The Past is in the Past…

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Let it go.

I think we can all learn something from this wonderful Frozen song (that everyone in the world knows just about every lyric to).

Letting go and moving on can be a terribly difficult thing to do. Whether it’s a relationship or a traumatic childhood incident or something even worse, sometimes it’s just better to let it go. That doesn’t mean you need to forget it– that may be impossible– but don’t let it hold you back.

Don’t be scared to go on with your life and find your happiness. You deserve that.

Things happen to us that really suck (for lack of better terms). At the time, we wonder how in the world we are going to move on or even survive… But we do. And we come out stronger on the other side. We all feel like giving up sometimes, but you truly show strength when you continue your journey instead of surrendering.

For me, I have overcame quite a few obstacles from my childhood. A lot of unnecessary heartbreak happened early on in my life. But you know what? I have learned from it. I experienced some things I would never wish on any children, and I believe I will one day be a better parent because of it. I believe I have repressed a lot of childhood memories, but of the ones I do recall, I have learned something valuable from.

So, just because you “let it go” doesn’t mean you forget the relationship/event/situation, it means you learn from it and move on.

Be a better and stronger person because of it.

 

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The Great Debate

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Roll Tide or War Eagle?
Don’t say you don’t care which team wins– that’s the ultimate sin when you’re from Alabama.

Growing up, my entire family was Alabama fans. I grew up yelling, “Roll Tide!” I never understood the art of football; I just knew you wanted to get the ball between the big stick thing. So, when I got older and still didn’t understand the sport, I didn’t watch the games. This is like an abomination.
When I hit 18, I started dating this guy who was an Auburn fan, so I ended up watching all of the Auburn games with him and his family. My family was beyond disgusted. They loved the guy, but I remember one time he showed up at my family’s Christmas in an Auburn shirt– you would have thought it was the apocalypse. Oh, and he bought me an Auburn shirt… that I actually wore. My sister refused to walk next to me if I had it on. Yeah, this hatred actually exists in Alabama.
Eventually though, we broke up, and I got together with a “real man” aka an Alabama fan. He is one of THE biggest Alabama fans I have ever seen. He believes his Alabama hats go with every outfit, no matter what the occasion is.

You can imagine how horrified he was to know I was “an Auburn fan” for two years. Honestly, I think he was more upset about this than if he had found out I was a leper being exiled to Nantucket. He immediately began buying me Alabama attire and making me watch every game with him.
One day, we decided it was time to get rid of the dreaded Auburn shirt. We decided to have a bonfire… and he burned the shirt. I’m sure some people are still cursing our names for this heinous act. Of course I got pictures!

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My boyfriend is something. Don’t get him talking about Alabama and Auburn because I promise you, someone is going to end up with hurt feelings, and more than likely it isn’t going to be him.

Here’s some friendly advice from someone who has experienced the effects of not taking sides:

Don’t plan on moving to Alabama without choosing a side.
Don’t be a “house divided”. Pick a side or move to Canada.
Don’t plan on moving here being a Tennessee or LSU fan unless you love having people hate you. One time I happened to have my nails painted purple right before the Alabama v. LSU game, and my boyfriend said I couldn’t come over until I took the nail polish off (it was like the perfect LSU purple in his defense).
Also, be prepared to be asked who you root for as soon as you meet anyone. I was asked this on the first day of my last two jobs by my bosses. I made the mistake of saying “Oh, it doesn’t matter to me” one time and didn’t think I’d ever live it down.

Now of course, I’m sure I’m not speaking for every Alabamian. I’m just showing the rivalry from my perspective and my experiences. Yes, there are obnoxious Alabama fans andAuburn fans (and every other team); and this is all said in a friendly spirit 🙂

So now that I’ve decided I look better in red, I plan on staying true to my upbringing as a Roll Tide fan. And I do understand the sport a little more now, thanks to my boyfriend.

April
Oh yeah, roll tide.

You Make Me Happy When Skies Are Gray

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I came across a new app called “Happier” the other day. Basically, you post memories or things that make you happy and share them with other members. So, I decided to create my own list of simple things that make me happy (in no significant order). Enjoy.

1) Children laughing. There are few things greater than hearing a carefree child laugh uncontrollably.

2) Old people. You know what I’m talking about (and if you don’t, you have no soul). They are just precious. I love to just smile and them and get a huge smile back. And don’t get me started on the old husband and wife holding hands in the mall. Cuteness overloaddddd.

3) Good books. I recently have discovered that I actually enjoy reading. The last few weeks I have spent countless hours reading and finding myself engrossed in the books.

4) Teaching someone anything. This is one of the greatest feelings ever for me. I love when I’ve been trying to teach someone something and the “light bulb” moment when they finally get it. Not to mention, I totally love learning anything and everything that I can.

5) Good food. Oh man, one of my favorite things to do is eat. I loveeeee food. I’m a very picky eater, but I can tell you who has the greatest cheeseburgers in every county around.

6) Sunshine. Especially when I feel like it’s going to rain forever. Cloudy days totally put a damper on my mood.

7) Getting an “A”. Don’t play–you know what I’m talking about. Pretend it’s no big deal; I know your insides are doing cartwheels with excitement.

8) Puppies. Is an explanation really necessary for this one? Is anything really better than adorable, loving puppies?

9) Clean sheets. One of the greatest feelings in the world is climbing into cold sheets (in the summer) that smell like Heaven.

10) Grown men talking to babies and/or children. You know what I’m talking about– the “baby voice”. There isn’t much more attractive than seeing a manly man hanging out with a child and carrying on conversations with them.

11) PJ days. Those every-once-in-a-while days where I don’t have to get out of my pajamas, do my hair, or leave the house. Ah, those are the best.

12) Doing something nice for someone. Even if it’s something small. Just smiling at someone or holding the door for a little old lady might make someone else’s day.

So what makes you happy? I don’t mean the new outfit you bought the other day or your new car– just something simple. What makes you smile? 🙂

To My Future Kid(s)…

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So, another one of my friends had her baby today (see picture). This just reminds me, once again, how not ready I am for kids. I will probably have them one day, once I’m married and whatnot.

But until that day comes I’ve decided to compile a list of some things I’d like to share with my future children (or any other kids/teenagers). Hope this isn’t going to get too awkward.

1. First off, you have the coolest mom in the world. Your dad is okay, too.

2. Life is really not fair sometimes. There are going to be some days where you just want to pull your hair out, poke my eyes out, and slash your dad’s tires. But my advice to you is: don’t– unless you enjoy the idea of juvenile prison. Really though, bad situations pass– you just have to keep going when you feel like giving up.

3. No matter what stupid, idiotic, childish stuff you do, I will still love you. Guess what? We all have done stupid stuff; although I was close to being the perfect kid/teenager (don’t believe what your daddy tells you about my younger days).

4. Absolutely no boyfriend/girlfriend is worth giving up your sanity. Do not depend on a significant other for your happiness. You can be happy with or without someone else.

5. Do not forget your morals in relationships. Boyfriends/girlfriends can sometimes make you overlook certain things that you are not okay with. Know what your deal-breakers are (see #6 for example). I promise, if you overlook something once it will continue to happen.

6. Do not EVER do drugs. I realize you are going to do some dumb things. Some dumb things are okay, like jumping in a big bouncy ball display pit at Wal-Mart. Drugs are not one of those things. People ruin their entire lives by deciding to give into the pressure ONE time. And yes, marijuana is a drug (crackheads and heroin addicts had to start somewhere and it’s usually with pot). Be careful and be smart.

7. You have to make your own decisions at some point. But with this freedom, comes responsibility. You may not understand why no one will buy you the super-cool pair of shoes, but one day you will have rent (or a mortgage), bills, car payments, insurance fees, phone bills, etc. to pay and you will totally get it. Life will go on if you don’t get the Coach purse that you are just dying to have. Once again, life is not fair. I promise you will have everything you need in life and more.

8. Put some effort into your education. It will make it a whole lot easier on whoever ends up paying for your college because hopefully you’ll get some scholarships and assistance.

9. Be polite. Use manners and apologize when you need to. It is so important for you to respect others, especially older people. Say “please” and “thank you”, and don’t be afraid to say “I love you”.

10. Work hard. Work ridiculously hard at everything you do: school, jobs, and everything else. When you start working, you are going to have to prove your worthiness to your employers. Start out strong and don’t give up. It might take a while, but you will eventually get the credit you deserve. Never ever give up on what you want. It is so easy to forget about your dreams– don’t. Set goals and work toward those goals.

**Note:
This list basically developed into a list of stuff I wish I knew at a younger age. Feel free to add your own advice/comments! 🙂

April

Growing Up is Totally Overrated…

When I was younger, I always wished I was older. Actually, for the last, let’s say 10-15 years, I constantly wished I could be a “grown-up”, be out of high school, be out of college, be married, have a big-girl job–you get the point. I’m pretty sure I thought the minute I hit that adult status, I would have an awesome life and that everything about life would make sense. I have literally spent so much time wishing I was in a different place in my life. Even now I find myself wishing I had it all together. I’m sure this is relatively normal for a post-college 20-something, but it’s still really frustrating.

I am really trying to focus on where I am right now, not on my ideal of where I should be.

It’s really tough though. Wouldn’t it be so great if we could just fast forward to that perfect time in our life? Oh wait, that doesn’t exist. Things will never be “picture perfect” like all of the Disney movies’ happily ever after endings. It’s life. It’s super-wonderful at times and it sucks at other times. You have to just learn to be happy with where you are in life.

Be grateful for the time you have on this earth. Show the people who you love that you love them. Laugh as loud as you possibly can. Do not dwell on the negative aspects of your life. I have been called negative one too many times (I always prefer to think of myself as a “realist”, but I’m beginning to think that’s just a toned-down version of “party pooper”). I sometimes struggle with finding the good in a lot of situations. I should feel blessed for all of the people I have in my life and all of the many great ridiculously amazing opportunities I have been given. I am giving myself a challenge to look for the best in every situation. This is going to be tough, but it will be so worth it. If you are reading this, I also encourage you to challenge yourself with this. When you get home, before you begin telling your significant other, parent, friend, etc. the bad parts of your day, say something positive that happened during the day. Make a conscious effort to acknowledge that the entire day wasn’t bad, and think about a time that made you laugh, smile, or just be happy to be alive.

I think every situation can be affected by the way you percieve it. You might be having the worst day you could possibly imagine, but if you focus on something positive (even if it’s the super-fantastic food you ate for lunch), you will feel better. Don’t focus on the bad; life if going to go on–regardless if you are miserable or if you are happy. You might as well smile and make the best of whatever situation you are in.

I think this whole “growing up” thing has its advantages. I mean, sure, I might have bills and responsibilities, but there are also some pretty cool things. I just bought my first brand new car (on my own!), I have my own apartment (that I pay for by myself), and I have a family that would bail me out of any crappy situation I got in if at all possible (within reason). Find your happiness in this crazy, non-perfect world!

It is pouring down rain in Alabama right now, which reminds me of a cliche, yet very appropriate, quote…

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”