A Light In The Dark

A Light In The Dark

Most days the optimist in me wins, and then there are days it doesn’t.

I like to think that most days are good days.

Every time I wake up in the morning, I try to see if at least one thing will manage to bring me joy. It could be that it’s a nice enough day to wear that new dress hidden in my dresser. It could be that one of my classes got cancelled so I can spend time writing or catching up on the sleep that I keep meaning to cross off my to do list. It could even be that I manage not to bang my knee when walking past my desk to get to my closet.

It’s the little victories that count.

I wake up most mornings with this hope in mind. Even if today isn’t going to be monumental or go down in the books of my personal history as life-changing, that’s OK. There’s still possibility for good. Things could be far worse than having an ordinary day. Some people even find comfort in routines, thrive even on their one cup of coffee a day and zumba classes twice a week regimens. Patterns develop, help us recognize our strengths, and foster relationships. At least that’s the plan.

Yes, Annie, the sun will come out tomorrow.

So I carry on, putting one foot in front of the each other, day in and day out like everyone else in the world. Hoping for small victories if possible, and looking out for the finer things. I like to consider myself a realist with a tendency toward optimism, and most days the optimist in me wins.

And then there are days it doesn’t.

I wake up and see no possibilities in front of me. It feels like it will rain even though there was no broadcast predicting it would. It feels like anything I wear doesn’t fit right or feel “me.” I’m so tired of banging my freaking knee into my desk when I never should have put it so close to my closet in the first place. My writing is so shitty that a fan-written, self-published, spin-off following Edward and Bella’s love child sounds more promising than mine.

All I want to do is sleep, because it feels like the only thing I’m good at.

I want to sink back into my world of soft down comforters, and silky sheets just waiting to envelop me in a world away from here. It’s a world where I don’t have to ever use the bathroom, or feel awkward around others, or eat, or leave my comfort zone. It’s a small town with a population of one.

Nothing happens, but no harm can come to me.

Patterns feel like shackles imprisoning in a path I thought I chose. I thought I wanted these classes, clubs, meetings, friends, and distance. I thought I loved plans and organization and adored my daily planner clutching it like a Bible as a way to survive. But I seem to just be following along, doing what’s expected of me.

What does it matter if I don’t show up?

Some would care, most wouldn’t. Unless it was an important event or thing I was supposed to do, but everyone has a different definition of what’s important nowadays. I could miss a lunch, or a phone call, and be considered unreliable. I could miss a class or an assignment and be considered unprepared.

It may have only happened once, but people will never let you forget it.

You won’t let you forget it. The bad days of the past seem to cloud the present and tornado into extremes of frustration and hurt and hopelessness until they shatter all things you were hoping to hold onto to help guide your future. Whether you caused the storm or not, you still have to sort through the wreckage.

Eventually, you get past it.

Whether you just discovered the cure for cancer or found out your dog has died, you still are expected to get up the next morning. Whether you’re in the middle of a storm or one has just passed, there will soon be another one coming your way at one point or another. So we sit and wait.

We still hope, despite it all.

Call it dumb, call it optimistic, or even realistic, but we still have this sheer hope in the universe, in others that things will turn a corner for us. Joy will return to us once more and we will welcome it back like an old friend. Why don’t you stay for awhile, Joy?

If only it didn’t have to leave so soon.

Whenever we wake up and take those first steps out the door, we never know what we may encounter. It could be the most important day of our lives or the dullest. But we do have a say in looking out more for the good over the bad.

It’s all about how we choose to use the time.

I take a moment to breathe, stand tall, and peer from behind my intense, dark brown eyes to catch a glimpse of paradise; even if it’s just for a minute. The gleaming smile of my lover. The hysterical laugh of my mother. The shared look of trust and love between friends and family. The Chicago skyline from the top floor of the John Hancock Building. I see it all, and I hope to see more.

No matter what day is in store, I like to think that most days are good days.

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.

Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.


They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch


What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong

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