To My Parents Who Are Still Madly In Love

To My Parents Who Are Still Madly In Love

Thank you.
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"When you're a kid, you assume your parents are soulmates. My kids are going to be right about that." — Pam Beesly, "The Office"

When I was a kid, I assumed my parents were soulmates. They'd kiss every time my dad got home from work, and I used to say, "ew, stop making out!" They'd attend events together, sit and watch TV and eat pizza together and help each other with any task that needed to be done around the house or outside. When I was a kid, I assumed my parents were soulmates... And I was right.

As I grow up, I see love between my mom and dad in ways I didn't as a child. I see the way my mom's eyes light up when my dad makes her laugh and I see the love in my dad when my mom gets him a really great gift (even if he guessed what it was before he opened it.) I see the nicknames that haven't faded out and that laughter is, and always has been, the core of their marriage. I am able to see that my parents were meant for each other but are, above anything else, best friends.

I'm appreciative for a lot of the things in my life, but one of the largest is that my parents are still in love. Not just still together, but still in love. I'm appreciative that in my entire life, I've hardly ever seen them fight. And more than anything, I'm appreciative to have two people to look to and model my relationships after. I have two role models who have constantly shown me what it is like to love and be loved by somebody in the most beautiful way possible.

My parents raised me (and honestly, continue to raise me) so well, in a house full of laughter and love. They've shown me respect in relationships. Without them even having to open their mouths, I know how to love somebody wholly and healthily, just by watching them. And I know how to be loved back wholly and healthily, too. They've shown me what a truly beautiful marriage is, and it is something I aspire to achieve myself.

My parents are amazing human beings, so amazing that I know that even if they weren't in love or did choose to divorce, they'd still be amazing parents. Having parents who are still together is not the only way to have an incredible family, and having parents who are still in love isn't the only way to learn what a healthy, loving relationship is. However, that doesn't mean I do not feel lucky and happy to have the parents that I do.

Having parents who are still madly in love is truly a gift, and I am thankful for it every day.

I love you, mom and dad!

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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What If

Have you ever thought about it?
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What if you loved me the same you did 2 years ago? What if I made you as happy as she does? What if I was as pretty as her? What if I was different? What if I changed who I was? What if you never met her, would you still be with me? What if you came back after I begged for you to? What if you loved me the same amount as I loved you? What if you cared like I did?

These thoughts have gone through my head multiply times. We have so many questions that will never be answered. All of these "What if" questions, will only be "What if". That's all they will ever be. Some questions, are not meant to be answered. Sometimes you don't even want the answer, cause you're to afraid to know the truth. I know I am afraid to know the truth. I don't want to know what went through your head when all of this went through mine.

What if you were still here? What if I listened and done everything right? What if I never met you? What if I didn't message you first?

Would it be different, if I knew the answers to all of these questions? More than likely, everything would still be the same. You still would have left, you still would have found her, you still would have fell in love with someone else. Not everything is a fairytale, hearts are sometimes meant to be broken. It makes you a more stronger person and it helps you develop as a person. Not everything goes as planned, but everything happens for a reason. That's what you said at least.

What if I listened to everyone when they said not to go for you? What if I left? What if I broke your heart?

What if

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A Reflection Of Becoming Popular On Social Media

About a year ago, I began to attain a following on social media, and now I want to reflect on how it has changed my life.
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If you are reading this from somewhere in the Merrimack Valley area, you may know my name and face from my snapchat. It has been almost an entire year since I started a particular routine on the app, and it doesn't seem to be going away soon. Every day, I still get at least ten or so requests to do what I call "noonanite shoutouts" on my story, and new people I don't even know from other towns keep discovering me somehow. It has even gotten popular to the point where I walk into my local Market Basket, and people say hello and recognize me exclusively from my snapchat. Since the one year anniversary will be approaching in the coming weeks, I thought it would be a great time to reflect and explain how this routine and fame has greatly changed my everyday life, and how I hope to inspire other social media addicts to find an audience for their content.

To begin, let us trace back to February 2017, when this phenomena all began. Originally, I had some friends in my math class who I wanted to thank for making me these small squares made of glass and ceramic. In particular, they wanted me to give them a shout out on my snapchat story. For anyone who doesn’t know what a shout out is, allow me to explain. A shout out is when a person (usally on social media in this day and age), brings attention to a particular group or person by saying their same on their social media platform. Although I figured this would be the only one I would ever do, I was proven wrong very quickly. Those same friends began to ask me to do more and more, and eventually other people at my school latched on. Within a week or so, people were adding me left and right from my home town. At this point of rising popularity, I decided to dub them “noonanite” shoutouts as reference to my last name “Noonan” with “-ite” at the end. Noonanite shoutouts started to become the talk of my town, when my views went from about 80 or so to over 400 within the first week. Additionally, they became more than just saying a particular name over my snapchat account, with additional details about particular people being thrown left and right. Groups of friends began to joke around with each other, by having me state something humurous or controversial about their friends. Soon after these initial weeks, I began to attain a younger following of middle schoolers and even people from various other towns around the area. In a sense, I became a local legend.

In general, I would say that my snapchat stardom has made me feel a sense of accomplishment that I have always desired. If you ever knew me personally before, you would know that I am someone who loves attention and wishes to win over those he meets in his lifetime. By having so many people laugh and smile at my simple snapchat routine, I feel that I have won a lot of people over in a way, and that satisifies me for the most part. However, the positivity doesn’t stop there. It is hard to describe in words how incredible it feels to be rceognized by people like a celebrity when I enter local public places. As stated at the beginning with the Market Basket example, a lot of people now know me from my shoutouts. This not only makes me feel more connected with people around me, but like someone that people really admire. I have had people that have cheered at sighting me in public and even asked for my autograph. Of course, I have never declined this kind of positive attention. In other words, I find the rising popularity of Noonanite Shoutouts to be an overall positive experience for me to get a taste a fame and having a fandom like never before. Additionally, I have found better ways to determine what shout outs are humurous and which are not.

Essentially, the gradual rise in followers from my snapchat routine has lead to a mostly positive outcome for me. Not only am I happy that I have a following and get a good amount of attention, but that I have even have fans at all! I understand that my fame isn’t really that huge in relation to a true social media celebrity, but within my community it feels quite large. I also hope that I inspire my fans of all ages, to realize that at any time a simple request of a friend could turn into a growing source of attention and praise. Fame can be found in many unlikely places, and in my case, I hope that some day it will grow to something even greater than I have ever seen before. Overall, Noonanite shoutouts have been very sweet to me and my ambitions in life.

Cover Image Credit: Toni Hukkanen

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