If You Believe Things Won't Get Better, This Is For You

If You Believe Things Won't Get Better, This Is For You

I found strength through the struggle.
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Do you remember when you were a kid or a teen and you thought, How could life get any worse? Well, as you're reading this, I'm willing to bet your life hasn't gotten any worse, but rather quite the contrary. You see, in the times of middle and high school, life was lived day-by-day. While some of us may have had long-term goals in mind, the rest were just going through the motions, allowing each day to affect how we felt about those around us, and most importantly how we truly felt about ourselves.

I know for me, some days were extremely difficult to get out of bed and wander into an atmosphere that led me to being endlessly bullied and pushed around like some ragdoll. I'm not saying any of this for pity, but rather to juxtapose my life then, to my life now. I was the kid who always looked uncomfortable or out of place, with an untamed mop on my head and a face full of infamous adolescent acne. Why am I telling you this? Mainly for one reason: while my life was never that terrible, in those moments, I thought I was about as worthless as the dust mites floating in our hallways.

Fast-forward eight years. I'm a twenty-something year old young man who (thankfully) grew into his body and is on the path to landing his dream job. I live on my own and have realized that, despite what I have gone through, I can control where I'm going. And the best part is that through all of those experiences, the pain I thought I was feeling, I have become a stronger, more open-minded person than I could have ever imagined. So, thank you to those who pushed me down, who told me I couldn't do it, because here I am, proudly standing in front of you not only to show how far I've come, but to graciously offer my hand to help you do the same.

The thing is, there is no magic saying or secret life-hack to get through tough times. But there is opportunity; opportunity for life to get better, for you to become stronger, and for better times to be had. The beauty of life lies within its struggles. Without valleys, where is the beauty in mountains; without struggle, where is the beauty in success? You are in control, you're the author of this story you are living and while road bumps will arise, you can and will overcome them and look back and think, Huh, you know, that really wasn't that bad after all. And the fact is, everything seems worse while you're knee-deep in it, so keep pushing, keep fighting for your dreams, and you'll overcome any obstacle. You'll never know if you'll succeed until you try, and think of all the opportunities you'd miss out on if you decided to quit.
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I Ghosted My Old Self For 5 Months In An Effort To Reevaluate My Life

My life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

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BREAKING (not fake) NEWS: It's true, you have to hit your lowest before hitting your highest.

I want to share my lowest with you, and I'm almost ashamed to say it had nothing to do with the loss of both of my parents. I like to think I handled that like a warrior.

Turns out I didn't, and the hurt I've been burying from that hit me all at once, the same moment my life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

My life flipped upside down overnight back in August. I had my heart broken shattered, lost two very important friendships that I thought were with me until the end, lost my 9-5 job, my health took a hit stronger than a boulder, and I was absolutely lost. For the first time, ever, I let go of the reigns on my own life. I had no idea how to handle myself, how to make anyone around me happy, how to get out of bed or how to even begin the process of trying to process what the f*ck just happened. I was terrified.

Coming from the girl who never encountered a dilemma she couldn't fix instantaneously, on her own, with no emotional burden. I was checked out from making my life better. So I didn't try. I didn't even think about thinking about trying.

The only relatively understandable way I could think to deal with anything was to not deal with anything. And that's exactly what I did. And it was f*cking amazing.

I went into hiding for a week, then went on a week getaway with my family, regained that feeling of being loved unconditionally, and realized that's all I need. They are all I need. Friends? Nah. Family. Only. Always.

On that vacation, I got a call from the school district that they wanted me in for an interview the day I come home. It was for a position that entailed every single class, combined, that I took in my college career. It was a career that I had just gotten my degree for three months before.

I came home and saw my doctor and got a health plan in order. I was immediately thrown into the month-long hiring process for work. I made it a point to make sunset every single night, alone, to make sure I was mentally caught up and in-check at the same exact speed that my life was turning. I was not about to lose my control again. Not ever.

Since August, I have spent more time with family than ever. I've read over 10 new books, I've discovered so much new music, I went on some of my best, the worst and funniest first dates, I made true, loyal friends that cause me zero stress while completely drowning me in overwhelming amounts of love and support, I got back into yoga, and I started that job and damn near fell more in love with it than I ever was for the guy I lost over the summer.

But most importantly, I changed my mindset. I promised myself to not say a single sentence that has a negative tone to it. I promised myself to think three times before engaging in any type of personal conversation. I promised myself to wake up in a good mood every damn day because I'm alive and that is the only factor I should need to be happy.

Take it from a girl who knew her words were weapons and used them frequently before deciding to turn every aspect of her life into positivity — even in the midst of losing one of my closest family members. I have been told multiple times, by people so dear to me that I'm "glowing." You know what I said back? F*ck yes I am, and I deserve to.

I am so happy with myself and it has nothing to do with the things around me. It's so much deeper than that, and I'm beaming with pride. Of myself. For myself.

I want to leave you with these thoughts that those people who have hurt me, left me, and loved me through these last couple of months have taught me

Growth is sometimes a lonely process.
Some things go too deep to ever be forgotten.
You need to give yourself the permission to be happy right now.
You outgrow people you thought you couldn't live without, and you're not the one to blame for that. You're growing.
Sometimes it takes your break down to reach your breakthrough.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

My god, it's so f*cking good.

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If You Don't Prioritize Yourself, 2019 Won't Be Your Year

You should always put yourself first and don't let anyone tell you different.

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Every year starts out the same. Everyone adopts the "new year, new me" mantra, applying it to their everyday life, whether in a large aspect or a small one. Some people might stick to their goals, while others fall short and revert back to old habits (which is the category I tend to find myself under). Whether you stick to your goals or don't, something you need to ensure you always do no matter what is to put yourself first, or 2019 will be a disappointment.

You are your own worst enemy, so by putting others before you, you're only injuring yourself. Yes, I know it feels good when you do something great for someone else, but it doesn't feel so great when you're not being reciprocated for anything you have done. We don't do things expecting rewards, but if you're constantly loaning friends money when they don't have enough, whose bank account is really suffering? Evidentally not theirs if they're never spotting you or paying you back, yet can afford to constantly buy things. Prioritize yourself when you feel you're being taken advantage of and speak up, whether it's a situation like this one or something entirely different.

If you never put yourself first how do you expect to ever be truly happy? You are the one who controls your fate, if you want to subject yourself to ensuring the happiness of others before yourself, then that is your downfall. You need to make sure you are happy before you decide to help others find their happiness. You also cannot meet anyone to date that is worth your while until you're truly happy in your own skin.

Self-love is super important and it's really been stressed in recent years. Falling in love with yourself is the key to a happier, healthier life. I have never put myself first up until recently and was sabotaging my own happiness at the expense of others, who I thought would make me happy when they did the opposite. I tend to be too harsh on myself and how I look and act, but that is coming to an end this year. Before I do anything, I will stop and think about its effect on me before anyone else. If it doesn't benefit me whatsoever, I'm out. Unless of course, it's charity work or something along those lines.

Once you prioritize yourself, you'll notice your life begin to change for the positive. Cut out negative people who make you feel belittled and do not let them hurt you any longer. Update your wardrobe and spoil yourself. Buy those cute sneakers you've been eyeing or that new palette you've had in your shopping cart on Ulta. Whatever it is, don't forget to spoil yourself every now and then. Go see sunsets, go out for breakfast, meditate, or journal, but please please do what makes you happy no matter what it is.

2019 can very well be your year once you prioritize yourself. Even if you don't go to the gym every day like you want to, or can't give up going to Dunkin every day, as long as you put yourself first, everything will be the best it can possibly be.

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