A Beautiful (Self-Destructive, Insecure) Mind

Kristen’s open letter to her insecurities got me thinking.

“Gosh she is so right, our insecurities and mind get the best of us.”

I was thinking about this a lot this weekend as I was taking a trip to Indianapolis. My air wasn’t working and with the windows down going 80, my mind was the only thing that kept me from going crazy in the 90 degree heat. And of course it led me to a questioning place.

Like most people in the world I am EXTREMELY insecure. In every aspect of my life, but I think mostly in my relationships. I am the type of person that will doubt a friendship, significant other, etc. And it guides my every move within that relationship.

Imagine an annoying, nagging, bitter person constantly telling you that everyone is fake and being nice just because. It’s that devil on your shoulder telling you you’re never good enough. I have trained myself over the years to bury that voice, deep down in the ground so it can never creep up. And for months that voice has been a faint memory, that I felt was long gone.

Until this weekend. Silence, driving down the open road, that little voice crept back into the forefront. It was telling me that once again, even though I’ve been so incredibly happy for the past 5 months, that everything was a lie.

I continually wonder why my mind chooses to think that when it comes to people in my life. I am an anxious person. I overthink everything. I choose to believe that everyone is out to get me.

But why?

I always snap out of it, the angel guiding me always bitch slaps the devil to say that I am getting too caught up in the thoughts. I just wonder if people experience these same thoughts.

Am I alone?

The point of this rambling is to reach out to anyone going through this, and if there isn’t an angel guiding you, to let you know that you are not alone. Try your hardest to stop those thoughts from breaking down your spirit. Stop believing that you’re not good enough, because you are.

Insecurities are an evil thing, they make you think and believe the worst about yourself. A goal for myself is to try my hardest to never let them take over like they have in the past. I have to continuously remind myself that I am blessed and live a life that is extremely fortunate. I have people in my life that love me and that I love, that help remind me that these thoughts are just thoughts, never reality.

Your mind is the most beautiful, yet destructive thing in your body. It can give you the creativity to make something magical, but also put you through your the lowest lows.

IMG_4361

This community that we are trying to build with this blog, the people we are reaching out to each week, understand that, as Awkward Adults, we are here to bitch slap those insecurities and hurtful thoughts away. We understand and will get through this.

Until next time…

Ale

Twinning: The Day My Life Changed

248467_1653266746579_4378094_n

I am an individual who possesses many names.

Birthname: Alessandra

Nicknames: Ale (like Allie), “Ale” (like the beer), Sandy, Ali Baba, Ale Dee, and the list goes on.

There is one name that I was given 8 years ago (tomorrow) that holds the most meaning to me: Zia (those of you who are not of the Italian descent that is translated to “Aunt”).

21261_4773481899657_1805722630_nThe day my nephews were born was the day I knew I had a significant purpose in this world.Holding them for the first time is a moment in my life that I will cherish forever. I honestly never thought about having kids until that moment. I realized then that I could love something (or someonex2) more than myself. I wish everyday I would have cherished the moments when they were itty bitty, but the conversations we have now make up for it.

Here are a list of things I adore about them:

  • Benny’s high pitched voice with the cutest little lisp, and Tom’s deep man voice.
  • The way they scream “ZIA!” and run to hug me everytime I visit. Seriously my heart MELTS.
  • The way they tell me EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING all the time. I tend to have no idea what they’re talking about, but I try my best to listen.3016_1091338328369_562583_n
  • Their toothless smile with the cutest laugh.
  • When they let me watch Netflix or play their games.
  • The way they barge into my room at 6AM to tell me that the sun is shining and I have to get up.
  • BOOM. BOOM. POW.
  • The excitement they get about swimming and the park. Even when Tom tells me it’s an exercise park.
  • How ticklish they are. Seriously. Just initiating a tickle fest brings out the giggles.
  • Their wit: constantly on point and unlike anyone else.
  • Their mind: beautiful and intricate.
  • Their quirks: unique and original.
  • Their love: the thing that keeps me going.

IMG_4460

I am obsessed with these two boys in the healthiest way (they probably do not think that as I’m squeezing them). The fact that I get to experience their firsts alongside them is truly something magical. I hope one day they will read this and know that no matter what I am there for them, thick and thin, forever and always.

They are not my children, but I love them as if they were. My quality time with them are the moments I look forward to. I want them to be proud of me and hopefully in the future confide in me. I am so grateful to have a sister and brother-in-law that allow me to have those times with them so we can make lasting memories.

11753703_10204507826400363_1603664230715032343_n

Happy 8th Birthday Benny and Tomas. You are two of the brightest stars and my biggest inspirations. (Stop growing up though, you’re already smarter than me).

Love always,
Zia

Tinder Chronicles: The Struggle of Being 20-Something and Single

Calling: all da’ single ladies, all da’ single ladies.

Let’s be honest, being single is rough in the 21st century. Communication is lacking, unless it involves technology. Dating has become a thing of the past. Meeting your significant other the way your parents did is like Myspace making a comeback, it’s not likely going to happen. The struggle to find something organically is like searching for a needle in a hay stack, time consuming and disappointing.

Almost everyone I know has fallen into the trap that is online dating. I mean look even Hilary Duff played into it. Giving into this dating style will almost always lead to the infamous pick up line of:

“hey so uhh do you wanna hangout?”

(hangout meaning, you know, not really hanging out).

This leads to my awkward self. I have never been a relationship person. Honestly, the thought of being in a relationship makes my throat close up a little. Commitment is a lot of work, and worrying about someone else makes me freak out.

But I see so many of my friends getting married (I’m lucky to stand by two of my best friends this year) or having babies (my friends truly make the cutest little humans) and I still feel as though I am missing out on something. But am I?

Let’s break this down:

I am 24. I am finally truly happy with my life and the yellow brick road I’m skipping down. I have a great group of friends that encourage one another to embrace individuality and independence. My Mom loves the fact that I never have been “that girl” who let a guy break her down. Yet, I still wonder what could I be doing different to make someone stick around more than a couple dates.

Okay, it may be because I tend to be a little too frank at times, and I laugh during the most inappropriate situations. I’m sorry that when I’m awkward the giggles come in full force, I can’t control it.

So I decided to participate in the whole Tinder epidemic.  Attempted to date or what have you with some, but in the end it never worked out (for the better). I mean look at what I have to deal with:

IMG_4473

Oh Zach, if it would not work in person, it most certainly won’t work on Tinder. No Tinderella for you.

Sorry Mr. no driving off into the unknown sunset with you, getting kidnapped is not on my bucket list.

Sorry Mr. Bren no driving off into the unknown sunset with you, getting kidnapped is not on my bucket list.

Apparently this dude thought "Dog and Cat :)" would steal my heart. Give me the dog and home Collan.

Apparently this dude thought “Dog and Cat :)” would steal my heart. Give me the dog and go home Collan.

They always proceed with asking about nudes and sending dick pics. NOTE: If any guys are reading this, WE DON’T WANT THEM. So don’t slip them into the conversation and expect us not to block you and run away screaming. I’m just sayin’

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am not a shy person. I have embraced my awkward-isms, and inner hippie, to finally become someone I love. I do believe you have to truly love yourself before you could ever give your heart to someone else. So why is this whole “Single Lady” thing so difficult?

These Tinder Chronicles will be something I update over time to inform you all about some interesting dates I’ve been on, experiences that were a little dissatisfying and possibly even stories from my friends who’ve dealt with similar instances. Expect stories like the time I proceeded to talk too long about the annoyance that are fraternities (to a guy that was the president of his) or that one guy who showed up late and drunk to our first date. The awkward moments are endless and I hope this series amuses you like it has my friends.

Stay cool kids,

Ale

P.S. — Mom, Dad, and fellow family members, I apologize in advance for what may come out of this series.

 

 

Jude Law and a Semester Abroad

If you know the song this title refers to we are best friends for life. If not here it is for your listening pleasure:

Listening to Brand New is not the point of this post, but a semester abroad is. I had the pleasure of going to live in Florence, Italy for 5 weeks exactly 2 years ago. Let me tell you, it was the most magical time of my life.

First off, my study abroad experience was a little different than most. We went to Italy to immerse ourselves into the culture but not necessarily take a class. Understanding, embracing, and loving this new experience. And honestly, it was the most fitting way to seize my roots and understand where my Dad used to cause havoc as a young adult (Oh did I forget to mention that my fathers from that beautiful country?)

484800_10202810641008117_920523900_n

The group consisted of 12 very unique, passionate, and loving individuals. When I left they all became family. Being thrown into a foreign country with people you don’t know can solidify “family” status no matter who you are. I honestly felt like I was a cast member of “The Real World: Florence” —

“12 strangers…picked to live in a house….”

Well…you know the rest.

I could not have asked for a more perfect group to go abroad with. Our situation was a little awkward initially. We had been in class with each other for a year but I had not said more than 5 words to each of them throughout the two semesters. Yet, we were going live in such close quarters for an extended period of time. DISCLAIMER: There were 5 girls that had to share ONE BATHROOM. Let’s just say we all got to be VERY comfortable with one another quickly.

There was a phrase that was told to us on our first day being in Florence:

Fare Bella Figura

To make a good impression. This was the saying in Florence. Jeff and I later got this tattooed on us to remember this time.  We all embraced this to the fullest our entire trip. We wanted to leave an imprint of ourselves in this city. Make a good impression and soak in this incredible opportunity we had.

The amount of times we spent in the boys apartment drinking bottles of wine, or going to Red Garter and dancing to Don Omar’s “Danza Kuduro” made this trip unforgettable. If any of you are reading this now, Crystals birthday. I have videos.

But besides reminiscing on the past,  I want to talk about 3 of those family members that are still some of my closest friends to date.

IMG_0249

These 3 hold a very special place of my heart. The one that swells when I think about the last time I saw my family in Italy, because they were there. When I think about sitting on the beach and soaking in the incredible view from my Zia Amelia’s apartment building. When I think about going out in the town my Dad made his name known (I came to find out he is still loved by many). There will not be many people in my life that I get to share those memories with, and for that, they will forever be some of my favorite people in the world.

If it weren’t for me putting myself out there and embracing the unknown, I would have never met them. I would have never had the chance to party with them on the beach with my cousin Alessandra or go experience seeing my cousins clothing line at the Pitti Uomo. Coming back to the states, Jeff would have never taught me how to change a car battery and I never would visit Crystal weekly at The Blind Pig (she made the best shots). All in all, stepping out of my bubble made me meet people that changed my life for the better.

The reason I am rambling on about my experience in another country is because I feel that everyone some time in their life needs to get up and go somewhere foreign. When I say foreign, that doesn’t necessarily mean another country. It means pick up and go somewhere completely unbeknownst to you. I have had the pleasure of living in many places in my life and it is the most thrilling thing in the world going somewhere new. The anticipation of meeting new people and experiencing new things is my drug, my favorite high.

I feel as though when you break out of your comfort zone and try new things you tap into a part of yourself you would have never otherwise experienced.

1008639_10151436171230976_1908846318_o

 

For example:

While in Italy, I found out that I actually love to hike and climb. We had this amazing opportunity to hike all the way up to the top of Fiesole to look over the hills and see the entire city of Florence. I hated almost every minute of the steep, prickly, mosquito swarmed, treck, but when we reached the top — I can never explain how my breath was taken away when looking at the beauty of the city. Or when we climbed 125 steps to Monterosso this little city that had the most delicious gelato and tiniest shops. I live for moments of struggle and near defeat, that lead to pure satisfaction. That is why hiking and climbing are something I crave. I hope to someday do some amazing hike, with friends or loved ones, that will have a lasting memory as these two experiences did.

I am nowhere near places I would like to venture to. Heck, I haven’t been to that many outside of the United States, but my life goal is to live. Live in a way that is something inspiring and adventurous. One that my future children will want to.

I encourage everyone to step out of their comfort zone. Get into an awkward situation, be apprehensive, fall down, get back up, and just embrace everything you can in life.

Make a good impression, leave an imprint, and live life to the fullest. It’s the only way to do it.

Stay weird,

Ale

 

Letter to My 16 Year Old Self

Dear Alli (you will change the spelling of your name to “Ale” soon enough),

199776_1002191510105_9147_nI am writing to give you some advice, my delicate flower. I know you are going through a little bit of a crisis at the moment. I am here to provide some insight, some guidance perhaps.  With this foreshadowing I am going to give you, I want you to remember one thing; Everything happens for a reason.

First and foremost, be yourself. Through and through, 100%, be true to who YOU are. Don’t be afraid to want to listen to screamo and rock out in your room to System of a Down and Fall Out Boy. Identifying with Peyton Sawyer is okay because even 8 years later she is still your spirit animal. Stop trying so hard to get the coolest jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch, and attempting to pop your collar, it’s never going to be you. Understand that some of your friends truly aren’t meant to be your friends. You will find the best group of people in life who will truly get you on so many levels (Pam & Kristen *hint*hint*). I know you’re not happy right now and feel trapped, but this is all a big chapter in your life story, I promise. (Side Note: Get closer to Cristina, when you meet her grasp onto that friendship and hold it tight, she will be one of your best confidants in life).

300x300Second, be nice. Be compassionate. Think before you speak. You are a very unhappy young girl right now and you tend to take that out on everyone around you. Stand your ground, but understand that people have feelings, and they will get hurt by your judgement on their life choices. They didn’t ask for your opinion, don’t give it. You will learn how to handle these situations better when you sit in your first communications class at JJC. (SIDE NOTE: Sorry to tell you, but becoming the next Atoosa Rubenstein, is unlikely to happen. But you will get a chance to have a lovely email chain with Jodi Picoult and it will be one of the best moments in your life). At 24, you will pride yourself on positivity and it’s the greatest feeling in the world.

Next, forgive. Stop holding that grudge; that demon will break you down. Stop bringing it up every fight. You will look back on it and tear up at the fact that you broke her heart with every offensive name you called her. You love her. She will be your biggest cheerleader, best friend, and favorite drinking buddy. The light you see in her eyes when you walk across the stage at Texas State, and the tears you shed when you have to say goodbye, will eliminate the hate you have for her now. And don’t blame him for his actions. He’s hurting just as much as you are. He loves you unconditionally and will be the first person you call when you learn to cook. Appreciate them. It’s a struggle, but they love you, so very much.

Finally, stop fighting for their attention. They will make you second guess your beauty and confidence. You know exactly who I am talking about in reference to changing everything you believe in to make them happy. You will be disgusted with your actions when they repeat itself with someone else. At 24, you will not need that reassurance to be happy. You will be so content with who you are as a person, that the acceptance of them is not needed.

full-1You will grow to love music even more than you do now. And attending concerts will be your favorite hobby.  Don’t fret that you failed the drivers test once, Mom will call you a great driver eventually. You will still love collecting magazine covers and Gilmore Girls. When Midnight passes be ready for this little pup named Spike to show up and steal your heart. Soak in your trip to Italy in the back of the van; Florence is not as scary as it seems. Myspace is a thing of the past, and Mom will join Facebook. This thing called Netflix will come and rock your world. And remember being a  Zia will be the  greatest title you will hold in life, be proud of it.

All in all, I hope this finds you as you are riding on the bus to the next football game, or in the basement with BAANgkok. Take a shot of cheap vodka and listen to Party Like a Rockstar, and cheers to your future self for understanding what it truly means to live.

xoxo

Your future (grey-haired, vibing, pop-punk princess, tattooed) self.

P.S. When Sabrina yells at you during labor, know that when you leave that delivery room, your life will change forever.

 

 

The Truth About Life After College

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 9.04.22 AMAs I sit here, just turning 24, I ponder back on the life that I pictured just a little over a year ago. I was 23, a couple months out of college, eagerly awaiting the drive back to the Midwest. I was about to embark on a journey, that in my mind, was that of a fairytale.

Let me tell you, I was sadly mistaken. Do not get me wrong, I am very blessed with the cards that have been dealt to me. For the past year I barely (well less than college) asked my parents for help, managed to make a name for myself in a well known retail company, and successfully for the first time in my life, am not living paycheck to paycheck. How is that not the life I had imagined? How is this not a fairytale?

Please let me explain….

After you leave college you are wide eyed and eager for the next best thing. You are hopeful for the opportunity to get the job you’ve daydreamed about in your college lectures. It can be a rude awakening when you leave  the bubble that is college life, and reality slaps you like a bitter cold. Life will test you beyond your limits; you will be thrown curve balls that you never thought could potentially give you that home run.

               A year ago, I was the girl running around telling everyone I got the internship of my dreams!

“Hey everybody! I’m moving to Indiana to work for the best company EVER! I cannot wait for this new adventure!”

The anticipation to kickstart my career was overflowing and nothing could bring me down.

Except for the fact that I was 23, moving into a dorm, in the smallest town I had ever lived in. Oh did I mention I knew no one? And the closest place to call home was 3 ½ hours away?

1fb2IndianaBut, hey! I love new adventures! I couldn’t wait to make new friends and start the next chapter in Ale’s life story. I just kept being hopeful. That I would become close to people like I did in all the other places I’ve lived, that I would get the job of my dreams, that life would meet my expectations!

Except when that didn’t happen…

I chose to run.

 

 

Run back to my hometown every weekend for the entire summer. I was not making friends like I had in the past so I pushed the idea that this town would ever give me the fulfillment that I needed.

“It’s not Austin or Chicago, I miss shows and my friends. Take me back.”

That statement was a constant loop in my head for so long. After people tried to make an effort with me. After I was, literally, given a job.

Nothing was ever good enough.10443439_10203188100978403_673861103318810702_n

So I spent a week in Texas, so incredibly happy and high off life that I was dreading coming back to a place that did not feel like home.  In my mind I had no friends to come home to, my job was not making sense to me, and I felt that this new chapter  was not in my fairytale story.

 I was at a low. Negative and angry.

I realized I was giving up. I was not making an effort. I was this bitter person who was mad that life was not panning out the way I had expected.

I woke up one day with the sun shining and came to the realization that I was taking life for granted. I opened up my drawer and saw my beanie from the lovely, Charla Vail, and it read Positive Vibes —I knew in that moment that I was not a positive person at all. I was not provoking positivity on the people around me, so how the hell was I supposed to expect the same?

And I snapped out of it.

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 9.14.53 AMI made an effort to stay here on the weekends. I became friends with the people who were trying to for the past 6 months, I fell in love with my new, unexpected career path, and realized this “fairytale” I had in my mind was right in front of me the entire time. I removed my blinders and finally saw the blessings in my life.

 

 

The universe and life works in very mysterious ways.  It will never be something I truly understand, nor would I ever want to.  I’ve learned  to take it by the balls and run with what is given to you. You will have to fight and go through trials to get the most out of life. And that’s okay! Just because things did not work out as you hoped, does not mean it’s a failure. Or that it is not something to be proud or excited about.

I believe everything happens for a reason, that there is a time and a place for everything in life. Take this season, that you are in, and live it! Nothing can bring you down.

Stay cool kids,

Ale