Hello 2017 it has been a while…

since I’ve posted, held my camera, shared my thoughts in virtual space, all that jazz I was regularly on board with, let’s say 5 years ago. This space was meant to be a platform to share anything and everything. As you do, life happens and the way life should look like by the time you reach a certain age (point) isn’t exactly what you expected.

53c5d1926c4292da26f8909b839097a9

“YOU GOT THIS” you sure do Ana (I would tell myself over and over again). This has been my mantra since I can remember. That internal voice, never mind the storm that is happening around you, somebody has to keep calm and collective. YES I was the ‘you got this’ girl, sister, daughter, friend, colleague.

Always quick to jump in, if not to land on the epi-center then I definitely landed close enough. Where am I going with this post? I guess what I’m trying to say is life up until now taught me to persevere, be strong, keep things together for everyone else. What about me? It’s OK to say you don’t have your shit together. And that was probably the most difficult part of my transition into the WOMAN that I am today. Letting go, letting God and letting myself know that I needed to look after me first before I can look after others.

most-motivation-quotes

Be the BEST Ana? If only I knew who that person was… 🙂

I set out to do just that. I had to re-connect and get to know the real me again. Who am I if I am not a daughter, sister, friend, neighbour or team member? Who am I if I am not a photographer, a people manager, communications specialist, an alumnus of education institutions? If I was all these things, is that the best version of me I have to offer to the world? Is it the best that I can offer life considering I have been blessed with a functioning body, a family who love me and supportive, loyal friends to last a lifetime. Surely I can do and be more 🙂

When I hear people say or repeat the above phrase I think of the fact that this is never-ending. It’s been 12 years since I left high school yet when I bump into old classmates or their parents I am reminded of who I was back then (don’t worry it was all cupcakes and rainbows lol). We’ll have the brief exchange of words and the phrase that makes me cringe is “Oh you’re still the same…”. Why do I cringe? because I was hoping that I wasn’t still the same. That somehow I have evolved from that young woman over the years.Then again people say the same thing with other encounters.. “oh they’re still the same…” actually no they’re not. Perhaps the person that has changed is YOU (BTW that’s a good thing!).

Yes I have changed and it’s taken a lot of chats with my best friend of 15 years (sister from another mister) to accept that the better version of Ana has been a work in progress and will never be complete because the process is on going 🙂

life

Where did I see myself at 30? I stopped asking myself these questions because at the end of the day, plans are only one route on a map of plans that lead to various destinations. I haven’t always made the boldest of choices but it has certainly shaped me into a version of me that I LOVE today!

In two weeks time, it will have been a year since I moved away from my hometown! January, 2016 I left all that was familiar, my comfort zone and set out to embrace the wind that is in Wellington. The girl with a plan had no plan – only this, I will couch surf at my mates, job search daily, see what comes up and maybe I will pursue that project I’d been holding off for so long! By the end of February I was signing a contract, in April I moved into a flatting situation with strangers, July I finally said good-bye to what seemed like a complicated long-term relationship, in August I had signed a lease to rent a place (to make my own) and December met two entrepreneurial pacific women who I am glad will be launching into that ‘project’ I’d been neglecting for such a long time! All of this in the midst of an emotional roller coaster: settling into a new community and being away from my family, feeling utterly independent (but really!). It was a good time to do plenty of reflection and just be still. I don’t think I’ve been still and quiet since… I can’t remember!

I survived it! Yes, because if you’ve made it this far, then there’s still plenty of where that came from. I welcomed 30, more content in my life choices, my self-worth and purpose more than I ever have before. Supposedly 30 is the new 21, I’ll let you know at 40:P

rob-siltanen-people-who-are-crazy-enough-to-change-the-world

My plan for 2017 is one of continued work in progress. I’m going to be even crazier and more weird. Why? All great things came from crazy ideas and it’s always the weird ones that see you more than you see yourself lol! Let your weird light shine to attract all the other weird stars in your night sky 🙂

When can I call myself a Wellingtonian? probably never. This place is definitely home now. What I’ll do next – it’s all up to him. Where God guides he surely provides. This I know to be 100% true. Well that’s me for now. Have a fantastic 2017 and fingers crossed this will not be the only blog post for the year lol!

Manuia 🙂

The Ugly Truth – By Emmes Ah Young – Guest Blog

Happy new year world wide web ! Here’s some Tuesday Truths for you – my beautiful cousin sharing the ugly truth in the most beautiful way 🙂

#ProjectLegsLikeMariah

Happy New Year everyone!

I trust that 2016 has well and truly started off with a bang for you all! #ProjectLegsLikeMariah is back, and I promised you something new and good, and here it is. Today features my very first guest blogger, her name is Emmes Ah Young, and her story is quite simply remarkable. This young woman has been through an incredible amount of pain, struggle, heartbreak and now, triumph, in overcoming situations that probably would have been the end of a lot of people.

I first came to learn about Emmes and her story on twitter, she shared snippets of it for us, but not in as much detail as she has done here. I’m so proud to know this beautiful young lady, she was so sweet, that she even sent me Easter eggs in Korea when I was loudly complaining about how Korea didn’t do Easter, and…

View original post 2,066 more words

Why? Why not?

I am sitting here wrapping up on end of year reports and reading all the wonderful updates of the Miss World 2015 pageant. I am bursting with pride and joy for Miss World Samoa’s ( tama’ita’i o Latafale Auva’a) current standings in the various categories.

I’m sure you can read up on those placings elsewhere – what I’d like to chat about is what this means for our young women. The aspiring Samoan teine (Samoan girl) or any daughter of the Pacific in terms of our place in society.

Now I’m only going to put out there my thoughts and welcome your manatu (thoughts) around women empowerment, challenges we face as a collective and our aspirations for tomorrow’s girl power!

This is not just for Pacific but I will only build context for thought around what I am most familiar with and that is who I am – a tama’ita’i Samoa (Samoan and female).

There was heated debates around how Latafale would get to Miss World and from the sounds of things not everyone was on board. I say good on her! These days the very communities (even families) can be the critics that hold back our young people from saying yes to new experiences. Why couldn’t Miss Samoa or any other Pacific beauty queen look beyond the Miss South Pacific crown and aim for what is generally perceived as being for ‘mainstream’ or my pet peeve ‘that is only for palagi’.

For those who know me personally (probably a good thing not many do :P) I am a free-spirit. You ask me about race and I say talk to me about the human race. You want to discuss religion why not talk about who is God to you because I want to imagine your God’s beauty. Not to compare but merely so I can experience you piece of heaven for moment. Yes – my openness to learn from another extends from my passion for education.

My dad (a man of many ‘worldly’ pieces of advice) always stressed to my sister and I the importance of being knowledgeable. Not to be a ‘matter-of-fact’ fiapoko kind of way. But knowledgeable to make informed decisions based on the endless possibilities that life has to offer. He was far from optimistic at times but perhaps he knew that in future everything would change. They sure have… in some cases they haven’t.

The thing is – Miss World Samoa’s participation is significant. How? it’s like every time a young man from South Auckland is selected for a representative side of rugby his status goes from low socio-economic upbringing destined for jail, pre-determined from stats on a paper kid to a potential legend of the sport provided that he is from similar stock as the very first kid that did just that!

Latafale’s progress in this pageant means other young women can now identify themselves as being future candidates. It’s like when Barack Obama went into office – for a number of years this seemed impossible. Even I was proud for a country that I’m not affiliated too. Why? because when you’re the first to get there – you have taken one for the team and brought to life the dream!

There’s so much to elaborate on in regards to how this makes me feel, think and know to be true for the future – but it would be great to talanoa (talk/chat) with anyone who thinks alike, differently or not at all.

Cold feet

This post is also to celebrate the positive vibes on my twitfeed. It is great to see more cohesiveness and less bitterness at one another. We can be so quick to put our peers down and for a change we are uplifting by celebrating the mini milestones in one’s journey.

Wishing you all a fantastic December – go Miss World Samoa, seki a oe 🙂

 

 

In another life…

i probably would’ve been a teacher, an astronaut, perhaps a lawyer or a forensic scientist. In my current life I juggle between various roles that lead me to one conclusion – that when the time comes and I leave this earth, I leave behind one that is a little better, a little wiser, a little more joyous, a little more peaceful than the one I’ve lived in.

Sharing time and space with the very people who will lead the next phase of this great journey called life definitely makes one of my roles a little more special. Aspire to inspire 🙂

Hope you’ve all had a great first quarter of the year. Yes. I think I’ll go and start on that newj year’s resolution now – you know the recurring to-do on my list lol – Bring on April!

The Future Is Bright!

Very yellow and bright ! Every year our family gather on my father’s side at my Aunt Luisa’s house. If you are in the country on January 2nd and not working then like my Uncle Henry says “there is no reason why you are to miss this once a year get together”.

Last year I took photos of a few of her gems in the garden (she is a florist by trade) and this year it nothing short of amazing with the bright colours of summer. How fitting as we look towards another new year! Wishing you all a bright and prosperous 2015 people of virtual space 🙂

10 Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30s

Fantastic read heading into the new year. No better time than now. Heading towards 30 and would like to tick off a few on this list before then. Adieu 2014 – hello 2015!

TIME

A couple weeks ago I turned 30. Leading up to my birthday I wrote a post on what I learned in my 20s.

But I did something else. I sent an email out to my subscribers (subscribe here) and asked readers age 37 and older what advice they would give their 30-year-old selves. The idea was that I would crowdsource the life experience from my older readership and create another article based on their collective wisdom.

The result was spectacular. I received over 600 responses, many of which were over a page in length. It took me a solid three days to read through them all and I was floored by the quality of insight people sent.

So first of all, a hearty thank you to all who contributed and helped create this article.

While going through the emails what surprised me the most was just how…

View original post 3,812 more words