I remember the summer my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, was the summer that we really changed our ways. My mom is the go-getter, hard worker type- luckily I get that from her. She kicked breast cancer’s ass like no other – she is the strongest woman I know and will continue to inspire me everyday. That summer, she shared the idea of me taking a semester off to intern close to home (Chicago) so I could be there for her – I was 20 at the time and TERRIFIED – I love my mom to death but taking a semester off; leaving the home I started in San Diego scared the CRAP out of me, I could not imagine doing that. My mom knew it was a crazy idea too – but that’s not the point… the point is the idea that this got us talking about me starting to plan for my future and to look into internships [its crazy to think back to that talk we had because I FAINTLY remember it – my dreams and goals were so different from what I know now and what I’ve achieved – life is crazy, man].  ANYWAY – to the point. The one thing I remember from that conversation was my mom saying that I can NOT have FEAR – I can not ask what if questions, I can’t wonder about what would happen if I did this or that – I just have to do it. And from that moment, I’m not kidding (yes, I’m dramatic but still I believe it), I would say thats the moment that I truly changed my life. From then on, I decided not to have any more fears (I still have them today bc I’m clearly human & not perfect, but the minute I start to doubt and worry and wonder, I tell myself to get over it and that its the only thing holding me back). Since then, if I want to do something, I frickin do it!! Because of that conversation, I had the strength to apply to the Disney College Program, spend 17 days in Europe with one professor and 13 students, spend 11 days wandering around Europe with one friend. I went to NYC with myself and a friend. I took an internship in San Francisco – YO GIRL IS KICKIN BUTT.

The San Francisco opportunity [btw, I’m in SF rn writing this blog post] was probably the hardest. The semester was coming to an end and I really wanted to lock down a summer Marketing internship – I worked hard to find the one that I did. It was in San Diego, so I could stay there for the summer (finally, I thought, my first summer in SD with all my friends). I was so excited for the summer. Then all of a sudden, a new opportunity comes my way. It’s super last minute, I have to tell the other internship that I can’t do it anymore, I have to tell my friends that once again I was leaving them, I have to find a place to live, I have to pack everything up all again – all within one week. I’m saying all of that stuff as if it actually upsets me ^ but honestly – I love always being on the go, I love packing up and just leaving. But the fact that I had my whole summer planned, and this came along with so many unsure factors, I was nervous.. scared.. stressed. Every feeling you could feel. But deep down, I wanted this more than anything. I wanted it to work out so badly. But that fear and those doubts was bringing me down and making me feel so weird. But thankfully, my parents were there to push me and to tell me to fight those fears. Here I am, about a month and a half in, and I frickin love it here. I lowkey wish I didn’t have to go back :/ I love working, I love the city, I love exploring, I love learning something new about myself everyday. I was hesitant – everyone was telling me that I would love San Francisco so much and I was mad at them for telling that; I felt like they were trying to persuade me and I wanted to figure out on my own if I did actually like it. And honestly, it took me a while to get into the groove of this city, and it was hard doing it alone (I can expand on this a little more in a different post). But I’m so so happy that I did it and I didn’t let that fear hold me back. I’ve learned SOO much and I don’t know when another opportunity like this, where I have learned so much, would’ve come up.

I’m telling you, fear is ALWAYS going to hold you back. You can’t let it. The more you don’t let fear get in the way, I really think the happier you will be. You will take more chances; and you’ll learn so much about yourself and what you are capable of. This life is short and man, you just gotta live it.

With that being said – one thing that I really want people and my friends to learn is to please don’t be scared to do what you really wanna do – you won’t achieve anything if you are constantly scared and holding yourself back. Say yes (to appropriate things only pls) and make your dreams come true! And along the way, stay positive! Positivity has such a big impact on your life and the minute you change your thoughts, you can really change your life. Yes I know, that’s saying a lot but I’m truly serious! We all have those days – trust me, I’m sad and I doubt myself all the time – but at the end of the day, I make sure to stay positive and keep a good attitude about things and remind myself that everything ALWAYS works out in the end (and if it doesn’t work out the way you want it, that means it wasn’t supposed to work out that way – aka it worked out the way it was supposed to). When I was younger, I made a fashion Instagram, Inspire and Shine because I wanted to inspire others to get out there, be themselves, wear what they wanna wear, do what they wanna do, be who they wanna be and just SHINE. Today, my friends and I make fun of how freakin cheesy that is, but I’m still here telling everyone the same thing – so don’t forget it 🙂

Go out there, make all your dreams come true and shineeeee! Xoxo

about me aka bellalaland

So here’s the story: I’m stuck in this world that I created in my mind – I’m not sure if I created it from a book that I read when I was younger – still to this day I am trying to figure out what the book was called and what it was about and if I ever actually read it, or if I just liked the way it looked because it was a cute fashionista in front of the Eiffel Tower. Or maybe this world I created came from the countless times I watched Beauty and the Beast as a kid, telling myself that I was Belle because I was “never part of any crowd, cause her heads up on some cloud.” So if you can’t tell, I am quite the dreamer.

Let me set the scene for you in this world I created. The location is Paris, France. The year is whatever year you want it to be. And the mood, is this awesome Spotify playlist I created.  This scene is VERY similar to the one from the Lizzie McGuire Movie – you know the one, where Paolo takes her to the designers to have them dress her and Supermodel is playing in the background. Yeah, so imagine yourself in a room similar to that – a whole bunch of creative people are around you – fashionistas, designers, photographers. You’re behind the scenes, just groovin’ with your fellow creative friends to the songs on my playlist. You’re a designer or stylist. And you’re successful and happy. As everyone in the Devil Wears Prada says, “a million girls would kill for this job.” Yeah well, thats the world I created for myself in my mind. Everyday I basically live my life as that character – whomever she may be. And thats what I call “bellalaland” – how lame, right? Well, I like it 🙂

There’s this other side of bellalaland that is all about magic, happiness and positivity – you could call it Disney World/land or we could just continue with it being bellalaland – I wouldn’t say I’m THAT obsessed with Disney, yes I’m obsessed – but I’m obsessed with how it makes you feel. I’m obsessed with the idea that Walt created that is never going to die because it is so strong. I’m probably the cheesiest person you will ever meet – I truly think I get inspired by anything – my stomach will feel all gooey or I will tear up at the LITTLEST and nicest things and I instantly feel inspired – I don’t think its a bad thing, I love being this cheesy. But because I am still a 22 year old with a young soul, that just can’t seem to grow up – I’m stuck in this lalaland where everything is good and happy. I fangirl over such little things. I remember this one day so clearly – it was my second to last day going to Disney World as a Cast Member. 4/5 roommates were at Magic Kingdom that night – we were watching Wishes for our very last time (before these roommates, I never cared for fireworks – my excuse was that they hurt my eyes. Someone made me watch Wishes my first week at Disney and it was the greatest thing I’ve done in those months ANYWAY-) we were watching Wishes, and at some point we all started crying and hugging each other because those 6 months were coming to an end… I was thinking to myself “well shit, all of my dreams have come true – I traveled to Europe, I finally worked at Disney World, my childhood dreams have come true, what am I supposed to do now?” then literally SECONDS later, Jiminy Cricket goes, “The best part is, you’ll never run out of wishes” and MAN – that touched me. I knew then and there that I will continue to make new wishes, goals and plans and I WILL make them come true 🙂

(also when i say “never grow up” – I don’t mean be a child forever – I think I mean it more in a sense of just believing in those little things that makes a child happy. I am bad at paying attention to the bad in the world, I don’t know anything about the real world (politics n shiz, or somethin) – I probably should but I just don’t have the time or energy to put into that stuff. I would much rather be completely content sitting in a field listening to Disney or laying in my bed, watching a movie that I’ve seen a million times, and probably watched the night before.)

So here is to introducing you to bellalaland… I hope through my thoughts, goals, motivations, travels and other random things, I can inspire you. Enjoy 🙂