Check-Up From Texas

Hi y’all, I giggle because I do say “y’all” and have an iphone case of Texas… I realize as my year approaches since moving to the Lone Star state- how much has changed. Good change too, possibly the best change in my life. It was one experience when I left home and held my breath for the experience of going to BU and living in Boston. After that I realized I could live anywhere and do anything. I really felt that powerful, and after taking the next plunge to pursue what I have always wanted to do and done so successfully, I am thankful and gracious for this year. It’s been hard emotionally, physically, mentally– at work, my personal life– just every aspect of my life has been put to the test here. Who would’ve thought in sweet ‘ol Lubbock, haha. I said it the other day to my good friend here I feel like I got a face lift on my life. Clear visions, good foundation, strong sense of self and I highly value what’s so important to me. As the month of May kicks-in it brings a LOT of new changes, but mainly to all those around me. I am finally getting a hold of my biggest change and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I feel closer to my goals, my intuition and above all my faith.

So, this is my way to share that no matter how hard a challenge, a decision, or situation- it’s up to you to weather your battle. And know that you will prevail.

I’m fortunate that my current community has opened their arms and embraced me. I’ve definitely made it a point that I am here to work, meet others, share compelling stories and hopefully make some positive impact.

I will always encourage having a strong sense of self. Listening to what you want, asking for what you need, working toward what you can achieve.

Love ya, Lubbs’

P.S. Don’t worry– I still love the Miami Heat and was SO relieved when the Spurs lost…

XOX

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Welcoming the New Year From The Clouds

Up aboveWhen I really began using this blog I turned to it for support. I shared my move to Boston not so much to showcase my experiences, but to ask for help. This blog encouraged and motivated me to thrive in the decision I made nearly four years ago. Today as I spend my last few hours of 2014 in an airport, I can’t help but point out how poignant it is that I am sitting in an airport terminal waiting for my late night flight on the eve of the New Year. I have spent most of my life traveling and visiting new places, most recently I have moved more in my lifetime within four years. These experiences have forever changed me and the landscape of my life. As 2015 approaches all of us I ask for 15 things. I set 15 goals for me to accomplish in 2015. I hope those around me will find the courage and determination to accomplish the dreams and goals set for this year. As for me one of my goals is to revive this blog, and with the support of my friends, family and readers, I hope you will all give me the confidence and strength I am searching for in 2015. God speed New Year, a new year is a time for new opportunities…

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December 31, 2014 · 10:04 pm

I let myself fall in love with Boston

Finally- all 200 photos from graduation are posted online, my bags are all unpacked and I’ve begun changing the profiles on my social media. I am no longer a student at Boston University. Truth be told, I began posting on this blog and transformed it to “Mel Takes Boston” two summers ago to basically give myself the courage I needed to pick myself up from where I was and launch myself forward. I was so scared. I cried almost every other night that summer of 2012 when I decided to transfer into BU. I questioned my decision daily and I feared so much. The people closest to me were concerned about my lavish decision, and that really didn’t help make it any easier. Yet, deep down something in me knew I had to pursue this acceptance and take on Boston University’s College of Communication. You see, my heart was begging for an escape and I never thought that it could fully mend, but not until the last month of my two year journey did it heal. I fell in love. Almost altogether I fell in love with the apartment I lived in and its magical view, the best friends I had at my side almost daily, the fine education I excelled at, the dream that turned itself into a reality with the promise of my first real TV reporting gig and my current leading man. If that wasn’t enough- I fell in love with the kind city that turned out to be not so scary and intimidating after all, I fell for the people and their support, I fell in love with a city in wake of its most painful tragedy. My heart felt so much in the past two years that in the last coming month the most incredible thing occurred. I felt my heart outpour with love.

For all you skeptics- I’ve been trying to shake off my recent love daze, and so I waited before I would write this final post. Yet, somehow I cannot shake this overwhelming feeling off. And it’s so great that I am filled with joy and able to share it. I tend to be an idealist, yet I was raised by a family of realists. I try often to remind myself that it’s impossible for this happiness to continue and that at some point it will end. You see, that’s where the realist side of me is mistaken. People who are realistic are not emotionless. For awhile I was saddened by my upcoming graduation that it was painful to be around me. In my mind I considered the day after I graduated and left Boston that this whole reality would come to an end and I could never get it back. But, after some good counseling with my best friend and lots of prayers and well wishes. I realized that no Melissa, no one is dying after all. BU will continue to exist and the city of Boston will always flourish tulips in the spring. I could stay talking to my friends day after day. I could keep on loving. I can now use my useful education and skills to my advantage. And all that love can be channeled and spread to others. No one has to say a painful goodbye.

The incredible studio apartment I lived in during my last year at BU. I was a Resident Assitant at the beloved Stuvi2 on-campus housing.

The incredible studio apartment I lived in during my last year at BU. I was a Resident Assistant at the beloved Stuvi2 on-campus housing.

And as I try not to make this post a diary entry, I own up to the fact that this whole blog began as just that. It was a way where I could write out my feelings in a presentable fashion and be able to own what I felt. I owned the hard times. I owned the successes and owned the journey. In retrospect this blog was created to solely benefit me, and the fact that today I get hundreds of views on my posts is first of all nice– I deeply appreciate my audience– but more importantly it has shown me that THIS is what I want to do. I want to be able to produce work that inspires others and in turn causes them to act and inspire those around them. I graduated high school in 2010 from John A. Ferguson Senior High after three years as the morning announcements anchor. When I graduated I wanted to be a journalist so I could create positive change in the world. Four years later after two hardworking years at Miami Dade College and two final years at Boston University, I am graduating with the same pursuit. I want to be a journalist because I truly believe that I have the capacity to do good for the world. And there’s really no denying that.

As I move onto my next journey in West Texas. I will be joining the CBS affiliate in Lubbock, TX as a general assignment reporter for their evening newscasts. I am thrilled and ready to take Texas.

Stay tuned, my friends. #MelTakesTexas

 

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Happy Mother’s Day Mrs. Adan

For those of you who don’t know my mom: Mrs. Adan, is a well-known and beloved high school math teacher. Impressive, right? High school math. Yeah, tell me about. I personally do not know anyone who could teach rowdy sixteen through eighteen year olds better than her. I’ve had the pleasure of growing up with a teacher. One who does a lot of nurturing not just within our home but, throughout her daily life.

Mrs. Adan, well respected math teacher and more importantly- my mom.

Mrs. Adan, well respected math teacher and more importantly- my mom.

I remember in the third grade playing pretend doctor with my mom’s first class of 7th grade math students. I had just gotten back from my father’s Take Your Child to Work Day and I had a nice plastic stethoscope and a funny pen syringe. Her students treated me like their little sister, I loved it. The attention was always so warming. Later, would I grow up to realize the impact my mother had on so many young people’s lives. Years and years would pass by and as my sister and I got older so did the grades my mother taught. I always joked that her students aged alongside my sister and I. I believe it made such a difference in her teaching. Every time she finished an academic year I felt as if I had inherited more brothers and sisters. Every year that went on her classes not only successfully taught you how to factor and figure out store discount prices in your head, but she taught these teenagers how to also respect others, how to behave and my favorite- how to believe in yourself.

Me, my mom and older sister Lilly

Me, my mom and older sister Lilly

Growing up with Mrs. Adan was a privilege, this is a woman who has devoted her last plus 20 years of life to my older sister and I. I have a mother who encouraged studying over parties, jobs over boyfriends and her personal favorite diplomas over grandchildren. My mom with the help of our father instilled in my sister and I that we had great potential to choose a career path we wanted and pursue it whole heartedly. I’m not sure how they both deduced that we would come so far. In a month I will have graduated with my bachelor’s degree from a fantastic university and begin my first job as a television reporter and my sister, a c/0 2012 UF grad will move on to tackling Veterinary school.  And how did we get here? Support, love and endless devotion has facilitated this. But the heart of it has always been education. It has always been about nurturing a strong mind, with strong values and principles.

Mom

My Mom

Today I shine light on the mother Mrs. Adan has been not only to me and my sister, but to all those who’ve had the distinct pleasure of having her as a teacher, colleague, relative or friend. So many people I know whether you are 16 or 52, look up to her and respect her and it is without a doubt due to the grandiose woman she is.

As you celebrate today with your mother (no matter how far apart). Remember, why your mother is so special to you and so many others. And then bask on the joy that she is yours. Happy Mother’s Day to the superwoman known as Mrs. Adan.

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2,215 Miles Away from Venezuela– (Boston to Caracas)

In early February of 2014 massive protests broke out in the streets of Caracas, Venezuela. Why did they start? Where did this angst come from? And how long would they last? Tension kept growing and three months later the unrest in Venezuela is still an ongoing situation. The violence in the Latin American country has not settled and attention is just not a priority for mainstream media. Articles have surfaced, photographers have visited and few organizations have paid close attention to the country’s distress. For a very informative and in-depth coverage on the crisis in Venezuela I urge you to watch the ABC and Univision joint-venture- Fusion‘s #SOSVenezuela documentary by Mariana Atencio. (http://fusion.net/Culture/video/sosvenezuela-fusions-mariana-atencio-takes-us-inside-situation-540484) The documentary does a great job breaking down the specifics of what’s on-going in the country.

As for me, I was heavy hearted reading and hearing the news about Venezuela. I was born in Miami, FL from Cuban parents who left their country to escape communism. This perspective gives me a level of understanding of what horror can unfold in your homeland right before your eyes. Additionally, I grew up living amongst many Venezuelans and have so many friends from the region. Studying in Boston it never occurred to me how large the Venezuelan population is here either. When protests began in the South American country they had an immediate ripple affect here in Boston. Many young Bostonians (primarily Venezuelans studying in this rich academic city) began social media campaigns to foster support for their beloved country. These grassroots efforts were contagious and caused lots of acton in Boston.

My video follows the Bostonian perspective of immigrants, students, families and professors on their plight to a peaceful Venezuela.

#SOSVenezuela

And without further ado, here’s my story:

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My significance of Boston One Year Later

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Today marked the one year anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon that went wrong. It was my first Marathon. This evening I was in COM editing my report of the year anniversary tribute that was held at Hynes Convention Center. The ceremony was attended by VP Joe Biden, survivors and the men and women who were on the scene and helped that day. While I was editing I was watching clips from speakers at the event. I heard survivors who have lost legs say how blessed they were for all the support they have received and asked for people wanting to help, to reach out and help out others in need in your community. I heard many share with pride how incredible the strength of this country and its people is. While going through the footage, my phone buzzed and I saw that a classmate/colleague of mine tweeted out: A year ago today, almost to the hour, I learned who Carlos Arredondo is thanks to & . I thought to myself— damn, he’s right. I was emotional and clicked the next speech, it was that of Patrick Downes where he shares how proud he is to be a Bostonian. His last words, left me sobbing in the edit lab. The impact that the Boston Marathon of 2013 has on me is huge. You see, because I remember exactly a year ago at about the time I was crying in the edit lab is when I was sitting in my former dorm room, very focused, editing my report of the Boston Marathon tragedy and sharing my interview with Carlos— someone who today was recognized by the Vice President as a man who ran to danger and helped in a time of crisis. I met Carlos on the street that afternoon, unexpectedly with my friend and then colleague Seline Jung. Had it not been for the way Carlos spoke, the accent I am all too familiar with— the one that reminds me of my father’s. Had it not been for what I heard, would I have not begun speaking Spanish and captured his attention. I met him with the best intentions and he clearly saw that because I still wonder why he stopped to talk. And it’s easy to conclude that the man who helps, just doesn’t stop helping.  I took a moment to wipe my tears and let that moment sink in for me. Forever in my heart and memory is this event, marked for me with the experience as a young journalist. During those weeks that lay ahead last year’s battle finally one day brought so much aid to my heart… and that was one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written: Why meeting Anderson Cooper was not the highlight of my night. So, as I proceeded to respond to my classmate’s tweet and finally dried off my cheeks, I will never lose sight of how much this day impacted me. And I find myself a year later spending another late evening working on a story (The Globe said it best) I wish would have never happened.

Here’s my story:

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My late night advice to calm those Senior nerves

I legitimately want to write some kind of advice for seniors out there.
It’s okay to be crazy.
It’s okay to question life, your career path, your love life, your friends and family, the reason why you ever cared about a GPA, why tequila shots are so appealing, just why!
Because no one has it all together. No one. No one gets it ALL. Everyone is searching. Some people have too high of an ego to admit it. Some should stop being so hard on themselves. Others are aware. But, if you’re not going crazy- maybe you aren’t aware of the selfishness that is going on. Seniors selfish to get ahead in their career. Selfish to get the highest exam score in the class (except by now I’m positive no senior is left in this category, only the will to pass exists). Selfish to get hitched with the most eligible bachelor/ette forever or with the intention of the complete opposite of forever.
So, when you’re swimming in a sea of fish that are only worried about themselves. Stop. And you stop worrying about yourself too. I swear- just keep swimming.
Lose those worries, because when you’re just swimming and you have brief moments of clarity THOSE are good. And those moments are what helps guide you. They remind you. They are what tell you what’s important, who truly has meaning to you, and how you can go about your next steps in life.
That is what calms me, soothes my soul and reminds me that it will all be okay.
A job will eventually come. Someone that values you and respects you will exist in your life. You will graduate. And most of all those that love you, will be there to remind you even when you’ve think you’ve lost it all, that you are still loved.

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