On Being Present

On Being Present

Your Life Story Needs You
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Present (adjective)- existing or occurring now.

Life requires you to be present for a multitude of different events. If you’re a student, being present in class is not only a required aspect of your grade, but is beneficial to your success in that class. We try to avoid being absent for the things that really matter—weddings, births, graduation ceremonies, or award presentations. In general, being absent for these special events is frowned upon or could be completely misunderstood by the ones around us. So why is it that the one event we attend every single moment of every single day, we continually choose to opt ourselves out of? Without even realizing it, we are consistently absent in our own life story. Between re-reading the past, trying to write the future in advance, or by simply becoming complacent with where we currently are, we fail to be fully present in our life at all times.

It’s unrealistic to expect that our life will pass without us becoming depressed over the past, anxious over the future, or any emotion in between. Living “in the moment” is much easier said than done. And here I pause. While I’m sure having this mindset helps some people cope with day-to-day burdens, I do believe that it is extremely unhealthy to consistently live in the present moment only. Further, it’s unhealthy to become fixated on any part of our life’s story—past, present, or future.

When I say that we need to become more present in our own lives, I’m not implying that we should live more “in the moment.” I’m saying that we need to have the right amount of focus on the past, present, AND future. Living your life while only looking backwards is dangerous, as is living your life while only looking for what’s ahead rather than what’s right in front of you.

Being present in your life means recognizing the past for what it’s worth—to reference it as a learning point but not become obsessed with your previous faults. Being present in your life means having hope in the future—to know that good times and bad times will come and to prepare for both. Being present in your life means enjoying the things that are within your reach right now—to count all your blessings (and some twice).

When people talk about being present in your life, they oftentimes reference social media and how it should essentially be eradicated from your life. While I do wholeheartedly believe in the evil that social media can become at times, I don’t think that it’s something that everyone needs to do without. If it interferes with your way of coping with your daily struggles by providing a distraction (and no help), then maybe it’s time to take a break. If it interferes with the real-time conversations and fun times you’re having with others, then you could definitely cut back. Otherwise, social media is not the devil, and we shouldn’t treat it as such.

Don’t underestimate the power of your own mind; your mindset is what either carries you through the hard times or drags you through the mud. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “What lies behind us and what lies before us are very tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” If you make it your goal to become more present, many other missing pieces of your life will fall into place.

Cover Image Credit: http://www.singingwiththespirit.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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