This Vs That

This Vs That

What we need to be grateful for.
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In life we always “want.” I am one of the most guilty when it comes to being worried about the future and thinking I know what I need. I wish and pray for something in hopes of getting exactly what I desire and I want it to come exactly how I intended for it to happen. As a whole, we are a country of “I want.” We want that boy, that job, that house, that school; we want THAT life. We see what we want and we try anything to get it, but why do we get so upset when we don’t see the results we want?

Almost everyone at some point in their life has been jealous of something or someone. We’ve all been angry when we didn’t get our way, and we’ve probably asked God “why?” more times than we’d like to admit. The truth for me is in the Bible, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11. There is no grey area when God says he will provide. The problem we face is not fully understanding that what we have, we got for a reason. What we choose to do with the opportunities provided to us is up to us.

We can be negative; we can be mad at the world or God or whatever you choose to believe in, or we can focus on the “this.” This life, although sometimes hard, stressful, and unforgiving, is great because we are alive and given another opportunity to start fresh every day if we want it. This friend I have, this house we live in, this family I live with, this chance, THIS is what we should be appreciative of. Once we put emphasis on being grateful for what we do have, we won’t be worried about the “that” because the “this” will be enough. The “this” will make us happier than getting exactly what we think we need. “Happiness isn’t about getting what you want all the time. It’s about loving what you have and being grateful for it… be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” When we don’t get what we want, we must be learn to be content right where we are. We must learn to love the “this” and not focus on the “that.”

Cover Image Credit: own picture

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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