To The Hardest Person You'll Ever Love

To The Hardest Person You'll Ever Love

I don't say this enough.

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I remember the first day I questioned my love for you as if it was yesterday. It was a typical day in the life of any average 13-year-old. I woke up to my alarm ringing in my eardrums, threw my hair in a ponytail, grabbed my backpack, and ran out the door to catch the bus. In the midst of my pre-teen adolescence, I had not yet been introduced to the concept of makeup, hair straighteners or matching clothes.

I loved you for what you were, and I never compared you to what you were not.

Until I did. I could blame it on her, or I could blame it on her mother who raised her. I could blame it on the boys who were hot and heavy over her, but really I can only blame it on myself. For some reason, on this day I took notice of her blonde highlights and sparkly eyeshadow. For some reason, on this day I took notice of the way my male peers marveled at her and her new skinny jeans. For some reason, on this day when I returned home and looked in the mirror, I wasn't so content with the reflection you gave back to me.

It was no longer enough.

Sure, you got me from place to place and on our good days, we were relatively compatible. However, some days your skin wasn't so clear and you didn't quite look the same as she did in the skinny jeans you bought to match hers. The boys walked right by you as they chased after her new blonde highlights and didn't notice that you tried to cover up your budding puberty blemishes with make-up you stole from your mom's bathroom.

It was never enough.

I now realize that no amount of eyeshadow or trendy clothes could change the fact that our time together is unending and unfiltered. Therefore, I have seen you at your absolute worst. I have seen you with the same makeup running down your face because your best friend dated your biggest crush. I have seen you, your shirt drenched in tears because you didn't get accepted to the college of your dreams. I know the aspirations you hide because you are too scared you will not be able to accomplish them. I know that you hate the way your voice shakes when you hear bad news. I know everything there is to know about you that nobody else knows.

You, my friend, are the hardest person I've ever had to love.

I have loved friends who have not loved me back. I have loved boys who still use two-in-one shampoo. I have loved the untrustable and I have loved the unlovable. Only recently did I realize that this was nothing compared to the feat of loving you. I began to really see you when I noticed the way your eyes lit up when you were talking about someone you love. I began to really see you when I felt the exhaustion wearing on you as you studied just one more chapter of your school book because your dreams were more important than rest. I began to really see you when I realized how very much more there was to see.

Sure, you don't look too hot with dark circles and bed head hair.

But honestly, neither does the boy you fell in love with, but you love him anyway. And, since we're on the topic, she was running late today and she forgot her eyeshadow and suddenly she looks a lot more like you, but she's pretty anyway.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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9 Date Ideas To Make The Hottest June Yet

These date ideas are guaranteed to warm up your summer dating life.

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June is finally here and summer flings are at their peak. In my opinion, summer is the best time for anyone looking to impress their partner with some unforgettable dates. School is over for the next couple of months so you can definitely take advantage of all the free time with your loved one.

Here are nine summer date ideas to keep your summer relationship hot and memorable.

1. Picnic in the park

A super cute and super simple date idea. Pack some sandwiches and a couple of drinks are you're set for a great lunch at the park with your lover.

2. Beach day

Who doesn’t love the beach? And it’s cheap too! Laying and getting a suntan with your partner by your side can be a great time.

3. Go camping

Plan a couple of days off of work to go camping. Whether you want to take a nice camper or pitch a tent, enjoying the great outdoors can be very romantic.

4. Attend a baseball game

Professional or amateur are both equally as fun. I intern for a baseball team and I can tell you that heading to a game with your bf/gf and a drink in your hand can be one of the best times you experience this summer.

5. Mini golfing

I love mini golfing, it’s one of the most classic summer dates you can go on. Spice it up and check out a mini golfing place you haven’t been to before.

6. Zoo trip

I just did this the other day and it was perfect. Looking at cute animals as well as getting your steps in is an idea date this summer.

7. Trip to the state fair

I’m from Wisconsin and our state fair is out of this world. Enjoying some time with your loved one while snacking on greasy fair food has got to be one of the best dates you can go on this season. Although are state fair isn’t until later in summer, check out when yours is.

8. Outdoor movie

Outdoor movie theaters are underrated. It’s another classic that you can’t go wrong with. Watching the sunset go down behind the screen while munching on popcorn with your S.O. sounds amazing to me.

9. Go boating

Taking a trip to the lake on a boat can never go wrong (unless it rains). Listening to good music with some drinks and enjoying the water and sun can be a great summer date.

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