16 Lessons From 2016 (A Crazy Year)

16 Lessons From 2016 (A Crazy Year)

Time flies.

For many reasons 2016 will not be a year anyone forgets soon-- for good or bad. For me? I know I learned a lot.

Here's 16 things I walked away with:

1. Time flies, whether you're having fun or not. Believe me.

2. Good friends always equal good times.

3. Get at least half an hour of fresh air every day. A walk or run is the best study break there is.

4. Take lots of naps.

5. Always go with your instincts; you'll thank yourself later.

6. Do not accept anything less than love and respect from others; you don't deserve to be treated otherwise.

7. You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. I cannot stress the validity of this quote enough.

8. Have everything you want, but in moderation.

9. Friends is a highly addictive TV show; proceed with caution.

10. Never mistake multiple signs for coincidences. Take them for what they are.

11. Listening to your favorite songs on repeat

12. Never let a good thing slip past you; you'll regret it.

13. Coffee is, and always will be, an answer to most of your problems.

14. If you feel the need to complain about something, voice your choice. You cannot be as opinionated as a political analyst if you do not actually vote.

15. At the end of the day, if you gave it your all, be proud of that.

16. Life goes on.

Cover Image Credit: Affinity Magazine

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To The Person Who Has Finally Found Their Way

It's about time.

The start was all wrong. You find yourself saying “if only I could go back and change this, maybe things would be different.” In reality, we all know that’s not possible.

Bad things were happening, parents divorcing or losing a loved one. Things couldn’t get any worse for that situation, and then you’re out of money because you had to pay the bills. You lost your job the next day.

And then, things got better.

You kept your head down and kept on trucking along, carrying all that weight with you. You made changes here and there, getting a new job and cutting toxic people from your life. You started putting yourself and your needs first. You set goals for yourself, and stretched yourself thin to reach them.

And now, you’ve made it. Finally.

After all these hardships, after all of the crap you had to go through, you are able to make a name for yourself in this world. Things are finally looking up for you in the best way.

You met a cute person at that café the other day. You might call them, if they don’t have Tinder. You have a nice job, one that you actually enjoy going to and working overtime for.

Some people would say, “Well that’s nothing compared to what I went through…” But that’s not what matters. This is not a competition of “who had it worse” but instead a proud showcasing of how you managed to make something out of nothing.

And now, you move along.

Conquering the world, or city, at your leisure.

Glancing back, you may question how you even survived. Let that fuel you to do even better things in your future endeavors.

If you begin to doubt yourself for even just a moment, don’t. Half of the people who were in a similar situation as you didn’t have the strength to get up and keep moving.

As I grew up, I would do this visual form of self-reflection. I’d go into a room with a mirror and look at myself. I’d close my eyes and think of a time when I was even younger, maybe less than 10-years-old. I’d think of what I was doing at that age, at that time. Gradually working back up to the current day, I’d reflect on all that physical, mental, emotional growth I’ve accomplished in my short time here. And eventually, I’d open my eyes and look at that person in the mirror. I would smile at myself, as if to say “Thank you for reminding me of what was and recognizing what is.”

We don’t know what lies ahead, where we’ll be or what will happen. But what matters is that in the here and now, you are doing the best you can. And when that day comes when you don’t know where to go or what to do, look in the mirror and reflect.

In the words of St. Jerome, “The face is the mirror of the mind, and eyes without speaking confess the secrets of the heart.”

Cover Image Credit: Ronald Saunders's flickr

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7 Books To Read Before The Movies Come Out

Know your stuff before it hits the theatres.

We all say we’re going to, but this time you actually should: read the book before you watch the movie. There’s a reason they’re being made into movies because the books are THAT good. For some reason, there seems to be a lot of movies this year based on books, so here are some you should look out for.

1. Molly’s Game

A Golden Globe-winning movie, this is one you should definitely consider reading. Molly Bloom’s book From Hollywood’s Elite to Wall Street’s Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker tells of her daring life dealing with the FBI and Russian and Italian mobs.

2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I’m pretty sure every middle school had this crazy adventure on their summer reading list. You could power through this book, no problem. If you’re as obsessed with Mindy Kaling as I am, it’s worth seeing just for her.

3. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

Of course this is on here. If you haven’t read this series, get on it. I probably read them in a week, not even, and the third book is, in my opinion, the best one. Dive into the love story of Christian and Anastasia, you won’t regret it.

4. Annihilation

After the 11th expedition to Area X sent by a secret government agency ends in mass suicide, a 12th follows to find out what happened. This book in the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer will have you on the edge of your seat.

5. The Darkest Minds

In Alexandra Bracken’s novel, a disease kills 98% of American children. The remaining 2% develop superpowers and are sent to “rehabilitation” camps. When one girl breaks out, all hell breaks loose.

6. Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Bernadette hates people and leaving the house, so when she goes missing her 15-year-old daughter Bee goes on a mission to find her, discovering a dark past. Maria Semple tells of the difficulties of motherhood and unfulfilled dreams.

7. The Black Hand by Stephan Talty

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in this mafia movie as a detective investigating organized crime in America.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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