A Testimony to My 2018 Self

A Testimony to My 2018 Self

Life may have hit you with a rock, but throw it back a pebble.
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12 months, 365 new chances for adventure, love, and life

One year has terminated and another is born. 2017 was a whirlwind of a year, which the news have constantly tormented and reminded us day after day. However, 2017 was a blessing for many. Some people gained a new family member, others underwent rites of passages marking their progress in life, and some have even became legal citizens.

Everyone's experience with 2017 was unique, some better than others. For me, 2017 was a roller-coaster extravagance at Six Flags. I experienced feelings that were new and frustrating, yet natural for humans. From moments of betrayal, people's true personalities became transparent to me and showed those whom are truly loyal to me. I cut ties with a friendship that I was extremely close with and loved, until I realized I was receiving unrequited love and putting in more effort than is fair.

Jealousy caused unnecessary competition since there are people in the world that do not want to see you succeed. Even I succumbed to jealousy at one point, drowning my mind with paranoid and shrewd thoughts. A peer close to me decided it would be fun to completely conjure up an absolute lie that threatened my reputation. And a boy decided to juggle with my emotions without a single care in the world.

Despite all this, I managed to keep myself sane and still express an inexhaustible joie de vivre. I laughed, smiled, cried tears of joy, and hiked on amazing adventures with people who actually value our relationship. I never did and never will forget about the past, but I don't regret any second of it. I will hold on to these memories because they will hold on to me.

In 2017, I learned how to look out for myself and put myself first when it matters most. Thanks to 2017, I will now walk into 2018 judging who is good enough to be in my life than if I am good enough to be in one's life. I will stop trying to make everything go my way and will let God take the wheel. Karma does exist and will get back at those who do me wrong.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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An Open Letter To Every Athlete On Their Senior Night

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened"
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Dear Seniors,

For many of you, today was a day that you had always wished would come sooner, only to find that when the day arrived wishing for it to come was the last thing you truly ever wanted.

When stepping out onto the court or field or rink for the very last time today, take a moment to stand quietly and look out into the crowd, look to your teammates, to your coaches, and to your fellow seniors, and remember the way this made you feel, as this is a feeling you will remember for the rest of your life.

Today and every day moving forward will be filled with memories that will last you a lifetime.

Today is a day bound to be filled with endless amounts of tears, both happy and sad, so let it be. Let these feelings consume you, and serve as a reminder that no matter where you may go in life from this very moment, that you have made a family of your own. That you have changed the lives of others by just simply being in theirs.

That all the little things were really the big things, like the nicknames you had for your teammates, or your favorite song to sing in the locker room before a game. These things that never seemed to mean anything at the time are all the things that you will carry with you when you leave this place you call your home away from home.

On this day, years from now you will not remember the wins and losses of each season, but the people that took this journey with you and never let you look back.

The teammates that picked you up and carried you through the good and the bad of each day. The ones that taught you to see the good in all things. The ones who never let you live down the stupid things you did, mainly because they did them with you. And even the ones that you couldn't stand 99.9% percent of the time.

You will remember the coaches that pushed you and never let you give up.

You will remember all the times they yelled and made you run until you couldn't walk. The times that they depended on you to be the leaders we all knew you could be. But more than any of that, you will remember the opportunity they gave you to play the game you learned to love, the game that changed your life, the game that taught you more lessons about life, love and dedication than anything ever could.

On this day I ask you to remember a few things. I ask that you remember that the impact you have had on your teammates' lives is unmeasurable, never doubt that. The time you have spent dedicated to this sport that you love was never, EVER a waste of your time, because you are a better person because of it.

I ask you to remember that although the sadness you may hold in your heart overwhelms you, that you have found a part of you along this journey that will help you follow your dreams, whatever they may be.

Play your heart out today, and leave knowing you've given it all you've got just one last time. Leave knowing that you are one of the lucky ones. Remember the love, remember the defeat, remember the laughs and the tears, remember the battle wounds. Remember this feeling, always and forever.

Best of Luck,

Your Biggest Fan

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15 Fall Festivities To Get Floridians Feeling Spooky

Because hurricane season just isn't spooky enough.

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Fall weather in Florida may be non-existent, but that doesn't mean Floridians can't get in the fall spirit!

Nothing compares to the crisp air and colorful leaves that fill the forests up North in October, but there are still ways to get in the spooky spirit no matter where you are.

Here are 15 fun ways to embrace fall in Florida.

1. Go to Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios 

Take a trip to Orlando for a night of endless scares. Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is a must for most Floridians! Halloween Horror Nights is a nighttime event where Universal Studies transforms the park into Florida's scariest Halloween experience, filled with walk-through mazes, intense scare zones, terrifying live shows and rides.

2. Visit Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

If you're not a fright night person, still consider taking a trip to Orlando to attend Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! Disney World does an amazing job of transforming the parks to celebrate every season, but Disney World in fall is my all-time favorite. It's spooky without being scary, and extra Halloween fun awaits every night with special events in Magic Kingdom!

3. Enjoy EPCOT's International Food and Wine Festival 

Fall isn't just for scares, it's also for food! This food and wine festival goes on for weeks, with more than 25 global marketplaces. You can sip and taste your way around the world just by walking through EPCOT's World Showcase. EPCOT's International Food and Wine Festival is heaven for all you foodies out there!

4. Spend the weekend at Oktoberfest

There are Oktoberfest-styled celebrations all over Florida around this time of year. These festivals are put on by German American societies and are huge hits for everyone 'of age'. They're packed with food vendors, beer vendors, entertainment and people ready to have a good time!

5. Go on a haunted ghost tour

Florida is filled with old historical buildings, many with haunted legends attached to them! These Haunted History Tours give you a tour around your city, usually, as the sun is going down. They're interesting to more than just history buffs because they give you the chills every now and again.

6. Visit your local pumpkin patch

Pumpkin Patches like Farmer Mike's U Pick, doesn't only offer fields of perfect pumpkins for you to chose from, but also mazes! The normal corn maze is difficult enough, but Farmer Mike's also has a huge haunted maze that will make you feel like you're in a scary movie! If being chased by clowns isn't your thing, you can stay on the safe side and have a photoshoot where you pretend it's #sweaterweather.

7. It's DIY season

There's no better crafting season that fall! Put your DIY skills to the test and make all those fun crafts you've been saving on your Pinterest board! You'll be 'fall'ing in love with your fall-themed living space in no time!

8. Pumpkin spice everything

Spice up your life by adding pumpkin spice to absolutely everything you consume. Whether you're a baker or a buyer pumpkin-food is everywhere and it gives you a great excuse to indulge! With pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin cake and of course, pumpkin spice lattes, you can't go wrong!

9. Fall = football

Whether you're at the game supporting your team, or having a football party at your house, you know fall just isn't fall without football!

10. Candles, candles, candles 

Even though it's anything but sweater weather outside, doesn't mean you can't pretend like it is inside! Sweet cinnamon pumpkin, pumpkin pecan waffles, marshmallow fireside, pumpkin cupcake, pumpkin apple, you name it your local candle retail store has it! My favorite candle seller, Bath and Body Work's, has great sale's on candles this time of year!

11. Scary movie marathon

Movie Networks like Freeform, SyFy and Disney all have great scary movie marathons throughout the month of October and you can find the movie schedules online. Netflix and Hulu tend to update their selection this time of year for spookier options so they can compete with regular TV channels!

12. Take a trip to the farmer's market

Florida has great weather year round, so fresh produce usually isn't hard to find any time of the year, but it always seems best in the fall so don't miss out!

13. Endless costume choices 

What's nice about Halloween in Florida is that costumes aren't constrained by cold temperatures. You can wear whatever you want and you sure won't be cold!

14. Spruce up your wardrobe 

Fall is the cutest clothing season, and Florida clothing stores are great about having light-weight fall fashion options! Since Floridians won't be splurging on a new pair of Uggs, they can spend their money on cute fall pieces to spice up their closets. Wearing darker nail colors and dying your hair darker are other great ways to follow fall trends without wearing thick flannels in 90 degree weather!

15. Eat some candy 

If Reece's pumpkins don't get you in the spirit, I don't know what will!

Embrace fall no matter what temperature it is, and stay safe Floridians, nothing's spookier than hurricane season!

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