Blame It On The Brain

Blame It On The Brain

But not really.
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I was consumed by its effortless beauty. The way the light reflected against it and allowed it’s golden color to truly glisten.

I wanted it. I needed it. So, I caved and got it.

Now you might be thinking I’m talking about a car, that new iPhone, a precious stone, maybe a horse? If this is somewhat the direction you were going, sorry to say but I’m actually talking about a crispy piece of bacon. Bacon that I’d told myself less than 24 hours ago I was going to stop eating because I was going to start eating healthier and for me, that meant starting by cutting out beef and pork.

As I bit into its crunchy deliciousness I wondered why I hadn’t lasted 24 hours. Why didn’t I get a salad instead? Why is it so hard to let go of things that we know aren’t good for us and break bad habits?

This goes for picking up that donut instead of that apple, drinking that glass of juice even though you haven’t had enough water for the day, watching tv instead of going on that run, sending that text to that number you know you need to block, staying in that toxic relationship or friendship, the list can go on.

Let's face it, it seems so easy to create bad habits, but so hard to break them.

According to Medical daily, habits are formed after our brains have learned, then repeated, something new. As soon as a behavior becomes automatic the decision making part of the brain stops responding. So, basically, you can make bad decisions without even really having to think about it.

Charles Duhigg, the author of The Power of Habit, says that every habit starts with a psychological pattern he calls the “habit loop”. First, a trigger alerts your brain to let a learned behavior unfold then that behavior results in the habitual routine itself, and then your brain uses this to remember and replay the habit in the future.

Studies have even shown that 40% of the time we aren’t thinking about what we’re actually doing because our brains are trained to fall back on habitual behaviors.

It may seem like I’m suggesting you blame your brain for all the bad decisions you make, although this is partly true, I’m actually suggesting that you take control and start practicing and training your brain to fall into good habits.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s 2018 and it’s time to say goodbye to bad habits once and for all.

It’s time to identify these bad habits in our lives, switch things up and replace them with good habits.

Let’s repeat something good.

Cover Image Credit: Braelyn Diamond

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It's OK To Be Your Family's "Emily" This Christmas

Your greatest accomplishment may be learning how to cook something other than ramen noodles and oatmeal and that's okay.
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We all know the feeling, one sibling is getting married, another landed their dream job, someone got a promotion, someone bought a house, and another one has a baby on the way.

Everyone has exciting news to share or something to brag to the relatives about, and then there's you.

You’re just a typical college student with absolutely no idea what you want to do in life.

You didn't make a 4.0 this semester or land an internship at some big name company. You aren't dating anyone, expecting a ring, or having a baby anytime soon.

You may not have anything special for your mom to brag about on this years Christmas card, yet you are still content. Your greatest accomplishment may be learning how to cook something other than ramen noodles and oatmeal and that’s okay.

SEE ALSO: 5 Things That Matter Way More Than Having A Boyfriend This Winter

There are years of simply just finding yourself. Years of figuring out what it is you want out of life or searching for something that will finally “fuel your fire.”

Everyone’s path is different, some have more bumps, roadblocks, and flat tires than others, yet despite all of that, we all still get there.

As one of my favorite quotes states, “Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon, they shine when it’s their time”

So, no matter how old you are or what stage of life you are in, it is okay to be your family’s Emily this year.

Embrace it, throw your excitement at everyone else’s accomplishments, and be thankful for where you are at.

Your time will come.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter

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I Told My Now Boyfriend About My Baggage On The First Date, And It Only Helped Lead To The Second

People can say they can leave it in the past, but it's still your life.

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In my five year experience with *real* dating—sorry freshman year relationships that lasted a few months—is that, you really need to be open with your partner.

About everything.

I have some "baggage" as people like to call it that, while I have grown from the situations and am over them, I still carry them with me because they are apart of my life. I don't let them eat away at me day by day. But I will have my days where I'm going to be struck with emotions. When those days come, I always want my partner to be prepared.

So I told my now boyfriend, every little piece of my "baggage" on our first date.

Yes, all the bad stuff that most people probably don't want to talk about? I did on the first date.

I learned that if someone seriously wants to be with me, and for the long run, they should know my past. So I gave it to him on a silver platter. I looked him in the eyes and said I want to talk to you about something serious. After agreeing, I advised him that I had never taken this approach before, that I knew it was really early to bring all of this up, but that I felt it was necessary for him to know before we take the relationship further.

While most people who I've shared these experiences with, it was later in our relationship, their reactions were generally the same. Awkward, didn't know what to say or how to act. It mostly led to a few awkward encounters after that, but nothing further.

This time was different.

He held me after I was done saying every detail and told me "I knew you were strong, but I didn't know you were this strong." No words have hit me like those did. He looked me in my tear stained eyes and said that he was so glad I felt comfortable enough to share that with him so soon. That, he's glad he knows those pieces of me because they are what shaped me into who I am today.

Is my "baggage" rough? Absolutely. Are there days where the memories flood over me and I can't help but let the tears fall? Of course. I'm a human and not every day is going to be perfect. But, sharing that with him, warning him in a way, gave him the opportunity to know how to handle it when those days did come.

So, my "baggage" actually landed me the second date. And not only the second date, but almost a year's worth of dates.

If you want to find that one person, the one you want to share your life with, you need to share the past too. If you share it with them and they can't handle it? That's their loss and your gain. You're onto the next potential candidate. One that will love you for all of you, just like mine does for me.

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