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Yesterday morning, my mom texted me her usual good morning. Every Monday, it’s “Madison Monday,” which is just a funny way to get me through yet again another Monday. 

I have a conference in the city today. Woo, being out of the office haha, I texted her. 

She told me to give her a call later when I had a free time after the conference. She emphasised after the conference so I thought maybe something was wrong. 

Is everything ok? Is it funny or serious [emoji]? 

She just replied with not funny, but wished me luck at the conference. The day went on and after the conference I gave my mom a call before I hopped on the subway. I started blabbing to her about the conference and then I asked her what was up. She asked if I was done the conference, and if I was still needing to get back to work. I had finished the conference, I told her. 

Okay well, I just wanted to make sure I didn’t want you to still be at the conference when I told you this. I wanted to tell you that Aunt Shawn has passed away. 

I felt like I hadn’t heard her correctly. My aunt didn’t have cancer, she wasn’t diagnosed with a serious disease. She repeated it again when I asked what she said, afraid that I heard “dead” when really she meant to say “sick with something obviously curable.” I continued to walk down a street I didn’t know in Brooklyn. A taxi zoomed by me and beeped because I seemed to have crossed the street without the pedestrian signal. Where was I? It didn’t matter. I pressed my body up against a dirty building and tried to melt into the city walls. 

And so began a series of questions that I never thought I would be asking my mom about her sister. Why, how, who knows, who is upset, who cried, what’s happening, what did grandma say, what did my sisters say, what did dad say, who else knows, what about her kids, what happens to her pets. 

What I’m writing isn’t about how I feel, and I guess if you have to define it, it’s a multitude of things. I’m writing because I’m angry. I’m writing because death is all around me, and I’m being forced to face it in so many ways. I’m writing because it’s the only thing I know how to do, and I don’t know how one single picture or social media status can perfectly paint the picture of a woman, a mother, the independent-strong-minded woman that she was.

When I was younger, that was when I was the closest with my aunt. For a while we lived in different counties, but eventually my family moved back to Telford, PA so we could be with my grandfather who had been diagnosed with cancer. I remember crying, when I was first told that I had to move from Delaware County, PA to Montgomery County, PA (big difference, when you’re in third grade). I remember my mom said, but you’ll make new friends! 

I don’t WANT new friends! I screamed. But then she added, you’ll be going to school with your aunt because she works there in the cafeteria! That got me to calm down a little.

Some of the things I remember about my aunt are little memories. In all my relationships in life, both personal and in my family, I always remember the small things about people. The time my dad stayed up late with me and made me egg sandwiches, when my sister gave me her favorite top because she knew I liked it more, when my brother bought me that red coat from Macy’s. So small, but so significant. 

The little things.

 My aunt used to have a pantry filled with the best snacks in the world. It was like a tiny little Costco. Big boxes of potato chips, iced tea, Dunkaroos, cookies — all the kinds of snacks that would make our mom furious if she knew we ate them before dinner. My brother and I didn’t care. We would ride our bikes up to visit and hope that Aunt Shawn would offer us a trip down to the basement to pick out whatever we wanted from the pantry. She always offered, and we always accepted.



My aunt loved the beach. I still remember the vacation I took with her and the family to Avalon. By accident (which I hope my cousins still realize was an accident) I killed one of my aunt’s favorite rats (they had several pet rats). I sat in the corner of the room crying hysterically knowing that I had broken my aunts heart. I remember how stern her husband was, he came into the room and told me that I need to go apologize “to my aunt.”  When I was able to see her after she had calmed down, I went into her arms saying how sorry I was, she said she knew I didn’t mean it, and that she knew I loved the little rat so much too. To this day I think about the little rat, but mostly because of how sad I made my aunt. 


And since my aunt loved the beach, she also had a large collection of seashells, which I remember going through secretly one time at her house, taking all of them out. Her husband caught me and scolded me, and I was so embarrassed. My aunt instead, reassured me that it was okay, and I believe she even let me take one home (but not her favorite, rare ones! Those she had to keep in the special little seashell containers). 


I also remember that my grandmother and aunt would always call McDonald’s “Mickey D’s,” which for some reason, I never knew people called it that. So when we pulled up to the big yellow “M,” I started laughing because I expected some cute, small town diner. My grandmother and aunt made fun of me so much, “How could you not know we meant McDonalds?!” We gobbled down some Mickey D’s and talked about all the clothes we were going to buy. 


My aunt also loved music, probably as much as my own mother who was constantly dancing around the house even though we begged her to stop. Shawn used to burn mixed CDs for my mom, with 80s club music, or classic jams like “You Spin Me Round,” and “Bootylicious.” Whenever I hear these songs, I always think of those mixed CDs. I hope wherever my aunt is now, her days are spent with ridiculous party jams from Destiny’s Child. 

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She also loved animals, like my mom. Throughout her life she had an awesome cat named Max, guinea pigs, tons of pet rats, and just recently, her two cats had kittens together. I think in total she had six cats, but she just couldn’t find homes for them, so she took them in herself. I hope the family tries to find new homes for them, and doesn’t just throw them in a shelter, because I know for a fact that’s not what my aunt would have wanted. Little Goose will miss you!


Her love for my mom is proof that the bond between sisters is one of the strongest loves to ever exist. My mom and her talked often, but not as much as you would think seeing as they lived a few miles apart in Telford, minutes away from their childhood home where my grandmother still lived. It didn’t matter, they always stayed in touch. I always knew when my mom was on the phone with my aunt, because she would be on the phone for hours. And that’s no exaggeration. They would talk about everything and sometimes, I would sit in her room and try to eavesdrop. My aunt always seemed to know a lot about everyone, and she wasn’t gossipy, she was just keeping my mom up to date with everyone’s lives. 


She once told my sister that my mom is our rock, and we should remember that. I knew she was speaking from her heart, and from her experience as a mother. She did everything and anything for her two kids. Even when I heard stories about them misbehaving, there was my aunt, always ready to step in front of a bus for them. When my one cousin missed school on the day of prom (which was a big no-no, the rule was you go to school the day of prom or you can’t go..or you at least had to make 393287_10150465097624892_1263788287_nit to fifth period or something) my aunt told her husband to call up the school and demand she be allowed to go to prom. When my other cousin moved to Florida, I had never seen a mother cry so hard. I think she was depressed for weeks, maybe even months. She was unbelievably proud, told everyone on Facebook how her son had moved on and gotten a job. But I had never seen someone so sad that their son had moved away. Those are the little things I remember — her sadness, her pain that her children were growing up too fast. 

I realize now it’s because her kids were her whole world. I know she had more in life that was meaningful to her, but her children were the stars in her life that guided her through dark times. She would do anything for them, and if she was still here today, I know she would continue to do so. 

And even when her husband brought divorce papers into the house, she continued to love him. Even when he might have stopped “loving” her the way he did when they first married, she continued to care and love him.

James TW says, “sometimes moms and dads, fall out of love.” But like my grandfather used to say, “Everything happens for a reason.”


She babysat the two neighbor girls next door, Emma and Jacqui, and became a sort of motherly figure to the both of them. Much like my mom, who is also passionate about children, my aunt worked at the local elementary school, babysat for a majority of her life, and also worked at a children’s day care center. I think in life, that was what she was meant to do. To be with children, and to try to help them grow up to be the best that they can be. 


Shawn was the big sister, and my mom was the little sister. In many ways, they were twins. Everyone thought they were, too. They looked a lot a like, and later in life as I grew up, people would comment and say, “You sound just like your aunt!” Or they would say, “You look so much like your aunt.”


A lot of my sadness with my aunt’s death comes from my own love of my mother. I love my mother with every vein and cell in my body. My mother is my rock, like my aunt said. Seeing my mother in pain, seeing her frustration that perhaps my aunt’s family didn’t step in and be there for her when she needed them, seeing her anger for not being there more for her sister, seeing and feeling the guilt in her voice for not being able to do more — it all but breaks me down.

Since my aunt loved my mom more than anything in this world, I promise her that I will be there for my mom no matter what. If she is sick, I will be there. If she needs help, I will be there. If she wants to rescue cats (which my aunt did), I will be there. If my mom is suffering from something, no matter how hard it might be for me, I will be there. I will be there, because I know Shawn wanted me to.


When I accepted a job in New York, my aunt was beyond ecstatic for me. She was also terribly sad for my mom, because she knew how it felt to have your first-born leave the nest. She wanted to throw a big party for me, with all my friends and family in attendance, to celebrate my new chapter. I look back on her enthusiasm, her willingness to open her home up. She said how she was so proud of me. She said that my mom is lucky to have an amazing, bright, smart young woman like myself. I held in tears that night, so as not to cry in front of my family. But tonight as I write this, I let the tears flow, because I will never again be able to tell you thank you, and I love you.


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One special thing about my aunt, is that she lived for her nieces and nephew’s accomplishments. Every time we made the honor roll, she would clap with enjoyment. When I started dating my boyfriend, she said (in her Aunt-Shawn voice) “Well he is just ALL KINDS of handsome!!!!” When I graduated high school, she was there crying. When I graduated college, she was there crying again. She commented on almost every picture I ever posted on Instagram, every status I posted on Facebook. She read every blog I ever posted. Aunt Shawn just had so much energy, so much love, and she cared that other people were successful, living life, and achieving their goals.

Aunt Shawn, wherever you are, I’m sorry that I couldn’t show you New York. I was just about to talk to my mom about you two visiting me as “the Weisenborn’s take over NYC.” I wanted to show you that all my hard work paid off, and how happy I am to have you as my “favorite aunt.” You will always be my favorite aunt.

A Wallet in Manhattan

I recently had my wallet stolen. 

Getting your wallet stolen is probably one of the worst feelings in the world. It’s the sudden panic knowing you have to cancel your cards, the fear of not remembering how much cash or what cards you had in your wallet, and the wondering if you’ll ever get it back. Unfortunately for me, I was not so lucky to get it back — which is a true disappointment because the wallet itself was sentimental (an old friend had brought it back from Spain, and it had a cat on the front of it). 

I was in New York City (when I say that, everyone goes “ohhh”) in a cute little coffee shop on 7th avenue. I sat down in the corner and pulled out my laptop, hoping to get some work done before an interview I had west of midtown. 

As I was drinking my chai latte, I saw a woman from across the shop, and she had a huge price tag sticking out of her dress. Her dress was brand new, and she was walking around Manhattan with the price showing, definitely an embarrassing start to the day. 

I had to get up to get a packet of sugar anyway, so I pulled her aside and let her know it wasn’t cut, and if she needed scissors. Obviously, she didn’t even thank me and her reply was curt (insert comment like *that’s New York for you*). 

Disappointed that I wasn’t greeted with a thank you, I sat down back at my seat and went to grab my headphones out of my purse. As I dug around (it’s often extremely messy and packed with things like nose spray and bobby pins) I noticed the headphones weren’t there. And then I noticed my wallet wasn’t there. After I did the quick maybe-it’s-in-here-somewhere, I knew it had been stolen. 


After an hour of panicking while I called my credit card company and my bank, and waited for the NYPD to show up (which they did four hours later and then it couldn’t even be reported because I wasn’t there…not like it matters because the man was probably halfway to 242nd street) I sat and thought about how stupid I had been for leaving my bag alone for a second. I blame my Pennsylvania-ness, after all, you could probably leave your baby somewhere and no one would steal it (not that I would recommend doing that at all, it’s still against the law even if you are in the burbs). 

The worst part about getting my wallet stolen was that I wondered about the “what-ifs.” If I had caught an earlier subway, maybe he wouldn’t have stolen my wallet. If I didn’t choose that cafe, maybe it would have been more crowded and I wouldn’t have stuck out. What if he had taken more than just my wallet and instead, took my whole purse and laptop and phone?

It’s obvious that I learned my lesson that day, but I also learned that I really do believe in everything happens for a reason. Of course there are things that happen that we can’t control and that we wish we could control.  Everyone needs something to keep them moving onward. For some, it’s fate or destiny, for others it’s a higher being. I just believe somehow my life will fall on the course that I want it to go on, and eventually, I will reach what I’ve been trying to reach. Along the way, there’s been a lot of what-ifs. 


Three days after I got my wallet stolen, I got a phone call. 

It was a job offer for a small media company on Long Island. They were offering me a position to become their online and social media editor. I had two weeks to pack up my Pennsylvania things and head to New York, the state I had so desperately been trying to move to, permanently (and the same state that I unfortunately had to lose my wallet in).

I’ve been seeing that sometimes you just need to wait for that moment. There is a moment where things fall into place, the stars align, you see a rainbow — all the magical stuff that comes with following your dreams and not giving up. That’s the short WordPress version, minus all the picture-perfect memes that talk about struggling before succeeding, shooting for the stars — the mumbo jumbo you share on Instagram. 

So I’ve been learning not to dwell on the what-ifs. What-ifs cause anxiety, what-ifs make you feel lost. Focus on the now and wait for the future.

And never, ever leave your bag alone in New York City.

Old Shoes

Sometimes you just find your mind wandering to old memories or things of the past, and you can’t help but sit and think. In the short span of time I have been alive, I’ve figured out some things of relationships. I know I’m not older and wiser, but I know I’ve had my fair share of experiences in the subject, and I’ve concluded one of the worst parts about break-ups or ending relationships is seeing them happy without you.

Even though I know that the relationships I ended were for the best, it still kills me to see them fine without me. I don’t know what I anticipated them doing without me, but I guess I wanted them to miss me like I miss them.

I saw an old friend at the gym the other day, and I couldn’t believe how different he looked. We parted ways years ago, but still inside of me I couldn’t help but feel anger towards him for throwing away the relationship we had. I wanted him to see that I was an older and happier without him, but he wouldn’t look my way. I wanted to be the one that was better off. I wanted him to be the same slightly overweight, fun-loving guy who liked my company and I hoped that upon glancing at me, maybe he would feel something about our past friendship.

I had this friend (ironically one who I am no longer friends with) who said, “Everything happens for a reason.” This phrase gets tossed around so often it’s hard for me to even believe it anymore. But, I have come to realize that everything does happen for a reason, and I wish I could thank her for always telling me that.

It’s hard to live a life where you tell yourself the bad things that happen are for a reason. Maybe your religion tells you that a higher being is doing things for a reason, or maybe you just believe you have this predetermined path set aside for you; either way the bad stuff still hurts for some time.

There have been so many things that have already impacted my life at such a young age, it’s hard to imagine how things will get when I’m older. I know to some I’m young and naiive and I have yet to endure the hardships that others will experience, and maybe eventually, myself. Something I have experienced is the ever-continuing loss of friendships in my life, something I nor anyone else can control.

You can say high school changes people, college, marriage, children; change is inevitable. It’s how we deal with the change that determines the marks we make on the relationships of our lives. Relationships are so crucial to our lives, and it’s certainly not a new discovery. We are taught to share in pre-school, treat others with fairness in grade school, build relationships in high school, and form long-lasting bonds in college. From there, we learn to make meaning of our lives, and then hopefully take the relationships we’ve made along on our journeys.

I’ve had friendships that have been so great and wonderful, but after awhile they just fell to pieces. It’s like a favorite pair of shoes. You buy new shoes and they’re so perfect, and then eventually they become worn down, tattered, old. You want something new, you want to replace the old. But, you know that would be so wrong, you want to fix them and turn them into what they once were. So maybe you try to tape them, glue them, tie them up in a way that they almost look new. This bandaid-technique works only for so long, and then they break again, and you’re left wondering if all that trying was for nothing. All that wasted mending, for what? Sore feet.

I can’t help but think I’ve made mistakes that I will never learn from, but I hope in time I can. Whenever I think that I’ve done something terribly wrong (in regards to my losing of friends) I think of what Demi Lovato did to her circle of friends. After rehab, Lovato turned on her phone and expected tons of texts to flow in, but instead she only had a few from close friends. She took a hard look at all of her relationships at that moment. She realized most of them didn’t have her best interest in mind, so she sifted through them and found her most faithful buddies. I like to think this is what I have been doing all along.

As I finish up the summer, I will enter my junior year of college, which means only two years left of college. I know this is a long time, but still this will go by so fast and before I know it, I will have to be ready for the real world. That’s what life is all about, moving on to the next step. I think relationships are the same way, you either move on with them, keeping up with the fast times, or you let them go.

So, for the friends that I couldn’t keep in my circle, I’m sorry. I’m sorry your best interest wasn’t in me, because I can assure you, you were always in mine. I don’t think I will ever truly forget how I chose to move on. I chose to make my life the way I want it, without you. I chose to end the five year relationship that I thought would only grow. I don’t think I will ever stop thinking about you, about us, or about the mistakes that I made; the mistakes that we made.

I tried to fix our relationship as best as I could, but there’s only so much tape and glue can do.

Life is a Highway: My Journey of Self Discovery

This is a personal reflective essay I wrote for my English class this year.  I was pretty pleased with the grade I got (an A!) and decided to share it with bloggers, and my close friends.  Hope you enjoy reading it (disclaimer: It’s pretty long!)

            My whole life I have had experiences on roads.  It could be a summer evening in a back alley with friends, a highway drive to the mall, the slow walk to high school, or a dirt path that leads to a park.  I have spent my life traveling on different paths, with different people.  Even in the movies I can relate to characters that are trying to find themselves down this road of finding one selves.  In Pixar’s Cars, the main character Lightning McQueen goes from being a hot-shot racecar driver, to having to help a small town with kind folk.  He starts off on the fast track, and has to travel down a much simpler road.  Along the way he meets a friend named Mator, who is a truck that just wants to have fun.  McQueen also falls in love with a car named Sally, who teaches him to be your own person, and not always worry about fame and fortune.  I look at my life as a journey down different paths.  McQueen and I have many things in common even though he is a fictional character.  One thing is for sure, we spend our lives trying to figure out who we are, and we are constantly on that road.


            My heart pounded like hooves in a stampede.  I peeled away the adhesive on the crisp, white envelope and pulled out a bulky letter.  Don’t get upset, you know what it will say.  It says no, no, no.  As I read, time stopped.  There was no way that I was conscious; I must have been in a dream.  But I kept on reading, and realized the purpose of the letter.  I was accepted.


            From the day I opened the acceptance letter, to every train ride, my mother was there for me every step of the way.  My attendance to college was not only a commitment to myself, but it was also a commitment to her.  I had to be willing to keep my job back home, and to make sure I saved up enough money each month to afford the commute to Delaware Valley College.  That was my commitment.  My mother on the other hand had to be willing to spend countless hours dealing with the financial aid websites and offices, scholarship websites, and FAFSA forms.  I have heard financial aid people say college students should do this on their own, but what young adult knows finances that well?  I am sure most college students do not handle all of their college funds themselves.

It’s hard for a family to afford college for their kids nowadays.  Not to mention hard for me as well.  The college work load is hard enough on its own, and adding a six-day-a-week-part-time-job is unbelievable.  My mother has helped me get through that, however.  She will make my dinner so I can have something to take to work, or she will stop at WaWa so I can pump caffeine into my system.  She’s done everything for me and I would not be in school without her.  A lot of kids that cannot afford to go to college end up going to a community college for a few years, so they can save up some money.  While I think that this is a good idea, I desperately fell in love with Del Val and wanted to go there as soon as possible.  My mother knows I would have been heartbroken if they told me I could not go to Del Val just yet.  She did not have the opportunity to go to college because her parents did not support her.  They did not get to go to college, so why should she?  Bitter, yes.  The right thing?  No.  My mother surely had the brains, just not the ability to do anything with them.  That is why she spends so much time trying to find reasonable loans for me to take out, and tries her best to be able to put me through college.  She wants me to have the life she could not have.

People focus on the bad things they experience in life, when they should focus on all the positive things that happen.  My mother has to constantly be happier for other people, where sometimes she wants to be happy herself.  The greatest joy she sees is her children getting things in life that she never would, or will.  Although it may be hard for my family, I know that I should be happy that I at least have the opportunity to go to college.  While I may not get to go on trips, or shop every day, I know that I am becoming a more responsible adult managing my funding for better usage.  My mother has helped me realize that you cannot give up, even when it seems like everything in your life is an obstacle.  She has taught me to look at the positive things in life, which has made me persevere even in my toughest moments.  She will always be there for me, and she has helped me travel down the right path.  I can see a sign that says, “Driven Students: Head This Way.”  I know what turn I am making today.


            I was not always on the right path.  Sometimes as a young kid I got involved with the wrong crowd.  I was never a delinquent, but I did some typical acts of a disobedient child.  I had a friend who would trick me into doing things that I was not supposed to.  One time when we went to go get our nails done, she said we would have to walk down this road, past a WaWa.  My mother told me not to go past the WaWa because it was too busy and dangerous.  My friend convinced me it was not that far down, and that we would not get in trouble.  Of course, the nail salon was farther down the road than I was allowed, and my parents were not happy.  I felt ashamed as I looked down at my brightly lacquered red nails.  I had disappointed my mother, and she was the last one I wanted to hurt.  From then on I made sure I asked my parents if going down a certain street was acceptable.  I did not want to end up on the wrong road, in a heap of trouble.


            Entering high school, I merged into a different group of friends.  They acted silly and laughed a lot, just like me.  However, I still did not have that “best friend” like a lot of teenagers did.  I was in English class one day, and scanned the room to look at the students I would be associating myself with for the next few months.  That is when I met that “best friend,” and her name is Courtney.  Nobody calls her that; she likes to be called Court.  That is just one of the many things that we have similar.  We both have nicknames, like the color purple, and prefer Chinese food even though it makes us sick.  We fit that stereotypical best friend status.  She has been in my life for three years, and I do not think she will ever go away.  Unlike most of my friends, Court has been there for everything I have experienced.  Every fight with a parent, every boy-crush that failed, every wardrobe malfunction, and anything else in-between.  Court is just a girl that wants to have fun, much like Mator is in the movie Cars.  Mator is a happy-go-lucky car that has a great sense of humor and just wants to have a good time.  Court is very similar to Mator.  I however, can be compared to McQueen.  Before McQueen met Mator, he hung out with hot-shot cars that cared more about money than they did friendship.  Before I met Court, I cared about what others thought and how I dressed, instead of worrying about having a fun time.  McQueen and I both needed to meet our best friends and travel down a different path.  We needed something new. Besides being best friends, Court and I are also dreamers.  I want to have a career that is difficult to get into, and so does she.  While I am a writer, and she a musician, we both experience similar let-downs and disappointments in life.  People are always telling us our music and writing isn’t good enough, and that are dreams are too far-fetched.  But we are always pushing forward, and we never give up.  We are each other’s support systems.


            Court went out of her way to read my posts on my blog, and even set up an account so she could read them in her email account.  That encouraged me the most because I knew some people actually cared about what I was writing.  While most friends briefly scrolled through the website, Court thoroughly read it and told others about it.  Thanks to her, I have over 4,000 views on my page.  It may be a small amount, but it is nice to know that someone cares about something I love.  Of course I return the favor and support her with her music career.  She has always supported me and made me believe in myself.  She helped me travel down this path of perseverance, and taught me to never give up.  I am still on that path.

As I continue down the road, trying to figure out who I am supposed to be, Court is there with me every step of the way.  She has always been the more confident one in our duet, and I always looked up to her in that way.  I would get jealous (in a non-serious way) that she would have guys flock to her, practically begging for her number.  She radiates confidence, and people are attracted to that.  However, I was the sheep dog, and the guys ran away from me like cattle in a field.  It took a while for me to be the lucky one.


            I got a job at a library back in May 2010, the summer before my senior year of high school.  I threw on some yoga pants, and a shirt, and trekked off to work down the road, in the hot June heat.  Who gets excited for work on a Friday?  I certainly was not on that day.


            Little did I know that Friday would be the best shift of my life, because that day I had met my current boyfriend Colin.  As I look back on the day we met, I think of how I looked in those casual clothes.  I was always the kind of girl to have perfectly coordinated outfits, and to make sure my face and hair looked “perfect.”  Colin did not need all of that.  He fell in love with me from my natural beauty and my personality.  Colin helped strengthen that confidence that I had longed to have.

As a young adolescent, I seldom cared what others thought of me.  I loved who I was.  I loved how I snorted when I laughed, my one tooth that was too far back, and how I was the smallest kid in my grade.  But with the transition to high school, I found kids were more interested in being “cool,” then having a personality.  I was always the girl who was too outspoken, and too full of life.  I remember laughing with a guy and he put his finger over my mouth to shush me, and told me I was talking too much.  I became focused on what others thought of me, and I lost sight of who I was becoming.  I was on the road that was leading to my individuality, but I took a back road, and got lost.  Becoming Colin’s girlfriend, and best friend, allowed me to love myself again.  He taught me that we are our own unique person, and if we try to change that we are not ourselves.  He knew I was destined to be something great, I just needed to see it for myself.  I should accept how I look, and embrace it.  I cannot be somebody I see in a magazine, or on the streets.  I can only be myself, and that is what I am trying to figure out throughout my years.  Who am I supposed to be?

Everyone has that one person in their life that they can go to at any time of the day, and know that they will always be there for them.  I am lucky because I have three people in my life that will always be there for me, and have been from the start.  I do believe that we go through life traveling on roads.  As we are young, the roads are dirt paths and back alleys, where we are carefree and can go wherever way we choose.  As we get older, we see the forks in the road.  Do I choose left, or right?  We have to make those decisions that could be right or wrong, and could render us in the wrong direction.   We may have to turn around, and start over, but it is all a part of life.  In our adult lives, we travel down busy highways, filled with confusing exit signs and colorful street signs.  From the time I headed out on that dirt road, to my current state headed on the highway, I realize that I have turned into a young woman who is continuing to find her individuality.  I am shooting for my dream job, no matter what people say to me.  I will persevere through my life even though I am faced with many obstacles every day.  I will love myself for who I am, and who I am becoming.  The road can end wherever you want it to, or you can continue traveling for miles.  You will always find out new things about yourself, and your friends and family.  Go ahead and bring your loved ones on the road with you.

I know I will.