An open letter to “Why we all hate your 13.1 Sticker.”

I’ve never reblogged anything here on wordpress, but this is a beautifully written response to someone’s ignorant post about the 13.1 sticker that people put on their cars after completing a half marathon. Not only is Sam’s story inspiring, but her explanations and comebacks to said moron are hilarious. Keep going, Sam. You’re a true inspiration and I’m proud that I know you. 🙂

Working It Out

Today while scrolling through my Facebook feed I saw Hal Higdon’s Marathon post this lovely blog post…

If you haven’t read it yet. I highly suggest you do.
The person’s opinion states that all people who have these 13.1, 26.2, etc. are bragging about the milage they’ve completed in a race. Here’s a piece from the post, that truly makes me laugh…

“You’re only impressing yourself
It would have been enough to have an oval sticker with “RUN” on it, or maybe a picture of a running shoe. Something that simply states, “I enjoy running,” and nobody would have any problems with it. But by putting “13.1″ on the sticker it says that you think that you’re better than everyone else because a) you run and assume others don’t, and b) you run more than other runners. It’s not enough for you to just say you like running, you…

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Dear Reader,

I had kind of a revelation tonight. I can’t say no to people, and I think that might be my downfall. I would love to be the kind of person who can do anything. More than anything I would love to be that. But I’m not.

But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Example: I’ve been dabbling with the idea of double-majoring for a few months now and I just recently finished setting it all up. Then I met with someone from the journalism department who was asking me why. Why would I possible want to be an English Education/Journalism double major with a minor in rhetoric and writing? And I told him that, ideally, it’d be awesome to be a high school English teacher who is also in charge of the newspaper. That’s when he signed my paper declaring the major and told me that’s exactly what he did.

“I’m going to be your adviser from now on,” he told me. “I look forward to seeing how this plays out.”

Fast forward four days later when I’m heavily considering taking 25 credit hours next semester (an ungodly amount for those of you who don’t know) and thinking maybe I should just drop this major before it gets the best of me. 

And by that I mean before it kills me.

But I can’t do that. I don’t want to let him down–this stranger that I just met. I don’t want anyone to think I can’t do it.

And don’t worry, there are far more reasons why I’m keeping my double major, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that part of it was because I don’t want to disappoint him.

Example 2: This same week when I’m figuring out my schedule and realizing there’s no real way that I’ll be taking less than 20 credit hours next semester, my two student managers ask if they can sign me up for the SMART program. I ask what it is, they explain that it’s just them training me to become a student manager, and I agree. Why not? Sure it’s more hours, but it’s better pay. And won’t it look good on future resumes? Plus I love my managers, and Chloe has been telling me from the beginning that I am going to be the new her. I close three nights a week and she loves working with me because I’m reliable.

And I think that’s just it. The fact that people are now relying on me is kind of heavy. I volunteered to get AIESEC the few contacts that I have that are still forming because, after all, I’m just a freshman. I took on two stories for The Miami Student this week because that’s what they assigned me. I take notes for more than just me at extra credit lectures and guest speaker appearances.

But I love doing it all. I love when I visit my family and I find that I can talk for hours about all that I do. Yeah we just had that tennis tournament, and oh yeah that reading for Sigma Tau Delta is coming up, and no Tuesdays are knitting, Thursdays are when I drive to Hamilton to walk dogs for volunteer work.

I want to leave my freshman year with no regrets. I want to have done it all. But I don’t want a crappy GPA or no social life either. I just need to find balance. And as much as I hate to admit it, I think saying no may be just the thing I need to learn.



PS. I adore The Voice and this battle is absolute perfection. I’m in love with these two humans. Need Your Love – Jessie Pitts vs. Ryan Sill


Dear Reader,

Quick timeline: Sammy hears over and over that college is hard and first semester (more or less) sucks. She understands but decides it will be different for her. Sammy goes to college. It is not different. Sammy gets sad. Sincerely Sammy quickly fills with sad posts written in a dark, depressing dorm room. Sammy decides that for one week at least she will only write about things that make her happy. Said decision is successful.

I know I don’t write that much, but my last five entries have all had one central theme: happiness. Despite the many times where I wanted to just vent and get down on myself for wasting away my days and being a slob (among other things), I turned to things that made me happy. Lists, pictures, videos, advice. Because here’s the thing: it’s so easy to dissect your life and pick it apart until it’s apparent that it’s falling apart–but it’s just as easy to pick one thing that makes you happy, sit down and write about it, and then share it with others.

Now, I’m not saying the rest of my entries are going to be me saying, “life is wonderful! Here’s why you should smile!” It’s still helpful for me to get the bad thoughts out of my head–and could be equally helpful for people to read and take as advice. So if you actually follow me consistently (which, in that case, wow! I didn’t know anyone did that besides maybe Marissa or Kassara): yes, you may be seeing more posts about me learning hard life lessons or describing why I hate being photographed, but you’ll still get the happy ones!

I guess my point is that there needs to be a balance. When I first came to college, post after post was like “this is hard. Here’s why I feel sucky all the time.” So I did a 360 and started saying, “I’m going to choose happiness and you should too! Here’s how!” But now I’m just going to have a better variety.

So I’m writing this entry to announce that this happy overload is over, but not gone for good. After all, I’d say it was pretty successful.




Hello Reader,

In one of my last posts, Happy List, I mentioned that I love beautiful pictures. I wouldn’t consider photography to be a hobby of mine, but I would love to be able to capture life as perfectly as these people have. So, here are 21 pictures that I need to have on my walls. Pictures that scream adventure, serve as reminders, or are just simply beautiful captures.



I look at this picture and I imagine a couple or best friends or siblings–preparing for the trip by grabbing all the warmest blankets and fluffiest pillows and creating the perfect road playlists. Driving along beautiful roads, only interrupting their conversation when the best songs come up. Finally reaching their destination, jumping out of the car, stretching and making the most embarrassing involuntary noises, setting up everything in the back, and just taking in the view, one deep breath of cool air at a time.


The perfect vacation spot–kept secret in order to be saved for the most daring and most deserving. A hidden gem.


Doesn’t this seem magical? I’d love to spend a day lost on the other side of this gate.


This is one of my all-time favorite pictures. I found it a while back and it quickly became an obsession. It’s so simple and clear, but makes me long for open air and freedom and further inspires me to venture into this world. This is what I see when I think of wanderlust.


I’m immediately transported when I see this picture. I feel the slight ache in my biceps as I pull the paddle slowly through the heavy water. I carefully reach over and run my fingers through the icy stream. I listen to the birds as they sing to each other. I’m in paradise.


Another road trip picture. Just a reminder that beauty is everywhere and it’s true when they say it’s not the destination that matters, but the journey. A good reminder to slow down and look around every once in a while. Pay attention.



Elephants are my favorite animal and this picture was taken at just the right time to show all the beauty.


A true laugh and a yellow umbrella.

Just some harmless PDA that captures true affection and love. Another good reminder that adventures are best shared with loved ones.

Balloons being released by the Eiffel Tower. Love the angle, love the color, love all the messages you can choose to associate with it.

On my bucket list. Not only do I want to visit all of these places and take in all of their beauty, but I want to take stupid-cute pictures and just smile and laugh all the way around the world.


Few things are better than a good belly laugh. And adorable children.




Admittedly a lame picture/quote but I kind of love this. Let people hate you or try to beat you or bring you down, it doesn’t matter. Be you. Be nothing less than fabulous. Always.

I’m a firm believer that we play a huge part in who we become–it’s not all based on society and how we’re raised. I believe people can change, they just have to decide who they want to become first. And then become it. Also: elephant.


Friendly reminder that you only live once without the annoying acronym. Also, wild and precious are perfect descriptions of life. Let’s live, shall we?


Map + Adventure. How could I not have this on my wall?



San Francisco: the city I fell in love with because of The Princess Diaries. This love has only grown since.


The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya. It’s a hotel where giraffes just occasionally pop their heads in. Going on the wall to remind me to make it over to Kenya sometime soon.


Glethoom: the town with no roads. Guests can rent “whisper boats” that are electronic and noiseless and will take passengers around the area. Added bonus to being super cool: no car pollution and tons of trees. If anything I’ve got to go to breathe such pure air.

R6Last but not least: elephants. Specifically in Thailand at a Four Seasons resort, where these beautiful creatures just roam around and can interact with guests. You know, casually.

So there you have it! I guess it’s kind of weird to put so many pictures on my wall that 1) don’t have me in them, 2) are of places I’ve never been to and random people I’ve never met and 3) aren’t even my own. But these photos make me happy, so on the wall they will go. And maybe someday I’ll take pictures beautiful enough for me to display like this.

Until then, these 21 (not to mention all the others) will do just fine.



PS. Please tell me you’ve heard of Timeflies. If yes, congratulations on being in the know of one of today’s greatest artists. If no, welcome. Do yourself a favor and check them out. My favorite is Time of your Life, but their new album is just as good as their takes on popular songs.


Dear Reader,

So the other day I found a video from one of my favorite Youtubers, Ayydubs (Alyx), that talked about being happy. And because I’ve been writing more optimistic posts lately and haven’t shared a video in a while, I thought this would be appropriate and helpful for all those who might be feeling down these days.

Also, I love watching advice videos, but sometimes it’s just so much easier to skim through the tips and pick the ones that are unique and relatable and helpful–because there’s obviously tons of pieces of advice that we hear all the time. So I just thought I’d summarize her points below for those of you that just want the bullet points. Enjoy! 🙂



Try to be as involved as possible in everything you do. It’s so easy to go through the motions that we all have mastered, but everything is so much more meaningful if you just focus your attention–whether it’s in class, at work, in sports, or even just talking with friends or being with people. Just commit to whatever you’re doing. It’ll all seem much more worth your while.


Write a list of everything that upsets you and bothers you day to day and then come up with a solution to each of those things. Some of them won’t be easy to change, but you can train yourself to be more optimistic and, ultimately, you can change your mindset.

Sometimes the solution can be as thinking long and hard as to why some things aren’t important. Focus on what you want: healthy, supportive relationships, a good education, and to be the best version of yourself. (Obviously just examples; it’s all relative)


Don’t worry about the image in the mirror or the number on the scale. Work on being comfortable and confident in your own skin. This is difficult for me to preach because I still struggle with this–probably more than I did in high school. But if you treat your body right, give it the nutrients it needs, stay away from foods that only feel good in the moment, and find the joy in exercising, your overall mood can significantly improve.

Alyx also mentioned CosmoBody, a website that gives you workouts and challenges to complete. Sometimes this can really help because feeling accomplished is one of the best things ever. I don’t know if I’ll actually pay to use this website (there is a 30-day free trial, though), but I normally stick to Blogilates videos and pinterest workouts. Whatever works works.


Then when you’re feeling sad, do one! Don’t let yourself wallow in self pity or anger. If you want to feel better, just do something that makes you feel better–no matter how materialistic it may be (I’m a big supporter of retail therapy).


Personally I cannot stress this one enough. I have yet to feel better than the day I helped at a soup kitchen. You can also just partake in random acts of kindness for strangers or friends. Just spread the love.


This isn’t to make you feel like your problems are irrelevant, but sometimes it’s helpful to feel that you’re not alone–to feel that other people are struggling to remain happy all the time in this world. Also, giving advice or helping out a friend can often make you feel better. Plus, they’ll probably be there to do the same for you.

*Venting often helps me, but you’ve got to be careful. Sometimes it can leave you angrier or sadder than you were before because you just justified all of your feelings. I suggest leaving a vent session only after deciding to do something about it (unless it can be ignored and deemed irrelevant) or getting advice from someone. Unless all you needed was to get some stuff off your chest.


Alyx ends on a broad piece of advice, but it’s still valid. If you make it a priority to have positive, optimistic thoughts, the little things can build up and you can end up changing your view completely.



PS. Here’s a happy little song about a man who would leave it all for her. Budapest – George Ezra


Dear Reader,

Alright here’s the thing: if you’ve been keeping up with me, you’ll know that I am a freshman in college. You’ll also know that college is proving to be hard, despite how much I tried to prepare myself. And you’ll know that because I write for clarity and insight and just as a way for my thoughts to explode and be free, I’ve been posting some pretty sad entries–often at night.

So then I decided I would write happy posts for a while. I can choose to be happy and look at the good things in life. After all, there is so much I have to be thankful and happy about.

So that’s what I’m going to do.

Instead of sit here on this gloomy day, ranting about how I’m lazy and unaccomplished and stupid, I’m not going to focus on myself. I’m going to focus on this beautiful world filled with inspiring people and lovely feelings.

Here’s What Makes Me Happy: 

  1. new music
  2. sunrises
  3. good hair days
  4. inspiration kicks
  5. getting mail
  6. hand-written letters
  7. laughing out loud at TV shows at tumblr posts
  8. laughing until it hurts
  9. laughing until you cry
  10. waking up in the middle of a good dream, realizing you have more time to sleep, and getting to finish it
  11. sitting in a clean room
  12. boy bands
  13. payday
  14. compliments
  15. unexpected rhyming
  16. when your handwriting looks really good
  17. eye candy
  18. cancelled classes
  19. finding the perfect gift
  20. making someone laugh
  21. retail therapy
  22. knitting
  23. dreaming the impossible
  24. comments on a post
  25. yogurt parfaits
  26. cute mugs
  27. puppies & babies & other tiny creatures
  28. maps
  29. talking back and forth with a friend: “remember when”
  30. the full moon
  31. breathing in the fresh night air
  32. texts that say “did you make it back okay?”
  33. random acts of kindness
  34. clothes straight from the dryer
  35. laughing at yourself
  36. getting flowers and displaying them in your room
  37. being proud of something you’ve created
  38. supportive friends
  39. libraries
  40. beautiful pictures (future post coming soon)
  41. crushing on someone
  42. late night talks
  43. rain showers and thunderstorms
  44. seeing a cop car on their own driveway surrounded in children’s chalk drawings
  45. blanket forts
  46. oversized sweatshirts
  47. pick-up lines
  48. birthdays
  49. trying not to laugh in a silent room
  50. the promise of a new day

Feel free to share some of your favorite things in the comments or let me know if you make your own happy list! I always find it handy to have just a few of my favorite things in a list like this on hands at all time.  It’s so simple to create and sometimes the impact it can have is unexpectedly huge.



PS: Montana – Youth Lagoon Around 3 minutes in is where I fell in love with this song.


Hello dear reader,

It is 2:53 on a Friday morning and I am taking a short study break while waiting for my laundry. The last entry I posted a few days ago was about how these next few posts are going to be happy. So, continuing with the theme, I have decided to make a list of what to do if you’re sad. (Also, side note: I just put it under the category of “Top 10” because I love lists. So I might start making posts like top 10 songs, top 10 awesome moments that happened this month, top 10 best pickup lines I wish someone used on me. We’ll see how it goes.)

Now, when I think of the feeling “sad,” I divide it into two subcategories. There’s the feeling of sadness where you just want to watch films that end happily, but are so gut-wrenching in the middle that you bawl your eyes out into your carton of cookies and cream ice cream. When you want to listen to playlist after playlist of sad songs that tug at your heart strings and pull the tears from your eyes. When you want to analyze every sense of the feeling and embrace it all.

Then there’s when you feel sad but you want to get better. You’re far from the self-pitying mood and just want to be happy again.

Here’s me top 10 favorite things to do when I’m in that mood:

1. Listen to happy songs. Inspiring songs. Optimistic songs. Stupid pop songs that are just enough in your range that you sound fabulous singing along. Songs that remind you of fond memories and happy days. I recommend songs that remind you of summer (One Republic always does it for me) or your childhood (the Barenaked Ladies bring me back. Cheetah Girls too.) OOH and never underestimate a good Disney song. Phil Collins, man. Enough said.

2. Workout. Sure, you might feel like death during it, and you might look like death afterwards, but you’ll feel great when it’s over. I actually haven’t found many feelings better than that of pride when you’ve accomplished a hard workout. And, sure, the next day you may hate every staircase you encounter, but there’s something so gratifying about feeling sore.

3. Go out into the world. There is so much to see. So much right outside your window. Find some woods, or a path that’s hidden away somewhere. Admire the architecture of the buildings you pass on a daily basis. Watch a sunrise or sunset–two of the most breathtaking events that we get to witness on this Earth and they happen every day. Search for the beauty and you should be able to find it without much effort.

Helpful hint: dress appropriately. Winter is stunning. Everything is coated in a layer of pure white, and if you’re up early enough and are lucky enough to catch the world when it’s pristine, you’re golden. That being said, it’s not going to be much fun to stare at the snow if all you can think about is your purple fingers and the lasting effects of frostbite. So just be smart. Wear tons of layers when it’s freezing, opt for a sundress or not shirt (if you’re a dude) when it’s hot and humid. The world and it’s natural elements are beautiful, sometimes you’ve just got to prepare accordingly and endure it to witness it.

4. Puppies. If you have one at your disposal–perfect! And actually, all animals can work for this one. Just snuggle up to your choice of cuddly companion and channel all your love into them. I choose dogs and puppies because I feel their love to be best reciprocated, but if you have a friendly cat or ferret or cow or what have you, by all means go for it.

If you’re like me and you don’t have your best animal friend with you at the moment, I present to you the next best thing: Cheri’s Preferred Puppies 24 Hour Puppy Webcam.

I am currently near a town by the name of Hamilton. In said town there is a pet shop that literally displays their puppies in the window. As if driving past that wasn’t the highlight of my day, I came home to discover that these puppies’ lives are broadcast at every hour of every day. I’m happy to report that they are currently awake and playful as ever.

Disclaimer: this may make you feel more sad–especially if you don’t have a  dog. It might make you wish you want one and you might end up feeling lonelier than ever. Just be careful.

5. Read. Sometimes I use this as a last resort. If you can’t find anything to make your own world joyful, why not enter a fictional one? Now, I wouldn’t exactly opt for 1984  or The Hunger Games. Some nostalgic books from my past are always good, though. They’re like old friends that you’ve shared all these memories with and when you go to revisit them, you find they haven’t changed. It’s refreshing. So, I’d choose maybe a book from the Magic in Manhattan or The Wedding Planner’s Daughter series, or possible a comic book like Calvin and Hobbes or Garfield. Oooh or Not Quite a Bride! I LOVED that book!

6. Write. Sometimes I’ll turn to my journal or blog (as you guys knows) and just rant. Sometimes this helps, sometimes I still feel sad. In that case, I often turn to my novel. Something that inspires me. Just another effective method I use to escape reality.

7. Be productive. Clean you room. Do your homework. Organize your closet. Make a list and check it off. Then you can just sit there, content and accomplished.

8. Play music. I am forever thankful that I know how to play instruments. Sometimes all I need is just a quick jam sesh–singing at the top of my lungs and banging along on the piano. I just have to remember to check and be sure that I’m home alone.

Disclaimer: Similar to #1, this is all about the music. I enjoy playing and singing along to “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You” and “First Day of my Life.” One time my sister was in the hospital and I was terrified, so I sat at the piano and went through all of the songs in my repertoire. As soon as I got into the chorus of “The Funeral” by Band of Horses, though, I had to stop. I was sobbing. Seriously–ugly crying. Music is powerful. Proceed with caution.

9. Volunteer. Okay, volunteering is wonderful and helpful and very much appreciated, but I’m about to be selfish here. Volunteering feels so good. How I felt after working a soup kitchen is one of the single best feelings I’ve had in my entire life. I can’t perfectly explain it, and you might not understand until you do it, but there’s something about giving back that feels amazing. It’s like how on Christmas, you’re sometimes happier watching a loved one open their gift from you than you are when you open your gift from them.

So it sounds selfish for me to say that I love volunteering because it helps me feel good, but it does! Of course, there are other major perks, but the feeling I get after giving back is almost indescribable. So if you’ve been sad for a while now, sign up to volunteer at a soup kitchen or help abandoned or abused dogs find a home. Just help out in the community, even if the sole purpose is to make yourself feel better. Whatever gets volunteers on board works for most organizations.

10. Something to make you smile. This might be too broad to end on, but here’s what I mean: when I’m sad and don’t want to be anymore, sometimes feeling better is as simple as looking around. I keep a list of my favorite things on my desktop. I have lists of funny memories and inside jokes I share with my friends on my phone. I have saved messages and snaps that have been screenshot that are pure gold. Sometimes it’s as simple as creeping on yourself. Go back in time on your twitter or Facebook or tumblr and find old updates and things that once made you laugh. Just taking a trip down memory lane can sometimes remind you that there was once so much light in your life. It’s bound to return sometime.

Disclaimer: The past sometimes hurts as much as it helps. Reading old messages with people who’ve changed or people who’ve lost contact with you has never proven to me to be a good idea. Again, proceed with caution.

The most important thing, I find, is know yourself. Know how you’re feeling and know how to change your own mood. These are tried and true methods that work for me, but if you hate writing or can’t play music, find something else! If you don’t have a hobby, start now! I learned how to knit last week and it would probably be #11 on this list if I had made it any longer.

If I had to give myself advice, I’d say this is the perfect 10 things to do to feel happy again. But, if you’re reading this, there’s probably about a 50% chance you’re not me. So just try a few out, or find other quick sources of happiness in your life.

Just remember: no matter how bleak things may seem, they can always turn around. And they will if you want them to. That may not be any consolation, but if you’ve stuck with me this far, I’m sure you do want them to. Just have faith and reassurance that tomorrow you can start anew. You can control your own happiness.



PS: This is one of my current favorite songs to sing: Text Me In The Morning – Neon Trees