To My Friends Who are Moving On

   This spring, I had several friends graduate from college and who are preparing the next step in their lives. After three years here, I have made some of the greatest friends this world has to offer, but the thought of some of them not returning to join me for my senior year is a bittersweet feeling. This post is for them.

            I want you guys to know that I am so proud of you all. After years of accumulating thousands of dollars’ worth of debt, endless stress filled nights, and numerous setbacks, you managed to pull through and finish college. This is something not everyone has the courage to do. It takes an incredible amount of bravery and integrity to do what you did, and that fills me with pride. I am honored to have known you, to have made countless memories I wouldn’t give up for anything, and to have been a part of your college experience. You guys amaze me, each in your own ways. I hope that whatever comes next for you, it makes you happy. You all deserve everything you want in this world, and I hope you find whatever it is you are looking for. Congratulations for making it through this chapter in your life, and I can’t wait to see how you will continue your story.

            As happy as I am for all of you, I also want to be selfish. I want to tell you not to go. I want to beg you stay here for just a little longer. I know I will still see many of you, but it won’t be the same. As happy as I am, I am also so sad that you have to go. I wish you would stay here with me, so I can hold on just a little longer. This year has been great, but I never wanted it to end, because it meant I would have to say goodbye, and you all know I’m not good at those. I don’t want you to go, but I know you have to. I want to ask you to stay, but I know that the best thing for you is to move on. I want to be selfish, but I can’t. I want you to move on, but I dread that you’ll forget about me. I want you to make a life for yourself, but I hope that I still get to be a part of it. I want things to stay the same, but I also need to know what the future holds for us all. I hope yours is bright and full of life and happiness and whatever else you desire.

            You are beautiful people who are all capable of changing the world in your own way. No matter what else you end up doing, I just hope you are happy. That you can look back on life and smile. I will miss you all terribly. I won’t see you as much, but just know I will still be right here, cheering you on.

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My Top 10 Flaws

It’s no secret that we all have things about ourselves we aren’t proud of, and normally we try to hide these things. However, we all have flaws, so why hide them? If they are something you want to change, you must start by owning them. As Tyrion says, “Wear it like armor and it can never be used to hurt you.” So, this post spells out what I feel are my worst qualities. Some people may disagree, but having people tell you that you’re wrong about yourself doesn’t make the problem go away; it just makes you feel invalid. Some of these things have a bright side to them, but overall, they are what I feel my worst flaws are.

I take things far too personally: I have always been one to take things to heart, even when they have nothing to do with me. If a person doesn’t respond to my texts, while logically I know they are probably busy, but I can’t help but feel as though I did something to make them angry or upset with me. When people say things about me or when I am ignored, I take it to heart. It’s something I’ve been working on, but it’s not easy. When you assume people are out to get you, that you are unworthy, or when you are constantly trying not to get people mad at you, it’s hard not to take things personally, even when they have nothing to do with you.

I bottle up my emotions: I don’t like to be perceived as vulnerable or weak, so I bottle up my negative emotions and twist the cap on tight. It’s common knowledge that this is not healthy for your brain, but it’s a near impossible habit to break. You become so used to stuffing your emotions down, you start to become numb to the things around you. I have been working on being more open with my emotions, and it has been helping, but it’s not easy to completely change your reaction when it has become automatic. This makes me seem cold and distant, but I try my best to let the people I care about know how much they mean to me; even if it is in an unconventional way.

I isolate myself: I don’t really know why I do this, but my theory is that after everything I went through in high school, I tend to pull away from my friends before they can pull away from me. Many of my “friends” in high school did not treat me very well and tended to force me on the outside of their group, so I learned to be better off alone. This way I couldn’t get hurt. Unfortunately, this mind set has carried over to college, where I do have some really good friends that I still find myself pulling away from. It’s not intentional, I just sometimes need to remind myself that this isn’t high school anymore, and force myself to stop isolating myself and jump back into life. It’s gotten a lot better in the past few years, but that’s because my friends are amazingly wonderful people who hang on too tightly to let me pull away.

I am a chronic procrastinator: I will procrastinate on anything and everything, which can be a real pain given my struggle with being a perfectionist. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I try to get ahead of the game and do my homework early, but I have realized that all my best work happens when I am under pressure. It’s a habit so many of us struggle with that causes us all so much inner turmoil, that you would think we try to do something to change it. However, we all seem to consistently find ourselves telling ourselves “I have plenty of time do this, so it can wait.” Until suddenly we don’t have time and it can’t wait. This is my entire life. I don’t know if this is an awful flaw to have, considering how many people also have this, however it does cause me a whole lot of stress.

I make jokes when I’m anxious: These are perceived as inappropriate a lot of the time. Most of these jokes entail me making fun of myself in some way that is meant to be funny, but just ends up making everyone really uncomfortable. While I do know that humor is considered a mature and healthy defense mechanism, it makes for a lot of awkward glances and uncomfortable silences. It’s just the way I cope with feeling extreme anxiety, and can help keep an anxiety attack from sneaking up on me. So, if given the choice between a public crippling anxiety attack or a joke that makes everyone feel unpleasant for a few seconds, I’ll choose the joke every time.  

I’m very indecisive: Anyone who has spent more than a few minutes with me has probably experienced some displeasure with my inability to decide anything. If you ask me any kind of question that will involve a decision, my reply is likely to be “I don’t care.” I will want you to pick, because the thought of making such a decision, even something as simple as what I want to eat, fills me with so much anxiety and panic that I am rendered unable to decide anything. It’s not that I don’t have an opinion, it’s just that I am afraid to give up in case in inconveniences anyone. Just so you know, I am just as frustrated with this flaw as everyone else around me is, and I guarantee it pains me far more than it pains you.

I’m volatile: I like to start arguments so that I can push you away and force you to leave me before you can do it on your own. I am used to people giving up on me and leaving, so I like to get it over with early and on my own terms. This is something I struggle A LOT with, but also something I am working really hard to overcome. If I feel that there is the slightest chance you will abandon at some point, I will start a fight, and I will try to push you away and make you leave. The key is to see who thinks I am worth enough to stay. This is backwards and usually ineffective, but it’s not an easy thing to get through. This stems from some pretty severe abandonment issues that very few people seem to understand. I know it is frustrating; believe me when I say I’m frustrated too.

I struggle to take a compliment: Although I know this is due partially to my anxiety and partially to my low self-esteem, however I know it can be discouraging to those who try to compliment me. While I do appreciate them, it is hard for me to show my appreciation because I get so flustered and anxious. There are also times where I either don’t believe them, or I feel that they are said out of habit rather than genuine, which makes me even more nervous in my response. I know it can be frustrating, but I do the best again to show my thanks to the people who compliment me.

I push people away: I’m always scared to get too close to people because I’m terrified that they will eventually leave. In a sad attempt to relieve some of this fear, I tend to try and push people away before I get too attached, and they leave on their own. I have lost so many people, that I am constantly afraid that someone else I love will leave, but I also assume that they will. I tell myself that they are going to leave eventually, so I would rather have it be on my terms. So, I push people away until I either realize they won’t leave me on purpose, or they give up and walk away.

I have trust issues: It can take me quite a bit of time to trust someone with even the smallest of things, and it’s extremely difficult for to trust someone with big things. I tend to test people and make them earn my trust. This causes me to keep a lot bottled up. A LOT. It’s also very easy to break my trust, and once it is broken it can take a very long time to gain it back. I know this can be frustrating for other people, especially those who want me to trust them, but it’s something that is very difficult for me.

Now you know the things I struggle with the most. Everyone has flaws and everyone has things about themselves they don’t want to admit; however, it is my belief that if you put these things out in the open- if you own them as a part of you- they can’t be used against you. When you accept your flaws, no one can use them to hurt you. I encourage you all to be open with your flaws, because once the worst of you is out there, the only thing left to give to the world is the good in you. Embrace your flaws, and you will be one step closer to loving yourself. Never stop trying to be the best you you can be.

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To My Rugby Rookies

This year has without a doubt been the season of rookies for rugby. As vets, we are vastly outnumbered by the intense number of new players we have welcomed throughout the year. For many teams, this may be viewed as a downside or a liability, however when it comes to our team, they have been one of our biggest attributes. This group of girls has been one of the best things to ever happen to this team, so this post is for my rugby rookies.

I want to start by saying that you girls are unbelievable. You have put your hearts into every practice and every game. Your passion for the sport struck you all so suddenly and has continued to grow; a process I have enjoyed watching. Not only do you play the game beautifully, but you girls have some of the most beautiful hearts I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. You are all so amazingly kind, supportive, and loyal. You have built us into more of team; you have built us into a family. You support one another in ways I never thought possible from a group of strangers. You show incredible kindness to each and every one of your teammates. You remain loyal to your team, and are people we can all count on.

You have all more than surpassed my expectations. We can show you the basics and explain the rules, but the strength and the motivation needed to play this game is something you must find within yourselves. You have all put yourself into this insanely, beautiful game and have become true rugby players. You have shown no fear on the field, which is something that isn’t always easy. You have taken hits without hesitation and gotten back up each and every time. Watching you play has been such a rewarding opportunity for anyone who has taken the time to see you play. But you have also surpassed my expectations in friendship. You girls have become my rock; you guys keep me going through all the good and bad. You have shown me that there are still beautiful people in this world. I know it’s normal for rookies to look up to vets, but I also look up to all of you. You are all incredible people.

I am so unbelievably proud of all of you. You have brought so much love and happiness to this team. You bring smiles and encouragements, but most of all you brighten my day every time I’m with you. Our team is beyond lucky to have you as a part of us. You all continue to amaze me each practice and even more so in every game. I am so fortunate that I get to the field with you girls, and I cannot wait to see what else you will do in the games to come. I’m here for all of you, and I love you all more than you know. Thank you for being a part of this team, and more importantly for being a part of my life. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

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Things I am Tired Of

Have you had something that everyone comments on? Or maybe it’s something that, no matter how many times it happens, people never seem to stop talking about it? Are there things that people just keep doing that drive you crazy? Or it could be something about yourself that you hate, so whenever someone brings it up, you feel like your heart is being ripped out? We all have these things that trigger our sadness, our frustration, and even our anger. However, many people are unaware of these things, because they simply don’t see them from your perspective. It could even be that it only bothers you sometimes. Whatever the case, we all have things we are so unbelievably tired of. These just happen to be mine. This is a very personal post, so while I always encourage respect and kindness, I especially encourage it on this post. So here is the list of things I am tired of:

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People Commenting on My Shaking Leg: I jiggle my legs a lot, in fact it’s almost constant, however I cannot help this. I’m aware that I do it, so I don’t need anyone to remind me. I know it can be annoying, but it’s not something I can easily control; believe me, I’ve tried. This constant leg shaking is a side effect of my anxiety medication. Before the meds, I was paralyzed by my anxiety, but now that it has been slightly lowered, I get the jitters that are so common in people in anxiety. So if I have to choose between crippling, paralyzing anxiety and a leg that won’t stay still, I will take the shaky leg. If it annoys you that much, maybe I’m not the one with the problem.

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People Commenting on My Gas… Issues: Okay, so this one is a little embarrassing, but I’m soooo tired of this. I have a stomach issue, I know that. I’ve been to doctors; they couldn’t figure it out. If I could control I would, but I can’t. Stop reminding me every time it happens. This is one that is sometimes funny, but it also gets old very fast. If you have a cure, let me know. I will gladly take it.

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People Shushing Me: I come from a family of loud voices; it’s in my blood. I can’t help that my voice naturally projects, but the thing is that I don’t care. I don’t care if people overhear me saying things, so don’t shush me. I do not care what people, especially people I don’t know think of me, so why would I speak quieter for their sake? If I feel the need to be polite or secretive, I will be, but in normal conversation, I honestly do not care who overhears me. So unless you are my mother, stop shushing me.

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People Who Constantly Argue With Me Over Nothing: There are some people who argue with me simply to argue, especially on topics that shouldn’t warrant an argument. There are also the people who think they are being helpful by playing Devil’s Advocate, but you aren’t being helpful at all. In fact, all you are really doing is pissing me off. When I go to someone about an issue, it generally means I want someone to empathize with me; not someone to argue with me and point out why my feelings are invalid. If you would like to argue with me about something that actually matters, I would gladly partake. Otherwise, stop trying to piss me off.

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People Telling Me How I Should Organize My Schedule: When I say I can’t go to something, or I don’t have time for something, that means that I CAN’T go or that I DON’T have time!!! “Just go after.” Oh can I? You’re right, my days aren’t long enough already, I should take your advice. “Can’t you get out of it?” Um, NO! I work three jobs, have six classes (16 credits), volunteer, and play rugby. When I say I can’t do something, I can’t do it! And just because part of your schedule lines up with mine, doesn’t mean I can do the things you do, so don’t offer me up for them. My days are long, busy, and exhausting. NO MEANS NO! It shouldn’t be this difficult. It’s MY schedule, NOT YOURS!

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As much as I would love to continue to rant, I think this is more than enough. Despite the negativity seeping from this post, I am still trying to promote positivity. However, I am not perfect, and neither are you. We all need to vent sometimes; this is just how I do that. The keys listen to me when no one else will. However, once this is out in the world, stop letting it live and grow in your head. Get out what you need, but GET IT OUT! Unless it’s paying rent, stop letting it live in your mind. Keep being your beautiful, perfectly imperfect selves, and try to keep being positive. I know it’s hard, but so is everything else that is worth the effort. Just be yourself, because no one else will!

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To the Friends I Made in College

As it is for most people, high school was a difficult time for me. Making friends never came easily to me, and often times the ones I did make weren’t always the best people to keep around. During high school, I had the opportunity to have my two closest friends sit in front of me, and point out everything they didn’t like about me. I had my group of friends literally turn their back on me while I cried in the lunch line about my dad walking out on my family. I had my best friend tell people she wished I would kill myself so she wouldn’t have to do it herself. I had my entire group of friends go on a hiking trip I had planned without me. I watched them make plans in front of me without ever being included; sometimes I even helped with the planning. While they weren’t all bad, and those that were had redeeming qualities, I never realized how much I was missing out on in the friend department until I went to college. While my high school friends were a part of my life I will never forget, and I do appreciate those of you I still talk to, this post is for the friends I made in college.

Let me just start by saying that I don’t know how you guys do it. I often wonder why you all continue to put up with me, especially considering that I know I’m not easy to handle. I know that I can be obnoxious, annoying, crazy, moody, and a million other things, but yet you all choose to continue seeing the best in me. While I know being my friend is no simple task, I feel that I owe you a few explanations.

First of all, I know I apologize a lot, but just know that every apology is sincere. I apologize because I am terrified that I have actually insulted or upset you in some way, and it kills me to think one of you are mad at me. The truth is that I am terrified to lose any of you, so I will apologize for every little thing. I will constantly ask you if I am annoying, because the last thing I want to do is annoy you, however I feel that I am ALWAYS annoying you. When you text me and don’t reply, I know how obnoxious it is that I will automatically think you are mad at me; which I will probably apologize for later. Sometimes the littlest thing will set me off, and it will seem dramatic. Please just know that it is a side effect of my anxiety, as are all of these things. Sometimes I just need some space, and I just need you to be patient with me. I don’t mean to ask so much from you, but I promise, when you let me, I will try my hardest to be a good a friend in return.

I appreciate all the little things you guys do for me; even the smallest compliment means the world to me. I never want you guys to think I don’t appreciate you, so I do my best to show it. You guys have no idea how much I value you, but you all mean the world to me. You have shown me what true friends do for each other, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that. Maintaining a friendship with someone with depression or anxiety is hard enough, but being friends with someone who struggles with both is nearly impossible. I honestly don’t know how or why any of you do it, but I am so thankful that you do. Not only have you shown me how wonderful this world can look when it is filled with amazing friends, you have also helped me to see that I do have some self-worth. You have shown me that it is okay to let your friends see your weaknesses, because they are willing to overlook them to see your strengths. True friends will look past your many flaws, and choose to see the beauty in your heart. While I appreciate all of you, I want to mention some of the people here that have changed me and my life the most.

Stephanie: I am so glad we ended up talking more this past year, and I hope we continue to get to know each other better. You understand me in some ways better than anyone else could, and I thank you for that. You are an amazing person who can always brighten my day.

Dan: Having another writer friend is something I have never had before. It is so amazing having someone to talk about my greatest passion with; someone who understands the passion. You are an amazing writer and an even more amazing friend. I’m lucky to have been introduced to you my freshman year.

Mama: Thank you for being such an important part of the sport I love. You have always encouraged and challenged me, and I appreciate everything you have done for me. You continue to be a huge role model to me, and you have shown me the type of woman I want to be. You have truly become a second mom to me, and I wish you nothing but happiness.

Alex: I owe nearly everything I am in rugby to you. Not only were you the one to talk me into coming to my first practice, you were also the one who talked me through every self doubt and every struggle. You are more than my teammate, you are a friend that I owe my rugby playing to. You believed in me when no one else did, and you never stopped encouraging me to play my best. You helped me find my inner beast and never stopped building up my confidence. I miss you dearly, and I am honored to have taken the rugby field so many times with you. I hope to eventually be half as good of a rugby player as you.

Ginny: You are one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. Your heart is as beautiful as your face, which is impressive because your face is absolutely gorgeous. I love all our conversations, especially when we’ve each had a few. I wish I could paint and draw as well as you can, because your talent is unbelievable. Never forget how amazing you are, and never let anyone dull your inner sparkle.

Seth: You are so unlike anyone else I have ever met, and I mean that in the best way. I have more memories with you than I can count. I never cease to laugh when I’m around you, but you also have such a beautiful soul. I hope no matter what this world throws at you, you never lose that.

Cassy: You made my freshman year unforgettable. We have so many wonderful memories together, and I am so thankful I met you that first weekend. You were my first friend in college, and you have stayed with me through so many hardships. I love you so much, and I cannot wait to see what this world has to offer you. You’re style and confidence is something that I wish I could obtain, and your soul is one of the strongest and most beautiful one I’ve ever seen. I wish you all the happiness in the world as you prepare to start the next chapter of your life.

Lee: First, I have to say you are such a beast! You are amazing on and off the rugby field, with one of the most amazing sense of kindness I have ever seen. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t be who you want to be, and if they do, tackle them to the ground.

Sabrina, Raina, Josi, and Arianna: You girls have such beautiful personalities. I cannot wait to get to know you better as we play the beautiful game of rugby this season. You girls are amazing, and you all work so hard every practice. Keep trying your best, because as a team, we appreciate you. You, along with our other rookies, are the future of this team.

Abbey, Jessie, Julia, Claira, Lil’ Meg, Katie, and Courtney: Words cannot describe how proud I am of all of you for all your hard work on and off the rugby field. You guys are so much more than teammates to me- you are some of the best friends I have ever been lucky enough to achieve. As I said before, you are the future of this team. I cannot wait to see all the amazing things you will do. You are beautiful girls, inside and out, and I am so unbelievably happy and proud to call you my teammates and my friends. Never lose your spirits.

Tous: I haven’t known you very long, but you have changed my life. You can always make me smile, even on my worst days. You are a great listener who never judges me. You laugh at all my jokes and you never cease to make me feel pretty, just the way I am. You build my confidence every time I’m around you, and I think you are an amazing person. Never let anyone tell you any differently.

Ryan: How lucky am I that you are dating my roommate. You are so unbelievably funny and kind, and Amanda is so lucky to have you. I am honored to serve as your third wheel, and I love having you around. You brighten up our apartment every time you come to town. You are more than simply my roommate’s boyfriend; you are my friend. You are a wonderful person and I am extremely fortunate to have met you.

Alyssa: We got so close so fast, and I’m so happy we did. I love our walks and coffee breaks and all the awesome adventures we have gone on- I hope there are many more to make! Whether sober or not, I never cease to have fun when I’m with you. You are utterly fantastic and I love your beautiful spirit. I wish you nothing but happiness, and I cannot wait to see what adventures await us. I love you!

Mataya: I have been trying so hard to force my friendship on you, and I am confident enough to say I have succeeded! I think you are just such an awesome person, and you are so darn beautiful, it makes me so jealous (in a good way). I hope that we can get to know each other better in the future, but I enjoy spending time with you on and off the rugby field. As your new third wheel, let me know if you ever need me to take care of… something. You are so fun to be around and I would love to hang out with you more.

Brycestefer: Okay, I have no idea how to spell that, so that’s what we will go with. I need to start by saying that you definitely lucked out in the woman department, so don’t you dare mess that up! You have a very unique personality that I enjoy being around. You make me smile and laugh more than most with your sarcasm. I especially enjoy the way we can make fun of each other, without getting mad at each other. I’m glad I forced my friendship on you, because you did so much for me when I was going through my boy troubles. Thank you for listening to me and for always being honest with me. I owe you so much for that, and I will never be able to thank you enough. Thank you for being my friend, despite how annoying I can be.

Kienan: Our friendship has never been easy, but I have enjoyed it all the same. You know me better than almost anyone else, and I have so much to be grateful for when it comes to you. More than anything, thank you for always being there for me. Words will never describe how much you mean to me and how much I appreciate you. There is so much more I could say, but I’ll just leave it at this- I don’t know what I’ll do when you move away, but you have been a huge part of my life that I will never forget. I wish you the best, and I hope this life gives you everything you want.

Crystal: or should I say Crustal? Girl, I don’t even know where to start. You are one of the funniest, nicest, coolest, smartest, most talented people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I loved living with you, nerding out with you, and making so many awesome memories with you. I wish you could come visit more, because we always have the best times with you. You never cease to highlight my life, especially where Harry Potter is concerned. I love you so much and I hope to continue to make more memories with you, ya Birch! You are so creative, intelligent, and talented. Because I have met you, I am changed for good. You are fantastic and a thousand other good things. Love you!

Payton: PAY PAY!!! You understand me in ways no one else does, especially when it comes to the single life and not liking the touching. From Carl to Spongebob, I always smile when I’m with you. You are one of the best people this world has to offer, and I wish I got to spend more time with you. You deserve the best this world has to offer. It takes an extraordinary person to be so selfless, funny, and compassionate, but that’s what makes you extraordinary. Your inner beauty shines just as bright as your outer beauty, and I am honored to call you my friend. Payton come home!!! Never stop being amazing.

Grady: You are like the older brother I lost. Thank you for always looking out for me, especially where alcohol is concerned, for being there for me, but also for matching my sarcasm on every level. You make me laugh harder than I thought possible, and your relationship with Michaela has taught me what a truly perfect (at least to me) relationship looks like. Thank you so much for all you have done for me. I don’t know what I’d do without you in my corner. Words cannot express how grateful I am for everything you have done. Thank you for continuing to be my friend, despite everything I put you through.

Maka: You are so unbelievably wonderful. Not only are you one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, but you are so beautiful and compassionate. I can talk to you about anything, and can always count on you to be honest with love. You have helped me through some tough stuff, and you never fail to brighten my day. Maquila is one of my favorite people to party with, but Michaela is one of my best friends. I am honored to call you my friend, and I am forever grateful for the friendship I have with you. Never let anything dull your personality. I wish you the best with lots of cats.

Jordan: I don’t think there is anyone in the world that comes close to you. It’s wonderful to have someone on my weirdness level. After all the time I spent forcing my friendship on you, you have finally admitted that I am in your top three. You may have been drunk when you said it, but I’m taking it. You make me smile wider and laugh harder than anyone else in this world. I am so thankful for our crazy, weird friendship. Whether I am sending you hawks, redoing your calendar, stealing your booze and hats, or helping you plan our life on a schoolie, many of my best memories of this past year are spent with you. I’m so happy to call you my friend, and I am so lucky to have you in my life. I’m dreading the day when you leave, because I’ll be lost. I hope your personality never dulls and your hair keeps its amazing flow. I hope you get everything you desire in this world, even if it is a school bus. Keep being the amazingly wonderful person you are.

Keaton: You are the craziest person I have ever met, and I love every second of it. You make me laugh until I can’t breathe. I have some of the best memories ever in college with you. From hanging in the study rooms to calling me mom to pouring pop on me, I have some of the best stories to share with you in them. I love how much crap we give each other, and I love that you never sugarcoat anything for me. I hope your wild spirit never calms, and I hope you never lose your amazing, fun-filled personality. Never change, or I’ll send you to live with your dad. I love you so much, and I can’t wait for you, Kelsey, and me to start the rest of our lives together.

Liz: I can’t believe how fast we got this close. You are so beautiful, inside and out, and I love you so much. We always have so much fun together, but you are also a great listener, especially when I need a shoulder to cry on. Even though I was ankle deep in a bad situation with a boy, you always supported me and all my decisions. You never judged me for them, and words can’t say how much I appreciate that. You have one of the most beautiful personalities in the world, and I hope you never lose that. You are so outgoing, fun, and just all around amazing. I am so jealous of how easy it is for you to talk to people, but that is part of what makes you so awesome. I’m so glad to call you my roommate and even happier to call you my friend. I love you so much, especially on Wednesdays.

Amanda: I often wonder what would have happened if I had never come over for dinner all that time ago. That was one of the best decisions of my life. You opened me up to friendships, countless laughs, and an infinite amount of memories. When we cook together, laugh together, talk together, or anything else, I consider it an honor to call you my roommate as well as my friend. I know living with me isn’t always easy, so I appreciate that you have been able to do it for so long. I hope you have a life filled with happiness, because you deserve it. You have a beautiful face and an even more beautiful personality. You have played a huge part into shaping me into the person I am. Thank you for listening to me, for understanding my anxiety, for being patient with me, for laughing with me, and for a thousand other things. Becoming friends with you has been one of the best parts of my life. Thank you for all you do. I love you more than words can say. Thank you for being you.

Kelsey: There will never be enough words to describe how much I appreciate you, and I know a lot of words. You have put up with more from me than anyone else, but yet you remain my best friend. I honestly don’t know how you do it. You are the best person I know, and the world needs more people like you. You are unbelievably amazing, and I am so gracious to be your friend. I love you so much, and I’m so glad you have never given up on me. I know that being my friend has been hard on you, but you have done it with grace. I could go on forever on what you mean to me, but there isn’t enough time in the world for that. You are so unbelievably spectacular, and I hope I never lose you. You are a huge part of my world, and you have brightened my life. Thank you so much for being you.

To all my friends, listed here or not, you are my world. I don’t know how I would function without you. I appreciate everything you do for me, and I will never stop trying to make everything up to you. I would do anything for you guys. You all make my life so much brighter than I thought possible. I am so lucky to have you all in my life. Thank you all for being a bright part of my world. I love you all more than you will ever know, but I will never stop trying to show you how much I appreciate all of you.

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To My Mom

This post is for my amazingly beautiful and intelligent mother. She is the most important woman in my life, and I love more than anything in this world. She’s been my best friend since day one, and there is no way I could get through this life without her. I can never put into words everything she means to me, but I’m going to try my best:

You are so unbelievably strong:

Life has thrown so much at you, and you have handled them all valiantly. You have never life knock you down, and you have fought for everything you have. You have been forced to make hard choices that many will never face in their lives. You have endured more than your fair share of hardship. You have been to Hell and make, but you have never let anything break you. You haven’t let life steal your smile, your humor, or your love and kindness. You are the strongest person I know, and will always be my rock.

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You are the funniest person I know:

You make me laugh harder than anyone else can, and there is never a dull moment with you. Your sense of humor is contagious, and you are the only one who gets my sense of humor because I get it from you. Even on my darkest days, you can make me smile and laugh until my stomach hurts.

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You are so beautiful:

As beautiful as you are on the inside, you are even more beautiful on the outside. I’m so jealous of how gorgeous you are, and I love when people say we look alike. I know you don’t have the most confidence in your looks, but I think you are 12. You are the prettiest woman I know, and I wish I had a little more of your DNA.

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I could never do what you do:

I don’t know how you managed to have a child at 20, work tirelessly, manage a household, and still make time for your kids. They saying being a mom is a full-time job, but you deserve overtime for how much you do. I can’t imagine taking on the responsibilities you had when you were my age, and I know I could never do them as well as you did and continue to do. You are like a superhero, only better. Not even Wonder Woman could do your job. I appreciate everything you have done for me, especially raising me to be the person I am today and accepting me for who I am.

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I look up to you:

I admire you more than anyone else. You are an amazing role model to have. I have looked up to you my whole life, but now so more than ever. You are the type of person everyone should aspire to be. You are kind, compassionate, honest, funny, smart, and a million other amazing things. I will be lucky if I end up being even half of the woman you are, and I hope I can be half as good of a mother as you are.

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You have a great sense of style:

Your wardrobe is fantastic! You know how to put outfits together better than some fashion designers. You always look so well put together and fabulous. From your great hair to your amazing shoes, you always look absolutely fantastic.

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You have amazing cooking skills:

As I have grown into an adult and moved away from home, I realize how much I took your cooking for granted. No matter how much I try to replicate your meals, they never taste quite as good as yours. Your made-up recipes always turn out mouthwatering, and your seasoning skills are out of this world. I wish I still had you cooking my dinner for me, but at least you did your best to pass your skills on to me. I will never forget the first meal you let me make. The way you helped me lay all the lasagna noodles just right, and let me do the cheese completely on my own. Or the time I made that awful chicken, and you ate every bite. You taught me one of life’s most essential skills, but I will never be able to cook as well as you. I swear you were a chef in a past life, because your food is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

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I miss you:

While away from home, I miss you a lot more than I let on. I get homesick for you, because I miss you so much. You’re my best friend in the world, and you understand me in a way no one else can. There are times when I call, just because I need to hear your voice. Talking to you always makes me feel better. I love the adventures we go on, and a lot of times I miss living at home, just because I miss living with you.

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I’m so proud of you:

You have done so much for other people, especially your kids. You have made tough and scary choices. You have gone through so much. I am so proud of you for all of that. I’m proud of you for being so strong and brave, for working so much, and for being the best mom in the world. I am so unbelievably proud to call you my mom.   

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I love you:

With everything I have, I love you. I love you more than words can say. I know I have trouble showing it sometimes, but I hope you have never doubted it. I know a lot of girls drift apart from their moms during the teen years, but I could never do that. I love you too much to say hurtful things to you. I would go to the ends of the earth for you, because you have shown me so much more love than I deserve. You have been there for me every step of my life. I don’t know what I did to deserve a mom like you, but I’m so happy to have you. I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for you. You always let me be my own person and make my own choices. You have supported me in everything I’ve done, even if you didn’t like it very much. You have given me more than I can ever hope to give back. I love you so much, and I can’t wait to make more memories with you.

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I know this post isn’t enough to express how much I love and appreciate you, but I hope you know that I do. I’m the luckiest daughter in the world, and I don’t know what I would do without you. Thank you for raising me. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for working so hard. Thank you for being my rock. Thank you for supporting me. Most of all, thank you for being you.

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Why I Play Rugby

This has been my third year playing for my college’s women’s rugby team. In that time, I have gone from rookie, to prop, to veteran, to lock, to playing any scrum position, to vice president and forward captain. Though it may sound like it, these past three years weren’t all smooth sailing. I suffered self-esteem problems early in my first season. During my second season, I had a massive decrease in my self-confidence. I have messed up both of my knees, gotten two concussions, drove into a ditch on my way to a tournament, and even had to go to the ER from falling on my neck. I have been on a roller coaster of believing in myself and having no faith in myself. So after all of this, why do I still play?

First of all, I love it. I have always liked most sports, and participated in cross country and track in high school. I was never very good at sports, but that didn’t keep from enjoying them. Until now. I have never fallen in love with a sport like I have with rugby, and I also happen to be kind of good at it. I love the surge of power I feel when I step onto the pitch in my jersey. I love the way my body aches the next morning, as though I got hit by a truck. I love to show off the numerous bruises I get from tackling and being tackled. I love the feeling of wrapping my arms around a girl and bringing her to the ground. I love running head on into a mass of girls, and plowing my way through them. I love the look on my team’s face when they do something amazing. I love the feeling of forgetting everything expect the game. There is nothing in this world, not even writing, that makes me feel as free as rugby does. But it’s not all about me.

This season has been, by far, my favorite season ever. Why? Because I love my team so much. There are a group of beautiful, talented, and unique women. Not only do they play wonderfully, but they are also so kind and compassionate to each other. They work hard and take care of each other. It’s not just our new girls; our new coach brings so much to the team and never stops teaching us to be better. I’ve only known her for a few months, and she has already taught me so much. I’ll admit, sometimes I miss all of the girls that have moved on, but the chemistry I had with them wasn’t as strong as the chemistry I have with this team. I wish we had been closer as a team. I loved my vets, they taught me how to play this beautiful sport, but now I don’t feel like I need to prove anything to anybody. I can just play the game I love. These girls look up to me and respect me in ways I didn’t thing I was worthy of on a rugby level. I love my team. They make every pain and every struggle worth it.

I also love our boy’s team. They are the boys I go to when I need something. They may sometimes have a reputation for negative things, but I am proud to know them as some of the best people I have ever met. They are so kind and funny and honest. I trust them. Sometimes they even take care of me. The bonds I have created with the boys’ team are ones I am so thankful for. Watching them play just happens to be an added bonus. I would do as much for their team as I would my own team.

Rugby gave me a place in college, along with a dysfunctional family. I met my current roommate through rugby, and she is one of my best friends. My guy best friend (Looking to you, BBF) is a rugby player for the boys. The people I go out with are ruggers. My closest friends are ruggers. The people who know me best are ruggers. I never imagined myself playing a sport like this, let alone succeeding at it. I love that it makes me unique. I love the look on people’s faces when I tell them I play rugby. I love being a part of something so amazing that is filled with so many wonderful people. I love tackling an opposing team, and that sitting in a circle eating food and laughing with them, because we leave everything on the field. I love how we protect and stick up for each other. I love spending my Saturday mornings taking the field with my girls.

As this season is rapidly coming to an end, I know that I will love the extra free time at first. But it won’t be long until I get a familiar urge, and will begin counting down the days until spring season starts. That is why I play rugby.

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Why I Love Halloween

It is no secret to my friends and family that Halloween is by far my favorite holiday. It always has been. I wait all year for the one night where I can put on an awesome costume and let my full freak flow. Here are the top 10 reasons I love Halloween more than any other day of the year. Sit back, relax, and drink your pumpkin spice lattes (which I hate by the way) and enjoy!

  1. You can be anything or anyone for one night

In my opinion, this is the best part of Halloween. The possibilities are endless. You can be scary, pretty, funny, or any combination of the three. You can wear an obnoxious dress or a funky wig, and no one can really judge you for it… well they can, but not as much as they would on a normal day. You can act sassy when you’re actually sweet or ditzy when you’re actually smart, or any way you want to. It’s a great opportunity to be someone or something else, even if it is just for one night. It’s a way to show your creativity off to everyone. The possibilities are endless. I have seen a male sexy camp counselor, Shaggy and Scooby, a gum ball machine, Pikachu and Ash, Superman, Venus, Winnie the Pooh, and even Twister! And that was just in the past two years. Halloween brings out the fun and free spirit in all of us, and I love every part of it. I’ve been frantically trying to get my tutu done on time!

  1. The fun makeup

While I understand that this does tie into the costume thing, I feel it deserves it’s own separate category. Halloween makeup is so much fun! There’s zombies, vampires, princesses, and everything in between. There is always such amazing makeup on Halloween, it’s as though everyone either is or knows a makeup artist. I also love doing my makeup on Halloween, because I love bright color and glitter. I can go overboard on those for Halloween and be bold with my makeup without being laughed at. I absolutely love doing my makeup for Halloween, and cannot wait to do my fairy face next week!

  1. Scaring others as well as yourself

I love all the scary movies, haunted houses, and just creepy things that go with Halloween. I love scaring other people, especially my roommates! I always get such a laugh out of their squeals. I also love scaring myself by sitting down to watch a horror movie or forcing myself to walk through the haunted corn maze. A little harmless scare is always fun… after my heart rate slows down of course. Except these creepy clowns that keep popping up everywhere. Seriously guys, that isn’t funny. It’s terrifying.

  1. It is acceptable to eat candy until you puke

What other holiday can you consume mass quantities of Reese’s Cups and Kit Kats until you feel sick? No one will be surprised if you polish the whole bag of candy, because they probably have one of their own they’ve been eating the whole night. This is especially a perk for all those trick-or-treaters out there. It’s also beneficial for those trick-or-treaters older siblings; they get the candy without having to do the work. Forget cooking a nice dinner, and bring on the Milky Ways!

  1. The decorations

I love the spooky Halloween decorations: the pumpkins on porches, the ghosts swaying from trees, the skeleton in the doorway, the spider webs in the corner, all of them! They are so much fun and can even be a little spooky. As much as I love Christmas lights, nothing beats a house that is all decked out in Halloween. Plus, there’s a bonus: You don’t have to dust out those cobwebs. They’re festive!

  1. It’s in Fall

I think we can all agree that Fall is the best season. Okay, maybe that’s just me. I love the Fall more than anything, so it’s extra awesome that Halloween happens to fall in Fall (see what I did there?) I love smells, the colors, the apple everything, and the pumpkins (a vital part of Halloween). The fact that my favorite holiday is in my favorite season makes both Halloween and Fall that much more enjoyable! Good bye Summer and beaches and HELLOOOOOO Fall and cider!

  1. The parties

Nothing beats a good Halloween bash, especially in college. They are fun to plan, decorate for, and attend. Plus, a ton of people get to see your awesome costume. Plus, there are so many great games: bobbing for apples, cemetery scavenger hunts, witch hunting, hayrides the possibilities are endless! I cannot wait for the Halloween parties to come!

  1. The Movies

Who doesn’t love to curl up on the couch and dive into Hocus Pocus and Halloweentown? In my opinion, these are two of the best classic Halloween movies. My holiday wouldn’t be complete without watching these at least once. Halloween movies, even the not so scary ones, are always great to watch. Nothing beats watching Max light that black flamed candle!

  1. You are not required to buy anyone anything

Buying Christmas and birthday presents is always such a hassle. And how about that bottle of wine or pumpkin pie you feel obligated to bring for Thanksgiving? This isn’t the case with Halloween. No one cares if you show up empty handed, as long as you come in a costume and are ready to party! You get to skip the stress but still have all the fun.

  1. The day after candy sales

MAJOR PERK! Sure Halloween is AWESOME, but we have to talk about November 1st. That glorious day when all the unsold Halloween candy drops to half price, and the candy is crawling with children, teenagers, and adults all hoping there’s at least one bag of chocolate bars left. Everything is on sale and just waiting for the taking. So be sure to get an early start to take full advantage of these sales. It’s a great to stock up on a supply of candy that can last until next Halloween. Who am I kidding? It barely makes it to Thanksgiving.

I hope you all have a wonderfully spooky Halloween and stay safe. I’ll be rocking my kick ass fairy costume and partying it up with some of the best people. I hope you all get as much fun out of this holiday as I do. Rock your awesome costumes, let your inner makeup artist shine, and continue being spooktacular!

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The Under-Appreciated Hand

Last night, I had a classic me mishap. Desperate to guzzle down a glass or two of my favorite sweet red wine, I was trying to get the plastic covering off so that I could take out the cork. I normally do this by slitting the plastic down the side with a knife, which is exactly what I was trying to do when tragedy struck. Okay, so it wasn’t a tragedy, but it hurt like hell. The knife slipped, and slit my left index finger right on the knuckle. One hour and one trip to the emergency room later, I arrived home with liquid stitches on the cut and a stick taped to my finger to keep it straight. Of course my thought was “Hey, at least was my left hand, and not my dominate hand.”

I would like to say that today; I have a newfound appreciation for lefty. I have never realized how much I use my non-dominate hand until today. Showering with one hand, awful. Putting in contacts, not possible (wearing the glasses today). Doing my hair, a big ole pile of nope. Currently rocking a sad, short excuse for a ponytail with a crapton of bobby pins. I also happen to drive with my left hand, so while still doable, getting to school this morning as a bit more challenging. And now here I sit trying to type without being able to use my left index finger. I have made more errors whilst typing than ever before.

While I understand that my injury is next to nothing, my post isn’t trying to milk my cut for everything it’s worth. I want you to appreciate your non-dominate hand, because it does a lot more work than you think. We are so caught up in all the cool things our dominate hands can do, we often forget about the other hand there in the shadows. So today, I want you to thank your non-dominate hand for all it does. After all, it’s not its fault it can’t write.

So thank you left hand, for helping me wash my face and style my hair. Thanks for taking control of the steering wheel, and thank you for allowing me to type super fast. I appreciate you!

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