Why 2017 Was A Year Of Learning

Why 2017 Was A Year Of Learning

"If you give the hard times to God, He will bless you even in your most difficult seasons."
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Now that 2017 has come to a close, I thought I’d do some reflecting. Last New Year’s Eve I was wearing a classy black dress, nervous as anything and meeting the family and friends of my boyfriend at the time. I welcomed the new year with open arms knowing what was ahead: Senior prom, graduation, summer adventures, and finally, college move in day. My life genuinely excited me because so many of the things I had looked forward to for years and years were finally happening.

In 2017, I turned 18. 18 is that weird age when you’re considered an adult but you can’t actually do much "adulting." I also chose a college and changed my major about three times (I’m the most indecisive person, I know).

In 2017, I learned a lot about relationships.

This is mostly due to the fact that I had my first real relationship and honestly, I got pretty lucky. Jordan asked my parents to date me, brought me my favorite roses all the time for no reason at all, took care of me when I was feeling under the weather, and was a best friend to me through it all.

Well, almost. We broke up in August just two weeks before I left for college. My heart has never felt so much hurt, confusion and anger. I couldn’t understand why someone I loved didn’t want to be with me just because my college was far away.

College is something I’ve dreamed of and looked forward to for years. The independence, meeting new people, and learning new things has always excited me. When it was finally happening, I felt like college was taking away a person I loved. My emotions were a mixture of excitement and sadness.

I packed my life up and moved down to Florida at the end of August and I quickly learned that first semester is harder than I thought it would be. I love my school and my friends, but being away from home was hard and some of the people I’d had by my side senior year were too busy to answer my texts and calls now. I loved my life at school, but some days I felt so lonely and far from the places and people I call home.

To sum it all up, I’d say 2017 was a year of learning.

As 2017 and my first semester of college are closing out, I can say I am still learning how to have a joyful heart even in the seasons that feel a little more lonely. Some days it’s kind of sad, especially during the holidays, or when all your best friends at school have boyfriends back home, but learning how to be alone is so important.

I’m learning how to find joy in Jesus and His promises for my life because I know that in every season God is truly blessing me like crazy! That doesn’t mean that I’ll always feel happy and content with my situation, but it means I can take joy in every blessing God has given me and look forward to the future He has for me.

I’m learning that if you give the hard times to God, He will bless you even in your most difficult seasons.

2017: A year of learning, moving to a new place and growing in my faith immensely.

Cheers to a new year full of love and laughter.

Cover Image Credit: Grace Jicha Photography

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To The Sweet Girl With A Broken Heart

Words of wisdom for every girl...

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To the sweet girl with a broken heart,

Do you feel like you're stuck in this hole, six feet under, with absolutely no way to get out? You are not alone, and I promise you there is a ladder just waiting for you to climb it. I know your heart feels like it's been shot, and your gut feels like it's been punched one hundred times.

This feeling is just temporary, and I can tell you that because I've experienced it first hand. I know you feel alone, and like you're the only person who has ever felt this much heartache. I can promise you that you are never alone, and there are so many girls that can relate to you in ways you never thought possible. Don't let one guy dictate your way of life. Don't let one guy dull your sparkle.

Don't let one guy change your heart, or your remarkable personality. Sounds really silly when you read it back doesn't it? All of this hurt, tears, and confusion over one guy! Don't get me wrong, I know that this one guy was your world, you truly thought he was going to be in your life forever.

Up until this point, you didn't see a life without him in it. Girlfriend, look at yourself in the mirror. You are doing this whole breakup thing all on your own, and you're doing a great job at it. You picked up the pieces, and are carrying on all by yourself. You have been through the most extreme roller coaster of emotions, and you road it solo.

That says something, something really special. That says that you are stronger than you ever thought you were. Realize that! This is God's plan for you, to show you just how amazing you are. That you can conquer all things, and handle them in the most graceful way possible.

You are special. You are beautiful. You are unique. You are you! And that's one hell of a thing to be because you are the only you on this planet!

Lift your chin up, hold your head high, and show the world exactly who you are. Never change for anybody. Ever! Heck, get back to that girl you were before him. Strong, independent, confident, selfish. I know the word selfish seems so, well, selfish. But It's okay to be selfish sometimes, especially when it comes to defending your own heart.

Take that vacation, dress up just because, do your makeup and take selfies just because you want to, go to the gym, get that tan, go to that party, spend time with your greatest friends, hug your mom!

Do all of these things carelessly, do them because you deserve it, and because you can! And at first you may be doing them as a distraction from all that you've been through, but soon enough you'll find that you're doing them not because you need to, but because you want to!

Simply because this really is the new and improved you. Learn from this pain. Learn to love yourself again without him, without constantly feeling like you need to be reminded by him that you are loved. Instead, love yourself and I assure you when other people see that, they'll love you even more.

Girls, when we love someone, we love deeply, we love wholeheartedly, and that person never has to question our love for them. You deserve that same exact love in return. There are plenty of other guys out there just waiting to take care of your heart, and love you unconditionally. You deserve nothing but that!

Do not stop until you find that guy. You can change the world just by being a kind hearted human being. Don't get revenge, don't force yourself to move on as quickly as he did, don't torture yourself with remembering "the old him," and definitely don't change. I know it's hard to see him changing in the worst way, to the point where you don't even recognize him anymore. To the point where he feels like a complete stranger to you.

Do not stoop to his level. Trust me, one day, he will look back on his life and probably regret losing you. Of course, I know all you're wishing is that he'd be able to see that right now, but that just isn't God's plan. Be patient with yourself. Allow yourself the time to grieve, and hurt, and be upset.

Those are all good things.

That is what is going to allow you to heal, and move on to become a better, stronger, happier, and more mature you! I promise you, that a year from now all that you're stressing about will not mean a thing. This is our one and only chance at life, we can not let one person take away all the happiness that we deserve.

The right guy will never leave, even when times get tough he will always fight for you. I saw something on twitter that said, "take sex away and you'll come to realize that not many individuals have much to offer. This generation is so pressed for the physicality that ya'll forget mentality creates the bond and forms longevity."

That hit extremely close to home for me and is something that everyone needs to remember.

Fall in love with somebody's heart, mind, and soul. Go beyond their looks, go beyond the attraction, dig deeper. Don't be that shallow girl, who doesn't know how to love the right way. You are so much better than that. To every single broken hearted girl, I am so proud of you! I am always here for you, you have so much love and support. I've realized that myself. As I write this, I feel relief, no longer sad or dwelling on the past. What is coming is always better than what is gone. Now get that beautiful smile back on your face because you are too pretty to be sad.

P.S. To the "other girl" (if there is one).

How dare you take him away from me? You knew exactly what you were doing. You knew my whole heart was on the line. Women need to start respecting other women. Think before you act. Would you want to be in my position? I sure as hell hope not, and now that you have him I hope you're thinking about how you hurt me. And if you're not, then you have a lot to learn about life hunny.

It's kinda weird because I can't hate either of you. Simply because I want nothing but the best for him. It's crazy how someone can break your heart into a million pieces, but you still have such a special place in your shattered heart for them. Besides that, take good care of him. I hope he can learn from you, and love you in all the ways he couldn't love me or any of his other ex's. Every relationship is a lesson, and there is always something to learn. So thank you for teaching me mine.

P.S- To "the guy who did this" Imagine you have a daughter someday, and some boy breaks her heart the way you did mine. I hope you think back to this, and remember me. Maybe by that time, you'll feel sorry.

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If You THINK You're Too Dependent On Your Boyfriend, You Probably Are

Depend on yourself before you depend on him.

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Don't get me wrong, having a boyfriend and being in love is an incredible feeling. But when you depend on your boyfriend for everything and forget how to do things on your own, it becomes a major problem. You might not see it but your family and friends do. Yes he's your boyfriend and of course, you want to spend every single second with him but you can't carry him around in the back of your pocket for the rest of your life. So here's to the girls who are too dependent on your boyfriends, I think you girls might want to hear this.

First and foremost, I completely understand what it's like to be in love and want to spend every second with your boyfriend. I get that he is one of your best friends, one of the people you can trust the most, one of the sources of your happiness, one of your stress relievers, one of the things that brings you comfort, one of the people you can rant to for anything, one of the people that you can cry to about anything, one of the people that you want to make memories with, one of the people that you want to spend the rest of your life with and so much more.

Did you notice I said one of, for all that? He is just one of the people you can go to for all of that, not the only one. You have friends and family who can do all of that too. And trust me, we want to. While yes you might prefer him to those other people, it's still important to keep your friends and family in the loop of what's going on in your life and it's even more important just to keep them in your life.

When you choose your boyfriend over your friends and family for everything, you're slowly pushing them out of your life. I, and everyone else who's been where I have been, completely understand if you already have plans with your boyfriend, or if something is going on you want to spend time with him. But to blow off your friends every single time for him is a slap in the face to us. Or to invite him to everything we do is another slap in the face. Of course as friends and family, we want to spend time with your boyfriend but it gets awkward third wheeling.

Go out with your family and friends without him sometimes and make tons of memories, as you did before. Rant and cry to friends and family sometimes instead, we care about you and your feelings, just as much as he does... maybe, even more, when you guys are fighting. When you don't talk to or see your friends and family without him there, you're pretty much telling us that you don't like being around us and that by bringing him, it makes it more bearable for you.

With that being said, you have to let him do the same. You have to let him have time for his family and friends without you. It looks super weird that you follow him around like a lost little puppy dog. Let him have time with the guys, without you being there or showing up at some point. To tag along to every little thing he does isn't healthy. Tagging along to everything thing your boyfriend does, probably makes his friends, a little uncomfortable, especially when they want their guy time and you're the only girl and they don't want you to feel awkward or left out. Or his family wants to spend time with just him and catch up.

Do things apart from each other, so when you are together you have stories to tell and pictures to show them.

Speaking of doing things apart from each other. Don't let an amazing opportunity slip away because you have to spend time away from your boyfriend. Did I leave my boyfriend to do the Disney College Program, hell yes I did. Am I going to apply again in August or maybe January? Hell yes, I am. Don't be afraid to explore things without him, even if it makes you uncomfortable, because you never know when you might get a great opportunity again.

Learning to do things alone is scary, I get it. But don't base your schedule around his, I've seen so many girls do this and it just back fries in the end. Unless you have kids, you do not plan your schedules around him or know where he is at every single second.

You never know, one day he might not be there anymore, and if you're always with your boyfriend and forgetting about friends and family, you might not have them either. And then what? Who do you depend on?

I wish you all would learn to depend on yourself before you depend completely on your boyfriend for everything. You are capable of so many things alone. You might feel like your boyfriend completes you and makes you whole, but in reality, you were already complete without him. He's just an added bonus. Don't give up your friends, family, and life because you want to be attached at the hip. You might lose more than you gain by doing that.

This goes for couples who have been dating for all lengths of time. It could be six months or six years.

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