Give Me Love

For the past few weeks now, my friends and I have all been watching the Bachelorette together. Every Monday night, we meet up at someone’s house and just watch it, all the while eating a lot of food and talking a lot of crap. Over the course of about two months, we have watched this girl go from dating 28 guys to 2,heart-700141_1920 in the only somewhat acceptable situation to date several people at one time, all in pursuit of one thing: love.
And that got me thinking.

There always seems to be this age, this threshold of numbers in a person’s life, at which we are all expected to find someone to spend the rest of our lives with. Whether it is to start a family or simply to have someone for support and partnership day in and day out, love seems to be the ultimate prize in this game of life. One thing The Bachelorette, Jojo, seems to be consistent about is this need to be loved. No matter how many times someone shows it or says something close to it, she needs to hear the words “falling in love with you” or “I love you” to truly feel like she’s secure.

Because this is who we are as people isn’t it, something that connects us all? It is a simple reassurance and security that we are good enough– we are loved. With the way so many books, movies, and shows focus on the idea, it is no surprise that a lot of people go through life just searching for someone to love them back. We’re looking for completion.

But maybe this isn’t the way to do it. Maybe there is another option.

If you looked in the mirror right now, you would see one person staring back at you. Same eyes, same face, same heart you have always know. That’s you. And sometimes, you need to remind yourself that the person looking back at you is loved and is good enough. Because you need to love yourself. This life isn’t all about completing ourselves with another person. It is about right now, and right now you need to know that it is okay to complete yourselfpuzzle-654957_1920

When we wake up in the morning and open our eyes to another day, sometimes it helps to stop and remember that we only get one life to live. But we are awake and we are alive, so maybe it is time to start living. People have a lot of reasons they keep going, from their job or their kids, to maybe a dream or their future. Whatever the reason is, it is important to have one of those reasons be yourself. Try waking up in the morning and saying, “Today I am going to live for me.” It is your life, shouldn’t you live it the way you want?

Though on the other side of that, this may not be an option for some people. Because our lives are never truly all about us, are they? We have other responsibilities, jobs, kids, or classes to get through. And maybe, we are not in the ideal situation to say, “this is my life and I live the way I want to.” We cannot always get what we want. So instead, I offer you a challenge. Every single day, do something for yourself, no matter how small. Whether it is to read a book for fifteen minutes before bed, or getting up early to go to that yoga class you enjoy, find a way to give yourself some “me time”. No one else can give that to you but yourself.

mirroring-711926_1920As it seems that we begin to understand more things the older we get, maybe life is not all about other people. In some cases, it really does come down to us and knowing that everything we are is good enough for ourselves. So when you look in that mirror and open your eyes to a new day, take a deep breath and remember these words: You are always good enough to complete yourself. If you do not like something, either change it or learn to accept it. Because you deserve to.

 

New Changes, New Paths

July 2016 has been a huge month for me, from an upcoming feature on me in the Folsom Telegraph to my book finally being published after 10 months. Big things have been happening left and right, and last week (in the words of DJ Khaled), along came another one.

I have officially been accepted into Cal Poly SLO’s Class of 2020.

Considering that I committed to Howard University in DC back in May, it may seem a bit odd to change my plans less than a month out from the first day of school. But from a sentence in my appeal letter to Cal Poly, “We miss every shot we do not take.” forking-road-839830_1920Even though I committed to another school, it was worth a try to get into one that was closer, significantly warmer, and contained one very important person: my brother. So I took that chance and I sent them a letter with the words, “You are my first choice.” Only once I was accepted and reread the words I wrote did I remember that those accepting us into these schools are more than just an acceptance or a denial— these are people. And one thing about people, one thing we all have in common, is that sometimes we just need to hear that we are a first choice. In telling them that, I not only told them that I would do whatever it takes to get into the school, I told them that I am willing to do whatever it takes to stay there. Because that is what a first choice means— whatever it takes.

With this new opportunity in my life also comes new changes, and more importantly, new lessons to learn. If I learned one thing from my appeal, it would not just be to go after something I want or tell someone else they are my first choice. From this, I realized that we are all bigger than that. It is not about making someone else a priority, it’s about making ourselves the first choice. In the end of it all, we are the ones living this life and the decisions we make become the life that we own. So why not become our own priority and not let anyone else tell us otherwise? woman-570883_1920Whether it is getting into college, finding a job, or just searching for something you know you deserve, fight for it and earn it. Because that is what makes it mean so much more.

In the past two weeks, I have become a published author and my travel time to college has been cut from a six-hour plane ride across the country to a six-hour drive towards the coast of California. Part of me is still wondering how this all happened in such a short space of time, but I am truly beginning to understand that we work for the things we want. I have reached these new opportunities because I found a way to keep going until I had my hands on that goal I was reaching for in the first place. As Mr. Van Velzer taught us in our freshman roots, carpe diem, and never stop until you do. Because I took that shot, this time I made it— I became my own first choice.

Find Your Own Independence

This week, I finally sent my final manuscript into the printing process. Only one thing went through my mind: I’m almost there. For the past eighteen years of my life, I have been told to dream out loud and find something I love to do, to find something that I know will always be a part of me and never let go. Seven years ago, I found it, I found my dream. Seven years later, I am lucky enough to almost have that dream in my hands. In an excerpt from my unbelievable journey, “Getting lost is a part of life. balloon-1373161_1280The story only comes when you decide to try to find yourself again.” Every single day, we are given an opportunity– to breathe, to smile, to adventure, to live. These are the moments we live for, the chances we will never get back. Maybe we get lost  a few times along the way to figuring it all out, but no matter how old we are and no matter how much time we have lost, hold onto the fact that we are here and we sill have a chance to be something. We may live in the country of freedom, but it is also a place of tragedy and loss that is not only a reminder of how fragile our lives can be, but a reminder to use every moment we are given. Right now is where we need to be.

This week we celebrated the day of our country’s independence, and on that day, we also remembered our own. Free yourself from whatever may hold you back and find that dream you have always wanted. Find something that reminds you of who you are and gives you your own sense of independence, no matter where you are in life. Everbook-1291164_1280y one of us is alive and therefore we are given the chance to find what sets us free. Today, I am beyond excited to announce that my book, Live, Laugh, Love Like a Teenager is out and available for purchase through both Archway Publishing and Barnes and Noble (click for direct link to the site).
So many people in the world are searching for a reason to keep going, a way to make themselves important, something that makes them who they are. My writing is what makes me who I am and this world is my inspiration to keep going, to find something new to say. This is my freedom and without the amazing people or experiences I have had in my life, I would not have achieved it. In the midst of this journey, I give you all a call to action: Find your own independence and do not stop until you do.

Go check out my new book and keep following my blog posts, because this is only the beginning for me.