The Best Years Of Your Life

I’ve noticed lately as I scroll through my Facebook that a lot of my friends are constantly posting links to lists or articles about being in your 20′s and why these are the greatest years of your life, most of which are tailored towards girls. I myself have even posted links to them; I do so because I find them rather entertaining and some of the things I read are pretty true. They say your 20′s should be the best years of your life; and while part of me believes that, the other part of me thinks it’s a load of bullshit. Your 20′s are some of the hardest years of your life…but I think that’s part of what makes them the best years. You spend 10 years of your life in your 20′s and through these 10 years I think you go through some of the greatest transitions and learn some of the hardest lessons. You go through some of your worst heartbreaks and some of your greatest triumphs. Some of us meet our life partner while some of us go through more relationships than we can count. Some of us graduate college and some of us spend the time trying to figure out what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Your 20′s are the time you spend growing up; you spend your time learning all about who you are and defining who you want to be and I think these are some of the greatest battles a human faces.

I’m 2 weeks shy of 22, and while I’ve only spent 2 years in my 20′s I’ve already faced a lot of obstacles upfront and I’ve questioned who exactly it is that I want to be and where I want to end up. I’ve had my heart broken more than once and I’ve spent time piecing it back together. I haven’t graduated college yet, and up until last year I questioned what exactly it was that I even wanted to spend my life doing. I come from a home that spends most of it’s time in turmoil, and while I didn’t have much of a choice when I was younger as I’ve gotten older I’ve had to decide if I wanted to play into that turmoil or take myself out of it. Along with all of that I’ve been faced with what any person my age might be faced with. Do I drink? Do I have sex? Do I do drugs? Those decisions seems so trivial at the time you’re making them, but they still play into the person you are through your 20′s and the person you end up in your 30′s and your 40′s and the rest of your life. Your 20′s define the foundation that you build the rest of your life on.

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Growing up is hard at any age, but I think that when you’re 20 you’re stuck in this in between of wanting to be an adult while still wanting to hold on to being a kid. You want freedom and responsibility, but you want to enjoy life and have fun at the same time. You have bills to pay and you want to move out and be on your own, but spending money on that new Coach purse or those concert tickets seems like a better idea at the time. You want to get good grades and graduate college, but that party or a night at the bar is so much more entertaining than studying your life away. You start to decide who it is you want to be but then you’re constantly faced with things that challenge you to stand your ground and be who you are. And while you’re going through all of these changes and life transitions and making these choices…so are all the people closest to you. During your 20′s the people you surround yourself with will change more than once as you learn more about yourself and cut people out who don’t fit your chosen path. Relationships get harder to uphold because you don’t see each other every day in between classes or during lunch, which means you have to put effort into the people you want to hold onto. And because you only have so many hours in a day, it makes you question who you want to keep around and who you don’t. Do you keep around the person stuck in their younger days with no motivation or the person supporting your future life ventures and goals? Do you get stuck holding on to the people who want to party every night or do you make the choice of surrounding yourself with the people who understand the importance of maturity and responsible decisions? And what happens when the people you start to associate with force you to question who you thought you were? Are those people forcing a negative change or a positive one? It’s hard to hold on to the people that you care about when they don’t seem to fit anymore into what you want from life. And it’s hard to let go of old friends as they graduate and get jobs and start their lives in other towns or when they become toxic and you’re forced to let them go for the good of yourself.

20's_2Your 20′s will be some of the hardest years of your life, which is why I never understood why they said they were the greatest years of of your life, but I understand now. Because although you’re faced with a dump truck full of decisions and everything is always changing and you never seem to know what is right or what is wrong…your 20′s are your selfish years. These are the years that you get to stand up and fight for yourself. You get to make the choices now that will hopefully give you the greatest possible future for yourself. You get to be indecisive and change your major 20 times to find a job that will make work not seem so much like work. You get to have your heart broken while you’re young and learn more about yourself each time. You get to find out what it is that you do and don’t want in a relationship so that eventually you know exactly what it is you want from the man or the woman of your dreams. You get to learn what it feels like to work 40 hours a week and still be broke come payday, which then forces you to realize that just like your parents always told you…money doesn’t grow on trees. These are the years that you can make the choice to travel the world and see new places because you’re not tied down to one spot on the map. You can pick up and move to a new city and start all over if that’s what you want to do. Your 20′s are the years of discovery and the years that you get to spend carving your own path. You learn to laugh even when things get tough. You learn that loss is a big part of life, which teaches you to keep the people you love close and always remind them of their importance to you. You learn to stand up for who you are and what you believe in. Through all the chaos of your 20′s you become the fiercest, smartest, toughest version of yourself and you spend your time learning to love that person. You learn that time passes quickly so take advantage of it while you have it.

Life isn’t always easy, and you’re going to make mistakes, but make mistakes while you’re young. Love the wrong person. Have your heart broken. Move to a different city. Travel to a different continent. Meet new people. Make new friends. Cut your hair. Change your wardrobe. Be spontaneous. Do what makes you happy. But through it all…learn to love the struggle. 30 years from now these will be the years that you look back on as the most important. These will be the years and the memories and the lessons that taught you how to live and the years that taught you how to love…to love yourself and love others and to love life. The world is at your feet, this is your journey and these are best years of your life…

…make them beautiful.

 

Sincerely yours…

 

 

Chasers Of Hope

71JHA7z+npLI’ve been itching to write this blog post because I am so excited that my absolute favorite writer, Tyler Knott Gregson, will finally be releasing his first book titled, “Chasers of the Light,” come September. I originally discovered Tyler last year on Pinterest and quickly fell in love with every ounce of his work. I look forward to his daily haiku’s on love, and his typewriter series is flawless (in my opinion, of course!) If I had to pick one of my favorite parts of life and the world, it would be words and someone’s unique ability to express themselves through the use of any combination of the 26 letters of the alphabet. Tyler Knott’s ability to do use his word’s and his ability of expression has blown me away since day one. Last year for my birthday my mom bought me two of his printed poems which she had autographed for me, and this year I am super excited to receive his book, which of course my mom has already pre-ordered for me! While I am pumped for Tyler’s book, I got even more excited when I found out last week that my favorite non-profit organization, To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA), has teamed up with Tyler who will be donating $1 from every copy of his book that is pre-sold. Check out his interview with TWLOHA here: http://twloha.com/Tyler-Knott-Gregson-Chasers

For those of you who have never heard of TWLOHA or don’t know much about them, they are a non-profit organization that started with a story and has become a viral movement dedicated to supporting individuals dealing with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Not only does this organization provide support to these struggling individuals, they work to provide hope and inspiration to them as well. I originally discovered TWLOHA about 8 years ago when I saw several people wearing shirts at school, which prompted me to look into what they were for. Since that day I have strongly supported their message and this movement, as I have extremely close emotional ties with both suicide and depression. While I am not ready to openly tell a detailed version of my story, there are many other reasons behind why I so closely relate with the movement of To Write Love On Her Arms. TWLOHA_logo

“Approximately 11% of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18.” [NAMI]

Approximately 30,000 lives in America are claimed each year by suicide, making it responsible for more than 1% of deaths in the United States. [NAMI]

“In 2010 there were 38,364 suicides in the United States – an average of 105 per day.” [CDC]

20% of all annual suicides are of those among the ages of 15-24 [CDC]

In 2010 suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for all ages [CDC]

Between 14-24% of today’s young adults have turned to self-injury at least one time in their lives, and one quarter of them have done it more than once. [SIOS]

487,700 people in 2011 were treated in emergency departments for self-inflicted injuries [CDC]

Maybe these numbers don’t mean much to you, but the fact that an average of 105 people a day think this world is such a bad place that they would rather not be a part of it or that their life is so bad or they feel so lonely that they would rather just not be alive does not sit well with me. While I understand that suicide effects all age groups, the other fact that 20% of all annual suicides are within the age group of 15-24 makes me sad but unfortunately doesn’t surprise me…which makes me even more sad. I am nearly 22 years old, which means that I fit into this age group that makes up this 20% of suicides. And do you want to know why it doesn’t surprise me? I have been the victim of bullying and I have watched other people be bullied. I have had someone verbally attack me both in person and from behind a computer screen. I have had people make fun of me. I have gone through hard times that I thought no one else would ever understand. I have suffered from anxiety my entire life. I have had rumors and lies spread about me. I have been talked about behind my back. I have felt alone. I have felt sad. I have been depressed. I have laid in my bed and cried myself to sleep, and those were the days that I thought, “What if I just ended it all?”

I remember back in junior high I started getting sick every time I would eat or drink something which is obvious cause for concern. I went to doctor after doctor, I had test after test done, and every time it would come up that nothing was “medically” wrong. I was a medical mystery until they determined I was to be “diagnosed” as they would say with anxiety and depression. Getting sick was the way my body had decided was an appropriate way to handle stress, especially the stress I decided to keep bottled inside and not tell anyone about which also led to panic and anxiety attacks that would make me feel like I was going to die. When I was told this, I cried. I was frustrated because I was in junior high and what was I supposed to tell the kids at school when I went back and they asked why I had been gone for months? They would make fun of me for being depressed or they would see me as too weak to handle the every day stresses that came with being a teenager and not capable of dealing with my problems on my own…so I lied and told them they never found out what was wrong. My mom made me see a therapist to help me figure out how to deal with it, but I always refused to go because “it wasn’t going to help.” I didn’t want to be labeled as depressed, I just wanted to be labeled as normal. Over the years I have become more accepting of my anxiety which has helped me learn to deal with it appropriately, and my depression has evened itself out on it’s own. It was a process of learning to accept it and deal with it rather than hide it and run from it. I consider myself one of the lucky ones, but I know that not everyone gets lucky like I do. 

Mental health is not a game, and unfortunately a lot of people within my age group see it as one. And a lot of adults see it as phase or a stage we will grow out of, but what needs to be understood is that while some of it has to do with our age and some of it may very well be a stage, not all of it can be tossed into those categories. Over and over again I have heard or been told, “It gets easier as you grow up,” and for some it does, but for others…it doesn’t. Mental health problems can sometimes be hard to recognize and no one ever really wants to admit that they are depressed. Even though it is more commonly spoken about today, I feel it still comes across as a taboo subject and a lot of people still don’t understand it. And with most things that people don’t understand, they make fun of thumbit or they call it weird or they just ignore it all together. Because I have personally struggled with this battle I always told myself that I would never be someone that added to the problem and I would always do my best to take a stand against it, and while I have stood by this to the best of my ability I will not be hypocritical and say that I have never been at fault for making fun of someone or saying things I probably shouldn’t have. Being young is hard, and growing up is harder. You get thrown a lot of life lessons all at one time and some people get them worse than others all while trying to tread the waters of life and learn about who you are and who you ultimately want to be. We are all human and we are all fighting for the same thing, so why make the fight harder?

That girl you just called a whore or a slut? She might be crying herself to sleep every night. The person you just made fun of? Maybe you just pushed them over the edge. That boy you just called gay? Maybe he went home and cut himself. That person sitting at lunch crying? Maybe they just need a friend or someone to talk to. The rumor you’re helping spread? Maybe it’s not even true but you ruined that person’s reputation anyways. The person you label as just wanting attention? Maybe they do; maybe they want someone to reach out and notice that they aren’t okay. Each and every person has a story. They have struggles you don’t know about and scars in hidden places. I guarantee every single one of us has dealt with suicide and depression in one way or another, whether it be through a friend or family member or we have personally struggled with it ourselves. But do you understand how easy it is to help the problem rather than add to it? Open your eyes and pay attention. Lend an ear or a helping hand even if it’s to a stranger. Be the place where the rumor stops rather than continues. Many people don’t pay attention because they think they’ll never be able to make a difference, but a smile and a helping hand to one person could open a door of recovery and allow them to some day be that helping hand to another person. I know all of that sounds cliche or like something you’ve heard a hundred times, but it’s all so true and I know that because I’ve lived it on both ends. I’ve been the person needing help and I’ve been the person helping. Get involved, shed the light, and take a stand to making this world a better place rather than a worse one. And if you’re the person needing help…please find it. Reach out and please know that you are not alone and I promise that this world is a better place with you in it. Every single day wake up and look down at your heart and realize that it is still beating because you still have a purpose to serve in this world, and that purpose might be saving someone from ending their life. Maybe one person can’t make a difference, but together we can and it’s easier than you think.

  • Do something small like purchasing Tyler’s book before September 2 which will allow for the $1 donation to aiding TWLOHA in their efforts or purchase a TWLOHA t-shirt.
  • Don’t want the book? Donate straight to TWLOHA or join their street team and donate your time.
  • Check into your school or university and see if there is a club or the opportunity to start one on your campus to help raise awareness for mental health. [TWLOHA has UChapters or can help you start one at your university]
  • TWLOHA also has an intern program if you have the resources and the want to really get involved
  • TWLOHA also has many campaigns for both high school and college students to get involved in such as their Storytellers campaign or their Fears vs. Dreams campaign. 
  • But most importantly, take a stand and make a promise to be a light for someone rather than part of the darkness they find themselves falling into. Together we can be a voice, we can be chasers of light…and chasers of hope.

Below are links to all the things I talked about so you have access to getting involved or just more information as to what TWLOHA arms is about and what they do. I will also included a link to Tyler’s blog and book page so you can purchase the book if interested!

To Write Love On Her Arms

Tyler Knott Gregson

Chasers of the Light

Sincerely yours…

Operation Fitspiration

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Fitness seems to be all the craze these days. Fad diets. Detoxes. Healthy eating. Working out. Everyone wants to be skinny or muscular, and people often let a number on a scale define them. I used to work at a gym a few years ago and made friends with a few of the trainers, and one of my best friends used to be a personal trainer. The best advice any of them ever gave me was that being skinny or muscular doesn’t mean that I or anyone else is healthy. There is more to a healthy lifestyle than just looking the part, and in all reality it takes a lot of hard work. 

I am by no means obese and I am by no means the skinniest girl you’ll meet, but on top of that I have been living what most would probably consider to be a fairly unhealthy lifestyle. I’m not a couch potato, but I don’t hit the gym. I don’t dislike healthy foods, but I often make unhealthy choices. I drink more soda than I do water, and I have plenty of room for improvement. There are many reasons to live a healthy lifestyle, but those reasons aren’t to fit in to today’s mold of what is skinny or beautiful..or at least they shouldn’t be. Today I started preparing to embark on what I will be calling “Operation Fitspiration,” and while my ultimate goal will be living a healthier lifestyle, my underlying goal will be learning to be comfortable in my own skin and loving myself along the way.

As I said, living a healthy lifestyle is a lot of work, and I learned that today when I went grocery shopping and started prepping my meals for the week. You have to research healthy foods and recipes. You have to read labels and prep your food. You also have to mentally prepare yourself to let go of the unhealthy foods and resist the temptation you will face daily. Being healthy and getting fit is more than just going to the gym, in fact they say the work you put in in the kitchen is more important than the work you put in in the gym. Luckily for me I don’t absolutely hate healthy foods. I enjoy fruits and vegetables, and while I like soda I really love water. I’ll post a picture below of what my kitchen table looked like before I started prepping. My brother is also into the healthy lifestyle as he prepares for college football, so we bought our vegetables and chicken in bulk and used our food saver to vacuum seal things into portion sizes. We also prepared some of our dinners so all we have to do is stick them in the oven and they are ready to go.

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Eating right isn’t the only aspect of living a healthier lifestyle; working out and being active is also extremely important. While I didn’t have the time tonight, I will be making a workout plan to follow for myself as well. This is the part I find the hardest to follow because working nights I get tired and make excuses not to go to the gym, but this time around I’m determined to get into a routine of going to the gym and being more active over the next few weeks. I’m not looking to lose a hundred pounds or run 10 miles at a time, but I am looking to gain strength and endurance and become comfortable in my own body.

Operation fitspiration isn’t just about getting healthy, it’s also about empowering myself and proving to no one else but myself that I am capable of doing what I put my mind to. It’s a journey of determination and inspiring change and doing it the right way. I’m not going to starve myself and I’m not looking for a quick fix, I’m going to work hard and change my lifestyle, and I challenge all of you to do it with me. There is no time like today to build a better life, a healthier life. Being skinny and muscular is great, but so is being strong…but inside and out. That being said my fitspirational motto for the next few months will be as follows…

“Train like a beast, look like a beauty. Look strong. Feel strong. Be strong.”

Be on the lookout for updates on operation fitspiration as I go down this journey, and look forward to future posts with inspirational quotes and recipes of my favorite foods I’ve been trying and maybe even a few workouts I find that I like! Let’s get strong together, because strong is the new skinny.

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A day without laughter…

…is a day wasted.

It’s been scientifically proven over the years that laughter is one of the best medicines. It makes us feel good. It reduces pain. It can help improve our health. Laughter is more than just a reaction to something funny…it’s a part of life we often take for granted.

Last weekend I laughed with my friends more than I had in a really long time; and in the past 3 days I have gone to 2 comedy shows at a new comedy club that just opened up in my town and laughed until I had tears in my eyes both nights. I’ve realized that laughing is such an important part of life. The headlining comedian of the show I went to Saturday night told us about how his wife was currently battling with ovarian cancer, and as he spoke about it he made the comment; “What are you going to do if you can’t laugh about it?” Something so serious that scared both him and his wife, but they managed to make it through the situation…by laughing. And when I look back over the last few years I see that I’ve made it through a lot of really hard things by spending time with people that have the ability to make me laugh even when I’m sad or when I’m mad or just in a bad mood. And the greatest memories I have over those hard times are those moments I was laughing so hard the I couldn’t breathe or the moments I was laughing so hard that my stomach muscles hurt the next day. In my first blog post there was a line in the letter I wrote to myself that I mentioned laughing more over the next year, and after the last few weeks I see more importance in staying true to that than before. We live in a cruel world. We live in a world where people treat other people like less than they should. We live in a world where war is happening and people in our own backyards are shooting and killing each other for no reason. We live in a world where bad things seem to outweigh the good things sometimes. We live in a world of absolute chaos that fails to put an emphasis on the good things that happen more so than the bad things. But things like laughing, they allow us for even a split second to focus on something good, something funny, something that makes us forget about the bad stuff. While I love laughing myself, I love the sound of someone else’s laughter. The sound of a giggling child or someone I love or care about laughing deeply is one of the best sounds in the entire world. No matter how loud or obnoxious or squeaky or deep a person’s laugh might be, there is a beauty and a joy in a laugh that you can’t find anywhere else.

And while this post is about laughing and the importance I feel like it serves in life, focusing on the good things in general is something I feel also serves an importance. Like I said before, the world is a cruel place; but we all live here and while bad things happening is inevitable..life is short. In fact, it’s too short to waste time focusing so much on the bad things that we forget about the good things or look past them completely. And while things might be bad or things could just be a little bit better…they can also always be worse. There will always be someone out there that has it worse than you, and there will always be someone who has it better than you. The important thing is remembering to focus less on the bad and more on the good, even if it’s just something small or the simple fact that you are alive and breathing for another day.

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I fully believe that laughing does something for the soul that other things just can’t do. Positivity and focusing on the good parts about life has the power to change your entire day and eventually your entire outlook on life. So my challenge to both myself and to the people who are hopefully reading this…laugh more. Find something good in every day, and every day find something to laugh at. Change your outlook, change your day, change your life, change the world…and laugh.

Sincerely yours…

Where Do I Start?

One of the greatest obstacles I face from day to day is the ever moving train of thoughts that is constantly streaming through my head. I already have so many ideas of what to write about for this blog and I can’t seem to decide what I want to write about first. But, I found this list on Pinterest (the greatest website ever created) with 30 ideas of journaling and I think I’m going to start with a few of the prompts from this list and then revisit the list from time to time so you all can get to know me a little better!

1. What you ate today:

The only reason I want to answer this question today is because as of lately I’ve been trying really hard to cook my food instead of eating out, and I’ve been trying to cook healthy food at that. This morning when I came home from work I made these really good breakfast potatoes, added some turkey sausage crumbles, whipped up some scrambled egg whites, and made a really tasty breakfast burrito topped with shredded cheese. I think that only thing missing would have been some avocado! I’ve always thought burritos for breakfast were a weird concept, but after this morning it will probably be a regular occurrence. For dinner I had a sandwich from Jimmy Johns I grabbed on my way to work, and topped it off with a doughnut one of the nurses brought in because it was her last night tonight.

2. Five words or phrases that make you laugh

> Ridiculous – I don’t know why but this word has always made me laugh, but I say it all the time. The word ridiculous just seems ridiculous in itself to me. 

> Check – This word makes me laugh because me and all my friends say it in response to almost anything. It started as a really sarcastic answer to something stupid or weird that someone said and it’s been funny to watch the word get spread to people who don’t hang out with us that often, but they start using it because they hear us say it all the time. 

> Pickle – I don’t have any idea why this word makes me giggle, but it does. The concept of pickles makes me laugh, too. 

> Pop – Soda. It’s called soda. It makes me laugh when people call it pop because I don’t understand where that term even came from other than the sound it makes when you open it.

> “Ussie” – This word cracks me up. A derivative of the word “selfie” because if a selfie has more than one person in it then it’s not technically a selfie…it’s an ussie.  

3. Five weird things that you like

> I really like to eat cold hot dogs. I think I got dared to try a cold one one time and ended up really liking it, so sometimes if I’m craving a hotdog but too lazy to cook it then I’ll just eat it cold.

> Ketchup on my eggs is another weird combination I like to eat. For a really long time I thought this was a normal thing that almost everyone did and the people who didn’t do it were the weird ones. But then I went over to a friend’s house to stay the night one time and in the morning when I asked for ketchup for my eggs I got the weirdest look. I like to eat ketchup on my macaroni and cheese, too.

> All the weird things I like seem to be food related, but this one is probably only considered weird if you’re not from around where I’m from. French fries dipped in a milk shake is another strange favorite. I’m not sure who or what ever tempted me to try it but it’s an occasional guilty pleasure.

> I guess I’ll move away from the weird food combinations and throw in one of the weird things I like on a guy. I have no explanation for it but I like when a guy has nice, defined wrist bones. Don’t judge, I know that it’s weird.

> While some people don’t consider this weird, I like to read…a lot. I know, I know, it’s nerdy. I love books though. I love a book that can completely draw me in. I went on a 10-hour road-trip one summer with my family and made it through 5 books just on the way there. And as much as I love my Kindle, there is nothing better than a physical book with a well-worn spine and dog-eared pages. 

 

I’ve also been thinking about what I really want to get out of this blogging process. I don’t want to just share my feelings or my day or my thoughts and opinions. I want to share things like my favorite music (which changes weekly or daily sometimes), or my favorite quotes. I not only want to learn about myself through blogging, but I want the readers I will hopefully acquire over time to learn that there are people just like them out there…sometimes it makes the world seem less lonely. So, be on the look out for new additions like a “playlist of the week” or the book I’m currently reading. 

Sincerely yours…

 

Welcome to 22.

In a month and 4 days I will be turning 22. Two years ago I started writing a letter to myself around this time to open on my next birthday so I could see how different things were or how much I changed. My letters from the last two years are nowhere to be found, but I enjoy the concept so I want to be a little more dedicated to it this time around. (Hence an entire blog dedicated to the idea.)

I figure what better way to start my blog than sharing that letter…

“It’s that time of year again where you’re coming up on putting another year behind you. Truthfully, you’ve learned a lot since you turned 21; like tequila still isn’t your friend and Steak N’ Shake only tastes good after 2 am. It’s a surprise really that you’ve made it to 22 at all, but do yourself a favor and take what you’ve learned and use it as building blocks for the next 365 days. Over the last year you spent 9 months living on your own in your first apartment. You fought with your best friend and lost each other for awhile. You had your heart broken…again. You’ve made mistakes, but through it all you’ve started to find yourself after losing your way. Though there have been plenty of  tears and plenty of laughs, you’ve managed to keep going strong. You’ve started to make a path for yourself and you’ve started to realize what’s important and what isn’t. Priorities are changing as you shape yourself and begin to define who you are meant to be. This is just another chapter in your book of life, but looking back you have come so far from the place where you began the last one…be proud of that. You see now that the people who are meant to stay in your life will stay, and the people who are meant to leave…they will leave. You have learned that loving someone with your whole heart does not always guarantee that they will love you back; and sometimes no matter how much you do for a person, it will never be enough. However, that does not mean that you are not enough. Remember through this next year that another person and their opinion of who they think you are does not truly define you.  The mistakes and choices you have made in your past also do not define you…unless you choose to let them. Move on and grow and learn from both the things that you have done wrong and the things that you have done right. This last year has been a big eye opener to what you truly want for yourself and for your life. Finishing school has gained a new importance as you have found a major you love and a school you feel you belong to. Your true friends have defined themselves through the struggles, and the people who no longer fit have been cut out. You have realized that while going out is fun, it no longer holds a position of high priority and sacrificing what you want in this moment will create a better future that is going to be worth more than a night you probably won’t remember and a hangover you’ll wish you didn’t have. You see the light in surrounding yourself with people who put significance on chasing their dreams and want to go somewhere in life. You realize how important it is to keep close the people that will lift you up during the happy times and share in your sadness during the hard times. Looking back over the last couple years you’ve put emphasis on searching for love and finding someone to validate all the good parts about you. Don’t do that this year. Focus on yourself and your future. Focus on the small things that will in turn one day end up the big things. Focus on your pursuit of happiness because as you see the pieces will fall where they are meant to fall no matter what you do. Make memories with the people that prove they matter. Smile more than you cry this year, and always find the time to laugh. You will more than likely veer off this path and maybe you will lose yourself again…that’s okay. You have also discovered that sometimes losing yourself is the only way to truly keep finding yourself. Open your heart to someone or something this year. You have closed yourself off and built the walls so tall over the last few years in fear of getting hurt, but deep down you know that’s not really who you are. While the world may toughen your edges, no longer let it harden your heart… do yourself a favor and learn to love again. You are starting this year in a good place which hopefully means you will end it in an even better one. No matter what you do, make the next 365 days count. Make this chapter one to remember.”

Sincerely Yours…

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