2017 Is For The Girls

2017 Is For The Girls

Good god, I know. The girls? For 2017? Who would've thought?

Ever had that thought at the end of each year: Yep, this next year is going to be my year. I'm going to take it on by storm, I'm going to own it. It's going to be great, but then you find yourself down the road a year later saying the same old phrase? Me, too. I think it happens to everyone. Which is why 2017 has a new spin on that same old phrase. Instead of just this is my year, why not this is our year? 2017 is for the girls.

Good god, I know. The girls? For 2017? Who would've thought?

Don't act too surprised or appalled by this. It's about time we have a year that we can dedicate to ourselves and ourselves only. We've been through enough, so give us a break and cut us some slack.

2017 is for the girls, whether you like it or not. So hop on board or take your actions and thoughts elsewhere, please.

2017 is for the girls because we can be whatever we want to be, and we aren’t gonna let it get in the way of anything.

2017 is for the girls because I think it’s time we all no longer take sh*t from anyone and know our worth. Know that we can have that job, know that we can write that paper, know that we can be the boss, know that we can own it. Know our worth, because we are worth it.

2017 is for the girls because we are sick and tired of men being so inconsiderate of our feelings. We aren't some rag doll that you play with at daycare, and we sure aren't worth enough to only be called once you hit the bottom of the bottle, so why, why, why, do we always seem to be treated so poorly and not have our worth being seen?

2017 is for the girls because we're better than that. One of my favorite quotes comes from Grey's Anatomy S10: "Don't let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dreamy, but he is not the sun. You are." 2017 is for the girls because we are the sun, and nothing less.

2017 is for the girls because every year prior to it has never been a thing. 2017 is for the girls because we're making it a thing.

2017 is for the girls because we are confident and positive enough to make it so. We don't need a significant other to make us happy. We can find content within ourselves, a relationship doesn't and never will define us.

2017 is for the girls because we all have such a strong bond within us, whether we like it or not. It's for the girls because we're finally at the point of #girlpower, and can be friends with whoever we choose to, and cut the toxic ones from our lives. So let's build on these friendships and make this bond stronger than any other in this entire world, let's focus on it. 2017 is for the girls because we have each other and don't need anyone else.

2017 is for the girls because people have too high and unrealistic expectations for us. My god, so-and-so steps out in sweatpants, a fashion crime. No. She's not wearing makeup? What is she thinking? Again, no. I think my favorite so far was when Kendall Jenner stepped out, fresh face, and a small breakout on her face and the whole world went mad. We're all people, and we all have breakouts, nothing new here.

2017 is for the girls because we're not going to settle any longer. A quote that I've found comfort and solace in comes from the woman of pop, Taylor Swift: "she lost him but she found herself, and somehow that was everything."

If you’re not happy with your relationship, leave it. If you’re not happy with a friend or your friendship is toxic, leave it. You don’t like what you’re going to school for? Change it. You don’t like your hair? Spice it up. You want to travel? Book a flight. You want to go out and party? Put some water, Advil, and crackers on your desk for when you get back, you might need it. Quit holding yourself back from the things you want and love to do. No one is stopping you. Find yourself within thos things you love, and be you.

2017 is for the girls because we are single-handedly the greatest and most empowering people on this Earth. Boys, men, anyone who is offended by this, think about how you got here, think about where you are, and just stop. You wouldn’t be here without us women, so why don’t you just take a seat.

2017 is for the girls because men just don't quite know how to treat a woman these days. Cheating, lying, excuses, "things," "just talking," not committing, what has this dating world even come to? None of us have any time for that, and we're not going to wait around any longer. So while you all pick at the "weak" thread that you so call a woman, we'll be over here sewing it back up, making it stronger, sturdier and neater than ever.

2017 is for the girls because we deserve it. We finally deserve some time to focus on ourselves. Set our goals, achieve them, own them. Tell that person how we feel about them, whether it’s a friend, family member, or a love interest. Take risks. Don’t sulk around and wait for the problems to be resolved on their own. Do what's best for you. Own 2017 because it's your year girl, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Cover Image Credit: Shimmer Teen

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You Will Always Need Your Grandma

They Are Some Of The Greatest Human Beings You Will Ever Know

Always is no exaggeration, you'll always need your grandma.

"A grandmother is a remarkable woman. She's a wonderful combination of warmth and kindness, laughter and love. She overlooks our faults, encourages our dreams, and praises our every success."- Author Unknown

They Are Your Biggest Fans:

Maybe even beating out your parents for that title...grandmas are truly your number one fans. From tennis matches, to softball and volleyball games, to the countless dance recitals and competitions, it always made my heart smile to look out from the stage or the court and see my grandma sitting there. She didn't have to be there sitting on uncomfortable bleachers, she wanted to be, and it always meant the world to me; even if I didn't express it at the time.

They Are The Greatest Porch Swing Companions:

One of my favorite and greatest memories of growing up is sitting on the front porch swing with my grandma. From the time when my feet didn't quite touch the ground sitting in the swing and hers did, to my feet touching the ground and her legs getting just a little bit shorter. All of the years in between provided some of the best advice, and were some of the many moments I wish that I could have recorded. There were less hours on the swing as I got older and busier, but I always know exactly where to go if I ever need to. Moving away for college, I realize just how much I miss being eight or nine sitting on the front porch swinging and talking for hours.

The Wisdom:

Only one of the many many things they have to offer you. They are full of so many stories, life lessons, and possible answers to your problems. You learn to appreciate the wisdom more and more as you get older. You realize that just as you are getting older, they are too. I recently bought a journal called My Grandma In Her Own Words. Inside the pages are questions to ask your grandma such as, "What is your earliest childhood memory?" I can't wait to spend the whole summer filling it.

Are They Not The Cutest:

I say this at least twice a week...she is the cutest human being alive. Their style, to the fabulous music they listen to, to everything in between. My grandma walked at least 16 miles in Washington D.C. in loafers and the cutest vest/scarf combo I've ever seen... that woman, let me tell ya. On a serious note, whenever I'm told I look a little bit like my grandma, I LOVE it. I take pride in the fact that someone sees a little bit of her in me, because she is gorgeous.

You Have No Idea How To Live Without Them:

Quite simply, they are one of the most influential women in your life. From being little, to being a newly minted adult, I still call my grandma almost everyday; sometimes just to hear her voice. They are some of the greatest human beings you will ever know. They make you a better person, all while showing you an unconditional love that only they can.

All the love in the world for you, sweet woman.

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An Open Letter To My "Team"

A week I'll never forget.

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity of going on a Service and Justice Experience spring break trip to Marion County, South Carolina. Since returning, I've been trying to pinpoint what I've learned, trying to find a particular moment or teaching that resonated with me, but I've found that I can't. There are no words to describe all that happened last week, so instead I've chosen to write this article as an ode to all that I encountered and felt in my seven days in Marion County.

It's been less than a week since we journeyed back to campus and I'm missing Marion already.

Whenever I see one of the people I traveled with around campus, I can't help but light up and smile, and I think it's because something magical happened last week. It had to be the combination of the beautiful community we were exposed to in Marion, the service with Habitat for Humanity, we were able to do, and of course, the people we served alongside with.

When people ask me how my trip was, the first word that comes to mind is "fun", but I don't think that word really does the trip, or everyone there, any justice.

Yes, the trip was fun, but it was also thought provoking, full of fits of laughter and moments of determination and hard work, and so much more.

Team, thank you to every single one of you for making the trip what it was. In one of the notecards that someone wrote for me, they commented on how the trip would not have been the same without me being there. As cliché as it sounds, I believe this to be true- we all come from different backgrounds with our own idiosyncrasies and character traits.

I truly feel that if even one person had been missing, the group dynamic, and thus experience as a whole, would have shifted.

I think what really stood out to me was the amount of love that surrounded all of us in everything we did. When Morgan asked us during reflection one night, Where did you see love today? I found myself with countless examples, from the patience of master nailers with us newbies, to the countless times a friend braided my hair for me, to a simple check in of "how are you doing" at any given moment.

Love and the sense of community were at the forefront of everything we did last week, especially when working on the house or connecting with the people in Marion.

Thank you all for helping solidify my belief that every action in life can be traced back to love.

I felt the love everywhere we went and through everything we did. However, what I found even more beautiful was how, when taking a step back, I was able to observe the love around me. As I spoke about during reflection one night, there was a moment where I was lying on the grass, separate from everyone else, watching you all play Frisbee.

While this situation may sounds trivial and mundane, I think the impact this moment had on me speaks to the gratitude this trip formed in me for the little moments.

It was the way that you all were interacting with each other. Closing my eyes, I heard nothing but laughter and cheering and words of encouragement. All you were doing was throwing around a Frisbee, yet I could find so much of God's love in that moment.

You all have a special place in my heart, and I only hope we continue to grow as a team.

Here's to morning devotionals, Max's daily lessons and coordinated Coke commercials. Here's to 6:15 wake up songs (Final Countdown anyone?), 12 am What Do You Meme? games (because pizza, of course) and the sardine round that took half a century. Here's to surprise birthday cake(s), handprints on walls, walls being painted and walls being raised. Most of all, here's to ridiculous stories, laughter, moments of reflection, vulnerability, and tears, and everything in between.

Thank you all for bringing your whole self to this trip, for sharing, and as a result, for teaching me a great deal about what it means to live in community and to build not only a home, but a second family.

Here's to you, here's to us, team.

Good deal,


Cover Image Credit: Samantha DeCarlo

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