Dear Eight Year Old Me, Believe In Yourself, Everything Is Fine

Dear Eight Year Old Me, Believe In Yourself, Everything Is Fine

Believe in yourself and no matter what obstacle is in your way, you’ll overcome all odds.
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Dear Little Dougie,

It’s been a while, about 12 years to be exact. I understand that it might be inconvenient for you receiving this letter at a very emotional time in your life. However, you will learn that there are much worse and even better things in the coming future.

What you saw on the bus the other day was one of the hardest days of your life. She was beautiful, wasn’t she? You know, that girl. Her smile touched all the corners of the world and still came back in time just to say, "I love you." When she kissed you, it was something that you’ve never felt before. It was almost a dream. You never really cared that she was taller than you or that she was one of the most popular girls in the third grade. All that mattered was that she sat next to you on the bus (a GIRL sat next to you, oh my god) and was willing to love you for who you are. However, when she kissed another boy, you never knew exactly what was going on.

At. All.

The fact that you are EIGHT YEARS OLD WITH A GIRLFRIEND never helped either. Yet, you felt your heart drop so low that it drilled through the Earth’s crust and exploded at the core. The worst part? You still had no idea what was going on. She then came to you the next day and told you it was all over. You knew that already and you still apologized. You still forgave her. You still waved to her in the hallway. Why?

Well, you remembered what Momma Dukes taught you: kindness, forgiveness, appreciation, and love. These things have saved your life, and will continue to save your life for years to come.

Within the next few years, you’ll realize that life will get a lot harder. Middle school happens, and you won’t like it.

At. All.

You’ll keep having crushes. Your crushes will keep denying you. Your awkwardness will still be there (it will never go away, trust me). You’ll be in the principal’s office your first year there and burst out in anger in English class the next. Seventh grade is a lost memory and eighth grade is okay, but no more than that.

Although these negative issues are apparent throughout your middle school saga, your friends (old and new) will always have your back no matter what. You’re also a really damn good soccer player and that’ll help you IMMENSELY. The most important thing you need to do is remember the same thing mom preached to you at home. Kindness, appreciation, forgiveness, and love.

Once high school and college come, I can honestly say that these will be the toughest and best years of your entire life. No, it won’t be like "High School Musical." Nope, you still won’t be able to keep a relationship. Yes, you’ll get cheated on about two more times. Your best friend, unfortunately, will not have long to live. You’ll fail your driving exam before passing it (you'll also hate driving in Garden City after that). You’ll be miserable in a three-story library trying to pass Calculus 1 (you know math is the devil’s nectar).

However, you’ll be able to go out more, travel around the country and the world, and explore. You’ll meet some of the most important people in your life, for good or for worse. Your grades will be at all time highs. You’ll also realize that you’re pretty talented and start winning awards and medals.

Outside of relationships, almost everything will go just right if you keep working like a madman EVERY SINGLE DAY. Education is your biggest weapon. Use it, master it, and you'll go farther than any place you've gone before.

I know it’s kinda scary that it’s you sending yourself this letter, but don’t fret. Believe in yourself and no matter what obstacle is in your way, you’ll overcome all odds.

By the way, remember that aquarium trip you took the summer before 3rd grade? Make sure you thank yourself later for that. And trust me, you’re stronger than you even realize. You don’t even know.

At. All.

Regards,

Doug

Cover Image Credit: Oecd Education Today

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Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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10 Ways To Start Your Days Off Right By Bringing A Little Joy And Positivity Into Your Morning

"Listen to the birds sign a sweet morning song."

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I'll be the first to admit, I'm not exactly what you would call a "morning person." That being said, I think it's high time I bring some joy into my mornings. I mean, life is beautiful, and by not enjoying mornings, I think I'm missing out on a potentially enjoyable part of life.

So if you want to start enjoying your mornings like me, here are ten things you might want to try doing to start your days off right.

1. Make a happy and healthy breakfast.

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Make some toast, eggs, fruit, granola, or yogurt. OR, break out the bacon and have a good time. Any of those options sound like a good morning to me.

2. Drink a fresh cup of coffee (or tea).

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For me, I don’t think anything could beat the smell of a coffee being made in the morning. So whether you’re into coffee or tea, use a nice warm drink as a way to bring a little joy into your mornings.

3. Smile when you wake up.

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Start your morning with a good old-fashioned smile. Look in the mirror, look at how wonderfully made you are, and take a moment to smile and take that in.

4. Try to stay off of social media when you first wake up.

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I know, it’s all too easy to become glued to your phone these days, BUT I think that’s a few moments of time away from it, and away from social media, can be a good way to stay positive in the mornings.

5. Journal your thoughts going into the day.

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Take a pen, pencil, and a piece of paper, and take a moment to write down your thoughts, feelings, emotions, or anything else on your mind going into a new day.

6. Put on clothes that make you feel happy.

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Put on whatever outfit makes you happy, whether that’s a cute sweater or a t-shirt. Wear something that makes you feel good.

7. Watch the sunrise.

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OK, so I know you might not be able to do this every morning, but I think that watching the sunrise is the perfect way to start any day. What could be better than taking in all of these wonderful creations?

8. If you can, sit outside and enjoy our planet.

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On that note, take some time to sit outside and enjoy the early morning and the world around you. Start your morning off with some time to really just sit back and take it all in.

9. Spend some time reading something you enjoy.

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Grab a good book, a magazine, or whatever it is you might like to read. Take some time to clear your mind, and then fill it with lots of good writing.

10. Listen to the birds sign a sweet morning song.

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Arguably my favorite thing on the list, I truly can see no downside to listening to the birds chirping away in the morning. If you can, take some time to listen to nature’s sweet morning song.

Hopefully you can try one of these tactics to brighten up your morning, and in turn, maybe even brighten up your whole day. We live in a wonderful world, and I think that it's time we start to recognize that.

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