Move outside the zone

I’m back! Of course life got a little crazy which meant I went MIA. So apologies on that, but I am back ready to blog to you about everyday thoughts, feelings and how I don’t know if you’ve realized but adulting, it’s hard. It’s a lot harder than my five year old self playing house made it out to seem. That aside if you are my friends, family or lady at my local Starbucks it’s no surprise, you know I went to Greece. So of course I figured out a way to incorporate it into a blog post…

We all have our own comfort zone. Some people have endless courage and no boundaries to their zone and nothing stops them. Others, like me need a little push. I have always been one to “play it safe” or just stick to what I know. Always do I go where I know, do what I’ve done before and with that, see what I have already seen. Up until a few months ago that is. My second semester my sophomore year of college right around February my school started advertising a trip to Greece. Greece has been one place that I have always wanted to go. My roommate also got the email and was fed up with the cold New England weather, as well as sharing the same interest of seeing Greece so one night she said to me, “ C’mon lets safe up and lets go!” At first I was doubtful. Me fly out the country? Alone? For the first time by myself? No way I’m good! But something, I’m not quite sure what said, “Lauren do it and you’ll be thankful you did for the rest of your life.” Whatever made that thought come into my mind was absolutely right. I pushed myself way past every comfort zone I had as I hugged my parents goodbye at the airport a month ago and boarded that plane with my best friend by my side, a whole summer worth of money saved and ready for a 2 week trip of a life time. I’ll admit, it came with some crying calls home to from getting homesick and some phone calls to my boyfriend because I missed him. But, I really tried my hardest to set all of that aside and soak up every aspect I could of Greece and the people I went with. Now I have 8 new friends because of it, memories that will last a lifetime and a place that I cannot wait to get back to someday. As well as a severe case of the travel bug! The beauty of Greece and the culture that I learned about completely opened my eyes up to the world I live in. There is so much beauty we don’t see everyday because we are so wrapped up in our day-to-day life. New things are scary, leaving your comfort zone well that’s scary too. I get it. The first time doing anything whether it is going across the country to trying new foods or just putting yourself in an unfamiliar situation is not going to be easy. The first time will always be a little unsettling. Once you do it though you’ll feel like Wonder Woman ready to take on the next challenge the world gives you. So travel, see the world around you, open your eyes to new things as well as new people, and don’t be afraid to say yes to something and push yourself just a little bit out of your comfort zone. Because I can promise you the feeling you get is something I cannot describe to you. You will grow as a person and you will learn even more about yourself than you already knew. You realize you are capable of doing ANYTHING you set your mind too and in this world today we need strong, independent young people that can and will conquer anything we do indeed set our minds to.

To the one that showed me how to open up:

To the one that showed me how to open up,

Bless you because I never thought it would happen again, so pat yourself on the back. We all have that person that completely broke us or we’ve been let down by a number of people it made us start to gain trust issues and we started to close up more and more. We didn’t even realize it was happening but then one day when getting asked a simple question like, “how was your day”? Our answer goes from a long detailed explanation to “ good.” We don’t mean to be short but we get the feeling that no one really cares how are day really was or they’ll eventually just hurt us anyways so why even open up? We turn off and we come up with a routine and we stick to it and it becomes the same thing, just a different day. Until one day someone, maybe whose been in your life or someone new starts to make us feel like they actually care and we start to give them a little time of day. Slowly you start to show them who you are, you get upset, you get anxious and they don’t leave and you start to think they have no idea what they are about to get themselves into. Jokes on them right? But then you start to realize they actually want to deal with you when you’re upset or quiet. And when those anxiety attacks hit they are the first ones to be there for you. Then after some time, that felt like decades you begin to open up and when asked how your day was, you tell them every detail down to what you ate for lunch even though you know they probably don’t care, but hey they asked! Finally after you once were completely broken you start to heal again. You spent so much time putting yourself back together, working on yourself and you know you were doing it for you but on the days you just wanted to lay in bed but you got up because you knew that one day, someday, there was going to be someone you put your pieces back together for. Let me tell you all when you find someone maybe they aren’t THE one or maybe they will be, we are young so no rush, or maybe it isn’t even a love interest maybe it’s a sister or a friend or a roommate but they open you up not because you want them to but because they want to. You finally feel what it’s like to have someone who cares and not just cares about “how was work?” But genuinely deeply cares. Who will talk with you no matter what mood your in. You go from being this closed up flower to a flower that is ready to be in full bloom. You finally understand what people meant when they said to you you wouldn’t stay broken forever. You called BS on that when they said that but man do you owe them an apology. It takes time, it takes patience but when you find a person who is willing to be there for you, for who you are and because they want to it’s worth it. Like I said they do not have to be the one, but I believe every person that walks into your life walks in for a reason and they walk out for a reason too. You need to get your heart broken, you need to have that one that completely shatters you because there also is going to be that one that shows you why your heart was broken. Having someone there for you that cares past the simple questions, past just the outside of who you are they deserve a huge thank you.

So…

Thank you for showing me how to open up again.

To my friends: Thank you

Dear my go to people, my right hands, my stress relief and my always down to party girls,

You make life so fun let me tell you. I’ve never really had friends that stuck by my side the way each of you have. I do not have sisters, and I have always wanted one. I now understand why god didn’t give me one, because later in life I was going to get a handful of them. They were going to be there for every tear, every laugh and every drunken night. Every high and low part of my life you have been there.

To my high school soul sister, (that was mega cheesy I’m sorry) you were there to get me through high school when all we wanted to do was get the heck out of our town and our school. We stuck by each other’s side everyday it’s crazy how we didn’t get sick of each other. You may be miles away from me now but I know you know you’re my number one go to. You were there to hear all about my first kiss and you were there with ice cream for my first break up. Let’s not forget you are the reason I am addicted to Starbucks. I say it to you all the time but its true, you’re stuck with me for life my sister from another mister.

To my college roommate, I have no idea on earth where to begin honestly. You have willingly decided to live with me three years in a row now. You have been there through my constant everyday struggles. You have seen me at the absolute lowest part of my life this far and you still chose to love me the same. Thank you for that. You give the best hugs and the best advice. You know exactly what to say to me when I’m upset over an ex and want to cry or after I didn’t get the best grade after I worked so hard for it or even when life just seems a mess, you always know just how to pull it all back together. You basically rock and college would not be the same without you.

To my college girls, you give me life. Everyday you make me laugh, you encourage me to be the best version of myself and you always make me strive to do my best. You let me borrow your clothes, eat your food and make me work my butt off in the gym. You share your laziness with me on Sundays, you share your crazy drunkenness with me on Saturdays and we help push each other through the work we do not want to do but need to do throughout every other day of the week. We help each other through the tears, we laugh with other and we build on our inside jokes daily. You all are there. 2am or 2pm you have my back and that is one of the most valuable things I gained throughout my years here so far, each and every one of you are amazing people inside and out.

To you all, thank you. Thank you for being my rock when I needed one most, thank you for sitting with me and letting me vent to you for hours when I know you had better things to do. Thank you for being the shoulder to cry on and the hand to hold through my anxiety. I never thought I would be so fortunate to gain so many sisters for life. Each and every one of you, you know who are I love you all like family. You go the distance for me and I would do the same. I could never thank you enough for all you do for me but, I have the rest of my life trying to find ways to show you all how blessed I am that god put you in my life.

I love you all like XOXO.

To the strongest woman I know: my mom

To the strongest woman I know.

 

Dear Mom,

 

Ever since I was little I have always looked up to you. A bond between a child and her mother is special, it’s unique and its love stretches great lengths. You watch your mother as she puts her makeup on and admire her beauty from a young age and can’t wait to grow up to be just like her. You see her angry, sometimes because of you and when you do fight; she’s the one person you can just never stay mad at. She teaches you right from wrong, your morals and the standards you should have for the men that decide to walk into your life. She’s is the best friend you didn’t ask for in life but are happy to have. Through the heartaches of men breaking your heart she is always your shoulder to cry on. Whether you’re sad when it happens, or months later she always has an ear open to listen and tissues ready to wipe your tears away. She always is there through the stress of life, bad grades, taking care of you when you’re sick and on days when adult-ing is too hard to handle she steps in. No matter what happens in life you always love her. Through your teenage years of acting like you didn’t like her because it wasn’t cool to show affection to your mom to now, where you want to work hard to give her the absolute world because you know she deserves it. Love was always there. All moms have their own story as to why they are the strongest lady you know. You see what they go through and in your eyes you see how strong she has to be to overcome everything and always has a smile on her face. My mom, I don’t even know where to begin. My freshman year of high school my mom was diagnosed with stage 3 squamous cell cancer. It was curable with the right treatments. I still remember thinking the entire time, “what on earth would I do without her?” Lucky for me I didn’t have to face that. She is six years cancer free, go mom! We all know someone that has gone through cancer maybe it was your mom or just someone close to you, either way it’s a scary feeling. Four years later, my mom lost her mom to cancer. My Nonni was the most involved person in our lives. She cooked for us, she made us laugh, she gave us advice and she made everyone feel like they were special. But to my mom, she knows she was the most important of all to her. My mom was there through the tears of loosing such a special person to me, and held my hand through the most depressing time of my life thus far and I could never thank her enough for that. Through a time where she was upset she was strong for me. Through cancer I saw my mom in a totally different light. A strong woman who did not stop fighting, even when I knew all of her wanted to. To this day she fights with the after effects of cancer. Swallowing isn’t easy because of surgery that was done; neuropathy due to radiation makes doing every day tasks difficult and comes with a constant pins and needles feeling in her arms. You know that feeling you get when you sit a weird way and your foot falls asleep? Imagine that in your mouth and arms 24/7. Not fun right? I applaud my mom over a 100 times for all she goes through, and taking each day as a new start. The strength she has, even on her worse days, I see it. I idolize her for it, if I turn out to be half the woman she is when I’m older I would have done something right with my life. But this isn’t just about my mom. We all have our own story as to why our mom is strong to us. Maybe she deals with being a single mom and works her butt off to always put food on the table and a smile on your face. Maybe she has her own health problems and you see how everyday she struggles but always stays positive. She could also be your best friend and you see how strong she is for you even through her own life. Maybe she just puts up with everyday life itself, because life is never easy and you applaud her for dealing with the stress you give her as well as life. A mom and her child is the most fragile and beautiful bond to have in life. I’m grateful to have it and I look forward to the day I have a child and can have that. (To my parents reading this, I’m in no rush though don’t worry). So hug your mom a little tighter the next time you see her and always remember to say thank you as well as I love you. To my mom, life isn’t always pretty, but you are. Never forget that. I love you.

 

Forever and always,

Your biggest supporter.

What is Valentines Day?

What is Valentines Day? Well if you take the time to Google it, Valentines Day originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring early saints named Valentinus, and it is now recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world. So that is the technical definition for you. To me, it’s some holiday that girls get showered with flowers and jewelry and taken out to dinner, but hey maybe I’m just bitter because I’m 21 years old and yet to have a Valentine. I know, I know I’m young it’ll happen. For the girls that don’t have that special guy in their lives it’s a day to feel depressed about being single, even though every other day you don’t mind the single life. You also consume enough chocolate by eating your feelings to hold you over until next Valentines Day. Maybe you even pour yourself a glass of wine to wallow some more as to why you are single and question yourself on dating. Come on ladies I know I can’t be alone. For the guys that are single, maybe you throw back a few beers and you call it a day. The whole idea of Valentines Day is quite dumb if you ask me. My dad used to always say it’s just a commercial holiday, but when I was ten I didn’t get it. I wanted an excuse to eat some candy and give my crush the best Hannah Montana Valentine that came in the box, with two lollipops while everyone else just got one, because of course that was going to signal to a ten year old boy that I liked him. Now that I am older I get what my dad was saying all those years. Why do we need a holiday to tell the people we love in our lives that we love them? You shouldn’t have just one day out of the year that you spoil your boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife, it should be everyday. Why just on Valentines Day do you feel the need to call up your parents to say I love you? You should do that all the time. Why use a commercial holiday to buy someone flowers and give them a card telling them how much you care? I can tell you right now to all the men out there, you will get so much more credit for buying the girl you like flowers on a random day and making her entire week than buying her flowers on Valentines Day when everyone else is getting them too. Not to say you shouldn’t on Valentines Day as well but you get my point. Being romantic shouldn’t be a one-day thing it should be an everyday thing. So to those who have someone to spoil this coming February 14th here’s to you, and to the girls and guys like myself that don’t have a Valentine this year, buy yourself your own damn flowers and stuff your face with that chocolate, beer and wine and have zero regrets about it.

When you learn to put yourself first

For the girl who is struggling to put herself first here are a few words for you. Sometimes you care too much about someone else to ever think of putting yourself first, or maybe it’s just the way you are, you put others before yourself. Either way it’s okay. I mean personally from experience and my post a few weeks back you should never put anyone before yourself no matter how much you care, unless it is a two way street. Aside from that it’s okay to be a generous person and to go out of your way for people. It shows just how selfless of a person you are and that is not a bad thing. It is not a bad thing MOST of the time that is. You need to be able to know when it is okay to help others and when you need to put yourself first. I learned recently how important it is to make myself happy first. Doing things for me. Working out to make myself feel better, wanting to study harder because I want to see myself go far. Go and apply for that internship because you might just get it and when you do you did it for you. Blast that song way too loud and sing in the car because it is important to make yourself smile. Do not rely on others to be the reason behind your smile everyday, YOU be the reason behind your smile everyday. Whether that’s a song on the radio, splurging on a purchase or watching your favorite shows all night long. It’s important to be there for your friends and family too, it’s good to be selfless but it’s also good to be selfish because at the end of the day you are in charge of your own feelings. Being happy or sad, so eat that cheeseburger and order those fries and do some squats and don’t let anyone ruin your smile.

To my number one guy

I love both my parents more than I could ever describe but there is a special bond between a dad and a daughter that is something I am so happy to have. So to my dad, you were there when I first learned how to ride a bike holding the back of the bike as I pedaled forward and as you let go and cheered my name I was off pedaling on my own. You taught me how to throw a football and hold a bat just right as we played whiffle ball in the back yard, and I tried so hard to beat you but you always seemed to win. You cooked my favorite meals and let me eat dinner in bed as we watched a movie and stayed up past my bed time when your mom wasn’t home. You always buy me candy just to put a smile on my face. You’re my dad and you are the most irreplaceable man. I’m getting older now and boys come and go but you always have those words of advice to make everything seem okay again. You’re there when I’m upset and you always know how to make me laugh, I like to think I get my humor from you. You have taught me what it means to set a dream and a goal and drive for it, you have taught me what it means to always keep going no matter what and you have taught me how to love who I am. Most importantly you have taught me that baseball is the best sport and no one does it better than the freaking Red Sox. Big Papi forever. You sent me off to college and that wasn’t easy for you or me. Even so, you still always pick up the phone when I need to talk, tag me in posts on Facebook to make my day a little brighter and bring me food when the dining hall just isn’t cutting it because nothing beats your homemade sauce. The bond we have no matter where I will go in life will never break. You treat me like a princess and you show me how a man should treat a woman. You set a very high standard for the guy that decides to come into my life but no matter what my dad you will always be my guy. The memories we have had made make me smile on any given day and the memories we continue to make put a smile on my face too. To the highs and lows, the warm and big hugs and the inspiring words. Thank you dad.