To All the Nice Girls…

“You really should teach elementary school. Those high schoolers will eat you alive!”

“How can you be a feminist and wear polka dots?”

“You need to be more mean. If not, people will just walk all over you.”

Have you heard (or maybe thought) some of these? I know that I hear them on a weekly basis… AT LEAST.

I think when people say these comments they are intended as compliments, or maybe advice. I don’t think these people realize these words are somewhat hurtful. Maybe hurtful isn’t the right word… dampening is better. These comments tend to be a pouring of water on an excited spirit.

Girls, you know the struggle.

People have an urge to pat your head, or give you looks of surprise when you talk about politics or education reform. You have been treated with kid-gloves and feel like you have to constantly prove you are a free-thinking adult. You feel the need to prove to others that you are not a young child or a person who will faint at the mention of topics with substance. And when people say those comments to you, it’s somewhat disheartening.

Ladies, you are not alone.

 If you haven’t already noticed, I am a cutesy person. I love flowers, skirts that twirl, and glitter. I follow way too many cat Instagram’s and love decorating things according to seasons and holidays. I love tea and cupcakes; and I get really excited about arts and crafts. My favorite colors are blue, pink, and purple.

But I am also a Feminist. I believe in equality for all people. I have strong opinions about politics, foreign affairs, and economics. I have been through messes and hurts. That is who I am.

it takes guts to be gentle and kind.

There is this stigma that if you like baking cookies and drinking Cotton Candy Frappuccinos, you can’t also be a strong, intelligent, woman.

And it is obviously so wrong.

To all my nice girls out there:

So what?! You love a lot of cutesy things. You are a cutesy person.

That’s who you are.

You are strong.

You are compassionate.

You are intelligent.

Your sensitivity matters and is needed to soften the hard aspects of this world.

Happy Mother's Day!

Girls, just because you are sweet, kind, and tender does not mean you aren’t full of strength as well. It takes guts to be gentle, kind, and open. There is so much vulnerability involved and that is NOT a weakness. That is a strength. To be sensitive in this rough world takes hard work; because this world can easily make you bitter, angry, and selfish. Sweet ladies, know you aren’t alone. Just because you don’t hear from other sweet ladies does not mean they aren’t there. They are there, making the world a little softer and more understanding… and so are you.

Much love. Much grace.

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A Year In Review: 2015-2016

I cannot believe it… Go Giver has been around for a full year! This past year has been full of so many exciting, scary, and fun things; and I am so thankful.

From March 2015 to March 2016, so many changes and opportunities have happened through or because of this blog and I am excited to share some of these things with you today. I just wanted to take the time to let you have an idea of how much has been accomplished and for future goals in the upcoming year.

I created this blog a year ago for the personal reason of expanding my writing practice and the public reason of sharing encouragement and love on social media. My goals were clear and simple: I would write once every two weeks, my posts must be truthful or encouraging, and I will try this for a full year before giving up. A year later, and I am proud to say not only these goals were completed but also exceeded my own expectations! The blog grew to a post every Saturday (some weeks even had two posts) and each post I wrote had purpose (even the silly/fun ones). I did not think I could make it a full year year of writing, but here I am with new ideas and even a domain name… All thanks to you guys!

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This past year:

This past year I saw several different things take shape:

Thank YOU! Without all of your views, shares, and likes this blog would be completely unseen. These numbers are incredible to me! Thank you so much for your dedication to encouragement and your willingness to share positive words with others in your life. THANK YOU.

Future plans:

I have similar goals as this previous year of being consistent and honest with writing, but I am also working on some projects for this year. I am hoping to be able to share more often, work on better photography for the blog, and sharpen my writing skills.

  • Write every week
  • Present a message of truth and encouragement to be a light to others
  • Connect with a community of bloggers to challenge and encourage each other’s writing.
  • Write consistent book reviews for an online book review company
  • Authenticity

I hope that this year will bring more love, light, and encouragement to social media and the internet in general. This being said, Go Giver is going to work more towards using Instagram and Twitter for more than just promoting blog posts. Along with promotion and notification it will also double up on encouraging quotes and spotlights on what people are doing to love others in the community (internet and local- so if you know of any people you would love to see be encouraged/noticed let me know!)

Much love. Much grace.

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4 Things Student Teaching Taught Me

In honor of graduating next Saturday (AH!) and having officially finished my Student Teaching portion of my Undergrad, I wanted to share some of the the many things I learned through this clinical experience.

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Here is what I learned while student teaching this year:

1.) Teaching is the MOST selfless thing on this planet.

Honestly. I had the opportunity to work with some stellar teachers, and they work so hard for their students. Not only are they taking care of the day-to-day lessons, but these teachers also go to pep rallies, sporting events, and choir events to support the students. Teaching takes so much planning and after “work hours”… way more than I ever imagined. There are teachers who work so hard, not just so the students know the material, but so that these students can be successful, contributing citizens in the future. Many people see teachers as just educating students in necessary material for college or career paths, but teachers are also filling roles of missing parents, mentors, or just someone to talk to. This is what makes a teacher so selfless; the compassion and unconditional love shown to the students… no matter what.

 

2.) When you have teachable moments, they are awesome.

Sometimes my lessons go exactly as I plan, but usually the lessons turn into a loose interpretation of how I intended them to be. This is mostly because the class I mostly taught was Psychology, so there is wiggle room for discussions and questions from the students. There are so many teachable moments the students brought up with questions about real-life situations that I never could have planned. These were my favorite moments in the classroom.

3.) You will love the kids, all of them.

Yes, even the ones who test you and test you. The ones who you have to repeatedly tell to get off Instagram or shush during a lecture. All of these students are something else, something special. After I finished my student teaching I seriously missed those kids (still do) I want to see each of them grow and succeed. I didn’t think it was possible to come into a class for just a few months and really feel such a compassion for these students, but I learned every student’s name and I genuinely cared about each one.

 

4.) The kids will change you more than you think.

For real. These kiddos changed me so much. This quarter of my undergrad was the most stressful yet, but the students were very understanding and so encouraging. I learned so much from them. I learned how to be compassionate and patient no matter what is happening in my life; because they need me. I learned that kids are always looking for mentors and need them dearly. They make me want to be a better person, and strive to always be compassionate to everyone I meet. They taught me so much… and they can teach us all some of these things.

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Obviously, these are only a few things I learned while Student Teaching… other things were far harder lessons than anticipated. There are some things I regret… like leaving in such a rush and not being able to have a proper good-bye with the kids, but the highlights definitely made this process worthwhile.

Also, shout-out to my mentor teacher; without him, I wouldn’t have made it as far as I did!

 Much love. Much grace.

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If you are interested in giving to your local school system, here are some great organizations to help with various needs of the school-age students in your area.

Schoola

Teach for America

Stand for Children (Louisiana Based)


Go Giver Collective

I have exciting news, friends!

 Go Giver Blog has found an official place to call home at http://www.gogivercollective.com!

I am so happy to announce not only that this blog is an official “.com” but also that Go Giver is turning into Go Giver Collective.

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I know there are some questions as to why there would be a change, so I will just take the time to answer them right here!

Will Go Giver Collective still have the same message of Go Giver Blog? 

YES! Absolutely! This blog will still have the content you love about life, positivity, and helping others. I am just adding a bit new content to some of the posts I have started to add a little already.  The blog will have more posts about small things like travels, clothes, or books along with the theme of Go Giver. Go Giver Collective will be a place to continue to share the message of being active givers in our world instead of being major consumers in all aspects of life.

Why choose Go Giver Collective as the new blog title? 

Like I said, this blog is first and foremost about giving encouragement, truth and love to others. The word “collective” means that something is “done by people acting as a group or cooperative enterprise.” The goal of Go Giver is to not only encourage readers, but to also challenge readers to live a life of giving as well. If we all work together to share a little light to others, the world (and social media), can be a much brighter place.

Will there still be weekly posts? 

YES! The blog will still be updated every Saturday. However, there may be a few more posts added during the middle of the week as more content is added and more posts are written.

How can I get the latest updates about posts and projects? 

There are several different ways to keep up with Go Giver Collective. You can “like” the Facebook Page, subscribe to be a reader on WordPress, follow me on Twitter, or follow me on Instagram. Twitter and Facebook tend to have the quickest updates about blog posts soon to be under the new hashtag #GoGiverCollective and you can look at past posts by following #GoGiverBlog.

Thank you so much for your support, this would not be possible without all of you!

Thank you for coming along on this exciting new adventure with me and the new Go Giver Collective!

Much love. Much grace.

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An Open Letter To My Favorite Author

You changed my life.

I am sure many people say that phrase about tacos, celebrities, and other entities… but truly, you changed my life.

See, when I was alone, I would pick up your books and the stories would take me on wonderful adventures of travel and friendships. When I was feeling the burden of loneliness, I could seek companionship in your characters and their lives.

During the years when I was learning how to love myself and how to be confident, you helped show me how confidence can change a life. That being a leader is wonderful and can be done with grace. You showed me how I can lead without abandoning who I am, or what I believe.  You showed me that loving who I am is the best way I can lead and love others.

When I was learning how to navigate relationships, you set the bar. Yes, your characters are imaginary, but to me they felt so real. Your stories were such beautiful examples of how to love, and how to be loved. From your books, I was reminded that I was a “peculiar treasure” that deserved to be cherished, not mistreated.

Your books taught me not to be afraid of change or of reaching out. They taught me how to seek friendships, accept the change that happens, and embrace new things. You taught me how to face the challenges life can give me… and to succeed.

Your books brought me life-skills, advice, and companionship. I will treasure the adventures with your characters forever.

Your books changed how I saw the world. They changed how I viewed my classmates, parents, and the need for compassion in the world.

Your books caused change in my life. You writing these books, caused me to see a whole new world.

You changed my life.

Thank you.

Much love. Much grace.

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**My favorite author of all time is Robin Jones Gunn. She is truly a fun writer. While the books I was particularly fond of are for teen girls, I grew so much while reading them. Be sure to check out her writings for women of all ages!