An Open Letter To My Summer Romance

An Open Letter To My Summer Romance

To my summer boyfriend,

We started out as friends. You were always there for me when I needed to get out of my house or when I was too stressed to think. We'd meet in a nearby park and throw a Frisbee around until the sun had long disappeared behind the hills. But, then we went hiking and everything changed. We came to a clearing on the mountain where we could look out over a beautiful view when you turned, wrapped your arm around my back and kissed me.

From that point on we were inseparable. I wanted you to experience the world with me and all it had to offer. Everything was an adventure. You took me on a picnic by a lake on a beautiful windy day. We went out for dinner in the city and stumbled upon a concert in the park. One night you swung me over your shoulder and threw me into your pool. My favorite memory by far is watching the meteor shower with you from the back of your dad's truck. Each day was wonderfully spontaneous and overall magical.

But our summer together came to a very hasty close. We tried to stay together during school, but that only lasted a week. You drove up to my school the Sunday before labor day to break up with me. I just can't help but wonder what was going on in your head that day.

What's going on in your head now? Do you miss me? Do you just miss the classic rock we sang together with all the windows rolled down? Do you miss the relationship we had or just the way I looked at you? Either way, you gave me an incredible time that I could never repeat. You taught me to cherish the memories as much as the warmth of the season and the later sunsets.

I know you loved me, even though you never said you did. I could see it in your eyes when you looked at me or in your smile whenever I looked at you.

Of course, I hope you're doing well and you're happy with your life. I would give anything to repeat one of those wild summer days, but I know it's best to leave the past as a simple golden shimmer of a memory.

Sincerely,

Your summer girlfriend

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7 Easy Ways You Can Become The Best Version Of A Minimalist

...Because we all have too much stuff.

Minimalism. For some, it’s a lifestyle fad, but for others, it’s a vital tool in living a happy and healthy life. Minimalism is generally defined as the practice of living with less material items than the average person but it’s not limited to just that. Some people believe that in order to be minimalist you can’t have a traditional job, a car, or furniture.

It doesn’t have to be that extreme if you don’t want it to be. The benefits of living life with less are virtually endless. Spending less money, being able to live in a smaller space, and being able to clean your space easier are just a few reasons from Becoming Minimalist. If this is something that might be beneficial to you, take small steps. Here are seven ways how.

1. Toss extras.

You don’t need 5 white shirts or 17 shot glasses. Donate, sell, or give away extras of anything you own.

2. Don't keep a junk drawer.

Or a junk counter or container. Throw away all that mail and all those catalogs that you’re never going to look at. Everything else can be put in a more appropriate place.

3. Keep grocery hauls small.

And before you go, inventory what you do and don’t need and throw away anything that’s gone bad. When you get to shopping, only buy what you know you can finish without it spoiling.

4. Tackle your closet.

Most of us don’t wear a fraction of our closet or even know what’s in it! Toss useless clothing items that are too small or big, that you don’t wear, or that have sentimental value but no practical value.

5. Don't buy spontaneously.

We’re all guilty of going to the store for milk and coming out with a full cart. Or going to the mall for one product and coming out with 4 bags. Overcome the temptation to get more stuff and think about purchases at least 24 hours before making them.

6. Don't collect things.

It can be fun to have a mug from every city you’ve ever been to, but you can’t possibly NEED 103 mugs. You just don’t. Pick 5 you’re absolutely in love with and donate the rest.

7. One in, one out.

If you simply must buy that new whatever put the very popular one in, one out rule to use. For every item you add to your home, one must go. New sweater? Goodbye book with dust on it that you haven’t opened since you read it 4 years ago.

Cover Image Credit: Burak Kepapci

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6 Times That You Should Be Nicer To Retail Workers Than You Actually Are

We get it — we're frustrated with you, too.

I'm sure, like me, many of you received lots of gift cards over the holidays. After working retail seasonally, here are a few tips that I learned in order to make the employees at your favorite store just a little happier and not want to charge you extra on your purchase for being awful. Here are some times when you should be nicer to retail workers than you actually are!

1. When they go out of their way to help you.


Believe it or not, retail workers have more to do than just help customers. They have to fold tables, scan things into inventory, clean up sections, make sure everything is in the right place in the store, manage returns...you get the picture. So be grateful when an employee asks you if you need help finding anything, and really be grateful if they actually help you find it!

2. When they are cleaning up a section of the store.

Yes, they know the store is a mess. Yes, they are trying to work on it. No, they don't want you to complain about it. It's a never-ending job, and they are doing their best!

3. When they deal with your children being heathens.

There is nothing more irritating than screaming children tearing up and down aisles and knocking things off of shelves and racks, so please, be grateful that retail workers don't lose their minds over it, and don't complain to them that the store is a mess!

4. When they listen intently to your coupon problems.


Sorry, but I don't particularly care much if your Great Aunt Mary gave you that coupon and it's expired because your brother Charlie had a doctor's appointment and your kid Michelle had a soccer game so you couldn't make it to the store to go shopping in time. I can't do anything about it, I'm sorry about that.

5. When they ask you about opening a credit card or rewards card.


They know, not everyone wants one. It's OK. But they have to ask. You don't have to be mean about it! A simple "no, thank you" works just fine.

6. When you have to wait to get an item number or to talk to a manager.


Yes, I know you're irritated about it, but I can't help it if a tag was torn off of something and you have to wait a hot minute for someone to leave what they are doing, most likely walk across the store in search of your item, and then actually find it and bring it to me to scan. And I can't help that our register system has certain restrictions that only managers can access for what you want me to do (like take your expired coupons!).

All in all, I know some things about shopping are frustrating, but please remember, we understand too, and we have been on the other side of it. So I leave you with this lovely quote to remember the next time you are shopping:

"Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind, and the third is to be kind." — Henry James
Cover Image Credit: Chor Ip / Flickr

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