Lessons from the Playground

We're all stories in the end, just make it a good one, eh?

They say high school is supposed to prepare you for college and that college should prepare you for life. However, I’ve found that the lessons that I learned at recess in elementary school were much more accurate than what they feed us now.

Let me explain.

  1. You learn of cliques… yes.. there are cliques even at the lovely (and completely unawkward) age of 7. Though you don’t necessarily pay attention to them, you know that there are certain people that you want to spend time with, and then there are the people who throw sticks in your general direction when the teacher isn’t looking. Either way.. you’re learning to base your socializing off of those you treat you better than that… unless they’re throwing sticks with you, then.. well.. it’s a very fine line.
  2. You learn the evils of the gossip mill. There must have been a million grapevines on my playground because if someone whispered everyone heard it; it’s also important to note that this is where you learn how things can get misconstrued. There was once in elementary school when I slugged a boy in the arm (he probably deserved it), and by the time it had made its way to the teacher, there were much more serious implications. Luckily, for me, the boy told the truth about where I had hit him.. for a second there it had turned into an awful game of telephone.
  3. You learn about the unfairness in life. One word. Kickball. You know what I’m talking about. Many of us have stood in that line waiting to hear the captains call our name out, but one by one, the group dwindles. People that didn’t necessarily play as well as you were chosen first because they were friends, and then, it got down to you and that other kid, ya know, the one that didn’t really want to play but they conned him/her into it so there would be an even number. The only thing going on in your head is, “Please don’t pick me last. Please don’t pick me last.”
  • There is a caveat to this one… I’ve found that if you’re actually really good at said sport (or whatever), kids on the playground tend to overlook the fact that you’re female faster than adults do. You peg one kid directly in the head.. and you’re golden. Don’t try that as an adult.. that’s how people get sued.
  1. You learn that having a crush on someone is terrifying. Sure, once you’re an adult it’s scary… you’re wondering, “Is this the one? Will I screw this up? Are they going to dump me? Do they actually like me?” All in one thought process.. (overthinking FTW). However, when you’re young, it’s much worse. Possibly the only thing we have to base our “love life” on are Disney movies. By sending over the “Do you like me? Check: Yes or No” letter, you could be sealing your fate for happily ever after. Girls.. don’t act like you didn’t already start signing his last name in your binder. Playing MASH? You cheated so his name was circled. People worry about being heartbroken now, at least now you know it’ll get better. You’ve had the experience to be able to know that even if you take the risk, it won’t destroy you. But, then again, maybe it was better then.. “loving” without fear. Plus, holding hands with somebody is just so nice. 🙂 Go on now.. go hold hands.
  2. You learn that good friends are a MUST. When I was in 5th grade, I had short hair.. REALLY short hair. I didn’t care.. long hair took effort, and I really was more concerned with enjoying sports than fixing my hair. However, because of this, some of my classmates decided that it would be funny to call me “It.” They said that there was no way to tell if I was male or female, so it fit me better. My best friend at the time and I were in line to get some ice cream, and one of the boys in our class was being especially cruel that day and made some comment about me looking like a boy. My friend.. being the amazing girl she was.. put her arm around me and said, “Well, if she was a boy, I’d choose to date her over you any day.” Right there, ladies and gentleman, is a true friend. It’s not about saving face or what you can do for them, it’s about love, compassion, and trust.
  3. You learn to pick yourself back up. Though maybe the drama you experience now is a bit more serious than it was then. Who cares? If there’s one lesson in life that I’ve always cherished, it’s the one that shows you that no matter how bad it gets, it can always get better. Not to make you start singing the Frozen soundtrack, but let it go. Don’t let anything hold you back from your dreams. Don’t let anyone hold you back from anything. Sure, we’re all going to have baggage… but it’s how you store it that matters. You can choose to lug it around with you, or you can choose to vacuum-seal that junk and put it away. It’s not about getting some place.. it’s about the journey. Don’t let your past hold you back from being happy. Find yourself. Find what makes you happy… and when you find that, never let it go.

So there ya go.. a few lessons from a 90s playground. Go out and live your life! Find your bliss! Kiss someone! Join a nudist colony! Whatever! Do what makes you happy! Because as much as you can want everyone around you to be happy, you’re spending the rest of your life with yourself. If there’s ever a moment where you feel like there is no bouncing back, don’t give up. Sometimes fear holds us back from happiness, sometimes it’s heartache, sometimes we’re just being stubborn/stupid, but don’t let yourself wake up one day and regret what could have been.

Just think:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

No Longer One-Size-Fits-All

Frozen What if I meet the one

“What if I meet THE one?”

The other day, I served a table that asked me how many children I have; I went about answering it the same way I normally do: “None at the moment.” That usually ends the conversation. However, this man decided that the idea of me wasting my life without children and a husband was ridiculous. He asked me why I didn’t have any. I politely told him that I was pursuing other things in my life currently, and I didn’t have the time or the opportunity to do so. From here, the conversation went further south. He told me that I’d ought to hurry up before it’s too late, and I pretended to find this funny and told him that I would do my best to change my priorities around to get married and start a family.

Though I’m sure many would be offended by this man (I admit that I was slightly put-off), this conversation did make me start thinking about how we look at the value of someone’s life. Here we are, the 21st century, and somehow, we’re still stuck on the idea that our happiness lies in finding our one true love, getting married, and having a baby. And, the people that choose a different life, a different path, are ostracized. Even if it isn’t said out loud, the questionable glances and judgment is there.

Why?

Think for a moment what this is teaching our children (well, not mine because, as mentioned, I have none). They are constantly bombarded by Disney movies telling them that their Prince Charming, their soul mate, is out there somewhere waiting for them, and when they find them, that’s when happily ever after begins. Of course.. that bubble is burst after the first few failed relationships… the guys turn out to be more like Hans from Frozen than Phillip from Sleeping Beauty.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not always the guys. Sometimes, as females, we get a little.. hmm.. ahead of ourselves. There are those moments that happen with a simple smile from are date.. and it turns into the distant sounds of wedding bells in our minds. I’ve done it, you’ve done it.. let’s be honest.. we’ve all.. jumped ahead. Pinterest proves this. How many of you have a wedding board and don’t even have a boyfriend?

Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it the constant bombardment of a timetable that society is telling us is a one size fits all?

Recently, I’ve been thinking more on this. Why am I in a hurry? Sure, I’m nearing 30, and my childbearing days are not as plenty as they used to be. How can that be an excuse? There’s adoption. I could love any child, regardless of it being biologically mine. Why can’t I simply stop and smell the roses? Appreciate what life has offered me?

I’m trying. I think we should all try. The timetable that starts the moment you have your first date.. throw it away. Maybe you’re ready to commit and they’re not at the same place yet. Ask yourself two questions: “Do you love them?” If the answer is yes, then ask, “Are you in love with them or do you just need love?”

Who are we to say that our timetable is more important than theirs? If you have needs that aren’t being met, then find someone else. But, just because society attempts to shove the one-size-fits-all logic upon us.. doesn’t mean we should do it to our significant others. Remember this: Different people need different amounts of time, and there are no guarantees.

Would it be nice to step into a relationship knowing that you were guaranteed a white dress and ring.. sure. I guess.

But what fun would that be?

Instead of worrying about the future.. about what you can get from them. Stop and enjoy it. Enjoy them. Who cares if the white dress never comes? You’re making memories.. these may be the best days you’ve ever had with someone, and that is what is important. Not the title. Not the dream. It’s the person standing there with you for as long as they do.

Sometimes things don’t work out, and that’s okay. Because that person has shown you something about yourself that maybe you didn’t know before. Don’t hate them for not following your timetable.. love them because they were apart of it at all.

Maybe marriage isn’t something in my future and maybe I’ll never have kids. That’s all okay because I will never be able to say that I haven’t loved… because though it’s terrifying to fall in love, our heart is a muscle and the best exercise that it has is falling in love. That’s why it hurts when things fall apart.. you’re not broken.. you’re just a little sore. So, go out there! Exercise those hearts! Let it soar as far as it can!

New Year.. New Post

Tenth Doctor New Year

With the New Year in full force, I have consistently been seeing Resolution posts all over FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Honestly, I think it’s good to set goals and continue to build upon them. Though I’d love to be thinner, richer, and healthier, these things don’t happen without hard work. Just because we can say “This is what I want from this year,” it doesn’t mean it will lead to next year and on.

I’d love to think that people think further than a year into their future when setting goals. I mean, I most definitely do. Some might say I look a little too far into my future. It’s a personality flaw.. what can I say?

But, okay, you want to make a New Year’s Resolution. Why not focus on something bettering yourself as person. Sure, we can say we want to “look hotter,” but why not focus on being healthier? We can say I want to be richer, but why not make a goal to set a certain amount of money aside per day/week/month into a savings account. Not an astronomical amount, but enough to make a little bit of a difference. The best way to make goals and stick to them is by using specifics.

For example, though I choose to call them goals and not resolutions, my list for the next year (and beyond) is:

  1. Graduate with my BA (May 2014)
  2. Write at least one page 5 days a week on my novel.
  3. Learn a new language (At this point, it is set on Scots Gaelic)
  4. Read the Bible (As a English major, I find that this is my weakest point for analysis)

These are merely four things that I want to do with my life. Yes, I want to be healthier and stronger and fitter, but those goals are a minority to the development of my mind.

So, find a non-superficial part of you that you want to develop and go with it. Or, do a superficial part… I don’t judge.

The end result of every goal/year should simply be happiness. If you’re not entirely happy, don’t blame those around you. Look inside yourself and find what it is that is keeping you from happiness. Don’t attach yourself to someone simply to help mask the sadness, anger, etc. that you are feeling.

Find something within yourself that makes you feel alive. I know, I know… easier said than done. However, if you’re not truly happy with yourself, you will never be truly happy with someone else. Find your passion… find that one thing in life that sets your soul on fire and makes you want to work harder, learn more, and smile wider. It’s the simple things in life that are important. Never lose sight of that.

“Our lives are different from anybody else’s. That’s the exciting thing. Nobody in the universe can do what we’re doing.”
The Second Doctor, Tomb of the Cybermen

Painting my Future

Danny Kaye creativity quote

When Spring semester let out, I knew I needed to find some way to make some extra cash during the summer.

I work in a Mexican restaurant Thurs-Sun, but I wanted something different than just serving people.

So, I came up with this idea to paint shoes. I had already made myself a pair to wear to Dragon*Con last year, so I knew I could do it. However, I wasn’t quite sure I’d be able to sell them.

If you ever frequent Etsy, you know that they sell on there, and they’re quite expensive. I’ve always been the nerd that *loves* the idea of wearing all these nerdy creations but doesn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for them… mainly because I have more important things to spend money on… like food and rent. So,  I wanted to make the shoes affordable for everyone.

Captain America Shoes

Captain America Themed Shoes

I started out simple, with a pair for myself to see if there was any interest out there. I painted a nice and modern version of Captain America shoes.

A couple of my friends got onboard and ordered a couple from me. I was really excited about the prospect of creating something special for them, and then, everything started taking off.

I’m not saying that I’m packed to the limits with shoe orders, but this has become a pretty fun and profitable way to save some money for grad school.

Last night, while waiting on a couple at work, we got into a discussion about all things nerdy (I have a Sherlock Holmes tattoo on my wrist, which tends to start conversations), and he had a huge Star Wars tattoo. I had just finished some Star Wars themed shoes, and so I showed them to him.

They gushed about my shoes and art for about 10 mins, and I’m not going to lie, it was nice. I would have stood there longer if it hadn’t been for the whole “I’m at work” thing.  The man at the table suggested that I could probably do this for a living and not worry about school, but let’s be honest.. not going to happen.

I love painting these shoes, and I love watching people nerd-out over my creations for them. However, painting shoes is not my passion. I will, however, be continuing to paint them.. probably well into grad school because who doesn’t love a bit of extra cash? Plus, painting shoes reminds me of arts and crafts at summer camp so many years ago.

 

We Can Do It!

Rosie The Riveter Feminism

The other night while sitting in my backyard kiddie pool and having a drink with a close friend, we were discussing Beyonce’s new song “Flawless.”

To be honest, the song itself doesn’t impress me (I’m more of a classic song/lyric kind of gal… ya know, the kind that doesn’t throw out b*tches and GD all the time). However, it did make me look into the woman who speaks during the song: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

As I did my research, I found a connection with her. I ended up watching her TedTalks presentation, which is below. She is an incredible storyteller, who is able to make light of a situation that she clearly cares very much about… as we all should.

As a female, I have a lot to say about this subject, but if you watch and listen to her speech, she says it so perfectly.

She is an amazing person, and I will be delving more into her writings and speeches because she is truly an inspiration. I believe that everyone can benefit from her speech because “gender lessons” can be changed through children.. the children that are growing up now, and the children that are yet to be born.

Feminism isn’t about taking off bras and refusing to shave. Feminism can extend to both sexes. It’s about understanding that gender doesn’t change our worth.

I will finish this out with the part of Adichie’s speech that is included in “Flawless”:

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller
We say to girls: “You can have ambition, but not too much
You should aim to be successful, but not too successful
Otherwise, you will threaten the man”
Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage
I am expected to make my life choices
Always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important
Now, marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support
But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage
And we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors
Not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing
But for the attention of men
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are
Feminist: a person who believes in the social,
Political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

Memory Clutter

Intoxicated by Memories and Feelings

I’ve been going through my stuff recently and getting rid of unnecessary items that I have collected over the years.

As I was doing this the other day, I came across a torn slip of paper. To an outsider, this paper would be trash, but simply by looking at this tiny slip of paper, I was transported back to the place that it ended up in my possession. It was a vivid memory–full of laughter and enjoyment, but it also brought me sorrow because I don’t have those moments anymore.

This is why I find it difficult to throw away even the simplest of items because, even if it means nothing to anyone else, it means something to me. It’s a frozen piece of time from a moment long ago.. or possibly not so long ago.

My mom has always been the type to throw away everything. She hates clutter. To be honest, I hate clutter, but I always find it difficult to let go of these seemingly insignificant material items.

It’s not like I don’t have the memories. I could go back to them anytime I’d like, but being able to touch, see, smell, hear something that was there the moment the memory was created helps me feel more connected. It’s like hearing a song that you used to love as a childhood and immediately remembering every word to the song the moment you hear the tune and sheer joy washes over you.

Smiling like a goofball, I stared at this little piece of paper for about five minutes before I realized that I needed to let it go.

By investing in my past, I am holding back my future. So, I crumpled this little sheet of paper up and sent it packing with all the other clutter-causing agents.

I think it’s important to remember your past and to cherish the memories you have, but material items shouldn’t control you.

Now that I’m trying to move out of the country, I’m trying to weigh what is really important against what I simply keep to remember. More often than not, the trash can wins the day.

I will always cherish the memories I have, but I need to let go of the material aspect of them. Plus, pictures are mainly digital now… and digital doesn’t count as clutter. 🙂

 

Barefoot in the Kitchen

When baking, Follow instructions. When cooking, go by your own taste

When I was younger, we always knew it was dinnertime when the smoke alarm went off. This is not to say that my mother was a bad cook.. she was just forgetful about the breads and baked goods for dinner.

We all sat down at a dinner table and ate together, swapping stories about our days and thoughts. My mom brought us all together with a simple meal that she cooked.

When I was old enough to be trusted with the stove, I tried to replicate my mom’s ability to throw a dinner together. It didn’t go well. I remember one time, when my parents at work, I actually caught a towel on fire while cooking. Luckily, my mom’s magazines were close-by, so I was able to quickly put it out.

Needless to say, I was not a good cook. My biggest accomplishment as a teenager was cooking Ramen noodles properly.

Once I was in high school, I decided I’d like to learn again. I mean, in a few years there was a chance of me living alone and then what? Ramen noodles every day?

My mom was patient with me, and slowly, I began cooking things that didn’t resemble the mush that they give prisoners in movies.

Now, years later, I’ve found that I excel at difficult recipes. It’s quite odd though because I still struggle at cooking simple items like grilled cheese sandwiches and Kraft Mac and Cheese.

I’ve come to love cooking and baking; it’s like being in science class and mixing ingredients to get the best possible results. When experimenting, I usually use my sense of smell to determine spices and herbs to use.. or in baking, the right amount of sugar and flour.

Me topping off my chocolate cheesecake

Me topping off my chocolate cheesecake

More than cooking and baking, I love having people over to enjoy the foods with me. For some unknown reason, there’s something great about cooking for hours and then having several people gush over how amazing you are. I don’t know what it is, but it’s nice. 🙂

But seriously, if you “suck” at cooking or feel like it’s a pain, find something that makes it interesting. Find a favorite recipe or something new that you’ve always wanted to try. The key is to keep practicing.

There are times when my food is “just okay” or something I simply toss after a couple bites, but overall, it feels good to finish cooking a good meal and sitting down at the table to eat. It brings me back to the days I lived with my family… and just for good measure, every now and then I burn something to set off the smoke alarm. Totally on purpose.. I promise.

Mothers’ Day Weekend

 

Finally done with the Spring Semester! Finals were finished just in time to celebrate a fake holiday.. Cinco De Mayo. Oh.. Americans.

Then, my mom came to visit me.

When I hear the horror stories that some of my friends have about their mothers, it makes me want to run home and hug my mother! She has always been there for me and is truly my best friend.

I was a good child, but I still made my mom do things that she’d probably rather not have done… and most of them involved baseball.

Mom and Me

My first birthday

For example, the countless number of Atlanta Braves game that my mom took my friends and I to (though she loves baseball, she did not love going to the game). My mom was the one who sat in the nosebleed section with the book that she was reading at the time while my friends and I made idiots out of ourselves with homemade t-shirts and signs.

She was our personal photographer to capture all these details.

We even convinced my mom to drive us all over the southeast to go watch minor league baseball games. Richmond, VA; Greenville, SC; Asheville, NC; and Savannah, GA were all cities that we graced with our baseball fanatic ways, and not once did my mother show her embarrassment (of course, we were caught up with all the happenings on the field, so there’s a good chance that she was and we just didn’t notice).

My mom and I took trips all the time together, and there was never a time when I didn’t want to spend those times with her. I never laugh as much as when I’m with her… of course, most of the laughing is at the expense of one another.. or my grandma (“I rememba…”)

Now that I’m an adult (at least in age), it’s not as easy to take off and spend time with my mom, but we still find time to goof around. Most of the time she comes to visit me, and we spend days thrift shopping and doing arts and crafts (no joke).

Mom and Me

After Preschool recital

However, no matter how little time we spend together and how many miles are between us, I know that my mom is there for me no matter what… unless our phone conversation lasts more than 15 minutes.. then she gets impatient. 🙂

She is amazing, and one day, I hope that I can be as sure of myself as she is. There is no better role model for me than the woman who struggled to raise me and my three brothers (and trust me.. they were a struggle); she sacrificed so much for us.. and still does.

I love her with all my heart.

 

 

Oh, and mom.. if you’re reading this.. can I borrow $20? 😉 just kidding.

Grad School on the Horizon

Grad School

Literature has always been a big part of my life. Everyday, when I was younger, my mother would read to me. Each evening, I would close my eyes, and the words transported me to imaginary worlds filled with enchanting adventures and wondrous happenings. Within those pages, anything was possible. My obsession with literature and the places that books could take me began then.

As time went on, I read everything I could get my hands on. My brothers were years older, and because of their classes’ reading list, they introduced me to classic literature at a very young age. While my friends were reading “The Babysitter’s Club,” I was spending time with Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare and making up lesson plans for a classroom filled with my most intelligent stuffed animals, their eyes wide with excitement for the day’s lessons.

My love for literature has stood the test of time. I fell in love with the intricacies of the classic novels. I loved analyzing the text and explaining to complete strangers why these authors were such geniuses. Slowly, throughout high school, I broadened my literary spectrum to include Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Oscar Wilde. I began writing research papers about what I was reading, so I could explain to others a different way of looking at the novels. Every now and again, I would pull those same wide-eyed stuffed animals out and give them a brush-up lesson on literature.

In Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen wrote, “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” Though this is a bit of an exaggeration, I believe that literature is able to open the mind to new possibilities. Going deeper than the words on the page allows people to build their critical thinking skills, sometimes without even noticing it. This is why I want to teach literature. Because the beauty of literature is that it is able to sneak up on the reader and show him or her something they never thought they’d see. I want to help people make that journey.

I don’t want to just teach literature; I want everyone to be able to experience it because literature isn’t about words and paper; it’s about emotion and imagination. True literature doesn’t have to be a novel; it just needs to be able to transport a person to a different place. It’s magical. Words that can cause the human body to experience emotions by connecting to fictional characters and creatures that the authors create in his or her works.

For this, the next step in my journey to achieve this goal is applying to graduate programs. I have several schools on my list, but currently, my favorite is University of Edinburgh (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle attended). They have a MSc in Literature and Society: Enlightenment, Romantic, and Victorian, which is where my passion for literature lies. I will be applying later this year, and hopefully, I will be accepted.

You may ask, “Why Europe?” or “Aren’t there plenty of schools here?”

Yes, there are plenty of schools here, and many of them are great schools. However, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to live abroad.. and more specifically, live in the UK or Ireland. So much so that, when I was a child, I would speak in a British accent whenever my mother and I were out in public (and by British accent.. let’s be honest.. I was 6 or 7.. it probably was an awful attempt at a British accent).

Even more so than that, though I love many American authors, books, and stories, my true passion for literature lies in British literature.. and more towards the classics than anything. As, I stated above, I loved Shakespeare when I was very young. By fifth grade (aged 10), I had the complete works of Shakespeare in one book and spent a lot of my time reading his sonnets and acting out his plays. When my brother was a freshman in high school, he had to read Great Expectations… I read it as soon as he finished it (I was also still 10). I read Les Miserables when I was 9… I didn’t understand a lot of it, but I loved it. Needless to say, I was weird child.

Now, I have the chance of a lifetime to travel to and live in the land that produced so many of my favorite authors that helped shaped my childhood.. and my life. I have no husband, children, or any plans to have either on the horizon. So, the question shouldn’t be “Why?” It is most definitely and will forever be “Why not?”

Fairytale Reality

Fairytale Love

When I was a little girl, I loved Cinderella. Maybe it’s because I thought a prince would one day sweep me off my feet, and we would live happily in his castle forever. Maybe it’s because I wanted to go to balls and wear shiny jewelry. Who knows. I thought, “This love can stand the test of time.” But, let’s all take off our glass slippers and be honest: real world love isn’t about that.

The truth is castles are cold and drafty, and back in those times, they didn’t have indoor plumbing and water that turned hot with a twist of a handle.

I don’t want a prince to sweep me off my feet (well.. maybe a little bit). What I want is something real and tangible.

Men say that they never know what women want, but it’s really pretty simple. Here are ten items:

  1. We want to be supported, just as we want to support you.
  2. When we talk, we want to be listened to, not just heard
  3. We want you to talk to us (we don’t always want to start the conversation)
  4. When we say something like, “Wow. This is so amazing! I love this.” That means buy it for us if it’s achievable and realistic. Not right then, but maybe for our birthday (you’ll get props for remembering).
  5. We want to be touched (not just sexually). Hold our hand, move our hair out of our face, give us a peck on the forehead, cheek, or hand. These little moments make us feel loved.
  6. Don’t lie to us. Not out of fear of getting caught, but out of respect for us.
  7. Ask us out on a date. Though we love to plan things, sometimes it’s nice to have a night planned for us.
  8. Remember our favorite things (or things like food dislikes and likes)
  9. Tell us we look beautiful. (Sexy is nice on occasion, but it gets old after a while).
  10. If you love us, don’t just tell us.. show us.

And, here’s an overall statement for both men and women:

Don’t be afraid to love. If you’ve been hurt in the past, it’s hard to let go of those fears, but by letting go and trusting someone with your heart, you’re allowing yourself to grow as a person. Yeah, it may still hurt, but think about the good stuff. Realize that because of that person, you have become someone else.. someone stronger.

Stronger doesn’t mean shutting people out. Stronger means having the courage to love again. Stronger means letting go of someone or something that is pulling you down, holding you back from all the great things that you could do. Being supportive is number one on my list because, when you find the person you’re meant to be with, they will push you forward and believe in you no matter what. They want your happiness as much as they want theirs.

Just because something is familiar doesn’t mean it’s right for you and your life. Find yourself first, then you’ll be able to find someone else.

And if all else fails, remember.. I believe in you.