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Through Love And Loss, 2018 Taught Me How To Be Strong

Having to endure loss of life and friendship taught me how to rebuild a broken heart even after I didn't think I could mend it.


When the final days of 2017 rolled around and the beginning of 2018 neared, I imagined a picture-perfect year of growing friendships and overall fullness. Unsure of where the notion came from, I expected 2018 to be "my year" of greatness, comfort, and perfection.

In just a couple of months, all that began to fall apart. Unknowingly toxic friendships came to a close, a woman who is both a relative and incredibly close to my heart was diagnosed with cancer, and a girl I spent nearly every day with in high school passed away. I hated an internship, disliked another one and began to lose hope as to whether my life would ever genuinely look up the way it once had in my budding youth.

I began to see the unromantic nature of what true adulthood meant. In my first two years of college, I had a false perception of what being a woman entailed. I can never pretend I didn't experience stress, heartache, and uncertainty, but it was nothing compared to what I've undergone in 2018. I've had to grow and understand life in ways not many people do until they hit their 30s. I don't say that out of vanity or self-pity, it's based on self-realization and conversation with those who I hold dear to my heart.

I've realized Christmases will never be the same. I don't think I can trust in the childlike manner I once did. And that at the end of the day, the only person who can truly handle your burdens is yourself. This past year was both lonely but also filled with a new love.

Through desperation and depression, I found people who were not only there to pick me up but eager to do so, which is something I had never quite experienced before. At the beginning of our friendships, they proved their longevity and heart, and though I've only known them less than a year, I genuinely believe these "grown-up" relationships will stand the test of time.

It felt as though 2018 was a tornado and I was taken in at the beginning of the year and spit out at the end. I'm still reeling from a headache and heartache, but I'm now gaining a new sense of grounding and yearning for progress in the new year.

Unlike last year, I choose not to expect too much of 2019. Part of my problem is that not only did I hope for too much, but I also put too much pressure on myself to try to be perfect. All my life up until this past year, everything felt like an uphill experience with new, exciting adventures on the forthcoming. When 2018 hit, the truth was that I plateaued but because I had never experienced such a stage in my life, I felt like I was on a downward spiral with no end in sight.

I had put too much on my plate and didn't know when to stop. Because I felt like other parts of my life were uncontrollably lacking, I stacked other plates with too many portions I couldn't balance. I somehow never dropped the porcelain, but my arms were certainly weak by the time I was able to set them down. All in all, I've realized that creating time and rest for myself must be part of the balance of my schedule and priority list.

Knowing that 2019 will not be perfect, I choose to be consciously gracious through thick and thin. I choose to find the light again and believe the next day will get brighter, even if I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I will choose to actively be a better friend and support system to the people who lifted me out of the darkness, to work harder and smarter to achieve my dreams, and to build a new sense of energy I dropped when I felt myself fall to my knees.

I have a lot to look forward to in the new year, including graduating from college and potentially moving to New York City to hopefully land a job that will bring me happiness. It's going to be arduous, stressful, and terrifying, but I've moved to a different state once to pursue a dream and I know I can do it again.

If 2018 was not your year, actively work on trying to make 2019 a better one for you and your sanity. Your life will only change if you put in the effort and the drive. It's not going to be an easy road ahead, but I believe it will be one even more beautiful and with more breathtaking sights.

Cheers to the new year.

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.

Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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How To Cope With A Best Friend Breakup

Breaking up with a boyfriend is one thing, but breaking up with your best friend is a whole new level of heartbreak.


We all know breakups can be tough, but when that breakup happens to be between you and your best friend, things reach a new level of heartbreak. I met my best friend junior year of high school after our Spanish teacher randomly assigned us to be partners; we struggled so much in that class but in the end, we truly became inseparable. When senior year rolled around we were still close as ever; people would often joke that we were sisters because we looked and acted so much alike. We would go on little dates together, go to parties together, and were always the first person we called when something "major happened."

When my best friend's boyfriend of four years cheated on her while we were spring breaking in Europe, it became my duty to make her feel better; I would randomly drop off flowers and little notes to her house, spend countless hours just listening to her cry and vent, and even stopped talking to people associated with her boyfriend so as to show my "support." All of these things were no big deal to me considering I loved this girl like a sister; whatever she needed I was there to give that to her.

Things soon took a sharp turn when we entered not only the same college but the same sorority. While I was struggling with the social aspect of FSU, my best friend soon found new best friends. When I started having major issues with my boyfriend, I would automatically text/call my best friend as she did with me, but instead of support, I got the sense that she was passive and uninterested. Our little dates and goofy inside jokes disappeared and reappeared between her and her new friends, and my comfortableness around her soon turned into insecurity.

Coming to terms with the fact that the girl I knew everything about is now basically a stranger was a hard one to overcome; I didn't want to accept the fact that my best friend decided it was time to find new ones. It's heartbreaking knowing that the special things you shared with a person are now being shared with others, and it's hard to accept the fact that you aren't wanted or needed by the one person you thought would be by your side forever.

Since school has ended I think I have accepted the fact that we're no longer what we used to be. Of course, it still stings when I see social media posts with her new, college friends, but I just have to remind myself that this is part of life and I just have to move on. I will forever cherish the memories I made with her, but it's time to acknowledge that they were made with someone in my past, not with someone in my present.

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