To My Gig Harbor High School Class Of 2013, Four Years Later

To My Gig Harbor High School Class Of 2013, Four Years Later

Four years later I’m still saying that I wish you only the best.

It’s crazy to think it’s been exactly four years since all 400 of us were in the same room united as one. When we left we were all headed our separate ways to move either across town, across the state, across the country, or across the world. We were all closing a chapter of comfort and entering a new world filled with unfamiliar faces, new buildings, and a new lifestyle, leaving behind family and some close friends. Some of us went to schools where it was one big high school reunion all over again. Others went to places where no one had even heard of our hometown. In one way or another, we all found success that reached our own individual standards. So to my graduating class, here is what I have to say.

Success does not have a set definition.

When we left high school many of us dreamed that we’d be winning a Pulitzer or Nobel Peace Prize two years into high school. When we realized that wasn’t the case some of us dropped out of school and realized that wasn’t for us. Or immediately switched careers in hopes of finding a higher amount of happiness doing something else. That’s okay. It took practice and trial and error to realize what we wanted to do and what would lead us to that platform of success. Some of us were late bloomers and realized now that we want to get an education, or change up our lifestyles and achieve new goals. Success is a measurement that we can make up all on our own, and in the world, we live in we have a lot of options to fulfill our wants and needs.

Home will always be waiting.

For some of us, we have been too afraid to leave in fear of leaving what we are comfortable with. Home is wherever you make it out to be. So screw Thomas Wolfe when he said, “You can’t go home again.” That’s not true at all. Home will always be where you last left it, ready to pick back up when you are. But like Seuss once said, “Your mountain is calling so get on your way,” the world is waiting for you to discover and explore it. You’ll have nothing else to lose other than the experience, and the ability to say that at least you tried.

We’re really not as old as you think.

Sure we may joke that 22 is old age but really think about it. We’re not even halfway to the average life expectancy. So stop making excuses. It is never too late to start something new. To pick up a new hobby, study a new subject, and do whatever it is you desire to do. Some people may not find their “thing” until they’re in their 70’s. But don’t be that person.

Stop trying to rush things.

We’ve come to the point where we see a new engagement/pregnancy/wedding announcement at least once a week. It’s great to see pure happiness in old friends and classmates, but don’t feel the need to rush things for yourself. The time will come when we’re all individually ready. Didn’t your mother ever talk to you about late bloomers?

Don’t Settle.

You don’t need to settle for the first company that hires you and talks to you about starting your first 401k. Just because you get a “dream job” doesn’t mean that it’s your “dream job.” Going back to success being an individual’s measurement, you should never settle for anything until you are 100% satisfied with the results and outcome.

I’m proud to have graduated with remarkable people like yourselves.

There is no other school and not another group of people I would have loved to graduate with. High School in one way or another was a fun time that I will always remember positively with. Through the use of social media and the tools, we have today it has been a pleasure to keep tabs on everyone and see what has happened and how much has changed within these past four years. As just a preview of the lifetime we have ahead, I can confidently say I am excited for where we will all end up 10 years from now.

So at our 10-year reunion, it will be interesting to see where we all end up. Who won the Nobel Peace Prize, who has the most children, who even has the most career changes. Whatever it is that we all do remember that this world is yours and it’s whatever you make of it. It was a pleasure to graduate with you all, and it’s an even pleasure to continue to watch our class grow into this crazy thing we call adult hood. So four years later I’m still saying that I wish you only the best. The highest amount of success that makes you happy, and the most amount of happiness that you need in this lifetime.

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

Forever my number one guy.

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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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college


Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries

It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner

With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram

Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate

The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity

If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in

If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one

Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities

Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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