A Letter To My Mom As I Sit in Class

A Letter To My Mom As I Sit in Class

A letter addressed to the woman who brought me into this world, and who swears she can take me out of it at any time.

Disclaimer: Mom, I did not actually write this in class. I promise that I paid attention to the lecture.

Dear Mom,

As I sit here in class I can't help but realize that I am here because of you.

That's not to say that I haven't always known I was here because of you, you gave birth to me. And I don't say thank you enough for that either, so I'll say it now and get it out of the way. Thanks for birthing me!

But what I really mean by this is that I am sitting in this chair because of you. I am sitting in a freaking desk chair (it spins!!!), in a beautiful lecture hall, learning about the things I love, because of you. Mom, I'm sitting here as a student at an Ivy League school because of you.

I am here because of the time you lied to me and told me that colleges started looking at your grades in middle school.

I am here because you made sure I played varsity sports year-round, joined music groups, took art classes, participated in student government, took all AP classes, and got a job. I am here because you helped me prepare to be a college student during my senior year of high school, and wrote countless checks for college classes so that I could start my freshman year off with 52 credits to my name.

Mom, you are the reason I aced my SATs and ACTs. You are the reason I got 5's on AP exams. As I would stay up all night bent over my desk, you would bring me Shirley Temples with extra cherries, just the way I like them.

You would take me to Dunkin Donuts the morning of my exam, and would text me good luck before I walked into the testing room. I always walked out of that room with the confidence you instilled in me (except for AP Calculus, we don't talk about that).

You drove me to countless college visits, paid for application fees, and waited with me in anticipation for those big acceptance packages to arrive. You supported me through a stressful senior year, and were always there when I needed you. You would ask me about my day, and we would discuss who I met and what I learned at my rotations.

You went to every senior banquet, every research presentation, every awards night, and every senior night meet or game (not to say that you weren't at every game and meet already). You were there when I accepted a full tuition scholarship to my dream school.

You were the loudest one in the crowd when I walked across the stage, accepted my diploma, and gave a speech as salutatorian of my class.

When I was having a hard time adjusting to college life, you'd always answer the phone. You were never angry when I came home almost every other weekend. You always gave me extra money to have fun and get food because I was a college student who couldn't manage her money well (I still can't, sorry).

You sent me the best care packages (seriously, what other mom sends you the Grey's Anatomy board game and curse word coloring books?). You got me my first passport and paid for my flight so I could explore the world for the first time in my life. You were the reason I went to Rome and had the experience of a lifetime.

And when I realized that St. John's wasn't everything I wanted, you supported me in my decision to apply to transfer to Cornell. You helped pay all the fees, and we anxiously waited together for that letter to come in the mail.

When I got in, you immediately helped me pay for the summer courses I was required to take. And when it didn't make financial sense for me to transfer, and everyone told me no, you watched me as I cried in the car and said yes.

You took out extra loans, made it work, and drove me to my first apartment that fall.

I cried when you left, just like I did when you dropped me off at my dorm for the very first time.

Mom, I can't thank you enough for everything that you've ever done for me in my life. I know I am more of a financial burden than most (seriously, Cornell does NOT come cheap), and sometimes I am more of an emotional burden than most. But you've never given up on me. I can't think of any other person like you, or that means as much to me as you do.

You are truly one of a kind.

You're the kind of mother that teaches her child basic organic chemistry in the fourth grade. You're the kind of mother that becomes a foster parent while writing her doctoral dissertation and inspires her child when she walks across the stage to accept her diploma.

You're the kind of mother that looks up inappropriate words on Urban Dictionary and sends memes just to make her kid laugh. You're the kind of mother my friends wish they had. And you're the kind of person that I aspire to be.

So thank you, Mom. For everything. I love you more than you'll ever know.



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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.

It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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My Life Has Not Been The Same Since I Met My Father

He showed me angels, and told me I could put my weapons down because I've got protectors.


I rang in 2019 with sexual sin and instead of being convicted, I felt condemnation (see previous blog post). This, coupled with isolation and watching my fellow seniors have future plans while I didn't have any for post-undergrad, caused me to be in a dark place from January to the first week of April. I honestly didn't want to live anymore, convinced there was no point to my life. Three months, 1 week, and 3 days later, I went on my first A Life Retreat from April 11th to the 14th.

We arrived at the retreat site on the 11th at night so I was just expectant for the next day, but I was trying not to be excited because I didn't want to be brokenhearted if Jesus passed me by. On the 12th, during the last session for the day, many of my peers were getting delivered. I was praying for their deliverance while hoping for my encounter with Christ. However, something shifted in me and I became jealous. I remember thinking I wish I had some demons in me so that God will finally pay me some attention (we could unpack another day so this post isn't 5 pages long). I began to doubt God, I stopped praying and was looking around with a cynical smile on my face.

After the leadership team dismissed us, I went to sit down, angry and dejected. Someone asked me if I was okay. I lied, answering yes. Another person asked me; I lied again. A third person asked, and I finally told the truth saying, "no, but it's whatever". She asked if she could pray for me and I said, "you can do what you want but it's not going to change anything". I reasoned, if God won't show up for me when I prayed for myself, why would He show up when someone else does. With persistence, she began to pray for me, but I wasn't paying attention. I was just thinking she will be done soon and go her way.

She didn't end quickly so I began hearing the words of her prayer. She was saying, "God loves you." I was chuckling, thinking yeah, right. As she continued to pray those sweet words over me, telling me what God was saying and thinking about me, I began to speak out loud what was in mind, telling her that she was lying. After some back and forth, some A Life leaders came over and began to pray for me and after a good fight, deliverance took place. I became free from the stronghold of the spirit of doubt.

The next day, I was hypersensitive to the voice of God. At the beginning of the first session, I heard Him tell me to put my shield down and what I saw behind it was incredible. I had detached a part of myself that was much younger than the current me and I would transfer all the blame of my past onto her. Everything I hated about myself I put on her (this younger version of me). God told me I was supposed to unite with her, but I didn't want to. I told myself I was shielding her to protect her, but actually, I was trying to hide her in order to hate myself less or to avoid judgment. I couldn't move forward until we became one. After another deliverance session in which I was able to forgive myself and reconcile all parts of me, I felt empty, but in a good way. While on break for the day, I remember thanking God for freeing me and asking Him to fill me back up.

Throughout the last session on the 13th, He showed up and showed out for His little girl. I saw multiple visions of how much God loves me. I don't really have an intimate relationship with my natural father so what happened that night was pivotal in my life.

In my first vision, while I was praising and worshipping Him, God told me to rest my head on His shoulder while He told me how much He loves me.

Then He told me to lay my head on his lap and at this point, I'm crying because He's also telling me how He feels about me and how beautiful I am.

He showed me angels, multitudes, and told me I could put my weapons away because I've got protectors and defenders.

He told me that they had always been there even when I could not see them and He did all this while hugging me.

There was so much more that God told me and showed me, but I'm focusing on these few because it tackled the daddy issues and brother issues I had.

My life has literally not been the same ever since April 13th, 2019. I don't even know how to put into words how my life has been, how I have felt, how much love I have in my life. I just want everyone else in the world to feel what I feel, to know what I know, to encounter WHO I encountered. I also want to thank the A Life leadership team. Just in case any of you are reading this, "thank you. I can only imagine the amount of time you had to spend in your secret place with The Most High so that you were able to war for me, and the other A Lifers with Him in the open. May our Father replenish and reward you for being dedicated to people to see them saved and FREE. I love you all."

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