Adventure May Hurt, But Monotony Will Kill You.

So, I’ve been MIA from just about all social media for about a month now, with the exception of Twitter, for a number of reasons. I’ve received numerous texts, Facebook messages, Twitter DMs, etc. from several people wondering why I’ve fallen off the face of the earth. I figure it is easier to write a blog, than try to explain in individual messages. But for the record, thank you so much for your messages and for checking in on me. I will of course send each of you messages just to catch up, but for the ultimate explanation… here you go:

September 15 started a spiral of events in my life. My Mimi passed away from a long fight with Parkinson’s Disease. I apologize for not letting anyone know really. It was probably inconsiderate of me not to let anyone know so they could support me at the funeral and etc. But everything happened very quickly because we had prepared for that day since her health started declining quickly in mid July. I didn’t even have time to inform my pastor in Tuscaloosa of the passing. I was surrounded by family, my best friend, and our closest family friends at her funeral. Thank you for your words of kindness and thoughts. Although her passing was expected, the loss is still difficult and weighs heavy, especially with so many significant events occurring that I know she would have LOVED hear about and experience.

After she passed, me and my boyfriend broke up, another loss that weighed heavy in such a trying time. After two such large events happening in the same week, I had a lot of loss to overcome and strength to regain. But as usual, life continued.

On my grandmother’s 73rd birthday, 8 days after her passing, God started working in my life. While I’m sure He was working on my heart in those 8 days, He really started moving on her birthday. I’ve started a new job in September working with a great lady literally living out one of my dreams. It’s been an amazing experience, and I cannot wait to see where else this opportunity is going to take me. Aside from working a job that I love, I also got a new calling at Capstone Agency, the student-run PR firm I intern for at UA. I was moved to account executive of a very large account. While taking over the account only two weeks before the pitch proved to be significantly difficult and time-consuming, I’m so excited to tell you that it went great. Thursday, I pitched to the director of integrated marketing communications for a multi-million dollar corporation. I have not had more than 6 hours of sleep in 3 weeks, I’ve drank at least 3 cups of coffee per day and I’ve been at the office more than I’ve been at my apartment. I’ve napped on the floors of Reese Phifer, I’ve survived my first ear-infection and hole in my ear drum, I’ve overcome obstacles, I’ve lead an amazing team of 9 people, and I’ve made some of the best memories of my life. It’s been spectacular. It’s been amazing. It’s been challenging. It’s been the best experience thus far in my life, and I’m only 20.

I’ve also become a certified Zumba instructor and made 4 great friends while dancing for 9 hours straight. I’ve met a number of international students, all of whom I introduced to the real southern accent (apparently my southern drawl is even more significantly southern than the rest of UA) and good coffee. I’m preparing for my first gala in Chicago on my 21st birthday. And I’ve got two huge clients I’m working for next semester, possibly three. The best is yet to come.

Life has thrown me a curve ball. It hit me in the gut and tried to knock me down. It hurt. It left a bruise that’s still healing. But I’m still standing.

God is within her. She will not fail. 

Sometimes you ignore God long enough because he is asking for change. He is begging and pleading for you to make that change. He gives you chance after chance, sign after sign that something is not right. But you don’t listen because you’re comfortable. Life is easy. While life may not be perfect, at least you know what to expect. Especially in college when life is so unpredictable, when you find something that is predictable and comfortable, it’s hard not to hold on.

So then God has to step in and make the change you refused to make yourself. Sometimes it takes people months to get over stuff like this, for them to see the positives, and to understand what the bigger picture is. But if we open our eyes and listen to some of the things happening around us, you get a glimpse of that overall picture.

For instance, relationships can alter dreams…big dreams. While I may still have been able to move to New York or Seattle while in a relationship, chances were slim to none that he could have followed. So at that point you have to pick between something comfortable and a dream that is out of your comfort zone in a city hundreds of miles away and alone. Too many dreams fall apart at this fork in the road.

Great things never happened in comfort zones.

Since that week, I have had so many opportunities presented to me that I have taken advantage of. Those opportunities will get me my dream job in my dream city someday. Not only that, but I’ve met people with those exact dreams in those exact cities. I’ve met people with my same personality, worked on the same project together and developed friendships that can only be made at 2 a.m. in the basement of a 80 year old building that was a bomb shelter in WWII. Friendships that can only be made running away from a drunk guy who was chasing you at 3 a.m. on your walk to the car.

Because I took those opportunities, I have met some of the people that I will see in NYC and Seattle. I will know people there, I will have friends, and it won’t be so uncomfortable chasing a dream.

You’ll turn out ordinary if you’re not careful. 

As far as my heart goes, it’s still healing. The little things remind me of my grandmother nearly all the time, and I really just want her to be here so I can see her smile when I tell her what’s happening in my life. She was my biggest cheerleader, especially when it came to my career. She wanted to hear all 850 comments from my letter to Cade Foster. “Another one, another one.” She would get so excited. I still haven’t watched an episode of Big Bang Theory. Sometimes it hits me all over again.  As far as a man, I’ve got my daddy, my brother and my poppy and papaw who are the only men I need because they support each and every one of my dreams. And right now I’m focused on guarding my dreams.

Success is not for the lazy. 

My warning is for all the college and high school girls out there with big dreams or those going through a breakup that just can’t understand why… Listen to God and let Him work in your life. Things will start to fall in place. It may take a month or six or maybe even a year, but He’s still there, He’s just working on something really big.

Ugly and Definitely NOT Acceptable

An article is running like wild fire through social media about why girls wear the “sorority girl uniform” otherwise known as nike shorts and extra-large t-shirts to class on college campuses.

I get it, I really do. Girls are sick of boys complaining about what they wear on a daily basis. I’m not just talking about sorority girls here, either. Most campuses are only less than 30% Greek, half of those, if not more, being fraternities. Nike shorts and big t-shirts are the norm for all on most college campuses.

However, that may not be a good thing.

She gives three reasons why these “ugly” uniforms are acceptable. I have three reasons why they’re not.

Her reasons:

1. It is hot outside 2. No one has time to look “cute” for an 8 am. 3. It is comfortable, and normal clothes are not.


 Her argument might be valid if this uniform trend continued on game days.

“We are in the South in general, and it is HOT. With temperatures and humidity as suffocating as they currently are, no one wants to put the time and effort into looking cute.”

Have you ever seen a sorority girl — or any college girl — on game day? Makeup? Check. Perfectly straightened or curled hair? Check. Dress? Check. Shoes other than chaos or athletic shoes? Check. If you think it is hot sitting in an air-conditioned classroom for an hour, what do you call 95 degree heat, in high heels, designer dresses, sitting in a concrete stadium packed with 100,000 people?

If the classroom is hot, I guess the game days are close to hell. 


No one has time to look cute? Seriously? How about just being professional? Have you ever thought that for just a second your professors are looking for a student to recommend for a DREAM JOB? Have you ever thought the professor that lectures you for an hour twice a week actually worked in your field and knows professionals who are looking to hire college graduates? Have you ever thought maybe, just maybe if I put a little extra effort into presenting myself as something a little more than a college student just trying to get by, you might get that dream job right out of college, if not soon after?

And as for the “That is seriously pushing it, too, especially if you live off campus” comment, exactly what do you plan on doing once you are not attending classes everyday? As far as I know, most jobs start at 8 or 9 am, which means rush hour traffic is right in those two time slots. Are you planning on living in your office? Please don’t give me the “I’ll have time to be professional and grown up when I graduate” excuse. You are not in high school anymore. You are an adult.


Finally, it is comfortable. Do not get me wrong here. I have an abundance of Nike shorts and big Comfort Colors t-shirts. I love them, and they are extremely comfortable. But I am just as comfortable in a sundress, maxi dress, nice shorts, and shirts that are actually my size. And get this: my chaos match all of those outfits. 

She ends with:

Now come fall and winter, we’ll look a lot more presentable. Scarves, sweaters and jeans are easy and effortless to wear when it is cooler weather, and they look cute! Now of course, even when it’s cold, we’ll probably still be wearing yoga pants, leggings or whatever else is quick at times. Just give us some time, and we’ll look a little more presentable. For now though, the uniform continues.

Why are scarves, shirts that actually fit, shorts that are not meant for the gym, or a simple sundress not “easy and effortless to wear?” Why don’t you just only wear this “sorority girl uniform” at times? 

Last semester, I was called to a last minute meeting where a C-suite executive of a major global company sat at the head of the table, and I did not have time to run home and change. It was a good thing I was not wearing this “uniform” otherwise, I probably would not have networked with him, sat in on another meeting, or been invited to meet with him and his staff in New York.

So, do not blame the girl–whether in a sorority of not– that puts an extra 10 minutes of time into looking like she did not just roll out of the bed (even though she probably did) when she gets your dream job because your professor chose to tell her about the job opportunity instead of you


I did not name this a uniform or particularly a sorority girl uniform. This is not meant to shame any girl for wearing this outfit, just meant to bring awareness that the excuses are not valid, and there are legitimate reasons why you should wear non-athletic apparel to classes. 

The Barbie Debate

Barbie gets a bad reputation because of her look. We’ve all seen the posts on Pinterest or blogs that show what Barbie would look like if she was a real girl. We get it. Barbie’s appearance sets an unrealistic expectation for the way women are supposed to look. 

But do you remember what it was like to be a 4-5 year old with a Barbie? Barbie was all about dreams and make-believe. 

“My whole philosophy of Barbie was that through the doll, the little girl could be anything she wanted to be. Barbie always represented the fact that a woman has choices.”- Ruth Handler, creator of the Barbie doll.

When I used to play with the doll, it was about dressing her in the prom dresses I wanted to wear to prom one day. It was about Barbie being a business woman or a teacher or whatever profession I was fascinated with that day. It was about the wedding dress for her wedding. It was about her job. It was about her hobbies. It was so much more than how tall she was, how skinny or fit she was or the color of her hair. 

Look at half of the toys we buy kids today. They’re witches and wizards and princesses. They’re a myriad of fantasy characters that we know the 3-9 year old imagination can run wild with. 

Do we really have to blame a toy for eating disorders and body image issues? I’m a 20 year old girl. I am fit and in shape. I have curves. I am not a size 0 or 2 or even a size 4. 

I played with Barbie dolls as much as any girl. I played with them, dressed them, cut their hair. I had the Barbie Dream House and the Barbie VW car. I used to carry them everywhere I went. I loved playing with Barbie dolls. 

Never in my 20 years did I look at a Barbie doll and think that is what I am supposed to look like. I never held my Barbie up next to my mom and think my mom wasn’t normal because she didn’t look like Barbie. I never told my babysitter she didn’t look like Barbie. I didn’t even ask WHY women didn’t look like Barbie. The thought never crossed my mind. 

Because Barbie was a doll. 

Barbie was a business woman who dressed nice and I could be a business woman that dressed nice. I can wear the heels and dresses and still conquer the world. The size of my breasts, waist and butt can’t do that. What I look like can’t achieve my dreams and goals. 

If body issues stem from anywhere, its from the magazines we read, the movies and shows we watch and the people we hang around. As a cheerleader, I sat and listened as my teammates criticized their bodies. Wanting the lose the pudge or the thunder thighs. And believe me, I know all too well the burden of buying pants a size too big for your waist so your thighs can fit it. I know the gap at the back of the jeans. I know the struggle of buying a swimsuit top in a small and the bottoms in a large. I’m not some itty-bitty girl. 

And I struggled with my weight, still do some days. Wanting to be smaller. Wanting to be more fit. But that’s not from me playing with a Barbie doll when I was young. It’s from reading magazines that are constantly displaying headlines: “Miranda Lambert loses XX pounds,” “Jessica Simpson loses XX pounds on weight watchers” “Best and worst celebrity beach bodies.” They go on and on. How many weight loss shows are on television now? How many infomercials can we watch of drug x and y that does this better than that. This weightloss plan. New Year’s Resolutions. 

Look at the people we see on television. Guiliana Rancic, Kendall Jenner… the people that model in the fashion shows we watch. America’s Next Top Model…girls were voted off for not being skinny enough. 

And we want to blame Barbie for all this nonsense? Where are the rational thinkers? We set down the Barbie dolls before we’re teenagers. And we pick up the magazines, watching the television shows. 

But overall, none of this is really this issue. 

Yes, there should be a Barbie that looks like a size 6 girl. But there should also be supermodels that are size 6 that aren’t classified as overweight. The weightloss commercials need to be taken off certain programmings. 

But for goodness sakes, let’s educate our girls. Let’s educate them with what’s normal. Explain B.M.I. Explain why our bodies need calories and fats to live. Explain why exercise is healthy but too much exercise is unhealthy.  

If we’re going to explain why elasticity effects the economy, then we sure as heck need to educate children and teenagers on what it takes to nourish our bodies. More than the half a week the schools spend on talking about anorexia and bulimia. 

Something as huge as our health deserves more than 3 hours of terrible videos. Knowledge is power. 

Let’s let our girls continue to play with the dolls like little girls do. Let them rip all the clothes because the thumbs never fit through the holes in the sleeves, let them lose all the shoes, put men’s clothes on the women dolls. Let them get lost in their imaginations because they’re girls just wanting to play.

A Memorial Day Tribute


When I walked down the narrow street that led to Ground Zero, we were pushed to the side by firefighters trying to get the truck back to the garage. Ten House is the fire station located in the heart of Ground Zero.  At least 5 fire fighters assisted on the street as the 4 firefighters on board attempted to get the fire truck down the narrow street and into the garage as thousands of people filled the streets. It took 3 tries to get the truck into the station.

Friday, May 22nd, 2014 was just another Friday. There was no chaos, no incident, no attack. Yet, getting the fire truck one block down the street to the Ten House station was a struggle.

Can you imagine September 11th? Can you imagine the chaos? Can you imagine the fire fighter that had to climb out of the truck to remove the body from the street so the truck could get closer to the Twin Towers? Can you imagine the fire fighter that had to tackle a man whose clothes were on fire to put them out? Can you imagine the chaos they had to pass in order to get to the heart of the attack? Can you imagine the last sights of those that gave their all that day?

The last thing they saw was not a room full of family. They didn’t get to say goodbye to their children. They didn’t get to say I love you to their spouses. They didn’t get any of that.

Their last sight was a terrorist attack. They smelled burning bodies. They went in knowing the chances of them coming out alive were slim to none. But they did it anyways 

On Friday, thousands of people flocked to Ground Zero to see the memorial fountains, the bronze wall on the side of the Ten House, and the newly opened museum. They listened to stories of survivors who gave tours, pointing out where the planes came from, where they were standing and which tower fell first.

On Friday, as thousands visited to pay their respects to the thousands that passed that day, they encountered conspiracy theorists. They encountered people who stood on the ground where people died shouting lies.  The survivors who were giving tours would stop to curse these people. I do not blame them. The disrespect of those people to bring more pain to those who had already lost all, who had already experienced the smell and sight of death is beyond anything imaginable.

The memorial fountains were designed and constructed in such a way to express to visitors exactly what was lost that day. In the center of each acre-sized fountain, is a black, square hole where the water disappears. You cannot see the bottom. You cannot see the end. No matter where you stand around the bronze panels surrounding the fountain, you cannot see a visible end. There is a black hole.

People all around were stretching their neck to see over the bronze panels attempting to see the bottom. They never felt the satisfaction of finding the end. Because there is no satisfaction to be felt. Because there is no end to be seen. 

Perhaps this blog is more relevant for 9/11. Perhaps I would have more hits if I published it on 9/11. But that’s not the point. The point is that today is Memorial Day and I’m not sure that any of us really understand what we need to remember, what we need to respect. We’re too busy cooking hotdogs and hamburgers by the pool with our family and friends. We’re too busy to remember the lives lost in any war, on any day. We’re too busy to remember those that gave their all so that we can enjoy the day off. It’s a little twisted don’t you think? There are soldiers, firefighters, police, nurses and other emergency workers working today while we enjoy the day off.

God Bless those soldiers who fought, who died, who are fighting, who will fight and who will die, protecting our freedom and protecting our rights. 

God Bless those emergency workers we protected, who died, who are protecting and who will protect and who will die protecting and saving lives. 

Thank you for your service.

You can read the stories of fire fighters from the Ten House here.

Worth the Wait

Life is like a waiting game. We are constantly waiting for each big event to come along. High school seniors across the U.S. know what I am talking about. They are on the home stretch. With less than 3 months to go, they can see the light at the end of that long, dark tunnel.

I gave the graduation speech when I graduated in 2012. It was an honor and a day that I will never forget. I can still remember my nerves waiting to walk out for graduation. That was the first time that I realized what I have to say actually matters. And if I can write down my thoughts in a precise manner that makes sense and is relatable, my words can be very powerful. I received a lot of compliments. I’ve been told it drew tears to some of the parents and grandparents’ eyes because I made the connection between the generations that needed to be voiced. I wanted to share that speech on my blog because I want a place where I know it will exist forever, after my computers crash and papers burn.

But I also thought that maybe it could draw a connection for those seniors anticipating graduation.

Friends, family, teachers, administrators and fellow students, I want to thank you for attending this graduation today. I also want to thank you for everything you have done for my fellow graduates and me up to this point in our lives. We greatly appreciate the advice and life lessons you have taught us over the past 18 years. We truly would not be sitting here today if it were not for you. So for that, we sincerely thank you.

Ardmore High School, Class of 2012, today is our graduation day. We have spent the last 4 years anticipating this very day. I hope it has or will live up to all of your expectations. So before you start anticipating the next major event in your life, treasure this day for all it is worth, for it will be over far too quickly. 

Through these past few years, we have all experience trials–especially with the deaths of our three dear classmates whose memory we will all forever cherish. And while these heartaches were difficult to overcome, these tribulations have only taught us that life is short and every day counts. 

Class of 2012, you are part of the net generation, or the generation of technology. The Internet (as we know it) was invented either the year you were born or the year before. Cell phones are not strangers to us, and information has always been at our fingertips. We have days worth of songs on our iPods, and we can send and receive messages in a matter of seconds. We text fast, we drive fast, we eat fast, and we learn fast. We put a whole new meaning to living life in the fast lane. 

We are not like our parents’ generation. When they get a new device, they read the manual while we start plugging in cords. And though we can take advice from our parents’ generation, we cannot always assume it is the same in this day and time. And like our parents, one day we will be giving knowledge that we have received to the generation after us. And the advice may or may not be compatible with that day and time. 

In our parent’s generation, there were very visible paths to take: college, military or work. And while those paths still exist, so many more are visible today. Kids in our generation have made millions of dollars because they invented a cool app or turned a strange news interview into a catchy song. Our ideas may be the next big thing and one of us sitting here today may be the next Steve Jobs. One of us may find the cure for cancer. Our options are limitless.

Now it seems that a huge gap exists between Generation X and the Net Generation, but that is not true. Because while we grew up with computer games instead of marbles, our parents–I can’t believe I am saying this–actually know what they are talking about. While their lessons in school and technology were different, their lessons in life, love and prosperity all amount to the same. Though I have yet to learn all of the lessons my mother and father learned, I can share with you the advice my parents have given me, that their parents probably gave them and so on and so forth:

Life is going to be difficult, and some days you are not going to want to get out of the bed, but that’s no excuse. There will always be someone somewhere that is fighting a harder battle than you. Always have faith, but remember having faith makes things possible, not probable. Sometimes the right path is not always the easiest. Count your many blessings, one by one. Be the best friend you can be because in order to have friends, you must also be one. Never forget those who have stood so long by your side. Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work. Those who gossip to you will gossip about you. Say what you need to say, but only say what you mean. Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles, it empties today of its strength. Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. Everyday is a blessing, a gift from God. And finally, the way to happiness is not having the best of everything, but making the best of everything you have. 

Graduates, congratulations on completing your final day at Ardmore High School. I am pleased to say: we have made it! As we prepare to accept our diplomas, we are also preparing to head out into this place called the real world. And though it seems scary, these life lessons we have learned will help along the way. 

Joshua 1:9 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. So take chances, follow your dreams, continue learning, travel the world, and enjoy your life. Don’t dream your life, live your dreams. Live with intention and be an individual. 

Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste your time living someone else’s life.” And while your life may take you over seas or hundreds of miles away, always remember your roots lie here in Ardmore, Alabama. The potential for this graduating class is greater than any of us can even imagine. And I know that somehow we will all make our mark on this world. 

In closing, I would like to share a poem whose author is unknown, but was used by Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant to motivate and inspire those around him:

This is the beginning of a new day.

God has given me this day to use as I will.

I can waste it or use it for good.

What I do today is very important,

Because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.

When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever

Leaving something in its place I have traded for it.

I want it to be a gain not loss, good not evil, success not failure

in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it.

Thank you and congratulations Ardmore High School, Class of 2012.

The second paragraph is my favorite because I remember wanting graduation to come so bad; my senior year was a waiting game. Waiting for senior nights and all those lasts to finally occur just so I could “get out.” I know that most seniors experience that senioritis. But there’s a difference between excitement for graduation and waiting for it to happen. We spend our entire lives waiting. Waiting to start school, waiting to get a license, waiting to be 18, waiting for graduation, waiting to be in college, waiting to be 21, waiting to get married, waiting to start a family, waiting, waiting, waiting…

Every time a big event comes in our life, we experience it for so little time before we start waiting for the next big event. We can’t enjoy graduation without waiting for college. We can’t enjoy college before waiting for that job offer. It’s a constant game we play. We forget to live in the moment and forget to experience the moment. Right after we threw our hats, everyone dispersed to take pictures and eat cake and celebrate. But in those few moments, when everyone was still on the field, I stood in my chair, looking for my best friend and family, but I caught a glimpse of the past and future crashing together like a wave hitting the sand. I was no longer a high schooler. I was officially a graduate. I had my diploma; my tassel had been turned; yet I was still on the football field surrounded by friends and family.

My hair had fallen. I was sweating and uncomfortable. But I remember thinking in that moment that that was the very moment that everything changed. And it was.

I think we get so involved in the moment and in the waiting that we don’t realize when major transitions actually occur. It wasn’t when I accepted the diploma, or when I turned the tassel even. It was when I stood watching my past high school days and friends disappear second by second, graduate by graduate.

Life has a funny way of showing you stuff when you least expect it. As a photographer, I wish that was the moment someone had gotten on camera. When the event was over, the crowd was dismissed, yet graduates’ lives were drastically changing before everyone’s eyes. And we never even realized it. We rushed off to the celebration parties and to pack for senior trip and leave the exact transition we had been anticipating all that time.

I rushed back to get to my party with my family and friends. I’m not sure I even shed a tear. And even before I took that first step away from my high school, I was answering questions about my future that had just begun.

So, senior class of 2014, you have less than 3 months left. You’ve probably chosen a college, decided which dorm to live in, found roommates, picked out a comforter for your next XL twin bed, and decided on a major. You’ve ordered invitations, and you are counting down the seconds to accepting that diploma. But what are you going to remember about that day? Are you going to remember the speech? Probably not. Are you going to remember the hours of pictures? Maybe. Are you going to remember everyone that came? No. Are you going to remember the flavor cake, the music that played, the first person to hug you after? No. You are probably not going to remember all those things because frankly, they are not that important.

But you should remember that moment where you watched your high school days dip below the horizon like the sun setting: beautiful and worth the wait because trust me, it is worth the wait.


Real Life Illustrations

I have not ever fully understood the Holy Spirit. I’ve read the scripture a million times.

 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. -John 16:7

I have always believed that God has a distinct, special and intimate plan for my life. As I described in an early post and how most of my closest friends and family know, I have a very difficult time understanding and believing things outside of my grasp. The idea of forever is a taunting thought for me. But because I have experienced the amazing love of Christ, I can trust his grasp of subject I cannot even attempt to grasp.

I have had the same best friend for twenty years. She has been by my side through everything. College really is a horrible thing when it comes to separating relationships. She went to Chattanooga, and I went to Tuscaloosa. Two hours and fifty-nine minutes apart according to Google maps. That’s not how I imagined college. College is supposed to be a place with all your friends. You’re supposed to experience things you have never before experienced and never will experience again. My best friend is three hours away. It is impossible for her to experience all of these experiences with me. And I with her.

In all honesty, I was jealous of the new friends she made at UTC. The pictures. The parties. The fun they experienced with her that I couldn’t possibly experience unless I transferred. I could not understand why God would separate me from my best friend for five of the most important years of each of our lives. Why would He do such a thing to a friendship that has withstood eighteen years of fights, breakups, high school drama, wrecks, trouble and all the other things we did. How does that seem beneficial to us. How could it be beneficial. I know it happens to everyone at some point in their life, but why us? We had it planned out. We were both going to move to NYC. We were going to live the life we had always dreamed and talked about as kids. We were going to defeat that impossible. We were going to beat the road block that everyone hits with their childhood friendships the day they graduate high school. And we, in a way, didn’t. We were separated. She is supposed to be at UTC, just like I am supposed to be at UA. God has a plan and this was it.

And this morning, about 1 AM, I realized why God would separate me from my best friend. And He ultimately illustrated John 16:7 to me.

My best friend had to go to UTC because she had to build a life. She had to get an education and that was where she had to get it. And other reasons continue to develop everyday. She had to go away. But God sent her to UTC for her. And separated her from me for both of us. She met some amazing girls. She was matched with the perfect roommate that would help her through college, her first real break-up, chemistry exams and the unknown of college. God immediately gave her a comforter. Someone not to replace me but to be her best friend when I couldn’t be.

But God has a really funny way of teaching me things because I am a very, very stubborn person. So He made me wait and search and experience loneliness and separation. Experience what it’s like to walk into a formal party without a date and without a friend and meet people. He made me rely on myself and ultimately HIM in order to find my comforter. But God always comes through with what is promised.

I rushed a sorority thinking that is what God wanted me to do. He wanted me to rush, receive a bid, be elected pledge president and nearly destroy the whole pledge semester so that I could meet the person that was going to be my best friend when my best friend couldn’t be here. He not only sent me one comforter, but he sent me two. Two girls I can go and enjoy midnight sushi with. Two girls that have been through so much but yet both of them have this positive joy about them that radiates. You cannot help but be happy around them.

I’m so happy that my God understands my weirdness. He understands that my mind can grasp calculus and chemistry and psychology but cannot grasp a simple verse I’ve heard since I was barely walking. He understands sometimes we need real-life illustrations so that we can understand how His plan ultimately works.

So thank you Caulyn for being the best friend that I can never replace. Thank you Hannah Burton for being the best friend to Caulyn that I can’t be right now. And thank you Taylor and Amanda for being the best friends I’ve needed so much during the past semester.


Side note: no offense to my boyfriend, but sometimes you just need your girl friends.

Dear Cade Foster,

Let me introduce myself: My name is Kaitlin Goins. I am a student at The University of Alabama. I am, also, a huge Alabama football fan. There was never another team when picking which fan-base to join, and there was never another university when picking a college. The University of Alabama is, in my opinion, by far the greatest and most wonderful place to attend school. Bryant Denny Stadium is like no other. No other stadium sways to songs like Sweet Home Alabama or Dixie Land Delight. No other stadium has fans standing during each and every play, filling every, single seat. No other team has more than 101,000 fans filling the stadium each and every Saturday. No other team is the University of Alabama.

But today was different because The University of Alabama’s fan-base became like the others.

Today, we had the most heart-wrenching defeat I have ever watched in my 20 years on this Earth. The Texas A&M game last year doesn’t even compare.

But you are not to blame.

You see, we Alabama Football fans pride ourselves in being the loudest and proudest fan-base there is. We fill the quad even on small games, we follow our team at home and away, and we support the Tide every way possible. But this weekend, again, was different.

Perhaps, it’s the rivalry that brought out the worst in some fans, but blame cannot be placed there. Blame, rather, must be placed on fans.

You see, real fans don’t boo the kicker off the field after missing a field goal at the most-pressured game in the year at the opponent’s stadium. Real fans don’t yell hateful comments about any team member, no matter what the error. Real fans stand behind their team all 60 minutes of every game AND every single day of the year.

And, especially in your case, real fans do not forget the back-to-back national titles you assisted in the past two years.

So, I want to apologize. I want to apologize for leaving the UTC game at halftime, no matter how cold I was. I want to apologize for wondering if a single game was worth attending, considering we would murder (insert team name here) anyways. I want to apologize for the frustration I showed after the first quarter of this game. I want to apologize for fans ‘booing’ you. I want to apologize for the hateful comments. I want to apologize for the death threats. I want to apologize for the future interviews. I want to apologize for the future comments.

But mostly, I want to apologize because your fan base did not stand behind you when you needed us the most.

This game was a game to us. Stakes were high, but in the end, other than the nagging comments of Auburn fans, none of us will at all be affected by this loss.

But, this was your last Iron Bowl. This was your last regular season game. This was your last chance to play for an SEC championship. And, unless the football gods favor us this year, this was your last chance to play for a national title.

And we let you down. We let the whole team down.

For four years now, you have sold your soul to Alabama Football. For twelve weeks out of the year, you have faced other players that would like nothing more than to break your legs in half. For 365 days of the year, you have practiced every day. You have focused every day. You have put pressure on your body that you will never ever be able to reverse.

And you did it for us.

And we could not give you a break for one loss. We couldn’t even give you a break for one kick.

So instead of criticizing you, Cade Foster, I want to thank you. I want to thank you for your dedication, your practice, your endurance, and your performance over the past four years, hit or miss, win or loss. Sure AJ McCarron played well, and he had a lot of pressure also. But there is not another player on the team that has the pressure of kicking the game-deciding goal, and that is a lot of pressure. You, Cade Foster, warm up by yourself. You are on the field before any other player, and you are the last off before kick-off, don’t think I haven’t noticed. Sure you have blockers and the ball holder, but it is you who has to be exact, kicking farther than ever before, being perfect every time.

You are the true hero. Without you, there would be no 7, 14, 21 or 28 point lead. Rather, a 6, 12, 18, or 24 point lead.

So Cade Foster, whatever you choose to do after you leave your collegiate career behind, I, Kaitlin Goins, will be behind you. If you chose to play in the NFL, I will follow your career. If I had a fantasy team, you would be my first pick. If you chose to work, I’m behind you 100%. If you chose to start a family, I hope you have the most beautiful kids and dress them in Crimson and White.

And I hope, if I cross your path one day, I will be able to give you a portion of my appreciation. Following your last down at the University of Alabama, and officially being released from the team, I would happily be your first paid autograph.

But even if I never meet you, Cade Foster, I want you–or at least the Alabama fan base to know–this is not the Alabama Football we advertise. This is not the support we gave you at the national championship, and this is not the support you deserve after a heart-aching loss.

So I apologize for all the fake Alabama fans. You have nothing to be ashamed for. And if anyone says you do, show them your two national championship rings and, with class, say, “I ain’t never been nothing but a winner.”

Roll Tide, Cade Foster, Roll Tide.


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