In which our heroine is dizzy. Very dizzy indeed.

I’m dizzy. 

I’ve been so dizzy I can barely walk for 5 days. I stagger all over like the worst, sorriest kind of day drunk. Needless to say, I’m unable to work, particularly since my job does substance abuse treatment. Working would also require me to be able to drive. And move smoothly. And sit upright without being pulled toward the Earth. 

Oh and I hurt. All my little joints hurt. In my fingers, my wrists, my elbows. The tiny joints where my ribs connect, even the little knuckles of my toes. Like some gross campfire round, they  all take a turn with this dull, sore, relentless ache.

The first time this happened, the doctor ran tests. The doctor scratched his head. The doctor (via his nurse over the phone) said “Your tests are all ok! He said drink lots of water & take Advil for the pain!”
Gee doc, thanks. Have any advice my mother hadn’t already given me for free? 
The second time this happened, my regular doctor ran more tests. He scratched his head. He said “All your tests except one are normal, so heck if I know. We’re going to send you to another guy.” He gave me pills for the dizziness & vertigo. He made a referral to a rheumatologist ($10 word) to see if I have an autoimmune disorder.
The pills put me to sleep.  I’m not talking drowsy or sleepy, they completely sedate me. If I take them as directed, I will sleep about 16-20/24 hours. That’s how they keep you from being dizzy – you’re just unconscious. I gave up counting of how many days of my life I’ve lost being out cold on these things because it’s too damn depressing.
The third & current time this happened, they didn’t run more tests (they’re leaving that to the rheumatologist I’m still waiting to see). Doctor #1 decided to try going at it like it’s an inner ear thing to see if it might help. I’m thrilled to see anyone do anything that looks like helping me. (If they wanted to jab 10,000 acupuncture needles in me while doing electroshock, I would be open to it at this point.) I start prednisone in the morning &, while that is hands down one of my least favorite things in the world to take, again I’m just happy someone is doing something other than sedating me.
Because in my mind, when the dizziness comes, I have a brain tumor. Or some growth on my spine. Or some God awful other thing that’s going undiagnosed that’s killing me. I also have a NOFX song stuck in my head. That’s unrelated, but it’s Don’t Call Me White so it’s still super annoying. Maybe that’s part of the tumor? Having the most annoying parts of punk songs blasting through your head over & over & over. Anyway, as morbid & disgusting as all that is, right now when no one can give you any answers, you can’t go to work, you can’t manage very much time even sitting upright before you feel like you’re going to tip over & you’ve got nothing but time to think & symptom check, that’s unfortunately where your mind goes. Not to mention that when the only thing anyone seems to be able to do to help is sedate you, it starts to seem like you may have to choose between perpetually dizzy or asleep for the rest of your life & that’s pretty damn bleak. To say I’ve shed tears would be an understatement.
But, here’s the thing, I happen to be one tough cookie.
I have had not one but 2 cancer scares. I’ve survived with significant depression way past the point I probably should have. I have ADD like a fruit fly on crack but have managed to function. I come from a long line of tough, strong men & women. I’ve had more personal tragedies large & small thrown at me over the past 3-5 years than I care to discuss, but I’m still here. So, it’s not really in me to curl up & die. That’s noreally my bag. Dizzy or not, whether anybody helps me or not, I’m going to have to figure out a way through this the same way I figure out everything else in my life.
I’m going to put one (occasionally staggering) foot in front of the other & see where I go. 

 

In which our heroine would like someone to explain these “sexy” Halloween costumes, please.

Halloween is my favorite holiday. There is no question.

I love Thanksgiving. I like St. Patricks Day. I used to love Christmas, but the retail, commercial side of it has become so damn pushy that the best I can muster for it these days is an obligatory like until about December 10th. But Halloween is made of candy, costumes, pumpkins, & horror movies, & therefore, is an absolute good.

However, I have always had one small gripe with Halloween & that is how it has evolved into an excuse for women to dress like hookers. Now I sort of understand dressing like french maids, Playboy bunnies, & schoolgirls…I guess.  I don’t find any of them particularly interesting or creative as a costume, but they are classics in a boudoir sort of way.  But, it’s come to the point where the pursuit of the sexiest costume has gotten completely out of hand, as evidenced by the fact that the following costumes exist.  I need someone, be it a man or lady who is into ladies, to please explain these costumes for a simple, country girl.

Ketchup & Mustard

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I work in mental health as a day job.  I know that humanity is dark & people are into some twisted, freaky business.  Still yet, who is sexually attracted to condiments?   I refuse to believe that’s a thing.

Harry & Lloyd from Dumb & Dumber

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The costumes above are on models.  MODELS, y’know people who get paid to be prettier than everybody else.  But, in my humble red headed opinion,  in these costumes these poor women look like a pair of very lovely, thin drag queens/transvestites.    If ultra femme, Jim Carrey & Jeff Daniels impersonating drag queens/transvestites are your thing, then this costume makes total sense as sexy.  Otherwise, it’s a headscratcher.

Animal parade!  A sexed up giraffe, skunk, deer, & panda! 

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If I’m dating a guy & he’s like “You should be a sexy giraffe/skunk/deer/panda for Halloween.  That’d be so hot.” that’s a red flag,  A red flag with a cherry & a rape whistle on top.

Toys & Games

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Outside of the legginess of the ensembles, this goes along the same lines as the ketchup & mustard…who is turned on by board games &/or an etch a sketch?

Movie & TV Parade: Hannibal Lecter! Robocop! Brian Griffin! Beetlejuice!

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As a rule, if you’re going to be a sexy something, the thing you’re going to be should start out with at least a little drop of sexy built into it already.  NONE of these characters have built in sexy.  You’ve got a sociopathically charming, cannibalistic old man, a cyborg cop, an alcoholic cartoon dog, and effing Beetlejuice.  No.  No no.  & NO.

Electro Hippie Kids do Halloween

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This unicorn stripper on molly & this hooker monster with a blue haired woman for a face are what happens when EDM kids try to get in on the sexy Halloween thing.  I haven’t done remotely enough substances in my life to understand why these costumes exist, let alone why they are considered sexy.  If someone can just explain to me how they stand to wear such very, very fuzzy boots whilst dancing for hours on end without melting, I will be satisfied.

Miscellaneous: An eskimo, a banana, & a gnome.

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Dressing as an eskimo is like dressing as Santa Claus for Halloween.  And who wants to make out with Santa Claus?

This banana costume…ok I get why it’s sexy but Sweet baby Moses in the reeds, why don’t you just go naked?  I think naked might leave more to the imagination.

The gnome looks like Christina Aguilera lost a bet.  You put the costume on anyone else & it will look like THAT woman also lost a bet.

And last but not least, psych ward patient & nurse

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Because being murderously crazy or being able to sedate someone murderously crazy while showing a lot of cleavage &/or leg gets the people GOING!

 

 

In which our heroine’s spirit animal is Louise Belcher.

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I am a grown up who never grew up. A lot of the things I loved as a child are things I still love now. Drawing, toys, superheroes…I’m just as crazy about all of these things today as I was when I was little. But, the biggest obsession that has carried over from my childhood has been my love of cartoons. From Looney Tunes to Nicktoons, anime to Adult Swim, I have always loved animated television in particular. One of my favorite animated shows out right now is Bob’s Burgers.

If you are unfamiliar with Bob’s Burgers, you should be tremendously sad right now because you are missing out on something wonderful. To sum up the premise, Bob is a 3rd generation restauranteur who runs a burger joint on the Jersey shore with his wife Linda & 3 children Tina, Gene, & Louise. The restaurant is Murphy’s Law incarnate; the title sequence shows their grand opening, re-opening, & re-re-opening after a fire & mouse infestation shut them down twice. Bob (voiced by Archer’s H. Jon Benjamin) loves the restaurant & puts his all into it. This leads him to fits of frustration, melancholia, & desperation whenever the restaurant is struggling. Linda has a cheerful, enthusiastic disposition & she is unfailingly supportive of Bob & the kids. She’s also a bit of a pushover when it comes to the children & prone to taking pretty much every situation just a few steps left of too far. Tina is a painfully awkward, adorkable preteen girl who loves boys, horses, & zombies. Gene is a classic middle child who channels his need for attention into playing the keyboard, playing the triangle, playing the tambourine, & dressing up in a burger-suit outside the restaurant to drum up customers.

Which brings us to the namesake of this little post, the youngest Belcher, Louise.  Voiced by the always delightful Kristen Schall, Louise is the chaotic neutral 9 year old in a cutesy kawaii wrapper you never knew you needed in your life. A pigtailed amalgam of maniacal evil genius, adorable little girl, devoted sister & daughter, total con artist, funniest kid in school, & full blown crazy person, Louise is the Belcher that I identify with most. So much so that I have taken up Louise as my television spirit animal.  To make my case for this, here are some commonalities between Louise & myself:

  • We both love a good bargain.

dollar whiskey           dollar bourbon

  • We both know to appreciate the mystical, feminine gifts God bestowed upon all women.

mudflaps boobs           now i want them

  • We’re both pretty darn business savvy, if we do say so ourselves.

sex sells 1           sex sells 2

  • BOUNDARIES.  We’ve got them.  LOTS of them.

will1          will2

will3          will4

  • Neither of us suffer bullshit gladly.

estrogenius1         estrogenius2

estrogenius3         estrogenius4

  • When it comes to the success of the family, we both can get some crazy ideas.

bladefoot1          bladefoot2     bladefoot3    bladefoot4          bladefoot5

  • We’re both honest about where we came from.

creepyguy1         creepyguy2

moms ok 1         moms ok 2

  • We do what we want.  So shut up.

shrimp1         shrimp2

shrimp4         shrimp5

  • We both know how to create a good distraction.

diversion1         diversion2

diversion3         diversion4

  • If some punkass ever, EVER happens to be dumb enough to cross us…

louise earsy rider

  • we will NOT have that shit.

revenge1         revenge2

revenge3          revenge4

  • WILL NOT HAVE IT!

fury1         fury2

  • Louise’s first crush on a member of a boy band is eerily similar to how I feel whenever I like someone (give or take the slapping part).

crush2        crush3

crush4       booboo whats he into

booboo1       booboo2

booboo3       booboo4

  • And finally, both of us are not afraid to go after what we want.

slap1      slap2

slap3      slap4

In which our heroine returns from the dead!

Why hello, internet! Long time no see! Did you miss me as much as I missed you? I hope so.

Well, I first must apologize for my absence & for leaving my site collecting dust for so long. Summer, while full of many wonderful high points, was completely long & weird. This weirdness has stretched into Fall & I have just started to accept it as the default setting for my life now. All the extra weird going on had to take up time & space somewhere (thanks for nothing, physics!) so unfortunately, the time I was able to devote to my beloved corner of them world wide internets had to suffer. To give you some context, here’s a brief pictorial summary of How Allison Spent her Summer/Early Fall, starting with the fun things:
I went to the beach with 3 of my sorority sisters (1 of whom I hadn’t seen in about 6 years).

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I also got to meet that same sister’s 2 beautiful babies on the same trip.

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And the trip was my first vacation in TEN YEARS. 10. Freaking. Y e a r s. (It was a big deal.)

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I also (finally) went to a neurologist this summer after having migraines for what seems like my entire life to see if he could do something. I had an EEG & the doc put me on meds that not only fixed up my brain, but also had the added side effect of weight loss. Ka-Boom.

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(Yes I am aware that is an odd thing to list under summer fun, but anyone who has had a migraine more than once in life can vouch for the fact that this shit is LIFE-CHANGING.)

I did lots of fun things with my friends, like go flat footing & demand 80s nights from establishments where no 80s night had been previously planned.

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I went to see Aziz Ansari, who may or may not be my soulmate (not sure yet), do stand up at Virginia Tech.

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And most recently, I ran/jogged/walked the Color me Rad 5k!

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But, some heavier things have also gone down over the past few months. Like how in late spring/early summer, I let someone from way back in my past come into my present long enough to kick my heart in. It was gruesome. Apparently, it takes me a couple of goes to learn things sometimes.

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And there were minor annoyances that seemed to pile up all summer long, like ending up in the ER 3 times in as many months or having some anonymous total douche stab a hole in one of my tires while I was staying with friends over a weekend.

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But the single most devastating thing that happened this summer was getting the news on August 5th that my father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Everything else, good or bad, ceased to matter on that day. His happiness & health took precedence over everything else in my life in that instant. One of these days if I grow a big pair of steel ovaries, I will hopefully write about what this experience with him has been like. Right now though, it’d be too much like picking at a new scab. All I’d do is bleed everywhere.

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With all of THAT said, the good news is that I will be back to posting regularly again! I have loads funny, awkward, heartfelt, nerdy, ranty, pop-culture-y goodness just itching to come live in your brains, so stay tuned kids! Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!

In which our heroine presents 23 Great MERICA! moments & (some genuinely awesome American things).

I love America. I’m proud to be an American. There’s no country I’d rather be from & be in.

I’m saying this now so no one gets me twisted. I LOVE MY COUNTRY. Warts & all, greatest country ever.

That said, we all know that there are actually 2 Americas: America & MERICA! . This graphic perfectly outlines the differences between the two for those who are maybe unfamiliar with the subtle nuances:

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Now, I do not identify as a MERICAN!, but I have a deep appreciation for those who do. Every diverse, beautiful tapestry of needs some coarser, rougher strings to hold it together. That is the function of MERICANS! in our country.

In honor of Independence Day, I humbly present (in no particular order) 23 Great MERICA! Moments.

23. This girl who LOVES her some iPhone.

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22. Bacon: The National Fruit of MERICA!

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21. This classy lady & her jacuzzi roman candle.

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20. Budweiser. The official beer of garage drinking patriots.

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19. Some facial hair made of LIBERTY.

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18. This t-shirt that sums us up nicely.

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17. Deep fried money. Because eff em, that’s why.

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16. We have no shame in MERICA!

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15. This grill.

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14. MERICA knows how to rationalize.

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13. This rocket surgeon.

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12. STEAK. BIG STEAK. MERICA.

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11. This man’s patriotic ass canoe.

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10. PROUD SPOKESMAN OF MERICA.

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9. Overalls for the win.

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8. MERICAN ingenuity exhibit A.

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7. MERICAN education exhibit A

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6. And exhibit B

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7. Equal rights for all MERICANS.

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6. All the freedom in this picture.

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5. National security.

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4. FIREPOWER!

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3. MERICAN wit.

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2. How we celebrate our MERICAN FREEDOM.

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1. MERICAN beauty.

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And as a palate cleanser, a some things I truly love about America:

Ron Swanson

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This gentleman.

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Our rebellious nature.

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My future husband Joe.

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My friend Travis, who is clearly repping hard for us in Sweden.

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These patriots.

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Our amazing military.

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This cowboy who held a stranger’s ARTERY in his hands as he tried to get him help post-Boston bombing.

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Whiskey.

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Woodchuck.

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That we made someone as awesome as Channing Tatum.

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And this guy.

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In which our heroine fills an online dating survey full of ridiculousness.

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As a single lady, I’m attacked by multitude of ads for services designed to marry me off every time I am on the internet . Now, I am not opposed to online dating & I know people who have had good results with it. But, I find many things about the process of online dating highly questionable, especially the personality test/dating questionnaire part. I recently came across an anonymous questionnaire for the howaboutwe dating service that struck me as so stupid, I felt compelled to fill it out with complete foolishness & lies as an “ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer” sort of deal. So, for your consideration, my completed howaboutwe survey:

1. How old are you?
29 & 1/2

2.Where do you live?
A remote alien outpost on the surface of the sun.

3. Would you rather be early or late?
Early for cupcakes, late for being sacrificed to a volcano.

4. Best dating advice you ever received?
Keep your pants up & your shirt down.

5. Fool proof way to get a guy’s attention?
Chug a bottle of tequila, smash the bottle on the bar, & yell “WHO WANTS TO ARM WRESTLE?”

6. Go to drink on a date?
Absinthe & tang.

7. Worst pick-up line ever used on you?
“I’m gonna go outside & throw up, but when I come back, I’m gonna ask you on a date.”

8. What (if anything) do you lie about on your dating profile?
My name, my age, my interests, my face…easier to ask what I’m NOT lying about.

9. Instant turn off in someone else’s profile?
A second head &/or 6 fingers on the left hand.

10. Biggest turn ons in real life?
POWER AND MONEY!

11. What would your ideal date be?
A karate battle with neo-nazis.

12. What is your pre-date ritual?
Strip naked, sacrifice a baby goat to the headless ghost of Jayne Mansfield, drink a jar of moonshine, & bathe in a tub of baby oil & glitter just like Kesha.

13. What 3 items are essential to getting through a breakup?
C4 explosive, a disposable cell phone, & a Guy Fawkes mask.

14. Weirdest place you’ve ever been picked up/ been picked up?
Toss up between in line for the bathroom at Sheetz & in line for the bathroom at a Freemason jamboree.

15. How many chances do you give bad sex?
What is this bad sex you speak of?

16. Have you ever stood someone up?
Once, but I had a good reason. I had just given up my beautiful voice to an octopus witch in exchange for legs. It was a phase I was going through.

17. Do you google first dates?
That sounds like a good way to catch something gross.

18. Never go on a date without _____ in your purse.
Ninja stars.

19. His place or yours?
IHOP

20. Best excuse for ending a date early?
I’m sorry, I have to go. My grandmother is on fire.

21. Historical figure you’d like to go on a date with?
Liberace

22. Sex on a first date?
Also sounds like a good way to catch something gross.

23. True or False: A phone call is better than a text.
What’s a text?

24. Splitting the bill on a first date?
Wait, there are women out there who don’t pay for the guy on a date?! How rude.

25. Talking to your parents about your love life?
I’m not Amish.

26. Sex & the City?
is an awful TV show about some old tramps.

27. Blind dates?
If you mean blind as in he can’t see & might have a seeing eye dog, the answer is an enthusiastic yes.

28. Second chances after a bad date?
I typically bludgeon the guy unconscious & steal his wallet if the date is going badly, so probably a no.

29.Threesomes?
Because what could possibly go wrong with bringing other people into your relationship?!

30. Monogamy?
I’m a big fan, but only on a day by day basis.

31. Karaoke dates?
Only if it’s Russian Karaoke where people get shot if they’re awful.

32. Dating a coworker?
Only as a means to gather blackmail material.

33. Meeting someone at a bar?
I don’t go to bars because I love Jesus.

34. Chivalry?
I try my best to be a gentleman at all times.

35. Waiting 24 hours to contact someone after a date?
I usually only wait 2 hours, unless it was a good date. Then I only wait 20 minutes.

36. Monthiversaries?
I prefer dayiversaries…BUY ME THINGS!!!

37. The fade out method?
Is that a sex thing or a dub step thing?

38. You ARE a girl, right?
Unless you know something I don’t, yes.

In which our heroine pens an open letter to girls of the world.

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Hello! Been away for a while, but I have tons of things in the works that will be making their way to this little corner of the internet soon. First off, I want to share a letter I recently submitted to CNN as part of their Girl Rising initiative. Girl Rising is a documentary following 9 remarkable girls in 9 countries as they seek an education. CNN placed an open call for letters telling girls around the world about education. Mine focuses on a bit of a first world problem (bullying) but the general sentiment is transferrable. Enjoy! – A

Dear young ladies of the world,

School is rough. Doesn’t matter if it’s public or private, K-12 or college, getting your education is a difficult, arduous task. Many adults seem to forget this as the years grow between their school days & their daily lives, but as a woman who spent two-thirds of her life in some form of academic process, I know full well how hard it can be. I also know that sometimes the things that get in the way of your learning & make it so difficult have nothing to do with your academic ability & everything to do with forces outside of your control. In this letter I am going to focus on one of those forces that, I feel, can be the most damaging to you just being able to get your basic K-12 education: Bullying.

To give you some background about why I’m compelled to address this particular issue out of the many that you ladies face at school every day, it’s important to know some basic things about me. I am a mental health counselor who works with children & adolescents age 5-18 on an outpatient basis. Out of the young people I work with, I’d say 80-90% of them are seeing me for some issue that is related to bullying. I hear horror stories about the cruelty these kids experience on a daily basis, so I know how much of an educational issue this has become.

I also know how significant of an issue this can be because I was bullied growing up. From 5th – 9th grade, my academic life was mildly hellish thanks to the treatment I received from some of my peers (I qualify my experiences with mildly because I know that compared to what some of you girls go through, I got off easy). I could count on being teased at least twice a day by older kids on the school bus. During the most painfully shy & awkward period of my life, I got called ugly, stuck up, & stupid on a daily basis. On more than one occasion, I got off the bus with gum stuck in my hair that some acne riddled high school jerk-face from the back of the bus had thrown at me. Once I got to school, the popular kids in my grade called me a skank because I didn’t wear Tommy Hilfiger jeans & a nerd because I kept to myself, read a lot, & was in the school band. I got shoved into lockers by the alpha females at my school more times than I can count. And as the cherry on top, in 6th grade my locker was beside a girl who had bullied me since kindergarten, which meant I got threatened & called names a few times a day at a minimum. On a bad day, I got smacked in the head or kicked in the back a couple times as I was kneeling down to get my stuff. The combination of these things led to me crying, begging my parents to pull me out of school, & generally wishing I was dead every single day for the majority of my middle school years. And these are just the things I can remember, a lot of my memories from that time are fuzzy because I think my brain completely blocked them out.

I tell you all this because I know how utterly alone it feels to go to school every day dreading life & thinking everyone in the world hates you. I know that far too many of you young ladies have to deal with some monstrous mean girl at your school who spreads rumors about you, threatens to beat you up, actually DOES beat you up, calls you names, teases you about how you look, gives you grief about your sexuality, & generally goes out of their way to make your life as miserable as possible. For some of you, you not only have to deal with mean girls, but mean boys & older kids too (as I did). I know how having to deal with these awful people can make just getting up for school in the morning hard, so it obviously makes focusing & doing your best in class every day next to impossible. Even if you love to learn, if you dread going to school every day, the only thing you want is to never have to see the place again. Forget getting an education if it means dealing with this garbage every day, right?

No, not right. I’ll tell you why. Prepare yourselves, because I’m about to give you a message from THE FUTURE.

Things do not stay this horrible forever. Once you hit around 11th grade, people get too caught up in trying to figure out what they’re going to do with themselves after graduation to spare the energy constantly harassing someone requires. In the meantime, here is some truth from the future I can share with you about the people who are giving you hell right now: They’re weak & they’re wrong. When someone is a bully, they act that way because they don’t know how else to control people. They feel bad about themselves for one reason or another & they don’t know how to make themselves feel better, so they pick on people to pass their bad feelings on to someone else. Everything they say about you & do to you comes from the fact that they’re too weak right now to figure out why they don’t like themselves. Since everything they say comes from how they feel about themselves, that means their behavior has little to nothing to do with you. What they say about you isn’t true, because it’s all a reflection of their own self hatred. So don’t believe their lies; you are not stupid & you are not ugly. You’re you & you are a wonderful thing.

I tell you this in hopes that even one of you will read this & feel just better enough about things to go back to class in the fall with your head held a little higher. At the end of the day, you’re not going to school so these other little beasts can take their psychic negativity out on you & make you hate yourself. You’re going there to learn more things & the more things you learn, the more awesome you become. At the end of the day, it isn’t the prettiest girl or the most popular girl who wins, it’s the smartest girl because she’s the one who doesn’t peak in high school. She’s the one who gets to take everything she’s learned to college & have a fabulous time meeting people who like to learn as much as she does. She’s the one who treats everyone she meets with kindness because she knows just how mean people can be sometimes. She’s the one who goes on to get a good job & change the world for the better. I know that sounds hard to believe, but I promise you it’s true.

So at the end day girls, do you & just go learn! Be kind, be yourself, & be the best student you can be. Don’t let someone who won’t matter in 10 years take your education away from you or your potential for greatness away from the world. We need all of you. We’re going to need some smart ladies to take care of business around here when the rest of us get old. You are each a gift & you each have a role to play in the world. Never believe someone who tells you otherwise.

Love,
Allison