Tag Archives: reunion

A year of lessons, a year later.

yearoflessonsheader

7/20/16.

WHAT?

I can’t believe a year ago today I finished writing A Year Of Lessons. It was absolutely one of (if not the) most transformative experiences of my life to this day. It wasn’t just a year that I lived and documented, but it was one that I created and shaped because I intentionally chose to see something special (both the good AND bad) in every single day. I learned gratitude and dedication and vulnerability and perspective and persistance and all those nights sitting on my college apartment floor at 3am after a horribly long day but still writing and hating my life finally added up to something. Looking back today, A Year Of Lessons was such a wonderful gift I granted to my future self, and hopefully to some of you all who hopped on the ride and read along.

This is exactly why I’m so in love with storytelling and words and writing and art, and sharing it with others. Because it’s a message from the past for the future. When I was unpacking my very last box from college a few weeks ago, at the top of the box was the first month of lessons from my blog printed out on paper. I read some of them and was completely shocked at the effect it had on me: I cringed at some, laughed at others, and couldn’t stop the smile on my face from spreading at most. The words on these pages were still so powerful, and reminded me what I still need to learn but also how far I’ve come. Later that day, I was editing my new podcast (https://soundcloud.com/user-986375572) (eep so excited) and something a professor said in an interview over three months ago had beautiful meaning then, but in that very moment, in my circumstances at that point in time, it moved me to tears. Stories are like time capsules. It’s a gift; a whisper and a warm smile from God saying, “You need this.” Words can move us and transform us and they transcend time and space. They’re little messages. Little signs.

This blog was never just a blog to me. The writing was never just writing. The job you hold, the things you go through, the people you meet… they’re never just that. They are experiences, and they are lessons waiting to happen. At such a crucial time in my life where I’m at a crossroad beginning a new journey that i’m not 100% sure about it (I’m working in DC!!! This was not my original plan at all!!! But I’m excited!!! And scared!!! And also confused at how one metros!!!), this was the perfect reminder to be open, be excited, and to learn.

Thank you, AYOL.

And thank you to you all.

Both are forever engrained in my heart. <3

All my love,

<3

Mia (Your newest post graduate… I did it!)

To stay updated with me and my ~crazy~ life, and to hear about my future/current projects, follow me on my social media accounts!

Twitter: @yourstrulymia_

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PS… something that’s square and binded together and may have a little (or a lot) to do with A Year Of Lessons may be happening sometime in the near future… stay tuned ;)

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Lesson #331: Adult things.

6/16/15.

Guys, I’m an adult.

I know because of two reasons.

1) Yesterday, I wore white pants and didn’t spill anything on them.

2) Today, I went to my first ever real networking event.

It was like a whole new world. For me, it’s pretty easy to walk right up to people and say hi. But to be put in a room to do that—on purpose?

Eh…a little awkward.

But it ended up being a lot, a lot of fun.

Actually, I had a ball.

And I learned a few things too.

I’ve mentioned it before, but this summer I’m in a LA study “abroad” program with my university. Tonight was the program’s five year reunion dinner.

I talked to quite a few people, but the first person that really struck me was a wonderful young woman not too much older than myself. She did the program a few years ago and knew she wanted to live out here; now she’s currently out in LA doing her thing, working with ABC network, and making it on her own. The jaw dropper? She graduated college in two and a half years.

Me and the other girls talking to her were completely fascinated, and floored. Of course I asked: How?

“I made it happen.”

After interning in California, she knew she wanted to finish school but she knew she wanted to get out here as fast as possible. She met and talked to who she needed to talk to, she managed to get the big signature (they originally told her it wasn’t allowed), and she somehow survived nine classes every semester for two semesters (I can barely survive five). Somewhere between her telling us about her journey and me asking how she was so fearless, she replied:

“I don’t like rules. But I don’t like cheating, either. It’s all about winding your way through and then in.”

She told us when she got to LA, she had already been calling ABC for a period of time telling them, “Look, I’m coming to California in a month. Here’s my qualifications. Can you get me an interview?” They said they couldn’t promise, but she didn’t give up. The day she got to Cali, she called them saying, “Hey, it’s me. I’m coming in now, I’m here,” and then finally landed an interview. She didn’t get the position she wanted, but she did get a position starting with the company.

With that being said, I was definitely filling up on inspiration and taking mental notes from her as she talked, and I got this:

You don’t have to break the rules. But to stand out, you have to bend them.

The next guy I talked to was awesome. When he asked me what I want to do, I gave him my usual rundown:

1. I started making YouTube videos eight years ago.

2. I fell in love with development, pre-production, production, post production, engaging an audience and being on camera, and marketing—because I had to do all of it myself.

3. Now I love every step of creating videos and series and movies, which is a bust, because where do I start? I want to do all of it.

He gave me the best advice ever.

“Then do it. All of it.”

He told me about his journey as well; how he’s currently a writer and producer who also acts and is looking to make it in that way as well.

I got super excited because—well—same.

Finally, someone who understands!

When I asked him how to go about it this, because it’s generally frowned upon, he told me something like this:

“You have to put yourself out there. When people ask, you have to be honest and say, ‘Hey, this is all of what I want to do. I want to do all of this and act too.’ Then when an opportunity arises, you’ll be there, and people will have you in mind.”

It’s true. That’s how doors are opened.

And just by listening to these wonderful people and their great advice tonight, doors were opened for me just by listening and learning.

It all starts with a little bit of belief, a little bit of knowledge, and a little bit of inspiration.

Cheers.

Day 331.

Lesson #296: Why you should play catch up.

5/13/15.

I woke up early this morning to grab some coffee at the beach with Becca, an old friend and long time neighbor—long time neighbor meaning we’ve literally lived next door to each other since we were six, and now we’re at the same college too.

We grew up together. We played on the trampoline after school and had sleepovers and rode our scooters around the neighborhood. We played “house” with stuffed animals and played hide and seek on summer nights with the rest of our friends. We even started our own business and went door to door selling homemade slushees when we were nine. It was pretty rad.

We never had a falling out. But since growing up and taking on new interests, we haven’t actually caught up either.

So today we sat and talked for two hours.

It’s incredible how much has changed. We laughed—a lot—but also had some really great conversations. We talked about society and race and food production and even the environment. But it was only just now that I noticed the conversation we had didn’t go as usual. It wasn’t spent gushing about our childhood or the hilarious things we did growing up. It wasn’t a quick conversation on the way to our cars from our front doors, or passing each other on campus. It was about life, now. It was about what we’ve been up to, what we’re doing soon, and what we want to do in the future. I found out the meaning of her tattoos, and how she’s writing books and practicing her photography, and that she really likes her major. I told her about my video ideas, and the project I want to start this summer, and this blog. And it’s all because we gave ourselves time to really, truly talk to one another.

Let’s be honest:

Sometimes it seems easiest to let a friendship fade because it’s just become so distant; time or circumstance is to blame. You think to yourself: “If we catch up now, we’ll talk for one or two hours and then not see each other again for like another year.” So what’s the point? Why catch up now? Especially in this day and age—why sit down and talk when you can see what they’re doing on social media? Through text? Even a letter?

The answer?

It’s not just about seeing or talking.

It’s about discussion.

It’s about the back and forth, the conversation that branches from conversation, the laughter—sometimes even the tears.

It’s about life.

How beautiful and wonderful it can be because it’s always changing and flourishing.

And we get to hear about that experience for another person.

There’s something special about truly catching up with an old friend. Face-to-face. Over dinner, or tea, or coffee.

Don’t let life get in the way.

Or should I say—let life get in the way.

If you find yourself doing different things, do them. Then come back every once in a while, and talk about it.

It turns out, Becca and I have gone out into the world and have come back even more similar than we were before. And this won’t always be the case. But the point is—when you take that time to re-connect with someone who once was in your life, you find out.

You learn about the world.

And most importantly, you learn a little about theirs.

Day 296.