To The Family Who Walked Away

To The Family Who Walked Away

Some day you will wish you never left.
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I look in photo albums and old pictures and see many people surrounding me.

There I am as a young girl being adored in many pictures. The people in those pictures are my, "Family." The sad part is I have no idea who those people truly are. As I got older it is like I lost more and more family.

I listen to many people complain about being crazy on holidays due to going to multiple family member's houses. I listen to people wish they could skip the family parties or avoid the Aunt who is not necessarily the best person to be around.

I constantly wish I had those problems. I wish that I would be getting cheesy birthday cards or receiving ugly sweaters for Christmas. Do not take involvement of extended family for granted. Enjoy the company, take the heat of a few days, and spend it with your entire family. Put your phone down and engage in conversation. Skip the party on Friday night and take your little cousin out to the movies, take your grandparents for dinner, or just have a large family dinner.

When you watch your family just walk out of your life it really hurts. You are constantly curious what you could have done at 6, 7, or 8 years old to cause someone who once found you important to act like you do not exist at all. As a young adult reflecting on everything I achieved, I am proud. I was very lucky to be blessed with very supportive parents.

Many days I wonder what my life would have been like with more involvement of my extended family. I wonder what my life would have been like to have extra love and support. Although, with all of that being said I have learned to be the most loving and supportive person I can be.

I have and always will be the girl anybody can run to if there is trouble arising. In closing, to the family who walked away I am truly sorry you missed out on who I have become. Thank you for every time you have never been there, it has taught me to be a better person.

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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8 Things Only Your Long-Distance Best Friends Will Understand

We can always choose to be stronger than the miles in between us.

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A few days ago, I packed up my suitcase from my best friend's place in Florida after visiting for a long weekend. I always think it's going to be just a little easier leaving this time than the last, but it never is. We seem to have a better time than the last one. Our dates on the calendar come slowly, but our time together goes by way too fast. Soon I found myself holding my people close, then standing in the airport alone crying my eyes out because I already missed my best friends.

Because I have far away friends, I always have someone special to visit and a guaranteed good time. It's exciting to not only to make memories at home with them but also at their college and other places as well. People go to college, graduate school, pursue dreams, get jobs, tie the knot and eventually settle down. We can either lose our long-lasting friendships, or we can choose to fight a little harder to remain close. I choose the second; not because it's easy or convenient, but because it's worth it.

Life often takes people across the city, across the state or even across the world from us.

1. People underestimate the power of a phone call.

Miles in between you and connection problems can make talking face to face impossible, but your person is always just a phone call away. Even if you can't see their face and expressions, there is nothing quite like hearing their voice on the other end of the line. It's almost like you are right there with them when you come together to talk about what is going on in your lives. There is nothing that says two friends can't spend time together and hang out, even if it's not physically.

2. Out of sight doesn't have to mean out of mind

I am not close geographically to "my people" but they are still close to my heart. I will continue to invest in them if they are five minutes away or five-hundred miles. It makes no difference because we are more than the miles between us. My friends have boyfriends, girlfriends, parents, jobs and some even have kids. Your friend may have a boyfriend or girlfriend, parents, jobs, kids and tend to get distracted by everything around them. This is normal to let your everyday life consume your thoughts, but you can make room to let other things enter your mind too.

Have things around your place to remind you of them, set reminders to check on them and get into a habit of catching up with people while doing chores or going somewhere. There are a few people I try to text on the daily — sometimes it's me reminding them I'm thinking about them, something random I saw that made me smile or telling them good morning. Every phone call, text and attempt at putting in the effort will make you two just a little closer than you were before.

3. It's tough to not be there when you really need and want to

Time passes and the other person can begin to change. It can be difficult to find common ground after you've been away for a while and your lives are two separate worlds. It can be easy to lose touch without intentionality, hard work and commitment. Keep the lines of communication and honesty open. Show up and be fully present. You both deserve the friendship to be genuine and prioritized.

Far-away-friends give missing people a whole new meaning. It's hard when you can't be there for every birthday, graduation, break-up, celebration and bad day. But, even between the hundreds of miles, time zones and missed ice cream dates, they are still your person. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter because you would do anything for this person and to keep your friendship with them. Long distance is worth it to still call someone your best friend.


The best stuff is always difficult. It sometimes takes longer. But you're deserving of people and people are deserving of you. Don't hold back or isolate based on past fear or that one time it didn't go so well. Pick yourself up and make the next hard move towards people. Towards abundance. Towards a life outside the lines. You've got this. I believe so fiercely in you — Hannah Brencher

4. You don't have to talk every day to be close.

We don't have to talk every single day. Sometimes it's not possible with college, jobs, family, other friends and just life in general. It gets so busy, but the right ones make time for you whether it's on their commute, the weekend or at the end of a long day. When you do long distance with someone, you usually can know pretty quickly if they are one of the rare ones you may not come across in life again.

The smallest things often make the most impact — a text, quick phone call so they can hear your voice, hand-writing a letter (the way to my heart) or a video call while you both study. Tag each other in posts and send each other selfies or other pictures. I don't know about you, but it makes me happy to see a notification from one of "my people," knowing they were thinking of me miles away.

5. Staying is a choice.

Reality is what happens when we make ourselves come back to earth instead of running through space. I think we all want to run sometimes because we get too overwhelmed to stay. Just keep walking and you'll see this place is full of others just like us. Choosing to stay somewhere tough can be the hardest thing, but rewarding. There may be no hugs, regular hangouts or a hundred texts in between phone calls. But your person is still your person, even a thousand miles away.

6. You don't want to waste the time you have.

Your energy and time are valuable things. You get to decide where it goes. Try to focusing less on doing things and more on people you know will fill you and encourage others. We only get one chance at this life of love. It's all a choice we get to make. You can share the pain, but also some of the biggest joys with another person that you choose no matter the distance between you.

7. Nothing is the same as being face to face

You can hear the person's voice on the other line, see them on video chat, read each other's words over and over through letters and share thoughts in between through text. But nothing comes even close to sitting next to them, even in silence doing nothing. You can hear their voice. You can see their face. You can talk to them (and they can talk back to you) in real time; no delay. Every time I am face to face with my person, there is nothing like it and I just want to be present in every moment.

8. You have never missed anyone as much before

I never expected to be "that one" losing it in the airport. No one mentally prepares you for what it's going to feel like when you part ways and don't know when next time will be. I keep thinking of my favorite moments, wanting to live them over again. I keep thinking I see them in places they can't be. I keep hoping and thinking they will just walk up to me and start talking again. Then I know I'll be a little more okay and won't feel such a quiet, painful and empty spot in my heart. Each time I leave, I feel like I left something behind. I did, but also I took something with me that I didn't have before. It was all completely worth it, even if I'm still missing you.

The best things in life take work and long distance ones take extra work, but I'll never regret keeping up with those who are near and dear to my heart. Together we can face anything together, even if that means being vulnerable over video call instead of across the table.

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