10 Tips to Get You Through High School (And Life)

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I have a nephew and younger cousin who are going to high school next year. I am overjoyed but having a hard time accepting their age. My younger cousin’s school asked the families of their students to write letters for them as they enter into high school. I thought about the letter for over a week and my creative juices just weren’t flowing. By the time my writer’s block ended, I came up with a good list of tips and decided to not take the “letter” so literal. I came up with 10  tips to help her conquer high school, and I believe that they can help beyond grade school and work in life as well. I decided to share it here in hopes that it will help others.

  1. Seek God first in everything you do. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

2. Study hard and seek knowledge. Intelligence goes a long way.

3. Don’t waste time worrying about a relationship. There will be plenty of time for that after your college degree. 🙂

4. Continue to exercise and eat balanced meals. I once heard a moment on your lips and a lifetime on your hips. I wish someone would have shared that with me at your age.

5. Be true to yourself. Never change your attitude to suit others. If people don’t like you they obviously have a problem.

6. Be careful of the company you keep! Do not allow yourself to get caught up with people who are not headed in the same direction as you.

7. Critically think before making any decision. One bad decision could change the entire course of your life.

8. Be selective with the information you share with people around you. Everything is not everybody’s business.

9. Respect and listen to your parents! They are here to make your life less difficult.

10. Enjoy each and every day! These next four years are going to go by fast. Please, please, please soak up each smile, laugh, tear, and lesson.

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A Much Needed Break

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Over the last month I felt overwhelmed, stressed, and overly lazy. I had entirely too much on my plate and I had nothing left to give. I was empty. I had no advice, no kind words, no encouraging posts… nothing. All I had was worry and my unsettling thoughts. I was in a state of confusion, didn’t know where to start and how to get out of my rut.

During this time I didn’t feel like writing (obviously). I was overwhelmed with circumstances that I cannot change. I felt trapped in my current situations and needed someone to lift MY spirits. Luckily my family, friends, and, most importantly, my relationship with God got me through the confusion. God has been speaking to me and confirming things about myself that I am having a hard time understanding. The hardest thing for me to comprehend is that I am in my current situation for an exact reason but I have no clue what the reason is! I am not sure if this reason is to touch other’s lives, to learn a lesson for myself, or to just learn to be completely grateful for everything He has already provided for me. I know that I am beyond blessed but sometimes I just wish I had more.

I need to say this every morning.

I need to say this every morning.

One thing I did learn is that it is perfectly okay to take time away. Sometimes you need time to focus on other ventures or do absolutely nothing (it’s your choice). As fabulous as I know I am, I can’t do it all, all at the same time. Church yesterday gave me the final boost I needed to get back to my real life. It’s now time to write, time to sell, time to apply for even more jobs, time to research and apply for doctorate programs, and time to stop worrying about my unknown future. God’s grace and mercy has carried me thus far (I know He will never leave me) and my forever growing faith won’t allow me to give up completely.

I am glad to be back in my groove and I expect great things for myself this year but I must put in the work. Hope you have a great week. Happy Monday!

My Past Week

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This past weekend my sisters, best friend, and I took our second sister’s trip to Savannah, Georgia for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Saying I enjoyed myself is a complete understatement. We got to Savannah around 2 p.m. Saturday morning, stopped by Fiddler’s (a sea food restaurant) to eat and then checked into our hotel. Because we had plans of staying out until the sun came up, (okay really to at least midnight) we decided to take a nap. For some reason our naps were short-lived and we got up to get ready for the night.

After about an hour of running around, putting on makeup, styling our hair, and failing at taking an alcoholic shot without chaser we finally made it to the car about 7:30. We bought tickets to Escape Savannah at 8:00 p.m. and got there just in time. Escape Savannah is a game where they “lock” you and your group in a haunted room for an hour and you have to figure out the clues in order to escape. We all enjoyed figuring out the clues and we even escaped the room with extra time to spare (this was a major upgrade from the boring hearse ghost tour we took last year). We all played a part in escaping the room but my older sister swears she is the reason we got out.

My sisters and I after we escaped the haunted room.

My sisters, bestie, and I after we escaped the haunted room.

After escaping successfully we went into the city to join the rest of the drunken St. Patrick’s fun. Thanks to my mom (yes, she still spoils us) we were all St. Patty’s out. We had beads with lights, hats, tall drinking cups, and shots of Skyy Vodka. Our goal was to drink and be merry. We drank, walked up and down River Street, got our dance on at an outside party, and were entertained by men in kilts. Let’s just say we did exactly what we set out to do…some of us were more drunk than others but we all had a great time!

Sunday morning we got up and ate breakfast at the hotel (Embassy Suites is worth every penny for their cook to order omelets). After breakfast, we drove to Tybee Island to finish out trip on the beach. There we took pictures, picked up sea shells, and just really enjoyed each others company before heading back home. The weather was perfect! We got back in town around 9 p.m. but I didn’t get to my house until after midnight.

Since returning home, the trip (coupled with the fact that my “monthly friend” came to visit) has had me out of sync with life. I have not cooked, washed clothes, exercised, applied for jobs, wrote a blog post, taken my trash to the street for pickup, or anything else that I normally do. I was two hours late for work on Monday because I couldn’t peel myself out of my bed and I have come home from work every day and got straight in the bed!

Today is Thursday and I finally feel like myself again! This morning I woke up with a smile on my face, feeling happy, rested, and like I can conquer the world like I usually do. I watched a play after work and I am currently awake after 6:30 p.m. I am officially back in my groove and it’s time to get the rest of my life back on track. Now excuse me as I put some clothes in the washer…

The Future You

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If you are ever bored or just need a little motivation visit the website modelmydiet.com. This site allows you to see “yourself” at your current weight right beside your goal weight. The site has various features such as hairstyles, skin tone, body shape, bust size, outfits, and backgrounds so that you can make your virtual self look as close to the real you as possible (click more options to customize your model). The featured picture is of myself at my current weight and my goal weight. The pictures are not a perfect representation of me but they will do. I decided to wear a two piece on the beach because I love the beach and I haven’t seen myself in a two piece in well over ten years.

If you are interested in seeing how much your body will change once you lose weight give this site a try. It is by no means perfect but it is nice to see how much your body will change in the (hopefully near) future.

Your Friend is Engaged… Now What?

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When a close friend gets engaged the one thing you can count on is things will change. It is inevitable but, thankfully, a little change has never hurt anybody. Unfortunately, not everybody accepts change with open arms. The way some people handle change might be interpreted as jealousy or selfishness when all the person is really trying to say is, “I love how our relationship is now and I am scared of the unknown”. It seems easy enough but it is still hard for some. Here are a few tips to help you grow closer with your friend rather than lose them once they become engaged.

1. Congratulate him/her.

This seems simple enough. Just a nice phone call or message will let them know that you are happy for them and support their decision. Do this even if you’re not fully supportive. This is their life, not yours. As a friend your only job is to support, not make decisions for them.

2. Forgive their fiance/fiancée.

As the bride or groom’s close friend, I am sure that you know just about EVERYTHING that has transpired between them. The countless arguments, the possible cheating, the lies and by this point you just really don’t care for your friend’s significant other. Your friend has either asked or accepted to marry this individual… at this point you just have to let the past stay in the past and truly forgive. If she decided to marry him then she already forgave him. You should forgive them as well.

3. Only do what you can do.

Don’t overextend yourself. If you are not financially capable of fulfilling wedding party duties or anything else requested of you, do everybody involved a favor and decline. Sure, he or she might feel slighted but they will be more irritated if you agree to something and complain the entire time. That’s a good way to lose a friend. You can assist them in other ways.

4. But be there in every way possible.

Assist the couple in any way they ask. If she asks you to help fold napkins and you have the time, no matter how stupid you think it is, fold the napkins with a smile. If he calls you because he’s getting cold feet, remind him of why she is the best woman for him. Whatever they need just happily assist in any way you can.

5. Check your insecurities at the door.

This is by far the most important thing to do once your friend is engaged. Be genuinely happy for him/her! Okay, so you might be slightly bitter because you’re not planning your own wedding but check yourself in the beginning. It’s not your time yet. Your day will come soon.

6. A Few Bonus Tips.

  • Try to forgive them if they only call to talk about the wedding and forget to ask what’s going on in your (obviously less important) life.
  • Only give advice when asked (This is not your wedding).
  • Most importantly, remember that your day will soon come! It’s important to treat people how you would want to be treated on your big day.

Is Tinder Serious?

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A few days ago Tinder, the dating app that has been dubbed the hook-up app, introduced its plus version. Tinder Plus still uses the exact same concept of the original Tinder but now they want you to pay. Wait…They want me to pay to completely waste an hour by swiping to the left to “reject” or to right to “like” a potential date? This doesn’t really add up to me.

indexTinder was the first dating app that I used. I have to admit, it was kind of fun at first to sit around and swipe to either the left or the right depending on my superficial evaluation of the man. But I wouldn’t dare pay a penny to swipe when there are countless free dating apps/websites with better reputations. When I used Tinder, I got a million matches and only took one date from a guy who turned out to be totally creepy. I never returned his calls after the date.

The new Tinder Plus app also does a very nice job of discriminating against their “older” users. In the United States, users 29 years and younger have to pay $9.99 per month while users 30 and older have to dish out a whopping $19.99 per month (are they freaking kidding me?). In most other countries the age discrimination applies as well.

I guess it would only be fair to report the two new features that, according to Tinder, their users have been asking for. When you travel, you now have the option to pick a new location to swipe in (this feature is called Passport) and you can now go back to someone who you accidentally swiped the wrong way and swipe in the correct direction. Which means no more of the picture below. The original Tinder also plans to introduce ads at the end of the month which Tinder Plus users get to avoid.

imagesTo me, Tinder Plus is a complete joke. I don’t understand who in their right mind would pay to use this app. As a young woman who is now legally over the hooking up age, this app would be a complete waste of my time (and now money) and the fact that they want people to pay to use it just baffles me!

Do You Like You?

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Every time I watch the video for Try by Colbie Caillat it almost brings me to tears. As a person who didn’t like various aspects of myself, I know how it feels when you finally realize just how amazing you are. Freeing myself of what others thought of me was the best thing that I could have ever done for myself.

So yeah, I might be a tad bit overweight, forgetful, cry more than the average person, have obsessive compulsive disorder with a hint of hypochondria, have an obnoxiously loud laugh, and strange by some standards but that’s okay. I like myself and that is all that matters. I hope that you stop trying so hard to be liked and learn to like yourself. The right people will love you regardless of if you “fit in” or not.

Embrace every curve, lump, dimple, pimple, scar, or flaw. You are more beautiful than you think. Someone is out here wishing they had what you wish you could alter. The real you is more stunning than whatever/whoever you are trying to be.

* Thank you little sister for introducing me to this song. It continues to bless me and hopefully it will do the same for others.