It is not easy

She just showed up.

Your confidence seems to go down just by the mention of her name, and now she's here and everyone loves her and you suddenly feel like a shadow.

You do not measure up.

Let me tell you something about jealousy and the ugly heart that it can manufacture in you. If you allow it.

Jealousy can kill. Jealousy can destroy and harvest hate faster than you can think. All it takes is one look, and you're hooked. All it takes is one sharp pang of mediocrity to gnaw at your self-worth.

What if I told you that you did not have to be jealous? That you had a choice to choose encouragement or to dwell in your shortcomings to another person? What if I told you that you do not have to listen to the voices that speak the lies of worthlessness to your heart? Erase the temptation. Whatever it takes. Delete Instagram for a while (or for good). You are not a slave to jealousy. Build on YOUR gifts. Love YOUR good traits.

Be jealous for goodness. Be jealous for peace. Be jealous for the lonely ones. Be jealous for the depressed.

Choose encouragement. Don't look, but see.


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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.

I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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For The Older Sister Graduating College, You Made It

My best friend is going into the real world, and I am going to miss more than just stealing her clothes.


My sister is graduating from the same school I just started attending. Slowly, while I was distracted by my own life, she started moving on from being an adult in training to paying rent and having a wardrobe of professional clothes. While I was worrying about homecoming, prom, and then college acceptances, she had midterms and internships. Now that I am finally understanding why she would FaceTime met at home at midnight while she was in college and say it wasn't even late, she is going through interviews and planning her life after graduation.

Nobody is your bigger fan than your younger sibling. So, to my sister, though I will never quite catch up to you in age, I know how hard you have worked and can't believe the places my best friend will be going.

When we were younger, there was nobody I wanted to be more like than my older sister. I took what you said as fact unless you were saying I couldn't have something of yours. I bragged about things you did to my friends; I may even still do that now. As we got older, you bravely assumed the role of doing all the firsts, then helping show me the way. The first one to get her wisdom teeth out, the first one to take the challenging classes, the first one to go on a trip by herself, and now the first one to go into the real world.

Even now, you were the first person I texted when I couldn't think of anything to write about for my article. We are different people; I show my worry and reach out to others when I need help, and you show the first-born preference to solve your own problems and not let on when something isn't easy. I am so fortunate to have my best friend just a few blocks away. And I know we are both busy, but you couldn't tell by the number of times we run into each other in a Starbucks. While you are trying to arrange for a career and tie up knots on a college degree, you also give me advice on housing on campus. You have also helped me through my college experience, all the while accomplishing so much on your own.

No matter where you end up (somewhere telling someone to do something), I will be proud of you, even if all I am saying is a rant about my own problems. I feel a little bit more put together when I am wearing one of your sweaters that is more fashionable than my own and a little bit more confident having a role model off doing incredible things.

So good luck, though I know you won't need it because you have trailblazed your way through our world and are the best-dressed and educated big sister a girl could have.

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