My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘inspiration’


If you could give your younger self any piece of advice, any at all, what would it be?

That’s the premise behind this really cool YouTube initiative I just happened to stumble upon (I may or may not be procrasti-writing). This particular initiative encourages people to upload a video letter to the site, addressing their younger selves and the struggles/challenges/insecurities they faced growing up.

While it’s a couple years old, it’s worth a watch (or three). #DearMe is an empowering and inspirational campaign that asks the question, “What would you differently?” More importantly, it is a strong reminder that you, yes YOU, are enough just the way you are.

That you, yes YOU are amazing and beautiful and smart and all around kick-ass. I absolutely love this idea, and while it was originally created in coalition with National Women’s Day which takes place on May 8th every year, I don’t feel that it should be just directed at women alone, but everyone in general.

Every one of us has our own insecurities, even the people you least expect. I think it’s up to us to help this next generation who is beaten down by bullying not to just accept who they are, but to also, and more importantly, love who they are.

In observance of this awesome campaign, I was inspired to do my own #DearMe entry. Here are just some of the things I would like to tell the younger me.

  1. #DearMe, happiness is found when you stop comparing yourself to others and celebrate your rocking individuality.


  1. #DearMe, take risks. Don’t be afraid to fail. Try. Try again.
  1. #DearMe, you may not be able to change the world, but you can surely try.
  1. #DearMe, when you smile, smile with your whole self. When you laugh, laugh from your whole soul. When you love, love with your whole heart.
  1. #DearMe, learn that it’s okay to say, “no.”
  1. #DearMe, crimped hair would be a good thing to say a big, “HELL NO!” to. Just leaving that little nugget here as an example. And because CRIMPED HAIR!
  1. #DearMe, your value has nothing to do with a silly size or any number on a scale. Nor does it have anything to do with the clothes you wear, the makeup applied or the way you style your hair. You are beautiful; freckles, scars, sweatpants and all.
  1. #DearMe, not everyone is going to like you. And that is OKAY.
  1. #DearMe, sometimes it’s okay to treat yo’ damn self! Necessary in fact. So grab that book, take that bubble bath and go to town on that pint of Ben & Jerry’s. You’ll thank me future me later.
  1. #DearMe, don’t ever take for granted your family and friends. Call them just because. Pop over to see them. Tell them you love them as much as you can. If you’re lucky enough to have people in your life who love, support you [and make you ugly man laugh and smile] unconditionally, don’t ever let them go.
  1. #DearMe, just because you’re an adult, doesn’t mean you can/should eat ice cream for breakfast. HAHAHAHAHA!! Just kidding. Of course that’s what it means!!!!
  1. #DearMe, you will fall in love, you will get your heart broken, you will doubt if you will ever be able to fully heal. Don’t worry. You will. You will eventually meet someone who is the peanut butter to your jelly, the chocolate chip to your cookie, the Jim to your Pam. And when you do #DearMe, enjoy every damn second. When you smile with and because of this person, smile with your whole self. When you laugh with and because of this person, laugh from your whole soul. When you love and love because of this person, love with your whole heart.
  1. #DearMe, relaxxxxxxxxxxx the fuck out. Stop trying to plan everything, to control everything and just…be. Everything will work out. You’ve just got to have a little faith and a lot of hope (and a fully-stocked emergency chocolate stash).
  1. #DearMe, be brave. Be strong. You’ve got this in the bag! *But I was dead serious about that crimped hair thing.

If you could tell your younger self anything, anything at all, what would it be?


Leaving My [Book] Mark


Hey guys! I hope you all are having a great Friday so far.

It’s been kind of a doozy of a week for me. This past Wednesday I found out that Westwood College, the place I have called “home” for almost a year now, the place that took a chance on me and let me spread my kick-ass and cooky librarian wings, the place that was far more than a job but a calling and a passion project, this wonderful place will be closing its doors by the end of December.

As I sat with my fellow coworkers, the professors and program chairs who have spent the last 5, 10 even 20 years selflessly giving their time, their energy, their love to this school and these students, trying to soak up the news, my heart absolutely broke. Westwood College is/was different from a lot of other colleges and universities. The student population have seen struggle, have had to overcome obstacles in their life that most students have never had to face. They didn’t have people in the lives that necessarily believed in them, or who told them time and time again that they couldn’t be or make anything of themselves, couldn’t achieve their dreams.

That is until they came to Westwood. Our amazing faculty saw the potential in these students, recognized that they had challenges to overcome, but more importantly saw that they had the power to succeed. The staff at Westwood were more than professors, advisors, and program directors, they were guidance counselors, friends and the biggest cheerleaders you can imagine. They didn’t work for a paycheck or ask for any recognition, they did it because they loved their students.

The first thing that came to my mind when I was given the news wasn’t that I was losing my job, but instead it was “What does this mean for our students? What’s going to happen to them? Are they going to be okay?”

The past couple of days I’ve run the gamete of emotions: angry, sad, confused, scared, upset, worried and anxious. Oh, there were a lot of feels happening. There still are. I’m not quite sure what to think, what to do. I want to be strong for my students for the remainder of the term, I want to be there for them, but if I’m being honest, there are times where I just can’t. I lock myself in the bathroom stall and have a good cry. I go out to my car and pray for strength and courage.

But I’ve realized that that’s okay. It’s normal and very much needed.

I’ve shared a lot of tears and given a lot of hugs over the past few days, but the thing that has really stood out to me was how appreciative each and every student has been. They’re disappointed, as well they should be, but despite everything, they’ve all expressed just how much they’re going to miss me, how much I helped them, how I inspired them to be great, how I believed in them. My heart couldn’t have smiled more, couldn’t have been more full.

Dammit here come the tears again. I should really think about taking up stock in Kleenex.

The reason why I decided to become a librarian was to in some way make a difference in the lives of people, to inspire them, to make them think and do and discover. I’m incredibly sad that I have to say goodbye to my Westwood family in just a few short weeks, but the lessons I have learned, the friendships I have built and the impact I have made on the lives of these students will forever stay with me. And I hope with them.

As for what comes next, I’m not too sure. Am I scared? Absolutely! Am I a little worried that I’m not going to a)find a job and b)find a job that I love? Of course! I’m more than freaking the baked beans out a little bit. It’s natural to feel this way. But I’m also hopeful that everything will work out in the end, that it’ll be okay.

In the meantime there’s always Ben & Jerry’s. Just alllll of the Ben & Jerry’s.

I was talking with one of my best friends the other night about everything and he said something that’s really stuck with me:

“Change, the unknown? Of course it’s scary. It’s terrifying! But it can also lead to some of the most amazing experiences you will ever have. You just have to have a little faith.”

You know what? He was and is absolutely right!

I will take everything that this job has given me, the skills and lessons, the smiles and the laughter, and most important the memories and carry them with me to this new and exciting chapter of my life.

I’ve left my [book]mark on Westwood.

Now it’s time to do it again.

I Believe


I believe in kindness, openness and love. I believe in boundaries and honesty and saying no. I believe in curiosity and exploration and saying yes.

I believe in the enoughness of the present moment, of you, of me. I believe in living for the right nows.

I believe in finding the good in other people, and second or third chances.

I believe cussing like a sailor, ice cream, and laughter are the best form of therapy.

I believe in girls dressing like boys and boys dressing like girls.

I believe in pie for breakfast and beer as a main course.

I believe in making mistakes, striking out and falling down. But I also believe in getting back up, learning from our mistakes and swinging for the fences.

I believe in being exactly where you want to be–and if you’re not, doing whatever it takes to get there, even if that means venturing out of your comfort zone.

I believe in saying what you mean and feel without hesitation or apology.

I believe in being vulnerable even if it ends in rejection.

I believe in letting my heart be scared and going for it anyway because if I don’t, I’ll always wonder.

I believe in viewing life with rose tinted glasses. Not because I’m naïve to the fact that pain and suffering exist in our world, but because I choose to see love. That’s just what I do; I search for love. And when it’s not there, I choose to create it. Love is a choice, what you see in others is a choice. Choosing isn’t an act of denial, it’s an affirmation of your own personal truth.

I believe all of us are in this together and things only make sense when we are willing to share our stories. I believe I am deeply loved, and worthy of love, and so are you.

What do you believe?

Friday Faves

Hola mi amigos!

Happy FriYAY! And May Day!

This week has made like Harry on a broomstick and just flown by! Actually, all of April has. How is it already May? Crazy hot sauce.

I’ve some pretty exciting plans on the docket for this weekend, starting with tonight. I’m living out my Who’s Line Is It Anyway dreams and going to see some live improve comedy with a friend which will be really fun! Nothing like a little ab-inducing laugh attack to kick off the weekend (my favorite form of cardio bee-tee-dubs).

Then on Saturday, the sis and I are channeling our inner Cal Ripken Jr. and hitting up the batting cages/throwing the ball around. We’ve decided to join an intramural coed softball league this summer (which actually starts in two weeks!! Like I said, just flying by!) and thought it might be best to get some practice time in. I used to play–and not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was pretty damn good–but that was eons ago; to say that I’m a tad rusty would be an understatement. I’m a lot. I’m pretty much the tinman of rusty. But I’m so super excited to get back into the swing of things, pun intended.

Other than that, I’m looking forward to kicking back with a good book, my queue of Netflix and getting my chillax on. Because that’s really what weekends are all about, aren’t they? Well, that and pizza. One must consume an ungodly amount of ‘zza. Hey, I didn’t make the rules, I just follow them.

Whatever it is you’ve got planned, I hope that you have an amazing weekend! But before you dive head first into that pepperoni, be sure to check out my favorites from around the web and more in the week’s Friday Faves!

Favorite Funny: I am still LOL’ing so hard at Kristen Wiig’s Daenerys impression on Jimmy Fallon. She KILLED it! I don’t know who I’m crushing harder on, my girl Kristen or Mr. Fallon.

Favorite place: Elan Valley, Wales. Which is the sky and which is the water?


Favorite GETINMYMOUTH: $!utty Brownies (respelled for spam purposes). I MEAN!!

Slutty Brownies

Favorite Reunion: Boy Meets World is still my favorite of show in the history of ever (well, besides Seinfeld of course) so you can imagine how excited I got when I saw this mini-reunion photo taken on the set of Girl Meets World that Ben Savage aka Corey Matthews posted on his insta the other day. My inner 13 year-old self was flipping out! Okay, okay. My outer 28-year self was flipping out!


Favorite Read: Run, don’t walk, to pick up a copy of Before I Go, by Colleen Oakley. I am about two-thirds of the way done with it right now and holy buckets…of emotions that is. Such a beautiful story of love, life and living every last moment like it truly is your last. But you’re gonna want to buy stock in some Kleenex.


Favorite flashback: Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread. My Mom used to make me Cinnamon Sugar Toast all the time when I was growing up. This updated twist is making my mouth water!


Favorite idea: Light Switch Time Capsule. Leave a note hidden behind a light switch when you move for another owner to find sometime in the future. Super clever.


Favorite Pick-up line(s):Are you a horcrux? Because I think you just stole a little piece of my heart.” I can’t with these right now, especially 8, 12 and 15!


Favorite view. Ohhhh, I hope I have a chance to do this someday!!!


Favorite personalized gift: Thumbprint Heart Pendant. Perfect for husband/wife, mom/dad/children, grandparents/grandchildren. I think this would be such a neat gift to give my momma this Mother’s Day!

*Mom, if you’re reading this, start preparing your surprised face now! 😉


Favorite print: Holstee Manifesto. Must. Have. ASAP. Love, love, love, this – I want it front and center somewhere in my house!


Celebrating the little things


It’s important to celebrate the small victories.  Sure, it’s easy to celebrate things like holidays, birthdays and promotions, but what about the smaller, more routine accomplishments?  Most of us tend to ignore them and let them pass without acknowledging them.  But when we do, we end up missing out on a lot of truly good things.

Small victories are opportunities to count our blessings and be grateful.  They are also a chance to reflect on how much we’ve accomplished, which gives us strength to carry on.  I think that celebrating the smaller things is an important habit in living life to the fullest.

We need to remember to celebrate more often – not just the big accomplishments, but all the small victories in our lives as well.  Here are some things to stimulate ideas to get celebrating NOW!

  1.  Celebrate that it’s Friday (or simply that it’s not Monday, amiright?!)
  2. Accomplishing a goal or task that you’ve been working towards for a while.
  3. Sunny days.
  4. Feeling someone take your hand in theirs.
  5. Making time for a book you’ve been dying to read.
  6. When someone does something nice to you “just because.”
  7. Making someone smile.
  8. Having an itch that you can actually reach.
  9. Taking in a baseball game in a summer day.
  10. Brewing fresh coffee/tea/hot chocolate on a cold morning.
  11. Making someone laugh.
  12. The smell of freshly baked cookies (and devouring said cookies right out of the oven)
  13. Learning something new.
  14. Teaching someone else something new.
  15. Friends who encourage you.
  16. Friends you can encourage.
  17.  Your awesome family.
  18. A cozy bed at night.
  19. When your Netflix show moves to the next episode without asking you whether or not you’d like to continue (because of course we do!)
  20. Dreams for the future.
  21. Happy memories from the past.
  22. A good hair day.
  23. When someone holds the door for you.
  24. Looking through old pictures.
  25. Getting off work while it’s still light outside.
  26. A smile from a stranger.
  27. A compliment from a stranger.
  28.  Opportunities to make a change.
  29.  The ability to learn from mistakes.
  30. Children playing – a great reminder to be joyful.
  31. A small gesture of kindness from someone who loves you.
  32. Waking up before the alarm goes off.
  33. Getting pumped up and inspired by music.
  34. An outdoor lunch.
  35. Five minutes of deep breathing.
  36. A clean house.
  37. A hug or embrace that lasts just a little longer than usual.
  38. When the traffic light turns green the moment you arrive.
  39. A small change to your routine to make your day feel exciting.
  40. Sneaking time for your favorite snack (Ben & Jerry’s, you complete me.)
  41. Scratching an item off your “to-do” list.
  42. A deep stretch.
  43. When you say “no” to someone.
  44. When you say “yes” to an opportunity.
  45. Finding time to witness a beautiful sunset or sunrise.
  46. Playing a game you loved as a child (I don’t want brag but I am the Scattegories queen!)
  47.  An extra half-hour of sleep.
  48. Spare time to realize how lucky you are to be alive.
  49.  A home cooked meal.
  50.  Finding time to pray.
  51. A long phone conversation with a friend.
  52. Puppy snuggles/kisses.
  53. Reaching into your pocket and finding money you didn’t know you had.
  54. Receiving a hand-written letter.
  55. The exact moment you have a wonderful thought.
  56. A sweater straight from the dryer on a cold day.
  57.  Something so funny it makes you laugh out loud.
  58.  Flowers you didn’t expect.
  59.  A small gesture of support.
  60. Random acts of kindness.

Celebrating the small things definitely adds joy and happiness to our lives. And while my list here is by no means exhaustive, it’s a good place to help you get started thinking in the right direction. Become more mindful of the good things in your life.  The more you appreciate them, the more joy they will bring to you.  A part of living the good life is stopping long enough to relish in the moment.

As Kurt Vonnegut once said, “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

It’s time to bust open some doors!

Too often, I think we get caught up in our “failures” or our “shortcomings.” I use quotes around those two words because we’re the only ones that can define either of those things for ourselves, right?

Anyway, this is me just checking in and reminding you to go bust open some doors today like the total badass that you are.


What if…

photo (1)

Imagine it.

If everything around you was happening for YOU!

Let’s really live it for a while.

Today, the sun shines for YOU. Music plays for YOU to dance to. The stars in the sky twinkle to inspire YOU.

Life is a gift.

Just for YOU.

Now take that feeling of beauty, humility and gratitude and let it shine out of your eyes when you smile at strangers.

Make them feel like the world is for them too 🙂

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