2017: My Year In Review

2017: My Year In Review

A year full of ups and downs, but plenty of lessons learned in the process.
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As another year comes to a close yet again, I only thought it would be acceptable to write about what has happened in my life during the last 12 months. I know everyone says this, but I cannot believe how fast this past year has gone. It seems like yesterday it was just beginning, and now as I am writing this it is one week away from Christmas. It's not a joke when your parents say that time flies, so make sure to take in life every single day and appreciate every second of it while you can.

Let's take it all the way back to January, I was starting my last semester of undergrad at FGCU. It still amazes me that I graduated back in May with my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, but I am very proud of myself for never giving up and pushing through even when I was drowning in school work. Hard work definitely pays off in the end and now I am extremely excited to begin my graduate program in the fall of 2018.

I also did a lot of traveling and exploring this past year which was very beautiful and breathtaking. In June, I was thankful enough to travel across the pond with my mom and grandma to France! I had been dreaming of going to the city of Paris ever since I was a little kid and my dreams finally came true. I was lucky enough to spend 10 days overseas embracing the new culture of northern and southern France and it was one of, if not the best, experiences of my life. I can't wait to go back to Paris again to spend even more time there in the future.

I took this past year off of school since I just graduated I felt as though I needed a break to relax my brain since I have always been enrolled in classes since I can remember. So, I was way more focused on my job and my volunteering opportunity with Crisis Text Line. Back in October, I traveled by myself for the first time ever and flew to Atlanta for one of the best weekends to have a meet up with my Crisis Text Line family. Although I was quite anxious about it at first, it ended up turning out to be an amazing time and I made friends with fellow crisis counselors from all over the United States. It was great to finally be able to put faces to the names of those I converse with regularly on our platform when we are helping others. I can't wait for next years palooza!

I know there are probably WAY more things that took place over the last 12 months, but those are just a few of the top ones I felt were worth sharing since sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough, but I think that's normal amongst everyone. Maybe this will inspire some of you to take time to recognize what you accomplished this past year, you may even be surprised with what you discover.

2017 was full of many ups and downs, but I would never trade any of those experiences because they have all made me stronger as a result. I think I was able to fully acknowledge what I want from my life and what I don't. Whether it has to do with my friendships, relationships, education, or career and I am very proud of myself for putting my feelings first and taking care of my own needs more so than worrying about everyone else's. My hope is that this continues throughout the new year and I wish you all for a great, happy and healthy new year. Cheers!

Cover Image Credit: Brooke Tominey

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13 Summer Struggles Only Thick Girls Understand

Chaffing. So much chaffing.
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Summer is a lovely time. A time of cookouts, swimming and sunny weather. But if you're a "thick girl," summer sometimes brings more unpleasantries than it does for slimmer women. No matter how beautiful and confident you are in your body, it can bring some struggles.

1. The living hell that is shorts shopping

Step 1: Find the biggest size the store has.

Step 2: (If you can even get those on): Realize your stomach is being squeezed into the top, your butt is falling out of the back and your thighs are having the life squished out of them.

Step 3: Realize why winter isn't so bad.

2. And dealing with them even after finding a pair that "fits"

Nothing like taking a pair of shorts home you remember fitting you okay in the store and then walking for 45 seconds and pulling them out of your butt or crotch 17 times. Truly a magical experience.

3. And every bathing suit you try on shows more skin than you'd planned

Even the most conservative bathing suit turns into cleavage-city and a non-cheeky set of bottoms turns into a thong. I promise, older people glaring at me in my sexual bathing suit, I didn't mean for this to happen!

4. Chaffing. So much chaffing

No better feeling than 4 minutes into wearing short shorts realizing that your inner thighs are literally tearing themselves apart. Body Glide and baby powder are a thick girl's #1 necessity.

5. Loving rompers. Rompers not loving you.

Rompers are made with short and skinny girls in mind. Heaven forbid you're not short, and heaven forbid you're not skinny. Rompers are like a mystical article of clothing that, no matter what, always just barely doesn't fit.

6. Imagining wearing a sundress with a strapless bra and just laughing

Of course, not all thick girls are well-endowed in the boob department, but if you are, you understand how hilarious the thought of you wearing a strapless bra truly is.

7. And bralettes are a thing of fantasy

Once again, bralettes are designed for a very specific body type. One that I do not fall into.

8. Feeling like you need to constantly defend yourself for dressing like you want to

There are so many posts and tweets and just general ideals that people have that certain sized women can't wear certain clothing. You shouldn't feel the need to defend yourself for wearing a cute crop top or a bikini, but you will.

9. And always feeling looked at when you're rocking your swim suit

Yes, I see your judging eyes, and yes, they are making me feel like shit. It doesn't matter how confident you are in your body, people looking at you like you just killed somebody just because you're wearing something typically made for smaller women doesn't make you feel good.

10. Did I mention chaffing?

I just felt like something so horrible couldn't just be mentioned once.

11. Online shopping for cute summer outfits and then none of them fitting you correctly

There's always the dreaded "one size fits all" for plus-sized women. As if there's just one way to be plus-sized. No matter how much they promise online that it'll fit well, it won't.

12. Seeing tiny girls complaining about losing their "summer bodies"

So many tweets talking about choosing food over a summer body. So many profile pictures of traditionally skinny women. I'm not saying that thick girls are the only ones who can complain about their summer bodies, and thick girls do not have a monopoly one not feeling confident in their bodies. But it is hard to see those posts knowing that those women would be glorified in their swimwear while you'd be gawked at.

13. The "you go girl!" comments on your oh-so-brave bikini photos

Compliments are nice, and positive comments while wearing a bikini go a long way. But the dreaded "you go girl" comment just seems so condescending. Just treat me like anyone else you'd see wearing a bikini. I promise, I'd like to feel like that.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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Poetry On Odyssey: Embrace Spring For It Is Here.

"A Cheesy Spring Poem For Those Who Enjoy Spring"
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A Spring Poem

In December Christmas came and Santa came on his sleigh

He left presents under the tree and left on his way

Many snow days were used for the children to stay in

They got to play in the snow in the cold with the wind

Hanukkah lasted eight days with so much joy

A present for all eight days which included money and toys

In January the New Years arrived with 2018

It was a beautiful night for the ball to be seen

February came with more snow to fall

With kids missing more school, they were having a ball

Valentine's Day showed love was in the air

With proposals and flowers you could see everywhere

March showed lots of green with its Patty's day fun

Celebrating with loved ones while wishing for the sun

April would soon come around, but March had some unpredicted weather

Everyone wanted summer to come and make things better

Finally some flowers would bloom but it would rain

But hey the flowers need to grow and the seasons need to change

Easter springs along with egg hunts to come

The bunny did not hide them too hard so the kids could find some

Passover arrived with potato pancakes and meat

Jewish individuals came together to feel blessed and have a feast

April fool's day will come so watch out for a prank or two or three

Don't pass a black cat and watch for the cracks on the street

We were lucky to have some beautiful days to be outside

Hopefully the snowy and rainy weather will soon pass us by

May is just around the corner so we still have some Spring

Let's see what the sunshine of May will bring

Appreciate April though because of the memories you made

As Spring is a fun season that you do not want to waste

Be mindful of Spring for its colors and nice weather

Where you can get away with hoodies and comfortable sweaters

Spring is about and will stay for just a little while

So you might as well embrace it and wear your best Spring smile

Happy Spring!

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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