An Open Letter To You

An Open Letter To You

I hope this finds you well.

Dear You,

You know who you are, even if you don't realize it. I could call you auntie, because you were once. You used to be my aunt, but even though technically you still are, you haven't actually been for years. I don't think you realize what your addiction has taken away from me and from your family. It has not only taken who you are, but has changed you into something I can't describe. Most people argue you are sick, and addiction is a disease, but I can't wrap my head around it. I don't want it to be true because if that were the case you would accept the help we have tried to get for you. I guess it makes sense, given that the old you would never make the decisions you are making now.

You have to be sick, because choosing a substance over family doesn't seem like something a healthy person would do. What gets me though is, you chose this life in the first place. You made the decision that put you into this lifestyle of yours, and it makes me mad. It makes me mad that you would do that to yourself. You had such a big heart and somehow, like the Grinch, it got ten sizes too small.

Do you think of me? Do you remember calling me Neicy or Neicykid, because I am was your first niece? Do you remember the memories we've made? I do, they haunt me in my sleep each day that passes that I hear you made another poor decision. Remember going to my cousin's ice hockey games? I do, we took a selfie during the last one I went to. The caption on Facebook was something along the lines of "my beautiful niece, the only one that would bare this cold with me". I still have that photo, every once in a while I save it to my phone. Then I delete it, then save it, then delete it again. How can I hold on to something like that, knowing we will never be that close again? I remember another time, when we went out for my cousin's birthday. I have those pictures too. We watched the planes pass by and we ended up in some fancy restaurant underdressed. We were the only ones in that restaurant and none of us had any idea how to act in such a place.

I remember all kinds of little moments and hold them dear to my heart. We spent a lot of time together, hanging out and talking about anything and everything. I wish those moments meant as much to you as they did to me. I wish you knew how I really felt. I'm scared for the day my phone goes off because you overdosed and couldn't be saved this time. I'm scared for the day you hurt or kill someone because you were high. It's hard for me to accept that this is who you are now, and I probably never will.

You were my aunt once. At one point in my life I had you, but now I am grieving over a person that is still living. You missed out on a lot of beautiful nieces and nephews. Your loss.



Cover Image Credit: Kaushik Narasimhan

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52 Instagram Captions Perfect For Your Next Beach Vacation

Perfect for those beach daze.

Summer is officially in full swing. We are all looking forward to the adventures that await us. A lot of us have been dreaming about the day when we finally get to kick our feet up and relax by the ocean. If you find yourself getting ready for a trip to the beach then read these quotes to help get your in the mood for your vacation. Whether you are looking for an Instagram caption or are just trying to settle a bad case of wanderlust, here are 52 quotes on summer:

1. "Hello summer."

2. "I'm happiest when I'm floating in the ocean."

3. "May you always have a shell in your pocket, and sand in your toes."

4. "Life is better with palm trees."

5. "Sandy toes. Sun-kissed nose."

6. "Balmy nights, pink sunsets, and salty air."

7. "Talk to the sand."

8. "Live in the sunshine. Swim in the sea. Drink the wild air." -Emerson

9. "Everyone should believe in something. I believe I should go to the beach."

10. "Spontaneity is the best kind of adventure."

11. "The ocean is calling and I must go."

12. "Here comes the sun."

13. "If it requires a bikini, my answer is yes."

14. "I'm just a beachy kinda girl."

15. "As free as the ocean..."

16. "As endless as the ocean, as timeless as the tides..."

17. "Life's a beach. Enjoy the waves."

18. "A pineapple a day keeps the worries away."

19. "Let the currents guide your heart."

20. "Happiness comes in waves."

21. "Let's go somewhere where the stars kiss the ocean."

22. "My favorite color is sunset."

23. "I lost my heart to the sea."

24. "Sun, sand, and surf."

25. "Salt in the air. Sand in my hair."

26. "Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly." -Van Morrison

27. "High tides and good vibes."

28. "Mermaid kisses and starfish wishes."

29. "Stop and smell the ocean."

30. "I'm happy anywhere I can see the ocean."

31. "Tropical state of mind."

32. "Forever chasing the sun."

33. "Girls just wanna have sun."

34. "Some of the best memories are made in flip flops." -Kellie Elmore

35. "Good times and tan lines."

36. "Palm trees, ocean breeze, salty air, sun-kissed hair, endless summer, take me there."

37. "The ocean is calling."

38. "Love you to the beach and back."

39. "Paradise found."

40. "Seas the day."

41. "Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air..." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

42. "Eat. Beach. Sleep. Repeat."

43. "I never met a sunset I didn't like."

44. "Beach daze always."

45. "Catch me by the sea."

46. "Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair." -Zac Brown Band

47. "Stay salty."

48. "Done adulating- let's be mermaids."

49. "Find me under the palm trees."

50. "Sea you soon."

51. "Hello sunshine."

52. "Don't mind me... I'm just chasing the sun."

Cover Image Credit: Jakob Owens // Unsplash

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5 Things To Do In Minneapolis This Summer

No matter what you have going on this summer, it's important to take time for yourself so you feel satisfied with how you spent your free time.


During the summer, it's easy to feel like you should constantly be busy doing something. To you, maybe that means working, studying, taking summer classes, traveling, etc. No matter what your summer is filled with, you can always take time for yourself and find something fun to do. Whether you take an hour just for some you-time or whether you take the whole day, here are five things you can do this summer that might help you feel like you spent your free time wisely.

1. Get some ice cream

It often gets pretty warm during the summer, and ice cream is always a wonderfully refreshing treat. Grab a friend, family member or just go by yourself to grab a sweet treat. Lactose intolerant, vegan, or have another reason you don't eat ice cream? Consider checking out places that have vegan ice cream! The prices might be a bit more, but it might just be worth it. If you're in the habit of treating yourself, check out this link for some good ice cream shops in the Twin Cities!

2. Visit the Aquatennial

If you like fun city events, think about attending the Aquatennial between July 18 and July 21. You will find activities like the blood drive, the farmers market, the water ski show, yoga and so much more! Check out the full itinerary here.

3. Go swimming

Most everyone enjoys swimming, though some prefer one scene over another. Lucky for you, there are plenty of pools in Minneapolis. If you're more of a beach person, check out one of the over 10,000 lakes Minnesota has to offer!

4. Find a drive-in movie theater

There is almost nothing better than a balmy, summer night. The only addition that could potentially put you in more of a summery mood would be a movie or a late-night drive. Put the two together and the solution is a drive-in theater. There aren't any directly here in the Cities, but there are some in suburbs, like Lake Elmo. Check out Vali-Hi Drive-In Theatre in Lake Elmo or the StarLite Drive-in Theater in Litchfield to enjoy movies the way they were meant to be.

5. Midnight showing of "Rocky Horror"

At the Uptown Theater, they do a midnight showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." While it makes for a late night, this is something that is incredibly fun for all. 10/10 would recommend. The last show they'll have for a while is July 28, so get in while you can! You can find more information here.

These five things are only a drop in the bucket of all the fun things available to you here in Minneapolis. Most of these are also not exclusively summer activities, so you can do most of them any time of the year! Don't feel like your summer was wasted, just get out there and do something simple and fun. It doesn't have to be a big deal, nor does it have to be expensive: it's all about what you want to do and what you have the time for. And don't feel let down if others around you talk about having the "grandest summer ever, just running about and visiting all these exotic places." You might not have ventured too far, but as long as you're happy with how you spent your time, it doesn't matter.

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