Celebrating One Year With Odyssey

Celebrating One Year With Odyssey

Oh, what a year it's been.
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This past week marked my first year on Odyssey, and I am so proud of the personal growth in both my character and my writing. Within a year, I was able to move up from being an average, weekly writer to Editor In Chief of my community; something that I never anticipated would happen. I am so blessed to have this opportunity, and it has helped me develop greater confidence in myself and abilities, as well as improve them.

I remember writing my first piece about a portrait I saw in the Denver Art Museum in Colorado while on my family's annual vacation there. I remember how seeing that portrait startling something in me; a passion that needed to be further delved into beyond what my high school newspaper could provide me. I remember writing about how the portrait was complex, and one that can only be appreciated from several feet back to take in everything at once. I thought about how critical I am of myself, and if I only took the time to take a step back from myself and see everything I was I wouldn't be so hard on myself and realize that I am enough. Although that piece was written a year ago, I never realized how far I was from the reality of self acceptance, especially now that I have grown so much since the time that article was written.

Within this year, I got more involved in extracurriculars, I took three AP classes, gained and lost friends, got heartbroken and disappointed, further developed my own personal style, and continued to strengthen my writing and editing with practice. One thing that I always have loved about life is that you're never done progressing. Even when you think you've learned everything there is to know, there is always more. There are people and situations that challenge, obstacles to overcome, and things to learn about yourself that you never knew. In a way, I'm glad that my junior year of high school was filled with pain. I'm glad I lost friends and romantic interests, because I know they were all apart of my journey towards maturity and understanding. I learned common sense.

Pain, in the moment, sucks. Anyone will tell you that, but if not for pain, we would never grow. We would stagnate, and if your like me, I'm glad I'm 17 year old me that's learned a thing or two instead of 16 year old me that was naïve and overly cautious, or awkward 13 year old me full of self doubt and fear of my unknown future. Everyday I grow, everyday I learn, and everyday I am better. Even if its two steps forward one step back, I am still improving, and thanks to Odyssey, I have grown so much more than I possibly could have imagined.

So, here's to my year with Odyssey, and hopefully many more to come (if I can keep my deadlines.)

Cover Image Credit: destinationsdreamsanddogs,com

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Patience and Time Can Heal Just About Anything

Giving yourself time and patience to heal and focus on the person that really matters can just about heal anything you need it to.

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Time and Patience.

A difficult subject to think about in a world where it is nonstop and we are always on the move. Not just the students in college, but everyone in the world. Days come and go, speeding past, and before you know it, there are only 4 more weeks of the semester or only 12 more weeks until 4th of July. We, as humans, feel like time does not slow down and that we are constantly on the move for the next big thing to happen to us. But what would happen if we just sat down and relaxed? Thought about everything going on in our lives and just let it go?

To start off, we would probably feel more anxious because we would feel like there was something we need to be doing, no matter how big or small the task is. Some might even begin to make up a task that doesn't exist, just to say they don't have time to relax and focus on what is important. If we would just allow ourselves to slow down and focus on our own mind and body, people would be in better health and better mental health. Knowing that you can theoretically have all the time in the world to treat oneself to better, whether that be mentally or physically, it can all make a difference in the long run. Humans need to allow themselves time for their bodies to heal, whether that be from physical pain or emotional love. They need time to heal and find themselves again.

Find the person they once were before everything happened, good and bad. Time can do amazing things but we need to follow the process; which yes, will take a while and will feel like you are falling into the dark hole faster than you are coming up to the bright light of hope. But just know, it is all worth it in the end. Time and patience may seem impossible because of the world we live in, but it is possible when you really know you need and want it. The funny thing about time and patience is we all have it; we just don't all know how to use it correctly. I guess that is part of what makes us human though; not knowing when the best time to follow our guts and do what needs to be done to better ourselves.

Most humans want to help everyone else in the world, but when it comes to helping themselves, they suddenly don't have enough time anymore. Fixing and helping others becomes easier than fixing ourselves.

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