Archive | May, 2011

Weekend In Review

30 May

This weekend has been a whirlwind. Family drama started up yet again on Friday and this time… it all came to a head. Without going into detail of my family drama, it was a rough day/weekend for all of us. It’s hard to watch someone you love not want to help themselves and try to destroy you in the process.

What this not so fab family drama did do was give me moment to pause. It gave me time to spend with my parents, to relax, and to think about where I have been going and where I might be going. I haven’t had a weekend like this in years. Normally I hate to spend time “alone” and let my thoughts just sit inside of me but I relished it this weekend. I take great comfort in knowing I found solace over the weekend.

Over the weekend, my anger slowly faded. This may have had to do with the sermon in church yesterday but I know I am still mad and upset, but not angry. I also appreciate my parents in many more ways than I did, or at least I realize now how much I appreciate them. They have done so much for me and my siblings, but for me they have supported me through undergrad and then three graduate programs, the occasional money loan; never asking for too much in return.

I don’t sit well for long, but this weekend I enjoyed sleeping and just sitting. I think after everything I have been through with getting through two graduate programs, works, and family drama lately I needed sleeping and sitting. The difference this time was I allowed my mind to wander and think about everything. Today, I found contentment in just sitting on the patio, in the sun, doing nothing! I just let myself feel the warmth on my face and the breeze blow through my hair.

Looking back at the weekend now the saddest part might have just been catching up on my DVR… that means I need to get busy again so I have more shows to watch when I just need to veg out. I am all caught up on the Real Housewives… and it kills me to watch an episode I can’t fast forward through, a downfall of watching TV shows on DVR now!

What I can say about this weekend in a hope to impart wisdom on my dear friends who read this – when you have alone time, family drama, or not… sit with yourself and your thoughts. Don’t push the thoughts away; let them simmer in your head, feel them. I somehow came out of this weekend a much stronger, enlightened person all because I felt what I needed to feel.

This may not have been the Memorial Day Weekend I planned – the trip to Florida or the road trip to Sturbridge which was a last-minute thought – but it was a really great Memorial Day Weekend; one I will cherish for years to come.

Graduation Day

18 May

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2002 I graduated from Simmons College, Boston, MA, with a degree in Public Relations and Marketing Communications. I never dreamed of continuing my education because in this field I figured all I would need is professional development. Well, I left Boston for a job in my hometown of Springfield, MA and soon realized I was bored. I had no friends except friends from work and those relationships were just starting. So when a graduate school college fair was in our cafeteria one day I decided to look into a program.

Things happened quickly and in less than 9 months since graduating from undergrad I was in school working towards a Master’s of Communications. I started and finished in 12 months. I was happy but realized this degree didn’t do much for me and I figured some day an MBA might be in order.

As you may have read I was laid off in 2008 and after sis months of looking for a job and then a looming recession I decided it was time to go into debt and works towards my MBA. Because I had one master’s I didn’t have to take the electives; however, Financial Aid said I wasn’t a full-time student without extra courses. So I took a few from the nonprofit program and was then convinced to take two more to get a certificate in NonProfit Management. And when in my first class was convinced to look into three more classes and making it a double master’s.

That is what I ended up doing. I spent a total of two years working for my MBA and a M.S. and today I have them. I didn’t plan anything but realized if I wanted to be marketable during the recession school was my only option besides being a full-time volunteer. And everything paid off, I have a wonderful job now and this past Sunday, May 15th, I walked with 689 other graduates. I wore both of my master’s hoods and while I only walked across stage once, they made a big deal about me and announced both degrees.

I felt extremely proud. I took a negative situation and turned it into a positive one, even though I wasn’t sure at sometimes just what I was doing. I was even more proud on this day because I have also become an Adjunct Professor at the same school I just graduated from, Bay Path College, and I got to see the seniors I taught walk across the stage and graduate. I made sure to hug each one of my on-campus students as they walked off stage; it was important for me to do. I wanted to hugmyonline students too but being online I didn’t really know what they looked like and didn’t want to mistake anyone. They all accomplished something huge; many of them had their own personal struggles and to know I was a part of their college career made me feel so proud.

I walked out of the building that day walking taller than ever before. Not only was I proud of my accomplishments over the past two years, I was proud of all my students and their accomplishments. Many of my friends who know me know I kid about it “being all about me” and yes, Sunday was about me but it was about more than me… it was about 690 graduates, some whose lives I touched, who are entering the world and ready to make history and to know I am part of that group but was also instrumental in some of these lives, I will forever be a proud graduate and never forget this day.

Thank you to all my friends and family who took this journey of self-discovery and self-realization with me. I am honored to have you in my life. ~xoxo

In Love With The Kennedys

3 May

I don’t know about you but since I was a little girl I loved all things Kennedy. Jackie Kennedy was, and still is, my icon. She is the one person in this world I wish I had the chance to know, interview, talk to, etc. I have always been in awe over the entire family; but she always struck me. Her style, her grace… through everything she endured she had an amazing demeanor about her; one I admire, one I wish to have.

In more recent years another Kennedy has struck me in similar ways, Victoria Reggie Kennedy the wife of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. She was a woman of grace and dignity. She married someone who right or wrong, has a colored past but she never seemed to let it bother her. Kennedy herself was an accomplished lawyer and truly seemed to be in love with her husband.

To my delight, Vicki Kennedy was the keynote speaker at the 16th Annual Bay Path Women’s Leadership Conference held April 29th. Being an alum of the college and in charge of Tweeting from the conference account for the day, I had backstage access and was able to meet Vicki Kennedy. When I met Vicki she shook my hand with a double hand shake – the one that comforts you when you meet someone, and complimented me on my dress. We took a picture and then she took a few minutes to chat with me, then I had to move on… apparently it wasn’t all about me, others wanted to meet her too! 😉

During her speech it was clear she loved her husband. There is a spark in someone’s eyes when they truly love someone – they lite up without even knowing it. Vicki had this spark when she spoke of her husband, you could tell she was in love with Teddy; it wasn’t for a name or status. I only wish to find the type of love she had.

After her speech – she was the closing keynote, I was able to chat with Vicki again; she even signed my conference program. I was so excited for her to sign my program I didn’t care she was spelling my name with a CH instead of a K. A friend, who was looking over my shoulder, pointed out the spelling error. Vicki felt awful and fixed it, then crossed it out and wrote “Oops…sorry.” Me, I didn’t care… I was just happy to have her sign something to my attention no matter how my name was spelled.

I have to be honest and admit – I tweeted, Facebooked, and texted a few friends about my meeting Vicki Kennedy. You could have thought she was Michelle Obama or a big celebrity for how I carried on about it but meeting a Kennedy, especially Vicki, really was a dream come true.

Still on my Kennedy high I realized I was able to watch the Kennedy miniseries which just came out, because it is on Comcast OnDemand. I didn’t watch it all, only episodes 1 and 2, but between meeting a Kennedy and then watching the story of the Kennedy’s and John and Jackie’s life… I was in heaven.

Who is that one person you really are in love with and want to meet? I am not talking Brad Pitt or George Clooney or Jennifer Anniston or Meghan Fox but that one person who truly makes an impact on your life in some way – whether style, iconic, trendsetter, innovator, etc. Who would rock your world if you met them?

Stella Got Her Groove Back

3 May

Okay, maybe not Stella more like Kristina got her groove back!!! Oh yeah, on vacation I certainly got my groove back. I am not sure if it was the tan, the ocean air, or the guys drinking too much but my BFF, Alissa, and I could not go anywhere without me getting hit on. And by no means am I complaining… I enjoyed every minute of it. There is one problem though… I came back home!

I met a really cute bartender/waiter who ignored the other five in our party. My drinks and shots were on him and the leftover pizza slice made its way to me… no one else was offered the leftovers. Oh, he even had them change the TV in front of us to the Lakers game so I could watch. And my disclaimer for my Celtics fans/lovers – I too love the Celtics but I am loving Lamar Odom these days because of the Kardashians.

Another night was spent with friends and one guy in particular went from sober to wasted in two/three hours….maybe less. And throughout the night he asked his friend to ask my friend, Alissa is I liked him… I felt like I was five years old again. And the next morning he called his friend again to ask if I was interested and he wanted to see me again. The funny thing is… I ignored the crap out of him!!! Literally when I realized he was wasted, plus I wasn’t interested in the first place, I really ignored him and was surprised at his behaviors. He was out with three others – his friend Gary, and Alissa and me. He would get Gary a drink or shots, but ignore Alissa and me. And he thinks I would be interested??? Doesn’t buy me a drink and wants to go out with me…hah!

In Atlanta for girls night while nothing happened I was being eyed by some guy at the bar where we were having dinner. Problem I have is, if you area guy alone at a bar on a Monday night I begin to wonder what the rest of your week looks like. Usually unless we do dinners with friends, the early week isn’t spent at a bar… typically the end of the week is. So when you start on a Monday I am a little skeptical; just sayin’. 

Why is it I go away on vacation, just like Stella, and have a blast with a select few men and then come back home and it’s life as usual? The guys, and sorry to my guy friends, in this area suck. But it wasn’t just I was getting attention in Florida that I haven’t gotten up here in western MA in a while but I felt like a new woman. So begs me to ask…can you only have your groove back when you go on vacation? Can you really bring your groove back from vacation with you?

While I won’t share the intimate details of “Kristina got her groove back,” do know it was fund while it lasted. And trying to plan another trip soon… gotta keep my groove going! 😉

Could a Vacation Change Your Future?

3 May

Okay, I had the best intentions to write this sooner…like on the plane ride home but somehow I booked myself with work non-stop the minute I got off the plane.

For the past two years I have been out straight with life. As mentioned in previous posts I was laid off in June 2008. I enjoyed a wonderful summer of vacationing in Lake George but then reality set in come September ’08 and I needed a job…but the recession was settling in too. Skipping ahead to January 2009 I enrolled in graduate school and then my life became non-stop with school every week, even the summers. So it is safe to say that from January 2009 until January 2011 I had no vacation. For New Year’s this year I spent three days in Atlanta but that was a whirlwind and truly made me want more.

In April I had my chance! I was so hungry for a longer vacation period after my trip in January I booked my April vacation in February. I planned on spending the Easter holiday in Atlanta where my BFF lives. And wouldn’t you know she surprises me and we end up spending three of my six days in Venice Beach, Florida.

And oh was Venice nice. As someone who was used to the west coast of Florida; my brother used to live in Palm Beach, this was the first time I was ever on the east coast. The sand was white, the water blue, and of course the sun was out. We spent every day, event Easter Sunday, on the beach tanning and then watch the sun literally melt into the ocean every night.

I spent my last two days in Atlanta and have found my BFF’s Atlanta friends and I get along so well it was like I lived there too. And we all text, Facebook, etc. when I am not there so to have Monday night dinner with the girls, all four of us, was so nice. It made me feel right at home and honestly made me question my future… where I want to finally settle down. While I have made a nice life for myself in western MA I am not sure I truly fit here. I think I am more of a big city girl…and I do love warm weather!

My vacation was one of the best yet because I was able to let the outside world go (okay it took my two full days to get off email) and I was with people I really wanted to be with, but it definitely made me think about my future… is that what a vacation is supposed to do? Has this ever happened to you – have you gone on vacation and wondered should I move, am I really living in the right place?

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