teenage girls, this one’s for you

dear teenage girls of today,
the clothes we wear do not define us as a person.
our weights and sizes should not cause us to hate ourselves.

our hair colors,
our eye colors,
our body types,
our money, do not determine whether we are perfect or worthy of society’s acceptance.
society says to “be ourselves” but then shuns us for being ourselves the wrong way.

there is no wrong way to be the beautiful girl you are.
there are no amount of likes or followers on social media that should dictate your self-confidence.
there is nothing that shouldn’t make you feel worthy, welcome, or beautiful in today’s society.

teenage girls of today, there is no reason to scramble for people to like you. there is no reason for you to compare yourselves to others. there is no reason to hide behind a fake person, a mask.
be who you want to be, don’t search for approval. you are an individual, you are beautiful, and you are amazing. 🙂

dear teenage girls of today...

Eighteen Lessons I’ve Learned So Far…

My eighteenth birthday just happened on Friday. Yay, adulthood! With the arrival of this wonderful occasion, it seemed like a good idea to reflect on my life so far. I’ve seen a lot and been through a lot with my time here on earth already, so here are eighteen lessons I’ve learned so far…

  1. Chairs that aren’t rocking chairs shouldn’t be rocked. Rocking an unrockable chair may result in you or a loved one saying hello to the edge of the fireplace and cracking their head open.
  2. Tennis rackets should not be used to hit people in the face. Not trying to call anyone out on this one, but there was a girl at a tennis camp my sister and I went to back when I was maybe seven or eight. This girl wasn’t paying any attention and she hit my sister in the lip with her tennis racket and my poor, sweet little sister had to get stitches in her lip.
  3. Gum does not make a cute or pretty headband. It gets in your hair that way and then your grandma has to cut off a solid chunk of hair.
  4. You can get Coke to reach the top of a car if you shake the bottle hard enough. There’s a nice stain on the inside roof of my dad’s car to prove that I did that, if anyone wants to see!
  5. Grasshoppers make great pets, just know that they don’t live incredibly long. RIP Sensei Bobby.
  6. Climbing trees is quite fun. If you ever decide to try this, be careful, have a good grip on whatever you’re climbing, and watch out for weak branches. My sister and I used to (and rarely, but sometimes still) climb our grandpa’s peach trees in his backyard. SO FUN!
  7. Be careful when picking pictures off of the internet for PowerPoints. One time, I was making a PowerPoint off of Microsoft and I went to select a picture. When I clicked on the picture, it downloaded a whole bunch of viruses onto my laptop and that was the end of that laptop… Just be careful on the internet.
  8. Sisters make the best of friends. It might be evident after that last post, but my sister is actually my bestest friend ever. Whether you have a brother, or a step-sibling, it’s really important to establish a great relationship with them, so please do. It makes life so much more wonderful and enjoyable.
  9. Try so many things. This might sound kinda vague, but it really isn’t. My parents have done a wonderful job teaching me to be open to trying a wide variety of activities and hobbies. This has helped me become the well-rounded (at least I hope I am) person I am.
  10. Know that change is okay. When my parents surprised me with the fact that I was switching schools for high school. I thought my life would be over. I thought a new school would be awful and I wouldn’t make any friends and that I would always be miserable. Wow, was I wrong. Going to the school I’m about to graduate from changed my life for the better. I’m out of the drama that built up at my old school and I’ve learned so much more about myself and life in general. Whenever you get the chance to try something new or if something like a new school is thrust upon you, know that you will be okay. Everything that happens, happens for a reason.
  11. Patience is key. For those of you who have been around my blog for a while, you know I went through the wringer for about two years with my foot and ankle. For stuff like that, you have to know that healing and recovery takes time. And not relating to injuries, things like learning new material in school or trying a new sport or hobby will also take time. You can’t master something right off the bat and the beautiful but messy process of trying and becoming better is what truly helps you in the end.
  12. Help your community. I have been extremely involved at my high school and through various non-profits in my area. It feels amazing to know that doing something is helping others live a better and safer life. I find satisfaction in volunteering especially in knowing that my hard work will make someone else’s job or life easier. Being selfless is one of the best feelings.
  13. Dogs are great creatures to talk to. Honestly, Marty and Boo have been the best little dogs I think I’ll ever know. They are both so loyal and so understanding. Even if they can’t understand a lot of the things I say, dogs can definitely pick up on emotions and they are amazing creatures for the support and happiness they bring to us. Talking to my dogs has given me a lot of comfort and if there’s ever a secret I need to spill, I share with them because how could a dog ever share it? And even if Marty is pretty sure, considering he is a dachshund, he gives the best hugs. Boo gives the greatest little kisses and his wagging tail is always a pick-me-up.
  14. Let go of the past. I almost feel like I live by “Let it Go” from Frozen. I dealt with a lot transitioning from middle school to high school and with my freshman and sophomore year as well. Something that has become very important to me is the idea that you should forget what hurt you in the past but never forget what it taught you.
  15. Work hard in school. Now that I’m wrapping up my grade school career, I’ve really seen how hard work can take you places. Being a straight-A student all the way up until sophomore year of high school, I’ve done a lot to put myself ahead of my peers by taking advanced classes, asking questions, and taking responsibility for my work and actions. Working hard in school will prepare me for college and then a job after college.
  16. Bullet journals are fun and a great way to organize your life. At the beginning of this month, I decided to start a bullet journal and they are honestly so much fun! They’re a great way to keep track of your goals and plans and homework as well as track your lifestyle habits and mood. I’ve also found that working on a bullet journal is a great stress reliever too.
  17. Little kids make life so much fun. After acquiring a childcare staff position at my church, I realized how happy little kids make me! They’re so goofy and innocent and happy all the time and that has aspired me to be more silly and think more positive. Something I also admire about little kids is how creative they are and how honest they can be. Sometimes the truth hurts but its a good kick in the right direction, so sometimes you need the truth.
  18. Have courage. When I switched schools, I had no idea who anybody was and vice versa. I feel like I went from the confident, social butterfly I was to a shy, awkward new girl. Freshman and part way through sophomore year I was pretty afraid to speak up or do what I wanted because I didn’t know anyone. Regardless of that, it’s important to not be afraid of what others think of you and it’s important to have courage and say what you want to say. I’ve gained back the more outgoing side of myself and I’m so glad I did. There have been a lot more opportunities and I’ve enjoyed my life so much more because I’m not afraid.

Wow, that was a lot of writing and a fairly deep reflection on my life. There’s plenty more things that have made my life the life it is and that have made me the person I am today. Have a good week! 🙂

My Sister, My Best Friend

My sister, my best friend. From the minute she was welcomed to the world, our friendship and bond would sprout from the earth, growing bigger and more beautiful each day. We’d run into our boulders and steep mountains, but we knew that life was meant to be conquered together.

I vaguely remember having my sister sit on my tiny almost two year old body and bite my thumb. Who knew that little sisters could be painful! I remember the day I told her that regular chairs served the same function as rocking chairs and this caused my sister to crack her head open on our fireplace, oops. I remember the year at Halloween when we dressed up as a pair of princesses from our favorite Barbie movie and pranced around our living room singing with sheer joy. I remember playing with dolls and stuffed animals and pretending to be fairies and different animals for hours and hours in our backyard and really just anywhere we traveled.

Together we discovered that hair doesn’t grow back on Barbies and that gum doesn’t make a good headband and that a bottle of Coke makes a good explosion if it’s shaken up enough. We’ve learned that tables make good hiding spots from heel-nipping dogs and that I’m a good hairstylist when it comes to chopping off bangs. We’ve seen that tennis rackets can cause major damage to the face and that becoming good at roadtripping is crucial if eight-hour car trips come as a perquisite of being in the Horvath family.

Allyson and I learned to treasure our time together when I moved to a new school as a high school freshman. We learned to be thankful for our health and good fortune when I hurt my ankle and couldn’t play tennis for almost two years. Allyson and I learned to fearlessly navigate the rough waters of high school and life together. We learned that being each other’s best friend is the most wondrous part of our lives.

Sometimes, people ask my sister and me how is it possible that we get along so well. They share stories of how they tease and fight with their siblings, and even hate them. Some people yearn to be away from their brothers or sisters and some wish they were not related. It should never be this way. I tell people that it takes time. It takes time to get to know our brothers and sisters. Siblings should support, love, and care for each other. They act as the cheerleader, the coach, the tutor, the Devil’s advocate, and one of the closest people a person knows in life.

Regardless of where I go and what I do in life, my sister will always be with me. She may not always be right beside me or just down the hall, but she’ll be in my heart. Her goofiness and curiosity and outgoing personality have left a permanent mark on me like the mark we inscribed on the giant peach tree in my grandpa’s backyard. We will forever be tennis doubles partners, dish-washing partners, traveling companions, video directors, best friends, and most importantly sisters.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova. Tennis superstar, fashion icon, and successful businesswoman. At seventeen, Sharapova wowed the world with a victory over Serena Williams in the finals at Wimbledon and since then, has claimed several Grand Slam titles and claimed number one in the world multiple times. Had it not been for the hard work and positive influences of her parents, Maria Sharapova might not be the iconic, outgoing, and wonderful person that she is today.

At the age of 5, Maria and her father moved to the United States. Her family did not have a TV and Maria played very little tennis during her childhood. Because of this, she spent a majority of her time with friends from school and with her parents. When she did pick tennis up, her coaches influenced her character and preached the importance of dedication and hard work to her. These fundamentals remain clear in Sharapova’s character today as she is a resilient and mentally-strong woman who has bounced back from a multitude of injuries and a-little-over-a-year long suspension from tennis. Maria Sharapova demonstrates hard work and dedication off of the tennis court through her highly successful candy business, Sugarpova, and work on her recently released book titled Unstoppable: My Life So Far.

Sharapova’s parents have had a strong influence on the tennis star in that they promoted education, being well-rounded, and positive thinking. Maria often shares stories about her mother and the impact and influence her mother has had on her. When Sharapova came to the United States with her father, her mother was very much still with her. Sharapova reports that her mother was always very keen on keeping her educated in her English studies and Russian studies. Yelena Sharapova also inspired and pushed Maria to spend time away from TV and tennis and visit places of art, music, and history like museums and performing arts centers for musicals and symphony performances. Sharapova has learned that education is important to succeed and recently decided to further her education at Harvard Business School. Not only is she working to improve her education but she promotes education for all and the idea of having a well-rounded life. The tennis star frequently shares her love for fashion and shopping and music concerts and art museums on social media. Several years ago, Sharapova founded the Maria Sharapova Foundation which sends scholarships to students in Belarus and her hometown in Russia to attend the Belarusian State Academy of Arts and the Belarusian State University.

Sharapova’s parents and wonderful coaches have helped make her the independent, strong, beautiful, intelligent and hardworking woman she is today. Her parents’ drive to excel in everything and their desire to be educated have surely influenced their daughter to help spread her love of art and fashion. They have helped Sharapova be a sports role model for children and teens. Most importantly, they have helped the tennis superstar inspire many to be educated and be an advocate for themselves.

Maria Sharapova