7 Reasons Becoming An Aunt Is The Best Thing In The World

7 Reasons Becoming An Aunt Is The Best Thing In The World

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My aunt always used to tell me "there is no love in the world like an aunt for her niece." And I never understood what she meant until five and a half years ago, when I was blessed with a niece of my own. She is my world, my best little friend, my everything. And if you aren't lucky enough at this point in your life to experience what its like to have the gift of a niece, I'll let you know what it entails.

1. She never turns down an ice cream date

When you start to grow up, you realize some people become adults and start having their own way of life that sometimes you don't agree with. For me, it was realizing some people actually care about calories and sugar intake, and I began to get turned down when I would ask my best friends if they wanted to get ice cream with me. But then I got a niece, and we are currently about 27 for 27 with accepting my offers for an ice cream date.

2. In her eyes, you can do no wrong.

When everyone else in the world is doubting you, you'll always have your little sidekick who hasn't got a doubt in the world that you can do it. You are her cool aunt, and you are perfect and she loves you more than anything in the world.

3. She'll tell you if your dress doesn't match your shoes.

Are you really going to wear that to the party, Paigey? She always wants you to look like the princesses she watches on Disney Channel every day. She tells it like it is, because she doesn't really know any better, and that is something you just don't get in a lot of your peers anymore... Mostly because they aren't five years old, and they have a filter, unlike her.

4. Most things society frowns upon you doing? Yeah, she thinks you're that much cooler if you do them.

Such as eating marshmallows for dinner or wearing a princess crown in a fancy restaurant.

5. She's always excited to see you.

It fills your heart to see someone's face light up with joy at the sight of you, and with nieces, this happens each and every time you see them. Talk about a confidence booster.

6. She reminds you how to be a kid again, and how precious it is.

I get to be my five-year-old self when I hang out with her, and I remember how to be the carefree, happy, and naive little girl that I was when I was young. She gives me such an appreciation for my childhood and brings out the best in me that, over the past 15 years of me growing up, I forgot I had in me.

7. When everyone else in the world walks out, your niece never will.

You were her very first best friend, and she will always be your whole world.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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I Went From Losing Weight To Lifting Weights, And Now I'm In The Best Shape Of My Life

How a change in my fitness goals changed my life.

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I am in the best shape of my life...or at least I think so, and that's what truly matters.

I look in the mirror and feel confident.

I finally feel comfortable wearing crop tops, and I'm even starting to show visible abs. But getting here has been such a difficult journey filled with eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and other physical and mental struggles that hindered my ability to achieve my goals.

I have been on this health and fitness journey for many, many years now. I've been a size 00, a size 12, and every size in between.

Through it all, I have learned so much about myself, as well as fitness and nutrition in general. My biggest takeaway that led me to overcome all these obstacles was learning to let go of my perfectionism. When I'm old, I don't want to look back on my life and realize that I spent it all trying to lose weight. So, I changed my mindset.

My new focus was to be as strong as possible—to lift the heaviest weights, rather than losing the most weight. If you too, want to be in the best shape of your life but have struggled for so long, read my tips below.

1. EAT MORE

I know, it sounds crazy. As women, we are constantly told about diets and cutting calories. If you just want to be skinny, you can do that. But if you want to be strong, you need to eat to be able to put on the muscle.

2. ALLOW YOURSELF TO HAVE CHEAT MEALS

If you have struggled with eating disorders like me, satisfying your cravings will prevent you from having major setbacks.

3. LIFT WEIGHTS

Get your butt off that elliptical and into the weight room.

4. DON'T WORKOUT EVERY DAY

Again, especially if you want to build muscle, you need rest days. These are the days where your muscles are "actually" growing.

5. DON'T RUSH IT

You will not see abs overnight. It takes a long time. But if you want sustainable results, you must treat your body right.

I hope these tips are helpful. With positivity and patience, you can achieve anything.

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