Thanks For The Push, Mom

Thanks For The Push, Mom

I did not see why you did it then, but I most certainly see it now.
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I am lucky to say that all my life, I have been surrounded by people who have always pushed me to be the best I can be. Without a doubt, though, the person who has never ceased to have been the number one person behind so many of my decisions has been my mom. This being said, I can think of countless things I have not wanted to do that she has made me do, and that I have been mad at her in the moment for. Now, looking back on all these situations, I can say that I am thankful for them now. Everything she needed to push me to do, she pushed me to do for a reason, and I can finally understand that looking back. Here are a few of the many things I am thankful my mom pushed me to do:

1) Hang out with my friends.

Now, let me explain this, because this does not seem like something my mom would have to push me to do. It is not that I do not like to hang out with my friends, because I definitely do. More often than I would like to admit, however, I would rather stay home and relax than have to go out. If I would get invited somewhere, I would usually go tell my mom about it, but tell her that I was going to make an excuse so I did not have to go. To this, she would almost always respond, “Just go, what’s the big deal? You go hang out for a few hours, then you can come home and relax. You will regret not going one day.” I would almost always end up going, and even though I would be mad, once I would get there, I would forget why I did not want to go in the first place. Then, of course, I would realize that she was right. Now, if I think about all the times I almost did not spend time with my friends because I was just too lazy to want to go, the amount of memories I would never have made would be too many to count.

2) Play sports.

When I was young, I played every sport I possibly could. From, softball to basketball to soccer to dance, I did it all. There were numerous times I could think of when I wanted to stay home and not go to practice or to a game, but my mom always would tell me that I made a commitment to my team. She would also reassure me, and say to me that whether or not I played very well, as long as I did my best and had fun, that was all that really mattered (which was good because as much as I loved playing sports, I was most certainly no star athlete). From these experiences, I know today that even if you do not necessarily excel at something, if you are happy doing it, that is all that is truly important.

3) Go to school dances.

Just like my mom would have to push me to go out with my friends, she would also have to push me to go to school dances. This did not happen every time one came around, but it happened often enough. I would love to get dressed and do my makeup to go, but I always knew that once I was there for about an hour or two, I would be ready to go home. Once again, she would tell me that it was only one night, and that when it came down to it, I would be more upset if I did not go, than if I went. Looking back, I cannot even imagine what I would have missed out on if I did not go to even one dance.

4) Go on my first Midnight Run.

Throughout high school, I went on a Midnight Runs, where you spend a night going to the city to help feed the homeless. The first year I took part in one was my sophomore year, and I was just not sure that I wanted to do it, probably because I did not know what to expect. My mom pushed me to do it, because she said it was important that I help those in need when I was so lucky to have all that I did. After I went on my first midnight run that year, I realized how fulfilling of an experience it was, and I more than willingly participated in the ones my junior and senior years. In this situation in particular, I can honestly say that it is not something I think I ever would have done if my mom had not highly encouraged me, and I never would have been able to realize how good knowing you did something to help others feels.

Through each of these situations, my mom taught me valuable life lessons, and allowed me to make memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Now, whenever my mom pushes me to do something that I do not want to, I think about these experiences and realize that she is probably right. I know that she would not want me to do something if I would not ultimately get something out of it, and I could never thank her enough for that. I mean, what can I say? I guess it really is true that mother knows best.

Cover Image Credit: Gianna Pisano

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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It's OK To Let Go, Move On, And Float Away From People Around You

Life is too short to be around people who don't bring you up. The sky is the limit and the more clouds that help you float, the higher you will soar.

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I'll be the first to admit that I am really bad at letting negative energy go. I try way too hard to please everyone and become too emotionally invested in my relationships with others. This is both a blessing and a curse because I expect to be treated how I treat others and it's not always the case. Never be afraid to move on, even though I certainly was.

I could never envision removing people from my life.

It sounded so harsh to not keep in constant communication with everyone I crossed paths with. I felt like I owed it to everyone ever apart of any memory with me to go above and beyond to keep them in my life. Yes, I know some fade away slowly no matter how hard you try to hang on. But, I learned that sometimes you really need to focus on YOU. I used to think that was selfish, but it's self-health. It's feeling empowered rather than put down. In reality, you can't please everyone.

I've tried for so long to be a people pleaser and still find myself falling victim trying to please everyone.

Just know that it's OK to grow apart. It's OK to be around other people. It's OK to let go of relationships that don't feel right anymore. As I have gotten older, more people have entered my life. It's been really hard to please every single person and it's because I realize that it's just not possible.

This world is so filled with so many good people waiting to meet you, befriend you, guide you, support you, and most importantly act as a floating cloud to soar to great heights with you.

If you continue to please the people in your life that don't bring you joy, that don't support you and that don't soar to great heights with you, then find the ones that will.

Trust me they are out there! The more time you spend on people who don't care and the more effort you waste in relationships that don't make you better, the worse you will feel about yourself. Don't ever criticize or second guess who you are. And come on, what a miserable life to live if you're always pleasing everyone except you.

Take a step back and look closely a those you surround yourself with. I'm not saying everyone's perfect. We all have our flukes, but find those that don't make your insecurities stronger. Find the ones that make your insecurities weaker, and as if they don't matter at all.

Your life is nothing but one big grand journey that will constantly change with people passing by.

Let some clouds float away in their directions because the best thing you can do for yourself is flying high. The time is now to learn to love who you are and not who people see you as. Not everyone's going to like you and people's opinions of you will constantly change. That's OK. The best version of yourself is the person that you see in the mirror, not the person others define you as. You'll know when people know you for who you are and if you're lucky, you'll find those that know you better than you know yourself. So don't be afraid to let go.

We only get one life Y'all! Make it count with people that put a spark in everything you do. We aren't here to please everyone, we're here to live happy lives!

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