Julia’s Favorite Things…

I write about a lot of the same things because its all I know:

Addiction, Alcoholism, Heartbreak, English, and Law. That’s all I got. Sorry. 

For this last blog post, I wanted to write about the books I suggest for summer. And OF COURSE that all ties back to drinking or a boy or something… again–sorry. BUT–last summer, when I recently became single, these five books that I read after my breakup were life changing. They were my own therapy. I wrote a blog for Gandy Dancer encompassing this idea, and wanted to share that with you all. So–here is my Gandy blog post, and here are my book suggestions for this summer:


We’ve all been there. Whether you are suffering after a divorce, first love lost, or the defeat of your favorite team, heartbreak is tough. Here are five books to read that will help you cope in this trying and difficult time.

  1. First step of the process is to grab some Rocky Road, a comfy blanket and a lot of tissues. All settled? Now, dive into New Bern, North Carolina—the hometown of Nicholas Sparks. Let’s wallow. My personal Sparks favorites are The Notebook and The Last Song. This step is the most important to give the appropriate grievance to your loss. The Notebook reveals a tender and beautiful story about the aching and persisting power of a strong love. Within this love, there are obstacles and longing memories revolving around the most steadfast emotional bond within human nature. There are high stakes and crucial changes between these characters that make the book a suspenseful read and definitely, a tearjerker. The Last Song is yet another powerful Sparks novel unfolding around the same idea of love and its various forms. This story understands the incredible relationships, along with their downfalls, between lovers, family and friends. This demonstration of a deep and unforgettable love will break your heart, then heal it just the same. So once you’ve cried your eyes out, on to book number two.
  2. The next part of the process is distraction. The prolonging feeling of thinking and overthinking needs to be interrupted. So, let’s move on to an interesting and amusing novel as we enter the stories of Mr. Sherlock Holmes. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of intense, curious and mind-blowing crimes and detection. While reading this, you will enter London and the brilliant, charming dynamic duo of Holmes and Watson. This world will distract you from your lingering thoughts, and let you live a different life for a while as a cool, crime-solving detective. You will be able to experience a fast, unpredictable environment and escape reality for a bit in this thrilling novel. Arthur Conan Doyle will challenge your mind in a multitude of installations and make you think twice about the impressions you give off to others. This break from reality will help to heal by experiencing a refreshing breather from the wallowing, and instead enjoy curious thought and surprising plot twists.
  3. Now, it’s time to put some things into perspective. The world is HUGE and there is so much going within it. Your misery looks smaller compared to the universe, and knowing that others are hurting just the same will help you to feel less alone. This company and support will help because you will know that others are sad too, you are not going through this pain unaccompanied. So now, dive into the cold world of Russia with Tolstoy. Anna Karenina will show you complexity, heart ache, and complicated familial issues. This book revolves around star-crossed love, seclusion, and engulfing drama and reveals to the reader that you are not alone in your problems. Others have been there.
  4. The next step is to gain some self-awareness and remember who YOU are as a person and who you want to become. A powerful book regarding cleansing and self-discovery is Walden by Thoreau. Follow Thoreau into the woods as he unclutters his life and finds true meaning by dissecting the difference between man and animal. It is an intricate read that will leave you thinking about how you should go on trying to find yourself. While in a relationship, it is easy to morph yourself into a duo. But go into the woods, and discover who you were meant to be. This book will intensely challenge the necessity of things and provoke an inspiration for minimalism. Thoreau proves that all you need is yourself and your thoughts.
  5. The final step is to forgive someone who likely never even said, “I’m sorry.” You’ll be happier when you realize how much more you are worth, and how this person doesn’t deserve your forgiveness. But, you forgive them anyway. For yourself. The final book is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This book will show you the strength you never knew you had. It will send you off back into the world inspired and ready to rise above anything. Jeannette Walls shows a story of triumph. She was able to create a successful life on her own terms. The flawed love that was generated by her unconventional family gave her the determination to discover who she wanted to be and what life she wanted to build for herself. This story is one that develops the idea of tenderness, inspiration and persistence—the perfect memoir to end your journey.

Overall, these five steps and five books will give you the keys to success that you need to get through this trying time in your life. And when you want a break from reality you can escape—all readily available on your own bookshelf. These pages will be there for you whenever you need the support. As much as people may betray or hurt us, books never will.


I hope you all enjoyed, keep reading.



xox Jules

Putting My Skills To The Test//Writing and Confrontation

I recently (and by recently, I mean about twenty minutes ago), had an encounter where my writing became a literal necessity. I am very energetic and READY to write right now, since the topic is fresh and the cut is deep, and that’s why this blog post is relatively spontaneous–but SO important. 

Long story short, my friend has been physically, mentally, and verbally abused for the past year and a half. What started as a fun, and lovely college relationship, turned toxic extremely fast. However, by the time the moment came for her to step out, she was too deep in. Let’s call her Amy. Amy was so manipulated, and mentally abused that the things her boyfriend, let’s call him Bill, would do, she deemed as normal. Her ‘phone checks’, ‘outfit checks’ and regulation of where she can/can’t go, were SO normal to her, that she had no idea they were wrong. She was treated like literal PROPERTY for so long. As friends, we would constantly try to help and protect her, but it was almost a lost cause. We persuaded counseling, and advice. We involved parents–but nothing could get through to her. She loved him so much, she was blind to the manipulation because she just wanted to make him happy. 

This past weekend, the ‘fight’ that I referenced in class was because of their relationship. It dragged many people in the middle, and created a literal fist fight due to a threat he proposed. This was the final straw for Amy. She finally saw the light, and understood what we have been trying to tell her for a year. It finally clicked for her when she saw the dislocated thumbs, broken wrists, and bruised cheekbones. The impact that her relationship had on an entire national fraternity was actually insane.  I was in shock. 

Amy finally decided to say something. She went to the ARD, and then the Title IX Coordinator–THANK GOD, FINALLY. My friends and I were literally screaming of excitement. As support, Amy asked me and another friend to come and sit with her at the meeting. After describing the relationship to the counselor, she asked us to create personal statements of everything we could remember from the relationship–anything abusive, anything that the police or Dean needed to know. She then sent us on an hour break.

Within this hour break, I was so TRIGGERED and so HEATED from simply recalling all of the acts Bill completed, I sat down and started writing our personal statements. I was done within the hour. I made a 5-page bullet list of dates, explanations, acts, results, and impacts in regards to what has happened over the past year and a half. I then shared this document with Amy and our friend. They read it, and were confused how I asked my mom to write this so quickly. Instantly I was confused. 

My mom was an English major, and is now a lawyer. My friends literally thought that I called my mom, and told her everything and she typed it into a professional document and emailed it back to me to print. I replied and said “What  do you mean… I just wrote this in the hour gap between meetings?” 

My friends were SHOOK. I guess this proves that they have never truly seen nor appreciated my writing (until they needed it…).

They were impressed by the language, the efficiency, and how mature and how professional it was. To say the least, I was flattered. I suppose watching my mother type her legal documents all these years in correlation with my English Major really paid off…

Again, it is amazing how much my writing can have on people, and that is why I continue to write. From my Odyssey publication about my Ex that reached and helped so many people, to this ‘legal’ document that will reprimand this boy, I am ecstatic to make a difference, and to impact people simply with my words.

My suitemates, and the counselor, then proceeded to talk about how I should be a lawyer… go figure.

All in all, this has to do with the power of English, and of confrontation–that little ol’ subject we brought up last class. This disposition is the most confrontational thing that I have ever written. It is direct, bulleted, and doesn’t hold back. I am proud of it, as a piece of writing, and as something that could effectively help someone. 



Jules xox

What Keeps Me Writing? What Keeps You Writing?

People write for a multitude of reasons. From pure joy, to being coerced, to self-help or therapy–there is always an opportunity and reason to keep the pen on the paper. Allow me to share mine.

I write as a sense of reflection. Almost all of my poetry is creative non-fiction, or has derived from a direct experience that I have endured. Yes, my father is an alcoholic. No, I don’t smoke cigarettes–but my close friends are addicted. And so on, and so on. My poetry comes from a very raw source. I cannot just pull a bunny from my hat, there has to be at least some fur there already. 

With this, I write to cope with a lot that I deal with. It is my own therapy, my own metal sanity. And I am sure many of us all write for this reason. When my friends are going through a hard time, I often tell them to make a list of what’s bothering them, or write a ‘dear diary’ sort of journal. They don’t believe me that this technique works, and they often blame my suggestion on the fact that I am an English major. But I’ve been writing like this, and for myself, far before I was an English major…

Writing it all down, or even saying your problems aloud, allows them to lose power over you. The more you say it, and repeat it, and tell your story, the more annoying it becomes to explain. You then condense these feelings into the bare minimum, ‘long story short’ sort of thing–and that’s when you know it begins to lose it’s power over you. An example is when going through a break up, and instantly people ask you what happened. Initially, you want to rant. So, to the first few people, you tell the ENTIRE story–even if it takes you hours. But as people continue to ask, you don’t want to keep explaining the words that literally just take so long to convey. So you cut some parts out, and get down to the nitty-gritty. Finally, people STOP asking, because the basis of your break-up story has spread like wildfire. And if people choose to ask in weeks to come, you go “long story short it didn’t work out.” This is WHEN the words lose power over you. This is why talking and writing actually helps you to get sick of telling the story over and over, quicker.

In addition to the words (and ultimately, actions) that lose power over the speaker, writing it all down takes away a feeling of anxiety. Putting all of your feelings, and words onto a piece of paper condenses it, and almost takes it out of the repeating broken record that keeps replaying it in your head. Stripping this thought of the vulnerability of overthinking, and putting it onto this piece of paper, it blocks it out of your head, but allows you to revisit this place when desired, without it always being in the back of your mind, on repeat.

Overall, I write and constantly advise people to write for these reasons. Writing can take the power away from what’s bothering you, and it condenses it into a little box, that is no longer lingering in your mind. You won’t know unless you try it, but it truly is great therapy. 

From writing for yourself, you begin to write for other people too. As I said in my previous blog post, my article about a break-up really helped so many people I didn’t know by going viral. With this, not only is it therapeutic for yourself, but it could be exactly what someone else needs to hear in that moment.

Lastly, in correlation to my last blog post about English creating a very useful skill set, the therapy writing turns into a beneficial skill set at hand. Bringing everything together, ultimately me writing for myself led to helping others, and then made me a more skilled writer, reader, and communicator. I will never regret my choice to pursue English, and I hope none of you will either.




“English is the BEST major,” Maria Lima screams in her Brazilian accent.

I recently came into a quarter-life crisis. All my years, I have been set on medical school, and expected to become a doctor. But, I simply cannot see myself as such. I do find surgery and health very fascinating, but that’s not where my skills lie. The key to finding the perfect job is matching your passion to your skills. My passions are reading, writing, counseling, and logic. My skills are just the same… in my opinion, these attributes carry more closely to the profession of a lawyer, editor, researcher, or something alike. 

I don’t think I am ‘naturally smart.’ I think that I work incredibly hard with a good basis for common sense and logical thinking. I can study and study and study for a biology test, and get a good grade on it. But the grade it not what’s important (even though it is certainly reflective). Instead, I am looking for the education, and skill base to gain. In biology classes I was taking for my major, I felt as though I wasn’t gaining anything from it–I was too focused on the grade and doing well, rather than actually developing as a student and person. After I took a test on a specific chapter, I automatically just forgot all of the things I just learned because the test was ‘over’. I didn’t like this about the structure of this major, and my relationship to it. There are kids who LOVE biology and it naturally comes to them. Those students are the doctors of the future, and I don’t think that’s me. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that anyone can do and be and create anything they choose. But personally, I don’t think it is worth dedicating my time, money, and resources to something that I don’t think I am 100% invested in.

With this, I went to Maria: my crazy, lovely, beautiful adviser. For those who don’t know her, do so immediately. In my quarter-life crisis, she set me straight. “English is the best major, you know…” English creates a skill set, and abilities that many students (and adults) do not possess. The ability to read, write, research, create, think, logically explain and argue, communicate, and so many other attributes. This makes you a free agent. On a pre-medical track you WILL get into medical school with this major. On a pre-law track you WILL get into law school with this major. The student who is an English major doesn’t do it for the grade, they do it for the experience, and for the skills. 

One of my biggest pet peeves is when students go to college ‘for a job’. You are not paying to come here for a job, you are paying for an education, make it count. Don’t think that you need to be a fancy, prestigious major to accomplish big things. When students are forced down this cookie-cutter path and structure, they miss their chance to do anything worthwhile. As an English and Biology double major, I didn’t have time to do research, study abroad, nor TA/SI. Which were all things I was offered, and had to turn down because I didn’t have the time to dedicate. This was ridiculous to me, and sparked my choice to alter my plan. 

For students who think they need their major to define their future, I always tell them the story of my parents. Both first-generation Italians. They went to college–my mother was an English major, while my father was a History major. They invested themselves in these topics because they ENJOYED them. They paid for the education they wanted, not the one they thought they needed to succeed. They did it for the experience, the skills, and the enjoyment of themselves in their studies, they then both attended law school where they met and fell in love… very cute story if you’d ever care to hear it, let me know. Now, they built up their own ‘Merante and Merante Law Firm’. Your major doesn’t matter for the job, your major matters for the skills you will harness. You will then build with that what you choose…. whether it be a small business or an empire: do what you want, not what the system is forcing you into. 

Recently, in addition to Maria’s advice, I spoke to Dr. T, a Biology adviser and professor of mine. She asked me what my major was, and I said English. She said “Perfect, I hate Bio majors”. She then proceeded to talk about medical school, and how if you want to get in, don’t be a Biology major. Pre-med students often take the biology path because it makes the most sense, but in reality, everyone applying to medical school is going to be a smart, 4.0 biology kid… wouldn’t you want to be something different? After my research, the top majors to get into medical (and law) school is Anthropology, English, Math, and Physics. This is because these matriculates did it for the critical thinking, and the skills out of these majors. While applying to medical school, they killed it on their MCATs (which is all critical thinking, analyzing, and interpretation based science questions) and interviews (which requires the personable skill to communicate) since they studied for the knowledge, not for the GPA. 

Now, of course everything I say is my opinion, and I’m sure there are some great arguments against my stance. But this is firmly what I believe, and because of that–I must practice what I preach:

Julia Merante, Major in English with a Creative Writing concentration, double minor in Human Development and Biology. Plans: Law School, MFA, Research.

This major and these minors hold classes I actually WANT to take. And I am so excited to start.

This is subject to change, nothing is set in stone, but I believe that being a lawyer is where my skills and passions most closely align with. I think I would enjoy this job, and be pretty damn good at it. 



My Second Language

The Language of Cosmo…


Today in class, the exercise of writing in a ‘language’ was so interesting. The jargon that we use in specific tasks was mesmerizing to think about, and brainstorm. Immediately, fashion came to my mind. When I speak about specific fabrics, or styles, my family often thinks I’m crazy because they don’t know my ‘language’. I am often inspired by pinterest boards and ‘90s movies in relation to style… this tongue is second hand to me. I read Cosmo like the bible, and I translate it naturally… I would like to share my ‘trot’ with you all… AKA what I wrote in our four minutes of reflective writing:


The Language of Cosmo

Vogue cannot compare–even the Paris issue where I swear it was a half-loop stitch on China silk–puckering in on itself. The Devil wears Prada, I hear, but I always preferred Louis… Do these people know the difference between Louis Vuitton and Louboutin? Two different countries, sweetie. Social suicide is high these days–just like my brow. Threaded. By hand–like a Birkin bag. A black Birkin bag–black is always the new black, Darling.


I am excited to look into revisions soon! My writing goal with this task was to look into the double (or triple..?) meanings that the words cosmo/ cosmopolitan has–and to base a poem off of that word play. That’s the goal!


xox Julia

My Roommates Are Psych Majors

My roommates are psych majors. Not to demean this major in any way, but they often cannot comprehend what I do as an English major.

They sometimes ask to read my poetry, and almost always I say no because they won’t appreciate it, or understand the tools used and hard work put it–it is simply not worth showing them. They are proud in everything that I do, but they just don’t understand this ‘poetry thing’ that I do.

My most recent encounter with this was when I showed my friend my Marlboro Orange poem, because she asked to see it. And immediately, looking at the page, she laughed at the line “my enamel screams,” because it didn’t make sense and just sounded funny… this hurt my feelings because I was vulnerable enough to show her my hard work, and yet she couldn’t comprehend what it meant. As a poet, I seek approval, but from her, I didn’t receive that. I know she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings, she just couldn’t understand. That then questioned my motif of who I am writing for … and why?

In addition, after having my notebook open, she looked at my workshopped pieces and saw all of the scribbles and notes encompassing my poem that you all gave to me after class and she said “OMG, who did this to your poem?!”… she was shocked by the criticism and feedback, thinking it was ‘mean.’

Overall, I do seek approval, and it is hard to tell my friends I am poet, just as it hard to explain to them where I am every Monday night.

Black Has Always Been The Strongest Color


Rankine, Claudia, 1963- author. Citizen : An American Lyric. Minneapolis, Minnesota :Graywolf Press, 2014. Print.

Claudia Rankine skillfully, and powerful displays the everyday struggles of a black woman in society throughout her beautiful words of poetry and intense moments of feeling. This book is the most muscular, and heaviest page-turner of a poetry book I have ever experienced. The pages are dense with words, thought, and painful notions. The poems successfully weave through everyday life, and small moments that define the days of this colored speaker. Experiencing this day with the speaker was a huge change of perspective. Seeing from the lense of this colored person, and the constant racism and discrimination that is incorporated into tone, and conversation of everyday life is concerning. What kept the pages turning were the sensual experiences that Rankine painted. Within the first few poems, the language was heavy, but so intriguing. Seeing the different ways that very mundane days and happenings can shape a person, especially of color, and affect them is incredible. This book has such effective creativity and innovation–even though these events are not fiction whatsoever. That is what kept me, as a reader, to keep turning the page. My amazement in language, and in the occurrences were so interesting, yet real. And that is what truly hit me as an audience, poet, and human-being.

In addition to Rankine’s creative, non-fiction approach on poetry, the detailed language and powerful word choice were effective in creating a strong, punch-y poem and experience for the reader. Everything was very raw, and organic. The explanation of day-to-day activities and the sensation of feeling was all very real, especially because of the harsh, yet sensitive language. There is also hardly any poems with lineation. They are all dense blocks on the page, or paragraphs. This adheres to the dense subject matter. And I appreciate this weighted thought in creation and formation of this book.

This book not only deals with Rankine’s thoughts and experiences, but also real evidence based racism. There are allusions, and pictures referencing slurs and incidents on TV, and published elsewhere. After reading Rankine’s creative poetry, it was shocking to then see a picture of Serena Williams on ESPN. This element of surprise kept me reading, and curious as to what was coming next. The addition of these real, and public incidents are important to the comprehension of the book as a whole because it proves that these feelings Rankine previously displayed are derived from very real, common, and frequent events and discrimination regarding the colored community. The mention of televised and public incidents validated that this information isn’t just poetry. It isn’t just something pretty to write about–it’s real, it’s raw, and it’s a problem that Rankine preaches about.

Overall this book I highly recommend. It is very eye opening, and important to see from other perspectives. In addition, these poetry book is highly validated by real life events, which makes Rankine’s words even more vivid, and important. This book as a whole is cohesive, surprising, and strong. The poems individually are powerful and organic. I appreciate Claudia Rankine’s work and look forward to reading more of it.


Truth About My Pieces & The Addiction Within Them

After my poems that I have written for whirlwind/workshop, I feel as though there has been speculation in relation to what parts are raw from the author as the speaker and which parts are fabricated to create poetry. This information is not something that a poet usually divulges, but I feel it necessary to get closer with you all, and have you understand my writing, and myself as a person.

I do not smoke cigarettes–nor have I ever. I do not plan on having toxic chemicals in my lungs, but I find them mesmerizing to write about. The concept that arises from them, and the sensation (I can only imagine) is so vivid that I crave to write about things in that realm of topics. There’s so many angles to take with an idea like cigarettes–something that is mental, and physical, and emotional–yet literally killing you. It is baffling for me to understand WHY people actually smoke, but it is also baffling how much fantastic language can come from such a cruel idea. I understand that this topic can be ‘overwritten’ about, but I don’t believe in that. I think that anything written is original, and that I can take a spin on something that is mainstream–making it completely my own. I tend to, personally, focus on manipulation of language, and the sonic qualities of words. That is where I took my Marlboro Orange piece. To create an unexpected, sensual experience. That is typically my goal after I ‘finish’ a poem.

Yet, I do have an alcoholic dad–and I always will. I have never truly known my father sober, except for the fourteen months that he dedicated to ‘bettering himself’ AKA rehab. However, that ended this past month–AKA relapse. But, that’s a different story for a different day. What I am here to tell you, is that my “cigarette” poem was a ‘lie’. And my “recovering alcoholic as a dad/not really recovering, not really a dad” poem is as true as it gets. That was down to my core, raw.

Not that any of this should change your interpretation of my piece, or allow you to view me differently as a peer, but it is an FYI to then look at the difference in my pieces. Personally, I think my cigarette piece was easier to write. That might be why the language is prettier, and more fluid and sensual. I enjoyed writing it. As for the alcoholic piece, that seems less ‘Julia’ to me. And that’s due to the fact that I was literally uncomfortable crafting it. But maybe that ‘uncomfortability’ is good. Maybe it will help me–in poetry, and in my family…

I am not sure what causes my inclination to write about addictive things. I honestly did not even notice that was a ‘theme’ of mine until Grace brought it up during workshop. I tend to write about the darker areas of human thought and interaction. I suppose I find it fascinating to experience on paper, in hopes that I will never have to live it in the flesh.




How Poetry Has Helped Me Ace My Tests

According to John Locke, who I am currently reading in my humanities course, he believes that poetry is more of an ‘art’ than a ‘fruit of study’. And people who are ‘good’ at poetry are naturals at it. They can very easily understand rhetoric, without even knowing what rhetoric is. Poets are able to easily understand people, prioritize things, know the difference between right and wrong, and interpret language very well.

With this, I believe that I do understand poetry, and I love to write it as well. This also adheres to my personal life. I am very emotionally understanding, while able to communicate well. I LOVE to talk. And, I’d like to think that I’m ‘good at it’. My manipulation of language does sprout from Locke’s concept of a natural poet, but it also does have to do with both of my parents being lawyers. I grew up in a court house, my palette for language, and the way I speak was developed at a very young age. With time, my abilities and method of ‘manipulative speaking’ grew.

I am often able to persuade people, I am strong in arguments, and people tend to confide in me since they know that I am understanding. Relating back to the title of this piece, my language ‘skills’ and personal comprehension of how I interpret language has really helped me to do well on tests, without even knowing the actual ‘knowledge’ of the test. There has been many times, where I felt as if I went into a test completely blind, and still pulled out a good grade. The reason for this, is that without even knowing the material of a multiple choice question, based on how the question/answers are worded, I am able to guess which is right. Now, of course, this is not a fool proof method. But more often than not, it does work. In relation to how the answers are formulated I can ‘choose’ which is the right answer.

My interpretation of language and my poetry truly has helped me to ace tests, I just hope that continues…



How I Know That The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword: First Hand Experience

I always wrote for myself. I had some things published in small, local literary magazines, but I always wondered where my writing would actually take me. What was the point of all of these metaphors and pretty language? I knew I wasn’t going to make a career out of my poems, but I did want to reap something more out of the skills I have grown. Over this past summer, that very thing took flight.

After an abusive relationship, mentally and physically, during second semester of last year, I was able to be free during my summer months. I happily drowned myself within the love of my family, beaches, reading, and of course–writing. I spent MONTHS editing a piece for The Odyssey. The Odyssey is a great, and simple way to get your thoughts published for all to see. But I wouldn’t know the effect that my words would have on people… it was absolutely life changing, and that is why I continue writing today. I wrote all of my feelings into one comprehensive piece about my relationship and how I felt during, and after, it. Putting all of those thoughts on paper, and compiled into one simple document literally took the thoughts out of my mind and my overthinking complexity, while diminishing my anxiety and overall, making me happy. It was my own therapy. But little did I know how many people I would help in the process, and who ultimately my piece would reach. I titled my piece “To The Girl With The Broken Heart”, because when I had my heart broken, I didn’t have that ‘big sister’ figure to give me wisdom and help me out. I wanted to be that person to the girl who needed it at any given moment–no matter who they were or where they lived. I wanted to get to her. Because I was once, her.

I published my piece, and I got SO much feedback, so quickly it was unreal. Girls who I didn’t even know, from Ohio, and Texas, personally messaged me telling me their stories and how they resulted in eating disorders and suicidal thoughts due to a boy, but my article aided them into believing more in who they were and how he should not have that power over her. My friends texted me the most encouraging things, and saying that they were tearing up from my words and that my piece meant so much. The texts, and messages, and overwhelming support blew my mind, and made me realize how much my words can help and affect people. Even just yesterday, my cousin called me and told me she recently re-read my article because she needed to. And my roommate has it bookmarked on her homepage so it’s at her disposal. When I returned to school in the fall, girls would come up to me at frat parties asking me if I was “the girl with the broken heart” and if I wrote the article. I told them yes, and one young lady literally started hugging me and crying, telling me how I helped her so much and she felt like she knew me. All of these compliments in person, shares on Facebook, and love and support, really encouraged my confidence in my writing, and in myself.

But, nothing will compare to when he read my piece. He read it, and told one of his friends, who then told me his ‘thoughts’ on it. He stated that it was far too ‘over the top’, and that it ‘doesn’t bother him’. But, my goal wasn’t for it to bother him. It wasn’t even for him–it was for me, and for the girl who needed it. But the fact that he read it proves A LOT. And that he claims to have brushed it off proves even more.

I often refer to women as ‘queens’. I think that is the ultimate word to describe people, and I especially use it for myself. Not in an arrogant or gloating way, but in a perfectly proud, and confident sense. I always wear a bracelet with a small crown on it, to remind myself that I know what I am worth. After my break up, that defined me in the best possible way. I knew what I deserved, and I became much more comfortable and confident after finding myself. So, I wear this bracelet as a reminder that I am important, and I am beautiful, and I am smart–and I know that. And I wish more people had this realization overall, that everyone is worth it. I wrote my Odyssey piece specifically for this purpose, and I will continue to write, with this end goal in mind, always.