101 Things I Will Teach My Daughters

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This post keeps popping up my life, so I thought I would share it so it can pop up in yours too.

Thought Catalog

1. Chocolate is only a temporary fix.

2. A properly-fitting bra is not a luxury. It is a necessity.

3. Your happiness is your happiness and yours alone.

4. How to apply red lipstick.

5. How to wear the crap out of red lipstick.

6. A boyfriend does not validate your existence.

7. Eat the extra slice of pizza.

8. Wear what makes you feel gracefully at ease.

9. Love the world unconditionally.

10. Seek beauty in all things.

11. Buy your friends dinner when you can.

12. Wear sunscreen like it’s your second job.

13. Try with all your might to keep in contact with far-away friends.

14. Make the world feel at ease around you.

15. Walk with your head up.

16. Order a cheeseburger on the first date if you want to.

17. Never, ever bite your nails.

18. Swipe on some lipstick, put on your leather…

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Pay It Forward: Re-invented

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Everyone has heard the “paying it forward” stories about good Samaritans paying for the next person’s meal in line, and they pay for the next person’s, and so on and so forth.

Money is one of the biggest issue for most people today, so paying forward a meal is a great deed and I hope I have the nerve to do it someday.

I believe, however, that there are other issues to be paid forward, so to speak.

Loneliness is right up there with money struggles. Loneliness makes people sad, depressed, anxious. Loneliness makes people question their existence on this Earth. That’s not okay.

What if we tried “paying forward” caring?

You don’t have to know the person well. Or you could be their best friend. Pay forward the caring, supportive, listening qualities inside of you. Make them know they’re not alone. They will undoubtedly feel better, and want to do the same for someone else.

See how this works?

Maybe it could change the world. Maybe it will only change one person’s day, hour, or minutes.

But isn’t that enough?

New Year’s Resolutions: What Not To Do In 2015

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Amy Poehler. She’s a genius.

Okay, technically she’s just really, really awesome.

I just finished reading Poehler’s new book “Yes Please” and it’s a perfect time to read it, with everyone trying to change his or her lives in a million ways on January first. I am one of those people. It’s easy to be, too, since I get to start with a new semester, without a roommate, and I had all of Christmas break at home to step back and look at the last year to find all the shoulda-coulda-woulda’s.

Amy Poehler was really onto something when she said “we should stop asking people in their twenties what they ‘want to do’ and start asking what they don’t want to do.” No only is this a genius way to figure out what to do with your life, but I also think this could help out us crazy Americans with the New Year.

Saying everything you want to do is a lot of pressure. The list grows longer and longer until you realize it’s not realistic at all. Chances are, if you really want to do something, you’ll do it without a “resolution.” Stopping habits and not doing things is a lot harder. So really, those things could use a resolution a lot more.

Normally I tell myself resolutions are stupid so why bother. And maybe they are. But just for kicks and giggles (and a deep desire to make this a fantastic, amazing year) here are my New Year’s resolutions of what not to do in 2015:

  1. Don’t neglect you body.

I saw over break how much simple, quick condition helped me improve even though I’m injured and not dancing. This is where I would usually say “condition x number of times a week.” Instead, I think success will be in the remind to not forget to condition.

  1. Don’t forget your self worth.

I have recently become comfortable with who I am, but it’s easier said and imagined from the comfort of my home than done in the real world. Plus, “remember your self worth” implies that I forgot it in the first place, which I’d rather not.

  1. Don’t convince yourself you’re not beautiful.

I have a tendency to let all the bad voices tell me my skin isn’t clear enough and my nose is weird and my haircut makes me look five and my smile isn’t right. My skin has it perks, my nose is just fine, and hair will grow, and my smile is one of my best assets because it is the window to my happiness.

  1. Don’t lose God.

He’s not going anywhere and he doesn’t even need a resolution to be sure of that. The least I can do is hold up my end of the bargain.

I’m going to slip up. A lot. But this is my attempt to at least make progress instead of going backward for the next year. Who has time for that?

Cheers to the New Year! *clinks glass full of sparkling grape juice because I’m under 21 years old*

(Also, my dear friend and I cam up with campaigns for our new year to help us accomplish what we want. Mine is #kickass2015. Let’s make it happen. Figuratively, of course.)

Reasons Why My Cat Is My Spirit Animal

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My cat is my spirit animal. I’m thoroughly convinced.

Correction: if I believed in spirit animals (do I?), she would be my spirit animal.

Her name is Sniffy (before you go judging, I named her when I was 2 years old and she sniffs everything. I rest my case.). She’s a beautiful, petite, long-haired black cat who lives in our garage and on our many acres of land around my house. No, she’s not an indoor cat, she doesn’t sleep with me at night, and she could totally rip my face off. She’s pretty fierce. I only hope I can be half the woman she is. Well I mean she’s a cat so I want to be half the cat she is, but I’m human so I want to be a human form of her. You know what I mean.

I was cuddling with her while sitting in my garage and had a multitude of epiphanies about why she is my spirit animal. So I mentally compiled a list for you! You’re welcome.

1. She’s an old soul who can still be as playful as a kitten

This right here is how I feel almost all the time. Sniffy is 16 years old, which for a cat is pretty darn good. She can be Queen Sniffy and keep her distance and treat our tomcat flippantly while somehow remaining respectful… she’s quite the animal. She also still chases butterflies and bats at them with her paw and last summer she killed a baby rabbit and left us the head. She runs straight up trees in mere seconds. But her black fur grows grayer each day, and sometimes you just look at her and feel like you should bow down to her just for the amount of wisdom in her stance.

My name literally means “soft haired and youthful.” So that’s a start. I have always looked older than my age, being offered alcohol too young, asked if I have “any gas outside” in middle school, and asked where else I have applied to schools while tagging along on college visits with my brother (who is 3 years older than me). A lot of people have these experience, so I don’t brag about them or anything; I leave that to my mom. I have also been considered wise for my age, and I tend to find more comfort around strange adults than strange teenagers. On the flip side, I am always looking for something fun and playful, even though if my serious switch is on, sometimes I think I scare people. I don’t take anything seriously, in general, but I know what needs to be taken seriously and at least on the inside I know the weight it carries.

2. Eye Conversations

Sniffy is a cat and I am a human, therefore we cannot verbally communicate. Today, however, we definitely exchanged some looks where she was clearly saying, “You’ve been gone for how long and you think you can just stop petting me?” I just now realized I never really thought about what she might be reading from my eyes, but I hope she reads the love I have for her. I think she knows.

3. Chatty Cathy or Silent Susan

Both Sniffy and I seem to share the quality of being extremely talkative or extremely introverted. I don’t know why, but this is just how we both function. I’m sure it makes me unpredictable to those around me, but I personally don’t mind one bit.

4. I want my future relationships to mirror this one

Now I’m pretty sure you’re just laughing at me for this one, and I’m kind of questioning it as I type, but I have supporting details:

a) She wouldn’t stop headbutting my stomach in the desire to be closer to me. She would knead at my lap (I had towel protection from her dagger claws) and then ram into me before she curled up as close to me as she could possibly get. I think she preferred when I slouched because then my boobs would kind of cover her on top, too. This is how I want my boyfriend/husband to be one day. I want them to want to be close to me, so close that even when they can’t physically touch me more, they still want to be closer. That right there is loving desire.

b) Her level of dependence is normal and healthy. She depends on me for some things, meaning she needs me to live a happier life. However, she could also live alone, in the wild, and still survive. I want my future significant other to feel like they need me, but not to the point where it’s unhealthy and they actually think their life depends on me.

c) Separation is okay. Sometimes Sniffy will just walk away from me, and I might wish she was still there, but later she’ll be back and I know she will. Sometimes I have stuff to do, and she’ll look at me longingly as I go away, but she accepts it and moves on with her life. In a relationship, I think it’s important to have lives outside of the relationship, like work and yoga and painting. There has to be time where one person can decide to be gone on vacation with their friends and the other person might miss them but knows they have their own things to do. That’s just what a healthy relationship is.

Maybe the next time someone asks what I want to do when I grow up, I’ll say be just like my cat. Then 1) I wouldn’t be lying and 2) they’d probably stop asking me about it.

Bridges

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Do you know what if feels like?

I do.

To be in a mentally abusive relationship.

What?

Yes, mentally abusive.

He was depressed, he was suicidal.

He didn’t try to hurt me.

And when he asked,

I was doing fine.

I was strong.

I was the only reason he was alive.

Yeah, he told me that.

But I was strong.

Not strong enough to see what he was doing to me.

Because I loved him.

And he loved me.

I was fine.

He was in the hospital;

I told everyone he was sick.

Well, he was.

And soon I would be too.

But until then,

I was happy.

Sort of.

I thought I was.

But I was wearing down.

I was becoming a shell:

empty to hold his issues,

protective to keep us both alive.

I wasn’t suicidal.

I couldn’t be.

I couldn’t do to others what he did to me.

So I stood on that bridge

even when he wasn’t there,

just in case.

That’s really what wore me down–

balancing there was exhausting.

At any moment

I could have fallen.

But as soon as I left,

he would be on the bridge instead.

And he would fall for sure.

I couldn’t leave.

After all, I was the reason he was alive.

So I stayed,

and prayed he would ask me to leave

before I fell off,

head first,

into the dark waters below.