“Everything that’s broke, leave it to the breeze.”

While driving to a meeting today I heard “Let It Go” by James Bay for the first time… and I needed it. Recently I’ve made major changes to my life for my health, both physically and mentally. What I didn’t think I’d still be struggling with is losing my best friend because I didn’t take the time to support myself which in turn disintegrated our relationship, but every day I find ways to cope with the change and turn it into something positive.

As someone ridden anxiety and depression I find myself at opposite ends of the spectrum, often lingering on the past and being worried about the future, but never really immersing myself in what’s happening now. I’ve realized it is so incredibly important to make time for self care regardless of how busy I am and that I need to continue to do things that move me forward. While still making plenty of time to be alone and relax, I’ve also surrounded myself with my sorority sisters and one of my roommates, making sure that I don’t isolate myself from the world entirely.

When I felt like I had lost it all, I discovered so much power in myself to push through and focus… ending up with a straight-A semester, something I had never before accomplished in my college career. When you hit rock-bottom, you have the opportunity to rebuild yourself, revive yourself. Did listening to “Rivival” make it a little easier? You bet it did. I may have also chosen to get a tattoo to mark my self-rediscovery.

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I challenge you to focus on yourself this Valentine’s weekend and from here on out. You cannot be the best you for someone else if you don’t. While we cannot determine what the future will hold, we can prepare ourselves for it, even if it’s a little bit at a time.

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#PlanWithMeChallenge 2016

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Rather than compiling my usual end-of-year post, this year I have chosen to focus on the present and the future. The past year was a huge learning curve for me in nearly every aspect of my life, and I’d rather not linger on memories that are painful to me right now or hash them out on the internet.

That being said, equipped with my brand new 6 month Plum Paper Student Planner, I have taken on the #PlanWithMeChallenge along with one of my sorority sisters who subsequently added me to a pile of Facebook groups filled with fellow planner-lovers. I believe there is nothing my stockpile of pens, my planner, and I cannot tackle this year.

Interested in joining the challenge? Check out the prompts here and join the Facebook group here. I’ve found planning to be a really relaxing thing for me because of my hectic schedule and dance with anxiety. Whatever you’re doing to better yourself this year, consider planning it. Be a goal digger like me!

 

A Special Place To Be

Just over two months ago, I found myself driving to Indiana University for a session of the Undergraduate Inter-Fraternity Institute. While I have spent a lot of time pondering the future of my school’s Panhellenic and the future of my chapter, it wasn’t until UIFI that I realized what a special place I am in not only in my school’s Fraternity & Sorority Life system, but in my chapter.

Life-Size Kerplunk!The week ran very similarly to the format of LeaderShape, which I attended a national session of last summer; the week that really turned things around for me. But this week at UIFI was exclusively Greek-focused and brought to light many challenges I had been lucky enough not to face. However, if you know my school and are familiar with our FSL system, it is not without flaws and not void of future challenges as we grow at an incredible rate. The growth of our community is beautiful. Do I think Greek life is for everyone? No. But I do believe in it, and believe it can do amazing things for its members and the community. Activities, challenges, reflections, and invigorating discussions led me to a place of self-discovery.

If you know me personally, you probably know that I’ve been in a sorority since my first semester of college. You might also know we were recently absorbed by Delta Zeta, and my what a journey it has been! Becoming a part of an international network of sisters has been mind-blowing and the support they have given us is beyond words. In fact, it was thanks to The Delta Zeta Foundation that I was even able to attend UIFI! As founding sisters of our chapter, we are in a position of responsibility not only to our future sisters, but to our community to set the standard for excellence. At UIFI, I realized that I am a special position on our executive board… I am my chapter’s first VP of New Member Education. I have the opportunity to guide our first group of new members through the beginning of their Delta Zeta journeys.

This task is not light, but I’m treasuring every second of it. It won’t be long until recruitment is over and I’m responsible for a roomful of young women. Women that will become leaders, make a difference in their communities, and exude Delta Zeta values. Women that enjoy giving back to their communities, are patient with one another, and have the courage to stand up for what is right.

UIFI connected me with fellow Greek leaders, challenged my thinking, IMG_6178and helped me realize my vision for our chapter and Fraternity & Sorority life everywhere. I didn’t think I could love Greek life anymore than I already did, but I was wrong. Together, we are stronger than the mistakes of our peers and the slander of the media. Together, we can make the world a better place. Commit yourself to excellence and knowing why you do what you do.

DZLAM

2014 in Review

One word: wow. What an insane year 2014 has been. No matter how hard I try or what plans I make, each year continues to constantly keep me on my toes. It’s almost hard to remember everything that happened in the beginning of the year, but a lot of thought and sifting through many unflattering photos has helped me create this conglomerate of a post of memories and accomplishments.

An Overly-Involved Spring

I finished my Spring semester with Spotify, once again fulfilling their Campus Influencer requirements (a program that has seemed to be discontinued, but was definitely great while it lasted). I had a lot of fun working with MRY, and would definitely recommend them for student brand ambassador programs, seems they run a lot of them these days!

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The contestants of our first Mr. Pink Pageant and myself

I was no stranger to non-profit work this spring as I finished out my term as the Event Coordinator for our collegiate Relay For Life, founded and coordinated our sorority’s first Mr. Pink Pageant, a male competition to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and had the opportunity to work as the Mid-Atlantic intern for Music Saves Lives, an organization that (among other things) rewards blood donors with VIP experiences at their favorite concerts such as the Vans Warped Tour. Ohhhh, sweet Warped Tour! As MSL’s intern, I got to switch up my usual summer routine and do a handful of dates working with them for the tour this summer! I was reunited with a bunch of my friends from years past, did a lot of people watching, and of course saw some great performances.

I got my fill of BBQ, new friends, and adventure this Spring by traveling to Austin, Texas for the music portion South by Southwest where I was lucky enough to work on a production crew! I wrote a little about this experience here, but I hope to come back in 2015 with more written about a week of (finally legal) margaritas, good music, and pulled-pork burritos covered in queso.

Sorority Life

Where do I even begin? At the end of 2013, my active “family tree” consisted of only four women. By the end of Spring we had grown to six on our branch. I was blessed with two more incredible littles, and as of the end of Fall 2014, a total of 13 women fall under my branch… bringing us to a whopping 14. Our entire chapter has been blessed with our final new member class before extension into a national organization. The strength, growth, and love that all of these wonderful ladies have exuded as we prepare for this transition has truly shown me what sisterhood is all about, and I couldn’t be more proud of Chi Delta Epsilon’s success.

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In 2014 I was elected as the VP of Communications for our University’s first Sorority Council, which has now been chartered as a Collegiate Panhellenic Association. Our community may be small, but it sure is mighty. Mighty in talent, support, and willingness to grow. I am truly blessed to say that I have friends I would consider my own sisters in every single one of our chapters. This Fall, I disaffiliated from my chapter to be a Rho Gamma and although it was challenging, it solidified the bond I have with members outside of my sorority. I was recently elected to serve as the 2015 VP of Finance and I’m thrilled to take on this new challenge and continue to better our community.

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My Little Emily and I with Ethan Zohn at CSU's Annual Leadership Conference

My Little Emily and I with Ethan Zohn at CSU’s Annual Leadership Conference

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One event that truly shaped (no pun intended) my year was my experience at a national session of LeaderShape, in the middle-of-nowhere Illinois. I wrote about it here, and it was an experience that I will never forget. I hope to one day work further with the LS team, as their mission truly resonates with me. In just six days I learned so much about myself, others, and gained a bunch of new friends across the country that I still keep in touch with to this day. LeaderShape was just one of many fantastic leadership experiences I had this year, including meeting Ethan Zohn (pictured right).

 

My Best Friend Became An Airman

Nicole CollageThough reluctant to let her go at first, I knew that joining the Air Force was the best choice for my number one, my partner in crime, my sister. I spent every moment I could with her this summer before she shipped off to BMT, and now she’s basking in the California sunshine at her technical school. The hope is that I’ll get to visit her in March for her 21st birthday, but this girl means the world to me and I can’t think of anyone else who would be more deserving of their own section in my end of year re-cap post. Thank you, Nicole, for always being my go-to, my confidant, my sounding board. I am so proud of you.

I Sold Many Shirts

Among my musical adventures, I got to merchandise for the inaugural Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus, Ohio, the Weapons of Mass Creation Festival in Cleveland, and sling some shirts for Neulore one night of their tour with Ingrid Michaelson. With these shirts came new friends, good music, and lots of memories. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in these opportunities, and I hope that 2015 brings a few more for fun as well!

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Green Turned Gold

As if going to school full time, working part time, and being a part of sorority life wasn’t enough, I took on the task of being an Events Coordinator for the University’s 50th Homecoming celebration. I had the support of an amazing co-coordinator, PSA/SAA members, and an oh-so-helpful marketing chair to make it through the week. I even got to meet Norris Cole of the Miami Heat! From tie-dyed hands to fire dancers, this experience helped me come to love our school even more, and I can’t wait to help the next committee out-do us.

Homecoming Collage

I Got Some Ink Blasted Into My Foot

The day I got my tattoo!

 

This September I got my first tattoo while my soul sister and fellow blogger, Micaela, held my hand. The top of my right foot is now ingrained with “Love every step” by the oh-so-sweet Liz at Kollective Studio in Tremont. The desire for this piece came from my love of travel and hope to put compassion into the world everywhere I go. It’s a nice little reminder of one of my core values and Liz did an amazing job.

 

 

Things Got Wild

2014 was full of great friends, adventures, and late nights. In and out of Greek life, I am so fortunate to be surrounded by individuals who help me forget all the negative things in my life. They drag me out when necessary or are the first to sign up for nights of crafting when staying in is my best bet.
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I Started Selling Sparkly Things

I won’t go into a ton of detail, but this year I joined the merchandiser family of Chloe + Isabel. Everyone in the community is incredibly supportive, it’s a no-pressure climate, and best of all: I’m not allergic to our pieces. All of our accessories are hypoallergenic, nickel-free, lead-safe, and come with a lifetime replacement guarantee. I’m constantly running specials on my business Facebook page and you can shop by clicking the “My Boutique” button above!

Making CLE My Home

This summer, I moved into a house with some of my friends to a side of town I’d hardly visited before.  I bought myself a new bed and found a little more of my independence. Living in an apartment with one of my sisters the year before was nothing short of a blast, but my new living arrangements really make me feel more at home. My roommates are rambunctious, funny, and have shown me that it really doesn’t matter how full or empty the glass is, as long as there’s a drink in it. I can finally say that after two and a half years, Cleveland really feels like home now. I don’t know what my post-graduation plans are, but for now I’m so happy with where I am.

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How has your year been? What are you looking forward to in 2015?

 

 

You can now follow me with Bloglovin!

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Yippee! I’ve joined the world of bloglovin’, where you can keep up with your favorite blogs in one seamless site or app. A perfect little package will arrive in your email every day (if you so choose) with updates from the blogs you follow and bloglovin’ will even recommend some new blogs for you to check out!

You can click that new sparkly plus button on the right side of my page or simply visit http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/13345751 to add me to your collection of blogs you like to read.

If you’re a fellow blogger, make sure to claim your blog on bloglovin’ and make it easier for your readers to access everything you post! I’m already so thankful for this wonderful creation and it’s great for discovering new blogs. I can’t wait to see what you’re writing!

TMI tag!

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With the hope that I will spend more time building my blog, and that such a desire will lead to many Starbucks blogging dates with Micaela, she tagged me to do a questionnaire post similar to something you’d see in the bulletins section of MySpace.

That being said, this is going to be long, so click below at your own risk.

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