Dear Reader,

I was never very good at making friends. I mean, I always had school friends, and sports friends, and birthday party friends, but they were just that. Kids I only saw at school or sports or birthday parties.

A lot of the people I hung out with in grade school were boys, and I don’t think my dad ever liked me being around the opposite sex much. I still remember my parents vetoing my decision to invite my best friend (a guy) to my second grade birthday party.

Anyway, I never had a lot of play dates or visitors at my house. And I never had a best friend.

Everyone had a best friend. Someone they sat next to in kindergarten or shared their pudding cup with at lunch (can you really share a pudding cup, though? Seems messy). Before long, best friendships were popping up everywhere, whereas I was always part of a group.

I never minded this, and I never really realized this until reflecting on my childhood, but I’m writing now to thank Melissa Schoenlein for being my first best friend.

I’m not sure where we met or where this started (band? lunch? study hall?), but as of seventh grade, I had myself a best friend.

We were still part of a friend group, but the two of us became very close. We took silly pictures that we messed around with using picnik, we e-mailed back and forth constantly, we wrote in a journal in a secret code, and we gossiped (mostly about boys) constantly.

I’m pretty sure we had at least one fight, but that was about it. We never had drama in our friend group, really. The things we talked about were stupid, but they were at least innocently stupid, and we never concerned ourselves with the girl drama that many junior high kids find consuming their lives. Of course, we listened when our friends dealt with it, but our friendship was perfect healthy and fun.

And I need to thank Melissa. Once we got to high school, our friendship faded. Cliche as it sounds, we just sort of grew apart–which was fine for both of us. We still worked together on math projects sophomore year and chatted during symphony orchestra when we were seniors, but we were no longer at the point of on-going email chains and text message conversations–which is fine.

But Melissa, I thank you for letting me be my complete self, always. I thank you for helping me grow while letting my inner kid live. I don’t think I ever told you how much I appreciated you or how much our friendship meant to me. How much it still means to me. But I just wanted to say thank you for everything.

And I still wear one of the many friendship bracelets you made me sometimes.



PS. (Second) song of the day: Reflections – MisterWives



Dear Reader,

My high school principal was much like what I would imagine to be your typical high school principal: stoic, kind of scary, sometimes compared to a grizzly bear.

I was never the sort of student who was recognized in the main office. I didn’t call for much disciplinary attention, nor praise in the academic or athletic sense. I sort of glided by in high school, and was surprised when I discovered that the principal knew my name–and could match it to my face at that!

That’s not why I’m thanking him, though. I’m not about to write an entire entry thanking my high school principal for being able to recognize me out of almost 1500 students. And I’m not writing this to thank him for being a great principal, though I could–and maybe I should. He really did do a lot for our school and I’m sure that a lot of my fond memories from that place were possible because he was perfectly balanced as a principal. He let us be heard, but was always there to stop things from getting carried away. He was very understanding, but always let us know that he meant business.

Anyway, that’s not why I’m writing this entry.

During my senior year of high school, I took a class that counted for college credit called “teaching professions.” Because this class was designed to prepare us for the real world of teaching before we fully committed to the major, it ended with an interview.

At the end of the year, everyone who took the course got dressed up, put together a portfolio (containing 24 essays, 48+ pieces of evidence, pictures, pamphlets, the whole deal), and sat down with two faculty members for a mock interview.

Most everyone got someone they didn’t know. A random principal from some other school or perhaps a college professor or something, but of course I get Dr. Short–a man who not only scares me but has access to more information about me than I could guess.

To make matters worse, I’m awful at talking. I trip over my words and say “um” and “like” and lose my train of thought–and interviews are awful! They’ll ask me one question and by the time I’m halfway through the answer, I’ll forget what I was answering, and I’ll just go in a completely different direction.

So I’m answering their questions and finding it incredibly difficult to read my principal.  The entire time I’m thinking, he hasn’t smiled in a while. Ugh he’s probably so bored. My first substantial conversation with Dr. Short and I’m coming off sounding like a completely unprepared idiot!

I mean, I was babbling. Going on and on, trying to find the right answer for questions like why I want to be a teacher.

Of course know why I want to be a teacher–I want to make a difference! I want to help kids grow. I want them to not make the same mistakes I did, and I want them to realize their true potential and push their boundaries and realize the beauties of the world. And English can help!

I want to learn as much as I can (because I obviously have a lot to learn) and then I want to teach it to anyone who will listen to me.

Of course, I have a lot more reasons that that, but that was the one I went with. So I’m yakking their ears off for probably 2 minutes just talking about that, and I’m not even sure it’s comprehensible at this point, when Dr. Short says, “who’s your current English teacher?”


“Well tell him to keep teaching for another four years.”

I didn’t really understand what he meant by this, so I said, “oh yeah, but he wants to get out before he has to completely change his teaching style to fit with technology, because all kids at Perrysburg get computers now, so I don’t know if he’ll stay that much longer.”

Dr. Short laughed and said, “I just want to have a spot for you when you graduate college.”

And I was kind of speechless–which isn’t the best thing to be during an interview. So he continued, “I would love to employ someone with your passion for teaching.”

To this day I have not forgotten those words.

I had just been offered a teaching job, at age 17, at one of the best high schools in the state–in the country! And I know he didn’t really secure me a job or anything, and he might’ve just been saying it to quiet me down (I mean, it worked!) or never intends to follow through with it, but I still consider it to be one of (if not the) highest compliments I’ve ever received.

Saying this means he believes in me. He believes that I have at least potential of becoming a great teacher. And I would love nothing more than to be able to teach at Perrysburg High School after graduating college.

So I don’t know what he meant by this comment, or what he was thinking when he said it, but I need to thank him. I did in person, but I’ll continue thanking him until I graduate probably! When I think about the future: sad salary, annoying parents, lots of pressure–I mean, it can be a lot. And I’ve never regretted my decision to pursue teaching, because it’s something I’ve always known I’m meant to do, but that comment keeps me working hard.

I want to come back to Perrysburg. And if they don’t have a spot for me, I want to go somewhere equally as great, and I want to be confident.

And Dr. Short’s comment that day is the great confidence-booster I’ve ever received.

So thank you.



PS. Song of the day: Geronimo – Sheppard


Dear Reader,

To this day I don’t know where I stand with this teacher. Despite our complicated and eventful past, I don’t think we’ve ever hated each other–which is astonishing. I was an awful student who didn’t do any of my work and was “wasting away my potential.” I was frustrating to work with and I didn’t care. I also did something to put her under the impression that I had been lying to her (still unclear of this).

And she was a teacher who was equally as frustrating to work with. Okay, it wasn’t equal, but I couldn’t get away with what I was used to getting away with–not that I didn’t try. And then she decided I couldn’t move onto AP English, while I felt that it was neither her decision, nor the right decision.

This led to a meeting. The most humiliating, frustrating meeting I’ve ever been a part of. I felt so hopeless. I sat there in front of her, the head of the English department (my future English teacher), my guidance counselor, and my mother. And I cried. I’m pretty sure she did, too, but I don’t remember a lot. I tried to forget the events that happened as soon as I got home.

The consensus was that I wasn’t able to go onto AP English–a class that I felt was necessary if I wanted to get into a good college. Or if I wanted to enjoy my senior year.

I was broken hearted. I still don’t know how I feel about everything. After all, it all turned out fine. I got into my first choice college and they still let me take the AP exam–I got a 4, which is alright.

I still wonder if I would’ve gotten a 5 if I had taken that class.

So Farrar and I have quite a history. I had her as a freshman and a junior and her class was always something to look forward to (on the days I had my work done, at least). And I need to thank her.

I thank her for never giving up on me. For never thinking I was stupid and never lowering the expectations she had originally set for me. I did plenty in all of my other classrooms to lower the expectation for myself, but Farrar refused. She believed I could become something with my writing. She still believes I will.

Even recently she contacted me telling me not to stop. She always tells me not to stop–says I was born to write. I’d always been confused what she meant by this though. Journalist? Author? Blogger? What does she want me to be?

But I realized it doesn’t matter. I can do whatever I decide to set my mind to. One of my majors is journalism. I’m working (here and there) on two novels. I have this blog. I can explore my options and decide what I want to do, but I can never thank her enough for always being so supportive.

I’ve always been a writer–it’s just something I’ve always done. But, as most people know, I don’t exactly glow of self-confidence. And writing is so subjective! How was I ever supposed to know if I’m any good? I don’t have the largest vocabulary and I’m sure I make grammatical errors constantly. I often write too much (this post, for example) and more often than not, there seems to be no point in what I’m trying to say.

But Mrs. Farrar believes in me, and she always has. And she doesn’t keep mum about it, which makes all the difference. Just to have one person–an English teacher, nonetheless–have confidence in me to the point where I would feel rude to ever stop writing. That means everything.

So thank you.

And I’m sorry.



PS. Song of the day is One Night Stand by Em Harriss. Enjoy!


Dear Reader,

Well it’s after midnight, but today has been crazy busy because it’s the first time I’m back home!! So I’m allowing myself to count this as day 2 still because I can do that. Another thank you note will be up later today (much later).

So this one is to my parents. I really don’t thank them enough, and that’s a true shame. We don’t have the best relationship, and I will have to apologize for all the trouble I cause until the day I die, but that doesn’t change any of the facts. No matter how long it takes for them to come around, my parents always end up supporting me throughout all of my decisions.

They allowed me to join every sport under the sun and explore all interests from music to writing to anything and everything imaginable. They’ve funded all of my ridiculous ambitions and helped fuel my passion for travel. From New York City to London to Paris to San Antonio. They taught me the importance of getting a good education–they’re paying for my college. That alone is something I will forever be grateful for. Something I’ll never be able to repay. They taught me the importance of family and I know that, no matter where we stand, I can always turn to them.

I’m truly thankful for my upbringing.



PS. I love Fall Out Boy. I love Panic! At the Disco. I love mashups. Therefore, I love this perfect song which combines Sugar, We’re Going Down Swinging and This is Gospel. Enjoy!


Dear Reader,

In case you don’t know: this is the first of 21 letters thanking various deserving people in my life. They won’t be aware that I’m thanking them because they don’t even know I blog, but I want to share how wonderful they are to the world and I want to get in the Thanksgiving spirit and finally put these words down on paper–they’re all long overdue, after all.

But these letters are still to you, whoever you are, dear reader, and you don’t know these people. So I will be explaining how wonderful they are, while thanking them at the same time, even though they don’t know. Confused? Sorry. I just think that it’s important to count your blessings and say thanks–even if it’s just a pointless scream into the vast depths of the internet that may never surface again. It’s personal. It’s reflective. It helps put things into perspective. There’s a lot to be thankful for and there’a lot of people who do wonderful things that sometimes seem to go unnoticed.

So, now that all that has been said, first up is Maddie Statham.

I met this girl maybe a month ago and a few nights ago, she helped me through one of my hardest nights in college. I’m not going to go into too much detail (it’s far too embarrassing anyhow), but at one point I was laughing so hard that I was crying, and at the next I was actually crying. Full-fledged, ugly crying. Of the panic attack variety. And out of the five people I was with, Madison sat me on the bed and calmed me down. Everyone else was really understanding, and I’m really thankful to call all of them my friends, but Madison handled the situation perfectly.

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to repay that kind act, and I did thank her, but I don’t think she’ll ever know how much that night meant to me. I was in a really bad place and she helped me get through it (without losing too much of my dignity). So for that I have to say thank you.



PS. This song is very popular right now but it’s so good and the music video is chilling. Definitely check it out if you haven’t yet. Take Me To Church – Hozier



I don’t know if it’s because it’s November or because Thanksgiving is coming up, but recently I’ve found myself counting my blessings. They’ve just been crossing my mind a few times each day, but they’ve made me realize how undeservingly blessed I am.

I owe it to so many people to say thank you–which is what I was about to do in this post. But then I started writing, which led to babbling, which led to 2,000 words and only five people being thanked. But there’s so many more I need to say thank you to, and there’s so much more I need to say!

So I’ve started this project. I have 21 days until Thanksgiving and every day I will thank someone new. I know that most (if not all) don’t even know about this blog, so they won’t ever find these posts, but this is something I need to do. And hopefully it’ll prompt me to give them proper thanks in person.

Lord knows they all deserve at least that.



PS. The other wonderful thing about this project is that I can share a new song every day! I’ve been getting a lot of new music recently and was almost just going to write a separate post of my current music obsessions–but this is so much better! So, the song of the day is Ugly Heart by G.R.L. Enjoy!

PPS. Join me! I understand that this idea is nowhere near original. There’s probably tons of tags/trends that are going viral this month, but take part! I started writing just a few letters giving thanks and it felt so amazing to finally get these long-overdue words off my chest. So whether you join me in this specific project or not, I strongly encourage everyone to reach out and show someone how much they are appreciated. The feeling you’ll both get is worth it. At the very least, just do it to be festive.