Personal

2017 Summary Part 1

AKA the hardest, most emotional year of my 24 years. When I envisioned the end of this year, I would have never guessed I would be where I am now. Lately I’ve caught myself laughing and saying, “thank God it’s almost over!” Sometimes I feel as if I am actually willing this year to finish faster. I replay the rough moments in my head not as a way to torture myself but as a way to reflect on what I am most proud of: that not only did I make it to the end of this year, but that my heart is intact and my spirit is alive. I am once again so cheerily hopeful about the future.

If you know me or have read some of my posts before then you know this is a big deal to me. I spent the first half of the year fighting to keep alive something that had no chance of recovery. The other chunk of time I spent in denial, feeding this toxicity as if an addiction. Then some other stuff happened like having to move out of my house and then breaking my wrist. Point is, emotionally this year was challenging. Mentally…it was devastating. Well, almost devastating. Because what I am trying to explain is that yes, this has been the hardest year of my life, but 1) I survived it and 2) in reality, a breakup (although as serious as thinking it was the “one”), being kicked out, and breaking a bone were my 2017 hardships. And I am lucky to say that. So if I’m being truthful, yes, this year sucked, but no, it wasn’t nearly as hard in retrospect as I truly thought it was while going through these things. At the time, everything was compromised: my body, my spirit, my health. So I have to ask myself: am I healthy right now as I type this? Yes. Am I whole right now as I type this? Yes. And am I constantly healing, even now as I type this? You’re darn sure I am.

So in a nutshell, it took me 12 months and a few days to finally realize and accept that not only did I survive this year, but I flourished. I am flourishing. I am stronger than ever before and that means all the crummy times in 2017 were somehow…worth it. So worth it.

So what have I learned this year? Well here are just a few things:

1) Date someone kind. Someone who remains kind over time. Someone with a kind heart. When they are no longer kind, leave. You deserve someone kind.

2) Never underestimate how important a good friend, a kickass, empowering movie, and venting are for the soul. (when I told Analeise about everything she took me to see Wonder Woman and it was the best thing for me)

3) As much as relationships are incredible, don’t lose yourself in them. Those goals you want to attain need to come first or you will always think, “what if?” The right person will help build you up and help you reach those goals. They need to be your number one fan, too.

4) When all else fails, get some perspective. For me it was snorkeling with manta rays in Tulum and hiking up mountains in Peru. You will see there is a world outside of heartache.

5) A support system will help move mountains. Trust in the process, trust in the Universe and that it knows what It’s doing, and trust in those around you. Don’t lose that trust that makes you kind.

6) Cry and scream if you need to, but never ever ever lose your faith, whatever it may be. This is all happening for a reason. (I truly believe this)

7) Move on when it’s time. Forgive, not for them, but for yourself, because you need it. Because it is what’s right.

8) One day, without even realizing it, you will be free again.

And you will care for someone again. And they will be kind. And you will once again be kind.

What I consider a really hell-ish year was made so much better because of people like my parents and sisters, Analeise, Edmar, Charlie, Kris, Laura, Sarah, Bubba, Brianda and everyone who let me vent, traveled with me, or just cheered my well-being on.

Like I said, a support system will move mountains and in 2017 it helped me move on from my biggest one.

Until next time, friends

(Which will be a lot happier of a post because it’s about my 2017 travels! Yay)

-Mary Anna

Standard
Personal

From Go-Go to No-Go

23631954_10209781017193232_898772676819301510_oBefore I tripped and broke my wrist I was constant go-go-go. After Peru I went back to work for a couple weeks and the day I landed back in Houston I hurried to take off on another flight to St. Louis to attend a wedding and begin a Northeast road-trip. My apartment was an expensive storage unit, I hadn’t been home to South Texas since Easter, and I never really took any sort of breather from traveling. Now, that lifestyle may sound exciting and for some, desiring. I constantly hear from others how lucky I am to live a life where I get to travel for and outside of my job.. Trust me, I know and I thank goodness everyday because travel is a main priority in my life. But I didn’t realize how it suddenly was the only priority in my life until I tripped on a- would you believe it- surprise suitcase.

Breaking my wrist hurt- obviously. However, the physical pain was manageable; it was the emotional struggle to adjust that was actually the most painful for me. You see, my life and my lifestyle is fueled by my want- my need– to travel, to keep moving, to explore further. I used to beg my parents to buy me maps, atlases, and National Geographic magazines every chance I could because in my mind, I was already somewhere else. I was already there (wherever there was). So for the past two and a half years of being a flight attendant I have been there many, many, many more times than I was here, in my own home, with my family, with my pets: Home. I know this is a part of growing up; you move away, you get busy, you take a break for the holidays, but I didn’t even spend time in my own apartment in Houston. I was just always gone.

Well, then I fell and instinctively tried to stop myself by placing out my arm. Here’s my most helpful tip to a fall- don’t do that. A couple of loud pops, a trip to the Urgent Care, and a cast later. I have officially been land stuck for six weeks. It doesn’t sound like much, but it has changed everything for me. I’ll briefly admit what the hardest parts have been: not being able to do my own hair, not being able to drive, not having public transportation/Ubers available in South Texas, having to ask for help with everything, and yes, not being able to travel like I used to. Now, instead of continuing to write about how this break was difficult, I’m going to write about how it is the best thing that could have happened. Because we all get it at this point: girl loves to travel, girl can’t travel, girl struggles to adjust, girl gets sad. But what I now focus on is so much sweeter and so much more positive.

I get to go to Church with my parents every Saturday at 4 o’clock where the Priest plays his country music and lets his dogs walk around during mass. I get to see Brianda for our traditional date of coffee/Wingstop and Target and we get to have serious conversations in person instead of just through text. I got the chance to celebrate my father’s birthday. I got to spend time in my own apartment where I finally put up the shelves that were sitting on my floor for weeks. I got to finally have a life in Houston for more than a day. And because I am a cat mom, I get the chance to actually be a cat mom again. Just today, which inspired me to take this post in this direction, I got to enjoy a delicious barbecue with my family in the chilly afternoon air as we talked about past family vacations and planned our next one. I got to witness a hummingbird hover nearby so close to me. I got to see my mom decorate the Christmas tree. There are so many truly beautiful moments that I have been fortunate to be apart of that I wouldn’t have been able to if it wasn’t for my broken wrist.

So yes, I could be grumpy about being hurt- I mean, rightfully so- it does hurt- but I can also be thankful that I now get to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, that I have a family that loves me, and that I have the resources to depend on during this time. I have to understand that the Universe intervened for some reason. Maybe something bad was going to happen to me, maybe the constant go-go-go was going to make me sick, maybe this is just the world saying that I needed to take a step back and reevaluate what’s truly important to me. Travel will be there for me when I recover, work will still be there for me, but what I blindly needed, was to be here. Here. 

From Go-Go to No-Go. As I continue to recover (I can finally type with both hands although painfully), I can almost be thankful for that surprise suitcase for giving me what I needed most in the world: the no-go for awhile.

But seriously, did the Universe have to intervene so painfully?!

See you soon, world.

-Mary Anna

Casty, aka Stumpy, aka Captain Hook- you will not be missed.

Free hands!

Standard
Travel

Year 23

Howdy, all!

Another year of my life has come and gone and I am officially 24 years and one day old. As difficult as these past couple of months have been, the overall year has been an amazing one. My second year of being an international flight attendant, I checked off several bucket list items, and I am closer to realizing what I want to do in my life. 24 will be the year of personal growth, career maturity, and creative direction. I am committed to putting my health first, to continue writing, and to remember why I started traveling in the first place. So below is my list of some year 23 highlights. As monumental as these moments are, there were many more that were not photographed: reunited family hugs, cozy days with Luca, and uplifting afternoons with dear friends to name a few (plus an awesome cat cafe in Tokyo). And as with every year of life that I am fortunate enough to have, I remember my sweet Grandma, who I was lucky to share a birthday with. She would have been 84 years and one day old and I won’t ever stop missing her.img_5109

Cheers to another year of breathing in life and soaking in sunshine. To growth. To living courageously and wholeheartedly always. Continue reading

Standard
Writing

Thinking About Home

I have been facing a deep struggle lately. I spend my life in a metal tube in the sky. Often I cannot differentiate my days as they begin to blur together after the third hotel room. All Hilton, DoubleTrees, Marriotts look the exact same. I text the ones I love, but it isn’t at all the same as a physical touch. I miss coming home to a house that feels like an actual home. 

So I’ve been thinking about that word a lot lately. What it means to me to have a home. Well, I’m going to share it with you and hopefully afterward, I can begin to visualize it again into my future.

I have many roots in many grounds around the world. I am spread out amongst beaches, scattered along wide, open Texas roads, emotionally stamped onto a special person. Home is a Texas sunset, brilliant and vivid. It is the distinct salty air of South Padre Island across from the Tiki, my favorite childhood vacationing condominium. It is listening to country music at Saturday mass with my family while Father Roy speaks about his “dear ol’ boat”. It is having home made chocolate cake in the kitchen because mom knows how much I love it. It is being sticky and sweaty because humidity hugs me like an old friend. Home is deep conversations with Rey and Brianda that help me feel better about life. It is my home town that I fought so hard to leave and miss every day that I’m away.

It is in every destination that I allow myself to feel something in. It is in the Green Grotto in Capri that I swam in freezing water through. It is in Paris, with rosy cheeks and sore ankles because I wore the wrong shoes once again. It is in hostels where my friends and I felt alive (and poor). It is in Ireland along the windy cliffs that introduced me to international travel. In Seattle because I wanted to fit in with its hip-photo-loving vibe for so long. It is in every cup of café américain sans sucré that I ordered in Caen. In so many other beautiful, memorable destinations that I have gotten to go to, with this flight attendant life and outside of it. But how can I even explain what home feels so strongly like to me right now, as I write this on another airplane?

It is warmth. It is a constant, so satisfying warmth that is created through the perfect long awaited moment. It is everything I feel the moment distance is over. It is never ending laughter because in reality, we’re both idiots. It is being on that airplane with you. It is every embrace, every goodnight kiss, every “I love you, too.”

Home isn’t just one place for me. It may not be for you either. My boards are built along vast valleys, underneath star-filled skies, amongst the waves, and on top of mountains. They are secured by unknowing kind strangers, by those that know and love me, and by my past selves. I will live in these homes for the rest of my life. Right now, I am looking forward to going home. 

Standard
Travel

2016: Year of Travel Review

Hi y’all! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

So this year has been ridiculously memorable. Both in the amazing, life changing way and in the heartbreaking, life changing way. I’m finishing out 2016 in Tampa with the love of my life and, as always, missing my family and friends. Hopefully 2017 is the year I can unite everyone together under one roof. Resolution! I will say though that in 2016 I finally learned how to manage my time between work, family, and Luca. It’s all about balance. Below are just a few highlights of my first full year of traveling as an international flight attendant. Times were sometimes rough (20+ hour working days, blah blah blah) but in the end, I have great stories of exploring new cities (Carnival in Rota, beer festivals in Osaka), checking off new countries on my list (Riding an elephant in Thailand, standing next to kangaroos in Australia, everything about Georgia), and making the very best out of every thing that got thrown my way (typhoons, plane delays, many missed flights). Yes, I still whined sometimes but in the end, everything worked out. It always works out. Continue reading

Standard