Coronavirus

Wherever you are, I hope you are staying safe, washing your hands (which you should have been doing regardless), and being mindful of others.

I’m currently spending week one of spring break at home with my family. We’ve been watching all the latest updates on COVID-19 and preparing for what may come. Are we bulk-buying toilet paper? No, but we are making sure we have what we need before it’s all picked over by the impulsive panic-buyers.

My university, like I said before, is on spring break this week. However, they have extended spring break another week and planned for online classes to begin the following week amidst positive coronavirus tests in our county as well as surrounding counties. While other universities have closed their doors for the semester, ours is planning to return to regular in-person lectures April 10th.

In the meantime, I ask everyone to practice good hygiene (I can’t believe I’m asking this) and be mindful of precautions established by the Center for Disease Control. You don’t need 50 rolls of Angel Soft or 20 boxes of Mac and Cheese… at least I didn’t see that on their website!

Also, for those who are not in the “risk group” for the virus, please keep in mind that while it may appear to be a simple cold that you will get over, you can easily pass it on to someone who cannot recover as easily, if at all.

Please stay home if you are sick.

To learn more information on COVID-19, click here to visit the CDC website. 

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Paying Homage to 2019

Can you believe this is my third year writing my yearly recap? I can’t!

So for those who don’t know, at the end of every year I like to highlight some of my highs and lows of the year (see Paying Homage to 2017, Paying Homage to 2018). I started in 2017 as a casual post, not thinking I would keep up with it the following years. I always consider the third time to be what establishes something as a tradition, so here we are guys! It’s officially a Megann Louise tradition!

In last year’s recap, I said I was going to make 2019 my bitch. Well, we win some, we lose some, right? Whenever I look back on this year I get a bad taste in my mouth. I know a lot of great things happened, but I also experienced a lot of heartache. I’d consider this year to be one of great growth for me.

At the start of the year, I got to see Cody Ko and Noel Miller live with my sister and friend James. Their Youtube videos were what got me through a lot of hard stuff so it was wild that I was in the same room as them.

In May I finished my first year of college at CSU. I ended up making the Dean’s List, which I would not have expected at the beginning of the year. I finally decided on the right major for me in that time too- communication.

I moved out of my first apartment in May, too. It was the ending of an era, I suppose. That place became my home. I made so many wild memories in apartment 509. As sad as I was leaving, I felt a weird sense of relief too. I was leaving behind a piece of me, which was sort of sad, but I knew I was starting a new chapter.

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In July, I surprised my sister with a party for her 18th birthday. It was pretty last minute, but all her friends pitched in and helped me make things work. I was so grateful for everybody’s help in making it such a success. Being able to do something like that for my sister was so special to me.

Then there was a bump in the road. I said goodbye to a nearly two year relationship. Things just don’t work out sometimes and it’s for the best. I still have a ridiculous amount of love and respect for my ex. He’s a great guy…. just not my soulmate. And that’s alright. It took me a while to move past the heartbreak, which is to be expected when you were with someone for a long time. He is genuinely one of my best friends and I’m so lucky to still have him to confide in whenever I need him. While some would expect me to be sad that the relationship ended, I’m glad that I’m still lucky enough to have a friend in him.

For a while after the break up, I was in a really dark place and couldn’t seem to find the way out. I didn’t feel half as confident as I once did. I suppose it’s normal (but in no way healthy) to dog on yourself after a break up… at least for a little while. After I was finally able to get myself out of bed, I was going out to get my mind off of everything. That’s where the fun came in.

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First, we went to see Granger Smith. The story behind that one is a little random. We had gone to Walmart and there were two tour buses in the parking lot (which obviously isn’t a normal thing). Turns out Granger was at Walmart! We didn’t get to see him there, but we took it as a sign that we should buy two tickets to the show that was only hours away.  I have to say that that was one of the best nights I’d had in a while. The rush we felt after buying the tickets was insane. We immediately ran to get ready and blasted Granger throughout the house.

The very next night, we were invited to tag along to a Foreigner concert. I didn’t know too many songs (I know, what’s wrong with me?!) but I still had such a good time. I think that’s one of the first nights where I was able to fully drop every bad thought at the door and enjoy myself.

In late August, I moved back to Cleveland with my little sister for school. We got a new place with two other roommates that’s a lot nicer than the one I lived in the year before. I started what is the second semester of my sophomore year. Rianna, my sister, began her first semester as a freshman! The semester came with a lot of adjusting for us both and somehow we made it through all of the headaches.

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For the second year in a row, my dad, sister, and I went to the Cleveland Air Show. When I was little, my dad always talked about taking us. Then finally last year, we got to go. I’ll be honest- I didn’t think I’d enjoy it all that much. But it was so much fun, that I was jumping up and down over getting to go again this year. I’d love for this to become a tradition!

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To reward ourselves for kicking butt the first few weeks of school, Rianna and I went to our first Cleveland Indian’s game! I’ve never been a die hard baseball fan, but the atmosphere was so fun and I really enjoyed myself. I was still trying to recover from a lot mentally so that night was a breath of fresh air for me. Fun fact- I also bought my first legal drink at the game!

School got progressively more challenging and I went into a downward spiral. I started doing things I swore to myself I would never do. I just lost control of who I was. That’s when I reintroduced myself to faith. I let myself stray from religion in the past few years and by coming back, I felt myself finding closure and motivation to overcome everything I was facing.

Then I did something out of my comfort zone. After having several deep talks with my friend Kaleb, I found motivation to share my story. I went live on Instagram. I came clean about everything I had been feeling because I hoped being transparent would not only help me, but help someone watching. I was open about things that most people would consider taboo. Laying it all out on the table really helped me see the bigger picture. I even got some super sweet messages from people who watched to livestreams. There was so much support and understanding. It was beautiful. I don’t imagine I’ll ever get over that.

Shortly after, I reconnected with a friend I made during my first semester of school at CSU. We got lunch and caught each other up on our lives. We both had some wild stories to tell and a lot of laughs to share. I was really excited to have this friend in my life because he was absolutely hysterical and genuinely a great guy to be around.

I’m so excited to be saying goodbye to this transformative decade. I’ve got a lot of goals for 2020. I want to make it a year of hard work and big steps. I refuse to end 2020 in the same place that I start it. It’s time to grow, baby!

Thank you to everyone who stuck around for another year as well as those who stumbled upon my site this year! You guys make each and every year so special. I hope you all have a magnificent new year and get all you want and need!

If you missed it, I made a Facebook page! It’s where I’ll be sharing behind the scenes work, life updates, and other fun things you won’t see here! Check it out and drop a like!

https://www.facebook.com/MegannLouiseDotCom/

 

December Update| Blogmas 2019

Before I get into today’s post, I have some side notes. I want to let everyone know that there was a slight scheduling mishap with my last three posts. For some reason, they never went public! But they’re up now, so check out My Winter Bucket List , Stocking Stuffers for College Students , and Photos I Want to Take This December! Also, I know this post is going up a little later than usual, and that’s because I really wanted to get this up TODAY but I also wanted to spend some time with my family relaxing. And again, finals are coming up so I’ve been hitting those books any chance I get!

Today I wanted to give you guys a little update on what I’ve been up to and how I’ve been feeling. I don’t want this whole blog to just be me talking about how I’m doing, but sometimes I like to check in and write in my “digital diary.”

Lately I’ve been doing pretty well. Things really seem to be looking up for me. Sure, little things have pushed my buttons here and there, but I haven’t let anything get to me for long.

I got to see an old friend of mine for the first time in almost two years, which is so crazy to think about! Andy had been in Japan doing his tough guy USMC thing and hadn’t been home since before we graduated high school. It was so much fun getting to see him and other old classmates of mine!

I’ve been focusing a lot on school lately, which is good for me. I was letting my poor mental health dictate whether or not I attended class or completed assignments for so long that my grades were taking some hard hits. I had to really buckle down for a couple weeks and study like crazy. I have finals tomorrow and Tuesday that will really be make it or break it for me. Keep your fingers crossed or send prayers if that’s your thing. I’ll be welcoming of whatever positivity you throw at me!

In other news, I’ve met someone. He’s really freaking cool and I can’t think of a single time that we’ve hung out where we haven’t been dying laughing together. Good signs, right?

I don’t want to say too much yet because I’m sure once the time is right, I won’t shut up about him. I guess you’ll hear more soon!

Quick thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with everything I’ve been doing on Instagram and Twitter while I’ve been taking my sporadic breaks on here! You guys are awesome!

If you missed it, I made a Facebook page! It’s where I’ll be sharing behind the scenes work, life updates, and other fun things you won’t see here! Check it out and drop a like!

https://www.facebook.com/MegannLouiseDotCom/

Thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. Food is 100% up my alley so this holiday was practically made for me! But before I start licking plates clean, I want to go into who/what I am thankful for this year.

My family.

I can’t thank my family enough for everything they’ve done for me. In the last year, I’ve gone through a lot of struggles and they’ve been by my side through it all. They make bad days good and good days even better. I’ve always been able to call on them whenever I need a shoulder to cry on or someone to laugh with.

My hometown best friends.

My best friends from home have been holding it down for years. They’re some of the best people I could ever surround myself with. They always drop everything they’re doing to make sure I’m good and I can’t say thank you enough. I have so many great memories with them and I hope to make a lot more in the future.

My college friends.

I’ve met so many awesome people in college and they’re some of the greatest friends I could ask for. I could trust these people with my life. I was so blessed to have met these people in my classes.

School.

Having a good education is very important to me. I am so lucky and blessed to be able to further my education at Cleveland State University. It’s almost always a stressful headache but it’s all been worth it at the end of the day.

You guys.

Everyone who takes the time out of their day to read my posts are AMAZING! I am so unbelievably thankful for each and every one of you! It feels like I’ve made so many friends through blogging and I hope I can keep doing this for years to come.

What are you thankful for this year?

I hope that you and yours have an amazing Thanksgiving full of great food and even better memories!

If you missed it, I made a Facebook page! It’s where I’ll be sharing behind the scenes work, life updates, and other fun things you won’t see here! Check it out and drop a like!

https://www.facebook.com/MegannLouiseDotCom/

 

What We Can All Learn From Cameron Boyce’s Untimely Death

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Today I had a different post scheduled to go up. However, with the recent news of Cameron Boyce’s passing, I wanted to make this post instead. It’s something that has been on my mind for quite some time and now is the perfect time to share it with everyone.

Before getting into my message, let’s reflect on Cameron Boyce.

Boyce passed away in his sleep after suffering from a seizure linked to an ongoing medical condition, according to his family’s spokesperson. He was 20 years old. In his short years on Earth, he became a familiar face to those who watched Disney Channel productions such as Jessie and Descendants, or Adam Sandler’s films Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2. These are only a few of his many performances that grew his massive following.

He was also a philanthropist who devoted a lot of his time to the Thirst Project, a non-profit organization that brings clean drinking water to areas where it is not readily accessible. In one of his last interviews, he mentioned that he wanted to be a ‘difference maker.’ He said, “many people have the heart to give back, but a lot don’t know how to. I try to be the bridge for those people – whether that means getting them involved in one of my campaigns or inspiring them by showing them a blueprint of how to get others engaged.” While most Disney actors are practically required to give off an image of innocence and selflessness, he radiated that energy naturally.

Boyce was the first Disney actor from our time to pass away, which has introduced a new type of pain and greiving to the many viewers/fans of Boyce’s work. We grew up watching him grow up. We welcomed him into our home each time he appeared on our television. Whenever an actor our parents watch passes, it doesn’t necessarily hit home for us as much as Cameron’s passing has for so many our age.

His death should go as a reminder to those of you who may have forgotten- life is short and unpredictable. As previously mentioned, Cameron Boyce was a fresh 20 years old when he passed. It is safe to assume that he had much planned for his future that he did not get to achieve in his lifetime. Perhaps he had plans for days, weeks, months, years down the road that can no longer be fulfilled.

 Any second could be your last. Any second could be someone you love’s last. We cannot waste a second of our time being anything less than grateful for all our life has offered us. We are never promised another day. Live in the moment. Appreciate everything. Holding grudges or resentment toward others is a waste of your precious time and can also prevent you from making the sweetest memories. Spread love, hope, positivity, strength, and support always. And while you are working to make your life all you’ve ever wanted it to be, don’t be too busy to help boost others when they need it. They say being a good person doesn’t cost you anything, and they’re right. And the payout is even greater. Knowing that you’re enough to help others is an amazing feeling I hope all of you get to feel one day if not now.

 

Of course my condolences are with Cameron’s friends, family, and millions of fans at this time.

Reflecting on Two Years Post-Highschool| What I Learned, Experienced, and Became

Yesterday my sister graduated high school. I watched her walk across the stage with her honors tassel, get her diploma from our dad (the School Board President) and toss her cap in the air with the rest of her small class. It was weird thinking that she’s grown up now. Just two years ago, I was the one graduating and she was still learning how to be a student, not an adult.

It really had me reflecting on what all has happened to me in the past two years since I received my diploma. I’ve learned a lot in those two short years and it has shaped me into a completely different person. So what has happened?

1. I  got my first job.

I wrote about this before, but I worked for the Boys and Girls Club Association in my hometown. I got to work with kids, which I absolutely love. Teaching them and showing them that not everyone is a bad guy was amazing. Being a role model to kids who not always had the best home lives is rewarding in and of itself, but getting paid to do it made it even better. I met so many different people who loved helping children and it was inspiring. At the time, I was an early childhood education major so it was a great experience for me.

2. I quit my first job.

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Damn right I did. Five months later and I was out of that hell hole. To this day, I miss my little kiddos that never failed to put a smile on my face. But the other employees from top to bottom were not the crowd for me. After a while, I learned that I had to do what was best for myself and I turned in my resignation. I remember telling the kids I was leaving. It was torture. But now I’m out of a toxic workplace and I’m feeling so much better. No job is worth my sanity, dignity, and time.

3. I fell in love.

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I fell in love with my best friend almost instantly. We met 10 months before we started dating. I had graduated high school already and he was at the beginning of his senior year. My friends and I supported him at every Friday night football game. We slowly got closer and closer and then we started dating.  When we started dating I felt something different about him. You know how kids feel safe whenever they have a certain teddy bear or blanket with them? He’s my teddy bear/blanket. He’s helped me come out of my shell a lot. I’ve been much better with my anxiety since he’s been there to help me. I’ve never met someone so patient and kind. He really is the best boyfriend ever- although I might be a bit biased- and I love him more and more each day.

4. I went to college.

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In the fall after I graduated high school I attended a community college but it just wasn’t for me. I was looking into switching majors and they didn’t have my major, so I made the switch to a bigger university. It was the best decision of my life. I was so much happier. I took a semester off between schools to recalibrate and dedicate more time to that job I mentioned earlier. Once I got to move out on my own and get out of my suffocating hometown, I flourished. I made new friends, learned new things about myself, and got to grow into who I was supposed to be. Being in a big city was super different but with the help of my boyfriend and my new friends, it was manageable.

5. I made the Dean’s List.

After a stressful semester and a lot of hard work, I made the Dean’s list in the spring. I surprised myself with that one. I got roughly 28 hours of sleep a week and the only thing keeping me awake most days was coffee. I was constantly studying or planning time to study. It was an endless cycle of stress for me so getting the news that I made the Dean’s list was really rewarding. Now that I’ve found a major that I like, I’m excited to see how it impacts my grades in the future.


After thinking about all the things that went on after graduation, I’ve thought of a lot of advice I would give people in the position I was in two years ago. I know a lot of it is cliche but I genuinely mean every word I say. If even one piece of advice helps one person, all this Hallmark channel bullshit will be worth it.

1. Don’t let other people influence you.

I did this a lot in high school and once I was out, I realized how much control I really had over my life that I had never known before. When you’re chasing the trends or following the crowds, it’s easy to lose control of yourself without noticing it. Use this time to sit down by yourself and make a loose plan for the future. Don’t let yourself think one time about other people’s plans or interests. Think about where you want to be in five years, ten years, etc. Make it your goal to get there.

2. Make memories

Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying these years of your life while they last. Eventually you won’t be able to do these things anymore. The life you live now is what the younger you dreamt of, so you have to make it something he/she would be proud of. The life you’ll live in 10 or 20 plus years will not be like how it is now, I promise you. Make the best of life now so you can look back at it and say you lived it right.

3. Don’t dwell.

Guilty as charged. But please, whatever you do, don’t dwell on the negatives. Bad things happen to everyone. But the way you recover from them says more about you. Don’t waste your time thinking about the bad things that have happened to you in the past. Spend your time making sure the good things are coming your way. We always remember all the little things that go wrong instead of the little things that go right. We need to fix that.

4. Be open to change.

You have to realize that you won’t be the same person forever. The environment around you will change, your friends and family will change, you will change. Be open to it. Be welcoming to change. I had to teach myself that growing up and achieving my goals required alterations to my life. It was hard at first and I was definitely guarded. With time it got easier and now I cross my fingers every day hoping for more changes because that means I’m one step closer to being the best version of myself.

5. Travel.

A county over, a state over, a country over- who cares? Just travel. Meet new people and visit new places. Remind yourself that this world is bigger than your hometown. You could end up anywhere in the future and that’s really helped me open up my eyes. I didn’t go too far from home, but it was just far enough to give me a taste of diversity.

6. Love with your whole heart.

No half-assed love here. If you love someone, prove it. Nobody is required to stay in your life forever. You need to show them what they mean to you. Give them attention, support, and stability. And if you aren’t willing to do that, let them go. Don’t be selfish. Love wholeheartedly or not at all.

7. Leave your judgment behind.

If you think you can leave high school and keep being a judgmental prick, you have another thing coming. It’s not cool dude. I was that person who judged every book by its cover. Once I went off to college I got to know people for who they really were- their interests, stories, and personalities. Life outside of high school isn’t cliquey and I don’t think I want that to change. So don’t bring that shit into the real world, please and thank you.

If you missed it, I made a Facebook page! It’s where I’ll be sharing behind the scenes work, life updates, and other fun things you won’t see here! Check it out and drop a like!

https://www.facebook.com/MegannLouiseDotCom/

 

 

Let Me Update Ya

I figured it was about time to update everyone on my schooling and other things going on. I finished the semester up last Wednesday and most of my final grades seem to be in (although there’s a couple classes that will definitely wait until the day final grades are due to release them).

After a long semester, I got a 99% on my math final which gave me an A in the class. In one of my history classes, I got 100% on my final and managed to get a final grade of an A in the class. After cramming for my bio exam only 5 hours before the exam (typical meg fashion) I got an 87% and ended the semester with an A in the class. Although I never took a real exam for my communication class, I ended the semester with a B. Taking my intro to com class online was a disadvantage to me for a few reasons- tech difficulties being one. I missed a few assignments due to wifi slip-ups and computer crashes, but I’m still happy I was able to mostly make up for them at the end of the semester. My Middle Eastern History and Bio lab final grades are not in yet and I expect that they won’t be for a while, so I can’t really determine what my GPA will be just yet.

I’m moving out of my apartment on Wednesday and heading back to my hometown for the summer. Next fall I’ll be moving into an apartment much closer to campus so I guess leaving the place I’ve called my second home for the past nine months will be worth it. It’s still going to be really hard to say goodbye to my bigger bedroom and own kitchen though. I’m really grateful for the opportunities this year has given me. I’ve gotten to live alone, and who knows if I’ll ever get to do that again?

I’m looking into getting a job this summer after I get a bit of time to settle back in at home. I’d like to be working a lot to save up for rent, groceries, etc. once school starts back up. So before I really start looking around for work, I’m hoping to spend lots of time with my friends while I can.

That being said, in my free time I plan to be writing a bit more. It’s been really weird not writing. I’ve had quite a few impulses to start writing but I didn’t want to start posting if I was just going to stop abruptly again due to school. But now I have a few months to get myself together and write a little more. I’ve got some ideas for the future of this site and I’m hoping to implement them this summer.

Thank you to everyone who supported me when I took a semester off last year and when I went back to school in the fall. Everyone’s kind words and well wishes these past nine months have been really appreciated. I’m super excited to go back in the fall (I know, who says that?!) and explore my major even further.

Also, I’ve changed my update schedule to every Monday at noon, so keep an eye out for my new posts!

If you missed it, I made a Facebook page! It’s where I’ll be sharing behind the scenes work, life updates, and other fun things you won’t see here! Check it out and drop a like!

https://www.facebook.com/MegannLouiseDotCom/

Paying Homage to 2018

A year ago today, I posted Paying Homage to 2017, where I took time to look back at everything that happened to me in 2017 that influenced me deeply. I said that I had an eventful year, and I was looking forward to 2018. However, I couldn’t have possibly been prepared for all that this year had in store for me. Let’s go ahead and look back at all that has happened in the past 12 months. Be warned- a lot more happened this year than last year.

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I celebrated the new year with my boyfriend, Zach. We started off at my God Mother’s house, then after a trip to McDonald’s minutes before the ball dropped, we made it to my house. I wanted this new year to be rung in perfectly, so I ran to the tv as fast as I could and got ready for the count down. We made it just in time to eat a few chicken nuggets before we shared our first New Year’s kiss.

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After working at Boys and Girls Club for about 5 months, I decided to resign. I’ll keep it professional and not go into too many details, but to sum it up, the employees were not kind to me and I felt that my voice was no longer being heard. It was extremely hard for me to do, as I loved the students I got to know. The smiles on their faces made all the hard work and sleepless nights worth it. However, I knew that I would continue to be treated poorly and for my mental health, it was time to go. I’m still very unhappy with how I was treated and how nobody really seemed to care when I told them, but it’s in the past and I just hope that things have gotten better there.

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The day before my last day of work, I came home to my sick hamster, Arodite. She had been looking sickly for a while, and I wasn’t sure what was wrong. She barely ate and didn’t drink much water. The only way I could keep her hydrated was by letting her chew on a wet washcloth. It was devastating. This day had been extremely hard for her. She wasn’t moving around much, staying close to her tower of bedding she created. That night, I was in the living room with my mother when we started to hear breathy cries from the room Arodite was in. I was too nervous to check on her, so I asked my mom to see if she was alright. She said, “oh, she’s crying.” Then, just as I got up to comfort her and give her some water, my mom corrected herself.

“No, don’t come in here. I think she’s dying.”

I know I should’ve ran in there immediately and held her in my arms, but I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t face her. I ran outside and refused to come back into the house until she passed. My father, who once worked at the county’s Metroparks, put my sweet Arodite down in the most humane way he was taught. I could hear her crying and gasping for air as I cried outside.

I’m so grateful for my boyfriend for coming over late that night to be with me while I cried. I was so upset that my fuzzy little baby had passed and there was nothing I could have done to save her. It was just her time to go.

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As some of you know, my boyfriend was a grade below me in high school, so he had his senior prom this year. I dreaded going because I wanted nothing to do with high school events such as this, but I was obligated. It was a nice time back with friends that I hadn’t seen in a while. Zach was the absolute sweetest to me that night. We danced for hours, then left a little early to get Wendy’s. After we finished our food, we headed to my house to relax. That’s when Zach gave me a book he made of reasons he loves me. Reading it made me cry like a baby. I was so sappy and lovey all night. All I wanted was to be cuddled up with my man. I don’t think anything has changed.

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A couple months later, Zach graduated high school. This was a special moment for him and I couldn’t go without sharing. I was so extremely proud of him, and as he walked across the stage to receive his diploma (from my dad, the V.P. of the School Board), my friends and I screamed and cheered. I ended up crying a few times too.

Being alongside him while he was working to get his diploma made it that much more special to me. I watched him get frustrated when he didn’t understand something, excited when he did, and relieved when he was on track. I knew he was ready for greater things and seeing him get that green light to do so was powerful.

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After a long, painful few weeks of bickering and disagreements, Zach and I broke up. I was devastated. But it had to be done.  Of course I was hysterical for months. I begged him to come back, but thankfully he said no. I say “thankfully” because we weren’t ready for each other yet. We needed some time to grow ourselves. Although there were many nights that I sobbed into my pillow and screamed until I lost my voice, I am grateful for our break up.

But here’s the thing- while we were broken up, we were still seeing each other. We wanted to maintain a friendship, since that’s where we started. He would come over and we would talk, or we’d go to the park or the lake to get away from everything. It was nice spending time with each other because he was such a huge part of my life for so long. It was comforting. So that is why we say that although we did not have the title of boyfriend and girlfriend, we were still “together.”

I felt the need to explain this to everyone because people were confused when we split, and even now when we say we’ve been together for over a year. Although we were not boyfriend and girlfriend for a couple months, we were still talking and loving each other just as if we were.  We like to say we never left each other’s side, so that’s why we say we’ve been together the whole time. We basically were. What’s a title worth anyway?

Since the breakup left me with many open days throughout the summer, I got to spend a lot more time with my friends and family. I got to go to my sister’s travel softball tournaments that were hours away, which was a great way to relax. Well, until my sister’s team lost, which was quite often. But getting away from the small town I felt trapped in was wonderful. I felt myself growing just from a weekend of being away. When we got back, my dad offered to take some pictures of me to boost my confidence and keep my mind off things. And that’s when this photo was taken. I really love all the photos he took of me because I feel so strong when I look at them. I see myself not letting things hurt me.

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My friends also deserve a huge “thank you” for all they did for me over the summer. They were always there for me no matter what. Whether I was canceling plans because I couldn’t gather myself enough to leave my room or shaking and crying in public, they understood. We got to make great memories together and I couldn’t be happier.

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I spent my last day as a teen this year. My 20th birthday was hot, exhausting, but so much fun. My best friends took me to the zoo and to dinner. I complained the whole time because it was scorching hot and my feet hurt, but the memories created that day were special enough to last forever. At this point, Zach and I decided to get back together, as we found it impossible to live without the other in our life. So I invited him to come with us to celebrate. Having all of my favorite people together was magical. It was a great way to spend my last few days at home before going away for college.

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On August 17th, I moved into my first apartment. I had never lived on my own before, so I was terrified. I know so many people who were nothing but excited when it came to moving out and that made me feel awful for the way I was looking at it. I thought I was babied too much and I was going to hate it, but after some getting used to, it was the best decision I had ever made. I love living by myself. I have so much more motivation to do things because nobody else can be held responsible for the end result- just me. Oh, I also went blonde that same day after battling with my dark hair for months. It came out sort of yellow, as to be expected, and it took months of toner and purple shampoo before I was able to get it to a subtle blonde. It isn’t the cutest yet, but it’s getting there.

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August 27th was my first day of school at Cleveland State University. I was extremely nervous because I had only one semester of community college under my belt and I had no idea what to expect. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get lost as soon as I got off the bus that morning. It was overwhelming, but after the first traumatizing day, I knew exactly where everything was. I was really surprised when I knew where I was going on day 2.

Now, with a semester at CSU under wraps, I feel amazing. I’ve made so many great friends in the short time I’ve been going here. I found myself exploring things outside of my comfort zone and realizing my potential while being in college. It’s crazy. Tom Hanks once said that he was “exposed to this world that [he] didn’t know was possible” and that’s exactly how I feel.

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Although this past year has been full of ups and downs, it has been the most influential. I got to see what I could and couldn’t handle which ultimately taught me life lessons. In the midst of it all, my love for my best friend grew and grew. Our relationship grew, too. After this rollercoaster ride of a year, I am very happy to say that Zach and I are as amazing as ever. We got through all obstacles life has throw our way with our heads held high. Our love for each other motivates me everyday, and something tells me it just might motivate me forever on.

2018, you were good to me sometimes…other times, not so much. But while I was going through my low points, I recognized all of my good points. I became grateful for all I had and all I would have. So thank you for giving me that ability.

2019, you’re going to be my bitch. I’m not holding myself back anymore, and 2018 taught me how to do that. I will learn from my mistakes, build off them, and prove how strong I really am.

Last year, I said that 2018 had a lot to live up to, but in all honesty, all coming years have a lot to live up to because I’ll only be going up from here.

Christmas Memories | Blogmas Day 6

Today I decided to look back at past Christmas celebrations in preparation for this year’s festivities. My dad has always been the one with the camera since I was little, so I knew that I wouldn’t have to look too far to find old Christmas photos. He handed me a hard drive with albums that go as far back as 2000 (which doesn’t feel like too long ago, but it was literally 18 years ago and that’s crazy). I spent all day filtering through albums, often times getting distracted by other old photos from when I was little. But after getting fairly nostalgic, I narrowed down my favorite Christmas memories.

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When I was little, I was terrified of Santa Claus. Sure, he was great in movies and coloring books, but whenever I saw him in person I got extremely shy (as if I wasn’t already). My grandma worked at a bank that Santa would visit, and while all the other kids would go to Santa and sit on his lap, I would hide in my grandma’s office. This picture was taken when Santa came in to see me and just about make my little heart give out.  (2002)

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In preschool I was super shy. I didn’t like going at all. One day, we had a Christmas party and I was no at all excited. I guess this is the best picture my parents could get of me. I wasn’t really in the mood, I suppose. (2002)

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My parents used to dress my sister and I up and take pictures of us in front of the Christmas tree. We took pictures together, but I just wanted to show off my pretty dress. (2002)

 

 

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This year I didn’t feel like dressing up real nice for pictures. But I managed to keep this outfit on long enough to smile for a couple photos before I stripped all my clothes. (2003)

 

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery Christmas Eve, the family on my dad’s side would host a Christmas party. This year it was held at my grandma and grandpa’s house. It was full of food and gossip. At a young age, I wasn’t super interested and I had to take matters into my own hands to entertain myself. (2003)

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I loved my grandpa a whole bunch. This Christmas Eve I was throwing a little temper tantrum for whatever reason and didn’t want to open my presents. My grandpa sat next to me and helped me. He kept me pretty tame for the night. (2003)

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On my mom’s side, we would have a Christmas party too. This picture is super special for me to look at because it’s at my grandparents’ old house. I haven’t seen the place since my grandma moved away years ago. (2004)

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I couldn’t find many other pictures after 2004, but I did find this one from 2016. This Christmas was a really good one. I think it was my happiest one since I was a little kid. Everything just fell into place and I wasn’t stressed about anything.

 

Stocking Stuffer Ideas for College Students| Blogmas Day 3

Hi guys! So as you may have noticed, a holiday podcast was not uploaded today. I have some bad news…

Technology hates me today.

My laptop lost all of my pre-recorded podcasts. I didn’t notice until it was too late to re-record everything. And if that wasn’t enough to make me feel completely defeated, I also can’t upload the video for tomorrow. I’ve had the same page up for hours trying to get tomorrow’s video to load in order to draft it for the next day, but it seems like nothing is working.

I plan to leave the page up overnight in hopes that it will somehow upload by tomorrow and be able to be posted on time, but just in case it doesn’t work out for me, I’ll have a back up post ready to go up at the regularly scheduled time. I promise.

Since I can’t post a podcast today, I decided I could do a gifting guide. Then I realized I’m awful at that. So then I thought it could be fun to come up with some super inexpensive ideas for stocking stuffers. Stockings are always the first thing my family goes to when we wake up on Christmas morning. It’s like pregaming without the alcohol.

So here’s a list of stocking suffer suggestions from yours truly. Enjoy them, or don’t. It was a last minute idea so my feelings won’t be hurt too bad.

Candy

I think this one is a given. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t get some sort of candy in their stocking. Hershey kisses in those candy cane plastic tubes are super cute and festive. I love those. I don’t really care for regular candy canes that much, but they also serve as pretty cool stuffers too.

Movies

Walmart always has the $5 movie bins, so you could potentially strike gold and get some classics in the stocking! It’s always fun to watch a movie when there’s time off between classes and homework assignments, so getting a new DVD can also serve as motivation to get assignments done early.

Socks

Everyone knows you can’t go wrong with socks. I just bought some cute pairs at Walmart today- $5 for two pairs. It’s inexpensive and bound to contribute to many comfortable nights down the road. This is an especially good gift for those who are older because comfort is so much more important to us than flashy presents. Especially when we’re walking on cold floors and through 20 degree weather going to class.

Chapstick

Winter is infamous for drying out lips. If you think this is boring, you can always opt for cake batter, pink lemonade, or root beer flavored chapsticks. These may not be conventional, but they sure do come in handy.

Scrunchies

This one is definitely directed toward females, but it’s such a good idea I couldn’t ignore it. Scrunchies are coming back and they’re so cute! You can get so many different patterns and materials, making each one so unique. They’re perfect for days when you sleep in late but still want to make yourself look a little put together. They can pull so many outfits together, even when you forget to brush your hair!

Nail Polish

Getting new nail polishes can always brighten someone’s day. They’re so cost efficient and fun to get creative with. You could go with red, green and blue for the holidays, or you could pick any other color under the sun to add to someone’s collection! It’s so much cheaper (and more convenient) to paint your nails yourself than get them professionally done when you’re dealing with a student’s budget.

Gift Cards

If all else fails, gift cards are the way to go. My family usually goes for the iTunes gift cards that can be used for apps or music. For college students, perhaps gift cards for near by restaurants would be just as valuable.

 

These are just a few ideas of inexpensive gifts you can stuff in your college student’s stocking this Christmas. Keep an eye out for more ideas based on things they use a lot and could always use more of.