eat the yogurt.

About a year ago, I travelled to Chicago to meet up with my best bud and go to the Justin Bieber concert. We are nowhere close to being ashamed, nor should we be, that we were planning this for months.  We even tried to get #BrunchwithBiebs trending.  Needless to say, four retweets later, we drag ourselves, empty-bellied and Bieberless, to brunch and indulged in bottomless mimosas like nothing ever happened.  Regardless of our attempts to hang with Justin in Chicago, we were just as excited to see the show than we ever were.  We hopped in car and drove to the venue, stood in line for our $9 beers (because Biebs), and found our seats amongst our much younger co-fans.  After the opening performances were done, we anxiously awaited the main event.  And as we sat in the the middle of the scream-littered audience, beaming with excitement as the strobe lights turned on and the fog machines warmed up, we could not imagine anything better in that moment.

At the exact second Justin’s backup dancers started their show and the music blasted the beginning chords of the song everyone actually knew all of the words to began, I looked around me; drinking in not only my beer, but the experience we had been waiting for for months! The music, the dancing, the Beibs! How could it get any better??

And then I looked to the woman next to me; She was probably in her 30’s, a few years older than us.  Amidst the screaming and jumping that surrounded her, she was seated in her chair, legs crossed, phone in hand, eating yogurt. My only thought was “What?? Justin Bieber is right there! RIGHT THERE! Jumping and singing and dancing! And you’re eating yogurt…”  I could not wrap my head around the fact that I physically nor mentally could fit one more ounce of excitement or joy into my being right now and all this lady cares about is whether or not her yogurt had enough granola.

For months, I was baffled every time I thought about that woman.  But since then I have found myself in situations where everyone around me was ‘in your face’ excited about something and I was the one sitting there, smiling politely, eating my yogurt.  The point is, don’t bring people down because of their level of excitement.  If something is really in your heart and has you beaming, you should be excited about it! How many things actually bring that genuine happiness? Drink it all in! Don’t think that other people are purposely trying to bring you down because that’s not always the case. And if you’re the one eating yogurt, that’s okay too! Sometimes yogurt is really good actually and it could be the best thing in that moment because you were looking forward to it all day.

We should be celebrating the excitement of others, even if it doesn’t emanate from within our own hearts.

 

Cheers!

-Briana

Nice to meet you, Briana.

I would like to take a moment to reflect on a post of mine from long ago—

A Moment.

You feel so much love in a moment.

Then you realize that moment is part of an hour.

In this hour, you realize how little you know about

what will happen in a week.

A week is part of a month, and then part of a year.

What can happen in a year?

Feelings change, plans fall through, people come and go.

A year becomes part of a lifetime.

In a lifetime, we are expected to do something great.

But when will this greatness happen?

When will a lifetime become something worth remembering?

—Only in a moment.


I

When will my life begin? That’s the question I find myself asking over and over again.  I mean, I have a life, obviously. But when will I have a LIFE?  I begin to think to myself, at what moment did I actually see myself having a future?

Maybe it was when I started to get acceptance letters for colleges?  I ripped those envelopes open so quickly just to read that the first word was “Congratulations!” That did give me a confidence boost. All the hard work I put in during high school; learning things like geometry, chemistry, Spanish, etc.;  I’ll finally be able to surround myself with other people who also found these subjects just as useless as I had. I would be able to share my brilliant thoughts with intellectual scholars who will genuinely appreciate them. But after I was accepted, I thought about what I really wanted to focus my studies on. Maybe I could be a teacher and help to shape the young minds of tomorrow with my witty remarks and patience. Or maybe I would join a club and become the president so that I can become an advocate for some cause that I found was greater than my own.  As wonderful and exciting as these ideas were on paper, I was unable to put these plans into action. So I guess this plan gave me more overwhelming feelings of uncertainty than excitement about starting life.

It could have been when I graduated college.  I finally had a degree in something I enjoyed doing: Writing. Although, after I graduated, I realized that I had spent so many hours reading, analyzing, and picking apart the work of other people, I was never really able to find my own voice.  Sure, I had a piece of gold accented paper in a cheaply made cover saying that I had taken all of the classes I was supposed to take.  Little do people know that some of these classes caused me to change my style to fit the persona of a caffeine addicted, sleep deprived, borderline alcoholic college student who was trying her best to make it to class every morning after fighting sleep on the quiet third floor of the library while trying to finish that 29-page analysis of a book written by a dead person. But I did it; I have that piece of paper.

Maybe my life would begin after I graduated and began to give my credentials to those who were in charge of jobs I could picture myself doing everyday for the rest of my life.  I had a lot of connections in various areas of work, so I was positive something would come of it.

Months later, I’m still working two- crappy, minimum-wage, part-time jobs while living in my parent’s house.  I’m still giving my resume to people; but now it is being given to just about anyone who will take it.  I have just enough money to pay bills and maybe, if I’m lucky, buy food every once in awhile. Rather than pursuing my true calling— whatever that may be— I’m simply searching for something that will allow me to experience the feeling of having money leftover after I pay my bills. All I need to do is find something that gives me the same spark of excitement that I felt while opening acceptance letters, or holding that diploma.  I want to find the one thing that will give me that spark of happiness and self-worth everyday.  I just need to find the path that will lead me there.

Well Briana from a few years ago, I’m glad you’re here.  I’m 2017 Briana and I am not sorry to say that I’m glad you felt that way because DO I HAVE SOME EXCITING NEWS FOR YOU!?  You did it!  How silly do you feel knowing that you were worrying about all of those things back then– your “crappy” jobs, not knowing your true calling… Did it suck feeling that way? Yes. Was that a dark place in my life? Absolutely. But alas! Here we are. 

Yes, it sounds cheesy to say, but everything really does work out.  I was put into that position for a reason. I took the time to sulk in what I thought was the worst situation I could be in with a stupid diploma and a bed in my parents’ house.  But looking back, I can honestly say I would not change anything.  I just realized that this turned into one of those perseverance stories I always read that tend to make me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Hold on, let me redirect.  I thought I was in a bad position, and sometimes you are.  But I had the choice to sit there and melt into a dough ball of sadness and regret as to why I wasn’t born with more athletic ability or an amazing singing voice.  I had the choice to stay at home and give up.  Here’s the difference I see in myself now and and why I am so proud of years-ago Briana.  She got up, retouched her lipstick, and decided to keep looking for what she was meant to do.  I avoided writing for so long because I didn’t think I wanted to do it (queue the ‘I told you so’s’).  But in the journey I’ve been on to find myself succeed, I found that I find the most success in helping other people succeed.  Now, I don’t mean I ride on the success of others and expect the credit for it. Not what I’m saying at all.  What I mean is that I find true joy in seeing other people when they’re genuinely excited about something. That ‘kid on Christmas morning’ look.  I recognize the look on someone’s face when they’re ready to give up because I looked at that face everyday in the mirror. I somehow found the exit to that maze.  I don’t know if I could remember the way out exactly, but I wouldn’t hesitate to join hands and figure it out together by sharing all the information I have.

Drive on.

-Briana

Hey Y’all

So… This is a blog I reclaimed from my past-self.  Two-years-ago Briana was a totally different person then Present-Day Briana.  I am grateful for the person she was; she taught me about the things I always wanted to do but was too afraid, as well as reminding me of the ideas she had about herself which I no longer choose to entertain.  She was insecure, depressed at times, and confused about her purpose in life all while trying way too hard to find it.  I am grateful for her and for those struggles. Had I not known the girl I was back then, I would not be the strong, empowered woman I am today.  This blog will be filled with her stories and how she learned from this experiences, and grew as a woman who found her purpose inspiring, motivating, and lifting others to reach their full potential.  If you are able to find a similar person in your past, or similar qualities in the present, I hope that you are able to get acquainted with her and learn from yourself while opening your heart to the beautiful life you are meant to live.

Cheers!

-Briana

Back in the Saddle

Hi friends:

I finally have the time to start blogging again; and a great time for it because it’s a great way to clear my head.  As you may not know, I took the last year to try and get myself together (key word: try).  I started a new job, graduate school, and have really been concentrating on my fitness journey. The job isn’t bad (customer service isn’t ideal, but a jobs a job for now) and school is difficult (nothing new there).  But I have found a sense of comfort on this fitness journey.  I ran my first half marathon in May 2016.  It wasn’t the best experience, but it also wasn’t the worst.  I finished in 2 hours and 23 minutes (eh.) but I finished and I ran the whole time. I didn’t say I ran at a fast pace, by any means, but my goal was to finish, run, and not die. Woo Hoo! Anyways, I took it as a learning experience because I was mentally weak which led to not training as I should have, resulting in a very sore few days.  I recently registered for the same half marathon in May of 2017 and I have an entirely new mindset going in this time. I even got my sister (a powerlifting badass) to register with me.  We’ve been running regularly via a program we ripped off the internet somewhere and it’s working pretty well so far.  One reason I have a different mindset going into this half is because I decided to use the charity program offered by the marathon and chose to fundraise for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in place of a race registration fee.  This charity is very near and dear to my heart because my dad suffers from MS and we figured, if we can raise the money and help another family who is in the same situation we are in, then I couldn’t ask for anything more. If you would like to donate to our fundraiser, I’ll include the link and thanks in advance for your support!

-Briana

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 9.56.32 AM

Half Marathon Training || Run for a ReasonDonate to our fundraiser here!

5 Lessons to Help you Survive your 20’s

1.You know yourself better than anybody but you’re also a complete mystery.

Sometimes you feel like you know exactly what you want but as soon as you pursue it, things just feel.. Wrong. In college it was easy to enjoy your time and look ahead to the future and see a successful happy version of yourself. But now you’re here and you want nothing more than go back into you tiny dorm room and eat Doritos while binge watching shows on Netflix. It’s very easy to lose your sense of self. You obvously know yourself but there are times where you look in the mirror and have trouble seeing YOU the way you are. There’s nothing wrong with this . It may just mean that you need to backtrack a little; do some soul searching. The whole ‘lose yourself to find yourself’ thing isn’t so crazy after all.

2. You still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up- and that’s okay.

Everyone has a dream job. Waking up and actually wanting to go to work… Is that even a real thing? Maybe. You’re working in a dead end office with no real opportunity to move up and earn enough to pay bills and maybe still be able to eat something that’s not frozen on occasion. These are the times that you may need to reconsider your plan. Ask yourself: Is this really what I’ve been put on this planet to do? Or am I stuck trying to run through wet concrete? Everyone hears the phrase ‘Work isn’t supposed to be easy… That’s why it’s called work.” False. You don’t have to hate your job  And you should give yourself a little more credit. Find what you love to do and find a way to do it.

3. Your parents may not always get your choices, but they’ll always have your back.

We all make questionable decisions whenever we feel threatened or trapped by the things going on in our lives. Routine is good until you’re stuck so deep in it that you feel suffocated. It makes it very easy to make rash decisions like quitting your decent paying, but miserable job to go pursue something you love, even if it doesn’t work out. That’s when your parents come in. They may not see this as a good idea, but you’re an adult and are in full control of your own decisions. They will back you up and catch you when you fall- that’s what they’re there for.

4. You probably won’t get an elevator ride to the top- sometimes you have to climb many flights of stairs just to find that you left the keys to the door in the car.

Dream lives do exist, but not without hard work. It’s easy to see famous people who are really talented and think, “lucky them.” Not that they didn’t have to work hard to get where they are, but it’s definitely a lot easier whenever you have a real talent that doesn’t involve being able to eat a lot of tacos in one sitting (dibs on that talent.)

Sometimes you work really hard for something and it still may not work out or be what you thought it would be. There’s that soul searching again. You don’t have all the time in the world, but you do have time to change your path. If it really makes you unhappy, don’t waste your time on it.

5. Your security blanket needs to go into the yard sale bin.

Although you will come to bends and obstacles in the road, you can’t just turn around and run. There are times when you’ll need to put your big girl panties on and walk into the fire. It’s difficult and sometimes overwhelming, but everything happens exactly the way it’s supposed to and contrary to popular belief… THINGS WILL BE OKAY.

A Day in the Life of an Office Worker

  • Well, I don’t feel that tired; maybe today will go by quickly.

    *10 Minutes Later**


  • Maybe not..
  • At least the coffee is free.
  • Crap. There’s only enough left for one more cup… I don’t want to have to make a new pot.
  • I’ll just get some water.
  • At least I have a lot of work to keep me busy.
  • Now I have to pee…
  • Okay. That’s better.
  • Might as well fill my water while I’m up.
  • Why am I so thirsty?
  • I forgot chapstick…
  • What if everyone thinks that I have chronic dry lips?!
  • Maybe I should let them know… but be subtle.
  • “I can’t believe that I forgot chapstick! Worst thing ever! Right?!”
  • “SHHHHH”
  • “Oops. Sorry…”
  • Is it too early for lunch?

    **9:05 am**


  • Maybe I’ll just have a snack…
  • Let’s see what’s in the vending machine.
  • I should at least try to be healthy.
  • Screw it.  I’m getting chips.
  • 90 cents? I can swing that.
  • What happened?!
  • Where are my chips?!
  • You $%#%$!@!!!  You ate my chips! Stupid machine…
  • I didn’t want chips anyways.
  • I have to pee again.
  • Excuse me ma’am, didn’t you see my feet under the door?
  • Now isn’t the time to fix your hair.
  • Don’t you know it’s common courtesy not to linger in the bathroom when someone else is in there?
  • Can’t I just have one minute to myself? DAMN!
  • THAAANNKK YOU!
  • Now maybe I can finally get some work done.  Some people are just so inconsiderate.
  • Wow, it’s already… oh.. 10:31.
  • Maybe listening to music will make the time go faster.
  • Hmm… OH YEAH! Journey! This is my JAM!
  • JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRRRLLL!
  • LIVIN’ IN A LONELY WORLD!!
  • Are my headphones plugged in all the way?
  • Yeah. Okay good.
  • SHE TOOK A MIDNIGHT TRAINN…
  • Wait, they are plugged in, right?
  • Okay. Good.
  • Is this too loud? Can they still hear it?
  • No. I don’t think.. No. I’m good.
  • What’s that? Your daughter is selling what?
  • Girl Scout Cookies?
  • OF COURSE I’ll buy some of the leftovers.
  • GET IN MY BELLY, THIN MINTS.
  • ha ha! Oh, trefoils? yeah. those are fine.
  • Yeah, I have no idea why you would only have those left either. That’s weird.
  • There isn’t any chocolate on them of anything.
  • Or any real flavor at all for that matter.
  • Thanks so much!
  • What are you rambling about over there?
  • OH. The vending machine gave you TWO bags of chips?
  • That’s weird.
  • Good for you…

Mirrors

A piece of glass with a personality disorder.

The reflection can be something beautiful, or it can fill your throat with a lump of hatred and detest.

How does it decide?

Does the mirror know what is within you?

Or does it take pleasure in cruel jest.

Does the mirror have a soul of its own?

Is this soul reflected in the eyes of the one through whom the glass looks?

Finding Briana

A Moment.

You feel so much love in a moment.

Then you realize that moment is part of an hour.

In this hour, you realize how little you know about

what will happen in a week.

A week is part of a month, and then part of a year.

What can happen in a year?

Feelings change, plans fall through, people come and go.

A year becomes part of a lifetime.

In a lifetime, we are expected to do something great.

But when will this greatness happen?

When will a lifetime become something worth remembering?

—Only in a moment.


I

When will my life begin? That’s the question I find myself asking over and over again.  I mean, I have a life, obviously. But when will I have a LIFE?  I begin to think to myself, at what moment did I actually see myself having a future?

Maybe it was when I started to get acceptance letters for colleges?  I ripped those envelopes open so quickly just to read that the first word was “Congratulations!” That did give me a confidence boost. All the hard work I put in during high school; learning things like geometry, chemistry, Spanish, etc.;  I’ll finally be able to surround myself with other people who also found these subjects just as useless as I had. I would be able to share my brilliant thoughts with intellectual scholars who will genuinely appreciate them. But after I was accepted, I thought about what I really wanted to focus my studies on. Maybe I could be a teacher and help to shape the young minds of tomorrow with my witty remarks and patience. Or maybe I would join a club and become the president so that I can become an advocate for some cause that I found was greater than my own.  As wonderful and exciting as these ideas were on paper, I was unable to put these plans into action. So I guess this plan gave me more overwhelming feelings of uncertainty than excitement about starting life.

It could have been when I graduated college.  I finally had a degree in something I enjoyed doing: Writing. Although, after I graduated, I realized that I had spent so many hours reading, analyzing, and picking apart the work of other people, I was never really able to find my own voice.  Sure, I had a piece of gold accented paper in a cheaply made cover saying that I had taken all of the classes I was supposed to take.  Little do people know that some of these classes caused me to change my style to fit the persona of a caffeine addicted, sleep deprived, borderline alcoholic college student who was trying her best to make it to class every morning after fighting sleep on the quiet third floor of the library while trying to finish that 29-page analysis of a book written by a dead person. But I did it; I have that piece of paper.

Maybe my life would begin after I graduated and began to give my credentials to those who were in charge of jobs I could picture myself doing everyday for the rest of my life.  I had a lot of connections in various areas of work, so I was positive something would come of it.

Months later, I’m still working two- crappy, minimum-wage, part-time jobs while living in my parent’s house.  I’m still giving my resume to people; but now it is being given to just about anyone who will take it.  I have just enough money to pay bills and maybe, if I’m lucky, buy food every once in awhile. Rather than pursuing my true calling— whatever that may be— I’m simply searching for something that will allow me to experience the feeling of having money leftover after I pay my bills. All I need to do is find something that gives me the same spark of excitement that I felt while opening acceptance letters, or holding that diploma.  I want to find the one thing that will give me that spark of happiness and self-worth everyday.  I just need to find the path that will lead me there.

Cat Shirts

Cat shirts. Are these a thing now? I remember many winters of my grandmother bringing me thick, creamy hot cocoa steaming out from the top of a mug with a palm tree and the phrase “Florida is for lovers” pictured on it.  I could smell the chocolaty goodness streaming out from the mug and passing ever so slightly into my nasal passages.  Despite all of the warmth of the hot cocoa and of my grandmother’s smile, all I could concentrate on was the smug look of the cat holding a ball of yarn on the front of my grandmother’s cranberry colored sweater.  Don’t get me wrong, it was adorable… for my grandmother to be wearing a sweater with a cat on it.  Now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of twenty-two, I seem to notice more and more people wearing shirts with cats that are strikingly similar to the one who stared at me from the front side of my grandmother for much of my childhood.  I now find myself asking the question, is it okay to wear things that my grandmother would pick out for me from a discount bin in the deep depths of the sale section in the Wal-Mart? Maybe it is? I mean… its 2014… If Miley Cyrus can prance around wearing nothing but red lipstick and a foam finger, why can’t I rock it grandma style? This got me to thinking, what is okay to wear these days? Are leg-warmers okay to wear? Are bowties okay to wear? Who decides this? Is there a super-secret society of trend experts who sit in their hidden office dug into the top of a mountain who have cameras set up throughout the world and send people out wearing the next biggest things, hoping for it to catch on?  How do you get that job? Are you recruited by your excellent credentials of fashion sense? Or do they just randomly pull people off of the street, abduct them and force them to sit in a dingy basement reading the latest additions of GLAMOUR or Cosmo? I want to do that! Pick me!  I’ll go Oprah on the whole world… YOU GET AN OVERSIZED SWEATER AND A PAIR OF LEGGINGS! YOU GET AN OVERSIZED SWEATER AND A PAIR OF LEGGINGS! EVERYBODY GETS AN OVERSIZED SWEATER AND A PAIR OF LEGGINGSSSSS!!

Wait.

Is that still a thing? How does it change so quickly? I can’t keep up! You see someone wearing something one day, and when you wear it the very next day, people look at you like you have nine heads.  How can others expect to be influenced by the “Top Ten Fashion Trends of Today” if they are completely obsolete tomorrow?

Yesterday I saw Cady Herring wearing army pants and flip-flops, so I bought army pants and flip-flops.

Well too bad girlfriend, because she’s moved on to skinny jeans and combat boots.

If I were dropped into our society today after being held hostage on an island somewhere with no connection whatsoever to pop culture with nothing to base my clothing style off of other than tabloids that are scattered throughout the check-out lines of grocery stores, how would I look going out into the world? I would probably be some weird hybrid of Katy Perry during her blue hair phase with Lorde’s black lipstick and whatever Lady Gaga decided to conjure up out of yesterday’s leftovers.