We had the good fortune of connecting with Annia Gutierrez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annia, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
When I was little, I remember reading books all the time, those were what you could call “my escape from life”, More than once, reading those books kept me going when I wanted to give up, if those writers had given up, I’ll probably wouldn’t be here today. Thats why, and this might sound a little cliché, one thing I’ve learned is not to give up. No matter how many failures you have, each and every one of them is just taking you one step closer to your dream. Of course, there will be times when you just can’t take it anymore, but it’s in that moment when the true ambition comes through.
Sucess and dreams coming true do not happen the second you start chasing them, you have to do one step at a time. At first, it might seem like it’s a long way to get there, and there will be times where you want to give up, but it’s in those times when you have to push yourself, that way when you reach the end of the stair, you’ll look back and thank yourself, you’ll see, that at the end it was all worth it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I was a little kid I remember waiting to get home just to sit in the corner of my room and grab a book. Every day I came home and said “I want to be that someday”, and I don’t mean the princess who doesn’t need saving, or the main character in an apocalyptic story. I meant the person writing the stories, so people like me could escape our problems. I wanted to be the reason people feel better and can have a break from life. For some, it might seem that a book is just a book, but for people like me, a book can be a lifesaver.
Right now I’m only halfway through my journey, I know I still have a lot of roads left ahead of me, but I’m eager to keep going, because I know that what I have gone through wasn’t easy. All those all-nighters writing so people could read my poems or short stories, all those tears after being told by a loved one there was no use in trying, that I should focus on a “real career”. No, they weren’t easy, but even if I had the chance to change them, I wouldn’t.
My past is what gives me the strength to keep going, not only to prove to them, that I can triumph, but most importantly, to prove myself that my dream can be reached. Being a writer and a poet is not an easy task, some people will tell you it’s not a real job, and the competition is even worse, but if I can make one small girl smile while she rushes through the pages imagining she is the princes of the story it will all be worth it.
That’s why I do this, I know how important books were for me while growing up, I just want to give the chance to someone else out there to realize their dream can come true. There will always be someone that wants you to give up, do not give them that pleasure. I’ve had many encounters with haters that want to put me down, and to them, I tell them NEVER. As long as there is 1 person out there that enjoys my work I will keep doing it, because that one person believes in me, and I won’t let them down.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
That’s easy, the trip would be divided into 3 different activities: Food, Entertaining, Art. Phoenix is one of the cities that has the best combination of those 3 categories.
The very first day, I would take them to eat brunch at Snooze, it’s the best place to have breakfast, they always go beyond the classic American egg and bacon breakfast, plus their food it’s perfect if you like to take food pictures. After a well-deserved breakfast, we would go to the Phoenix Art Museum. My bestie and I are completely different when going to museums, we both love the art of course but she always goes to the more modern art styles, while I like the classic, this museum has the perfect combination of both, not only that but it’s an amazing place to take pictures and enjoy their special exhibitions in memorial of the different artist through the decades. To end the day we would get dinner at Quiessence. This place is the most aesthetic place I know, it’s an outside dining experience with vegan, vegetarian, and meat lovers options, you can’t go wrong with this.
On the second day, I have the best experience planned, my bestie and I are history lovers, especially in the renaissance era. So I would plan a trip to the Arizona Renaissance Festival that happens on the weekends. Even if you’re not a big fan, this event gives you a reason to dress up and have fun with friends, and not to mention the food, which is amazing. They have these thematized grounds where there are actors walking around and also gift shops which are obviously timed to appear from the era.
The last day before she leaves, assuming she only comes for the weekend since we are both in college, would be a rest day. The plan would be to wake up to go and have breakfast at The Broken Yolk Cafe, I’ve never been there, but almost all my friends have told me they have the best pancakes they’ve ever tasted. After that, we would do a visit to Antelope Canyon. This place it’s amazing, and I’m not really a walking type of person, but the view you get it’s worth it. To finish the day off, dine at ZuZu, a retro-chic-themed restaurant who not only serves really good hamburgers, but has great spots if you love taking pictures.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Along my journey I’ve seen people come and go, I’ve learned from them and moved on, but there is one special group of people that even if they don’t realize it, have helped me get to where I am; my family.
Even though my whole family has been there for me, the one person I thank my life to is my mom. She has stood beside me through all those crying sessions where I thought to myself “Is it all worth it?” She has given me the courage to keep working, but most importantly she believes in me, She helped me understand that dreams require work, hope, and mistakes in order to come true, but dreams can also be beautiful.
The process can be exhausting sometimes, but that moment when you realize you are living your best life or walking towards it, that moment is when you look back to all those times you cried, you yelled, or you almost gave up, and see that it was worth it. You realize that you’re not quite there yet, but you’re closer than yesterday, and when you see all that, you realize you were never alone.