An Open Letter To 2018

An Open Letter To 2018

I hope you surprise us.
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Dear 2017,

You have put us through what seems, at times, to be more than humanly tolerable. Hurricanes, wildfires, terrorist attacks, threats of nuclear war, an apathetic government, an antipathetic government. Homes burned down, homes flooded, homes destroyed, homes ripped away from people simply because of who they are.

You have made us step up in ways we didn’t know we were capable. Worldwide protests, medical advancements, countless calls to Congress, donations to victims. Strangers coming together, strangers fighting for one another, strangers becoming each others’ homes.

2017, you have brought out the best and the worst in us. At times I wonder if you were a lesson. But you’ll only be a lesson if we learn from you and do better in the next year.

Dear 2018,

I hope you surprise us.

I hope you don’t forget to give us some good news amidst all the bad. Give us a midterm election that inspires us. Give us legislation that the country desperately needs. Give us civilians turned heroes in times of crisis and communities coming together. Give us minorities gaining power in DC, minorities gaining power in Hollywood. Give us art. Laughter. Give us a beautiful Royal Wedding.

2018, I hope you bring my friends and family all that they deserve. Give them safety and security. Give them a place to belong for the next three years. I hope you give them health and happiness. All the happiness.

I hope you stay full of hope, always full of hope.

Dear 2018,

I hope you know that you don’t have to do too much for me. Because whether you intervene or not, you’re going to meet the best version of me. Give me opportunities or give them to other people. Bring me successes or bring me failures. Because in 2018, I won't let myself be the background character in my own movie. I won't let life simply happen to me. That’s not the person I was, and that’s not the person I want to be.

For a long time, I measured my worth in all-things superficial: The grades I got in school. The amount of dedication I showed every day. Whether people noted this dedication. How I dressed. How closely I resembled my icons.

2018, I fully intend to restore every piece of myself that I loved dearly. But, more than anything, you are going to be about me becoming a better person. And that isn’t in academics or appearance.

It’s in how you doors open for people. It’s in how you listen and let people know that you’re there for them. It’s in how you smile at everyone you encounter, even though you spilled your coffee on your white shirt when you were running late for your morning class because you slept through your alarm, and there’s a piece of hair that’s just not cooperating, and it’s been a really long week, even though it’s only Tuesday.

It’s in being the light, and making people feel lighter. It’s in thank you notes to professors and in love letters sent to your friends at 2 AM telling them how much you appreciate them. It’s in inspiring people to love, love hard, love when it’s hard, because love is the only thing that will ever make any of this better.

Dear 2018,

I’m going to be kinder to myself and the world around me.

I hope you’ll be kind to us, too.

Cover Image Credit: Morgan Sessions

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20 Gifts For The "HIMYM" Fan In Your Life

These gifts are legen...wait for it...dary!
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Everybody has that one friend who speaks fluent "How I Met Your Mother" quotes, celebrates Slapsgiving and plays "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" on repeat. If you're looking for a gift for them, look no further -- this list contains some pretty legendary "How I Met Your Mother" gifts and merchandise. Your friend will love you more than Barney loves suits -- well, maybe not that much. But they definitely will give you the "highest of fives" for any of these 20 awesome HIMYM gifts.

1. This framed floor plan of Ted and Marshall's apartment:

Buy it on Amazon.

2. This blue French horn keychain:

Even the box is perfect... Buy it on Amazon.

3. This Conformity motivational poster straight from Barney's office:

In addition to Conformity ("It's the one who's different that gets left out in the cold"), you can also get Awesomeness ("When I'm sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story!") and Perfection ("It's not enough to win, everyone else must also lose").

4. These sweet brass cufflinks:

Buy it on Amazon.

5. This awesome coffee mug:

Buy it on Amazon.

6. This "ultimate Barney Stinson starter pack" featuring the "bro bib" and ducky tie:

Buy the bundle on Amazon, or opt for just the bro bib or just the ducky tie.

7. This Puzzles drinking glass:

Buy it on Amazon.

8. This hilarious T-shirt featuring Ted's red cowboy boots:

Buy it on Redbubble.

9. This Tracy McConnell-inspired bracelet:

Buy it on Etsy.

10. This legen...wait for it...dary T-shirt:

Buy it on Amazon.

11. This even more legendary book:

And if The Bro Code is not enough for you, you can also get The Playbook and Bro On The Go.

12. This amazing shirt:

Buy it on Redbubble.

13. This iconic yellow umbrella:

Buy it on Amazon.

14. This intervention banner inspired by the gang's many interventions...and Quinntervention:

Buy it on Amazon.

15. This rad T-shirt featuring Robin Sparkles' hit song:

Buy it on Etsy.

16. This minimalist chic print:

Buy it on Etsy.

17. This hilarious notebook:

Buy it on Redbubble.

18. This festive "Slapsgiving" apron:

Buy it on Amazon.

19. This mug from the gang's iconic hangout:

Buy it on Amazon.

20. This complete DVD set of all seasons:

Buy it on Amazon.

Cover Image Credit: variety.com

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The 5 Phrases Every Midwesterner Says During The Winter, At Least Once

Ope! Some phrases that everyone from the midwest has probably uttered at some point during the cold months.

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It's that time of year again that every Midwesterner dreads: winter.

The time of year where the air is so cold that it hurts your face and we get barricaded in our own homes with snow. Being from the Midwest, we have developed many sayings to describe just how we feel during this season, so I thought I'd share some of those as December is currently in full force.

1. "It wouldn't be so cold out here if it weren't for the darn wind."

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Curse you, wind! You make the weather even more bitter than it was before.

2. "Let's go drive around and look at the Christmas lights!"

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When it's so cold that we can't even stand taking a walk outside, we will drive around in the evening to look at the Christmas lights around the neighborhood. We will usually do this while drinking a hot beverage because even though we are in our cars, we are still cold.

3. "LOOK! THE SUN!"

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Usually, the sun does not hit the Midwest from the months of November-March, so when we get a day that isn't overcast, we are bound to talk about it.

4. "Only six months till summer vacation!"

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Only 200 days until we get to hit the beach and be happy again.

5. "Ope, at least we can use the oven to cook now."

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One of the few benefits of winter is getting to whip out our very best stew recipes.

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