The Ball: A Little Story with a Huge Message

One of my favorite quotes from The Office was said by Pam in the finale. When reflecting on her years working at the paper company, she sums it up by saying “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that the point?”. I think about this quote a lot in my daily life. I’ve learned that when you take a moment out of your day to just find something good, and hold onto it, then you can never truly have a bad day.

This week has been a heat wave and my family has been at camp all week. We’ve been spending the days at the lake, exhausted by the sun, but soaking up the most of our vacation. Fourth of July has always been a very special day in my family. We traditionally spent the day at our camp, and have been doing so since my mom was growing up and camping with my grandparents. So it’s no surprise that we tried our best to ignore the excruciating heat and just focused on spending the holiday surrounded by the people we love.

Sunset at Winnisquam Lake

And then the day after the Fourth happens and everyone is tired from the heat and the late nights. The excitement of the previous day has died down and the lake day seems quiet. I look out into the water and see an autistic boy, who was playing ball with his sister, has thrown the ball over the line separating the swimming area from the boating area. I see his sister try to swim over to it, but the wind keeps carrying the ball further and further away. Two other members of his party dive in and start to swim out towards the ball- a very dangerous mission since many boats were out. I look around, the entire beach is watching. They need to swim back in. They’re going to get hurt. Just let the ball go and get him a new one.

My heart warmed as I saw an older gentleman grab one of his own beach balls and bring it over to the boy. As we watched the scene unfold, my aunt and I somehow knew that, as kind as that offer was, the boy wanted his ball back. At this time, the two members of his family started to swim back in. The ball was too far out for them to retrieve it. They all sat on the dock disappointed.

Time passed when a couple on a jet ski drove by our camp, carrying a large beach ball in their arms. They threw it out to the dock. Is this anyone’s? We found it out there. The entire camp beach cheered as we watched the boy tread through the water towards the ball, smile illuminating his face. “My BALL! Did you see??? They found my BALL!!”

Maybe it was the exhaustion of the day, but my eyes began to tear up. But I don’t think it was exhaustion. There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that the point?

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Stay Connected

It took me a while to choose just what I wanted to share as my first post since my absence on this blog. I wanted to give you all a recap of what I’ve been doing since I’ve last written, but it hit me that this all can be wrapped up in one big lesson I have learned recently.

I remember when I graduated high school, I told myself I wasn’t going to college to make friends or meet people. I was so content in my small town lifestyle with my circle of friends that I felt I didn’t need to branch out. As I wrap up my sophomore year of college, I realize how wrong I was to go into school with this mindset. Making connections with people is one of life’s greatest treasures.

When I say connections, I don’t mean business or career related, although sometimes that is part of the experience. What I mean is meeting new people and listening to them, learning about their life, and growing or getting to know a person. It can be as simple as saying hi to a passerby or as big as sitting next to someone in a class and making conversation that overtime develops into a friendship.

I used to use shy as an excuse to avoid confrontation. Sometimes, I still do. (Just ask my uncle, who had to coach me into making an important phone call not too long ago.) But “shy” made me miss out on experiencing lives aside from my own. People were put on this earth to connect and interact with each other. We aren’t here to make it on our own. We need each other to survive.

In fact, I’ve learned so much about myself by connecting with others. Staying connected with other people and building companionship’s has made me a more confident individual. It has given me the courage to approach people, to say hi to a passerby, or good morning to my neighbor before I hit the road.

When I began this blog, I wrote a lot about coping with anxiety. I know for many people, situations that involve interacting with others are rather nerve-racking. I have been that person who hesitated to order food, or chose to work independently for a group-optional assignment simply because I feared it. I think there’s always this voice in our head holding us back from speaking up because it tells us that we’re going to embarrass ourselves or that we won’t be liked or accepted. Over the years, I’ve realized that there’s absolutely no way to know whether this voice is true (and it isn’t) if we don’t try. Part of coping with anxiety is to accept your negative thoughts and say “no thanks, I think I’ll live my life today. I think I’ll speak, I think I’ll smile, I think I’ll interact.”

I have to thank Theatre for the connections I’ve made. It’s so easy to offer a smile, or a few words of encouragement, or simply a “hello, how was your day?” to a cast mate. The next thing you know, you’ll have a routine of sitting next to the same person every music rehearsal.

I also have to thank the community. Through the fundraising efforts my family puts forth each year we hold a 5K race, we continue to meet other fundraising groups all working towards different causes and we connect and support each other. I’ve heard stories of heroes everywhere of all shapes and sizes. It’s truly inspiring to see the legacy they leave behind in their families, friends, and supporters.

If I could go back, I don’t think I would tell incoming college Freshman Hayley to “make connections.” The magic comes from not knowing what’s in store for you. I don’t think I’d be writing this post right now if I went into life fully prepared to see how wonderful it can be to meet and experience others. I think I needed to grow and to know that I was wrong to think I couldn’t go beyond my comfort zone. To the people reading this who look down at their phones to avoid confrontation (believe me I have been there and will often still do this): I know it may seem like you’re fine in your own circle. Maybe you don’t need to meet new people, or make small talk. But maybe that person next to you in the elevator seeing you look down and avoid their gaze is in need of a smile. Maybe they’re looking down at their phone too, hoping to find something or someone to keep them connected with the world. Offer your smile, or a kind hello, you never know when you can be someone’s hero.

I Got Lost

Last night I got lost. It’s nothing new for me, I tend to get lost often. GPS’s are not my friend, yet I rely so heavily on them. But, anyway, my friend and I left a studio in an unfamiliar part of the state and were on our way to pick up pizza at a place ten minutes away. Her eyes were on the road and mine on the maps app until we reached a familiar part of town. From there, my friend found her way to the pizza place, but the GPS kept insisting for us to go another way. It took us past the place and stopped at a random address. Frustrated, we went back to the pizza place and got our order, ready to bring pizza back to our friends at the studio. The GPS took us in several weird direction, south when we should be going north, north when we should be heading south, onto a highway, off the highway. Finally, when we thought we’d reached our breaking point, we were on a slow, but correct path to our destination. Because of how much time we had before we got back, we took a slice of pizza each, folded it, and ate and talked and laughed our friend called asking if we were alright. We had left an hour earlier.

You’d think from the times I have been lost, I’d have grown accustomed to it, but I can’t say I have. Before getting lost, we were discussing the just okay, average day we had. Then, in the moment, we were both stressed, a little scared, and very frustrated with the piece of technology we rely on so much to find our way. After the moment, we laughed. We laughed for many reasons: we turned ten minutes into an hour, we were going to have to explain the missing slices of pizza, and we decided to answer our friend’s worried phone call calmly, as if nothing had even happened. We laughed out of relief. But it was also the sort of laughter you have that is half relief and half release. Because the day was just meh and not very eventful, just a little stressful, but then we got lost.

I think there are moments when we need to get lost. Sometimes the days become so predictable: same order, same routine. It can make you exhausted. It can make you forget what it’s like to have disorder. Then you get lost and once your way back, you remember why you were even there to begin with. There’s this quote from one of my favorite movies that says “sometimes you have to be lost to find the places that can’t be found”. And I believe it.

Do you?

Hayley

Handling a Rough Start

In preparation for the new year, I read through old blog posts and found that I missed the motivation I had at the very beginning of it all. Everything was fresh and new: this page was a clean slate ready to be carved into. I guess, as time passed, I found myself getting lazy and lacking new material to give my readers. But I felt January 1st, 2018 would be the perfect day to start a new beginning for this blog.

However, January 1st marked the beginning of a troubling time for my family and I. On the first morning of 2018, my grandmother was brought to the hospital, unable to move and in a state of confusion. This brought a week of hospital visits, which led to a week of rehab visits. In between visits to the rehab, came visits to new assisted livings and then a rushed move from an independent living apartment to an assisted living apartment. Then, thank Heavens, came my grandmother’s release from rehab and her settling into a safe, new home. All the while, obstacles seemed to be placed in our path. My father had a close call after a doctor’s appointment revealed the pain he was feeling in his calf was caused by blood clots. Thankfully, antibiotics and rest has him on the path to recovery. My mother also had an injury affecting her movement. So, in short, despite my New Year’s Eve expectations, 2018 didn’t really begin on the right foot…

I think life has its standstills and a little push or pull is all that’s needed to put you in gear. Sometimes this push or pull is caused by tragedy. It’s a little scare that makes you reflect on life, realize it’s too short, and push yourself to stop dreaming and just do. This week, I discovered my grandmother had this moment happen to her. Going through her things, I came across a book called “Questions for Your Grandchildren.” Inside were answers about my family, my grandmother’s life, how she met my grandfather, everything. But what hit me the most was that she started filling out this book the day after my great-great aunt had been buried. A tragedy is what motivated her to keep going. She realized That life was too short and she wanted her grandkids to know her story. So she picked up the pen.

My grandmother didn’t start filling in this book the day she got it. It took time for her to find the motivation. Then she began. The New Year is all about starting over the first day of the year and trying to stick through it for 365 days. I think that’s a great time to start- right from the beginning. But the funny thing about beginnings, is they can start at anytime.

18 days later, and I’m making my start. It may have been a rocky beginning, but once you get past the rocks, you find smooth ground.Hat: Forever 21; Sweater: The Loft;

You don’t have to wait for a new year to make change, you can start at anytime.

Let’s start today,

Hayley

20 Things I’ve Learned By 20

In the movie Stuck in Love, author and father Bill tells his son Rusty “By the age of 18, a writer has experienced enough to write his first novel.” Today I turn twenty. I have much to learn and to experience, but I think at the age of two decades I can reflect on some of the truths I’ve discovered along this path to adulthood.

1. Everything  happens for a reason.

Now this is what everyone tells you when something goes wrong and my immediate reaction is “yup, okay, but why???” And every time I asked this, I received an answer over the course of time. 

2. Allow a creative thought to unfold.

I remember in 6th grade I had to answer the question when do you use fractions in your life? And everyone went around sharing and I said “tabs on Microsoft word.” The room fell quiet and my teacher just said “You’re an out-of-the-box thinker aren’t you?” Yes, yes I am.

3. Your family should be your best friends.

I’ve grown up always enjoying the company of my family. For me, there was nothing more entertaining than having a big family gathering and hearing old stories, laughing, and eating massive amounts of food. Still to this day, I cherish that. My family makes me who I am. 

4. Hold onto every moment you spend with your grandparents.

Birthday’s can be bittersweet. I used to go shopping with my grandparents every year on my birthday. On one day, my Memere and Pepere would take me to the mall, which would always include a trip to Friendly’s and Pepere getting paged at a department store. My Grammy would take me out on another day and she’d let me pick out an outfit and a toy. It was the best cuz she let me explore my style. I’d come back with some crazy outfit.

5. Faith comes to you when you need it the most.

Whether you’re religious or not, faith helps you get through even the toughest of times. Faith is believing. And sometimes the hardest thing to do in a rough spot is to believe that you’re going to get out of it. That’s when you do it anyway. 

6. People will make you think you don’t belong, don’t let them.

My junior high years were filled with insecurities about fitting in. I always felt it was something I did or something I said or something I wore that made me stand out. Now I realize I totally did stand out, but in the best of days. I want to go back and give that frizzy-haired eighth grader a high five for rocking her Target kids’ section Big Time Rush t-shirt when everyone else was wearing Hollister. You belong in bigger and better places, my friend.

7. If you want to dress up, then dress up. Wear what makes your heart happy.

I’m almost always over-dressed. I live for dresses, fun lip colors, and leather jackets. My style is best described by my father’s complaints. “Hayley go back inside, you can’t move a shed dressed like a fairy princess.” “Hayley’s shoveling dressed like she has an interview with the top designer at Macy’s.” which leads me to my next point: 

8. It’s okay to think your parents are cool. 

You know there’s always moments when you’re embarrassed by your parents. Trust me, my father once stood on his car and waved his arms shouting my name to flag me down when picking me up from high school. But how funny is that? He’s hilarious. My mom’s the same way. She’s funny. But I also brag about how she did undercover work back in the day. It’s pretty awesome.

9. If you feel called to write, pick up a pen.

When I was younger, I wrote songs. My first song was called “Argument.” It was a real hit. Lots of “oh’s”, lots of “woo’s”. Like all the best songs. It pays off to have the courage to pick that pen up. I mean, I’m writing this blog post. 

10. Use the gifts you were blessed with.

If you are a writer, then “write like you’re running out of time.” If you dance, dance your heart out. If you are a talker, then lead that debate team. If you can sing, join that chorus or show choir. Audition for that show. Just don’t let that talent go unnoticed. Let it out. Let it grow.

11. The best of friends always come back to you.

There have been times I thought I’ve lost a friend. And I have. But with time and healing, the friends who belong in your life come back and stay in your life. Those are the keepers. Those friends and the one’s who’ve been by your side all along.

12. Surround yourself with people who allow you to be you.

I have a friend that will listen to me summarize entire episodes of The Vampire Diaries. I have a friend that challenges me to running man challenge to the song “Hey Ya”. (Winner tbd). I have a friend who will sit in the parking lot of an ice cream stand with me blaring Phantom of the Opera and singing along. To the friends who offer me endless support, are there for me through thick and thin, who bring me “Dunks” when I “seem stressed.” Thank you.

13. Sometimes I just want a nice salad and sometimes I just want Ben and Jerry’s half-baked. Why not both?

A healthy lifestyle is a great thing to achieve. I try to find a balance. Allow yourself to have a treat every once and a while. Life’s too short. 

14. “Don’t settle.” -FM

If something doesn’t feel right, then don’t waste your time. Don’t settle for anything less than what makes your heart shine. This goes for anything, career paths, relationship, etc..

15. There’s always room in your heart for forgiveness.

Sometimes I want to hold a grudge and it lasts maybe a day until I feel too guilty. Forgiveness is hard but when you forgive, it makes you stronger and it relieves you from guilt and negativity.

16. Try new things. It’s okay to want to soak up all life has to offer.

One time I decided to play the role of “Romeo” in my eighth grade Romeo and Juliet Assignment. I fell in love with acting and the rest is history.

17. Everyone has their own definition of fun. Don’t let anyone try to change yours.

Sometimes my idea of fun is shopping with friends. Sometimes, it’s having a karaoke night. And other times it’s curling up in bed with a hot cup of tea and a good book and calling it a night.

18. Don’t quit your day job, but don’t quit your daydream.

Walt Disney was a paper boy first. I was a paper girl. Therefore, I am Walt Disney…jk. But my point is clear, every small job pays off.

19. Sometimes the best way to recover from a loss is to turn it around into something positive.

There’s always going to be a way for you to reach out and honor the memory of a loved one. (A theatre group that raises money and awareness for cancer? :O) And if there isn’t, make one. 😉 (Roger A. Cote Run for Courage). 

20. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. As an adult, I want to keep the child inside of me alive.

When I was little I loved to play dress up. In a way, theatre takes the place of this in my heart. I want to remember my younger self when I take on adulthood. The best advice I’ve received is to “Be the person you needed when you were younger.” 

As I finished this post, I’ve officially turned twenty. It doesn’t feel much different. Maybe I got taller…? Oh who am I kidding!

The Truth About Shy: It Doesn’t Exist

If I had a penny for the amount of times I texted a friend before the first day of a new class and said “I’m so nervous, I don’t know anyone and I’m shy”, I’d be rich. I ALWAYS use shy as an excuse. Why don’t you call and order your own food? I’m shy. Why don’t you ask for help? I’m shy. You knew them and you didn’t say anything? Why? I’m shy. The list goes on. And the response is always the same. Oh, it’s okay to be shy. And because of this response I’ve always felt okay to say that I’m shy and it’s become my go-to excuse for any lack of confidence–

Until today. Today was the first day of my Acting I class and I was so nervous. Why? Because I’m shy. Well, my professor instantly wiped that thought from my mind. Upon asking the class if they were nervous at all, she said Don’t say you are shy because shy doesn’t exist. She went on to explain that shyness happened when we were in elementary school and someone a little louder, or a little taller, or a little thinner, etc sat in front of us in class and spoke up and made us shrink back a little. Year by year, we got quieter and quieter and someone said “you’re just shy.” Then we felt better because we had a word for what we were feeling that later developed into our favorite excuse. But the truth is, we never were shy at all. We just thought we were. img_5089

So I left the class feeling a little un-shy, to say the least. I think I’m going to make it a goal to outgrow this excuse. Who’s with me?

Have the best week!

Hayley

I Need to Follow My Own Advice

Sometimes my brother will come up to me defeated after a struggle to learn a new piano piece, or to score a basket, or to catch a baseball and he’ll say “I can’t do it. I never will be able to, so why bother?” When he asks me this, I reply, “Don’t count yourself out before you’ve even started.”

And I wish I told myself this weeks ago. When the director of a production of The Drowsy Chaperone came up to me on day one and asked if I could guess which role I was playing, I think I listed every role, except the one I received. It was the show’s leading lady, the glamorous Janet van Der Graaf, originated by Broadway royalty, Sutton Foster, one of my idols. When I auditioned for the show, I didn’t even bother considering the role. From the beginning, I said I could never ever in a million years pull it off. It was too big a challenge in too little time. The notes were too high for my belt and the dancing and stage manner too poised and “out there” for my shy, clumsy self.

So upon accepting the role, I accepted the emotional beating I would endure while learning the part and trying to perfect it. It was a beating I placed on myself, of course, because everyone else seemed confident I was doing just fine. I, however, had already placed myself on the failure list before I even sang my first note. Eventually, with only one week to go, I learned to release the pressure I was forcing on myself, and remember why I was even there in the first place. The whole show was raising money for Mass General and I was dedicating my performance to my Grammy and remembering her got me through.

 

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Me as Janet van Der Graaf in The Drowsy Chaperone. Photo taken by Nancy Webster

But I’ve done this before. In fact, the reason I haven’t posted on this page in months is because I accepted its failure. After my blog’s popularity seemed to die down after its first few posts, I was discouraged. That voice in my head that will tear me down rather than pick me up asked “What are you doing? This blog is going no where. Your dreams of growing this page past your few Facebook followers are flawed.” And how did I respond to this voice? I listened. I put writing new posts off until I was no longer posting anymore. And that was it. Back to wasting all my creative energy by checking Instagram and scrolling through Pinterest til my eyes are tired and it’s time for bed.

Except, one day I refreshed my Gmail to find an email from a name I didn’t recognize. This person had connected with me through the contact information page of my blog. The message read :

Hi there.

I really like what you do here and I’ve been awfully silent about it. I noticed you haven’t blogged in a while. Can you please start doing that again? I can assure you that you at least have one fan that has been waiting for another post. I hoped reaching out might help make that happen but it’s really up to you. Please consider doing more.

I admit, this person truly came to me at a time I needed the most. To distract myself from the anxiety I was feeling with my lead role, I had written out a list of potential blog posts and started writing a new article. I was considering blogging again. The next day, I received this message from a follower, a follower outside my Facebook followers. He was one of the many people I have the potential to reach out to if I just try. And this follower reached out to me personally to try to encourage me to keep going. It was just the push I needed.

That’s all it takes. Trying. Your goals aren’t achieved over night. It just takes determination and confidence. And not counting yourself out before you’ve even begun.

So long story short: I’m back and better than ever. Let’s spread some love.

Hayley

5 Songs that Inspire You to Keep Going

I think everyone needs a power playlist. It has to be a list of songs you can go to when you need some motivation to get through the day. For me, I refer to a few songs when I just need a friendly reminder that everything is going to be okay and that I am okay. So today, I am sharing with you five of the songs that inspire me to keep going.

My Inspo Playlist

  • “Time Will Come” by Kris Allen- Back in 2009, Kris Allen won the eighth season of American Idol. This song is featured on his fourth album titled Letting You In. “My Time Will Come” is featured on my playlist for it’s inspirational message spoken throughout the song “so I keep on moving on, cuz I know my time will come”. It’s a song to listen to when you feel as though you are at a standstill place in your life. This will remind you that everyone has their time. https://youtu.be/nrPUPhViVVI
  • “Wait for It” by Leslie Odom Jr. and the cast of Hamilton- Along the same line as my previous song choice, this song shares the message that everyone grows at their own pace. In an interview about the song, writer Lin-Manuel Miranda said “I think we’ve all had moments where we’ve seen friends and colleagues zoom past us, either to success, or to marriage, or to home-ownership, while we lingered where we were- broke, single, jobless. And you tell yourself, “Wait for It”. At the same time, this song is something I listen to when I fear as though my anxiety is taking control of me. When this happens, the line “I am the one thing in life I can control. I am inimitable, I am an original” rings out and helps me get through. https://youtu.be/ReTP6x_sDiM
  • “Up&Up” by Coldplay- This is off Coldplay’s “Head Full of Dreams” album and I only recently have connected with this song. It’s calming beat along with inspiring lyrics like “we’re gonna get it, get it together, I know” makes you feel like you can accomplish anything in life. My favorite part? The song ends with the line “Don’t ever give up.” https://youtu.be/qfX2DMQUe1Y
  • “O” by Coldplay- Staying on the subject of Coldplay, this song off of their album “Ghost Stories” album is my go-to meditation song. It’s beautiful melody creates a tranquil mood and the lyrics “fly on” are very inspiring. https://youtu.be/Ap-HeMIKi-c
  • “I Am Moana” from Disney’s Moana- If you read my Moana article 5 Lessons Learned from Disney’s Moana, you would know that I LOVE this movie. I find all of the music very inspiring, but this song connects with me personally the most. The words that her grandmother sings to her in the beginning “Sometimes the world seems against you. The journey may leave a scar, but scar’s can heal and reveal just where you are” reminds me of words my Grammy would have said to me if I felt at any point lost or in a hurtful place. I think everyone can take this message home with them: scars are marks of survival. When Moana is asked who she is, she suddenly comes to terms with her background, who raised her, what she has done, and how far she has come. This encourages her to keep going. And that she does. https://youtu.be/e2Lm1-W0jow

So these are just a few of the songs that motivate me to keep doing me. I hope this playlist gives you some inspiration throughout your day as well, or has inspired you to create a playlist of your own choices. Already have a playlist? Comment below your suggestions.

Keep going, keep growing.

Hayley

Looking Over the Edge of the Roof: My First Blog Workshop

1 TIMOTHY 4:12

“Don’t let anyone look down on your because you are young. Instead, set an example for the believers through your speech, behavior, love, faith and purity.”

When I created this blog, I had one motive: to help others through my own words and experiences. I reflected on the four years of high school that I spent tackling my anxiety and asked myself “What or who did I need back then that could’ve really helped me?” Then one of the best pieces of advice I have ever read (Thanks Pinterest) popped in my head “Be someone you needed when you were younger.” The next thing I knew, my journal was out and I was writing my first post for this blog. She Doesn’t Know She Has It was originally going to be a book. I wanted to write about a fictional teen trying to cope with having anxiety in high school. But the problem with books is, they have an ending. My story with anxiety hasn’t ended yet. With this blog, I can continue to post advice and experiences and growth.

The goal of this blog is for my readers to have somewhere to go to when they need help or even for just entertainment. I cannot physically be there for everyone, although I wish I could, but in writing, people all over the world can read my posts. However, I was blessed this past weekend to have the opportunity to physically be there for others. My former pastor read my blog and reached out to me to run a workshop called “Looking Over the Edge of the Roof: How to Handle with Anxiety” at the Merrimack Valley Catholic Youth Conference. I willingly accepted the offer.

I had a mix of fear and excitement with this challenge. I feared how I would go about running the workshop. Public speaking was nerve wracking for me, but I hoped with God’s help, I would be able to deliver a speech that would hit the hearts of the conference attendees. I was also grateful for my sister Ashley who immediately agreed to help me. The excitement that comes with sharing my blog and helping others and the support of my sister is what motivated me to take on this challenge.

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Ashley Jasmin tells students about her anxiety-relieving activity.

I am super pleased and blessed about the outcome of this conference. Within five minutes, the room was filled with students of all ages ranging from eighth grade to seniors in high school. I was nervous throughout my speech but whenever I looked up, I received a reassuring smile from each student, which was more than enough encouragement to go on. Ashley shared some advice of her own, for anxiety runs in the family, and she put together an activity where each student wrote down on a piece of paper what makes them anxious and then they crumbled the paper and threw it away. After my talk and Ashley’s activity, the teens were allowed time to just chat and ask questions. There were smiles, there were laughs, and there was a ever-present feeling of peace in the room. I left the conference and my heart was touched; I can only hope that others left with the same feeling.

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Hayley delivers her speech to the students at the Merrimack Valley Catholic Youth Conference.

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My AMAZING workshop attendees who willingly took a picture for this post. 

Shout out to my workshop attendees ❤

Hayley

It was Epic: Farewell to The Vampire Diaries

Parting with the CW’s The Vampire Diaries was like parting with a friend. I mean, this is a slight exaggeration, but I owe a lot to the show. It was one of my first fandoms. The show also got me interested in the book series that the show was based off and by sixth grade, I was fully engaged in reading young adult novels. The Vampire Diaries was a part of me from middle school to college, it inspired my fashion choices, inspired my writing, and was always the fantasy world I escaped to to de-stress from reality.

Although I am sad to see the show end, I am grateful and proud for how the series resolved. Julia Plec, one of the show’s writers, said during an interview that when she created the show, she wanted to talk about grief and moving on from a hard place in your life. Elena’s character had lost her parents and is grieving. At this point in her life she meets Stefan, a vampire trying to hold strong to his humanity despite his curse and his past, and she meets Damon, his brother who seems to be beyond saving. Of course, this theme of loss and moving is always present throughout the series, but it truly was resolved this final season, which included several parallels to the first, one of them being the return of old characters, which pleased many fans. The season is themed around Damnation verses Redemption- as Stefan and Damon question on whether or not they can be saved from their curse. But, spoiler alert, everyone finds peace in the end, showing that everyone can be saved. A show with a not-so-happy beginning reached a happy ending.

So in honor of this happy ending, I thoroughly searched social media for any evidence of my fandom and have found several examples of my fandom that I feel other fans can relate to. Enjoy the laughs.

YOU WERE A TVD FAN IF :

  1. You owned some sort of TVD merchandise and presented it proudly.

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    Yup here’s sophomore Hayley wearing her TVD shirt. Photo caption “#faveshow #TheVampireDiaries #Damon.

  2.  As much as you wanted to hate Katherine Pierce, you wanted to have her style.
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    Yet another embarrassing photo of me “recreating” Katherine’s hairstyle for my friend’s sweet 16.

    Image result for katherine pierce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. You felt the need to tell Twitter whenever you cried during an episode.

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How could I not? Damon died!! (and came back to life, but that’s besides the point.)

4. You felt strong emotion for either Klaus, Kai, or both.

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This was the second time Ashley heard me scream from the other room. The first was when Klaus and Caroline finally got together.

5. Faux Leather jackets are a staple in your closet.

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Sophomore Hayley, why the face? Image result for katherine pierce

6. The music on the show gave you the feels and if your favorite artist was featured, the excitement was too much to handle.

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This is me not wanting to swear, but wanting to express my excitement at the same time via Twitter.

7. The Salvatore brothers brought your standards in men to a whole new level.

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I might’ve named my car Stefan…

Image result for damon salvatore you want a love that consumes you

*cries for an eternity*

Thanks for reading my little trip down TVD memory lane. If you enjoyed this post, comment below if you’d like one for the Pretty Little Liars series finale.

Never Shy from a  Fandom,

Hayley