What I'd Tell Myself On My 18th Birthday

What I Would've Told Myself On My 18th Birthday

A reflection right before I turn 19.


Hey, you.

Your birthday's coming up, and you have a lot of changes ahead, so I thought I'd give you some advice.

Your birthday is on a snow day this year, so you get to sleep in! Your best friend stayed over so she could be there on your birthday, even though you were snowed in. It's going to be a great day.

As for your year, 18 is going to be a roller coaster... let's start with the obvious.

You've only got a few months left of high school, and it's bittersweet for you. You've dealt with so much BS that you can't wait to get out, but you do start to think about the things that you WILL miss. You're going to go to Peru over spring break, which is really going to open your eyes.

You're going to graduate. All of your family is going to be there. You're going to hear your sister sing to the entire class, and you'll be moved to tears. This is when it starts to become real for you; you start to realize that you truly are going places. You're going to work at camp again, and you're going to spend as much time as you can with those who care about you before you leave for college, until literally the second you're about to leave. And then you'll leave.

Now for the things you don't know:

You're going places. You applied early decision, and you've been committed to your dream school for months, so no spoilers there. But that's not what I mean. You're going to open so many doors for yourself in your last few months of high school. You're going to get hands-on experience in your dream career field, and it's going to really solidify that this is your dream.

Your first semester isn't going to be the most glamorous. It's one of those "it went well until it didn't" scenarios. You're not really going to join anything social. You're going to make some friends, but you're admittedly going to feel out of place. You're going to worry about this a LOT. But you're going to be okay.

Your heart is going to break. It's going to happen more than once, and it's going to suck. But you're going to get through it. You're going to slip up, and slip up pretty badly at that, but you know your worth. People can only treat you poorly if you allow them to - this advice goes for any aspect of your life. Focus on yourself for a little while.

It's in your second semester that you're going to find where you belong.

You're going to rush a sorority, which is something you didn't think you would do. Through that, you're going to find an amazing group of kind and supportive girls that you have a lot in common with. I won't spoil which sorority or anything like that, but you're going to hear "trust the process" about a million times. You may feel out of place at several points in the process, but you'll figure things out.

Let me take you back to last year - your junior year of high school... remember that theatre organization you heard about when you first toured Syracuse?

I know what it's been like for you - you love theatre more than almost anything, but high school theatre was a very toxic environment; you were pretty much told you didn't matter every single day.

You're not going to have a lot of confidence in yourself (if any at all), and you're going to question why you should even bother signing up to audition. I'm not going to spoil anything for you, but I suggest you sign up. It'll be scary, but I swear it will the best decision you've ever made.

18 is going to be the most incredible year of your life to date, and it's only the beginning for you. Keep working hard, and I promise your dreams will come true. Buckle up!

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.


I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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