Tag Archives: writing

The Crowning Achievement

This was the aftermath on Sunday night after submitting my Capstone. At this point, I was exhausted, worried, and beyond stressed out.


It’s over. The end of my Capstone was just as chaotic as my desk at the end of the night on Sunday. It ‘s hard for me to admit that it’s all over.

I waited a few days to announce anything, in fear that I wasn’t going to pass. Waiting for the grade to post officially, although I have been informed that I passed.

I couldn’t help but wonder, why I felt so many emotions?  Is this how I am supposed to feel after an achievement of this magnitude?! The mixed feelings that have accompanied me by finishing this degree: relief, disbelief, remorse, pride, excitement, and fear. The clearest of all is the familiar feeling of being lost. What am I going to do now? Should I intern? Do I get a J-O-B? (I mean, let’s be real, those school loans aren’t going to pay for themselves, right?) Do I create jingles? (I do love commercials) Should I write songs? (Although, I can’t play any instruments.) Should I freelance? Maybe I should write for television?

The possibilities are endless, and the unknown is exciting.

Being able to complete this, wasn’t a mission in solitude. It required a lot of emotional support. Many pep talks, Hundreds of liters of coffee, bowls full of Sabra hummus, hugs, shoulders to cry on, out of state and international calls, threats, and let’s not forget the editing!

I wanted to take a moment to say  “Thank you”! For the coffee, the words of encouragement, the threats (yes, threat, not treats), the hugs and the long phone calls. There are too many people to mention! But I know that I have an amazing group of people that support me, support my writing and believe in me. Honestly, I don’t even know how I got to be this lucky.

So, as the final words of my academic career at the University of Denver say:

“I have mentioned before, that like the monsters, myths, and folklore I believe in, I want to be a monster at what I do.”

I hope I’m able to accomplish just that.





The Mid Year Resolutions…

This year I started out with big plans.

-Be Healthy-Read More-Clear Shitty Debt-Write More-Be Happy

At first it started well. I ate healthy food but somewhere down the line, I caught myself only eating snacks (I’d like to blame this on Grad school). I read more. But I read more just for school and I found myself only reading one book from Bustle’s list. (I read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and that’s because it was assigned). As I subbed more, I started clearing shitty debt. But somehow, I charged my cards up again…(DAMN you KOHL’S & HomeGoods…why is your stuff so awesome? I just can’t stay away.) Wrote more for school,but I wanted to write more for myself. (As you can tell, I haven’t been able to blog much at all this year!) Finally, I’m happy overall. I have met a few people that really keep me motivated. But I am overly stressed and really exhausted. These first five months have been busy, and being happy isn’t just about the people I’m surrounded by, but tackling work in a stress free manner.

I’m doing Mid Year Resolutions. Yeah…maybe this is a bit dumb. Maybe I’ve lost my shit. But not working on a Capstone in the summer; not graduating and not subbing… changes things. The kid’s defeated. I need a do over or at the very least work on myself. Lets take it back to the start.

So… here is to a half year of No Fucks Given… And the rest of my Summer List.

Wish me luck this time.

Do you have any goals you wish you would have kept up with? Were all of your New Year Resolutions successful? If so, which?









Happy New Year?

I know… I’ve been away. After Fall quarter, I decided I needed a writing break and thought I would pick it up at the beginning of 2016. The holidays are stressful; so much pressure since everyone has such high expectations. I knew the beginning of January was going to be busy (since my Winter quarter started January 4th). This year, like every other year, I have New Years Resolutions, in hopes that it will make me the ideal adult. Here is the kicker: Expectations of resolutions, like the holidays, are too high. There is so much pressure to lose weight; be debt free; buy a home; be nicer…that people get burned out. (You know that if you’re reading this, you agree!). So… in honor of the busy “beginning of the year” gym days (and school starting; my extra subbing and making detailed lists of what I want to accomplish and how I am going to accomplish this…) I decided to wait. Yup… Wait! At first I thought January 15th is the perfect day to start my Resolutions, but due to the Gym still being full; unexpected company and a random foot dilemma, I decided to push back until the 21st. So today it begins: “The List of What Johana Hopes to Accomplish this Year”… Ready?

Be Healthy

I’m 31. I don’t know how I got here and most of the time it’s so automatic for me to resent the idea of getting older. I want to drink like I’m 21; smoke like I’m 18; jump and run like I’m five and stay up all night like an infant. It’s time to Adult. My goal is the never ending struggle I have with losing weight. Not because it’s the trendy goal, but because it’s important for my heart, for my knees, for my future un-conceived children but most important because I love clothing! I need to take vitamins, watch what I eat, sleep more.


My best friend Jill says she admires how much I read. I read a lot of: blogs, art books, articles on art and culture, travel articles and text books. I hardly get to read books that I want to read or any books I will grow from. This year I’ve decided to read Bustle’s “20 Classic And Important Books That Will Make You Feel Well-Read, Even If They’re The Only Ones You Read”. Some of these I have already read, but I know there are a few that I have never even touched, that I should have read, like “Moby Dick” “Tale of Two Cities” and “Beloved”… Shame on me.

Clear Shitty Debt

Debt is inevitable. Realistically, like other 30 nothings, I have school loans and car loans, but you know what I mean by shitty debt. Shitty debt: Store cards that give “30 percent off on the first day of use” but then bite you in the ass with a 23.99% APR. WTF was I thinking? I want to pay these suckers off! Instead, I want to have one credit card for Emergencies (and preferably one that will give me miles! I have places I want to see…Amsterdam, Korea, Machu Picchu, India)


I don’t write enough for myself. I write a ton for school, but I never find the time to write on here or short stories or ideas of my own. I need to write more, without constantly being given ideas. I have ideas; maybe they aren’t all panned out, but they could lead to great ideas.

Be Happy

Finally, this is the most important one. All of the above will help me, but I need to stop letting irrelevant people, doormat me. I want to be surround by people who are going to praise me. For the individual I am; for the individual I am striving to be. I don’t need toxicity.

So… here is to a year of No Fucks Given. To a year with better health, more money and more literature & compositions.

What are your goals? Have anything new panned out for 2016? Share it!




The phrase “You’ve got time” is a double-edged sword. It has recently been added to my short list of hated phrases.

I have time.

I have time to travel; time to read everything that has been on hold since I’ve been in school; time to be published; time to become a great writer; time to save money; time to find Myself and a career that will combine passion and financial security. But this way of thinking is what keeps me from accomplishing these goals. Worse of all, it keeps me from focusing on what is important. I’m writing this post, on the basis of feeling grief, sorrow, sympathy and remorse.

When Jaime and I moved back from Germany, we both thought, “We have nothing but time now”. I have time to work on Grad school, get a job, save money to buy a house and this has transpired. I’m not complaining, but when everything is going to plan, we forget about the unexpected. As I write this, I feel a bit silly because I’m writing about how much time we have, but how much time do we dedicate spending it doing something important or visiting the ones we love?

On August 12th, Jaime’s aunt, a woman who he considered his second mother, but most importantly a woman I considered my friend, passed away. Judy Richter was a brave woman; she lost her legs and half of her abdomen as an adolescent. And although this occurred, this privation was not enough to keep my strong willed friend from pursing a college education or from following her dreams of working with children. Doing all of this, while commuting on public transportation.She truly was an inspiration, she had a positive outlook and did not allow anyone to have pity for her and these were all qualities that I admired.


On our way home from the hospital after Judy had passed away, Jaime admitted to me that he believes Judy cheated death on more than one occasion. I believe this conclusion gives my husband comfort. Judy not only lost her legs in her youth but was also a cancer survivor…not once, but twice.

Judy, it’s almost been a month since we watched you leave us and I still have a hard time believing it. I wanted to take an opportunity to say Thank You. Thank you for supporting us; Thank you for accepting me; Thank you for supporting my writing and loving it; Thank you for supporting my crazy endeavors, but most importantly for being such an amazing woman in my husband’s life. Thank you for always setting him straight when he was out of line; for hearing him out whenever he needed to talk and thank you for always letting us know, that no matter what, you loved us. We love you too.

So…Time. It’s precious and we often take it for granted. We focus on being connected with Facebook, phones at dinner tables, etc. I get it, spending time together,  but not really together. I know what needs to be said is “Yeah, you got time”,  just don’t forget about the unexpected.