18 Things I Learned While Being 18

My 19th birthday is in only four days, which means I have one year left of being a teenager (yikes). It also means that it's time again for me to go through everything I've learned in the last year. This has become a yearly tradition of mine, and I'm quite excited about this year's edition. So, without further ado, here are (some of) the things I learned while being 18:

1. I'm horribly insecure... but I'm working on it. 
I am, by far, the most insecure person that I know. Back in January, when I got my senior pictures taken, I was terrified because I was convinced the pictures would turn out horribly and I'd hate them forever. But I was wrong, the pictures turned out great, and I still love them now. I'm still insecure, but I'm working on not letting that keep me from doing things I want to do. I read a poem I wrote out loud at my Grandparent's 50th Anniversary party in England, and then I participated in a poetry open mic the next month even though I'm always worried about what people will think of my poetry. I did an internship in a theatre even though I didn't know anyone. I forced myself to talk to new people when college started. I’ve done a few interviews for things that I don’t want to talk about yet but that are pretty exciting. I’ve forced myself out of my comfort zone in an attempt to combat all the insecurity. It’s all hard, but I think it’s working.

2. Don't do what you think people want you to do just because you think they want you to do it. 
In other words, don't do something because you think it's what everyone else wants. When I was on SA, I spent the first half of the year doing chapels how I thought other people wanted me to. It wasn't until February when I did a chapel the way I wanted it that I was actually proud of what I was doing. I realized that I was in that specific office for a reason, and if I wasn't proud of the work I was doing, then what was the point? So I started making some small, gradual changes. I spoke up for what I wanted a spiritual even to be, and I tried my best to make them what I wanted them to be. I may not have been the best RVP that school has ever seen, but I'm still proud of the work that I did. 

3. Your life is never going to feel long enough. 
So there's no point in worrying about how much time you have. Live your life the way you want to right now. Don't spend time being anxious about the future when you could be using that time to work towards what you want. I'm a pretty anxious person most of the time, but I'm (still) learning how to not let that affect my ability to write a book, work in a theatre, and any other dream I have. 

4. Hoola Hoop
When I first got back into therapy, I was told to stand in a hoola hoop. The therapist told me that everything inside the hoola hoop is what I can control. Everything outside and in front of me is anxiety, and everything outside and behind me is depression. I shouldn't worry about anything outside of the hoola hoop because it is simply out of my control. In therapy I actually made a hoola hoop key chain and I still have it on my lanyard. I carry it with me so I can remember to only focus on what I can take care of right now, not what has happened in the past or what I worry may happen in the future. 

5. There truly is a time for everything.
Not to get too religious, but this verse from Ecclesiastes took a whole new meaning for me this year: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heavens. A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time a build up; a time to weep, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to case away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace" (3:1-8). This year has brought a lot of changes, and in those changes I have learned that there is time for everything under the sun. There are seasons of tears, but we can always learn something from it. On the flip side,there is no use trying to hurry good things along before they're supposed to arrive. In the words of Jack Kerouac, "Nothing good gets away." 

6. There are people you are supposed to connect with right away, and others not until later. There are people you are supposed to be friends with for a short amount of time,a and others for forever.
I have friends who I clicked with as soon as I met them, and then I have friends (my roommate included) who I met and then didn't really become friends with until almost a year later. I've also had friends who I became friends with right away, but then later the friendship drifted away for various reasons. All of that is okay. 

7. If you want something, there is truly no harm in asking. 
In March, I really wanted to speak for my high school's Student Week of Prayer. I knew I had something to say, and I knew that if I was chosen I would do a good job. So I went to my principal, asked if I could speak for one of the days, and he said yes. Fast forward a few weeks, and I was standing in front of my high school telling the story of the time I got to say thank you at the Leadership Conference the previous September. I actually wrote about the whole experience, which you can read here. And if you want to read more about the story I talked about, click here. Later this year, after I graduated, I had an internship with a theatre. I got the internship because I saw a flyer in a Barnes and Noble advertising a summer camp and emailed asking if they needed any extra help. They didn't for the summer camp, but they needed someone for their production of The Music Man. If I hadn't emailed asking if they needed help, I never would have had that experience. 

8. It doesn't matter what cords you get at graduation. What matters is how you affected the lives of those around you. 
In March, I had a really bad week and ended up in the office of my vice principal/religion teacher. As I lifted the weights from my shoulders and poured my heart out in her office, I told her that I was having trouble adjusting to the fact that I wasn't getting cords at graduation. She looked and me and said that I had accomplished so much that couldn't be measured in a graduation cord, and she was right. I had worked hard to overcome a lot while still getting as good of grades as I could, and that can't be measured in a gold or silver cord. Earlier last school year, I was looking through old Instagram pictures and found some from my Junior year when the class of 2017 graduated. As I looked at the pictures of me and my friends, I realized that I wasn't looking at the cords they got (or didn't get), but rather at their faces as I thought about how much they had affected my life and how much better they had made it. What my vice principal/religion teacher neglected to tell me (and rightly so) is I would in fact be receiving a cord for earning an advanced diploma. I still got a cord, but not until after I came to the conclusion that the cord doesn't matter. What matters is what kind of legacy you leave behind. 

9. It is very important to imagine people complexly. 
I noticed this more in terms of friends than with family, but this goes for family members too. People are complex, no one is completely good and no is completely bad. You can't expect a "good" person to never make a mistake, just like you can't be surprised when a "bad" person does something good. This was probably the hardest thing I had to learn this year, and I don't think I've been 100% successful yet, but I'm still working on it. 

10. I really love comedy, especially of the stand-up variety. 
Last May, when I was super stressed about the end of the school year, the only way I was really able to turn my brain off a little was to watch comedy specials on Netflix. After I graduated, I kept looking for more and more. I didn't know how much I appreciated stand-up comedy until this year, but I really do love it. Some of my favorite specials that I've watched include: Kid Gorgeous (John Mulaney, who is one of my top 5 favorite comedians, by the way), Homecoming King (Hasan Minhaj, who, as it happens, is another of my top 5 favorites), Confirmed Kills (Iliza Shlesinger), and This is Me Now (Jim Jefferies). 

11. Every hard thing will get better if you don't give up. 
After my graduation, I started interning at a nearby theatre for two (ish) months. The first few days were really rough. I felt like I was on the outside looking in, and I was struggling to see how taking notes on a production was going to help me in the long-run. As time went on, I started talking to more people, and my job changed from "note taker", to "person who runs the music when the actual music person isn't there," back to "note taker," and then "person who basically does all the stuff we don't have someone for." I loved that job. This also couldn’t be truer when it comes to college. I’ve been in Washington for a little over a month, now, and while the first two weeks or so were really hard, it’s only gotten better the more I’ve stuck with it.

12. What other people think of you doesn't matter as long as you know yourself.
I always knew this, but I didn't have to learn it until this year. People may know that you get anxious about things, but they don't know how independent you are. People may know that you sometimes have test anxiety, but they don't know how much you study beforehand. My point is that people may know you, but they don't know all of you. You know yourself better than anyone else does, so don't take someone else's perception as you as truth. If someone says something to you that they believe is true about you, think about it first and then decide if it actually is true or if they just don't have the whole story. 

13. We all make a greater impact on the world than we realize.
I few months ago, I saw a mini TED Talk where this guy talked about an experience he had back in college. It’s a short video, and I really recommend watching it. The basic point is that we all affect more lives than we realize, and we really do leave an impact on the world. When I graduated high school, many of the students in the class below told me and my classmates that our class was going to missed because of the great impact we’d had on the school. I think, on some level, we all knew that we were important to other students in the school, but to be told that your existance on a campus has made an impact is a big deal, and it’s nice thing to be told. I could tell story after story of times when someone has made an impact on my life and how they probably don’t even know it. This year, not only have I learned that we make a bigger impact than we realize, but I also learned that we need to tell people they’ve impacted our lives before we lose the chance.

14. Trust your gut.
It's always right. However, in the past year I have had to learn how to tell the difference between my gut and plain old anxiety. I'm starting to figure that out, though, and my gut is still never wrong. So yeah, always trust your gut. 

15. God is a show-off.
This is something that writer Anne Lamott likes to say, and it’s completely true. The week before I went to school was an insane, rollercoaster of a week. So much happened, whether it be good, bad, or just plain random. At the beginning of the week, I read something where Anne Lamott said that God is a show-off, and that really resonated with me. Throughout the rest of the week, whenever something really good happened (because all the good things that occurred were really good), it came to mind. What I’ve discovered this year is that God is really good at making things happen when they are supposed to happen (see thing I learned #5), and when something is supposed to happen it can happen in extraordinary ways.

16. God sends the people we need when we need them.
In the back of my mind, I always knew this was true. But this was made even more evident in the past year. What I’ve come to realize is that while God will always send people when we need them most, how long we need them for will vary. I’ve had people come into my life this year for a summer, one month, a week, or even just four minutes. God sent the people I needed when I needed them most, no matter how long I needed them for.

17. Even if you’re independent in quiet ways, you’re still independent.
I’ve always been someone who turned to their family for everything. I get scared of trying new things, and I get anxious when it comes to the unknown. Still, I moved two states away and have been doing lots of things by myself for a little over a month now. I may still call my family almost everyday, forward my mom emails that I don’t understand, and FaceTime my grandparents for math help, but I walk everywhere by myself. I go to counseling appointments alone. I’m the one who makes sure everything that needs to get done gets done. I’m independent in quiet ways, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

18. First and foremost, love.
This post has been edited last minute due to the recent events of this week. The Adventist world is small, and recently the internet did what it does best and an open letter of mine got picked up by Adventist Today. This week has been an intense one for me, especially since I made the mistake of reading almost every. single. comment left on Facebook from the Adventist Today repost. This was really not a smart move on my part, but it did reinforce a lesson that I’ve had drilled into me all year- love with all of your heart. I am an incredibly opinionated person, and I have spent the last few days holding myself back from responding to every comment with something snarky. Instead, I’ve taken a deep breath, reminded myself of why I wrote the letter in the first place, and reminded myself that first and foremost, I am here to love and to spread love.


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Being eighteen was both everything I thought it would be and nothing like what I thought it would be. I went through some rough patches with school, had one of the best summers of my entire life, and started college. I wrote lots of poetry (and did an open mic!), and was involved in theatre. I got my driver's permit and started to conquer my anxiety. Eighteen was a good year, but I'm very excited for what nineteen will be. A lot of eighteen was spent preparing to nineteen, and the next year certainly has some exciting things in store for it.

5 Things My Senior Year Taught Me

I have five days left of my senior year. I'm a puddle of nostalgia, stress, and nerves right now, but that doesn't mean I haven't been thinking of all I've already learned this year. Since I have only five days left, I thought it would be nice if I shared with you the five biggest things I've learned this year:

1. I am not the same person I was on August 16th, 2017. 
I have changed so much since I started at this new school, but most of that change happened this school year. At the beginning of the school year, I wrote a piece where I mentioned that I had no idea what this school year would hold, and I was totally right about that. So much happened this year that I couldn't have anticipated- some of it good, and some of it bad. A lot changed this year, the main thing being myself. I am definitely not the same person I was  when this school year began. From senior survival, to being part of SA, to quitting my job, to crying in multiple classrooms, to music tour, to now with five days to go, I've changed a lot, but in good ways. I've become stronger, and I've become more myself than I was nine months ago. 

2. Who people see you as isn't necessarily who you actually are. 
You aren't always who people think you are. You also aren't necessarily what your accomplishments are. You aren't just the person who is part of SA. You aren't just the person who was part of the musical. You aren't just the person who spoke for Student Week of Prayer. Yes, you are those things. Those are accomplishments that you should be proud of, but they don't make up your entire being. Those things are a part of you, but they aren't all of you. Who you are perceived to be isn't who you are, and that can be a really good thing. 

3. Friendships grow, change, and sometimes disappear. 
I had a lot of friends move away for school this year, and that was really hard. Luckily I haven't totally lost touch with any of them, but my friendships with them have changed a lot. Instead of seeing them in class every day, I now call one of them every so often and respond to Instagram stories of others. I've also had a friendship completely disappear this year without really noticing it, and while that's sad, I've realized that I'm better off because of it, and I think they are too. 

4. I have a really strong intuition. 
I also knew that my gut is never wrong about things, but it wasn't until the beginning of this year that I realized just how strong my intuition is. A lot of people don't believe me when I tell them something that I suspect, but then when that thing happens a couple months later, I realize that I'm not totally crazy after all and was actually correct all along. This isn't always a good thing, though, and that's something else I learned this year. 

5. Although there are hard moments, overall I have a really good life. 
On any given day, I am surrounded by amazing, talented, beautiful, kind people. I have spectacular teachers who challenge my thinking and encourage my intellectual side. I have friends who support me and a family who loves me. Up until this year, I knew that I was privileged in many areas and that I was blessed in ways others weren't, but it wasn't until this school year that I realized just how true that really was. I'm so thankful for the life that I have, and I'm thankful for the life I'm in the process of building for myself. 


It's been a good year. A long year, but a good year. Before I go, I thought I'd share what I wrote at the beginning of this year, right after my first day: "The thing that gets me the most is that three years and five days ago I had no idea what was to come. I didn’t know any of the people I would soon meet, and I had no clue how they’d affect me in the long term. I hadn’t failed the tests or passed the finals yet. I hadn’t been to those disaster banquets or those amazing ones yet. I hadn’t cried in bathroom stalls yet or jumped for joy with my soon to be best friends yet. When I think about it that way, I can’t help but think that I, in this moment, have no idea what this next year has in store me. And that, my friends, is a really exciting idea." (read the whole post here)

I was right, I didn't know. I didn't know about the rejection or heartbreak or failure this year would bring, or the many wonderful changes. I didn't know about the friendships I would make or the essays I would ace yet. I didn't know that I'd speak for Student Week of Prayer or go to England or spend hours in coffee houses with my best friends. I was right about something else, too- it's exciting to not know what's to come. I don't know what will happen this summer, or next school year, or any other year after that. And that's exciting. It really is. 

17 Things I Learned While Being 17

My 18th birthday is in THREE DAYS! This year has been a whirlwind, with so much happening and so many things being planned, and 18 is looking to be quite the amazing age. But before I look too far ahead, I thought it would be nice to look back at 17 and find some of the things I learned. 

1. I don't have to be good at Chemistry. 

I really wish I had realized this at the beginning of my Junior year, but I didn't. I can't tell you how many times I walked out of the Chemistry lab and thought I was the stupidest person in the world because I couldn't understand or remember anything I had just been taught. The thing is, I didn't have to be good at Chemistry. I passed the class, and that is what matters. I am good at many other things, and Chemistry doesn't need to be one of them. This applies to so many other things. I don't have to pass my written DMV test the first time (or the second), I don't have to read every book everyone else is reading, and I don't have to good at the same things as everyone else. I am my own person, and I don't have to be good at everything. 

2. Send your writing places. 

Seriously. Because this (7:22) was pretty cool. 

3. The people I met in the past year are in my life for a reason.

For some, I don't know the reason, but for others, I can pinpoint exactly when I realized the reason they had been placed in my life and I had been placed in theirs. I am so incredibly thankful for everyone that is in my life, and I am especially grateful for the people I have met in the past year who have changed my life for the better. 

4. Don't be afraid to leave a plan behind (i.e. cut your hair)

Remember back in February when I cut 7 inches off my hair? I am very happy I did that because it allowed me to prove to myself that I can steer away from a plan if I want and are able to. I'm growing my hair out again because I do want to eventually donate it, but I'm glad I cut it eight months ago. 

5. Go to basketball games, banquets, vespers, and other events.

PARTICIPATE IN THINGS!! Some of my favorite memories of this year happened at events I was hesitant about going to, and I am so happy I ended up going. However, I also learned that when I'm emotionally exhausted from an especially long week, it's okay to say no when I'm asked to go to a Saturday night basketball game. Sometimes going to an event when I'm already feeling uneasy and anxious can make those uncomfortable feelings worse, and I'm glad I've learned to notice when that may be the case. 

6. Be okay with months of not creating anything.

It took me a long time to get back into songwriting (I didn't write one from September 2016 to April 2017), but once I did it felt great. One of the most important things that I learned this year was that creative droughts are not bad, in fact they can be used to recharge my creative energy by soaking up other people's creativity. I used to beat myself up if I didn't finish a certain number of projects in a month, and I'm glad I've learned that that is not the best way to go about things. 

7. I can be so open minded that I become closed minded. 

This was a tough one. As you well know by now, I have a tendency to be very opinionated and quick to say what I think. This year I have been exposed to different ways of thinking, and some of the people I have met have become incredibly good friends that I can talk to about our differences and we can still leave the conversation feeling respected. However, this year I have also had the opposite experience where I have met some people I strongly disagree with and it has been really hard to remain calm in those situations. But I'm still learning, and that's okay. 

8. Communication, communication, communication...

Seriously. If you have something you need or want to talk about, talk about it. Also, "better late than never" doesn't always work, so talking sooner than later is always best. 

9. Your feelings are justified simply because you're feeling them.

Even if you end up being wrong (and don't realize you were wrong until five months later), it's okay to feel whatever you needed to feel. Asking for help doesn't make you weak, but in fact makes you stronger. Crying doesn't mean you can't control your emotions, it simply means you're human. Feelings are hard to navigate, but whether they are good or bad they are always okay to have. 

10. There are people who will do bad things. 

I am of the mindset that people are inherently good, and I will always believe that. However, I have had to learn this year that some people are going to do bad things. Some people will break your trust, treat the people you love with utter horror, and turn out to be different than you thought. But there are also good people. There are people who will lift you up when you are down, and there are people who will be there when you need them. Those people will always be there. 

11. Don't leave it, change it.

But if you've tried your best and it simply cannot be changed for whatever reason, walk away knowing that you tried your best. (Just to be clear, I'm not applying this to relationships. There are some relationships that simply cannot be fixed and it's always best to leave them.)

12. Where people are in their own lives will affect how big a part they can play in your life.

A hard lesson to learn, but definitely one of the most important. 

13. Be adventurous.

In July I visited Seattle and stayed with one of my Mom's friends from college. I hadn't really thought about it until my first night there, but I had never actually met her before staying with her. Even so, those few days turned out to be some of the most important and amazing of my entire year. 

14. I'm not an outdoors-y kind of person, and that's okay.

I don't like bugs. I don't like seven mile hikes up steep hills. I don't like being out of cell service for more than a day. But I do like sleeping under the stars. I do like waking up in a sleeping bag and feeling a cool breeze. I do like smaller hikes with my friends and family. I've talked about this a LOT lately, but if Senior Survival taught me one thing, it was to be okay with not liking things. 

15. Your mentality and your priorities will change.

Last year, I was convinced I'd learned everything I was supposed to learn while in high school. It's only the beginning of the second quarter, and I've learned so many things about myself, the people I love, and life in general, so obviously I was wrong. Different things are important to me now, and the things that mattered SO MUCH last year now seem almost trivial, but in a good way. Growing up is scary, but parts of it are okay. 

16. Live in the questions, instead of spending all your time looking for the answers.

To be honest, I'm still working on this one. But this quote from Letters to a Young Poet is helping: "You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can... to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to the love the questions themselves like locked rooms and books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then, gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant say into the answer." (Letter 4)

17. Surround yourself with creativity.

In September of this year, I went to my first poetry slam. I spent the next few days happier than I've been in a while simply because I was surrounded by creativity and smart, insightful people for about three hours. I loved every second of it, and it just reinforced how much I want to live a creative life, with creative people, doing creative things. It also taught me that in order to do that, I need to surround myself with creativity more. 

_________

Sixteen was a year where I was going up and up, and then crashed down before slowly starting back up. Seventeen, on the other hand, was far more balanced. It was a roller coster that went up, and then down, and then started over. Even so, I wouldn't trade the bad things for anything. After all, those moments are what gave me these seventeen lessons. Eighteen is looking to be a wonderful, busy, spectacular year filled with so many good things, and I'm very excited. To seventeen, I'm not sure if I'll miss you. You were the kind of year I needed, but not necessarily the one I wanted. Still, thank you. Thank you for the good things, and also for the bad things. Although I'm happy to leave you behind, I believe I will still look back on you fondly. 

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Not Just Beowulf & Chemistry: 3 Things I Learned My Junior Year

Technically, my Junior year is not over.  However, considering that it will be over in only a few days, I have put together a list of things I learned during my Junior Year. 

1. Being the new kid is hard.

When I made the decision to go to the school that I'm going to, I also made the decision to not go to the school where I knew someone. I chose to not go to that school simply because I liked the campus of my school better (it had a good vibe), and I didn't know the other girl very well anyway. However, on August 18th at around 8:00 a.m., knowing someone even a little bit would have been appreciated. It took me a long time to find my place, but once I did I was okay. Being the new kid is hard, but I'm so glad I did it. I was thinking a couple days ago that I have never been that terrified since, but I'm sure there will be moments in the future when that pit of dread in my stomach will return. I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason, and I'm positive that I needed the experience of being new to be able to do whatever scary thing I will one day accomplish. 

2. Asking for help is hard, but necessary. 

Especially when it comes to the classes that aren't your favorite. All of you know how much I didn't like Chemistry, but when I finally got the help I needed, it wasn't as bad. If I could go back and change one thing about this year, it would be asking for help much sooner. Of course, this isn't just a lesson for the academic side of school. There were times when I had to ask for help because I was feeling so anxious about something and needed someone to listen, or tell me if something I wrote made any sense, or sometimes just a hug. I hate asking for help, I really do, but I had to do that a lot this year, and even though I don't like it any more than I have in the past, I've learned that sometimes it really is necessary, and that you don't need to hold everything by yourself. 

3. Trying new things is important. 

This school year happened to be the year where I tried a lot of new things, and I definitely think that contributed to this year being as amazing as it was. Because of trying new things, I learned how to roller skate, I learned how to audition for musicals, I learned to not throw up before delivering a speech, and so many other things. Actually, this whole year was just one big new thing. I had never gone to a new school where I didn't know anyone (okay, that's not entirely true, but I had never had my first day at a new school where I didn't know anyone), and like I said earlier, I'm sure that the fact I was able to do that will one day be an important skill (skill?) to have. 

When I started my Junior year, I was of the mindset that everyone who said it was the hardest year of high school was just over exaggerating. It definitely wasn't as hard as people made it seem, but it was hard. However, it was also wonderful. As the year draws to a close, I can honestly say that I am happy. Everything that has happened since last August has shaped me in some way, shape, or form, and I'm thankful for that. I can already tell that so much is going to change next year, but honestly? I'm excited for it. I'm not as afraid of change as I used to be, and maybe that's the fourth thing I learned this year: Change is scary, but it's also good. You don't have to be afraid of it. Change, with all of its possible problems and heartache, can bring such happiness into our lives. I've gained a lot of happiness and clarity this year, and I can't wait to see what happens next. 

I Cut My Hair and My Reasons Are Three-Fold

So, last week I cut my hair. I have my reasons, and they are three-fold. They are as follows:

1) Wanting to see if I can handle going away from a detailed plan and doing something that is somewhat impulsive, 

2) Wanting to challenge the confidence I think I've found in the last few years while having long hair.

3) Missing having short hair/wanting the freedom of having short hair.

These are all things that I was reminding myself of when I was sitting in the chair watching the very nice woman behind me chop off seven inches of my hair. Before I delve into why I wanted to cut my hair, let's look at why I grew it out in the first place... 

When I was in third grade and then later in seventh grade, I cut my hair really short (not really, really short, but short). I liked it at first, and slowly began to hate it. All the other girls in my class had very long hair, and having shorter hair seemed like one more thing that made me different from them. Looking back at pictures of me from both grades, I'd say the color of my hair was more noticeable than the length, but whatever. Right before my eighth grade graduation, I got a trim and bangs, and I vowed to grow out my hair so that when I graduated high school my hair would be beautiful, long, flowy, and worthy of envy. 

This is how we come to my first reason for wanting short hair. I'd had this plan for almost three years, and my high school graduation is starting to sneak up on me. I'm not a spontaneous person, and I very rarely do something impulsive. In fact, I think I can count on one hand the times I've slipped away from something I had planned out carefully. I am also someone who finds it hard to leave a plan behind, so the fact I didn't think about cutting my hair off too much before actually doing it is surprising. However, if I'm honest, this was the easiest reason to follow through with. I mean, I already cut my hair. I know I can go away from a plan and be okay with it. I love having short hair, and I hadn't realized how much I missed it until I had it again. 

My second reason for wanting to cut my hair was to challenge my confidence. In the last two years, I've grown my hair out to the longest it's been and my confidence has been the highest it's ever been, and I wanted to make sure those two things weren't related. I don't want my confidence to come from what I look like, although I still think it's important for people to like how they look. I want my confidence to come from the inside. I want to be able to try new things without worrying about looking silly or stupid while doing it. I don't want my hair to be a security blanket of sorts that I use to cover up the things I don't like about myself. This is hardest part of my cutting my hair, and hopefully I learn something new about myself and grow. 

My final reason for cutting my hair is the simplest: I wanted short hair. When I was younger I loved having short hair because I thought I looked older. I wouldn't say that now, but I still love it. My hair feels healthier and my head is definitely lighter than it was before. When I say I wanted "the freedom of having short hair" I mean the freedom from having huge knots and tangles in the back, but I also mean what I mentioned earlier: the freedom of changing my mind and doing something that wasn't planned. 

So, yeah. I cut my hair. It's pretty short, but I still love it. Oh, and happy March everybody! Even if it isn't something as drastic as cutting seven inches off your hair, I hope you can find something new that makes you happy this month. 

 Before... 

Before... 

 ... After :-) 

... After :-)