It’s June and I’m 23. Here’s to bad years closing and lessons learned.

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Happy June! My birthday was yesterday, and I am now officially twenty-three. Let’s just say that twenty-two just wasn’t what Taylor Swift made it out to be. I made a post about my year lost to lyme and mono and I meant it in the most literal way possible. I don’t feel like I was ever really twenty-two. The entire year was lost to pain and I didn’t really move from the couch. I feel like I’m behind now, because I know that if I hadn’t of gotten sick I would be so much farther ahead. I know that I’m not, there are a lot of twenty-three year old’s still trying to figure it out, I just thought by now I’d be farther along.

So when I say I want twenty-three to be a better year for me I’m not setting the bar crazy high, in fact the bar is rather low. I know life moves in phases and no matter what we think those phases aren’t marked in years or semesters. They’re random. God and the forces on this earth aren’t really working with our calendar. So, I don’t expect it to get better right away, but I hope that this age is more giving. I hope that it has a little more mercy.

That’s not to say that twenty-two didn’t come with some valuable lessons. Here is what I learned while I was too sick to get off the couch.  Continue reading

6-4-17: A Late Afternoon Photo Diary

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I realized late afternoon yesterday that I need to start carrying my giant DSLR around with me again. I’ve gotten really lazy about it because my phone has a camera like everyone else (even though it really needs an upgrade, even if just for the camera). I forget how much that giant camera makes me want to take pictures and I forget just how much there really is to take pictures of.

I’m a strong believer that we shouldn’t be recording every second of our lives, but I forget how beautiful some of those moments are. For example, yesterday afternoon after a flash storm. My yard was overcast and it seemed to be calling me out to come take pictures of it.   Continue reading

An Open Letter to those Struggling with Depression and Suicidal Thoughts:

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I wanted to start this letter with “you are loved” and “it will get better” but those are messages you read all the time and right now it doesn’t matter how many times you read them you will not believe them, it’s not just hard for you to, it’s almost impossible for you too. That is what illness does to your brain. It makes it impossible to see the good.

I’ve been really depressed twice in my life, both for different reasons. The first time was in middle school, after three years of social torture and a ton of bullying I was so depressed my parents pulled me out of the 8th grade because I was suicidal. Then again, when I was 16, because my medication for my bipolar disorder was bringing some serious health issues along with it. I was removed from the medication and fell into depression because of my disorder. So, one was triggered by events and one was triggered purely by my brain. One kind is not better than the other.

Instead of telling you about your situation I’m going to tell you about mine. I would have missed proms, weddings, graduations. I would have missed reuniting with one of my past best friends. I would have missed saving three different lives from taking themselves. I would have missed two different years that at the time I proudly proclaimed “I’ve never been happier in my life.”

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Motivation and Action: What the key to success is.

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“If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.”
― Lemony Snicket

I’m here to talk about motivation. Motivation is a really magical thing. It’s something that gets our blood pumping and it gets us excited about getting done what we need to get done. Motivation, some would argue, is a key to success.

I’ve read blog posts on blog posts on how to get motivated. There are a lot of way to try and create motivation, reading certain things, listening to certain things, triggering any sort of inspiration we can find. We should try and be motivated, it’s a good thing.

Motivation, however, is not the key to success.

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Classic Books: Why to read them and a new free way to go about it.

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Ah classics. As an English major in college I read a lot. I loved some of them, hated others, but like any reader I know they are important.

There was an argument I was reading online about how classics became classics. The person writing it was stating that some classics were simply bad books. I’m not arguing with their point, but I think it’s important to know what makes a classic. Classic books are books that changed the publishing/writing world. They are new, they are fresh, there was something about them that was very important at the time it was written. Whether it was a brave new idea or a new method and style of writing, classics have changed the way fiction is viewed and read.

With that being said, some classics are better than others and some are harder to read then others. That’s just the way it goes.

I like classics while I’m reading them but getting into them has always felt like a bit of a chore. As technology has evolved, I’ve finally found a better way to go about reading them. Classics are great because almost all of them are in the public domain, which means they don’t have copyright laws tying them down anymore.

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How to Embrace a Happy Lifestyle:

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Happiness is not a destination you can reach, it’s a lifestyle you have to live.

Once you realize that no matter what you achieve you always find yourself saying “I’ll be happy when…” you start to shift your perspective on what happiness actually is. No matter what our dreams tell us, we all know that there isn’t going to be a magic point and time where we are completely happy. The reason we hang onto this hope is because looking back at our past we can point out years when we were. Our memory tends to throw out the bad days sprinkled in our good months, and it’s a good thing, looking back we can say that that was what happiness feels like, but you need to have the perspective on those times. Even your best times had nights you cried yourself to sleep.

So, if we can’t all of a sudden make it to happiness how to we become happier? Happy is a lifestyle, and it’s not one anyone can maintain 24/7. What all does this lifestyle entail?

Happiness is hard work, especially when your life isn’t making it easy. I’ve always been amazed by loved ones who are happy while going through hell on earth. You always marvel and ask them how they are doing it. The answer you normally get is along the lines of “I just decided to be happy.”

It isn’t that easy, but it is that simple. Here are some ways to embrace the happy lifestyle:

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Rubbing Oil on your Face? This Face Wash is a Miracle.

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This is NOT a sponsored post.

We’ve been told since day one that we shouldn’t use face products with oil in them, so saying that I have found a face wash that is an oil sounds crazy, right?

You rub oil all over your dry face, then you get your face wet, and wash it off.

When you run your hand over your skin it feels clean, like you washed it with a soap. It doesn’t leave your skin oily or greasy at all. I know you’re probably skeptical, after all, I have naturally dry skin, a little extra oil might be a good thing. I understand why you feel this way, because that’s why I decided to buy it in the first place. The thing is, my mother has oily skin and she borrowed it to try and guess what? It works just the same on her.  Continue reading