At the beginning of 2016, I was a heartbroken Youngblood who was absolutely certain love did not exist. But this year, to my surprise, I did fall in love. I fell in love with myself, with sunsets, road trips, Dutch bros, the ocean, and the world itself... I fell in love with being ALIVE! And for that, I have to say, though the year has just begun, it has been the best year yet. I can not imagine life getting much better than this, but I have a sneaky feeling that this is the year big things happen. The year for change, the year for an immense amount of love for not only myself but everyone around me. And I am already so, so in love. I believe that self admiration is so far beyond important and it took me 18 years of my life to realize the importance of such. I have decide to make a change in my life from this point forward. I've decided enough is enough with the self pity. You MUST love yourself before you can expect anyone else to love you. You should NEVER have to feel like you aren't good enough. You should NEVER have to feel like you need to compete for the affection of another. You should NEVER feel like you have to change for anyone. Because in the end, you are you for a reason. And chances are, by the time you're done changing for someone else, they still won't like your revised version. Even if you are picked apart and reassembled by that same person (in which I have experienced first hand). You were made the way you are for a reason and anyone that disagrees doesn't deserve you. You deserve to be happy and nobody deserves to take that away from you. There comes a time when you need to realize that crying yourself to sleep is not the answer and it is not a healthy escape. Start looking at life with a glass-half-full point of view. Life is special... life is short and you don't need to waste a single minute on people who aren't willing to compile more speciality into it. Every second matters. You are loved by your God, you are loved by your family, you are loved by your surrounding Christians, you are loved and prayed for by SO many more people than you ever thought imaginable. It's easy to stray away from happiness, joy and laughter. Yet it is just as easy to steer towards sadness, worry, and self hatred. That's when you need to sit back and realize, life is what you make it. As cheesy as that sounds, there is no better expression to live by than that. Life is what you make it. So live it with every ounce of happiness and love. If there is change you feel you need to make then do it, because there is no better time than Now.