Summertime Reflections

Summertime Reflections

11) Petty people say bye bye
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After a nearly three month hiatus, I am back. I debated coming back, if we are being completely honest. I mean, I developed a blog, which allowed me creative fluidity in producing what I wanted when I wanted it to be published. However, seeing that I do feel needed with my Odyssey at Southern Miss fam, I felt it to be necessary to come back. This summer, I learned a lot about myself, the world, and the people in my life. I can only hope that they appreciate this as a salute to who they are as people. Enjoy.

1) Those close to you have a significant influence on your actions.

One of the earliest reality checks that I received this summer was when I looked back on things. What was I doing or thinking when I was in or with ABCD? Why am I this way? I asked myself these questions to come with no answer. What I did learn is that the closer you are to people, the better or worse person you become. Sometimes, it's the people, not the actions, that sway who you you become.

2) Nature is a beautiful place.

Not going to lie, it has been a rough summer filled with lots of ups and downs. Each time I was upset about something that I could not control, I turned to nature. Even on the most humid days where you could literally see the heat escaping the asphalt, it was a nice break from the chaos that surrounded me. Sometimes, it is the simple things that have the greatest impact.

3) I need to write more

Writing is not only one of my passions, but a talent, too. Luckily with my major, I get to combine them. However, it is one thing to have an assignment where I write and another to do it for pleasure. I need to do it for pleasure a lot more, even if it involves toying around with my journals every once in awhile.

4) When in doubt, there are always dogs.

Dogs are one of the few things in life that love with no conditions or boundaries. When I felt alone this summer, my dogs were who I turned to. As silly as that may sound, at some of my lowest moments, they came and licked the tears away, and provided a calm amongst my emotional storm.

5) When you need help, get it.

This is one of the biggest lessons I learned this summer. No matter where you are, there is always someone out there who has your back. Tell them your problems, and they will listen. If they are really good friends, then they won't judge, either. I also had to learn that anti anxiety pills are actually fantastic, and a good thing. I used to think that I was "strong enough" for such a thing, but I am now a happier person because of it.

6) Not everyone will like you, and that is okay.

Honestly, at this point in my life, I don't care whether people like me or not. Do I value some opinions? Of course I do. But wasting time in my free thinking worrying about what a small group of people think about me is useless. I had to learn the hard way that people are just immature. It is hard to grow with people when some cannot grow up.

7) (Some of) my family has my back

Sydney, this one is for you. I cannot thank you enough for being there for me in my low moments this summer. I am honored to be related to you, and even more honored to have such sweet GodKittens like Roro and Lolo. (Side note: how could you not love that face?)

8) New beginnings are scary, but they are not impossible.

This year, I am starting over. Like, from scratch, nada, got what I need and that is all, type thing. It is truly terrifying to think that I will not have the same people in my life at the

9) Part of the future is learning to let go of the past.

Like I said before, some people are too concerned with being petty and are immature af. But like Maxine Waters said, these people are just not worth "reclaiming my time" over. I had to learn the hard way that dwelling in your past prevents you from enjoying the now, and also the future. In many cases, you just have to be like Elsa and "let them go."

10) I am me, and nobody can change that

One of the things that comes with the emotional territory of anxiety is questioning yourself. "Am I good enough? What will I be?" Sometimes, it is easy to think that you are good, but not good enough. And you know what? At this moment in time, you are you, and there are people who love you. It is so easy to point to the negative and not the positive. However, when in doubt, stay golden.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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23 Things I've Learned In My 23 Years

And there will be many more lessons along the way.

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Turning 23 isn't a milestone birthday but this year has brought up a lot a reflection after going through a period of tribulations. We tend to forget the big picture of our lives that we just need to enjoy the ride and reflect on our growth as a person. Here are some things I have learned throughout the way.

1. Be more in the moment.

With life becoming monotonous, we are so fast paced and do not take a break to just breath and look around in our surrounds and embrace the moment we are in.

2. Check up on your loved ones more often.

A quick I love you or a text message goes a long way to know that you are appreciated and being thought of.

3. Embrace what you used to love as a kid again.

The greatest thing about being a child is fearlessness and imagination to be open to anything and we tend to lose that as we get older. To have back that feeling even for a moment is a moment of pure happiness.

4. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

How are you able to do all the great things in life you want to accomplish if you don't take care of your body and mind.

5. You can say no a lot more than you think.

We tend to feel obligated to say yes and make others feel happy when at the end of the day it is our life and you can say no to situations that don't make you comfortable or if you're not fully committed to.

6. Take advice from a variety of people in your life.

People have come from different walks of life and have stories to tell that are different from you, listening is the most important trait you can have. Listen to people that have been on this earth longer, listen to children, list to the person who no listens to aswell.

7. Pet more puppies

No explanation, animals just need all the love in the world.

8. Expect your plans to change last minute.

Be flexible, as you get older holding relationships takes a lot more work so you have to be committed to seeing the people you care about.

9. Be more financially responsible with your money starting at a younger age.

Talke about money more, teach yourself about money responsibility so you are not worrying when you get older if you have retirement funds or not. You want to live a secure financial life then start young.

10. Staying at home with a glass of wine and Netflix can be more fun than the club.

It's not all hyped up to be. You save a lot more money, the drinks taste better, and you can watch your favorite shows in your pajamas.

11. You don't stop learning once you get out of school.

You're always learning every day. Also keep your brain sharp by reading, teaching others, and continuing your passion.

12. Your words have a bigger impact on people so be conscious of what you say.

Words can be remembered for a long time by a person and impact their lives, so be conscious of what you say to people that you surround yourself with. The words you say represent yourself.

13. Judgment from others comes from fear

When a person is judging you they are showing their own fears and projecting it on to you, so do not bear that fear onto yourself.

14. Pursue the life that you want

At the end of the day, it's your life so do what makes you happy.

15. It's not the end of the world if you're taking a little longer in the race called life, everyone has a different path

Everyone has a different journey to get to where they want to go. We tend to compare ourselves to what society's standards of where you should be at a certain age when there is no perfect time.

16. Take more pictures of moments

You won't regret it when you're 80 and looking back at old times

17. Open up to your spiritual side.

We all are looking for answers and a deeper connection, whether is God, meditation or Basketball. Connect with your spiritual side so you have a place to find your center in times of need and calmness.

18. You will fail a lot in your twenties and that's okay.

The twenties are a time for failures and learning from that so you can grow to be who you want to be.

19. Go outside in nature more

We are blessed to call this Earth our home and should enjoy what beaches, mountains, springs its has to offer for us.

20. Do your research and stand for what you believe in

Question everything and everyone and fight for injustices to make a change in this world.

21. Get out your comfort zone and learn something new

You will not grow if you do not fight out of your fears and into new possibilites.

22. Put yourself first

You are the most important person because you come into this world alone and leave alone so in order to tkae care of others and to have the life you want you have to put yourself first.

23. Dont compare yourself.

We do not see the full story of other people's lives, we do not see the hardships that they go through so when we compare we tend to think the grass can be greener. Instead of comparing appreciate your life and make your life what you want it to be.

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