  It's vicious, intense, heavy, and booming.  But soon there will be sunshine and everything will be okay.

I just have to keep reminding myself of that.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Bucket List: July 2012

50. Jump in the pool with my clothes on

It was getting towards the end of the month when I realized that I hadn't crossed anything off my bucket list.  So I looked at my list, browsed through it, and stumbled upon this one.  Then I literally walked outside and jumped in the pool.  It was quite the experience...and honestly quite fun!  Too bad no one else was home to witness it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

A Very Public Love Letter


Six months ago tomorrow we went on our first date (well, our first date that I actually knew was a date).  So many incredible things have happened since then, and I’m grateful for every second that I’ve been able to spend with you.

We’ve had our ups and we’ve certainly had our downs, but no amount of bad times could change how I feel about you.  We’ve both said some things we regret, but at the end of the day, it’s all about forgiving each other and moving forward.  It’s easy to forgive someone when you’re in love.

From day one you’ve made me feel special, wanted, and loved.  No one has ever made me feel the way you make me feel.  You remind me, in your own ways, that I’m important to you.  That I matter to you.  That I’m the only girl you want to be with.  Today, tomorrow, and forever.

I could look my worst and you tell me that I’m beautiful.  I could be having the worst possible day and you still find a way to make me smile and laugh.  I could be crying my eyes out in the bathroom and you push open the door and hug me until I stop.  It’s the little things that mean the most, Alex.  You make my day brighter every single day.

I’m not an expert on relationships, and I can’t say I’ve been in love many times before.  But with you I just know.  I know that I’m in love with you.  I know it because your flaws and your weaknesses are beautiful to me.  I know it because of how you make me feel.  And I know it because I can’t always describe how I’m feeling.  I just know that I’m better because of you.  I know that I want to wake up every morning and make you proud.  I know that I want to be a better person.  I know all of this because of you.

You’ve stuck by me when no one else has, and you try to understand me even when I’m impossible to understand.  I don’t know why you’ve stuck around sometimes, but it means the world to me that you have.

You make me so proud every single day.  The passion and drive you have for work is amazing to me.  Even though it keeps us apart sometimes, I couldn’t be more proud of you.  You have the biggest heart and you love your family and friends with everything you have.  I’m a lucky girl to have part of your heart.

Moving to Alabama is bittersweet.  I’m excited for this change, but I’m sad because I have to leave you.  I wish you could come with me, but that’s just not possible.  But one thing is certain – if we can make it through this, we can make it through anything.

My promise to you is simple: when I’m done with my master’s degree, I will come back to Southwest Florida to be with you.  Then I’ll take you home, love you forever, and never leave.

I’m not sure about many things in my life, but for six months I’ve been certain about one thing: you.

I love you with all of my heart, and I’m excited to see what crazy adventures we take together over the next six months.

You’re not just my boyfriend, you’re my best friend.  I love you, Alex.  Forever and always.

xoxo Christina

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Two More Weeks

Two weeks from today I'm moving to Alabama for a year to get my master's degree at The University of Alabama.  Two weeks.  That's all I have left in Southwest Florida (until August 2013, of course).

It's kind of hard for me to wrap my head around.  So much has happened this summer that I didn't expect to, and a combination of everything is going to make it so hard for me to leave.  I never imagined that I'd be sad to leave Florida.  It truly never crossed my mind.

I moved in with Alex this summer and even though it wasn't exactly planned or expected, I'm happy that it happened.  One day I was bringing a bag of clothes back and forth to his condo and the next I brought a giant bag of clothes and invaded his drawers.  One day I woke up and thought, "I'd rather live with him than live at home."

I'm excited to live on my own, but it's going to be weird.  It's going to be weird not going to sleep and waking up next to Alex.  It's going to be weird not hearing him snore as he tries to fall asleep or hearing him get ready in the morning as I try to sleep in.  It's going to be weird not anxiously waiting for him to get home after work.  It's going to be weird talking to him on the phone, saying "see you soon," but not actually seeing him soon.  It's going to be weird being alone when I'm so used to being around someone else.

I used to think I was ready for all of this to happen, but as the day gets closer and closer, I'm not so sure.  I know I'm determined enough and strong enough to get through this year of grad school, but I'm not so sure if I'm ready to do it without my best friend by my side.  I know he'll always be there for me, but being physically there and mentally there are two different things.

I hope this next year goes by as fast as this summer did...not only so I can have my master's degree in hand, but so I can be reunited with my boyfriend (hopefully) forever.

I also hope these next two weeks go by slow because I'm not strong enough to say "see you later" just yet.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Bucket List: June 2012

61. Learn to play poker

I feel like pretty much all of Alex's friends play poker so when we were in Vegas, Alex spent some time teaching my how to play. I'm still not comfortable playing in an actual game, but at least I know all the rules now. One day.

127. Take a picture by the Welcome to Las Vegas sign

My family went on a vacation to Las Vegas at the beginning of June, and while we were there I decided to walk over to the Welcome to Las Vegas sign (and I dragged Alex with me).  It was such a long walk, but it was on my bucket list so I had to go.  We got some nice pictures out of it, and I'd definitely say it was worth it.  To all of you that want to go, take a cab instead of walking.  Seriously.

144. See a Cirque du Soliel Show

The one show we had to see in Vegas was The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soliel. My family loves The Beatles so we knew if we could only see one Cirque du Soliel show, that would be it.  The show was absolutely incredible and I'm so glad we got to go.  The next day Alex and I went to Zumanity, which is a more sensual Cirque du Soliel show.  I didn't love it, but it wasn't terrible.  I'm glad we went.

145. Own a gun

I think it was only a matter of time before this happened.  After all, my boyfriend loves going shooting. I bought a Sig Sauer P238 which is a .380 caliber.  Alex has the same one so now we have matching pistols.  The couple that shoots together stays together.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bucket List: May 2012

4. Write a book
When I started my bucket list, I never specified the type of book.  And to be completely honest, I forgot that I even had this on there.  Last month, I started putting together a collection of writing from the past nine years.  The goal is to self-publish it.  I don't intend on selling it (though it will be available for sale through the website I'm publishing it on).  My reason for "writing" this book was so that I could have a physical copy of my writing.  Sure, I have electronic copies of everything, but there's something special of having a physical copy of it.  Soon, #5 (publish a book) will be completed too.  But for now, the book is written, in format, and in the process of being edited.  I can't wait until the day it's in "book form."

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

It Isn't Easy

It's so easy to walk away when you're mad.  It's easy to say, "I'm done" instead of facing your problems.  It's easy to lie.  It's easy to keep all of your emotions bottled up inside.  But what's hard is facing your issues and dealing with them.  It's hard to look at someone in the eyes and say, "I'm mad at you."  It's hard to tell someone that you don't love them the way they love you.  It's hard to tell someone the truth when you know it's going to hurt them.

Love isn't easy and sometimes it isn't fun.  Sometimes it hurts like hell, and sometimes you're going to feel like you just won't make it.  But it will get better.  Just remember that the couples that are "meant to be" went through a whole lot of things that were meant to tear them apart...but they made it through and came out stronger than before.  Love isn't easy, but it's certainly worth fighting for.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bucket List: April 2012

118. Attend a spring training baseball game (checked off April 1, 2012)

This is no April Fool's joke, people!  On April 1st, I attended the New York Yankees vs. Miami Marlins spring training game at the brand new Marlins Park in Miami.  I've lived in Florida for almost nine years and never attended a spring training game before this.  Crazy, right?!  It was such an awesome game AND the Yankees won 10-8!  It's a great day whenever the Yankees win :)

18. Graduate with honors in high school and college (checked off April 29, 2012)

Technically I knew I was graduating with honors after last semester, but today made it 100% official.  I graduated high school summa cum laude and college magna cum laude.  Hooray! 

129. Graduate college (checked off April 29, 2012)

I did it...I graduated college.  Four years, countless major changes, and memories that will last a lifetime.  I met my best friends (and future bridesmaids) throughout college, and that alone made it all worth it.  When I walked across that stage, all I could think was "is this real life?!"  It can't be real.  But it is.  I graduated college.  I'm so sad that this journey is over, but now it's time to create new beginnings and new memories.  I can't wait to see what the future holds.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Here's to New Beginnings

So much has happened since the last time I posted.

On April 29th, I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University.  Even after sitting through a 2.5 hour ceremony, it still doesn't feel real.  I had an amazing four years at FGCU, and I wouldn't have wanted to spend those four years at any other college.  I have so many incredible memories at FGCU, and I couldn't possibly name them all.  But there are so many memories that stand out in my mind: three Student Government elections, moot court in Principles of Rhetoric & Argumentation, creating a PR campaign in PR Campaigns, our crazy group communication projects, joining a sorority, Chi Omega socials, meeting my best friends (and future bridesmaids), random lunch dates after class, running into sisters on campus, photoshoots in the Lutgert fountain, pie eating contests, Relay for Life, an internship at Pushing the Envelope, and so much more.  My experience at FGCU was one for the books.  I'm going to miss it so much, but I know this is only the beginning.  Here's to the FGCU Class of 2012!

After being accepted into all five graduate schools I applied to, I decided to attend The University of Alabama!  It was such a hard decision, but I think I made the best choice.  I loved that the program was geared towards recent college graduates and that it's only one year.  Yes, that means it's an accelerated program so it will definitely be harder, but it will be over before I know it.  Also, Alabama has an amazing football team, and since I've never been to a school with football, that was a huge plus.  And of course, it gets cold in Alabama.  Perfect.

On May 4-5th, my dad and I traveled to Alabama to get an apartment and visit the campus, and I'm happy to say that I got a one bedroom apartment at Crimson Student Living!  It's beautiful and it's within walking distance from the campus.  The next day we walked around campus, and I'm absolutely in love with the campus.  It's everything I could've wanted, and it felt like home.  I definitely made the right choice.

I'm scared of moving to place where I don't know anyone, and I'm sad to be leaving my boyfriend, friends, and family behind.  But I know my time in Alabama is going to shape me in such a positive way. It's going to force me to grow up and learn to do things on my own.  I'll have no one to rely on but myself.  And in a year, I'll be back in Fort Myers (hopefully) living with my boyfriend.  One year.  That's all it is.  I'm scared to death, but I know I can do it.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

It's What I Love About You

I love the way you've always been persistent because for the first time in my life, I feel like someone is fighting for me.

I love the way you text me in the morning because it makes me feel like I'm the first person you think about when you wake up (even if I'm not).

I love the way you pull my hair back and kiss my neck because it makes me feel like the most beautiful girl in the world.

I love the way you look into my eyes and tell me that you love me because in that moment there's no denying that the words you speak are true.

I love the way you tell me that you love me after an argument because it makes me realize that even though you're mad, I'm still important to you.

I love the way you wrap your arms around me when I'm crying because it makes me feel like I'm not alone in the things I'm going through.

I love the way you call me in the middle of the day because it reminds me that you're thinking about me just like I'm thinking about you.

I love the way you're honest with me even when I don't want to hear it because at the end of the day, the truth is better than any lie.

I love the way you tell me I'm beautiful because even though I know it, it's nice to hear it sometimes.

I love the way you hold my hand in the morning because it makes me feel like you love me even in your dreams.

I love the way you pull me close to cuddle because it makes me feel like it's only me and you in this crazy world.  And in that moment, I feel like no one can hurt us or bring us down.

I love the way you tell me you want to spend the rest of your life with me because for the first time in my life, I actually believe that someone loves me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bucket List: March 2012

133. Give a Senior Speech

I've been to a lot of events and banquets over the past four years of college, and a lot of them have a student give a senior speech.  I always thought, "if that was me up there, what would I say?"  After four years and tireless work, I was asked to do the senior keynote speech for the outgoing Senate banquet.

It was one of the hardest speeches I've ever written because I was trying to fit four years of memories into a five minute speech.  But the second I stopped worrying about what to say, it all started coming together. During the banquet I didn't just give my speech, I spoke from the heart.  I wanted to leave these outgoing Senators with something of value.  Something they could take with them.  Something that would inspire them.

And from what I've been told, I did just that.

It's not a traditional bucket list item, but giving a senior speech was something I really hoped I'd have the opportunity to do.  I watched so many other people do it before me, and it was such an honor to be able to give a senior speech of my own.  It truly was one of the highlights of my senior year.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Goodbye Senate, Hello Future

I never wanted to be in Student Government.  I wasn't involved in SG in high school, and I had no interest in doing it in college.  But when I discovered the Emerging Eagles leadership development program, I figured, why not?  It would be a way to get involved on campus and a way to learn everything FGCU had to offer.

Through Emerging Eagles, I was given a mentor who showed me the ins and outs of SG.  She even helped me get involved in my first election.  Though I didn't win that year, I took a lot out of the experience.  I learned about the hard work and dedication it takes to get into these positions as well as the passion you need to have to stay.  I learned that having a mentor is the most valuable thing you can have because you'll learn so much from them.  I learned that losing an election isn't the end, but instead the beginning.

I interviewed five times before I got a Senate seat.  Do you know what it's like to interview five times and try to convince seven people that you deserve that seat more than anyone else interviewing?  It's not easy, and it's not fun.  But I knew I wanted to be in Senate, so I kept trying.  There was no way that being told "no" was going to stop me.  I went to every single Senate meeting and sat in the back of the room...learning, forming opinions, and even helping to write a few bills.  All to prove that I deserved to be in Senate.

Then finally my time came.  November 17, 2009.  I'll never forget the positive words people had to say about me when I went up for appointment or the way people clapped when I was approved.  That moment made it all worth it.  Having that experience made me realize that you can't take these positions for granted.  It's an honor to serve in Student Government.  The long journey to becoming a Senator is what kept me grounded over the past four years.  It's an experience I wouldn't trade for the world.

I never imagined I'd get elected the two years after that or that I'd ever have the honor of serving as Senate Secretary.  The people I've met, the friends that I've made, and the lessons I've learned have made this experience what it is.  This experience was more than I could have ever asked for, and I wouldn't be the person I am today without Student Government.

I've learned a lot over the past few years, and I could probably write a book about all I've learned.  But I'll keep it short.

For one, the things you learn within SG are things you can take with you everywhere you go - interviews, internships, jobs, friendships, and relationships.  These positions will make you a better person...if you let them.  Allow yourself to take everything in, to make mistakes, to make new friends, and to push the boundaries of what is expected of you.  Take your positions, whether in SG or elsewhere, to new levels.  Do things that are outside of your job description.  Work your butt off.  And never give matter how many times people tell you that you can't do something.

Learn to give people a chance.  It's easy to be bitter towards someone who voted "no" on your bill or who beat you in an election, but don't let that hold you back.  Get to know them.  Be their friend.  And remember that nothing that happens in SG is personal.  It's business, and it's politics.  But it's definitely not personal.

Most importantly, be fearless.  Go out for positions even when you've been let down before, trust people, make new friends, and do things without worrying about the outcome.  Do something every day that scares you.  Fight for the things that you want.  Believe in yourself and believe in your dreams, no matter how crazy they may be.  Have a positive attitude, and live your life with no regrets.

Make a difference at FGCU and in the community.  Be the person you never thought you could be.  Go out there and be fearless.  And remember, what you get out of something is all about what you put into it.

I never thought the day of my last Senate meeting would come.  I honestly have no idea what I'm going to do for the next five weeks.  But I had the time of my life over the past four years, and I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had and the friends that I made.  I met some of my best friends from being involved in SG, and that alone has made all of the stress worth it.  This experience wouldn't be the same without the people.  It was such an honor serving as Senate Secretary, and it was the best experience I had at FGCU.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Broken and Bruised

I've been struggling with eating issues since I was 13.  I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder since there are so many medical factors that go into the diagnosis.  But that's not to say I haven't struggled.

Sometimes I would starve myself, other times I'd binge and make myself throw up, other times I'd work out for so hard and so long that I'd pass out.  All because I hated my body.

I was always told that while I needed psychological help, that eventually I'd outgrow it.  Just like I'd outgrow the cutting phase of my life.  I never outgrew cutting; I made the decision to stop and struggled with that decision for years.  And I surely never grew out of my body image and eating issues.  I think I just had a terrible therapist.

For the most part I'm fine.  I'm confident and love the way I look.  Sure, I'm not the skinniest girl, but I think life is too short to hate the way you look.  Honestly, I'm fine...until I'm not.

There are three things that trigger these feelings: (1) big vacations, (2) clothes shopping, and (3) dress shopping.

Chi Omega formal is on Saturday, and I've spent the past few weeks searching for a dress to wear.  I've spent hours and hours trying on dresses just to find that they don't fit.  Every single time a dress doesn't fit, I start beating myself up.  I've gotten to the point where I just hate my body and the way I look.

I'm at a low point right now, and I'm just so tired of feeling this way.  I'm tired of feeling like I'm so fat and so disgusting.  I'm tired of looking in the mirror and seeing a distorted image of what I look like.  I'm tired of waking up in the morning and not wanting to live.

I can't help but wonder when it's going to get better.  But most importantly, I wonder if it will get better.  I feel like this will be the time that it doesn't.  This might be the time that breaks me.

The only thing I have now that I haven't had before is a guy who loves me.  I'm grateful to have a guy in my life who wants to be there for me, and wants to help me through this.  No one has ever cared about me the way he does.  To be honest, he might be the one to save me.

I keep telling myself that it will get better.  It always does.  Attitude is everything.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bucket List: February 2012

69. Be a vegetarian for a week (checked off February 6-13, 2012)

I don't eat a lot of meat to begin with, so I figured this would be pretty easy.  It was torture.  I was sick all week, either because I wasn't eating enough or because the food I was eating wasn't agreeing with me.  And at the end of the week when I went to eat meat again, that made me sick too.  It was a good experience, but not something I'll be doing again in the near future.  I guess I'll wait to cross of #70: be a vegan for a week.

68. Fall in love (checked off February 2012)

I've only been with Alex for a few weeks, but I know in my heart that I am in love with him.  My friends keep telling me that I'm moving too fast, that it's not really love, and that it's just lust.  But I don't care what they say because I know how I feel.  When I'm with someone, I give them everything I have.  I've never felt this way about a guy before, and I know in my heart that I love him.  I never thought I'd cross this one off my bucket this is a pretty big step for me.

I also crossed off #131...but it's not exactly blog-appropriate.  So I'll just leave y'all guessing :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Falling in Love

I've never been the type of person who does well in relationships.  I'm independent.  I always say and do the wrong things.  I'm goal-oriented.  I love being alone.  And to be honest, I get completely insecure around guys.

But I believe that when you're with someone that you need to give them everything you have.  It's okay to be scared, but at some point you need to let your guard down and trust them.  I believe that you have to love them with your whole heart.  I believe that you need to make the time for them, regardless of how busy you are.  I believe that if you find the right person, you need to be willing to open your heart and fall in love.

It's easy to judge people who are in relationships.  It's easy to say, "you're moving too fast" or "you're going to get hurt."  But at some point you have to let go of your own biases and be supportive.  Stop judging people for the way they choose to handle their relationship.  You might be surprised by the love they have for each other.

I don't know much about what's "normal" in a relationship, but I do know how I feel.  I know that I wake up in the morning with a smile on my face, and I go to bed feeling the same way.  I know that when I'm with him, my insecurities melt away and I can laugh at myself.  I know that he can make me smile and laugh the way no one else can.  I know that I'm a better person because of him, and I'm a better person when I'm with him.

I know that I'm in love with him.  And I know that I'm happier than I've ever been in my entire life.

If for whatever reason this doesn't work out, at least I can look back and say I loved him with everything I had.  That's what matters to me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rest in Peace, Roxy

I left for class Monday knowing we were going to put Roxy to sleep tomorrow.  She was old and her heart just couldn't take it anymore.  We knew that this day would come sooner or later, but I always hoped it would be later rather than sooner.  I cried nearly non-stop for two days.  When I left to go to class, on a date, or to a meeting my heart hurt.  I felt like my whole world was falling apart.  I felt empty and almost guilty.  Roxy was always fine...until she wasn't.  And when she wasn't fine, it was bad.  I still think about whether or not we made the right decision.  But I have to believe that we did.  That it was the right thing to do.  That she's not in pain anymore.

Spending time with Roxy on Monday
Roxy was never really my favorite.  I mean, she had terrible breath, she made a mess around the house, and she was so old.  But I loved Roxy.  I woke up early on weekends to take her on walks, shared my food with her no matter how hungry I was, accompanied her to the vet when she was sick and took care of her every second I could.  When she went to the bathroom on the floor, I cleaned it up and never yelled.  When we went to Fort Lauderdale I let her sleep next to me on the bed and let her have first dibs on the blanket.  She was more than just a pet.  She was part of our family.  It brings me joy to say we saved Roxy from an abusive home and that we made her remaining years the best they could be.  But it saddens me to know she is gone.  I just know she is out of pain and in a better place.  But I wish she didn't have to go so soon.
Before leaving for Senate...and before she was taken to be put down
Rest in paradise, Roxy.  You will always be in my heart <3 02.14.2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bucket List: January 2012

116. Attend an NFL Game (checked off January 1, 2012)

Long story short, my dad is a huge Jets fan and they happened to be playing the Miami Dolphins on New Years Day.  So of course we bought tickets to the game.  It worked out since it turned into an early birthday present for my dad, and my sister and I were able to buy him a jersey for his birthday.  Even though I'm a Giants fan, I had an amazing time at the game.  Watching football games on TV just doesn't do it for me anymore.  I'm spoiled.

77. Shoot a gun (checked off January 29, 2012)

A co-worker from my internship asked me if I wanted to go shooting with him, and I obviously jumped on the opportunity to cross off another thing on my bucket list!  It was definitely scary, but I actually had a lot of fun.  I can't wait to go with my friends next time, especially since a lot of them have this on their bucket list too! I don't have a picture of me actually shooting a gun, but take my word for it :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Working on my fitness!

After nearly a month of talking about it, I finally went to a crossfit class at a local crossfit gym.  They offer a free session for first-timers, so my friend and I decided to go.  I was nervous from the moment I got there, and being around so many people who are in-shape was so intimidating.  But I can honestly say that crossfit was the best, most intense workout of my life.  Everyone there was so helpful, and I was never yelled at for not being able to do something.  The trainer was always helping us get things right, and he encouraged us instead of putting us down.  I left the crossfit session feeling pushed to my limit and determined...and extremely sore.

We went there with the intentions of signing up for a membership, but after seeing the price, I couldn't do it.  For three months, it would have cost me nearly $500.  And as amazing as it was, I can't bring myself to pay that...not with the fact that I'll be living on my own in six months and paying for grad school.  It was a huge disappointment for me because I really wanted to continue this.

So now I have to look for alternatives because the FGCU fitness center just isn't cutting it for me.  I'm not motivated to go and they don't offer enough fitness classes.  I know that if I pay for something, I'll use it.  So I'm looking at LA Fitness.  They offer some intense classes and it's not far from FGCU.  

I don't know what's next, but after doing crossfit today I'm ready to step up my game.  The old routine of walking on a treadmill and lifting some weights just won't cut it anymore.  Not after that.  I just hope something can compare...because crossfit is amazing.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Be fortunate

I saw this on Pinterest and I had to share.  This reinforces a lot of what I learned in Mississippi, and I try to remind myself of these things every day.  I don't have it all, and there are times when I struggle.  But I am lucky to have the things that I do...because there are millions of people who don't have half the things that I have.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome to 2012!

Every year I make resolutions because I think change is a good, healthy part of life.  And what better time to start new than a new year?

But it's no secret that most people give up on their resolutions after a month.  I'm usually good at sticking to the little ones, but it's the big ones that just fall apart.  The fire fades and nothing changes.  So this year, instead of making a list that I probably won't stick to anyway, I decided to change it up.

This year, my New Year's resolution is to cross one thing off my bucket list every month.  I posted my bucket list awhile back, but it's definitely grown since then.  It can be big or small, seemingly insignificant or absolutely significant.  Either way, I will be crossing off one thing from my bucket list each month.

I'm constantly adding things to my list, but this resolution will bring me one step closer to completing my list.

I'll post my bucket list once I've added a few more things, and I'll be sure to blog about my bucket list every month!