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Friday, June 28, 2013

So Fully.

Hey Everyone. It's been crazy. I'm off to Costa Rica, so here's a post to enjoy while I'm gone.

I believe in myself so fully. I can conquer fear and live and love and believe and go. Go.

I believe so fully in what I stand for, in my ideals, in my purpose, that I know I can go out into the world on my own. I'm going to need help here and there. I'm going to fall and trip and tackle the ground on accident. But I'm going to be okay, because there's a little voice inside of me that remembers that...I'm ok. I'm ok.

And beyond that...I have strength and I'm lucky and I'm loved. And I believe in love so fully, so passionately and deeply, that I know I can do anything and love will follow me through. Because as soon as we realize that love is all there is--self-love and romantic love and motherly love and just plain love--we can really live.
I can do anything with love on my side.

Amber, thanks for teaching me about love. Puppy love, in particular. Now I know what that means, and I'm so glad to have shared that with you, baby doll.

Have a gorgeous and inspired summer, everyone! And I hope you all have a little voice inside of you too ;)

xx.
Jul

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Love What You Cannot Understand

Good evening, lovies! I hope you had a great day.

I was visiting my grandpa this weekend, and I realize that I always find myself overanalyzing people and situations and decisions that others make. And judging them. Ohhh, that word. Judgement. I wish it wasn't true, but we all have a bias for something. And I just recently realized that I need to separate these. Judgement and understanding. Just because I judge something (and I'm always trying to judge more gently), does not mean I have to understand it. Woah. I do not HAVE to understand anything. Isn't that kind of cool? 

Now, personally, I am all about jumping into life and shouting with joy all the way through. So. I'm going to love everything I do not understand. Just put my whole heart into it and embrace it, whether my brain is able to comprehend its divets and secrets and strange crevices. 

Don't take that the wrong way. I'm not going to love those horrible tragedies that I don't understand. I don't love the Westboro Baptist Church (yeah, that's the one you always hear about on the news) or the leaders of the Holocaust or anything like that. Because I think that some part of me does understand, and that's the part of me that grieves with parents and friends and children when a loved one dies. I don't understand why these things happen, but I do understand the kindness and love that we can surround these events with.

Anyway. So. Love what you do not understand. Just love it! It's that simple. Allow your mind to relish in the bright wonders of something you know nothing about.

And don't forget to spread kindness along the way.

Much love,
Julia xx.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I Want to See You Be Brave

Guys. Have you heard this song? Brave by Sarah Barielles? It is so fabulous. And it makes me want to see you be brave.
Click here to see the Lyric Video.
And also. Omg. Hannah Brencher. I can't say enough amazing things about her. I could go on, but you'd better just read this...http://hannahbrencher.com/2013/04/30/we-cannot-stay-here-any-longer/

So, ladies. Let the words fall out. Honestly. Be a person. Do not just exist. Live, because the truth is that this is all we have. I read a quote recently, something like, "No matter how long you live, the first twenty years of your life are the longest." That's terrifying. I'm 16. Someday, there's not going to be any time left. Let's get to it.

Also, I know this is not a rant blog...but just a quick bit...can you guys help me with this? We need to SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS about pediatric cancer! We will find a cure for this monster. I promise. That's how much faith I have in our effort to end this once and for all. We just need to work together.

With love and encouragement (and all of my support behind you),
Julia xx.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

ALL THE WORLD NEEDS IS LOVE.

Hi guys.

I spent a good portion of the day mad. Really angry about something stupid running through my head. I was a tumbling rumbling ball of anxiety.

And then I got home. And I realized something. There are children in this world who have cancer. They have CANCER, PEOPLE! Okay. Maybe that didn't sink in. CHILDREN ARE DYING! And I am sitting here being mad at some girl who was just annoying me. There's a disconnect. That's not logical.

Let's put EVERY SINGLE OUNCE of our beings into LOVE. Okay, I'll admit it--yes, that did sound like a total hippie statement and yes, I do realize we are not in 1970. But seriously! Can't we just let passion pulse through our veins and very sinew and just LOVE? I think that's what we are put here to do.

I don't have a medical degree. I don't have a steady income (unless feeding your neighbors' cat once a year counts). So I can't cure cancer. But we can as a whole, and I fully believe that. However, I do have an abundance of love. A lot of times, it flows out of me, gushing, rushing, pushing through the endless walls of hate and intolerance in this world. And so I sat at my desk. And I wrote a card to my little Brady, whose page I follow on Facebook. He's four. He loves trains and playing outside. Oh. And he practically lives in a hospital. With stage 4 neuroblastoma (I'll just remind you gently that this took the PRECIOUS life of Ronan Thompson), he can't be a normal kid. His parents are overworked and overworried and all they can do is love him. That's all any of us can do, love. So I wrote him a card and wrapped up some fun toys (in case you were wondering, yes, I do have a giant stack of new inflatable sea creatures in my closet--don't ask) and sent it off. And you know what? I'm not even mad anymore.

With every fiber of your being, who is it that you'll love?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We Need Change. We Need You.

Good evening!

Sorry about that brief stretch of time where this blog was the last thing on my mind.  Sometimes, I am so busy chasing happiness and trying to spread it that I forget to reflect on it. But now I'm here.

First off. The Boston explosions. Terrible, terrible. Words fail me, as they often do when I'm struck with the news of a tragedy. Every muscle and bone and sinew in my body aches for the victims and their families. Little Martin, most of all. Buddy, you're a brave kid. I promise to change this world just for you.

Second on the social change front: today's failure to pass the gun control bill. For real, people? The families of dead 6 year olds are weeping in front of you and you can't pick your head up and NOTICE that the time is now to change the world?! Sometimes politicians really are the most dumb members of society. Don't worry, Newtown families, we will change that too. I promise.

Ok. Sorry for pushing my opinions on others. I know you don't all feel the same way that I do, and that's fine. We all have different opinions and backgrounds and minds That's what makes us America. And I guess that makes us strong in horrible times like this when the whole country wants to crack and sob and crumble and mourn at the feet of a father who was just trying to enjoy a nice time with his family, who sheds tears over the loss of not just his son, but of all the sons in the world. He carries the weight of all the mourning in the world with him. And he is still fighting for the life of his wife and 6-year-old. What a difficult world. Surely, that's something we can all agree on.

Can we all just take a minute here, wherever you are in cyberspace, and be SO UNBELIEVABLY THANKFUL for this day? You were put here for some reason. Maybe that reason is the simple fact that it was a sunny day, one just for you to enjoy. Maybe it's so you can cure cancer (don't get me started...we need someone to do that too). Or maybe it's so you can be a good mom or dad or grandson or neighbor. I think we all have a million purposes, some which we are not even aware of. You have as many purposes in this world as the amount of times that your heart beats. Feel that little thumping on your chest? Woah. Some force out there (whatever you believe) caused you to be here. Now. Changing and loving this world.

I love every single one of you.
xo,
Julia

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Can't Do This But I'm Doing It Anyway

Amber. I miss you so much. I'm being strong about it. I found this on Pinterest: "I can't do this, but I'm doing it anyway." It reminds me of how I felt in your last days. And now. I did it for you, sweet baby girl. I'm staying strong despite how much my heart aches. Ok? I hope you are having fun. I love you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Emotions

Hello world! I am so sorry for not posting recently. I've been missing my Amber girl and just trying to let all these feelings pass over me. Feelings are a beautiful thing. I truly believe that. It seems to be hard in a different way as the days and weeks pass since last looking into those chocolate-brown eyes. It's less immediate, more longing. For two weeks, it was hard to believe I really lost her. Now, I have almost (I stress that--almost) accepted that, and I am left with a deep, painful mourning which hurts in the same place, but just in a different way. But, at the same time, I am at great peace with it. What I need now is just to have my family and friends support me, and even though I do not often show it, I miss her so very much. It's hard to show feelings, though. A girl at my writing workshop interviewed me, and in her article, she passively mentioned my loss of Amber, noting that I "had seemingly come to terms with it." That shook me a little. Losing your best friend/little sister/fur child/whatever you want to call it is never going to be easy. For anyone. I have not gotten over losing my sweet girl, rather, I am slowly coming to peace with my emotions and trying to respectfully move forward.
Long story short, please recognize that your emotions are beautiful, poetic, colorful things. They deserve your attention.
Love,
Julia

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Best Feeling is When Your Heart is Filled With Inspiration.

Hello inspirations!

You are an inspiration. And so is Hannah Brencher, absolute genius. I have always loved her, but today I looked deeper into her life. She really is just so much inspiration to the square inch.

This first piece left me speechless. It is absolutely profound:
http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/03/17/there-will-be-them-days/

I just sent out three colorful love letters, complete with heart stamps and SWAK on the back, thanks to Hannah's amazing organization:
http://www.moreloveletters.com/
That website alone is freaking perfect. Chock-full of creative ingenuity. Makes you want to dance or, well, write love letters. Hannah's personal website (equally perfect) is http://hannahbrencher.com/

http://hannahbrencher.com/2013/02/26/so-give-me-something-that-gushes-like-a-waterfall/
I just found this. Wow. Wow wow wow.

I hope you guys find as much joy in this as I did. This weekend I have done a lot of writing and I think that the feeling of being packed full with inspiration, so you can feel it in your heart of hearts, is possibly what life is all about. Too few people get to feel that on a regular basis. I hope you do.

With much love,
Julia

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Fun!

Hey guys!

Here are some links for your enjoyment...

http://hellogiggles.com/
A fun, feel-good blog suggestion from Lily (thanks!)

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/03/15/how-to-inspire-kids-to-be-quiet-and-happy/
Sort of cute!! Finding your own "Quiet happiness"

http://www.positivelypositive.com/quotes/
Scroll through here and get positively lost in the wonder of inspiration.

I am so exhausted now that I don't think I can write much more. Have a fabulous weekend and live for yourselves and those you love.

Zzzzzzzz...
Julia

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Choose What You'll Enjoy More. There's Plenty of Time in Life to Do What You Need To.

Hey guys!

So, right now I'm trying to pick my Standard and Higher Levels for the IB next year. And I'm having a hard time deciding. The big, logical part of me is trying to reason and figure out what class will be most useful. But the creative, fun, let-yourself-just-live part of me keeps asking, "WHAT are you going to enjoy?" That's the hard part. But it's a really important lesson for all of us to learn. There's too much time in life where we have to settle. When we're given a choice, go with the choice our gut is nudging us to--and that's usually the fun one. Why not?! "Don't take life too seriously. No one gets out of it alive anyway." Love this--I find it so entertaining.

...And your random dose of wonder for the day...
"To give any less than your best is to sacrifice a gift."
-Steve Prefontaine

Good night lovies!

With hugs,
Julia

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Good Afternoon, My Lovely Sunshines :)



Well hello there!

Did you think you'd never hear from me again? Sorry about that. Last weekend, we had to put Amber to sleep, and it was the most difficult weekend of my life. It's still hard to write about. But I know she'd want me to be happy, so here we go...

Super positive. Just what we all need to hear:
http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/03/13/stop-comparing-yourself-to-others-be-the-one/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+positivelypositive%2Fpositive+%28Positively+Positive%29

And this is interesting. Not so much inspirational as just thought-provoking.
http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/03/11/what-are-your-broken-windows-heres-a-list-of-mine/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+positivelypositive%2Fpositive+%28Positively+Positive%29

Anyway, here are two really lovely quotes for your enjoyment:

"Everything we love deeply becomes a part of us." -Helen Keller
and
"Notice all the beauty left around you and be happy." -Anne Frank

I think if Amber could talk, that's what she'd remind me to think about right now. That, and her intense, insane love for me. I just wish I could remind her one more time of my intense, insane love for her.

Kiss your dogs for me.

Big hugs,

Julia

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Good night my lovies

Hey guys!
Sorry for not posting recently. I am trying to spend all my free time showering Amber with love and kisses. Here is a beautiful piece that I came upon today:
http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/03/07/inhale-suffering-exhale-compassion-a-meditation/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+positivelypositive%2Fpositive+%28Positively+Positive%29
My favorite line: "Wouldn't it be grand? To be shattered?" Such a lovely way of looking at emotions.
Good night :)
With affection and appreciation,
Julia

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sunday Smiles

Happy Sunday everyone!

Guess what? TOMORROW'S MONDAY!!! Wait...what? You're not excited? Go back to last Monday's post and slap a smile on your face. Our Mondays are limited, you know.

So I had this really lovely sleepover with Lily (the amazing Mongoose) and we just had a fabulous time laughing. And we went to the beach and took off our shoes and socks and ran up the beach in the freezing sand because what the heck. It's early March, and therefore, almost summer (hey, state of mind totally counts).

Amber, my perfect 14-year-old golden retriever, is declining in health and I believe it may be almost "time." I was so worried about her all day but I unwrapped a Dove chocolate and it said "Clear your mind and live in the moment" so I decided that I shall do just that. I will love my baby fluffle puff with all I have for these next days/weeks/months. That's all I'm able to do.

Oh, and, while browsing on Postively Positive, I came across one of my favorite posts of all time. Treat yourself:
http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/02/09/its-not-going-to-turn-out-the-way-you-thought/

And a lovely "giving" article:
http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/01/15/small-contributions-big-impact/

Okay, toodles for now. I've got doggie kisses to enjoy and a new book to read!

With love and kindness,
Julia


Friday, March 1, 2013

A Mish-Mash of Random Amazing Things


Hey! Happy March and Happy Friday!

I am inspired today by Positively Positive (my obsession) which you can check out here:
http://www.positivelypositive.com/

Here is a really beautiful video, aimed at ending bullying. Spoken poem with beautiful art.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ltun92DfnPY

And here is a super touching video. What would you do?
http://abcnews.go.com/WhatWouldYouDo/video/helping-homeless-17241998

 A boy gets suspended for wearing a banana costume, but his suspension was lifted after the airing of this news piece.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=8E29c3a_5iE

I found these on Positively Postive's "The List," and here's what author Eric Handler says about that last one: "The video may poke some fun at the matter, but I think it serves to shed truth: Bryan Thompson was only guilty of trying to pass some joy onto fellow classmates. Can he really be faulted for that? And it even seems to ask a bigger question: How do we encourage our children to step outside the lines and be bold without filling them with fear of consequences?" 
I think this is so important. We need to be able to step out of the lines and have some fun! Come out of your freaking comfort zone and grow as a person!

Oh, and I think this here is a really lovely article about how anxiety can actually be a really amazing thing. This kind of goes more with yesterday's topic.
http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/02/28/your-friend-anxiety/

And a little treat for those artsy ones:
http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2013/02/7-tips-for-bringing-the-pleasure-of-art-into-everyday-life/

This piece is really inspiring but I am having a hard time getting over Ronan...my gosh, how horribly sad. Ronan Thompson and now this new, lovely little Ro. We need to change the world. WHY are so many children dying and WHAT can we do?
http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/02/23/in-the-voice-of-someone-who-loves-you/
My heart hurts for my two little Ro-loves. Now I'm going to see how to change this world of ours.

Thanks for reading tonight, loves. Goodnight, little Ronans. Play in peace together.

Love,
Julia


Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finding the Beauty in Sadness

Hey guys.

I've been thinking about that John Green quote, something like "I am happy and sad at the same time, and I'm trying to figure out how that could be." I think there's a kind of beauty in sadness. As we grow, we get stronger, and if you look just a little beyond the misery, you can find something really beautiful.

I think that you can't have happiness without sadness. Part of being a passionate person with a fun filled life is being the opposite sometimes, and finding your way through that. The beauty in life is feeling different emotions and learning about ourselves through them.

Short one tonight--it's bedtime!
Butterfly kisses,
Julia

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You're Only Given a Little Spark of Madness; You Mustn't Lose it

Good evening loves!

What's your "little spark of madness?" I have previously described myself as a queen of laughter and a lover of anything...weird. Well, here's a great quote that I have always loved: 

"You are only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it." -Robin Williams

So perfect. I think that, in this rushing, crazy, often straight-laced world we live in, we are often subtly told to swallow that spark of madness, the one keeping us alive and crazy and creative and ourselves.

 e.e. cummings once wrote, "to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting." 

I didn't really understand that idea until recently, but I found that it is so true. In high schools across America, kids are being picked on for being different. What is this?!! This is the one part of each of us that is special, that has the potential to end violence or cure cancer or make a toddler giggle (I think all of those are equally important, would you not agree?)! This is the side of yourself that you return to when no one else is looking. 

I babysit two little boys who always ask me to play "Old Grandma" when I come over, in which I chase them around, pretending to nibble at their arms, calling them carrots and onions and God knows what. And guess what? It's fun for me too! 
I don't think everyone should always go around nibbling on 2nd-graders' arms, but if we let this insane, wack-job selves of ours come out every now and then (...or every day...), maybe we'd all be a little happier.

Assignment for tomorrow, guys? Well, giggle. Find something HILARIOUS and stare at it until you fall to the ground in a wild fit of helpless belly laughter. (Has anyone else tried this? I can do it anytime and always crack myself up, but maybe that's just me.) Play with a toddler. Break out your weirdest voice at the most unexpected time. Make googly eyes at someone and see how long it takes for them to notice. Whatever you do, take advantage of the moment and LAUGH already! Life is too short to sit neatly in uncomfortable clothing and take notes. Get out there, make someone laugh, and BE the noteworthy happening!

One closing remark for you guys. Here is the message for today on my Instant Happiness Daily Calendar: "Take a MOMENT today, close your eyes, and soak it in. No matter where you are, you won't have that exact moment back. Why not enjoy it?"

Turn off the computer and get giggling.

Laughs and love,
Julia

Monday, February 25, 2013

My Thoughts on Mondays


Hey Guys!

I hope you're all having a really beautiful and amazing week so far. And guess what? We made it through Monday! Wait..what? We made it through? Why should life be a problem that we have to struggle through? Why should Mondays be horrible? Why shouldn't we live them with wild abandon, loving and living all we can? I know, I know, it's so hard. And it feels like we're all waiting for something to happen. "Until (blank), I can't (blank)..."
I sometimes feel like I'm just waiting to get out of high school so I can live. Well, life doesn't work like that. After high school can come college, grad school, weddings, child-raising, job-searching, grand-parenting, and the list goes on until we've got no time left. We're ALWAYS going to have something to wait for or a reason to delay. But we're not always going to have unlimited days. Each of us has, right now, a certain number of days we can live. It could be 2, or it could be several thousand, but the truth is, if we don't realize that now, we will never LIVE. 
Throw off your shoes. Grab the fancy china off the shelf. Use that freaking purple pen already. Life IS the special occasion. Even if you have a dreadful day ahead, create your own paradise in that situation (Haha, Lily). For Mondays, I make sure that I have my alarm clock set to play Taylor Swift, my favorite. That way, I wake up smiling (or singing, or both). Then I remind myself to flip to that day's page in my "Instant Happy Notes" daily calendar. I'll often have a special outfit picked out or a plan for lunch for which I'm really excited. Or, if nothing else, I try to think of something positive in the day ahead, something I can turn around to be something amazing. Maybe it's a great first class, where this time I promise myself I'll take a risk. Or new stickers to decorate my agenda. Whatever it is, I make at least one part of my day something special, memorable, and fun! 

That's all for now, my loves. Plan how you're going to spend tomorrow! Tomorrow is Tuesday, February 26, 2013...what a lovely gift to be given! Live it for yourself, for someone who has passed, to make memories to tell your kids...whatever your reason, please LIVE! Wake up and thrive. And never forget, your smile and your kindness can light up a room.

Warmest hugs,
Julia


Saturday, February 23, 2013

It's Better to Have Loved and Lost Than to Never Have Loved at All

Hi there.

Today I woke up at Lily's house. We had a super amazing time and it was so much fun.
My dad picked me up and we took the dogs to the vet. Amber is 14.5 years old so I was kind of terrified about what they were going to say. The vet said that as of now, she has a good quality of life, but as soon as she can no longer use her back legs (even if she is strong in her front legs and alert), it is no longer humane to keep her alive. I was sobbing. I am so heartbroken.

We have literally grown up together. My baby girl has been my little sister since we were both the tiniest of babies--we got her when I was a year old. I am so attached to her. And I am beyond terrified to lose her. I have no idea what it's going to be like. I've lost fish and even a pet rabbit before, but that was no where near the bond I share with Amber, of course. Ali texted me something that really helped: old animals have to die so new baby animals can be born. I mean, yeah, it's elementary, but it helped so so so much. It is so insanely difficult to lose someone you have loved for so long. But, I would so much rather have felt this intense, crazy, insane, caring attachment and lose the animal it's connected to than to never have felt this way. It is beyond worth it. All I can do now is show her my love and give her endless kisses. We are not sure if we have months or a year (or HOPEFULLY more!) but I do want her to be comfortable. Please know that our family will never push her to live longer than she wants to. That's a promise, I think. It's going to be hard.

That's all for now. Please give your pets a kiss for me.

Love,
Julia

Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Few Good Links and a Lot of Life Rules

Hey guys!
So, you guessed it, I am back today (and might now be slightly addicted to blogging). Today I want to share with you guys some of my own favorite inspirations. I get daily e-mails from this website called Positively Positive, which is basically the best thing EVER.

Some links to inspirational articles:

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/02/17/its-on-you/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+positivelypositive%2Fpositive+%28Positively+Positive%29
Hannah Brencher is a genius!

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2013/02/14/a-letter-to-your-heart/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+positivelypositive%2Fpositive+%28Positively+Positive%29
A little post-Valentine's Day love :)

I know you get asked this really often, but what would you do if today was your last day on earth? To whom would you apologize? With whom would you laugh till your belly hurt? Who would you give your last cookie to, just to see them smile? Who would you take pictures of? (Remember, people only regret NOT taking pictures...so whip out your phone or camera as often as you can!)

My point here is really pretty obvious, and I'm sure there are a thousand people who have said it a lot better than I can. But you get my drift. My mom loves to preach this particular belief because of the death of her mom. One day, her mom called her to say that she had a headache. My mom wished her luck, told her she loved her, and the two hung up, promising to speak again soon. The next thing my mom knew, her mother was comatose and died of brain cancer shortly after. It's a terrifyingly tragic story, but it taught my mom a lesson. Take each day and just LIVE it. Tomorrow is never, ever guaranteed.

 My mom was lucky to be able to have some last communication with her mom. In a video we watched in (the dreaded) Driver's Ed today, we heard stories of teens who had killed their best friends in car accidents, mostly due to drunk driving--that is just so awful. Please be careful, everybody.

Okay, I am really sorry if that was a downer for some of you. I hope it inspired you, even just a little bit, to be a tiny bit more careful and live a whole lot more. Even if you're sick in bed (shout-out to Ali: feel better soon baby!), make the most of it. What would you not be able to do if you weren't sick? You might be at work or school. Take advantage! Start the book you've been waiting to read (or write), spend some cozy time in bed (the kind you really wished you had more of at 6 in the morning when the alarm clock goes off), or just do nothing and thoroughly ENJOY it!

Here are some of my life rules. I feel like as soon as I hit "publish," a thousand more will spring into my head, but here's a start.

1. We're all fools whether we dance or not. Go for it.
2. No one knows what the hell they're doing.
3. Do everything with compassion.
4. Count to ten when you're angry and imagine it from the other person's angle.
5. Trust, love, dream, and believe without limits.
6. If your dreams don't terrify you, they're not big enough.
7. You're stronger than you think.
8. Fake it till you make it.
9. Keep calm and carry on.
10. Surround yourself with only the people who are going to lift you higher.
11. A scale says NOTHING about your worthiness.
12. Expect a little. Give A LOT.
13. Risk more than people think is necessary.
14. Learn a new language; it'll show you new ways of thinking.
15. TRAVEL OFTEN.
16. Practice random acts of kindness whenever possible. It's always possible.
17. Write more happiness into the world.
18. Do one thing a day that scares you.
19. Immerse yourself in different literature, culture, outlooks, and worlds.
20. Always believe that everything happens for a reason.
21. Never lose hope for love. It is on it's way. Love never fails.
22. You are a princess, but you might have to build your own castle until your prince arrives.
23. Everything will be ok.
24. Wake up thankful that you woke up.
25. Take a leap of faith every now and then. It'll open you up to new experiences.
26. Anyone who walks out of your life was not meant to be there anyway.
27. Spread positivity, but never EVER pick up someone else's negativity.
28. Holding a grudge is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die.
29. Never, ever give up.
30. Institutional rules were meant to be broken. It's the only way to live.
31. LIVE, do not simply exist.
32. Love with all you have. It's the only thing with which you get richer, the more you give away.
33. Love yourself first and everything else will come.
34. Notice the clouds.
35. Paris (anywhere in Europe, for that matter) is always a good idea.
36. The world can be amazing when you're slightly strange. This "normal" they speak of? It sounds boring.
37. Don't hold back. The world needs more YOU.
38. There is nothing about yourself to be ashamed of or embarrassed about; if you don't stick up for yourself, who will?
39. Never regret anything that once made you smile.
40. Breathe.
41. Be someone. Be the type of person you want to meet.
42. Laugh louder and more often than most people think is appropriate. Do all you can to enjoy yourself and spread smiles!

Okay, I could literally go on and on and on. But that's enough for tonight. Some of these were borrowed, especially from Pinterest.

One closing question for you tonight. What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
Comment below...I'm curious!

I love you, world. Goodnight.
xo,
Julia


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Well Hello There!

Hi!

I'm Julia. I'm almost 16, if you count April as being close. I guess it's a glass-half-full kind of view. But anyway, I'm in 10th grade here on Cape Cod and things are pretty great. I'm not really sure if this blog will work out. I might never post again. Or, I might post every day. Sorry, no real guarantees on that. I'm a paper and pen sort of person when it comes to journaling and I just bought a ton more (I go through about a journal per month) Compendium journals. Click here to learn more about that company. But, I'll try it.

Lily's blog (Lily is my lovely perfect amazing "chicken" aka one of my best friends) is amazing and I also just saw the most adorable mommy blogs on the Parents Magazine Facebook page. That inspired me to try blogging. Don't ask. I am obsessed with parenting. I read parenting magazines/books/websites all the time. Motherhood is going to be the best thing ever. I am so excited. Of course, I have a while to wait, but I love thinking about my chaotic wonderful life-to-be with a loving husband and 5 crazy kids all giggling (or whining, or screaming) at the same time. It's going to be fun. Call me crazy. I love embracing that weirdo part of myself. I know everyone has that one (or more) weird passion. This is going to sound like one of those third grade diversity classroom posters, but people's strange differences really do inspire me. I love it even more when people use their passion to change the world. What an amazing world we live in, if you just hang out with the right people.

Anyway, today and all week I had/have driver's ed. It is so boring. But...guess how I'm getting through it? Yep, by telling myself that I need to know this to someday be a good parent (or babysitter, if I'm not in the mood to look that far ahead). I can focus better knowing that how well I concentrate in this class can relate to the safety of others some day (especially children--there is NOTHING in this world more innocent or deserving to live as a child...don't even get me started on the Sandy Hook shooting. My entire heart goes out to those involved).

So, yeah, that's really boring. But each day it gets a tiny bit better, and I only have two more days of it. Again, glass-half-full. If my hopeless optimism bothers you, you should probably leave this blog. You're only going to hear more of it. I believe in trusting with no limits, loving with no boundaries, and believing with all I have.

Okay, sorry for this randomness. What do my readers want to know? Today, I'll write about some of my short-term goals. I really want to write an advice book for teens. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, I left that experience (and am still, slowly leaving it) and experienced such a beautiful mind change. Now, I am a self-described laughing professional. I can find almost anything funny. And I love it that way. People who haven't known me for long don't know this, but I didn't use to be so wildly enthusiastic. In grade school, I was always the shy, quiet one...the one who had to be praised by her parents just for raising her hand. There's still a little part of that adorable baby inside me, but I've decided to take advantage of this amazing thing called life and just live all I can. Healthily and happily.

What else do you need to know? I am obsessed with Taylor Swift. My favorite thing EVER is collecting/reading inspirational quotations (you should see my "Inspirations" wall on Pinterest...) and I will hopefully post some of them on here. I have a mom and dad, brother and sister, and two dogs that give me the best kisses every day.

Ok, that's a pretty overwhelming description of me. I have a feeling I'll be on here a lot :)

Be kind to each other. Go out and change the world. Hug a little kid tonight. Smile to yourself in the mirror. Be positive.

Thanks for visiting my blog! Leave me a comment below!

Much love and hugs,

Julia