23 Reason There's Nothing Better Winter Than Winter

23 Reason There's Nothing Better Winter Than Winter

I swear I'm not a mean person, it's just my face.

1. Pretty snow.

2. A nice fire in your fireplace.

3. Hot chocolate.

4. Christmas.

5. Holiday lights.

6. Snow days.

7. Snowball fights.

8. Wearing a bunch of layers in the snow.

9. Watching the snow fall.

10. The holiday spirit.

11. New Year's Eve.

12. Cute scarves.

13. Winter break.

14. Being snowed in with your friends.

Okay guilty as charged, I got snowed in with my friends for two days and wanted to stab my ears with a fork. BUT, it was so much better than sitting in your room by yourself all day.

15. Taking a warm shower after being out in the snow.

You CAN'T argue that thing a nice, long and warm shower after shoveling for two hours with a burning red nose isn't one of the best feelings. Because it is. The best feeling.

16. Making snowmen and snow angels.

17. Sledding.

No sledding will never get old.

18. Building forts and tunnels.

You are never too old to have a snow fort competition with your friends or siblings. Never.

19. The fresh winter air.

20. Christmas decorations.

21. Christmas decorations in stores.

22. Holiday movies.

23. Christmas trees.

Decorating the Christmas tree!!! Best night ever!!!

Cover Image Credit: New Line Cinema

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Breaking the Fear

The Fear Behind Exposing Sexual Assault.

The fall of my senior year I was sexually assaulted on the way home from hanging out with my friends. I won’t go into detail as to what happened because, frankly, the details don’t matter. What matters is that it happened and that this man will forever have a piece of me that I didn’t want him to have.

The days following my assault, I was too afraid to speak about it. To this day, I am still afraid to speak about it. So I remained silent. I have lived with this secret for years, trying my hardest to push it under the rug and live a life as normal as I possibly could.

I am older now and have managed to do pretty well considering. Recently though, I came face-to-face with my assaulter, and all of my hard work I spent over the years trying to build myself stronger went away. All of the feelings of anger, disgust, and fear came over me and I realized that someone can’t simply get over something like this. It’s traumatizing, and people are still not taking it seriously enough.

So here I am.

Sexual assault. It seems to be talked about a lot more as of late, and I want to believe it’s a good thing. I want to believe that bringing up the topic is starting conversations on how it’s perceived - and has been perceived - by society, as well as how we can move forward with making a cultural or societal change.

I don’t want this to be just another story you read about, and feel pity for for a split second, and then continue with your life. I want you to leave with a different perception.

I’m going to focus on the fear element that I felt. At the time, I was afraid that if I did have the courage to speak out, people wouldn’t believe me; I was afraid people would think I was just another person claiming the victim card. As radical as these fears may be, they are completely valid.

People post their stories or speak about their experiences and there’s tons of support following it. But for every person showing their support, there's always one or two people on the other side who are trying to play devil’s advocate.

“Well, what were you wearing?”

“You never said no.”

“You need to stop thinking about it - it happened so long ago, so why still dwell on it?”

“You’re being over dramatic.”

“That doesn’t even count as assault.”

I could go on.

Now take something that is already disturbing and traumatic for an individual, and add other people’s attacking comments to the scenario - comments that are completely insensitive, unnecessary, and uncalled for.

Speaking up on your own is challenging. When you finally get the nerve to share your voice, having people around you not see or understand your situation with the seriousness it deserves is discouraging.

Because it is hard - it’s hard, and it’s sad because people are being taught to question the victim before ever questioning the perpetrator, and that’s just not how it’s supposed to be.

So I leave you with the question - why is this the case? Not only that, but what can we do to create a ripple in the existing social construct to eventually cause an entire wave of change? What are you doing to not be part of the problem?

National Sexual Assault Hotline


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Look At This Duck

A story for those who toil for an audience of one.

A story: A young man toils in a thankless kitchen in the only diner in a small town. He smells of grease and his hands always exist in a simultaneous state of chapped and damp. Cigarettes are the only way to take a break and he milks each and every draw. 6 days a week. No prospects. No schooling. The money keeps the lights on at the family farmhouse that he unexpectedly inherited. He lives there, alone but for a stray mutt that has become his dog. He could scrape by, for a couple decades even, on the inheritance and the money from the sale of the fields, but there wouldn’t be enough for boozing on his days off.

So he works, day in, day out.

He works for an old cook that hates people so thoroughly, the young man is the closest thing to a friend that he has. They drink together. The old cook is always trying to teach the young man the ways of the world through the lens of food. The problem is the old cook hates life and all of its terrible schemes against his art. All of his lessons end up sounding something like this:

“What we do, is we arrange people’s next shit on a plate.”

The young man takes no inspiration away from this view. On the other hand, this philosophy and the affirmation of it seems to fuel the old cook’s fire. The old cook is not satisfied at the young man’s lack of enthusiasm for his nihilism. “Why are you here if you don’t care about food?” “Why should I keep you?”

This new form of derision wears on the young man, so much so that even the smoke breaks don’t shield him from the mental burden.

Finally, the young man unceremoniously quits.

The cook finds a string of replacements for the young man, but none have the lasting endurance he once relied upon. He eventually sells the diner and moves on. Most everyone in the small town forgets about young man. They forget who lives with the dog in the old farmhouse. The town grows and continues as towns will.

The young man secludes himself to the farmhouse and his old barn.

He works and he works. On what, nobody knows or cares. He goes through the bulk of life alone, unincorporated into the community around him. Until finally one day many years later, when he is gray and hunched, he makes his way back to the center of town. He walks calmly until finding his chosen place in the street, when he shouts at the top of his lungs:

"I’m finished!! It’s done!! It’s finally done!!!"

He continues this feral display until he has drawn a decently sized crowd, then he begins to lead them back to his barn. “Follow me and you will see!” Ignoring the looks and any stray questions, he walks as a man possessed by the madness of complete elation. He is almost there. It is almost done. He reaches the barn, having tread over the grave of the old mutt without so much as a glance. He waits until the trailing townspeople have massed. “Here it is” He slides open the large door.


Sure enough, in the light of a spring day within the barn of the former dishwasher and recent recluse, there is a giant wooden duck. Beautifully crafted, seemingly seamless. A massive mahogany mallard. No one who witnessed its unveiling could argue with its majesty. However, no one could determine its purpose either. Before the gasps were over and the obvious questions could be asked, the old man keeled over with a contently dead heart inside him.

My best friend and I make a habit of telling that story to one and other. It cheers us up whenever we feel weighed down by the inherent absurdity of life. Our advice for all those who will have it:

Find your own duck.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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