Dear High School Seniors.

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I was in the same position you’re in now a year ago. I remember feeling like I was stuck in high school and I couldn’t wait to get out of high school. I was SO excited for college that I started to no longer live in the moment of senior year. I mentally was not there. But my advise for you is to truly take in every single moment you have left in the next two months. This is the last month in the comfort of your town you grew up in. In a few months you will all be going to different schools and it will be a new experience for everyone. You won’t see your best friends everyday, but you’ll make new best friends. You won’t see your family everyday, so take in the moments you have with them.

Live in the moment, even if it’s just for the next month. Prom is coming up. Don’t fall victim to thinking it will be a fairytale because something could go wrong. You can’t let that ruin your prom day. Yeah, maybe every guy you asked to prom said no so you take your best friend who is a year younger than you. That’s OKAY. I took my best friend and I’m so glad I did because I had so much fun with her. Graduation is coming up and it’s a really weird feeling to walk across that stage and accept your diploma. You did it. You survived high school. But don’t run from high school while you’re still there.

If I could, I would love to go back to high school even if it’s just for a week. That’s a week in my hometown, surrounded by my best friends. That’s a week of high school sports and high school activities. That’s a week of spending time with your family and a week of home cooked meals.

This month will go by extremely extremely fast and it’s so easy to feel like you’re past high school but let me tell you, you’re not. Live in the moment. Live in high school for the amount of time you have left. I spent most of my senior year thinking I was basically in college and I regret it. I regret it because while I could have been living in the moment with my friends, family, MY DOG, I wasn’t. I was too busy planning my dorm room, picking my orientation date, planning on meeting all of these new friends that I had been talking to since October.

Go to all of the high school parties you can because parties are so much different in college. Cheer on your high school teams a couple of more times while you can. Take in the sound of the lockers and the sound of all the people crammed into the hallway by the marketing department and the math department because eventually you won’t hear those sounds again. You won’t hear your best friend since kindergartens voice in the crowd of people anymore. You won’t hear those people anymore. You won’t hear the USA chant anymore. Enjoy being able to go home for lunch because I’d give anything to go home for lunch-even if it’s for 20 minutes. (I really wish I could tell you that the school food gets better but it doesn’t. It’s gross and if you’re like me, you’ll avoid the dining hall at all costs so truly, enjoy going home for lunch or going out to eat with your friends for lunch).

Live in the moment now because your last time being surrounded by people you’ve been in school with since you were 5 ends at graduation. Graduation is the last place your entire class will be together. After graduation, you have the opportunity to become whoever you want so live in the moment as who you are now, not who you want to be in college. Because even when you come back to high school to visit, it will all be different.

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Mean Girls.

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I, just like many of you, have encountered a few mean girls so far. Whether it be girls you know, or girls you don’t know, girls can be mean.

I began to take what the girls were saying to me and thinking that they were true. Their thoughts about me had become my thoughts about me. They thought I was ugly, I thought I was ugly. They thought what I wore was dumb, I thought what I wore was dumb. From the outside looking in one might not get how the thoughts and opinions of someone else can soon turn to be your own thoughts and opinions but surprisingly enough, it’s quite simple. If someone was telling you that you were ugly surely you would begin to believe even a little bit of it, or second guess yourself at one point or another.

What people don’t realize is how your words can make someone feel. Someone’s words can make it feel like your entire world is collapsing because they are that mean. Someone can make you feel like you’re dying inside because they are that mean. But I think the meanest girls are the one who feel the need to attack others in a group setting.

These are the girls who feel like they are powerless on their own but so powerful in a group. These are the girls who are the most scared. These girls freak out and don’t know how to react when you stand up for yourself. They don’t want to think that others are strong individuals on their own. They don’t want to think that someone can stand up for themselves because lets be honest, they don’t know how to stand up for themselves. These are the girls that are the most petty.

These girls are the ones that are too scared to say something directly to you in a solo setting but they can say everything ONLY in a group setting. These girls feel like they need others to back them up when they are being mean or when they are wrong. It’s the girls who feel like they have to say things in a group setting because without that setting, they really are very weak individuals. These are the girls that get upset over a dress. Yes, a dress.  It’s the girls who can make college feel like middle school. These are the worst girls. These are the girls who will go nowhere in life because they need back up from their “friends” to confront somebody about problems they have. These girls are the girls who need to have a problem with someone at all times. I’m the girl they have a problem with. It’s me one week and a different girl the next week. But when it’s the week that it’s me that they have a problem with, the other girl is their “best friend”. I think these girls truly will fail in life because you won’t always be in a group when difficult situations rise.. These girls don’t know how to act  in difficult situations because remember- without their group, they are nothing.

But to the girls who were mean to me and who bullied me, thank you. I actually am thanking you and I never ever thought I would say that. Thank you for teaching me that I am so much stronger than I ever thought and that I am worth so much more than what yours words say about me because quite frankly, your words don’t dictate my self worth. I dictate my self worth and I am strong.

Because of you, I’ve learned that if you speak up for what you believe in, you can make a difference. I’ve learned that a girl from Saint Louis, Missouri can make a difference. I’ve learned that actions hurt, but words can hurt a lot worse.

I Wasn’t Planning To Fall.

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I wasn’t planning to fall. I wasn’t planning to like you and I certainly wasn’t planning on loving you. But we don’t get to pick who we love. We love who we love regardless of what our brain tells us. Even when our brain tells us to move on but we can’t control what our heart feels.

Sure I’ve loved before. I’ve loved someone because I knew them for so long that I loved them more like a best friend and I’ll always care for them but I didn’t love him like I love you. I’ve loved someone because I thought that’s what I was supposed to feel, but I knew it wasn’t real. But I love you because you were a breath of fresh air, until you weren’t. The until you weren’t part wasn’t supposed to happen in my mind. But it did and I can’t control that. But I guess I also can’t control that I still love you in the no longer breath of fresh air phase, even when my brain tells me to move on.

Sometimes I feel so stupid for still loving you because it’s so clear that the feeling isn’t mutual and how can I possibly love someone who I hardly talk to anymore and someone who I haven’t seen in 6 months. But all I ever wanted was to be wanted and at first, that’s what I had. I was wanted. You wanted me more than I wanted you. You liked me way more than I liked you. Until you didn’t. Until I had fallen way more than I ever planned and suddenly you decided I wan’t for you. Unfortunately for me, your career is more important (understandable by far) but I think that it’s been used as a cover up for a lot of lies and excuses that have been made up so you can avoid giving me a true response. I think that it’s been used as a way of not wanting to tell me the truth. But unfortunately for me, your career isn’t a 9-5 job. It’s all day every day and I can’t change that just like how I can’t change how you feel about me.

But what I’ve realized is that the best relationships come from the ones you never thought would happen. They often come from the people we never thought we would like (thats also how my best friend, Emma, and I became friends but that’s and entirely different story). The best relationships are the ones where you give in and you let yourself feel how you truly feel without stopping it. I eventually did that and that’s when I fell. But I don’t think you ever allowed yourself to fully feel your emotions. But I don’t blame you. It’s scary liking someone who potentially could end up staying in a different country, or someone who lives in a different state, let alone loving them. It’s scary to truly let yourself feel. But to let yourself feel is one of the best things ever. Sure you get hurt but you’d hurt yourself by not letting yourself feel emotions to their fullest.

I’ll admit that even though I fell, there comes a time where you have to move on and you can only wait for someone for so long, regardless of how your heart feels. For me, that waiting time is currently at 6 months and I don’t know how to move on because a piece of me will always be so hopeful that one day you’ll realize that you do like me and you do want to be with me. But it’s also turning people down in hopes that you’ll like me again. It’s hoping that when you text me it’s you wanting me back. But that hasn’t quite worked out like I hopped. I waited for you to come back to the US to be together but again, that didn’t quite work out like I hopped. I can’t keep chasing someone who doesn’t put in the effort. I’m so tired of one sided relationships and I deserve a relationship where the other person feels the same.

I wasn’t planning to fall but I’m glad I did.

The Boy Who Changed Me

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I used to think that we were supposed to be together. I didn’t realize that just because you’ve known someone for 6 years, that doesn’t mean you have to love them. You don’t even have to like them. Even after knowing someone for so long, you might now actually know them.

Our story was simple. I was never “good enough” for you because no matter what I did, I never got your approval. It was a constant back and forth of seeking your approval and you being embarrassed to be with me. I didn’t realize that this wasn’t a relationship. I should have known this when you were “too cool” to talk to me. But I didn’t want to accept that. I thought we were supposed to be together. We aren’t and I know that now. I should have known that from the beginning. It was so clear that it was never a healthy relationship. I was constantly fighting for the attention I wanted, while I was only what you wanted when it was convenient for you. Not when I needed you the most. Sure, you were there for me at times but you also made me do things I didn’t want to do. You treated me like I owed you the world when I didn’t owe you anything. I don’t have to do what you want me to do.

The struggle for power was real. You had to have control at all times. You had to make the decisions. It was all up to you. In fact, I don’t think during those years I made any decision regarding “us”. I kept fighting to win you over but you only came back when I was your last option. I was always there and I shouldn’t have been. I allowed you to walk all over me and take advantage of me because I thought I loved you. It turns out, I didn’t even know what love was.

I should have known that I shouldn’t be falling apart on the bathroom floor over someone I “love”. I shouldn’t be hurting more than I was happy. I shouldn’t be in a relationship where you’re constantly seeking the approval from your friends. In a relationship, you should want me to be around, but you didn’t. You never wanted me around because I wasn’t good enough for you or for your group of friends. I allowed you to destroy me.

More nights than not, I was hurting because of you. I spent 4 years fighting for you when you never once proved yourself to me. You would text me just to let me down a few days later constantly getting my hopes up. Because of this, I spent my time living in the future, where we were together. All I wanted was to be with you but that wasn’t the same for you. I hurt myself in the process of trying to make myself good enough for you. But my good enough is never good enough for you, and that’s okay.

After you left, you kept trying to come back and each time I let you in again, I had to break down the walls that you built up. The same walls I built up because of you, I broke down for you. I was vulnerable and hopeful, just to be hurt a thousand times. But eventually, I moved on. I learned what I don’t want in a relationship. I learned that I don’t want someone who hurts me more than loves me. I learned that I don’t want to be scared of the person I think I’m supposed to be with. I don’t want to be with you. When I lost you, I thought it was the end of the world but in reality, I learned who I am. I learned who I am without you and I love that person so much. I love who I’ve become without you in my life. I’ve become independent and I no longer feel like I need a relationship to be happy. I can be happy without a boy in my life. When we were “together” I thought the only way to be happy was to be with you but in retrospect, I am a thousand times happier without you. I’ve never felt so carefree in my life because I don’t have to worry about you or being good enough for you and your group of friends. I love that. I love that I don’t need you. Since fully moving on, I’ve learned that I can love and be loved in a much deeper, better way than what I thought was right. I let you dictate my self worth and what I’ve learned is that I am so much more worthy than some boy who doesn’t think so. I am not unworthy just because you think so. So I ask you one simple thing, please don’t come back into my life until you’ve learned that I am worthy.

“She lost him but found herself and somehow that was everything.”

19 Things I’ve Learned By 19.

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1. People change and that’s okay. People will change and it will surprise you. It’s 100% okay to grow apart from people because they are changing. People never stay the same.

2. You change and that’s also okay. You’ll change as well. Don’t expect to be the same person you were 4 years ago. Who you were at 15 is not who you’ll be at 18, or 19. You are constantly growing and changing and liking new things. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be happy.

3. People will leave you. Surprise!!! People leave. People get tired of you, people don’t have to stick around. Sometimes you’re the one to initiate it, it’s fine. Don’t worry about it.

4.  It’s okay NOT to be okay. It’s okay to scream. It’s okay to cry. But it’s not okay to hurt yourself because you’re not okay. You’ll have days where you think your entire world is falling apart. You’ll have days where you can’t get out of bed. That’s okay, just know that it doesn’t last forever. Some people need medicine, that’s OKAY. It took me the longest time to realize that medicine is not the devil and that it actually helps. You’re not weird for needing it. It’s okay to be “that person that needs medicine to make them happy”.

5. Study, Study, Study. I cannot stress enough how important studying is. I realllllyyyy wish I would have realized this in high school. Okay, I did realize it but I didn’t do anything to actually study. Dumb, I know. Just please study.

6. Who you were when you were 14 is not the same person you’ll be when you’re 18.

7. Boys will never change. As much as you think boys will eventually mature and change, they don’t. They are still boys. You cannot change them, you cannot make them like you. You can’t make “the bad guys good for a weekend”, Sorry Taylor.

8. Be whoever you want to be. Do whatever you please. Wear what you want, dress like you want, Do whatever you want.

9. Girls will be mean. It’s no secret that girls are mean. Girls will continue to be mean. They won’t like you because of something you said 5 years ago, or what you wear, or how you do your makeup. Girls are mean. But guess what, you don’t have to be mean if you don’t want to.

10. You absolutely do not need to drink to have fun. Don’t think that you need to drink to have fun. Drinking doesn’t make you fun, you make yourself fun. Sure it can help get you out of your comfort zone but you don’t need to drink to have fun.

11. Don’t give in to peer pressure. If you don’t want to smoke weed, don’t. Don’t let people talk you into doing anything you don’t want to do. You’ll be much happier if you stick with your own answer than giving in to what people want you to do.

12. Always carry some money with you, even if it’s just $5. This is easy, you never know what situation you will be in so just make sure to have a little bit of money with you wherever you go.

13. Drink a LOT of water. Water is amazing. Water can cure so much. It’s so easy to just now drink water and to drink soda, or juice or anything but water. But after drinking nothing but water anymore, you’ll notice a HUGE difference. You’ll feel so much better, your skin will be better, you’ll be happier. Just drink the water.

14. Your mom is always right…most of the time. Don’t argue with what she says because a majority of the time, she’s right about everything. She knows a lot more than you think she does.

15. Say what you want to say. If you want to say something, say it. Just make sure that it’s not hurtful before you say it. It’s so important to say what you want but you need to have somewhat of a filter. Stick up for yourself, what you believe in, your friends, your family. Just don’t be rude.

16. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Your mental health is so important. It affects everything you do. If you need a mental health day, take one. Mental health should be treated as if its as important as physical health.

17. Stop overthinking EVERYTHING. Just do it! Just go with your gut. You don’t have to sit there for 5 minutes thinking about the outcome. Yes, it’s important to be aware of the outcome but you don’t need to let overthinking ruin you. If you are constantly overthinking everything, you miss a whole lot of fun.

18. Healthy eating is so important. You’ll feel so much better if you just eat healthy. It’s not hard to do and you’ll quickly realize that you will feel better. Start small if you have to by swapping out snacks, then swap out meals.It’s so rewarding.

19. Do whatever you want, it’s your life.

To My Bestfriend in Heaven.

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On Saturday February 6, 2016, it will be 4 months since you’ve passed away. But it will also be my 19th birthday. There’s nothing I want this year except for something I know I definitely won’t be able to get. I want nothing more than for you to come back. There’s not a single day that goes by where I don’t think about you. Not a single day has passed where I haven’t cried a little because you aren’t here. I think about all of the things I’ve done in that short amount of time that you don’t know about and I so badly want you to know about them. I can’t even begin to fathom that you’re not here because it doesn’t seem real yet and quite frankly, I don’t know if it ever will seem real. I’m a firm believer than I’ll see you again but it’s not fair that we have to wait so long. I just wish that you could be here and we didn’t have to wait until I joined you.

You were always my biggest supporter and my biggest cheerleader. You always believed in my a thousand times more than I believed in myself and the amazing thing was that you actually believed in me. I knew that you would always be there for me if I needed it. Your cooking was so good and I wish you taught my mom to cook like you (sorry mom). I miss going over to your house and always being greeted with a smile. What I think I miss the most is knowing all of the things you’ll never get to see me do. You’ll never see me graduate college, you’ll never see me get a “big girl” job, you’ll never see me get married, there’s so many things that I’ll never get to share with you that I want to share with you so bad.

I hate that your life got cut short because of this bitch named cancer. I hate that you weren’t ready to go. I don’t get why I was the last one your had a conversation with. I don’t get it and it doesn’t make sense. I feel honored but a bit bad almost because why me? I didn’t do anything special to be the last one you talked to. But I’m thankful I got to be the last one to hear your voice.

I just miss having a best friend all of the time. I miss you so much. I miss talking to you and hearing your voice in person. I miss seeing you.

A New Year.

The start of a new year seems to spin the world in circles. It has everybody questioning on how they can make themselves better this year. It has everybody setting goals for themselves on ways to improve their health, their relationships, their attitudes, etc. But why is it that we as people feel so motivated at the beginning of a new year? Everybody feels so inclined to act upon a new (or old) goal all of the sudden. While it’s good to have that motivation, why is it that we don’t have that same motivation later in the year? How come the year changing on the calendar changes the way everybody suddenly feels about themselves? Is it just because it’s an easy way to suddenly change the way you do something without receiving questions about it? Or is it just because everybody else around you is making goals that you feel inclined to do the same?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t make goals for yourself because I do think that goals are good. Goals help you achieve something that you want. Without goals and an idea of what you want the end result to be, you’ll never start. You should always be trying to make yourself better. But how come the new year brings that burst of motivation? Why can’t people have that same motivation in march that they get on January 1st. Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean that it’s a new you. You don’t automatically change once it strikes midnight and everybody is yelling “Happy New Year!” You’re still the same person you were 2 minutes ago. While you’re constantly evolving, you’re never a “new” person.

Personally, I know that if I made a goal at the beginning of the new year, I would find myself doing it for a week, maybe two, maybe a month but then I would start to slowly get myself further and further away from that goal. Since this is the case, why would I set a goal for myself at the new year just so I have an answer for when people ask me “what are your new years resolutions?” when I wouldn’t keep up with it. The answer I might be giving could very well be a goal I have for myself but unless I actually have that real motivation, I won’t stick with it.

It’s so good to set goals for yourself. Goals are great and you should constantly be making goals for yourself, but you should challenge yourself to be making those same goals all throughout the year. You should have that same motivation for yourself at any given time in the year. You should constantly want to be making yourself the best you can be. But a new year on the calendar doesn’t have to mean a sudden burst of motivation. If you don’t find that motivation at the beginning of the year, don’t set a goal just so you have an answer to a question. Set the goal when you’re ready to actually make a change.