Hi! This is Ariana.
Truly I have a different birth name but Ariana came to me the other day and stuck and therefore I am called to use it right here in this about page.
Through life trials, I have learned to protect some things. Ariana is my blanket of protection for this site.
I haven’t always been wealthy. As a matter of a fact, I use to live in a other people’s homes and at one point, I literally was working full time to buy 50 cent cans of Tuna (can you guess what year they were 50 cent?) to feed myself. I’ve been on the road and in the air not knowing where my head would lie next at least two times in my life.
I literally have lived in the UPS and DOWNS of life. How can I be a motivational speaker?
I’ve been the victim of domestic violence, date raped (so they say), featured in a porn video (not with a sound mind), addicted to drugs, addicted to alcohol (Not real sure on the addiction part because I have never had to go back to it since I’ve stopped), chain smoked cigarettes, overweight, underweight, overweight (again), homeless, in a tornado (twice), bullied, harassed, the list goes on and on. You think about it, you wonder if I’ve done it……my answer is probably yes….crazy right? (Except…I have never ever ever done those really bad drugs…if there is such a thing and yes..that matters to me that you know that…because although I’ve struggled..I do not know that struggle and therefore will never claim that I know what someone is going through when battling those particular demons)
How can I even be here writing a blog while sitting in a garden tube in a 200,000 dollar home and have all that?
Well…I’ll tell you eventually…and no..I’m not going to tell you Jesus saved me. (sorry Jesus people…that’s not the faith I prescribe to). However….you may believe that Jesus saved me. I’m fine with that. LOVE saved me every time and some people call this energy of LOVE…GOD. I’m fine with that too. :)
I do believe there has been an angel or the energy of an angel. I will wholeheartedly admit that!
What else about me?
Credentials? I use to be a First Responder and I saved a woman’s life once in Erie…that was all I needed. I have a Master’s Degree plus over 90 additional credits. Master’s in Education, Minor in Ceramics and a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts [I’ve trained with guys from Disney, Veggie Tails and The Simpsons! (The Simpson’s guy is interesting)]
I’ve lived in Germany and several other places in my youth…(not by choice). I’ve been to Dachau and that forever changed me. The feeling there was the exact same I felt when photographing the Oklahoma Bombing Site several years ago. Your soul knows something happened and Hallow Grounds have a Spirit for sure.
I’ve been engaged, I’m been emotionally abused, I’ve been a teacher (yes…certified) of: (Art, Health, Biology, Earth/Space Science, Physical Science, Environmental Science, Outdoor Recreation (like Kayaking, [whitewater and touring]), and probably more…but my brain (as if you can’t see) is kind of full. :)
I left teaching after I was assaulted by a student. In those months following teaching, I put forth my best efforts to try and leave a lasting impression of “You can do anything if you just set your mind to it” to my students. This blog is a part of that mission.
We’ve had kids bring guns, knives and their fists to school. I was there. I survived. Anyone that tells you teaching isn’t a battle field is sorely mistaking. It’s not the one that our Armed Forces are fighting at, but schools are very important battle field nonetheless. What happens in schools, changes all of our futures for generations to come for a very long time.
I’ve handed out random flowers to people in a mall on Christmas Eve just to make people smile. I’ve drawn sidewalk chalk drawings of famous artist paintings on a Friday Night just to teach the public about Art…why? I was drawn to do so is the only answer I have.
I’ve gone skydiving (twice), whitewater kayaked, touring kayaked, spelunked (caving), Backpacked and slept several miles in the deep woods, SCUBA, I’ve riden over 100 miles in ONE DAY in South Lake Tahoe, CA. I’ve been less than 20 feet from a wild black bear, and I’ve brushed feet with two wild wolves, I’ve been in a group of kids who were all being stung by ground bees and all got stung…except me. I’ve never in my life been stung by a bee but I am deathly afraid of them because of what I’ve seen. I’ve even held a bee in my bare hands because I was told, when I was young, that the fat ones with white abdomens don’t sting.
Rockclimbing. Oh man. I loved that. I loved to lead climb. It’s magical. Everyone should find something like that in their lives. Ice climbing, Mountaineering.
Wow. Recently I have been nicknamed the “wowman” because I’m a woman and I have done so many things.
AS I’m reading it now, it almost sounds impossible….but it’s not. IT’S NOT….and it’s not too late for you to do these things either.
You know what? I’m still not done. I still have so much to do. I don’t know why. I just do.
I have won a gold metal in my state for my division/weight class for wrestling (women’s freestyle) and I was one of the two record breaking girl pole vaultors in the State of PA. There is just something about walking a different path that has always shown me some cool stuff.
I’ve brushed with fame too.
I’ve shaken Gordan Ramsey’s Hand(and ironically was forced to eat Wendy’s because he shut the place down due to moldy marinara) and I’ve seen Dave Letterman Live. There’s a few comedian’s I’ve seen live too..but I can’t remember who..I’d have to ask my husband!
You know that Josh Koscheck guy? I’ve literally carried him on my back during wrestling practice. Now don’t get confused…I’m not a guy. I’m a wowman. Always have been and always will be. Dunno why…but I’m beginning to find out.
No one has ever hear of a woman carrying Josh Koscheck because he is one of those MMA fighters or something like that….I’m not really sure because I haven’t had time to look into it. From what I hear, he is doing really well. Perhaps my little bit of relentless refusal to give up carrying him around that wrestling mat inspired him a little? Who knows?
It surely inspires me to know that he is doing well…especially coming from the PA town he came from. I’ve been there with an old school mate of his (Bo Bedilion) and I have to say…aye aye aye. I’m sure it’s changed…but I don’t know. Western Pennsylvania is a very different place. It is not as Global in the small towns around Pittsburgh and nowhere near as accepting as Chicago (probably one of the coolest cities I have EVER been to). No wonder Oprah (meeting her is on my bucket list…along with the dahlia lahma…and Robin Williams…man was I mad when he died) loves it! It’s amazing!
My other brushes with fame? At Bonaroo, I got almost ran over (they bumped into me) by the very drunken Los Lonely Boys in a gulf cart (some crazy fans told me it was them and almost died). It was the summer they became famous.
I’ve met this guy named “Trevor” from a soap Opera…he came up IN A LIMOUSINE!!! to the Taco Bell I worked at with a body guard wearing jump pants like MC Hammer who was shocked I had no clue who he was…but the woman in line after him sure as heck did. I’ve never seen anyone act so crazy. He was doing some sort of advertising for a Hair place…I think it was Famous Hair..but I’m not sure. He handed out these cards that said: “You and me make Trever together” Personally not something I would do…it’s so weird. Days of our lives? I have no clue. I can’t remember.
If you know him, I’ve shaken hands with Xavier Rudd…one of my all time favorite hippie one man shows. And I’ve hugged The Doobie Brothers at a concert in Somerset at Seven Springs. Funny stuff. I had no idea what a doobie was until I met them.
My point in telling you all this? Anything is possible in life….really…you can brush with fame, jump out of plans and do anything in this life you want. You REALLY REally CAN!
It’s the times in my life that boost me when I’ve faced hard challenges. So I welcome them with open arms (don’t get me wrong…I do get stuck in life sometimes…but I recognize the message when LOVE sends a message for me to get the hell out of there).
As I write this blog, I have committed to leaving my teaching job and have vowed to never go back unless I’m going back to show them what is possible. If Christina Aguilera went through that school and left and came out on the other end….well so can I. That school beat me down (but I probably let it…isn’t that fair to take some blame? I dunno)
IT was in the same school that Aguilera was bullied that I, as a teacher, was assaulted. So, you could look at that school as a place that is no good and has nothing to offer….
You could look at it as an opportunity to launch in a new direction …of which would not be possible had I not taught at that school. Rochester. I survived.
If you are going to Rochester right now, please know that you can survive too. LIfe is full of wonderful things outside those walls (I’m not saying that they are within the wall either…but they are difficult to find if you don’t know what you’re looking for). There is an easier way.
Leaving Rochester just like Christina Aguilera did is one of the pivotal moments of my life.
It’s what brought me here.
So..that’s my about page. Please don’t’ think I’m bragging…it’s an about page..and quite honestly..I had no idea the massive amount of things I’ve done because I’ve never written them all done in one place before.
The scary thing is that there are things I’m sure I have forgotten…and to that…I say…I sure do hope someone remembers for me…because I do enjoy being reminded of the times that I attacked Richard Nickel at a bar in Edinboro wearing a purple hippo suit on halloween that I made because that’s how much I love hippos. If I remember anything else…I’ll be sure to write about it here….because, although I didn’t realize it, I have really done some amazing things in life so far. How did I forget?
All this…all my life and it has led me to come up with a central theme that always always holds true since I realized it:
YOUR LIFE. YOUR MOVIE.
You get to decide who the heroes are and you get to get rid of the villains. Your are the producer, the actor and the editor! Isn’t that cool?
Thank you Word Press for encouraging this About Page and Thank you Brad Campbell and Dan Klein of Jobkilling for teaching me how to do exactly what I’m doing right now. I would never have remembered all of who I am without going through my trauma and your course!
I look forward to clinking juice glasses with you! :)
LIST OF MORE THINGS I REMEMBER ABOUT ME:
1. With a book I:
a. Taught myself to Juggle.
b. Learned how AND executed the large task of siding your own home.
c. Fixed my own washing machine (it had a bad bearing that was burning up the belt)
d. Installed a toilet wax ring