An Open Letter To My Dog In Heaven

An Open Letter To My Dog In Heaven

You're so incredibly loved and missed.
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You have been there every day for so long. I woke up and went to bed every day knowing you were there and would still be there when I awoke the next morning. You never failed to greet me with an ecstatic wagging tail and an adorable toothy smile whenever I walked into the room. I missed you every single second that we weren't together. We have been the best of friends since the day we met, and our bond has only strengthen throughout the years.

However, as I grew older, so did you. As I was able to do more, you were able to do less. I was able to drive, go to the movies on my own, and apply to college. But you, you couldn't jump as high anymore, you couldn't run as fast as you used to, you couldn't swim as much as you would have liked. Even when your abilities declined, you still remained the happiest pup I had ever met and would continue to always try your hardest to make me happy.

Then the day came. That dreadful, dreadful day. The day where I had to watch you take your last breath as I laid by your side, the day where I had to watch the vet take away the best friend that I had ever known. As horrible as that moment was, and as sad as I still am, I am at peace.

I am at peace because I know that you are in a much, much better place. I know that as soon as you took your last breath here on Earth, God swept your beautiful, innocent soul from the ground and flew you to Heaven. I know that you have gained your furry little wings that you so rightfully deserve, and I am proud that I was able to know and love such an amazing little angel as you.

As I am still here on Earth, I can't say that I know what Heaven above is like for you, but I hope that you are truly having the time of your life. I hope that you are surrounded by perfectly green meadows filled with colorful flowers and blanketed by the bluest skies and the brightest rays of sunshine. I hope that you have hundreds of different lakes, ponds, streams, and even oceans to swim in as much as your sweet little heart pleases. I hope that you have already met with all of our relatives up there and that they give you endless treats and belly rubs, since I no longer can. I hope that all of your pain and suffering has vanished, allowing you to be the young, energetic pup that you once were and have been longing to be for so long now.

Even though we are no longer physically together anymore, you will forever remain in my heart and soul. You were a blessing sent from above, and now, God needs you back. Thank you for completing me and teaching me important life lessons; I will carry you with me everywhere I go until we meet again. I love you, my guardian angel.

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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Advice For High Schoolers By A High Schooler

Everyone takes different paths throughout high school, just make sure you're taking a good one.

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The years of high school are the four years that everybody remembers about themselves. The memories that go along with it may be good may be bad. If you are reading this and you're about to go into high school or currently in high school, these are five basic things but you need to know before going in.

Do what makes you happy. 

I know that sounds cheesy but it's true. High School is your chance to find out what interests you and what doesn't. If you find out that you like something or you're interested in something then stick with it. As long as you're doing things in high school that you enjoy, and they don't harm you or anyone else around you, the four years you're there will be great.

Don't care about other people's opinion

I know it's hard not to be consumed with what other people think about you. Everybody wants to be popular. Everybody wants to be liked. If you are genuinely a good person and people don't like you, don't worry about it.

Throughout high school, you will learn there'll be people that love you for the same exact reasons there are people that hate you and you have to be able to learn to accept that. You can't please everybody and you cannot make everybody happy.

 Make good grades and make an effort

Good grades should be something that everybody wants to achieve. With that being said, a lot of people just don't want to put in the work to achieve good grades. Coming from somebody with a 3.87 GPA and a member of my high school's NHS, I honestly wish there were more people that cared about their academics.

Having good academics teaches you how to balance school work and outside school activities. Yes, I have also had a job since I was 16. I know how to balance my school work, sports, and my job and still be able to be involved as I am. When you're able to balance everything, it makes you proud of yourself and prepares you for college/ future work.

 Don't be the person that has a new significant other every week

In high school, the term "slut" is thrown around very loosely. I can think of ten girls off the top of my head that got called this on a daily basis just because of the boyfriends they had and how many they had in the span of a month.

This doesn't apply to just girls either. Fellas, if you go out and mess with girls all the time, eventually they'll get the message that you only want to play a game. When a girl finds out that her crush is nothing but a player, she will lose interest in him. People will not take you seriously.

If you don't take my second part advice, gossip and rumors also like to spread around the school so just be careful of who your friends with and who you're associated with.

 There will be times were you feel like you failed and you're at rock bottom, but you’ll get over it. 

No matter if you spend weeks studying for a test only to get a 50% or you got your first heartbreak, there will be multiple times where you feel like you're at your low point. If you're anything like me, you will blame yourself and get more stressed about it than anything. However, you can't do that.

You have to move past things, no matter how hard you think it is, it will be okay. Everybody in high school has the same end goal: to graduate. As soon as you feel like you're at rock bottom, you just have to remember your goals and what you're going to do to push forward.

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