Mistakes Do Not Define You

My Mistakes Do Not Define Who I Am

We all make mistakes but that does not mean that is who we are.

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Everyone always says that your 20's are going to be the best years of your life. What they don't tell you is how many mistakes you will encounter or how you will deal with your mistakes. Let me tell you; encountering your mistakes, accepting them, and moving on from your mistakes are probably one of the hardest things you will ever do.

I won't go too much into detail about what my life-changing mistake was but I'll tell you now; it was the absolute hardest situation I had to deal with (and I've dealt with a lot of difficult situations in my life). My mistake was simple as this: I was not honest with my family, I was not honest with my own best friend, or honest with the people around me, but more importantly I was not honest with MYSELF.
I am a huge family person. I have always loved my family and no matter what all I ever wanted was to make my family proud; even if my actions did not reciprocate what I really felt. I thought that putting up this facade of what my parents thought would make them proud and keeping up this act would make everything better. I would come home every day and tell them what they wanted to hear to be proud of me. I kept up with this facade to a point where even I believed I was happy. I even believed that everything would be okay in the end. Surprise surprise; everything was NOT okay.

The facade blew up in my face and nothing was the same but worst of all; my family was broken for months. The saying "Sometimes you have to fall before you fly" well if that was the case imagine a high cliff like Splash Mountain ride at Disney high and I was falling. It honestly felt like I was never going to land. I was so broken and had no idea what to do or how to go about my life anymore. It was to a point where I just felt empty inside and close to a point where I wanted to harm myself to feel something and to stop crying. My best friend who was still by my side regardless of the facade I had put up had emailed me this when I felt like all hope was lost "In the end it will be okay, if it is not okay then it is not the end" and I was finishing up "Me After You" (which by the way is a great book but I'll post about that another time) and I read "you don't have to let that one thing be the thing that defines you".

After reading that line I decided to take life into my own hands. I have been given a new start. A chance to do everything my way and not worry about what would make my parents happy but what would make ME happy. I decided that I was not going to let the past define who I was. I was not going to let it define my future. After sitting down and figuring out what God had wanted me to do, I prayed and I prayed hard until one day it all hit me like a whirlwind. I volunteered for VBS, I finally said yes to becoming a Core Member for my church youth group, I said yes to going back to school for nursing (maybe even a minor in business), and I said yes to taking my life into my own hands and studying what I am passionate about.

Now, don't get me wrong; I still want nothing more than my family to be happy and to be accepted by my parents. But, how am I suppose to accept that my family will be happy and proud of me if I am not happy or proud of myself when I have been given a chance to start a new chapter in my life? How am I suppose to believe that this second chance is a chance for me to change if I don't believe that I am worth something more than my mistake?

It is okay to want your family to be happy and be proud of you; as long as you are happy and proud of yourself first. It is okay to make mistakes in life; as long as you don't let them define who you are. In the end, it will all be okay, if it is not okay then it will not be the end.

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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To The Girl Who Always Puts Her Love Life Before Everything Else, Don't Do That

Don't let yourself miss out on life just because you want a boyfriend.

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As a twenty-something, everywhere you look on social media you see all of your friends either getting married, having kids or exploiting their so-called #goals relationships.

For those of us who are single and are just living our best life, it can be annoying and a little discouraging.

Speaking as a single lady, my Instagram feed is filled with my friends who are in relationships, getting engaged/married, or having kids. Everyone has their own pace in life, but I can't help but feel like they're missing out.

Most of them did these big life events within two years of graduation. We graduated high school less than five years ago.

I'm not saying these people shouldn't pursue these relationships. I am a firm believer in doing what makes you happy, however, I am concerned that they aren't seeing the world. Most of the people still live in my ridiculously small hometown and never got a chance to leave.

Even if you decide to go back afterward, you should still leave your hometown for a little bit to see what else is out there.

How will you ever know if you like something if you never try?

Maybe you and your high school sweetheart's relationship will work out, they sometimes do. But I wish that more women my age would go out and live their lives a little before settling down so soon.

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