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AS SEEN ON THOUGHT CATALOG

A Letter to My Deceased Mother (3.5k shares/ April 28, 2014)

Momma Bear,

April 7th came and went. It wasn’t like any before it. I couldn’t gaze into your blue green eyes and have you roll them at me before opening whatever gift I got you. I couldn’t watch your gentle, loving fingers peel back the uneven wrapping paper on every gift I wrapped. I couldn’t put my cheek to yours, and take pictures laughing for your 55th birthday. April 7th came and went.

The sun rises, the sun sets, and you’re behind it now instead of watching it with me. Your white hands, adorned by your many rings and perfect nails, help move the world with God, instead of stroke my back after a long day. Your warm touch no longer puts my stray curls back in place. Your love shines through the sun now, not your body or words or actions.

I see you in little glimpses, mini moments. I saw you when the bells chimed “you are my sunshine” like you used to sing to me with love. I see you when I crank out a story in five minutes, or when a brilliant idea comes to mind. But I don’t see you look into my eyes, I don’t see you walk by my side.

Your sweet voice is no longer behind every phone call I receive. Your smile no longer behind my jokes. My Facebook notifications are no longer from you liking every picture. Things are different. They have been for almost a month now. They have been since you passed.

Sometimes reality is hard to accept. When I finish the semester in May I’ll fly to a house you made a home, without you there to embrace me as the door flies open and I scream about my arrival. You’ll never edit my essays again or call me concerned about how I’m handling school and a social life at college. The warmth of your body will no longer be my comfort, your loving hands that molded me will no longer wash my laundry, pray over me, console me. Reality is a reality that I never thought would occur.

Days go, nights come. You’re no longer here, and that’s ok. You fought, you battled, you used all your strength and were a worthy opponent. I’ll see you in flashes, in bylines of articles published and in every source of happiness. I’ll see you in the sun, the water, in church, in my future children. I’ll see you again, but never in the same way.

Love,

Your baby.

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16 Reasons Why You Should Love Your Big (33.1K Shares/ March 12, 2014)

Whether you’re a fan of the Greek system or not, there’s a reason sorority girls are obsessed with their bigs. Here are 16 of mine.

 (1) Before you even know who they are, they shower you with presents.

(2) They guide you through everything: learning the names of everyone in the house, learning the creed. EVERYTHING.

(3) You always have a guaranteed meal partner. Want to go out for dinner? Bet the big wants some. Want a home cooked meal? Time to call the Big.

(4) Your big is literally your twin, your other half, your soul mate.

(5) When it comes to Halloween, you know who you want to do a double character costume with.

(6) Don’t know if you really like your outfit? Your big will tell you, and man, will she be brutally honest.

(7) You have one automatic like on Facebook/Instagram and favorite on Twitter for everything you post.

(8) Two words: shopping buddy.

(9) Because of daily selfies. Everyone loves iMessages of pure, ratchet selfies.

(10) She’ll always listen to your problems, no matter how minute.

(11) And when things get serious, you have quite the support system to fall back on.

(12) When their parents come to visit on campus, they’ll probably visit you too (fingers crossed).

 (13) Your big gives you the hookup for anything she’s involved in, as you do in return for her.

(14) That’s one guaranteed bridesmaid….if you ever find a man to marry…

(15) She’ll teach you things she’s learned in life and ensure you don’t make the same stupid mistakes.

(16) She’s like Mary Poppins, “practically perfect in every way.” Plus, she’s your big and how could you not love her?

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5 Reasons Being Lonely is Actually Great (543 Shares, February 19, 2014)

College freshmen are lucky to find time to themselves. With a community bathroom, a roommate and a dorm of over 400 other college students, some solidarity is often cherished. Whether you are in your 20s or 60s, here’s five reasons why being alone is actually great.

1. You learn independence

Being alone means learning to do things by yourself. Out in the real world, this is a harsh reality. When it comes down to it, you are truly the only one that you have. Friends come and go, family may not be around, so it is important to learn to depend on yourself and hold yourself accountable for your actions. You can’t learn this if you constantly immerse yourself in a see of wanna-be’s and other people…sometimes, you have to figure out your groove all-alone.

2. Breaks are necessary

People can be overwhelming. They can force their ideas down your throat and alter your mindset. It is mandatory to take a step back from society and see where you really stand. Is that truly your political viewpoint? – Or did a parent or friend kind of thrust it upon you. Breaks allow for a mental cleanse, a time to truly learn about your morals and ethical stances and figure out how you’ll stand for them in times of trial.

3. It means focusing on the future

It’s pretty much impossible to figure out where your life is headed when you never have time to think. Being alone means having personal time and space to plan out the next few days, weeks, or figure out where you want to be in a few years. To be truthful, you won’t ever figure that out with your buddies at the bar.

4. Two words: Emotional Cleanse

If you’re anything like me, you don’t let people see you cry. By setting time aside to chill by yourself, you give you the time necessary to free yourself of the emotions bottling up. Whether this means a 6 mile run, a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s, or a box of Kleenex and P.S. I Love You; you just gave yourself time to detox from the emotions holding you down.

5. Being alone can be fun

Being alone isn’t all learning, relaxation or productivity. Frankly, it can be a good time painting your toenails and jamming out to Beyoncé. You can stuff your face with whatever you want and no one is around to even look at your weird. Being alone means being crazy and weird and different and you. And while you can be all those things in public, sometimes it’s great to be it just by yourself.

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