Stranger Stories: An Anonymous Story About Being the “Other” Woman

a note from Mary: this story contains sensitive subject matter, please be aware. 

Like the author of the last fabulously-written anonymous story, I too reached out to Mary to be a guest writer on her blog. I have found that some stories are harder for me to share, and this is one few people want to hear let alone try to understand. This is the story about being the other woman. 

I know what you’re probably thinking, because I can almost guarantee I’ve thought the same things too. I’ve called those women numerous names and made assumptions about them, and then one day, somehow, I became the other woman. 

Four years ago I was entering my freshman year of college. I instantly became friends with this guy Scott (changing his name for the purpose of this story). Scott and I had many common interests and instantly became not just friends, but best friends. I knew I could call him at any second of the day or night and he’d coming running across the quad to my dorm and sit with me until the swelling of my eyes settled from crying so much. When I first met Scott I was still dating a boy from high school. The distance became too much for my little naïve heart to handle, and I soon started dating another guy, we’ll call him Mark. I knew from the start Mark was a bad idea. He was 3 years older than me and certainly more experienced than me. You know when you’re little and your mom tells you if something really makes you sad or uncomfortable that you don’t have to do it, that you should trust those feelings? Well unfortunately 18-year-old me didn’t listen to my mom’s advice. I wound up in an extremely physically and emotionally abusive relationship with Mark. It wasn’t until I was laying naked on the bathroom floor of my dorm room covered in bruises and blood that I realized I needed to get away, that I needed help.  

For the weeks to come, I distanced myself from everyone and everything and Scott and my friendship started fading away. It wasn’t until the summer after our freshman year that I told him the truth about Mark. This angered Scott. Okay so anger doesn’t even begin to describe how furious he was with Mark and the situation and how he wasn’t there for me, but somehow this turned into a conversation of Scott telling me he loves me. I told Scott I didn’t know how I felt. Looking back four years later I knew in that moment I loved Scott as far more than a friend, but I also knew my perception of love and life had been greatly altered by my relationship with Mark. 

So, Scott and I learned to live our lives separately. He loved me from afar and I hid under the covers of other men. Eventually we started dating other people and falling in love with them. Senior year of college came, and Scott was still in a very long-distance relationship with this girl (we’ll call her Emma) while I was single again for the first time in a long time. Scott and I quickly began to spend more time together. Scott would complain to me about how hard his relationship was with Emma being so far away and having so many differences, while I tried dating man after man, I realized I wasn’t happy and in love with anyone like I was with Scott. So one cold winter night, while I was crying over another boy, Scott comforted me, and we kissed. Right away we apologized, and said it was a mistake. I mean it was a mistake right? He had a girlfriend. I finally confessed to Scott how I felt and he said it wasn’t fair to him- he had felt that way before about me and I wasn’t ready and though he was miserable dating Emma right now it just wasn’t fair. So yet again, Scott and I drifted apart.   

Months went by without a single word shared between us, until one Saturday at 3 in the morning I received a phone call from him. The rest of that night is blurry. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t remember it, or that I don’t want to. We ended up hooking up and then I just started hysterically crying telling him how much I love him. I told him to leave Emma. I told him if he wasn’t happy with her that he needed to break up with her, and be with me. He said now I knew how it felt, now I knew what it meant to have my heart broken, and I began to cry even more. He quickly apologized, and said that’s not what he meant. He said that’s what he wanted too, for us to be together, and we fell asleep. The next morning I woke up in an empty room, trying to figure out if the night before really happened or if it was all a dream. After a few days passed I called Scott and said we needed to talk. So we did, and suddenly I realized I was the other woman. Scott didn’t want to be with me, but he didn’t want to let me go. Scott told Emma what happened and I was suddenly blocked from all of her social media accounts and all of his. I spent my last few weeks of college walking around campus with puffy eyes and baggy sweatpants, keeping my head staring at the ground as people called me a “homewrecker” and a “Whore.” I started to believe those names people called me, and I started hating myself.  

Graduation came, the summertime came, and I thought I was free. But, life never works out quite that way does it? Soon it was October, and I received numerous phone calls from friends in the area saying that Scott was talking about me. So I finally worked up the courage to go sit down with him face to face and talk about everything. Amongst the awkward silences were a lot of “I’m sorry” and “I want you to be happy” and “let’s try to be friends.” So we did, try. Four days later of us “trying to be friends” landed us both in my apartment bed, cuddling, and you guessed it-me crying. I told him I didn’t want him to leave this time, I wanted to wake up the next morning and see him. By some miracle I did, which of course was when he decided to tell me that him and his girlfriend were on a break and he needed to figure out what he wanted. Although they weren’t together at this point, a part of me still felt guilty, like I was trying to weave myself into someone else’s story. I decided this time to trust that gut instinct. After a few weeks of back and forth arguing, I’m not sure if I’ll ever see him again. 

So here I am, writing this, finally typing up my story. If you’re still reading this, you’re probably wondering what I want you to take away from it, why this story is important. It’s important because it’s not just a story, it’s my life. I am not THE OTHER WOMAN, I am A WOMAN. I have a heart and a conscience and a mind and soul. I do not have “bad morals.” I fell in love with a guy who had always been there for me. I fell in love with my best friend and he fell out of love with his girlfriend, and I thought that by some miracle we could be happy together. What I have come to realize is that it will never happen, us. So often I read stories about how much it sucks to get cheated on, and trust me I know, I have been there too. But what hurts even more is being “the other woman,” the one who always saw the good in people, the one who put up with people calling her a “fucking whore” and her supposed best friend telling her “you have no morals and you’re a homewrecker,” all because I believed that Scott really, truly did love me and wanted to be with me.  

“I am not THE OTHER WOMAN, I am A WOMAN.”

My mom used to tell me, “once a cheater, always a cheater.” She warned me about heartbreak and loss, but she never quite prepared me for this empty, disgusted feeling with yourself. So, here I am, trying to move on and live my life, without Scott. Believe it or not, I was the one who ended things. I don’t care if him and Emma were on a break or broken up or whatever the hell you want to call it, but I was and am done with being a part of his life. I am learning to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made, but more importantly, I am learning to love myself again. Sometimes we invest so much of ourselves into someone else’s potential that we forget who they really are and who we are and what we believe and what we want. I want someone who wants me, and only me. Emma, if you’re reading this, I’m so sorry how things happened, but I really did love Scott. And Scott, if you’re reading this, you need to make up your mind. I would’ve/could’ve loved you with everything that I had left to give, but I realize it was never really me that you wanted. Maybe it was all just a game to you, and you were reaching to feel something again, but it was always so much more to me. To my audience, I’m not sure what you think of me, and frankly, I don’t care. I am learning to love myself again. I am learning that no one is perfect, myself included. I am learning that we all make mistakes. I am also learning that everyone is deserving of love. One day, I will find the love meant for me. 

So before you go around calling people “homewreckers” and “slut-bags” and whatever witty things you think you can come up with, know this: We are each just trying to find our way in life, trying to find love and all deserving of love. And yes, I “the other woman,” have a heart too.  

Also, to those who are in abusive relationships, or have been assaulted or raped, I hope you find the courage to tell someone. I hope you find the courage to leave and to seek help. I still have moments where it is hard for me, but I am so thankful to have family and friends who love and support me and will never make me feel alone again. Surround yourself with people who make you happy to be alive. Those are the friendships worth having, and never settle for anything less than that.  

If you have a story that you would like to share, anonymous or otherwise email me at marysaverageadventures@gmail.com.

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My Final Semester

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Tomorrow is my last first day of school. I might’ve said that last semester, but really this is the last one. I have never been so excited but so nervous for school to be over.

It’s weird because this is really the beginning of the end. Five months from now I’m going to be a “real” adult. No more walk-in meal under the lump sum of my meal plan, same with the apartment. Work will no longer be holding babies and doing random things for the marketing department (okay depending on how things work out that could still be a thing) but really, my life is about to really change over the next few months.

I cannot begin to describe how quickly the past four years have gone and how much I have changed. I really do feel like it was just yesterday I was dreading going back for another semester, and this year I was itching to get back. Reflecting on my time at Hood has been amazingly reassuring to me, as well as my future.

I’m not good at change, and I never have been, yet it’s something I’ve craved for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s because of my major FOMO and I want to know what else the world can offer me, if it’s not that I don’t know what it could be. However, whenever I get to the new I end up afraid of missing what I left behind which is probably why I hated my freshman year of college.

I think the greatest lessons I learned during my time here so far, well those outside of class includes who to trust, how to get to that point, and not everyone changes/evolves at the same rate as you. College has allowed me to meet a lot of people and realize what I’m looking for not only in friends but mentors and bosses.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving! To be quite honest, it does not feel like Thanksgiving, I went to class today. However, my family is almost back to Dublin! I don’t think I mentioned at all yet that they have been visiting this week which I’m so thankful for, it’s so nice to have them here for the holiday because it’s my favorite holiday and if they weren’t here I would be super homesick.

Anyway, I’ve been doing really good with blogging recently, I hope to keep it that way. I’ll be doing a LNBM for an update probably one day this week. For today I just want to share what I’m thankful for.

  • My parents. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be studying abroad, I wouldn’t have traveled nearly as much as I have been. They are so supportive and encouraging of me, and I would like them to know how much I appreciate and how grateful and thankful I really am.
  • My sisters. While they drive me crazy, I love having two sisters. They are so supportive and always there when I need them.
  • The rest of my family. I think I am very blessed in the family department. I’m really missing all of them today.
  • My old friends. I have the absolute best friends, from college, from home, from the internet. Every day I am reminded that I am so blessed for the friends that I have. It’s nice to know wherever I go, someone is always there for me.
  • My new friends. They have made my trip here amazing, the experience even more special than I expected it. Now I have friends throughout the whole US which is pretty amazing.
  • My corner of the internet. Whenever I’m having an off day I have this place that I can come and write my feelings out, not judged, with people who can relate.
  • My school and studying abroad. I know that I am extremely fortunate to be receiving a level of higher education, and more specifically this semester, to be so lucky travel abroad and see the world.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a great day with your friends and family. Even if you aren’t celebrating take a minute to remember what you are thankful for today! Hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving!

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3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge: Day 3

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Okay so maybe I went the unconventional route with this challenge, and didn’t take it too seriously but that’s how I like to do life. This is a quote from one of my favorite TV shows “Parks and Recreation”. I think this quote is very suitable for myself, however I must also include family with friends.

Leslie Knope is an inspiration to all. Like talk about an empowering woman, Leslie is a powerful, amazing, positive, breakfast loving woman, and all around very inspiring to me, which is why I thought it was very important to make it my last quote. She’s just this huge feminist icon in my opinion, feel free to disagree, but when I think feminism I think Leslie Knope.

I think this just suits me and my love for breakfast foods, especially IHOP, and that sometimes, maybe I can prioritize that over people, but not really. They might almost be equal because whenever I talk to my friends from back home I just go on and on about how I miss IHOP.  However silly it may seem, it really holds some truth to it though. Friends and family, waffles, work.

I really appreciate the last part, always put work third. Work should never be the first priority because than nothing is going to matter, and I think people forget about that. There is this idea that work is what makes you money so it has to go first, but really what makes you happy needs to go first.

So my list would probably go: God, friends and family, breakfast*, school/blogging/work. I put blogging in the work category since it takes up so much time, more time than a hobby, but I thoroughly enjoy it. I do need to remember not to put it first, because I did have a tendency to do that when I was daily blogging. You need to put people and the things that really enrich your life first.

What would your list be like?

If you are confused by this post, be sure to check out yesterday’s and Sunday’s posts to catch up! Thanks again to Getting Through Anxiety for challenging me to this, I’ve had a lot of fun with it! I didn’t challenge anyone like I was supposed to, but I really encourage everyone to try it, it really makes you think not only about  your favorite quotes,  but about what they really, truly mean to you.

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*Half joking about breakfast being that high up on the list, half not joking.

 

B.G’s Guest Post: Online Friends

Currently I am galavanting (kind of) through Europe. Currently in the UK and probably enjoying the Lush on Oxford St far too much. Today B from Getting Through Anxiety, a good internet friend of mine, wrote a guest post for me! Enjoy her post on online friends and share it with your online friends!

Hey guys! This is B.G. from gettingthroughanxiety.wordpress.com. Since Mary won’t be able to  post from November 7th-15th, she asked if I would write a post for her, and I was more than happy to do so.  So, I’ve decided to write about (drumroll please…) online friends!

When I first started blogging, I honestly didn’t expect much of a turnout. Don’t get me wrong, I think I thought I would learn from the experience, but I didn’t really expect many people to read it, let alone “follow” it. For one thing I didn’t think that many people would be interested in reading about anxiety and for another, I just didn’t know how many people would discover my blog in the first place.

However, I slowly saw people commenting on my blog and to the say the least, I was both surprised and excited. Still, I didn’t think I would get many more readers, let alone meet some of the amazing people that I have.

I’ve always been (and still am), very cautious about how much information I share on the internet and who I share it with. I think while the internet is a great tool for communication, it tends to be misused and people tend to forget about the importance of privacy. With that aside, however, I’ve also come to discover that there are so many amazing people in the world and without the internet, I would have never met them.

Take Mary, for instance. She was one of the first people to stop by my blog and comment. It’s been over a year now and I still talk to her and here I am, guest blogging for her! Now, I’m still cautious about how much information I give away, but I’ve learned that it is possible to make great friends with people online, even if there’s the chance you’ll never meet them in person.

Through blogging, I’ve learned that there are so many people who experience similar issues that I do. Also, not only have I found a place where I can talk about my anxiety, but I’ve also found individuals that I can talk to about simple, fun things with like TV shows that I like and thought I never would or a mutual love for poetry and animals.

Something that I’ve learned is that if you do it right, friendships that you make online can be just as wonderful as the ones you forge in real life. Don’t get me wrong, it would be nice to be able to meet some of my blogger friends, but due to safety reasons, I don’t feel that’s always the best option. I have, however, met some wonderful people online and hold them very close to my heart.

The point is, that whether you forge a friendship through means of technology or through a one on one encounter with the individual, these friendships are still important and should be held in the highest regard. I’m so happy to have met so many of the people I have through writing my blog and that we’re able to share our experiences with one another.

So…I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post and stay tuned for Mary’s return! :)

 

Dead Conversations: Social Media and Personability.

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I feel as if with social media there are so many dead conversations and empty days. While yes when you sit on your phone when you’re out to dinner you could very well be communicating with a whole slew of people, but what about the people who are right in front of you?

Something that always bothers me is when I go out with a group of friends and everyone is just on their phones, but I also know that I can be an offender of this as well, but I’m trying not to be. We get so caught up in what we might be missing that we forget to look at what’s right in front of us. Sometimes I feel like when I’m out with a group of people they’re looking for what’s better and that’s what they’re going to find on their phones. You’re with a whole group of people, why do you need to talk to more? What about the people right in front of you?

I think as Millennials there is that constant need to be connected, and I think that can get mixed up by what a connection is. A connection can be more than through a phone or computer, it’s even more personal in person which seems to have been forgotten a lot of the time. We become less of a person online and in return less present to those who are right in front of us, so we just keep becoming lesser and lesser. People bully online because they can’t physically see the consequences, they don’t think of the person on the receiving end as a person. It’s not the same as communicating face to face, it’s not a bad way of communicating, I know it’s actually a great way. However, not when there are other people that you are supposed to be engaging with around.

Since I’ve been away I’ve noticed that people are less attached to the phones, especially the people who didn’t pay for data here. While, yes sometimes there is that search for wifi a lot of the time, when it’s not immediately available people are connect with what’s around them rather than what’s on the screen in front of them.

It’s important to use this new technology and talk to people, however, it’s also important to remember those who are right in front of us.  Remember to put down the phone, put away the laptops and tablets, and connect with everyone around you. Whether that’s a night out with friends or just a quick coffee, those connections are just as important as the ones you’re making on the phone. Now, I’m not saying, never use your phone in public, I would be a hypocrite to say that. I’m not saying make a connection with every person you encounter, I’m just saying make time with the people around you count.  This is something I need to get better with myself too. I know that I have a habit of being on my phone way too much, and it’s something I need to try and stop too, but I think this needs to be a group effort, something everyone is working towards.

Yin to My Yang: Soulmates

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Yin to My Yang.”

Let me be quite frank, I don’t know if I believe in soulmates the way that people mean the term. I think there are different kind of soulmates, and maybe that the soulmate isn’t just one, I think that there can be more than one because every situation has choices and two people might not make the same decisions every time which can lead to heartbreak, or just a complete breakaway before it even comes to love or the idea of a soulmate, it’s just that they could’ve been one of them.

When I think “Yin to My Yang” I honestly don’t even think about love or a soulmate. I think about my best friends. I’m not really good friends with anyone who is super similar to me. I’m friends with people who contrast me so well that it just works. I don’t ever think about that in relationships like that though. I don’t know why, but when I’m thinking about relationships, I’m never thinking about finding my perfect opposite, I don’t know what I’m thinking about, but I don’t think it’s that.

I once saw soulmates described like this:

“You don’t have only one soul-mate. If you did, you would have married your best friend three years ago. She knows you better than her right hand and she’ll listen to you cry from eight states away. You don’t have only one soul-mate because people wake up different parts of you- parts you never even knew existed. The boy when you were 15 taught you what it felt like to get caught kissing in a closet at the party you never should have been at in the first place, without his lips ever touching yours. When you were 18 a boy let you know what it’s like to have your heart lodged in your throat because he’s moving 2,000 miles away, and he won’t tell you when he’ll be back. You wait until you’re 22 to get attached again, and this time you felt it in every inch. It’s as if you got struck by lightning- the Lichtenberg figure crawls up  your arms and across your back, like his hands on your skin while you laid in bed together and you thought the thump of your heart was in time with his. You don’t have one soul-mate; instead, you have soul-mates, because your heart in huge and you have the room.” –s.m

To me this is the perfect description of soulmates in general. I think there are so many people that your soul connects with and I think that’s the perfect thing about love. That’s the great thing that we get to experience as humans. We get to be Yins and Yangs, for all different people and they get to be that for us. Soulmates don’t always have to be romantic. We can love people without having to worry about if they are the one destined for us because there are so many people that are destined for us. There are so many people that are meant to be in our lives, whether that’s temporary or forever.

I don’t know if any of this is true, but there are so many people in my life that don’t necessarily make sense. Take Hannah for example, if we didn’t meet as children, I don’t know if we ever would have been friends in high school, we were in such different circles, but because of that she has turned into one of my best friend soulmates.  There are people I’m no longer friends with, but they helped me so much in life that there had to be a reason that they were here, so they are the temporary soulmates. Then there’s recent people in my life like Eric, and I couldn’t tell you when he became my best friend, but he is, so he’s another one of those best friend soulmates. There are so many people that can come into your life at any given time and you just have to trust that they are there for a reason. Whether they are the Yin to your Yang or the Yin to your Yin, soulmates are all around you.

What do you think?

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Wasting Time

I don’t know if I’ve explained this before but one of the things I hate the most is wasting time. Today is one of those days where I’m just waiting for the next meeting or class or time but I typically make the best use of my time and I think that’s important. There are always things you have to do, like shower, brush your teeth, use the bathroom, interact with people, eat/drink, and other basic human rituals. Other than those things you should not do anything or spend time on anything you don’t want to do because it’s like throwing time away.

I hate the idea that I spend time in math classes and science classes considering I never plan on using that ever, I mean seriously, I have even thought about bin packing since last December? No, I mean other than laughing about how I don’t know how to do it anymore. So other than getting me a step closer to graduating it was kind of a waste of my time, however I did what I had to do. This is not comparable to spending time watching the Super Bowl to me. I don’t like sports, they are not enjoyable to me, especially on TV so why would I waste my valuable time watching sports when I could spend valuable time with my friends? So that’s what I did instead.

I find it sad that there are people who do so much that they don’t like doing. I don’t understand how you can spend so much time on something you can do nothing but complain about, don’t do it if you don’t like it. It’s a waste of time and your life if you pour your time into something that isn’t going to pay off because if you don’t like it, it’s not going to be good. Spend  your time doing the things you love because it makes life so much more enjoyable.

I love blogging, it’s honestly one of my favorite things but there certainly are things that I put above it. When I blogged everyday my laptop was essentially my companion, the annoying significant other that was always around. I would go out and if the blog post wasn’t up the laptop would come and I would try and the free time or pause from an activity to just post something. Now, I put my friendships before the blog or if I know I have plans I’ll do it before hand or if I know I’ll be back early afterwards. My blog is not allowed to be the annoying significant other in every friendship I have. Relationships come first, for me that’s a priority.

Prioritizing what you enjoy and giving up what you don’t is the key to a successful life, at least in my opinion. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice the things you love for the things you don’t. Do what makes you happy. Time is the most valuable resource anyone has because although it is created by man it is so limited and you never know when it’s going to run out. Wasting time is such a stupid concept that I don’t know why we allow ourselves to do it. New goal: make every second count as much as possible.

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Always Away From Someone

Today I met my friend Eric for lunch at an approximate halfway point for us and I don’t think I realized how much I missed him until I saw him, if that makes sense. He’s one of those people I can just talk to without judgement and about anything and I miss that and I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I saw him and came home again, I miss all of my friends from school but when I’m there I still miss people from home.

I’ve noticed this about going away for school and coming home for an extended amounts of time like winter break is that no matter where I am, I’m always going to wish someone else was there. When I’m home and crafting I’m going to wish that Molly and Logan were here. When I go to church at school I know that everyone there is still friendly but that doesn’t mean I don’t miss the hugs and people I know at my church. At school I miss hugs from my family when I’m upset, a hug from a friend doesn’t have the same power, no offence. If I’m on tumblr at home and see something funny I want to show Zoe right away, not just tag her in it, I want that immediate sense of laughter. I could go on and on with examples for every single friend I have, but for your sake, I won’t.

In the long run of life this is how things are always going to be. No matter where I end up there’s no way that every person I love can be there for me at all hours of everyday in case I might need them or want them there. In fact there will most likely be less people around me as I grow up because everyone has their own life to live and that’s how it’s going to be. The day will come where I will graduate and all of my college friends and I will dispearce all around and same goes for my friends and family here. I don’t know if there will ever come a point in time where I’ll pause and see people I care about all over the country from wherever I am and I’ll have new people wherever I am but they won’t be the same as the people I’ll miss just like my new friends will never replace my old ones.

I’m always going to be away from someone I care about. There’s nothing I can do to fix that, that’s the way life is. It is however, because of this that you meet new people, not to fill the spot of those missing but to find new people and friends to love. People come and go and those who matter will always be around no matter where in the world you end up you have someone or you find someone who cares. That’s what is really beautiful about life. There is an endless amount of love you have for people and yes, someone will always be missed but you add more and more people and the missing become not less frequent, but less noticeable. The best part about missing someone is seeing them again. Laughing and talking and making jokes again, because you miss the fun almost as much as you miss the person. Any relationship you have with anyone is different than that of a different friend, you can’t compare anyone to someone else because they won’t compare.

As much as I complain about people in general, the ones in my life are really great. Sometimes God grants us some of the most beautiful people and they come in and change our lives in such a special way, and I know that’s not how everyone thinks. Somedays I can’t help but think that there was a reason that every person was placed into my life and I’m very thankful for that. I’m also aware that this post is very positive, not sure why, but that’s how it went, new year, new me?

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Everything Happens for a Reason.

I really like the idea that everything happens for a reason and I really always have. Not only is it comforting when things are really bad but it makes life really interesting when you look back on choices you made and the outcomes of such things.

I like to think about what if I would have gone to University of Scranton instead of where I am now, and it would be really different. I might not blog, which that in and of itself is very weird to me at this point. I wouldn’t have the amazing friends that I’ve made here. It’s crazy to think that if I would have gone four hours in a different direction I wouldn’t even know these people.

What if I would have gotten into plays or musicals in high school? Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten a job when I did so maybe I wouldn’t go home once a month or maybe I wouldn’t have gone to Europe and met Lindsay and discovered my love for travel.

I think that it’s important that everyone just keeps in mind that everything does happen for a reason. Like even when things are really bad I like to remember that it’s happening for a reason and something really positive could come out of it. Negatives don’t always have to be negatives and my plan is to see the light in every problem because you never know when bad news can lead to good news.

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