Why You Should Make A Big Deal Out Of Your Birthday

Why You Should Make A Big Deal Out Of Your Birthday

Told with the assistance of Leslie Knope.

Your birthday is important. It only happens once a year. Rare enough that it isn't selfish to celebrate another year you've been alive and frequent enough that you should celebrate every single year. My birthday is coming up and I am going to celebrate it to the capacity of a religious holiday. Here's why.

My philosophy is we live every day of the year trying to do our very best and trying to be kind to people. I have the goal of making other people smile every single day. I spend each day trying to be the light in someone else's life. It is my choice to spend my time in this way. A lot of us spend most of our time loving and doing things for others and sometimes we forget about ourselves. It's important to love and do things for ourselves as well. After all, each and every one of us deserves to be celebrated for who we are and what we have accomplished year after year. Going above and beyond for our friends and family is such a beautiful thing, but once every 365 days, it's our turn.

You don't have to think of it as celebrating your age, either, if that's what you're afraid of. Most people don't see the relevance in celebrating age after 21, anyway. It is a day where others have the chance to make you happy. Friends come together to enjoy your presence and tell stories about you. It is a day where pretty much everything can rightfully be about you. This may or may not be a good thing.

Your friends and family have the chance to do something special for you, and that's a beautiful thing. It's a day dedicated to surprises, gifts, and free passes. You can do whatever you want as an exclamation of commemoration. You can go crazy and throw an all-day party for yourself or you can lay in bed and watch your favorite TV show as your significant other makes you food all day. However you choose to spend your day is socially acceptable because it's literally your day. The "it's my birthday!" excuse is valid for a full 24-hours and I fully recommend abusing that power. If anyone objects, let them know they can have the same power when it's their day. But not on yours.

Not to mention all of the freebies you can get from restaurants and stores on your birthday!

I see so many people who would go to the ends of the earth to make others happy, but wouldn't do the same for themselves. Why is that? I believe celebrating yourself is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and it shows our personal growth. It's hard to wholly and completely love yourself, and sometimes we're scared of looking conceited or too self-involved. There's nothing wrong with acknowledging what you've done the past year not only for others but also for the betterment of you. Each and every one of us is deserving of love and happiness no matter who we are. It's not vain to want to feel special for one day out of the year. It just means we love who we are. If nothing else, that alone is reason enough to celebrate.

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.


In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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