February 2012 / Carmen Varner // Lifestyle Blogger & Social Media + Blogging Coach


It's Carmen the Intern

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

If you've been reading along for a while, you'd know that It's Carmen is many things. It's Carmen is a writer, a chef*, a student, a friend, a coworker. But now It's Carmen is an intern. After submitting my resume and then going in for an interview, I landed the gig. On Feb. 1, I began my first official day as  a business reporter for Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

To put it briefly, my job is to create, write, report and edit content. For instance, my supervisor told me do a brief piece on the Business Madness Opening Ceremony. I went to the event, spoke to a couple people, eyed the surrounds and wrote down everything. Then I ran upstairs to put it all together, wrote a draft and sent it to my boss in time to make it to my next class. You can read it here: Business Madness 2012 Kicks Off With Opening Ceremony. I've worked on several other articles, but they're still in the editing process or have yet to be published.

In my one short month in the office, I've clocked in over 50 hours of internship. I can honestly say I've learned a lot. It's a different work environment than I'm used to. I have a little cubicle, which I sometimes share with the other business reporter. I've become more aware of my attire and dress appropriately. It's  a challenge to have someone edit my work and change it to their liking. After all, I work for them; the writing must suit their needs.

office desk

As a writer, I must get used to the fact that people will read and critique my writing. It's a constant battle, but I'm getting better. I consider writing an art. As with any art, one cannot judge it, only interpret it. I craft my words carefully. Regardless of what I write, I hope that my personality flashes boldly across the words.

I truly enjoy my internship. I get to do what I have a passion for. I get to interview and talk to new people. I'm making connections with fellow students as well as faculty members. Being in the business section of school has exposed me to the importance of maintaining professionalism. I have a reputation and a name on the line.

That's the essence of my month as an intern. I'll update this every so often. If you're interested in following me during my internship experience, check back for more It's Carmen the Intern.

*I'm not really a chef, but I pretend I am.

Life's Little Lessons: Part IV

Friday, February 24, 2012

* Life's Little Lessons is a series about the moral of each day. I am a strong believer in positive thinking and seeing the good in the bad. After all, when a horrible thing happens, you can either wallow in your sorrows or find the deeper meaning in the experience. Even on the darkest of days, there is a raison d'être or reason for existence.

Life's Little Lessons: Part I
Life's Little Lessons: Part II
Life's Little Lessons: Part III

15. Be complaint free - Stuff happens. There's nothing you can do about it. Live with it and learn from it.

16. Just do it - If there's something you've been putting off, right now is the time to do it. Seriously, there's no time to waste. If your credit bills are piling up, do something about it. If you've been madly in love with your best friend for the last year, just tell her. If you feel like you've put on a few pounds, go to the gym.

17. Things take time - You can't rush life. Some things require much time and effort. But don't give up simply because it seems arduous or unpleasant. Take it one step at a time. A day may seem long, but it'll seem short in a week.

18. Get out of the house - Seriously. Get out of the house. If you find yourself feeling cooped up and anxious, get out of there as fast as you can.

dry plant

19. Dine with friends - Got nothing better to do? Buy some groceries and cook dinner with a buddy at your place. Or you two could go to a cafe for a cappuccino and scone. Regardless of where or what you eat, nothing bonds friends more than food. Take the time out of your busy schedule to retain the friendships that you presently have.

20. Productive days are the best - Remember that feeling of accomplishment that rolls over you when you did everything you needed? You did the laundry, the dishes, washed the car, took the dog for a walk, cleaned your entire bedroom and finished all your school work. When you use your time wisely, the day flies by, memories are made, things get done.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

by Carmen Varner

"Honey," she told me. "That's no fun.
Take a seat in the hot, hot sun."
I told her yes and went outside,
where there's no place for me to hide.
My feelings for you just won't go.
It seems that time has made them grow.
I wonder why, I wonder when,
you'll say you want me back again.
"A great day to write, isn't it?
At least life has no speed limit,"
a guy told me as he walked by.
I nodded and tried not to cry,
tears of sadness or tears of joy.
All of this is about one boy.
I told myself to stop this shame.
Nevermore will I say his name.
Lonely, lonely, alone, alone.
By now, this fact should be well known.


Valentine's Day Lovelist

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Oh Valentine's Day. What a day. A day known for roses, boxes of chocolate,  and an abundance of red and pink. But seriously now, show your love everyday, not just once a year. Sweep your woman (or man) off her (or his) feet with this playlist of love songs.

Express with music and lyrics what you otherwise wouldn't be able to articulate. If you're single, you'll probably hate this. But remember, it's totally okay to be alone. Don't let February 14 bring you down.  Others are alone as well, so in reality you're not really by yourself. We are alone together.

Regardless of relationship status, these songs are fabulous. Click on each song to view the video. There are only 14 tunes, but it's definitely an eclectic mix. Have a listen and enjoy. 

  1. "Thinking About You" by Frank Ocean
  2. "Just the Two of Us" by Bill Withers
  3. "You Look Wonderful Tonight" by Slightly Stoopid
  4. "500 Miles" by The Proclaimers
  5. "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown
  6. "All My Loving" by The Beatles
  7. "My Guy" by Mary Wells
  8. "Is This Love?" by Bob Marley
  9. "I Want You Back" by Jackson 5
  10. "You're My Best Friend" by Queen
  11. "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye
  12. "Loving Arm" by Metronomy
  13. "My Girl" by The Temptations 
  14. "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" by Ray Charles
Tell me which song is your favorite, or let me know if I missed one of your favorite love songs.


A master of unattachment

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

I thumbed through the petite notebook. It was slightly larger than a deck of cards, but its contents were infinitely greater. The cover included an illustration of a sleepy looking bear with a blue polka dotted nightcap. A dash of Japanese writing accompanied the tired cartoon; the language appeared so foreign in my English-reading brain. However, the outside is unimportant. It's the inside that counts.

Within this little collection of papers was seven days of fluid creativity, thorough inspiration. When I wrote what I wrote within the tiny lined pages of the notebook, I had no idea its words would continue to haunt me 171 days later.

I read through each page. I was searching for something. I became so lost in my own memory that I had forgotten my goal. I remembered when I looked up.

"So which one are you going to choose?" asked my friend, Chandra, as she hovered over me. Her eyes darted from the notebook to me. 

Oh right, I thought. I was supposed to decide what I wanted to perform for my theatre class.

"Um, I don't know," I replied, lost in thought.

"I'll help!," she exclaimed and ripped it from my hands. Chandra flipped through and landed on a page. She cleared her throat dramatically and began reading.

"I'm all the way over here. At this precise moment I think of you. I wonder if I cross your mind. Probably not. Should I forget you? I would if I could. Is there some magic potion to erase this feeling? I wouldn't want to do that because you make me feel so much."

I cringed. Man, it was terrible to have to hear that read out loud, especially by a voice other than my own. I had already lived through that instant when I wrote it, I didn't need it echoed by my enthusiastic friend. That's the one part I tried to skip. Did she have to read that one?

"Is this about Bud?" Chandra inquired. 

"No," I laughed. Her question truly was humorous. It most definitely was not about Bud. I didn't care about him that much to write about him. Not now. Not ever. This was about someone entirely else.

Chandra fingered through a few more pages and cleared her throat once more.

"I thought of you again. Thankfully this distance has kept me busy. I think of you less. I don't know what to do with this feeling. Shall I sweep it under the rug? Should I move on to someone else? Because I don't think you feel what I feel and it becomes more and more apparent. 

Time seems to move on sluggishly. As of now you are not forgotten, but things change. Life will continue. I'll go back to the daily grind and I will not wait for you like a puppy. I've done it before and I vowed to never do it again. I'm doing it now, but I won't allow it to continue. 

The issue is finding someone to replace you, as you have a very large part of my heart. Luckily, I'm a master of unattachment. I want you right now, but I don't want someone who doesn't want me. 

By the time you realize, it may be too late. It's your loss. They always say that, but I believe it. You may not, however. Because if you did, you'd want me too. I wish I could verbalize all this but I can't in fear of utter rejection, of a change in our relationship. 

I don't know what to do anymore. It's borderline unbearable. This gives me plenty to write about, but even more to think about. Slowly but surely, I'll continue on. All these words seem so small in the big picture. Are we even a good match? I don't know."

No, those words could never be about Bud. Though Bud was my present, he could never compete with my past. I didn't say anything. Chandra didn't either. I was completely mortified. My thoughts, though several months old, were lying naked and vulnerable in Chandra's hands.

I decided to break the silence.

"I'll probably go with the thing I wrote about my spiritual enlightenment instead," I told her.


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