Why 2018 Was The Best And Worst Year Of My Life

Wow. I can’t believe it’s already the end of this year. It feels like just yesterday I was at some random bar with my best friend bringing in the New Year for 2018. We drank champagne, through back shots, and danced the night away. I woke up the next morning a little hungover and met another friend for some pho and sprite (my age old hangover remedy from undergrad). Like most years, I had no idea what 2018 had in store for me when the countdown ended and the fireworks began.

The idea for this post came from a video I saw of Ariana Grande accepting the Woman of the Year Award at the Billboard Women In Music 2018 event. In her speech, Ariana said “I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life” and I felt that shit in my spirit. This year was one of the best and worst years of my life, ALL at once. Before I heard Ariana’s speech, I hadn’t really taken the time to reflect on how insane this year actually was.

This year had some great moments like me hiring a trainer and taking my health and fitness seriously, applying to law school, getting into law school, getting a full tuition scholarship for law school, turning 25, going to Coachella for the first time, going to the Dominican Republic with one of my closest sorority sisters, and was featured on my good friend Daniel’s podcast. All in all, some of best memories will come from this year.

However, this year also consisted of my Nana passing away less than a week after Coachella (which was enough on its own to make this this year the worst year of my life), falling off the health and fitness wagon when she passed away because I was sad and out of town for a while, starting law school and falling off the health and fitness wagon again, failing my first midterm, my anxiety coming back full force for the first time since undergrad, feelings of inadequacy throughout the semester, the worst finals season of my life, and a bunch of other shit I don’t feel like getting into.

Looking back at everything, I did have a great year but I would be lying if I said that I was always focused on the positive while I was living through it. There are still days when I get really down, especially when I wish I could call my nana and tell her just how much harder law school is than we expected. Some days I really do have to remind myself that the struggles I’m going through now are the things I used to pray for before they happened. While I’m happy for all 2018 taught me, I’m happy to kiss it goodbye, take the lessons I’ve learned, and hopefully* have a great 2019.

How was your year this year? Let me know in the comments

Goal Check: End of the 2nd Quarter of the Year (Apr-June)

The month of June end a little bit ago which means that we are now 1/2 way through the year. Just as I checked in with myself and my goals at the end of quarter one, I will be seeing where I’m at now that quarter 2 is over. Now is the perfect time to reflect on what has worked this first half of the year and what needs to change. Y’all know I’m always trying to 100 dif things so I’m just going to focus on the main goals I have.

  • Travel out of the country:

I am officially going out of the country for the first time since after my EuroTrip when I graduated high school (not including Tijuana). I’m going to the Dominican Republic for about a week later this month! I will definitely be writing about this experience once I get back and having time to settle so make sure you keep your eyes peeled for that!

  • Save $2,000 in a savings account

Okay so I’m not ashamed to say I suuuuuck at saving money but that’s mostly because I spend all my money on doing hoodrat shit with friends, and having a trainer! Lmao. Once I start school I want to be more conscious on being financially literate and establishing savings account. I think for the rest of the Summer I’m going to save a little bit of each check. If you have any tips for saving money let me know!

  • Lose fat & gain muscle:

I’ve made some decent progress on this goal since my quarter 1 check-in. Honestly, all things considered with my grandmother passing away back in April, I’m proud of myself for not turning to food for comfort, which I would have done in the past. I have been killing it at the gym and follow my meal plan 80% of the time or so. I’ve only lost about 5ish lbs since April but I feel myself getting stronger and I lost some body fat %. I think I’m on track to hit my first major goal weight for the end of 2018

  • Take my blog to the next level:

My blog has NOT been a priority for me since April and I’m okay with it. I don’t have regrets about putting my blog on the back burner once my life got crazy. The gym became my outlet so all I have been doing is going to work and working out. I’m just getting back in the hang of writing and managing my instagram so we’ll see where I’m at once quarter 2 is over.

  • Read one book every month:

I have read 2 other books since quarter 1 ended, both which I enjoyed a lot. In April I read The Mastery of Love by don Miguel Ruiz and Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. I recommend both to everybody. I want to write a review on both of them but we shall see how that goes.

  • Get my driver’s license and a car:

This hasn’t been a priority this quarter so no progress has been made on it. I’m going to have my license by the end of this summer. However, I’m not really sure about the car. We’ll see.

All things considered for how HARD life came at me in April, I’m proud of myself for at least staying on track with my health + fitness and doing everything I needed to do to go out of the country. I also read 2 out of the 3 books I wanted to read so that’s I’m happy about that to. I do want to get back on track with my blog but I still have 6 months to make it happen. Quarter 3 check-in I will have made some progress on that goal for sure. Overall, I’m happy and that’s what matters.

What are some goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year? What goals have you made progress on? What goals could use improvement? Leave me a comment and let’s talk about it!

In Memory of My Nana

On April 28th at 9am Est, my Nana passed away. It’s been a month and it still doesn’t seem real. There is nothing I want more than to get a phone call from her. “How’s my pretty girl doing?” This past Mother’s Day was our first Mother’s Day without her. Man, I don’t think I’ve ever felt a pain this strong in my life. My Nana, Lydia Wright, is my maternal grandmother and the grandparent I’ve been the closest to my entire life. We talked AT LEAST once a week, sometimes more. She offered me life advice (even if it was a little old-fashioned for my taste), and was always there for me, cheering me on and bragging about me to anybody who would listen. You know, the last few weeks of her life I was in such DENIAL. She had been sick before but she always bounced back. She was tired of fighting. I can’t say I blame her. She had been through SO MUCH in her life! From an eating disorder to breast cancer to kidney failure, emphysema, to much more. She was a fucking fighter and the strongest woman I know. I can’t put into words what she meant to me and I really honestly never thought about the day I’d have to live without her but those days are here now and now I have to figure it out. I have to figure out how to go on when all I really want to do is crawl into bed and cry.

While my Nana isn’t my first family member to pass away (I just lost my maternal grandfather last July), this pain is something different. The grief is almost unbearable at times. However, I know that she is always with me. She was always blunt and said whatever she wanted to say and did whatever she wanted to do and I hope to be as courageous as her. A few years ago she got me a bear that sang the song “I Hope You Dance” and dedicated that song to me. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with it (who are you? And WHY?), here are some of the lyrics:

“I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance

Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’

Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’

Don’t let some hell-bent heart leave you bitter

When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider

Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.

I hope you dance, I hope you dance.”

I loved the song when she dedicated it to me but now that she’s passed it means even more. I now can’t listen to it without crying but I will make sure I listen to my Nana’s song of wisdom and never let her down. I have to make sure to be there for my mom and not be too sad. While I miss her, it is for selfish reasons because she is no longer in pain and has finally found peace. I’m learning a lot about grief and it’s come and go as it pleases attitude. Grief really doesn’t give a fuck. 

Nana, All I know is when I wear purple (your favorite color), I’ll think of you. When someone mentions the Steelers (your favorite team and half of your wardrobe haha) I’ll think of you. Whenever I melt a scentsy (why did you have over 100 of them?), I’ll think of you. Whenever I eat something pumpkin (your nickname for me since before I even ate it) I’ll think of you. Nana, there will not be a day that goes by that I don’t think of you and I’m happy you were able to see me get into law school, even if I don’t know how I’ma survive without your weekly phone calls. I guess I’ll have to find a different way to talk to you. I love you and miss you! Say hi to Grandpa for me.

Love,

Mara.

I’m Back and I’m Better

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Hello Readers! Long time no…read? Hahaha, anyways…back in February I went from being unemployed to working not one but TWO new jobs. Adjusting from being unemployed and chilling around my house all day to constantly being at work (both jobs involved working with children who require a lot of care and energy) took a major energy shift that took quite some time for me to get used to. Sadly, blogging was no longer something that was a top priority of mine because I still had to figure out the kinks of what it means to be a blogger and what I wanted my blog to mean to me as well as everyone who comes across it while balancing my work life at the same time. I’ve come to the realization that life isn’t always going to give me the perfect conditions and I won’t become the blogger I want to be overnight, no matter how much this frustrates me.

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A lot has transpired in my life since the last time I was able to bless the internet with my thoughts:

  • I turned 24.
  • I became a Passion Planner Representative for Spring and Summer 2017.
  • I visited my Alma mater and second home in San Diego, CA.
  • My best friend moved to Tulsa, OK.

Somehow in the mist of all this craziness, I’ve managed to…HAPPY (for the most part).

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Being blessed with another year of life is always a great feeling. Tomorrow is really never guaranteed so every year I’m able to celebrate I’m always overjoyed. Since I’ve turned 24 I’m taken soooo many steps towards creating the life that I want, the life I deserve, and the life that is destined for ME. I’m excited to be back in a place where I feel excited to work towards my dreams and do the damn thing! Who’s with me? Let’s get out there and live our best lives and be our best selves, unapologetically, no matter what!

An Open Letter To The Gym

Dear Gym,

As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, one of my goals this year is to get more fit. I’ve been trying to achieve this by eating differently and doing at home workouts since I’m currently too broke for even the cheapest of gym memberships (I blame coming owt shows and birthdays). While they have been cool, I simply no longer enjoy working out at home. I hate it. It’s not the same. I don’t know if it’s being around like-minded people trying to reach their fitness goals or the motivation of wanting to be as fit as the fittest motherfck*er there but I totally LOVE you. There is so much you can get out of a gym membership from the machines (I miss the elliptical), to the unlimited weights, to my personal fave, group fitness classes, the sauna, and just the overall vibes. I MISS GOING TO VISIT YOU! I miss everything about you. My home workouts and the mini-gym at my job will have to suffice until I get my first paycheck.

Alot of people don’t know this but you helped me during some of the most stressful periods in my life, gym. When I was worried or anxious, I would lace up my gym shoes, make my way over there, and my troubles dissapeared (even if for a brief moment) as soon as I walked in the gym. All I would be worried about at the gym is making sure I worked out harder than the day before and left everything there in the thirty minutues or hour I would be there. For me, going to the gym is one of the most vital self-care routines I participate in. The mini-gym at my job is better than nothing but I really miss the dance classes at my old gym. 

Soon, I will be back on the market for a new gym that meets all of my needs. I work Monday-Friday so it’ll deinitely be one that offers Zumba or soemthing similar on weekends. Finding the perfect gym is like finding the perfect pair of shoes. I will shop around until I decide what fits me best. Until then, I’ll be dreaming of you old friend. 

Signed, 

An Ex-Gym Junkie, Mara

Jan 20th, 2017

Today I did everything I normally do. I went to turn in some paperwork for a future* job. I watched a documentary on Netflix. I ate food. I drank water. I scrolled through all my social media. But, today felt…different. Honestly, more than it ever has since I can remember. Adding the raindrops to my internal stress and I don’t know what to say or do.  I’m supposed to write  about Health+Fitness on Fridays but how could I talk about my favorite quinoa recipe when I feel this sense of…despair. Sadness. But at the same time, I feel apathetic and desensitized. I’m not sure how to snap out of it. I ordered some books because I believe in the power of a strong mind. However, I’m going to need more than a strong mind to get through the next…well you know the rest. Definitely going to be a lot of introspection, planning, and execution this year and the next. But first, self-care. 

Learning to Go with the Flow and Accepting “No”: an Ongoing Series

One of the things I’ve been trying to learn and accept more after graduating last May is that everything is not always going to go according to plan. Truth be told, most things in life don’t go according to plan…at least at this age.We have to always been prepared to adjust & adapt. As someone who has always struggled with rejection and being told no (in the business/accomplishment sense), this post-grad life has been especially difficult. Just as I wrote how important it is to be able to tell people no last week, it is equally important to be able to handle hearing “no” with class and grace. 


Applying for jobs and not getting an e-mail or call back can take a hit on one’s self-esteem. However, I’m learning to see the beauty in hearing “no.” There are times whn “no” doesn’t mean never. Sometimes, you have to listen when the universe says “No, not right now.” In many instances this just means that something better is on the horizon. I’m learning this as time goes on. Being told no isn’t the worse thing that can happen because you may be getting told yes for something else, you just haven’t realized it yet. 


Keep pushing on and keep reaching for your dreams. Don’t let one no (or even ten or twenty) render you hopeless and sad. One quote I like to live by is “what’s for me will always be for me.” Whether it’s for me right now, 5 years from now, or whenever. That doesn’t mean it will come effortlessly but it will come when you’re ready to handle it properly. Always keep this in mind and never let your passions die.