In just under 6 months working with CelebrateForever, I have gained so much. From marketing and graphic design experience, to knowledge about relationships, and above all, incredible new friendships. This internship has challenged me to really look at myself, and ask, “How can I improve? How can I change and grow?”, and the answer really is, “It Starts from Me”. These 6 months have been a period of self-reflection and self-improvement, where sometimes doing the hardest thing, like conquering my fear of public speaking in order to host a couple’s event, ended up being the most rewarding experience. As I move forward, I do so as an improved individual ready to tackle what lies ahead with a very special motto in mind, “It Starts from Me, Change Me First.”
Alexa Lua - echo $story_date; ?>
Charlene Cisneros - echo $story_date; ?>
Being a part of the Celebrate Forever team was a truly rewarding experience. Interning at this foundation enabled me to help create an event that brought couples together. It was definitely not easy work but it was all worth it in the end, we had a full house! I was also able to learn many skills regarding efficient marketing and communications strategies which I am very thankful for. Another key lesson that I will take from my time being here is that change will always start from me first, I cannot waste time trying to change others. Moreover, working on projects that revolved around family and relationships really made me think about how I can improve my current relationships with friends and family and boyfriend. Lastly, I will never forget having the opportunity to dance to the song, “Besame Mucho,” with my boyfriend at the April 2018 couples event.
Sarah Colegrove - echo $story_date; ?>
Third Time’s the Charm
Like many relationship stories, ours could be better described as a journey. It is a journey of Josh being true to his heart towards me, and me being true to my heart towards him. Josh and I have been married for six months now, and I have to say, each month gets better and better!
We met in 2008. After Josh and I met through mutual friends, he expressed interest in me and said he wanted to get to know me more. Unbeknownst to Josh, I had just started dating my old boyfriend with the intention of getting married to him. So, I told Josh that he seemed like a good guy, but I was dating someone else…so, “thanks, but no thanks.” He said okay, and that was that.
Because we had many mutual friends, we developed a friendship as we hung out in a group setting. I eventually realized that although my head was telling me marry this other guy, my heart was saying, “no.” Finally, I listened to my heart (after about five years of on-again, off-again relationship with him). Breaking up with him was one of the hardest, yet most liberating, things I had ever done.
After the dust settled from my breakup, Josh asked me out again. I thought about it, then said, “no.” Though we had a connection, I was scarred, not ready, and still trying to figure out what my heart was saying. I didn’t know, and I was afraid of not honoring my inner self again, so I just simply said, “no, never.”
At this point, Josh felt he had to let me go. So, he hiked up a mountain in Northern California, wrote me a letter, buried it, and hiked back down. Goodbye. Shortly after, I moved away, and we barely kept in contact. It wasn’t until we both went on a surf/mission trip to Costa Rica with a group of our mutual friends about a year and a half later that we re-kindled our friendship.
Again, Josh put his heart out on the line. I was getting ready to move out of the country to take a job and Josh flew down to the city I was in to surprise me, see me off, and tell me that he wanted to pursue me. Finally, I realized and accepted that I did have feelings for him, and I told him that he could pursue me. We kept in touch over skype. Josh visited me a few times, and we finally started officially dating. Four months after I moved back to the country, Josh proposed to me. Four months after that we got married. My heart said yes to him, and I listened to it. Because of that, I truly have a peace and resolve about being with him that I had never experienced in any relationship prior. Because I know my heart is truly at peace with being with him, I have the deep resolve and pure motivation needed to face challenge that comes up between the two of us. We are excited to Celebrate Forever together – to thrive and not simply survive.
If you are not married and want to be, I want to inspire you that you don’t have to settle or compromise your heart to find a mate. Be true to yourself, and you will find true love. When you honor the “no” inside of your heart, you give power to your, “yes.”
After we got engaged, Josh hiked back up the mountain to see if the letter that he had once written was still there. He found it!
Check it out:
Janessa Paredes - echo $story_date; ?>
My internship here at Celebrate Forever has taught me a lot in not only professional matters but also personally. While creating social media content, I was able to read a lot of articles about how to make relationships work, which really could be applicable to anyone not just married couples. The work I have done for this organization has given me a new outlook on how I should treat others to build stronger relationships and how I can maintain relationships when conflict arises. Additionally, the courses offered by Celebrate Forever also taught me how to deal with one-to-one conflict, and how I can manage me emotions and feelings in order to resolve conflict without spiking to extreme arguments. Celebrate Forever has given me a perspective on conflict resolution, which does not have to only be for marriage but life as well. Whether you are in a relationship or not, the core values and mission here at Celebrate Forever can benefit anyone and can truly help build better relationships between people.
Aracely & Joseph Medina - echo $story_date; ?>
Our love story, I believe, is one of a kind for sure; I met Joseph back in 1998. We became good friends and enjoyed each others company. Our mutual friends would always encourage us to become boyfriend and girlfriend. But I didn’t feel the same for Joseph at that time. I just wanted to be friends. I will never forget this Joseph was walking me back to my car and he said one day I WILL MARRY YOU! I just looked at him and said yeah right never haha! With a smile. Unfortunally before I knew it Joseph had to leave to Mexico for almost a year and we stopped speaking with each other. I started a new relationship and had a beautiful baby boy.
One day I ran into a mutual friend. He said to me, Aracely, Joseph is back from Mexico can I give him your number. I was happy to hear this news I said ok, I honestly didn’t think he would call me. A few days went by, I remember being in my room a getting a call from Joseph. We talked for hours. It was as if we just started where we left off. I had a feeling that I would end up being in a relationship with Joseph. So I decided to let him know that I was a single mom and I had a baby named Alexander, he was 3 months or so at the time. Joseph wanted to meet him and since that day we have been together ever since. I couldn’t be more blessed. He has been a great father to him. Alexander loves him his dad!
We dated for two years. Joseph and I got married in 2004 in Anaheim CA. ………………… Joseph is my best friend, he is my soul mate. I can’t see myself with anyone else. Like any relationship it’s always a work in progress. We had hit rock bottom at one point and it put our marriage to the test in many different ways. We experienced a miscarriage back in 2005 after trying to have a baby. Since we got married. It was my worst nightmare, this tragedy in our life made our love stronger and helped us to become even closer to each other and have open communication. 6 months later we found out we were expecting a baby. He is now 19 months and healthy little boy, a BIG blessing to us. We have been through so much in our lives. My advice to new couples is doing give up. No one is perfect and it’s about a TEAM. Always keep trying to make things work if you can. We are living proof that if you have open communication, and believe in love for each other, Love Never Fails. Always Believe in Love.