Tag Archives: life

I Strive To Be Beautiful Every Day…

I strive to be beautiful every day.  No, not through make-up and hair products, through my actions.

I work as a therapist in a nursing home and by far, it has been the most life-changing experience, ever.  Now, to understand just how life-changing this was/is, we’ll need to flash back to last summer, June of 2014 to be exact.

Throughout my entire life I’ve always wanted to be a counselor or therapist of some sort.  Being in college opened my eyes to the world of social work.  I began college as and Education major, but didn’t like it… so naturally, I went back to my passion, social work.  I figured my main target audience would be children (as I worked in a day care for two years and started in education). But alas, I could not find any internships that 2014 summer.  I was so nervous I’d never find myself an internship.

Now, my mother works in Cedarbrook nursing home and said she could find me something there… uhhh, what?  Me?  In a nursing home?!  I didn’t even know the first thing about working with the elderly!  But, I was heading into my senior year of college with no internship experience, I was desperate.  A bit reluctantly, I took an internship in Cedarbrook Nursing Home’s Therapeutic Recreation department.


It was and still is the best experience I’ve ever gone through.  My residents teach me every single day that life is short and live and love every moment as much as I can; never take anything for granted.  I started appreciating every moment, every opportunity, and every day with every thing I had.  I never started yearning for more, but rather thanked God for what I had. They also taught me not to worry about the little things, but look at the whole picture: work towards what I want to do and don’t let people bother me.

Not to be morbid, but those residents are old and I don’t know how much time they’ll have left, so I always make my one-on-one conversations with them count.  I love them with everything I am; they have become my life.  I know it’s not appropriate in social work to get attached to your clients, but what can I say? I love them.  They’ve taught me so much about life and about love.

It was then and there (and presently, every day) that I learned I had so much to give to these residents that I never knew I even had.  I’m not bragging when I say this (I say this with the utmost humility) but I have had several residents tell me that I have made a difference in their lives’ and hearing that just overwhelms me with chills and emotions and it’s then that I know God put me there for a reason.

Long story short, I was hired as a Therapy Aide just after 2 weeks of interning.  I thank God for that and the differences I am able to make, the smiles I am able to put on my residents faces, and for the second chance I have gotten.  My second chance to work with the elderly, as when I was younger I didn’t fully appreciate my grandparents’ presence and I regret that so much.  But, I thoroughly believe God has put me in an environment such as this county nursing home so that I can have this second chance. Now, no, they are not my grandparents, but some of my 500+ residents feel like family to me and I have created such deep and unbreakable bonds with them and for that, I am so thankful.  I know my grandparents would forgive me for the time I missed out on and be proud of me as they look down on me from Heaven.

My grandparents were like second parents to me (as I probably have spent an equal amount of time at their house when I was younger as my own house, they watched me when my parents were gone, they acted as supplemental parents so my mom didn’t have to have the burden of watching me and my sister by herself, they took us shopping as my mother didn’t drive, and I was closer to them than my own father- hell, even my grandfather took me to a daddy/daughter night at my preschool), so nothing will be quite the same as them, but these residents teach me everyday that time is not endless and appreciate the time you have.  I can’t change the decisions I have made when I was younger, but I can make a difference and pave my future for a better life and a better tomorrow for not just myself, but for others and to make God happy.

So in all this ramble- Live each day helping others, and your beauty will shine through.

Smile and enjoy every moment,

Ms Ari Marie


Beyond Blessed

So, this past weekend I got to see my friend from Germany that I haven’t seen in about 3 years! It was a wonderful reunion and I could not be more blessed…

When I was a junior in high school back in 2009, I met a girl named Miriam from Bielefeld, Germany. Now, prior to meeting her, my grandfather (who’s German) told me that if I did well in school and graduated, as a graduation present he would take a trip to Germany with me because I couldn’t afford the school trip to Germany which ran around $3,500 and he himself wanted to visit. Well, unfortunately, my grandfather passed away in November of my junior year. Ironically, in January of my junior year, we got a foreign exchange student from Germany. I was like, this is unreal right now. I am a huge believer of signs and I knew this was one. So, I had to meet her. I weirdly (?) asked my english teacher if I could have my seat moved to sit by her, my  logic being that I knew how to speak German and could help her out… after all, this was an English class. So, it was made so. I way too excitedly introduced myself to her, my words probably slurring as I was speaking a mile a minute.

Long story, short, I started inviting her out for dinner and shopping, etc. and we became very close friends very fast. We kept in touch all that summer when she went back and we even sent packages back and forth. In one of my emails to her, I asked her if I could visit her and she very quickly and happily responded with yes! Which was even cooler was that I got to stay for a little over a month (the school trip was only a little less than a week 😛 ) and all I had to pay for was my plane ticket and bring spending money! I couldn’t have been more blessed in that way either. Someone was looking out for me!

Well, so my trip was in 2010, the summer of my senior year. She visited the United States my sophomore year of college in 2012 with her friend Caroline, who I met during my stay in Germany. I had no idea when I would see her again, until…

Now! In 2014. Her sister married an American man and they were living in Germany for a year and then decided to move over here permanently. I have a wonderful feeling I’ll be seeing her more now, especially more than only every 2 years 🙂

Anyway, we had a wonderful day filled with going out for lunch, shopping, and catching up! We will be hanging out again in a few days and I cannot wait! This is a friendship stronger than any I’ve had with anyone in the United States and that is so amazing to me. I am truly beyond blessed :,)


Until next time,

Ms Ari Marie