2013 was a big year for me--was it a crazy wonderful year? looking back as a whole, i'd say no. but maybe that's how it always or maybe i'm a hard person to please. looking back it seems kind of like a blur. one big thing i learned is that's it's okay to not be okay.

let's be honest. life is hard. then why do we all want to keep up the appearance that we're okay? i had a really tough spring semester of my freshman year and there were parts of this fall that felt the same.

it's funny... my mom would tell me when she'd see people at the store who had children in my grade that she'd ask how their kids were doing and it would always be "OH THEY LOVE attending X university and they're busy doing Y this summer and they just LOVE IT!" but do they? don't get me wrong, people can be happy. i'm not against that. but i learned it 2013 that it's okay to feel hurt and pain and you're not the only one.

hold on for a quick digression but it sort of relates, i read an article once about unrequited love. how we can't help who we love. how it hurts to love someone and it not be returned. but this is how the creator of the magnificent oceans, sun, stars, humankind feels. God is rejected in his love for us daily. not only that, but think about the shared pain of people with unrequited love. i mean come on have you seen a romantic comedy before? moral of the story, just as there are many people who feel the pain of unrequited love (including an all powerful being, whose image we were made in) our friends and families feel the same way at some point in their life.

like i said earlier, i was not okay my spring semester of my freshman year. sometimes i orchestrated a facade. but 2013 was the first year i stood up for myself and was honest and vulnerable with others. it's not easy to tell people that you have no idea what's going on with your life, but why does it matter? why do parents have to convince everyone in the grocery store that their kid has no problems assimilating into an entirely different life change? why do we have this obsession with proving ourselves to be perfect humans?

if you're reading this, and maybe there's only one of you, i hope you hear this most clearly: it's OKAY to not be okay. it's accepted. it's appreciated. no one has it all together. OBVIOUSLY i don't. ha.

relax. and here's my biggest piece of advice to you: if you're not okay, first know that's perfectly good. second: reevaluate your life. what is it that makes you not okay? third: change. whether that's your perspective, your attitude, where you spend your time/energy/money, or whatever. you have the power.