An Open Letter To My Mom

An Open Letter To My Mom

Jasmine
Jasmine
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“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”
-Mitch Albom

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize how the time spent with my family has gotten so minimal. Nowadays I'm out with friends, studying, working, or just hanging out in my room watching the newest episode of whatever show on Netflix. Being in college, I seem to have forgotten about the people who got me to where I am, and I’ve especially forgotten about the one person who pushed me to make me into the person I’ve become, my mother. So mom, this one is for you.

Dear Mommy,

I want to start by telling you how much I love you. I know I don’t always show it and I know I’m not really around these days and honestly I don’t even say it that often, but I do. You are the most important woman in my life, and you always will be. Ever since I was little you have been my hero and someone I’ve always looked up to. I know life is hard for you and I don’t always do much to make it easier, but you have sacrificed so much in your life just to raise me, and it means more to me than I’ll ever be able to express in words in this article. You are the strongest person I know, full of love and motivation, and I am incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to have that all of my life. So, Mom, I love you so much, to the ends of the Earth and until the day I’m no longer walking on it.

Next comes me telling you, thank you. Two words that means so little when comparing them to every little thing it is that you do for me. Thank you for the countless hugs. Thank you for that time you let me cry on your shoulder when I was fighting with my best friend. Thank you for working ungodly hours just to buy me that watch I really wanted for Christmas. Thank you for the laughter, the smiles, the lessons, and reminding me that I’ll always have somebody who loves me for who I am, flaws and all. You have shown me that it is okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to be who I am.

Lastly mom, I want to tell you how I am sorry. I’m sorry for all of the times I fought with you, for the times I’ve let you down, and for the times I chose friends and other things over you. Sometimes I tend to lose sight of the things that are most important to me. I never meant to fight with you when you told me I couldn’t go out on that one night because you just wanted to sit and watch a movie together. You truly mean so much to me and I don’t express it enough, and I certainly don’t prove it when I leave you doing the dishes to go out to some party. A lot of the time, especially lately, you deserve someone who pays more attention to the things that you do. I hope that by the time I’m older you can someday forgive me for this.

All in all, I love you to death mom. You are my entire world, whether you know that or not. Thank you for being everything to me, always.

Cover Image Credit: Jasmine Somers

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Became My Sister

Love is thicker than blood.
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Sis,

There are friends. Then, there are best friends.

According to "Grey’s Anatomy’s" Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang, they're your person. The one who, “if I murdered someone, I’d call you to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor.” You’re so much more to me than any of those titles can express.

As I’ve matured throughout the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that good friends with good hearts serve an incredibly important purpose in our lives, going above and beyond what we give them credit and appreciation for.

The family we choose. You’re one of those.

The day we met, I knew that you were going to play an important role in my life. What I had no idea of was that you would join the cast of my life with a starring role.

First, I need to say thank you. Thank you for always coming to my locker to check in before class during high school. Thank you for letting me control the music on road trips. Thank you for sharing your family with me, and addressing my family as if you were born into it.

Thank you for patiently listening to the physical embodiment of a broken record when I complain about the same boy I’ve loved since senior year. Thank you for tagging along on every doctor’s appointment, grocery run, and trip to the post office, just because you know that I hate doing things alone.

Thank you for not thinking twice before dialing when I text you “please call me.” Thank you for never saying no to a coffee date. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for being my better half.

We don't share the same genetic makeup, but after all the sleepovers, heart-to-heart conversations, shopping until our bank accounts cry, and swapping clothes so often that we don’t know what belongs to whom, how could I not consider you family? We have shared some my fondest memories together, and I wouldn’t want them to feature anyone but you.

You’ve been with me on my best days, and loved me on my worst. You know how to make me laugh when all I want to do is crawl into a hole and die.

Picturing sitting in my car with you in the passenger seat makes me long for summer, where we spend three months together doing all of our favorite things. You’ve seen me naked, done my makeup, and warned me before making a poor decision. Being away from you for extended periods of time makes me feel incomplete.

You are a piece of me that I am not quite whole without. You taught me that blood doesn’t make a family; love does.

You know me better than I know myself, which is both amazing and terrifying. You make me realize I’m enough for this world, and that means more to me than I know how to express in the limited words that make up the English language.

You remind me that I am more than my mistakes, and you keep me grounded when I spiral out of control. You’ve helped me carry my burdens along with your own, even when the universe comes down on you full force, way harder than you deserve.

You’re the one I come to for the truth if I think my new dress makes me look fat, and I know you’ll be honest. I trust you with my whole heart. You know the gory details about every boy I’ve ever crushed on, every professor who was an absolute jerk, and every fight I’ve had with my mom.

I wouldn’t make it in this life without someone who already understands and listens to every thought going through my head and each thing I seriously over think, even when you know, though you don’t say, it won’t matter in a week.

With all these affectionate things being said, don’t forget our fights. The few we’ve had were very real. We still don’t see eye to eye on some events of the past, but I never told my mom about it because there was no need to make her choose a side between me and her “second daughter.

We have learned to move forward, because the love we have for each other overwhelmingly outweighs any disagreement we’ve had, and always will.

Through all the tears and laughs, I don’t think that anything the world has to offer could seriously come between us. You go to a different school than me now, and college has rudely gotten in the way of our routine of spending every waking moment together.

Since we met, we’ve grown separately without growing apart. Neither of us are the same person we used to be all those years ago. Even so, we’ve pushed each other to our limits and you’ve given me the courage to keep going and do things that make me happy.

We lean on each other when it’s been a bad day and all we want to do is to snuggle and indulge in whichever show the other is currently watching unceasingly and unabashedly for comfort (it’s the little things). Having you as my co-pilot on this crazy ride called life has been frustrating, exciting, slightly concerning, absolutely insane, and something I don’t know how I would live without, and I don’t intend to find out.

I’ll conclude this letter with a quote from every basic, white girl’s favorite musical, “I don’t know if I’ve been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

Love you forever,

Your sis

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6 Tips For Drinking Tea And Maximizing It's Capabilities

A natural and healthy way to manage your energy, rest, and wellness.

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Drinking hot tea is a tradition that has been practiced for ages, and typically in spots all over the world. There are many benefits to both iced and hot tea, and with time it becomes an acquired taste. I have been drinking a variety of tea for years now, and have tried so many different varieties! I love the endless combos and possibilities that come along with this herbal drink.

Below are some of my favorite tea tips that I've learned or acquired. No matter how you drink it, I hope these tips will change your views on tea!

1. Caffeine is your best friend.

One of the main purposes of tea is its ability to suddenly wake you up, except without the coffee jitters. Drinking a heavily caffeinated tea, such as black or green, can boost your energy in the morning. Tea can be used for long-term energy boost because it doesn't provide the 'crash' that is associated with coffee drinking. Matcha green tea is known for its energy increase and ability to boost brain function!

2. It's okay to relax sometimes.

Just how some tea can give you energy, there is also some teas that can help calm you down after a long day. My go-to is chamomile tea, perfect for sleeping or an upset stomach. Lavender tea is another great way to unwind when you have been under a lot of stress.

3. Longer doesn't necessarily mean better.

Just because you leave the tea bag soaking for two hours doesn't guarantee that the tea will absorb a richer flavor. If anything, keeping the tea bag in the water makes the tea taste bitter. Ideally, anywhere between two and five minutes is the length that the teabag should sit in the water.

4. Tea bags VS loose tea leaves.

When I talk about hot tea, I am alluding to the tea bags sold at the grocery store. Some brands that I have had great experiences with are: Tazo, Celestio, Lipton, and Yogi! Another way to drink tea is the dry leaves and put them in a diffuser

5. Water temperature is key.

Having the perfect temperature of water is the foundation of good and hearty tea! I like to brew boiling water from a Keurig machine. This is the main way that I get hot water for my tea, but you can also microwave a mug or boil water on the stovetop.

6. Play around with the variety.

There are seriously endless possibilities for different types of tea! You can use two different tea bags to combine the flavors, such as ginger and turmeric. Or you can double the strength of a tea by adding more than one tea bag!

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