A Letter to the Heartbreakers

Dear Heartbreaker,

If you’re reading this, you probably have broken someone’s heart recently, or sometime in your life.  I just wanted you to know that it’s okay.  You probably did this unknowingly or accidentally, and that’s okay.  But I also want you to know that you caused someone more pain than they could have ever imagined.  You caused them a kind of pain that you never know until you have had your heart broken.  It’s indescribable.  Yes, I have had my heart broken before, which is the main reason why I am writing this letter.  I just want you to know that having your heart broken sucks, and yes, I hope you experience it sometime in your life.  I want you to know that I’m okay.  I had my heart broken about a year ago and yeah, it really sucked.  But I learned more from that experience than I could ever have imagined and I am so much better of a person than I was before I experienced that.  So, I am mainly here today to say thank you.  Thank you for breaking hearts.  Thank you for being such an ass hole that you feel the need to cause others pain.  You know why I’m saying thank you? Because without you, we could never find out who we’re supposed to be.  Without you, we would be stuck with the people who aren’t worth a damn.  The ones who couldn’t care less if we are happy or not.

Yeah, you ruined our lives for probably a few months, maybe even a year, but now we (the ones whose hearts you broke) are better than ever and so happy to have you out of our lives.  We are better off without you and you helped us see that.  So, thank you.  But even though it’s okay, that does not give you the right to keep doing it.  So please, if you are reading this, do NOT hurt another girl (or boy for that matter) like you hurt us ever again.  No one deserves it.  I am personally glad that I experienced it, but I never want to go through it again.  So please, don’t do it again.  Don’t tell someone you love them if you don’t, don’t act like you care about someone if you don’t.  It’s really a simple concept 🙂

Sincerely,

Somebody That You Used to Know

The Things Sophomore Year Taught Me

Hi there, I know you are probably thinking “what can a 19 year-old girl at the end of her sophomore year in college REALLY know?” Not to say I have it all together in any way, or that I am some wise man telling my tale of life, but I am going to just tell you a few things I think that my sophomore year in college has taught me.  So, here it goes…

1) Being happy comes from YOUR decisions, no one else’s

We have a decision.  A decision to be happy, a decision to be who we want to be or who we don’t.  For example, last year I was a freshman in college and all I wanted was to be happy.  I never found that happiness I yearned for, and you want to know why? Because I placed my happiness on others.  I entrusted people with my emotions who weren’t deserving of them at all.  This year/mainly this semester, I began to realize living this way would never get me where I wanted to go.  I began to instill my happiness and trust in myself and in the Lord, and although I may not be perfectly content all the time, I am pretty darn happy with myself.

“In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.” 

Proverbs 3:6

2) There is ALWAYS a way out and up, I promise.

Just when you think nothing is going your way and there is no way you can possibly get out of the black hole sucking you deeper and deeper into bad decisions and horrible nightmares, you will find that things can only go up.  It sounds cliche, but when you put your trust in the Lord, and you have good friends and family, nothing can really go wrong in life, because Jesus will always have your back.  Whether it be school work, boys, or just life kicking you into the ground, there is always something better in the future.

“What then shall we say to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:31

3) In order to find the right friends, you have to put yourself out there

I grew up in a small community, where everyone knew everyone.  Coming to college I joined a sorority but I never really felt like I fit in.  Today I can say that I am so thankful that I joined Alpha Delta Pi and decided to live on the hall this year.  It has truly been the best year of my life.  I have made life long friends that I can confide in whatever the circumstance may be.  I didn’t fully allow myself to give up time with some of my old friends to make new ones because I was hanging on to my past.  Now I not only have my best friends from high school, but I also have college best friends 🙂

4) The People who matter will always be there

I have a hard time letting go, if you can’t already tell.  If someone tries to walk out of my life, I have a hard time saying goodbye.  Often times I take things extremely personally and I can’t take “we just grew apart” for an answer, especially when it comes to people I really care about.  This year especially I have learned that the ones who matter and who want to be in your life won’t leave.  For example, my high school best friends are still some of my best friends in the world and you know why? Because they made an effort to stay in my life through the hard times.  They never once thought of the option of saying goodbye.  They truly want to be in my life.  Honestly, if someone doesn’t want to be in your life, you shouldn’t have to force them to be.  Relationships are mutual and if they become one-sided then it is usually time to say goodbye.

5) Don’t dread the day ahead

We spend so much time dreading the things we have to do throughout the day or the week instead of tackling the day with an open mind.  I am in the process of learning how to face every day with a positive outlook, starting with my devotions.  Talking to God in the morning can be a great start to the day.  Yes, there are always tasks we are going to dread, but if we take each day as it comes, we will be much happier.  Don’t be anxious, and take everything one step at a time.

“Do not fret or have anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.”

Philippians 4:6

Thanks for reading my blog, I love ya.

Chan ❤

The Simple Things– Nicaragua Changed my Life

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Strangers who became my best friends, a foreign country that became a second home- this was my spring break in a sentence.  I was very hesitant to go on a mission trip to a third world country, even though I would be surrounded by some of my best friends.  I was scared to meet new people and stay in a place where there may not be air conditioning.  Everyone was going to spend their week soaking up the sun in Destin, Jamaica, or Panama City and to be honest, I was extremely jealous.  I never thought that one week in Nicaragua could change my life.

I went into the week with two simple goals:

1. To become less selfish

2. To stop getting jealous of people so easily

By the end of the week, I can easily say that I think I accomplished these goals and learned more about myself and others than I ever have.  By the first night, I knew the trip was going to be something extremely special.  We stayed in the city of Granada the first two nights, which is a more wealthy, touristy town.  At dinner on the first night, the two people that were on the trip with us who had gone last year told us about something called “Happy Time” that they had done on the trip the previous year.  We were to go around the table and say our favorite part of the day, something we were looking forward tomorrow, and compliment someone.  “Happy Time” became something that I looked forward to every night.  Listening to everyone’s compliments and what they were enjoying about the trip, I could really see how God was working in our small group and the bonds we were forming over such a small period of time.  The people I met on this trip each have their own stories and special talents and even though we are a bunch of people who would probably have never even met one another if it were not for this trip, I can say without a doubt that I am so thankful for each and every one of them and I cannot thank God enough for putting them in my life.

Not only did I make some wonderful friends, but I got to see how Nicaraguans live and work with children and teach them about hygiene and other important health concepts that are second nature to us in America.  Even though I went over to teach them, I think I came back learning more from them than they learned from me.  I am so inspired by how happy they are with so little.  Although they have no air conditioning, a hole in the ground for a toilet, and dirt floors, they are happier people than most Americans that I know.  This just goes to show that material things and money do not bring happiness.  They are also so appreciative of any help they are given and will go out of their way to give back to people who help them.  One group went to a home to help teach a woman about diabetes and were overwhelmed with kindness when she ran out as they were leaving to give them eggs to say thank you for coming to talk to her.  The moms are so proud of their children and loved watching us interact with them and telling them how beautiful they are.

I loved working with the children in the schools.  Nicaraguan children are truly the most beautiful and genuinely happy kids I have ever met.  Their schools are so chaotic and consist of mostly just recess time, and they love being played with.  I fell in love with one little boy named Brian, who has the most contagious smile and laugh.  He is a shy little boy who loves being tickled.  I have never been happier than I was playing with the first, second, and third graders at school in Limon, Nicaragua.  I saw God’s light shining through each and every one of those children. 

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I have never been a glass half-full person, until my trip to Nicaragua.  On the last night, I had the idea for everyone to give compliments to everyone.  We ended up giving over a hundred compliments to one another and my heart has never felt more full hearing some of the wonderful things everyone had to say about one another.  We bonded so much more than I ever have with anyone in just a week.  My friends that knew me before the trip were in shock because of the compliments I received about how happy and optimistic I was on the trip.  I learned more about myself than I ever have.  Being home makes me realize that material things do not bring happiness.  I am so thankful for just a home with air conditioning and plumbing.  But I realize that all I really need to be happy is to be surrounded by good people who make me smile and know how to have fun.  The Nicaraguan people taught me how to live my life to the fullest, and be appreciative of all the simple things. 

I was not jealous the entire trip of anyone who was spending spring break in Florida or Cancun or Jamaica, because I knew I was learning more about myself, others, and God’s work than any of them.  I was not selfish because I spent every day helping other people and did not feel one ounce of regret for that.  I am more than thankful for this trip and these memories, and I would encourage anyone to spend a week serving others and God.  You will learn more than you ever have in your entire life, I can promise you that.

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I will never forget the happiness I felt when I was surrounded by the laughter and smiles of Brian and the other kids just like him 🙂

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This is Martha, the woman who is selfless enough to teach the children in schools in Limon about hygiene and things they otherwise would not know.  She works with FIMRC, and speaks fantastic English (she is working on a degree in English).  I hope to one day be a selfless and inspiring as she is.

Te echo de menos ya, Nicaragua

(I used Google Translate to type that sentence)

Thank you for the memories and everything you taught me, Limon. I will never forget you.

Love always,

Chan ❤

Comparisons

We all have that one thing we want to change about ourselves, or that one thing we wish we had.  Growing up with a twin sister, I have always had someone to compare EVERYTHING about myself with. Who had the cuter outfit? Who made a better grade on their test? Which one of us will end up more successful? Which will get married first? … The list goes on and on.  Lately I have come to the realization that God does not want us to live this way, always looking for success and happiness by comparing what we have or how we look to other people.  I have a green monster constantly watching over my shoulder, waiting for me to fail.  I can feel him trying to attack me when I hear people talk about how happy they are in their relationships, or how well they are doing in school, or even when I see a girl I think is prettier than me.  I immediately want to change something about myself to be more like them, and I thrive off of things like this.

Perfection.  We all have our own personal definitions of what “perfect” is.  In reality, there is no such thing as perfection.  Nobody’s perfect (as we all know from the one and only Hannah Montana).  If we all strive to be perfect, we will go a lifetime without satisfaction.  I think that is the main reason that I have realized that I need to stop comparing myself to other people.  God made me special, unlike anyone else.  He crafted me to be just the way I am, not perfect, but just me, and I love who he created.  I may not be a Victoria’s Secret model, or have a boyfriend, and I may not always make straight A’s, but I am God’s creation.  Jealousy is such a mischievous feeling, because sometimes it just wells up inside of us and we feel like there is nothing we can do to control it.  When I start to feel jealous, I normally let it build up and just keep building until it becomes as high as a tower inside of me and then it turns into anger.

I have found that jealousy is much easier to overcome than we think.  When I start to get jealous of someone else’s success or happiness, I instead start to think about how I would want others to treat me if I were telling them about my successes and my happiness.  I would want my friends to be happy for me, not tearing me down.  I then take a look at all of the joy God has blessed me with, and all of the things I have that some people would give anything to have, and I feel so lucky.  He blesses each and every one of us with a uniqueness that no one else can identify with.

Blame.  I always blame my envious lifestyle on the fact that I have a twin.  I use this as an excuse to comparing myself to other people.  “I have grown up comparing myself to someone else, therefore, I get jealous more easily and crave attention”. While this is true, I need to take accountability for the fact that I am a jealous person and whether I have a twin or not, I can overcome this.  There are so many things to be thankful for and find happiness in that there are no excuses for wanting to have what other people have.

“14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 
15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 
16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:14-16
Just think about how much happier you would be if you went about today not comparing yourself to other people, as hard as that may be.  When you begin to think someone is better than you, or if you are even just jealous of her hair, or their relationship, take some time to think about all of the things God has blessed you with.  And think about how many people would love to have what you have, and how special you are.  If your best friend tells you about the internship she got or her 4.0, or your mom looks better than you at age 50, be happy for them because you would want them to be happy for you.  I know I have boasted about my happiness to others before without thinking about how it might effect them, but they have been happy for me anyway.  We are blessed beyond belief with a God who loves us unconditionally.  Everyone has something to be happy about 🙂

Wishing it Away

What’s going to happen tomorrow?  When will I meet my husband?  What am I going to do with my life?  These are frequent questions going on in my mind.  I spend so much time looking forward, seeking the future in all of my actions.  I always want things I can’t have and I always wonder what could have been and how to change the past.  We spend so much time wishing away our present by seeking things that are still to come.  Everything is planned and thought out in our brains.  We have been programmed since a young age to think that we should plan out our lives.

When I was seven years old, my day was fully compact with activities.  School from 8-2:30, piano at 5, tennis at 6:30, then homework and maybe time for play.  Our generation is so programmed for success.  We all want to find that one thing that makes us unique and we spend so much time trying to find it.  We have our weddings planned by age 16, we look for “Mr. Perfect” in every scenario.  Once again, we are wishing away what is to come.  As a college student, I catch myself constantly wondering what I will be doing with my life in ten years.  In all honesty, what does that matter right now?  I am here to get a degree, but I am also here to learn about myself.

I always wish for things that I don’t have and am so often jealous of people who have the things that I so desire.  This is not benefitting me, it is only hurting me.  I dwell on things that are in the past and wonder about the future.  Where does this leave the present?  It doesn’t.  We wish our lives away by wondering what’s next?  What is my life going to be like? YOU are living your life RIGHT NOW.  Ten years ago, I wondered where I would be.  Well, here I am now and what good did it do for me to worry about it back then?  I would have never pictured myself at Clemson University, living in a sorority dorm, without talking to my parents every single day.  But here I am.  I realize that it is important to learn from the past and to think about and plan for the future.  But thinking and planning is different than seeking and hoping for something better.  Be thankful for today, and go do what makes you happy!! 🙂

The Importance of Actions

A good friend of mine recently told me “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different response.”  After a lot of thought and reflection, I have finally realized the meaning of this and have been able to implement it in my life.  Here are a few things I have learned from it:

1. The only person who can change you is YOU

We can tell ourselves over and over again that we are going to be better and change something, but until we actually DO IT, it isn’t effective.  I am so guilty of this.  I sit in my room and blog about things I want to change and lessons I have “learned”… but have I really learned anything if I am not willing to change?

2. It Takes Time

Some lessons are meant to be learned several times.  Everyone takes time to finally understand what God is trying to teach them and how to change and become a better person from it.  I have been told so many times by my friends and family that I need to change certain things about myself, and I know they are right.  Even though I may know I am making bad decisions, it sometimes takes more than just being scolded and warned by others that you are going down the wrong path.  Sometimes it is just something we have to learn on our own, whether it be the long and hard way or the easy way.

3. Don’t do it for ANYONE else

What I have finally learned over my lifetime is that God wants us to be happy with ourselves.  We must treat our bodies as temples, not only physically, but also emotionally.  Without happiness and God in our lives we feel weak and lost.  The closer I have come to God, the closer I have become to myself.  Change is something we need to conquer on our own, without the influences of others. I have realized recently that I let myself become SO influenced by what others think of me and their perceptions of my actions.  In reality, I need to worry not about what others think about me but what I MYSELF thinks of me.  Growing stronger in my faith is helping me to become closer to myself.  Change happens over time without us realizing it sometimes, but when we really want to change something and are ready to make the right decisions, it comes naturally.

4. STOP crying WOLF

I am becoming the girl who cried wolf!  I always say I am going to do something, or “maybe I will just start next week”.  I let myself get caught up in the moment and then when I look back at what I said I was going to change, it slips farther and farther into the back of my mind and it seems almost as if it has no importance anymore.  It is so important to keep your promises to yourself, because once you have made a mistake, there is no going back.  I am lucky enough to not have made extremely awful mistakes yet, but I am getting pretty close.  Everyone makes mistakes, but there is no excuse for making the same mistakes over and over again with the same explanation every time… ESPECIALLY if you said you were going to change it last week.

5. You can’t make Excuses for Yourself

I am the queen of excuses.  I can own up to my mistakes in my head and I can feel horrible about it and drive myself crazy.  But when people ask me about it, I will make excuse after excuse due to lack of accountability.  It really is something most people need to work on.  Our generation has such a hard time saying “I’m sorry, I messed up.”  And even when we do say it, we are not genuinely sorry half the time.  There are so many apologies I never gave and to this day I wish I could go back and change that.  The first step to making a change is to realize that you are in the wrong; that you have something you need to fix, and NOT make an excuse for yourself.

There are so many things I need to change, but God accepts me as I am and I am forever thankful for that.  I am realizing in college that it is hard to prioritize and keep myself in line with my goals.  Becoming closer in my faith has helped me with this, and as I am growing older, I think I’m finally starting to be truly HAPPY.

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 ❤

The Daily Struggle of Over Thinkers

Have you ever over-thought a situation so ridiculously that you just drove yourself crazy thinking about what you could have done differently? Imagine going through it about 129823 times a day.  Clearly I over think every situation that I go through on a daily basis.  I create problems out of things that aren’t there and meaning out of meaningless things.  I would have to say that’s one of my specialties.  Here are some of the wonderful things that people who over-think every situation do on a daily basis:

1. Screenshots on screenshots

No, we can’t send a text message of importance to anyone without have one (or five) friends proofread it first.  “Should I put a period there? Is that too harsh? Maybe I should take that one sentence out”.  Yes, I kid you not, texting is a process that requires a lot of thought.

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2. Yes, I noticed that you seemed different today

Conversations are everything.  If anything is slightly unusual in peoples’ behavior towards us, we tend to think it means they either are extremely mad at us, they are upset, or they just automatically hate us.  So basically you aren’t allowed to act weird toward us unless you have an actual reason to or else we will freak out.

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3. “Am I being annoying?”

We ask this question (or at least think it) more than five times a day.  For some reason, we tend to think we are always bothering people when we probably aren’t at all, and even if we are, why even ask?  It is just something that we often do.

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4. Talking in Circles

If we are ever in an argument, we will say the same things over and over until… it accomplishes nothing.  It’s like the answer isn’t good enough so we have to keep explaining ourselves, and vice versa for the person we are arguing with.  Nothing is ever solved because we just keep thinking about the same things.

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5. Everything is my fault

We take the blame for everything because we always think we are in the wrong.  Even if we did nothing wrong, we think so deeply and feel everything so deeply that we turn everything around on ourselves.  Basically, in our heads, we make mistakes in every situation and are always in the wrong.

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6. No one cares

We tend to think that no one cares about what we have to say because a lot of it is irrelevant.  Our over-thinking leads us to believe that our thoughts aren’t worth listening to.

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7. Word Vomit

Sometimes, we just say whatever comes to our head because there are just so many thoughts going on all the time.  It’s like we are going 1000 mph inside, so sometimes we just say whatever we are thinking and it may not make sense, or we may just need to slow down, but we are always thinking constant thoughts.  It’s like one giant run-on sentence going on in our brains all the time.

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8. Recreating Scenarios over and over

We replay things that have already happened over and over and wonder if we did something wrong.  “Was that awkward? Did I say something weird?”  We will drive ourselves crazy over the things we can’t change.  This comes back to the fact that we always think we are in the wrong.  We underestimate our social skills.

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9. Sleep isn’t a thing

Falling asleep is hard when you’re sitting up at night wondering what is going to happen tomorrow or what went wrong today.  We will fall asleep thinking about the things we did wrong or what we could have said differently, but honestly, does it matter if it’s already happened? And there is no way to predict what will happen tomorrow, so what’s the point in worrying?

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10. AWKWARDNESS

We tend to think EVERYTHING we do or say is awkward.  We can’t go anywhere or do anything without worrying that the outcome will be embarrassing or awkward.  Honestly, being nervous about things like that does nothing for us so I’m not sure why we do it… But we do.

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…. So, that was the struggle of being an over-thinker in modern society (aka the struggle I go through every day).  The moral of the story is that worrying and thinking about everything doesn’t solve anything, even though most of the time we can’t stop ourselves from doing it.  I hope that one day I can master the art of keeping my thoughts to a minimum, but until then I’ll just try to shake it off… LOL.

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