Signs that show you grew in 2018…

1. You cringe at some of the decisions you made throughout the year. When you look back at 2018, you should not be completely satisfied with what you accomplished. There should be some moments that make you uncomfortable to think about. If you are mad at yourself for screwing up a few tasks or getting into a screaming match with a certain someone, that means you are wiser now. It means you have grown into someone slightly different, someone who would never make the same decision.

2. You have noticed areas where you need to improve. You are your own worst critic — and that is not always a bad thing. Instead of taunting yourself over your negative traits, you should be proud you are self-aware enough to notice them. Maybe you have not successfully quit your bad habits yet, but you have at least acknowledged them. That is the first step toward changing.  Recognizing your weak spots is a strength.

3. You made it here. 2018 was not easy. It was rough. But you are still here. Even though there were days when you weren’t sure if you could make it until tomorrow, you survived. You never gave up on yourself. You are still here.

4. You cut people out of your world. Maybe you stopped answering texts from toxic friends. Maybe you moved away from toxic family members. Maybe you ended a toxic relationship. In one way or another, you cut someone toxic from your world and that takes courage. It takes commitment. You should be proud of yourself because losing them means giving yourself more opportunities to grow.

5. Your priorities have changed. You have realized the things that used to matter to you the most are not as important as they used to seem. You have realized the material items — or the people — you used to think were necessary to your happiness are not irreplaceable. You have realized you can find happiness without them. You can find peace without them.

6. You allowed yourself to cry. Emotionally vulnerability is a good thing. Tears are also a good thing. It means you care. It means you have a heart. It means you are in touch with your emotions and listen to your feelings instead of shoving them down until you cannot function anymore.

7. You spent a lot of time alone. When you are all by yourself, you have time to think. Time to reflect. Time to learn more about yourself, create goals for yourself, and develop love for yourself. The more comfortable you feel alone in an empty room, the better.

8. You feel like you could have done better. If you feel like you have fallen behind, if you feel bad about all your missed opportunities, that is okay. Saying I could have done better means you recognize your potential. It means you know what you are capable of achieving. A thought like that means you have grown from someone who doubts yourself to someone who believes in yourself. Maybe 2018 didn’t turn out exactly the way you wanted, but you can do anything you want with 2019.

New Year, New you? New me?

Part of what makes New Year’s Eve hard for a lot of people is our odd ability to hang on to the irrelevant past. We are still so upset about what didn’t happen when we weren’t given the chance, and we hold onto that. We cradle it in our arms and try to wake it back up into existence. Wouldn’t it be easier to accept that time will continue to move, and we have to move with it? But see why New Years? I enjoy the mindset people trick themselves into, that it’s a fresh start and everything can be different. In reality (and we all know this) nothing changes just because you got a new calendar and the clock struck 12. You’re still you, everything that has happened to you still clings to your soul. Nothing’s different. You’ll be the exact same person on January 1st as you were on December 31st. So if you choose to agree with me on this, then start your goals this month. Make your list, let things go, and restart even if it’s still December.

Here’s my list, I started. Will you?

1. Learn to take constructive criticism with grace and gratitude.

2. But don’t allow others to bully your sense of self and worth.

3. Tell the people you love why you love them and do it without it being a holiday or special occasion.

4. Understand that growth isn’t always linear and beating yourself up for “not being where you should be by now” is a toxic and fake construct placed on you by society.

5. In fact, go ahead and delete the entire idea of what “you should be here by now” is from your brain.

6. Don’t spend time with people who don’t reciprocate your love, care, or friendship. 

7. Choose a form of exercise you enjoy (not one that makes you miserable just because it’s supposed to be effective).

8. Invest in a skill you’ve always wanted to explore and take a class in it.

9. Apply to that job you’ve convinced yourself you aren’t qualified for.

10. Unfollow social media accounts that make you feel like shit.

11. Take ownership for your mistakes.

12. But also, forgive yourself for being human.

13. Make a concise step-by-step plan on how to achieve your next goal, be it big or small.

14. Practice appreciating your body not for its appearance, but for all the intricate, weird, and amazing things it does for you daily.

15. Tell a trusted loved one something you’ve held inside for too long.

16. Every now and then, switch out Netflix for a book.

17. Learn how to disagree with someone without exploding into an argument.

18. Put your phone away when you’re having lunch with a friend.

19. Reach out to someone you’ve wronged and tell them you’re genuinely sorry without expecting anything in return.

What Every College Student Forgets To say To Their Mom…

You know it is sad, that human nature makes us so scared to love openly. That we often forget to tell those whom we love the most, why we love them, or even that we do love them. And in this world of relationships and fast-paced careers, we get blinded by the city lights and forget that before all this, in the very beginnings of our time we were first shown love by our mothers. Every daughter’s first best friend and every son’s first love, a mother is someone who is special to all. And we often forget that it doesn’t need to be Mother’s Day to appreciate your mom. So here is what I would like to say to my mother today, and I know many will be able to relate… so do share some love today with your mom. 

Dear Mom,

I apologize if I don’t take every chance I have to say I love, I apologize if sometimes I act like I don’t, I apologize for the times I made your life harder. 

But I love you. So much. Unconditionally.

I love you even when I am arguing with you over the silliest thing just to prove a point. I know you are always right but I have to show you that I have my own voice, that I have my own words, that I don’t have to follow everything you say even if it’s the right thing. I’m trying to learn from my own mistakes. I’m trying to be myself — just like you taught me.

I love you even when I hide things from you or keep secrets from you. I don’t want you to worry about me. I know you won’t sleep at night, so I’m sparing you the anxiety. I keep things from you because I love you not because I don’t trust you. And trust me, you’ve got nothing to worry about. I got this.

I love you even when I don’t agree with your decisions. You’re too kind sometimes, too forgiving, too understanding, too gentle and too accommodating and it drives me crazy. But I understand why you do it, I understand how big your heart is and how strong you are and I understand why you don’t want to leave people feeling unloved.

I sometimes forget that you know what you’re doing, I sometimes forget that your wisdom and love surpasses what my heart can feel and what my mind can comprehend.

I love you even when I’m mad at you. Even when I don’t think you make sense. Even when I tell you that I don’t like you, I love you. Your words hurt more because they’re true and sometimes I want to believe my lies. I know they’re lies but they make me feel better. Let me believe them sometimes, I will figure them out later. I promise.

I love you even when I’m away, when I go weeks without seeing you. I miss you even though I don’t always tell you.

Your hug still warms me up the most and my tears somehow dry faster in your arms. I love you because your love is still and will always be the greatest love anyone has ever given me.

I’m sorry if I don’t tell you I love you more often, I’m sorry if I sometimes forget that you need love also, that you want to be nurtured too, and that you need to be taken care of instead. I forget because you never ask for it, you’re always giving and loving as if your satisfaction comes from the love you give rather than the love you receive.

I love you even if you never ask for my love. I love you because you’re the reason why I’m living and you’re the reason why I’m surviving. So if I get too rebellious or too busy or too stubborn, just remember that I love you.

So if I ever forget to say it when you need to hear it the most….I love you.