A Goodbye To 2017

A Goodbye To 2017

A recap on the last 365 days.
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Time is a funny thing. Like how on your birthday every year someone asks you if you feel different. And every year, you feel so not different. Timing really is everything, though. For instance, the boy you met at 18 years old would mean something totally different to you if you met him at 28 years old.

But then I do think about 18-year-old-Paige. Who I was a year ago, going into 2017. January 1st of 2017, and it’s like a totally different person. It’s crazy to think that when the clock strikes midnight and we ring in the new year, not much will have changed about me. Except that, everything has changed.

I do not do well at goodbyes. Terrible at them, actually. I still refuse to accept that Derek Shepard is gone in Grey’s Anatomy. (I actually have a theory he is still alive, but that’s for another article). Back to my point, this is my goodbye to 2017. Another chapter closing in our lives. I am happy to report, that this has been the best (and most challenging) chapter for me yet. Which is why I am also partly sad to see it go.

One day, when I’m 80, I will tell the stories. Because that’s what I do best. I can’t promise who I’ll be telling the stories to, (hopefully) my husband, or maybe to just my ten dogs that I will own. But I can promise you a great deal of my stories will be from the year 2017.

Maybe I will tell the story about starting a collection of stolen items from each fraternity I went to. The date I went on with the cute boy to watch the sunset at the beach. Or the random road trips to get out of Indiana I made with my best friends. My big sister’s engagement.. I could keep going because there is a lot of good that came out of 2017.

But I’ll also tell them about how this was one of the hardest years of my life. I was constantly in and out of heartbreak. I lost some of the closest people in my life, who I thought I would have in my life forever. And I had to let go of being “in love” with other people, and focus on falling in love with myself first. 2017 was hard, and they’ll know that too.

But if anything, 2017 gave me more than it took away from me. Sure, I lost some of my closest friends. But really, I realized those people weren’t even kind of my friends to begin with. And it forced me to go out there and get to know new people. I got the privilege to get to know people I never thought that I would.

These are the people who were placed in my life at exactly the right time, and are helping me to get to wherever it is that I am going. I learned that it is hard to fall in love with yourself after getting your heart stomped on by what felt like 100 people. But I learned that love, from other people too, is necessary. And with that, heartbreak is inevitable. Because every good memoir has conflict.

Here’s to 2017.

Cover Image Credit: Paige Roadruck

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I'm That Girl With A Deep Voice, But I'm Not Some Freak Of Nature

I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man.

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My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I joke that rather than getting higher, my voice got lower throughout puberty.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when my family members say "Hi Todd" when they pick up the phone when I call. Todd is my brother. I am a girl.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to laugh when I have been asked by other females if they're "in the right bathroom" when I tell them "I'm not in line" or "someone's in here" when there's a knock on the stall.

Keep in mind that in most female bathrooms, there are no urinals present and there is a sign outside the door that says "WOMEN." Quite obviously, they're in the correct bathroom, just thrown off by the octave of my voice.

For the girl who asked me if she was in the right bathroom because she was "caught off guard and thought I was a boy," I'm just wondering...

What part about my long hair, mascara, shorts not down to my knees, presence (small presence, but a presence none the less) of boobs, and just my overall demeanor was not enough validation that you are, in fact, in the correct restroom?

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. I have learned to hold back tears when someone tells me that I sound like a man. Or, when someone calls me over to talk to their friends so they can see how "offsetting" my voice sounds to them.

My favorite story is when I was in a store, and I asked one of the women there a question about a product.

This woman had the audacity to ask me when I "went through my transformation."

She was suggesting that I was a transgender girl because of the sound of my voice. Please recognize that I respect and wholeheartedly accept the trans- population. Please also recognize that I was born a girl, still am a girl, always will be a girl, and asking someone if they are a different gender than they appear to be is not the best way to make a sale.

Frustrated, I told her that she should find a better plastic surgeon and walked out.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be.

And, to make matters worse, I am not your typical "girly-girl."

I die for the New York Rangers, have maybe two dresses in my closet but three shelves full of hand-me-down sweatshirts from my brother and Adidas pants. I do not own a "blouse" nor do I plan on owning one except maybe for business-casual occasions.

Naturally, when a deep voice is paired with a sports-oriented, athletic short-loving, sarcastic girl who couldn't tell you the difference between a stiletto and an average high-heel, I GUESS things can seem "off." However, regardless of the difference you see/hear, no one has the right to make someone feel bad about themselves.

What I always struggled with the most is how (most, moral, common-sense) people will never tell someone they don't know, who may be overweight, that "they're fat" or that they don't like the shirt that they're wearing. Yet, because my voice is not something physically seen, it has become fair game for strangers and acquaintances alike to judge and make comments about.

I used to break down into hysterics when I heard a comment about my voice, whether I was six years old or seventeen years old.

There are times that I still do because I am so fed up and just completely bamboozled by the fact that at the age of twenty, there are still people who just have a blatant disregard for others' feelings and a lack of understanding of what is okay to say and what is not okay to say.

But, just like I ask those people not to judge me, I suppose I can't judge them on their lack of common sense and respect for others.

I'd be lying if I said that the hundreds of thousands of comments I've heard and received targeted at my voice growing up did not play a role in my life. I used to want to be a sports broadcaster. I no longer want to be heard on the radio or seen on TV; snarky comments about my voice being one of the reasons why (among others, like a change of interest and just overall life experiences).

I'd be lying if I said that my struggle with public speaking didn't partially stem from negative feedback about my voice.

I'd be lying if I said that there weren't days I tried to talk as little as possible because I didn't want to be judged and that I am sometimes hesitant to introduce myself to new people because I'm scared my voice will scare them away.

I would also be lying if I said that my voice didn't make me who I am.

I joke constantly about it now, because half the shit that comes out of my mouth mixed with my actions, interests, beliefs, etc., would sound absolutely WHACK if I had a high-pitched "girly" voice.

My voice matches my personality perfectly, and the criticism I have and continue to receive for my "manly" sounding voice has helped shaped me into who I am today. I have learned to love my voice when people have relentlessly tried to make me hate it. I have learned to take the frustration I felt towards my voice and turn it into sympathy for those who have something going on in their life, and therefore feel compelled to make a comment about me, a stranger's voice, to make themselves feel better.

I've learned that to laugh at yourself is to love yourself.

And, I say this not for sympathy. Not for someone to say, "Wait, Syd, I love your voice!"

I say this because I want it to be a reminder for people to watch what they say, and use that noggin before you speak. I say this because I also want to be the voice (haha, get it, 'voice') for those who feel like they've lost theirs.

My voice is deep. Always has been, always will be. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

So no, I would not be a good alto in a choir because I think I'm tone deaf. And, when you call MY phone number, it is very unlikely that it is my brother or dad answering. Just say hello, because 99.9% of the time, if it's ME you're calling, it's ME that's answering.

Dr. Suess said, "A person's a person no matter how small."

Now I'm saying, "A girl is a girl no matter her octave."

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10 Thoughts You Have During The Best Month Of The Year, AKA October

How can you NOT love October... oops, sorry I mean Monstober.

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October is seriously the best month of the year, and if you disagree, well you're just wrong. I mean seriously, between the sweater weather and Halloween prep and the smell of pumpkin, the month of October is truly a gift.

And of course, a month this incredible brings about a million and one thoughts about what it will bring and how it will be AMAZING! However, a million thoughts would be a lot to capture so I'm going to tell you about the ten that were most prevalent for me on October 1st.

1. "Where did September go?"

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I mean September really only is Pre-October, and I'm happy that it's over, but what? Wasn't it August yesterday?

2. "How soon is too soon to hang up Halloween decorations?" 

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It's never too soon. You've already come so far by waiting till this very day. Go ahead and get your pumpkins and black and orange streamers!

3. "Do you think I can still use my Harris Teeter discount for pumpkins?"

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This got me so excited until I realized that the Harris Teeter student discount doesn't apply after a certain amount of time, and that's just unfair.

4. "Wait I hope they haven't moved on from Halloween and onto Christmas decorations in stores yet."

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This is a serious problem. What if I need to add to my Halloween collection? I'm sorry I didn't remember to in August when Halloween decorations were out.

5. "Okay, I'm already behind on Halloween costumes. What am I going to do?"

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Halloween costumes are a big, if not the biggest, deal, and they take lots of brainstorming and planning. There's so much to consider, You have to look cute and be original; not everyone can dress up as a boxer or an alien AGAIN this year.

6. "Wait, how many days of Halloweekend are there this year?"

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Here's where costume planning gets complicated. Not only do you have to plan for one day, but Halloween itself is a several-day celebration that you have to be absolutely completely prepared for!

7. "Pumpkin spice is finally acceptable!"

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And I'm not just talking about the lattes. Pumpkin muffins, ice cream, bread, pie, etc!!! Sure, September is technically fall and therefore pumpkin spice season, but I'm a firm believer in October as the true start to when you can stuff your face with pumpkin spiced foods all day everyday without judgment.

8. "Is it social acceptable to start eating candy corn again?"

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The candy corn debate is ongoing, but October is truly the only time when candy corn lovers can indulge with no judgment.

9. "Netflix better have "Halloweentown," or I will sue!" 

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The "Halloweentown" series is only one of the greatest series of Halloween movies of all time; they're classics. For us college students who don't always have time to watch movies when they air on regular TV, Netflix is a go-to for Halloween movies. But if Netflix is lacking in the best Halloween movies, we're going to have a problem.

10. "How much homework do I have for tonight? I can make time for a Halloween movie marathon, right?"

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There's always time. It's important to your mental health. Your professors won't mind.

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