What’s in a Name: Failure or Success?

So as you know, I have decided to set out on a road to self-discovery (both domestically and internationally when my scheduled permits), as well as helping others. No family. No friends. No resources. No baggage. Just me, myself, and God. And of course, the wonderfully interesting individuals I will be so honored to meet along the way. Today, I was sitting down thinking about my upcoming plans. And I thought. I have so much that I plan to do. That I CHOOSE to do. And while I have already begun my “journey”, I wonder… Does my name affect the physical, mental, and spiritual part of me? So I searched for the meaning of my name… Nicola (aka Nicole): is a Latinised version of a Greek personal name (from the Greek Νικόλαος) derived from Nikos meaning “victory,” and laos meaning “people,” therefore implying the meaning “winner (victory) of the people.”

  • Clever, deep mind and the talent to excel in highly inspirational lines of endeavour as a dramatist, musician, writer, or artist.
  • You can be lifted by beauty in all forms and you are at the most creative when inspired.
  • Your expressive, affectionate nature responds very quickly through your feelings, but you must guard against being possessive and jealous.
  • You feel and sense much that you do not fully understand and cannot express.
  • Your delight in mystery could draw you into occult studies or religions.
  • Unfortunately, uncontrolled thoughts make it difficult for you to retain emotional stability, and prevent you from finding proper peace and relaxation.

There are many other sites that provide the meaning of Nicola, such as Seven Reflections, and they may go more into depth, but they pretty much provide the same perception. It is fascinatingly crazy how much the meaning of my name describes me. Every single bullet point reminds me of myself. At times I can be creative and artistic. But for the most part, my creativeness usually needs to be bred by inspiration in order for me to develop a successfully expressive piece. Or at least for me to truly appreciate the piece.

Other times I am ridiculously affectionate towards those close to me, and also those not so. And I have had my moments in the past of jealousy (during my insecure teenage years), and possessiveness (towards the people and things that matter to me). And though I was baptized into Christianity, and I do believe in God, I can admit that I believe there is a higher power (who I identify as “God” based on my background) and I have been considering Buddhism lately (I will post something in the future for sure about religion as its curious to me). And don’t forget my emotional stability. Laugh out loud.

When I am passionate about something, I just can’t stabilize myself. I am getting better at it though…finding peace and relaxation (YOGA is transcending *WINK*). One thing I can say and stand by. And this goes for the name and birthday books that also provide us with an entire breakdown of ourselves and who we are. No name nor birthday can define us. We are who we choose to be. Yes, there may be factors that contribute to our personality, such as likes, dislikes, temperaments, who we are attracted to, whether or not we prefer the indoors or outdoors, and much more. All of these characteristics or preferences might be partly innate or built on the developmental foundation established in our home. But it is truly OUR freedom to choose and decide what type of person we want to look like, feel like and act like that defines us.

For example, have you ever heard that people tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over, just in different fashions? Like the friend (who is considered a “good guy”) who chooses the same type of girl (unavailable and looking for a “bad guy”). Most likely, that friend is not choosing that unavailable girl because that is his personality and what he will always be programmed to do. He probably is just too insecure to realize and accept that he deserves true, unconditional, available friendship and love. And yes, such insecurities can be birthed from our exposures as a child or from that person that you thought was “good” and sincere who caused your first heartbreak.

But at the end of the day, we choose who we will let in our lives. We choose what decisions we will make the next go around. I am glad that I was inspired to discuss this topic because I have come across so many, including myself, who have subjected themselves to a life of repetitive self-destruction and ultimate unhappiness. Yes, life can bring some unexpected turns such as losing a loved one or being laid off from your job. And yes, such events can turn your world upside down and truly affect you in a way that, most would agree, gives you a pass to act depressed and inappropriate for awhile. But it is up to us how we decide to deal with our hardships, heartaches, and disappointments.

And don’t get me wrong. I am not implying that the obstacles in our life are as easy as getting over as us choosing to get over them. I am just saying you have a choice. You always have a choice. ‘It may not be a choice you like, but it is a choice’, inspired by LouAnne from Dangerous Minds. You can choose how you are going to let certain events affect your life (i.e. will you cry some then get up and look for another job, or are you going to go rob someone or decide to give up, move in with your parents and mooch off of them). Yes, all of these circumstances still kind of blows, but they are YOUR choice.

While I have my good and bad days. I can honestly say that I am pretty happy and so appreciative of the life I have been granted. But I am not sure if I have ever experienced undeniable joy. And I REALLY want to experience it. Even if for only 1 day. I am learning more and more every day that I have to speak positive reinforcements into my spiritual, so I can look and feel better mentally and physically. It is not an easy task… So all you can do is make a promise to yourself that you will find a way to relaxation and peace, whether it be yoga, or practicing Buddhism or meditation. Or maybe you enjoy cooking or driving to the beach and reading an interesting book. It is up to you to determine if you will allow for the people who raised you, or a meaning of a name or birthday to define who you are and who you are capable of becoming. What does your name mean? Is your name preventing your success and happiness in life? Is your name the best for your inner potential? Have you ever considered changing your name due to the affects of the meaning of your name? Do Tell Nicola…

You might also be interested in my other posts…The Maggot Dream and Change of Pace and Place. I hope you make the right choice for you 🙂 Good Luck!!

Deciding when it’s Time for a Change of Pace and Place

Has someone close to you ever said something like, “When it’s the right time for a change, you’ll know. And no one will be able to tell you otherwise“?

For some, it is an inquisitive thought tickling those adventurous curiosities, anticipating the opportunity to live carelessly and vicariously through the eyes of your other (inner true) self, like the explorative kitten or baby impatiently waiting for something or someone new to see, taste, feel and experience, with no fears of consequences or shame. For many, this feeling can seem like an overwhelming cloud of sadness, anger, insecurities, and regret, weighing on you each day, telling you that the life you’re living isn’t really the one you were meant to live. And for those few others, who are blessed with the life-changing occurrence of discovering the magic bestowed within them the day they became a reality of existence. The thoughts, feelings and occurrences of change can come with notice or unexpectedly. It is up to you to determine if you will take heed to it’s advice…

The mysteriously colorful journey on the road to changing paces and places brings about the possibilities of the same change and evolution we all seek at one point or another. The change that will breed the opportunity for us to be someone else, live somewhere new, meet people (un)like ourselves, and set goals that we hope will bring about a life where the fears and consequences of sadness, anger, insecurity, pain, and regret cannot survive. Life is full of change, even though we may not even realize the change occurring because we are too consumed with our everyday struggles and lack of focus on achieving the life and potential that we were born to lead.

After making the decision to seek a change of pace, I can now admit that I am the woman who has had the young girl buried deep inside, banging (in)discretely, trying to break free and express myself for me, and not for who I thought I should be or who others expected me to be. I am the woman who has made countless (repetitive) mistakes due to carefree tendencies, growing pains, and just plain selfishness, rebellion, and ignorance. I am the woman who has been overwhelmed by sadness, anger, insecurities, and regret, thus enduring sleepless nights, choosing the wrong relationships, destroying sincere relationships, and losing myself altogether on my reckless journey to, what it seemed like, a depressive state of nowhere.

So because it seems as though my decisions led me to a place of isolation, loneliness, and despair (i.e. nowhere), it made the most sense to also seek a change of place. I know this might seem a little melodramatic, so please do not misconstrue. (Laugh out loud). For me personally, when you are stuck in a 9-5 job that you don’t enjoy. When you find yourself being unsure about who you can trust (because let’s face it…we live in a secular world with so many others going through “life”, looking out for themselves and doing their best to “survive”). When you haven’t reached the level of accomplishments and success that you have aspired to for so long. All of these disappointments and failures can lead one to a “depressive state of nowhere”.

Therefore, sometimes, when you are stuck in an “empty life” and this cycle of repetitive self-destruction, your body begins to slowly dissipate, your mind begins to wither, and your soul can no longer absorb the colors of life that we have been so fortunate to have at our fingertips. Have you ever just sat next to your window in the morning as the Sun began to bless us with its presence for the day, and noticed the colors in the sky and felt the warmth of the sun on your skin? Such beauties are wonders we tend to take for granted due to our blind inability to absorb the colors of gratitude, happiness, and life.

But again, please don’t misunderstand. I dare not promote the act of giving up or “running away”. I am encouraging the power of self-empowerment and personal growth. I am expressing that only you can determine the colors in your stars. If you stop, and take a second to really think about who you are and where you would like to be, versus what you haven’t done thus far to get to where you think you should already be, you will be able to see a little bit more clearly. Your own perception of yourself is bound to become a little less blurred. You will be able to recognize that sometimes you have to step away, reboot, and then return to the healthy aspects of your life (such as a supportive family, real and loyal friends, and a good job, that hopefully you can come to adore and enjoy), so you are finally able to love yourself and be a better you, and in turn, truly love another. And maybe once you’ve stepped away for that moment and taken advantage of a positive change of pace (and place), you might realize that your journey has open doors and insights into the life that you had been searching for so many years.

My blog will discuss my changes of pace and place. It will expose you to the mysteriously colorful people, places and experiences that life may bring on the road to self realization, empowerment, exploration, and discovery. It will also introduce you to the journeys of others that I come into contact with that are willing to share their life-changing decisions and experiences. You will get to see me from a blurred, yet transparent, point of view as I travel the world in search of finding myself, experiencing true love for the 1st time hopefully and unconditional friendship, and touching the lives of others as I participate in global efforts against child abuse and human trafficking. I will share my experiences ranging from the process of determining my next place of travel, to obtaining a travel visa, to finding the best places to eat, to personal interviews with individuals suffering in at-risk conditions.

As I share with you, I hope to open the world to my heart, encouraging you to share your reservations, passions, and aspirations with me.

Is it your time for a change? Do tell Nicola…

Please use this contact form to ask any questions that you seek advice to whether it is related to relationships, experiences, aspirations and/or making the decision to seek a change of pace. I will post your questions anonymously and provide a response:

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ATENCIÓN: Por favor, utilice este enlace, Free Translation, para traducir mis posts. Una vez que usted visite el sitio traducción, se encuentra la “lengua” (con la imagen del mundo junto a él), en la parte superior derecha, para elegir el idioma que prefiera. Gracias.

Funding Your Education – Scholarship Search Tips

So as you know from my initial blog, I recently decided to seek a change of pace and place, meaning I have decided that it is time for me to take a break from my current life (doing some traveling in the U.S. until I am able to save up for a broader traveling experience), do some exploring in a new place and figure out who I am and what I truly want to do with the rest of my life.

So first, I decided maybe I should go back to school. I have found that either having a good and intellectually stimulating job or being in school helps me to be disciplined and focused. It will allow for me to set a reasonable and achievable goal for myself, and it also opens up the doors to other possibilities.

Now, it is important to know how you intend to fund your new and profound choice of plans, so I suggest making at least a 1 year budget and STICKING TO IT the best you can. I thought, since I will definitely need money for plane tickets ($1500+), new wardrobe (about $1000 – as I limit my spending on clothes and focus my appetite on fine dining), personal expenses such as food and toiletries (about $200-300 monthly), and finding a new place of residence (about $300-600 monthly), I should apply for scholarships. Something I had never done too much of in the past because I was too lazy or proud to do it because I knew my parents would cover my undergraduate studies regardless if I received scholarships or not.

I know…Selfish huh? Maybe not… I think I was just being a teenager. I applied for about 2 scholarships in high school and received 1 for $1,000. It was surely not enough. I am still paying back school loans, in part because my wonderful and intelligent (this is not sarcastic whatsoever) mother put some of the loans under my name (as I’d imagine that many other parents have done for their children) and then told me about it after I graduated. Funny, huh? 😉 I guess the Karma got me back in that black comedy type of way. I respected what she did though. She took care of me and took the financial burden off of my shoulders so I could focus on a 4-year business degree. (Thank you Mamacita *Wink*)

So back to funding. Let me reiterate. If you decide to drop your current life and take a little trip. Make sure you have a plan. Make sure you set a goal for yourself and keep your eyes on that goal. And for me personally, school is a great goal as it can help challenge you intellectually and contribute to the advancement of your future.

Though I have applied for school loans to hold me off on having to come out of my pocket for school, I am aware that my school loan payments start back up 6 months after my program ends. So my plan is to apply for scholarships throughout the entire duration of my education in hopes of not having to pay a dime towards my Masters degree. And who knows…if I do well enough, I may be able to make a few extra thousand to apply to my other expenses.

But also remember. Do not count on receiving these scholarships as NONE of them are guaranteed. Sometimes scholarship winners aren’t announced until 3-6 months from the deadline date. Make sure that you have at least $2-4,000 to change up your pace and place, $1-5,000 to cover your meals and expenses over the next 3-12 months of travel, and then also have at least $500-1500 for savings and emergencies. And also, securing a job or source of income before you make the change is an even smarter and responsible decision. I know this seems like a lot, but this $3500-10,500 budget is mostly for those who suffer from financial insecurities, such as not having a definite source of income or having to worry about housing on their own. And also, this is about how much it really costs depending on the place of travel and duration of stay…

So, here we go…You ready?

1) I started first with my home institution. Visit your financial aid office and see what internal scholarships they offer, and also what scholarships they are aware of being offered by external institutions/organizations. I was fortunate enough to receive a renewable $3,000 scholarship based on my most recent G.P.A and choice of study.

2) Next, hit up places of familiarity, such as your church, or local (non-profit) organizations such as sports teams and clubs/chapters. Also consider putting on a fundraiser event where you sell scrumptious baked goodies and lemonade. Or throw a little shin-dig and invite everyone close to you and share a little bit of your plans and request a donation towards your education. The people closest to you are always a good bet because they know, love and support you. Don’t forget to send your “Thank You Cards”.

Quote: “Whoever has gratitude will be given more, and he or she will have an abundance. Whoever does not have gratitude, even what he or she has will be taken from him or her.” ~ Rhonda Byrne – The Magic (2012), courtesy of the Gospel of Matthew in the Holy Scriptures (The Magic – Amazon)

3) Now for the research. You will not get by easy. You will have to search your little tail off looking for scholarships that you qualify for. But don’t be too overwhelmed. Many scholarships don’t require an essay. You just have to submit a submission form and hope that your name gets drawn. Then there are a lot of scholarships that require essays. An upside to this is that most of these essays will ask the same thing, such as how will your education benefit your future plans or why do you deserve this scholarship. After a while you will see a trend and you will be able to copy and paste pieces of one essay onto the next. And then of course, you’d make sure everything meshes together by putting your finishing touches on it. So in addition to Google’ing ‘scholarships’, here are some sites where you can search for scholarships:

Inspirational Photos

200 Free Scholarships for Minorities-1 (good for internship opportunities)

4) Scholarship Tips:



I’ve applied for so many scholarships, and I know I am missing a lot. But feel free to post a comment and let us know any that you may be aware of. And I will also add more places to apply over time. Good Luck!!

ATENCIÓN: Por favor, utilice este enlace, Free Translation, para traducir mis posts. Una vez que usted visite el sitio traducción, se encuentra la “lengua” (con la imagen del mundo junto a él), en la parte superior derecha, para elegir el idioma que prefiera. Gracias.