Life Lessons: What You Think Matters The Most

Life Lessons: What You Think Matters The Most

"Don't let the door hit you in the a%$ on the way out!"

When I was in my 20s, appearances meant a lot to me. I had the appearance of a fashionista. I had to have the latest trends in shoes, hair, make-up, you name it. There were times when I would buy myself a new outfit before I went out to that new club. It was all meaningless! I wish I would have known then what I know now.

You have to be happy on the inside, otherwise all the shoes, make-up and hair extensions in the world won't be enough! I could have saved myself so much stress, money and aggravation! It doesn't matter at all what other people think of you, it is what you think of yourself that really matters. If someone is going to judge you, then they are the one with the problem. Not you.

People like to judge others because something inside of them is lacking. They need to try to be superior to someone in order to make their own lives seem better. I lived with someone that totally understood that all of his life: my father. He always said to me "No one is better than you! They may be better off than you. But no one is better than you!" It took me 33 years to get it! At 33, I lost him.

My father was a very sick man, but he never ever showed it. No one ever knew when he wasn't feeling well until he was ready to pass out, then he might say something. He was in and out of hospitals for various things for the last 15 years of his life. Basically, he had Ulcerative Ileitis, which is similar to Ulcerative Coleitis, but much worse. It is ulcers in the large intestine, which caused the entire large intestine have to be removed. From research I have done online about it, it's basically caused by stress.

He had it before doctors even knew what it was. There was no medication for it. He even had an exploratory surgery, (which they do not do anymore) to try to figure out what it was. He was 48 when it started. He started getting shots of Cortisone three times a day to get rid of the swelling from the ulcers, but they didn't know all of the side effects and contraindications for Cortisone at the time.

Eventually he wound up with an enlarged heart, diabetes and gout which caused him to lose feeling in his hands and feet. Even though he would get out of breath, have fatigue from the diabetes (he didn't exactly follow his diet) and couldn't feel his own feet when he walked, he was out and about every day! He couldn't work but boy, could he shop! He would go to the can sale at Shop Rite and buy like 10 years’ worth of food. (I am not kidding, it literally lasted me and my mom 10 years after he passed away!) I was told by his doctor after he passed away that he was not supposed to be driving for the last two years!

There was no disease or no one person that would ever tell him how to live his life! His attitude was "Accept me as I am. If not, there’s the door, and don't let it hit you in the ass on the way out!"

Cover Image Credit: Kimberley Gomer

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

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How To Avoid Getting Sick Your  Freshman Year

It's going to take a little more than an apple a day.


College is the prime time and place to catch a cold... or worse. Although, somehow I managed to crack the code to health and not get sick my whole first year of college. This is surprising considering I was living in the close (and very unsanitary) quarters of a dorm room.

1. Keep your diet somewhat healthy

I know how hard it is to eat healthy in college, especially on a low budget. But with the dining hall foods, you can at least include some vegetables and fruits into your everyday consumption. The vitamins in these foods will help keep your immune system up and it will be worth the effort.

2. Try to exercise a few times per week

Even if you're just getting out of the dorm for a thirty minute walk, it will benefit your body. If you decide to up your routine from that, even better! The more endorphins, the more you will feel better inside and out.

3. Cut back on the drinking if you feel a cold coming on

Surprisingly, many college students don't seem to know that alcohol lowers your immune system. Of course, for some people theres no way of avoiding drinking. But if you can at least give your body rest days, it will be extremely beneficial.

4. Invest in a dehumidifier for your dorm room

I believe this was a very big player in helping me not get sick. The dehumidifier helps reduce dust and other particles in the air. This will help not agitate your allergies and you will feel more clear headed.

5. Try not to share personal products

Sharing things like towels, makeup, unwashed cups, etc. can all be causes of a sickness being passed around you and your friends. Of course sharing is caring, just make sure it's sanitary.

6. Be conscientious of who you kiss!

Make sure that your girlfriend, boyfriend, or "its complicated" person is not sick before you're getting cozy with them.

7. Drink lots of green tea!

Personally, I credit green tea and its anti-oxidants for keeping the flu away and even getting rid of bugs that might be forming in your system. So if you feel like you might be developing a cold, chug that tea!

I know how annoying these tips may be. But I promise, if you implement at least a few it could reduce your chances of feeling horrible during midterms in the winter, and sneezing all over your finals in the fall.

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