How To Get Your Life Together This Year

If You're A Current Resident Of Rock Bottom It's Time To Climb Yourself Out

Life changes start happening after you start having conversations that matter.

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Raise your hand if you've ever been stuck at rock bottom and camped out there for a while.

Okay, raise your hand if you've ever been stuck there and tried to save face just to prove to others that you can handle it on your own.

Anyone here, not raising their hand?

If that's you, seriously God bless you, but you're probably not ready to hear the rest of this. Or maybe, you REALLY need to hear the rest of this.

So to anyone and everyone, wherever you are, brew yourself a cup of coffee because this is for you.

As a reoccurring resident of rock bottom, I'd like to officially welcome you here to remind you that you're not alone. And no, you're not going to stay here forever but that part relies solely on how willing you are to climb out.

You see, I'm speaking directly to the ones like me who have done all they can to save face and pretend they have it all together. The ones acting like they have something to prove to the people that matter most to them.

It's time for a fierce conversation.

"The purposes of fierce conversations. Interrogate reality. Provoke learning. Tackle tough challenges. Enrich relationships."
- Susan Scott

Now, if fierce conversations were easy you wouldn't have to be fierce about it.

Let me preface the following by saying, I didn't want to do this either. I was perfectly comfortable saving face and being in my own little bubble.

Too bad that saving face held me back from the depth in my relationships that I so incredibly craved.

"But fierce conversation is one in which you come out from behind yourself, into the conversation and make it real."
-Susan Scott

We all have this desire to be fully known, but we're also deeply afraid of what being known will bring to us.

Will it bring rejection? Will it bring change and growth? Will the conversation be a success or will it have failed and proved us right for saving face?

Here's the secret I wish I learned a year ago: THERE'S NOTHING TO PROVE.

To you or to anyone else.

Because hi, hello, no one has it all together. And if they do, don't you think you could learn from them?

If you're stuck complaining about how you're not growing, it's time to start changing.

And one of the best ways to see your progress is to have someone else alongside you, reminding you of how far you've come.

So I've welcomed you to Rock bottom. Now say hello to my friend accountability, the actual best and worst friend you will ever have.

Accountability reminds you that you are responsible for the change you want to see in your life.

Accountability kicks you in the butt in the morning to get you to the gym.

Accountability pushes you to become disciplined.

Accountability reminds you of everything you said you wanted when you really don't want to hear them. And again, when you ignored it the first time and now regret it.

So why have fierce conversations if this is what it leads to? I know, it's scary. And I know you really don't want to do it.

But how else are you going to start climbing out of the bit that you're in?

It starts with just going up to one person and trusting them with the real you. The one that's hiding in your little bubble.

And if you don't know what to say, let me get you started.

"Hey, I just need to know you're proud of me."

"I need you to know where I'm at. I need to know that I'm not crazy."

"I need help.

That's all it takes for accountability to come in and become your friend whether you like it or not.

No one has ever said they love accountability right off the bat. I'm not going to sugar coat it, you'll absolutely hate it.

But when you see your progress, you'll love how far you've come and that there's good in it.

I don't have it all together either. I'm not where I want to be or where I need to be, but I know I will get there. So will you.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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The One Thing Everyone Should Do Before They Graduate

Why I wish everyone could have shared in my end of school adventure.

Lswitka
Lswitka
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The end of freshman year was filled with the abundant stress of final exams, teary-eyed goodbyes, and last looks at my dorm room on South Campus. The academic year was overwhelmingly busy, and I tried my best to soak in every single moment as a first-year college student. But as I'm sure many of you can understand, it's not always possible to make time for the adventures we so desperately desire. I found myself saying "I want to do that!" all year long, and here it was the last week of the year and my bucket list had barely been touched. All those Philadelphia excursions, dreamy coffee shop dates, and campus explorations that I looked forward to never ended up panning out…

… until last Thursday night.

With about half the freshman class moved out of South Campus, everything felt a little strange. There was barely a dinner rush at all in Donahue Dining Hall, and my room looked so empty it almost made me sad. Naturally, I called up a couple of friends. Within minutes, we met in the lounge, and we were off for our adventure.

Every single day on the way to labs in Mendel Hall, I walked past the beloved Falvey Fountain. It had become such a consistent part of my routine that walking past it felt like it was a necessary daily occurrence. But this time, we didn't walk past. In fact, we stopped dead in our tracks and admired its color changing beauty for a brief moment.

And then we dove in!

Yes, we jumped right into the fountain. First the daring adventurer of the group, then his sidekick, then the skeptic, and finally myself. This was definitely not allowed, but no one was around, and more importantly, no one cared. Being knee deep was freezing, but the adrenaline rush was too much to suppress. So we submerged further, dunking each other and splashing the icy water literally everywhere. My wet hair made way for the most epic hair flip of all time, and we all laughed joyously.

All the stress of looming final grades and the completion of projects, the bittersweet goodbyes to our newfound families, and the hassles of packing up for the year were washed away in that fountain, drowned in the euphoria of the moment. We were officially baptized in summer as it dubbed us the kings and queens of adventure.

Afterward, we wrung out our soaking clothes and snapped a quick pic of our drenched selves. Trying to escape the scene hastily, I dropped my bag of M&M;'s. They spilled everywhere, leaving streams of melty chocolate and food coloring running through the aftermath of our fountain dive. The scene looked like a bit of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory had exploded from the fountain and into the night.

I am far from kidding when I say that adventure is a must for everyone, at any stage of life. Whether it's fountain diving at Nova, or sky diving in New Mexico, something about us as human beings needs the unusual, exciting, and even hazardous experiences. This one was particularly cleansing and absolutely unforgettable.

So I implore you: go forth this summer and be adventurous! Explore hidden places, try new eats, shuffle a stranger's playlist, introduce yourself to someone on a whim, or just get in the car and drive with no destination in mind. This summer is for the bold; this summer's for you.

Happy adventuring!

Lswitka
Lswitka

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