Category Archives: Inspire

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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Filed under BU, Inspire, Journalism, Life, Travel

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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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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Accepting

Accept. If more people accepted themselves and owned up to their inner self, less people would be so afraid to do what they truly are destined to do and be.

This past week I spent it at home and as always it’s wonderful to be with family and friends, but it’s also so sad to notice when they are struggling or hurting deep inside. When it’s your really close family members/ friends and you know how they are when they are well it’s difficult to see them when they aren’t at their highest. People are always going through something. We are always fighting some battle. There is always an obstacle in front of us, a challenge to take on. And it takes a lot on the inside to overcome those battles and not stay uplifted on the inside. What I’m really stressing is that the best solution you can take is to accept yourself. Accept those underlying feelings, those far out thoughts. Accept that intuition of yours, that determination and remind yourself that it will be worth it. Because if you are concerned that no one will agree with you, believe in you, trust in you or still care about you– know that when  you are the most honest version of yourself you are most open and agreeable to others.

There’s this undeniable tension I felt that I wish so many people I care for weren’t facing and it’s a constant struggle that all walks of people face. If you want to admit that you like him– do it! I think he’s a great person so, don’t be afraid how others will judge you. If you want to move out– send out those applications and when those acceptances come your way, because believe me they will– take the offer! If you feel compelled to move out, you must really listen to that part of you and fulfill your desires. If you want to be happier– take care of yourself first. By taking care of your health and appearance it will inadvertently effect the way others treat you and by way create more happiness in your life. If you want to dance on stage at the club– just ask, because I’m so glad I did.

I was told by a good friend this week that they choose to live their life accepting everything that comes their way. I am convinced in order to do so, you must accept yourself first. And I think that’s exactly how in a sense they saved them self. To all my friends and family drowning in their minds know that I will still believe in you and will accept you.

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Hoping your New Year’s Resolution has meaning

Happy New Year. I hope everyone rang in 2014 as pleasantly as possible. I saw some pretty cool pictures on social media over the past few days of different New Year’s traditions on how to celebrate the ending of one year to the next. From luggages to bonfires and grapes, I’d like to share my little tradition. For the past five years my best friend Danielle and I have written down an endless list of goals and wishes for the year, shoved them into a lime green Spacemaker pencil box, sealed the box tight with tape and thrown them to the back of her closet to wait until the following year to open. What started as a cool thing to do over a January meal has become our little tradition. What’s special about this is reading what your wrote down for yourself a year later and evaluating whether it came true, failed, was a silly wish or somehow it’s almost like you subconsciously predicted a year before what would happen to you. This year, Dani and I met at GreenStreet for breakfast. We looked back at 2013’s earlier goals and noticed that we both asked for a lot and wished for so much. We both shared to one another how the first half of our 2013 was rough, yet the year had a magical way of skyrocketing halfway through and providing us with an amazing ending. As we wrote our goals & wishes for 2014 we limited our list to 25 and within this we both included goals for ourselves, sisters, family and friends. From getting hired as a TV reporter to finding mental peace, my list for 2014 definitely shows growth. Suddenly, weighing a certain number and having a specific GPA is not relevant, at all.

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That’s a snapshot of me taken by my best friend at GreenStreet. Breakfast there is so great– highly recommended for food, drinks and atmosphere.

And now as 2014 is underway, I am glad Dani and I took a couple of hours to reflect on our year and not just ask for more, but be grateful for the abundance of blessings we receive and continue to. I hope that 2014 allows us both to contribute as much positivity as possible to those around us. With that, if you have not taken a second yet to reflect on 2013 do so and then remind yourself that there is a whole year waiting just for you. Godspeed 2014.

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January 5, 2014 · 2:28 am

Happy Sansgiving

From Miami surrounded by my Cuban family I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving or as the proud Miamians will say aloud “Hah-ppy Sans Giving!”

A year ago I turned to this blog monthly to share my experience from moving away or as sometimes I feel abroad (Note: moving out of Miami to anywhere else in the world leaves you feeling abroad as you go through culture shock). I have begun to accept things around me as normal and I am definitely feeling confident and proud as I roam Boston– I really can’t imagine why or when I was ever afraid of belonging. Naturally, after my crazy summer in New York City- not a second was dedicated to blogging my experience other than my Instagram pictures- I returned to Boston with a sense of belonging. A year later, here I am. Laughing at myself for thinking I’d “take Boston” yet, feeling as if I have. In May I will graduate from the beautiful Boston University (because it really is a very, very pretty school). And in just a year I can already notice the transformation it made in my life. As cheesy as this seems to be going, I’ll go there and admit that I am thankful for my education. I feel as if I have been given goggles that allow me to see the world in a way which many can’t. And Amen to that. I hope everyone can at least have a chance to try on these goggles, because what you will see is hard to explain, but how you will think will forever change.

I have an incredible view of Boston’s skyline from my BU apartment. It is very difficult to ever have a bad moment when looking out those windows.

As I lay in my bright purple sheets in my extremely girly room, I of course am thankful for my family. Blessed for their support and their belief in me. I am as always grateful for the colorful community I have around me in my hometown and for the tiny new one I am a part of in Boston.

A portrait of the women in my family including four generations from my mother’s side. (Left to right) My aunt Miriam, cousin Mei-Lyn, little me, great grandmother Ignacia, sister Lilly, cousin Annie, grandmother Mirtha, mom Mayda.

And here’s a shout out to the girl I was a year ago: thank you overly enthusiastic young Melissa for writing these posts and somehow trying to group your feelings. It allows me to never forget the huge decision I made and stuck with for the following two years of my life. Thank you for your courage and fearlessness and the woman you are becoming would have never felt so enlightened if it weren’t for you.

Be grateful, happy thanksgiving xox

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Why meeting Anderson Cooper was not the highlight of my night

Last night myself and my two colleagues and friends Hilary Ribons and Seline Jung met Anderson Cooper. Since the Boston Marathon bombing lots of big key figures have been in Boston, including big time journalists like Cooper. It was around 9:30 p.m. when Seline saw Anderson’s tweet. That’s it she said this is our moment to finally meet him. I excitedly agreed and figured we could find him, since earlier we had seen live trucks all over the city. I thought all we had to do was find that CNN live-truck van. After stalking out NBC, ABC and CNN news trucks and asking around we finally were told where Cooper was doing his live show. Like children let loose in a candy store we ran screaming and holding each others hands down the streets of Boston, really it was very much over the top. Luckily, when we neared the set and saw Anderson at work we simmered down and truly enjoyed the works of any live television production. Yes, we were excited when we said “Hi” and thanked him for his work, and then of course when he offered a photo-op! However, I must say that meeting Anderson Cooper was not the highlight of my night. And I am sure Mr. Cooper would agree with me as to why. If you have been following my work these past weeks. You are familiar with my video story about the Boston Marathon witness and hero Carlos Arredondo, which has received a lot of attention and has been featured on local Miami news stations as well as NBCLatino.com. Carlos’s story is special, so please check it out. So, after a week and a half that I met Carlos and worked on his story which he was so incredibly supportive and kind about (truly a journalists’ dream). I had to admit that my earlier encounter that evening meant so much more to me than meeting Anderson Cooper, and as a journalist I would like to say Cooper would agree. Lately, I have been learning that some stories I cover will never ever leave me, and it is actually an incredible thing.

Me posing with Anderson Cooper on his Thursday night's live 10 p.m. broadcast for CNN. PHOTO BY Seline Jung

Me posing with Anderson Cooper on his Thursday night’s live 10 p.m. broadcast for CNN. PHOTO BY Seline Jung

Earlier that evening around 7 p.m. I agreed to walk over to Bolyston Street with Hilary and Seline. Hilary led us to Copley plaza to see the memorial that has been set-up for the victims of the bombing. The memorial included the original barricades from the Marathon full of  posters, flowers, and supportive signs and trinkets. I even saw a few supportive signs from Miami. As we approached Copley I finally felt as if some closure reached me from the past couple of weeks because when we arrived Hilary thought she spotted Carlos, the man Seline and I interviewed. I instantly scanned the crowd until I bursted over to a man standing nicely dressed and showered, quite the difference from when I had met him covered in sweat and blood. To my surprise it was Carlos. I bolted forward to him and as he saw me, he smiled and embraced me. Once in his arms I must admit that I began to cry. No words came out— not like I even knew what to say, just tears. That man gently stood there and held me. I cannot explain, how someone who has gone through so much just allowed me to shed my tears. I felt a pang of guilt, but at the same time acknowledged the strength Carlos encapsulates. Soon after he introduced me to two people he was standing with, I began to tell him how his story was just played in my journalism school and he was elated. He told me that he was very happy to hear the video had done so well and received lots of praise and also told me how he knew I would be so successful. He continued to be very kind and warm, I was so happy to see him happy. Finally, for once I felt as if some sort of closure was brought to my journey during the 2013 Boston Marathon week. When we exchanged goodbyes I realized something important— our entire conversation happened in Spanish as it did the day I met him until he changed to English for the camera, I think that’s why he did not forget me.

The 2013 Boston Marathon memorial at Copley Square. PHOTO BY Melissa Adan.

The 2013 Boston Marathon memorial at Copley Square. PHOTO BY Melissa Adan.

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