May.

The last 30 days treated me well. In comparison to the previous month, more moments were captured that can show you how much I am able to express my feelings or thoughts to the people who matter the most to me.

I’ll be honest, expressing some of the inner-most truths and vulnerabilities to other humans is much more difficult than I imagined. The thought of doing something is entirely simple; actually doing it takes compromise. I had to decide that the reward of opening myself up is greater than not letting anyone in at all.

I set myself back in a small way by putting this in the forefront of my thoughts. It made me hyper-aware of what it is I am actually thinking in realtime about people, places, ideas, and who I am becoming. At times, this was such an intense month because it left me with very few words to say. I put so much focus on expressing that I forgot altogether how to express on some of the most basic levels. I put this pressure on myself to be able to tell people how much they mean to me. And as a result, I’ve struggled to embrace the abruptness that the end of the semester brings with people leaving, sometimes without being able to say goodbye.


I’m hoping the pictures below can express how grateful I am for the life I’m able to live with these people in it.

Michaela and Megan at the Sigma Lambda initiation where I became an honorary member of the organization. I couldn’t have asked for better people to share an office (and life) with.
The view from the Bulger Hall Penthouse where all of our departmental meetings occur. I will miss this place.
The last event that I served as the Advisor to Residence Hall Program Board at The University of Akron. There aren’t many feelings greater than empowering a group of people every single day. I’m so grateful for this moment.
Every time I see these smiling faces, I become a little more thankful. It’s true what they say: humans need other humans. I’m fortunate enough to be a small part of their journey in this life. Little do they know they’ve been a huge part of mine.
Are you ever just in awe of every beautiful thing around you?
It’s so wild I saw this on campus. I’ve been listening to Chance the Rapper’s album “Coloring Book” from beginning to end every single day. He reminds me that another person’s form of expression can have an impact on my own.
A candid moment of happiness.
How could I ever repay these wonderful humans for the impact they’ve made on my life?
I was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Assistant award for the Department of Residence Life and Housing at The University of Akron. Even better, a personal mentor (pictured above) presented the award to me. To be recognized by those who I respect the most is nothing short of spectacular.
A subtle reminder of what it means to work towards a bigger goal together.
Only a few of the classmates that supported me through graduate school. Sharing this moment with another mentor of mine was a true honor. Some of these people may never know how much I admire them.
I’m proud of you.” -Hearing those words come from two of my biggest supporters in this life brought me to tears.

And so there you have it: quite possibly one of the most beautiful months of my life summed up in pictures with a few short words. I am continually grateful for how much this life unfolds every single month, how I am able to unlearn all of my mistakes in order to become who I am becoming.

I’m grateful for the ability to be myself and to be accepted in that adventure; grateful to be able to fail and still move forward; grateful to not always have the best of days, but to know that tomorrow will be different and new and as spectacular as I’m able to make it.

I’m thankful to have the opportunity to express to others — human to human, heart to heart — how much I need them in this life. I’ve said before and I’ll say again: without them, there is no me. So thank you to each and every person that has allowed me to hitch a ride, even for a brief moment, on all of the moments of astonishment, growth, crisis, and beauty. I am changed because of you.


In May, I will let go.

There is something poetic in taking apart all of the things that we’ve built in order to get to where we need to go. It isn’t always pretty. It’s definitely not easy. But it’s in these moments that we begin to learn what we’re made of.

Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing anyways? Constantly finding ways to be better versions of ourselves? Trudging through all of the mud to get to a place that fosters our true identity? Searching for what it is that makes our world right again? Getting closer to ourselves than we’ve ever been and doing the things that put us in a position to be better?

That’s what I want out of this life. And I won’t stop until I get there, wherever “there” may be.



Part five of a monthly series on observing the human experience in all of us. Every month, I’ll reflect on the past, observe the present, and cast a vision for the future with a word that guides me in all that I do. Here are past months:

January: Build
February: Feel
March: Listen
April: Express

My Project Wednesday article that inspired this small project, published January 6, 2016, can be found here.

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