What To Do When Your Best Friend Is Absent

What To Do When Your Best Friend Is Absent

How to love and treat yourself like a best friend would.
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We've all had that one friend that made us feel like the best version of ourselves. I know for me, that friend was the support system I needed to get through my worst times and was critical enough to knock me down when I was too hotheaded. The single con to having a friend like that is that sometimes, they unfortunately won't always be there for you. That's why you need to learn to be your own best friend; be there for yourself, learn to congratulate yourself, learn to scold yourself, but most importantly, learn to love yourself. I know you're thinking that you've got a handle on that, but the truth is that we all could benefit from some personal growth.

First and foremost, supporting yourself and believing in your abilities will get you farther than any other person could. You are your source of empowerment, but can also be the reason for your own destruction. By channeling your energy and remaining positive, even when everything else around you points otherwise, you can overcome anything.

Additionally, you need to be able to congratulate yourself and have pride in your accomplishments. Yeah, there's always that one guy (or gal) that rides that bus too long, but never be ashamed of your successes. Be humble, be kind, but also be able to accept applause and praise. By doing so, you will feel fulfillment in your performance and that will only perpetuate greatness.

On the contrary, you also need to know when to scold yourself. Maybe it's that late night slice of pizza you ate when you should have been sleeping, or acknowledging the existence of the ex you swore you'd never speak to, learning to hold yourself responsible for your actions will only propel you into a happy and healthy lifestyle. Placing blame onto a situation or someone else does nothing for you and can eventually turn those you care for away from you. Again, you are the only one who controls your actions, and by allowing yourself to be and do the things you despise will lead to you disliking the person you've become. But the fact is, you haven't become anything, for there's still time for you to change.

Love yourself. Through everything, good and bad, you need to learn to love yourself. While I mentioned the fact that you need to be able to hold yourself accountable, you must always love yourself. Positivity breeds positive results, and the foundation of change lies within you. When you make a mistake, because we all do, get back up and brush it off. A mistake is only a mistake if you don't learn something from it, and there's something to be learned from everyone and everything you encounter. No matter what you've done or who you wish you could be, be grateful for every breath you take and every morning you wake up to, because imagine how different this world would be without your very best friend, you.

Cover Image Credit: Public Domain Archive

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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6 Years Ago I Would've Laughed If Someone Told Me I'd Get Up On A Stage, And 13 Other Things I Never Thought I'd Do

It's amazing how much has changed in just a few years.

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1. Be in a relationship

I spent many years thinking I wasn't the kind of girl guys want to date. Typical, I know, but it was a very strong feeling that took a lot of time and growing self-confidence to overcome. I also could never envision a future for myself; all I would ever see when I tried is a black hole.

Now, I've been dating an amazing guy for nearly three and a half years. Being with him makes me very happy and has helped my self-confidence grow.

2. Dye my hair

I recently partially dyed my hair purple, which was something I had wanted to do for years. It's been an amazing confidence booster and tenth grade me NEVER would have imagined I'd do something like this. Then again, there's probably people now who never thought I'd do something like dye my hair.

3. Go to a legitimate college

I attended a very religious, all-girls private day school for most of my life. The school's focus was more on religious topics than secular ones, so I honestly didn't know if I'd go to a secular, "real" college. Most girls attended Jewish colleges or the local Jewish girls' college over secular colleges. The school also focused more on prepping their senior students to attend seminary in Israel than going to college right from high school. But I knew I wanted to attend a secular college, despite having no ideas for a major.

That was six years ago, sophomore year of high school. I switched high schools the following year, started taking more intense classes, and got on a better path. I also now had access to a college adviser and educational staff that could help me truly learn what I excelled at, what I could go on to major in. I'm currently in my senior year of college, and there are still days where I sit back and think, "I can't believe I'm here."

4. Find something to major in...

I had no real idea what I wanted to do when I began college. Unlike my classmates, who had had the opportunities and much more time than me to decide what they (at least initially) wanted to major in, I had zero ideas. I spent freshman year undecided, and decided about halfway through second semester on a major: Electronic Media and Film, audio focus. I had a strong relationship with music and decided I wanted to learn how to make something so important to me.

5. ...and switch majors.

This can be the hardest thing to do. You spend so much time thinking you know exactly what you want to do. You get so set on this one plan, this one major, only for it to be turned upside down when reality hits--you just can't do it. Switching majors was hard for me, but I don't regret my decision. My new major is a much better fit for my existing skills, and I am thankful now for the learning experience switching majors gave me.

6. Find things I love to do

For many years, all I did was read or draw. But over the last few years, I've learned there's so much more I enjoy doing. I learned that I absolutely love being onstage. I discovered I have a knack for marketing, and that I'm a damn good writer.

7. Become a crazy dog person

My family adopted our fur baby, Delilah, in April 2015 and I've been a crazy dog person ever since. I'd hazard about 90% of the pics on my phone are of her because she's so freaking adorable.

8. Write publicly about my struggles and life experiences

I've typically been a very private person. So to look back at my year plus some's worth of articles for Odyssey and see just how open, honest and emotional I've been on a public platform is crazy. But it also creates a sense of pride, like look how far you've come, how far you've grown. I am proud of every word I wrote, and I'm not ashamed or regretful of a single word. It also helps that writing those articles was insanely therapeutic and helpful for my mental health.

9. Do theater

The first time I saw a high school theater show, I immediately knew I wanted to be on that stage. Say what you want about high school theater, and maybe the show wasn't as great as I remember. But I didn't know any better since this was the first time I'd ever seen a theater show. I was hooked instantly.

But we're talking about a girl who used to have massive stage fright. Who hated singing or performing in front of others out of fear of being judged. And yet, so ironically, dreamed of doing theater and being onstage. The former isn't true anymore, and each production I've done has helped so much.

10. Have real friends

I've had more than my fair share of bad friends who have come and gone through my life. It's so easy to be negative about those experiences, but I will say that at the end of the day, I learned what I need in a real friend--and what are red flags for a bad friend.

I met my current friends through either theater or my boyfriend, and they are amazing. They make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts, and every time together is a good time. The best part is even though we don't see each other too often or keep up constant discussion in our group chat, we all still know that we're a solid friend group. We don't need to be in contact almost all the time just to prove we're friends. (We're also really bad at taking pics together, so this shot isn't even everyone *facepalm.*)

11. Work an internship...or three.

I've had two internships to date, and I've just begun my third (and PAID) internship. It's been so enlightening to work in environments related to my major and actually see what I could do after college.

12. Live in my own apartment

I had an off-campus apartment with a former friend in my sophomore year of college. It was a major learning experience, and one I never would have dreamed of having just a few years prior.

13. Discover my sexuality

I grew up with no knowledge of or ever hearing the term LGBTQ or any sub-strain of that until around eleventh grade. (Like I said, all-girls religious school. We didn't even have a sex ed class.) Once I learned about it, particularly bisexuality, I spent quite a few years pondering the term. It wasn't until last year that I realized and began acknowledging that I'm bisexual. (And yes, I'm a bi girl dating a guy. No, it's not me "picking a side" or "technically a straight relationship." Move on.)

14. See a show on Broadway

I got to see my first Broadway show in February 2018. It was Wicked, and it was one of the most magical and captivating experiences of my life. I'll be seeing Kinky Boots next month, and I just know it will be just as amazing.

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