Seeking “The Spark”

 

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Full moon & sunset over Maiori, Italy. One of my favorite views yet.

 

We’re all searching for a spark. Something that reassures us we’re exactly where we’re supposed to be. A feeling that creates butterflies in our stomachs so undeniable we can’t help but smile when they flutter. An excitement that drives us to get out of bed in the morning, to keep pushing forward with each new day.

These sparks are so wonderful because they’re rare. They’re specific to you and your desires. Only you can feel them deeply.

Where do we find these sparks exactly? That’s the best part, you never know when they’ll pop up. You could find them in a book you’re reading that awakens something inside of you. Maybe it’s song lyrics that give you goosebumps or a hobby turned into a passion over time. A conversation with a stranger at a coffee shop that makes you think twice about where you’re headed in life. City ambition, the simplicity of the country, a look down memory lane with your family members. Dancing, photography, helping people, or even hitting the gym. It’s a feeling you’ll crave more of.

When you discover that feeling, let it wash over you. Feeling a spark is incomparable to any other emotion. It will send tingles down your spine while grounding you in the same moment. It’s magic and reassurance combined.

Of course, relationships are probably what come to mind when you think of “flying sparks.” It’s true, you can’t have a successful relationship without sparks. Everyone wants to kiss their partner and feel those butterflies. The spark that makes you feel like you can float away but also comfortably curl up into. Again, it’s magical, and isn’t that something we all deserve?

I’ve found sparks in writing time and time again. When I put pen to paper and create stories, I get those butterflies. When I find a way to tie my thoughts together, I feel giddy. And that’s just it; you may not understand how I could feel this way about something others may consider tedious but that’s how I know this is one of my sparks. And I indulge in it as I please.

You are worthy of endless sparks in your life – we all are. We all deserve to wake up as though it’s on purpose and greet each day as an opportunity to live fully. We deserve to find sparks, some greater than others, but also recognize why certain ones have faded as we’ve grown. Sometimes a spark is only meant to burn for a short while.

Seeking sparks more often than not turns into them finding you. Sparks come around when you pursue your passions and surround yourself with people who make you feel special. Sparks fly in relationships when you’re able to be your true self and love your partner as they are, too.

A spark can only shine brightly when you claim it as your own, so own it proudly.

Sparks are the reason you should never settle in any aspect of your life. At times you will lose your sparks, grow in different ways, and change life paths but knowing what it feels like to have a spark gives you a feeling to always come back to. A feeling you’ll want to hold as your standard moving forward because you know how blissful your life can be.

Never stop seeking sparks, never compromise your passions, and always believe you are worthy of magic.

Cheers loves,

XO – Autumn

 

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Love & Fading Friendships

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Saco Camping Trip ’16

 

In the midst of the inevitable changes that take place after graduation, I’ve found myself spinning in circles trying to navigate them all. Especially when it comes to love. There has always been an abundance of love in my life. Whether I’m giving love out or happily receiving it, loneliness is unfamiliar to me. I know how lucky I am to be able to say that.

Friendships are where I have invested so much of my love. It’s natural for me to love those who accept me and make me feel alive. To praise my friends who protect my heart but also challenge me to be better. And of course, to love those who make me belly laugh, even at the jokes they tell at my expense because I feel that secure when I’m with them.

It’s always been easy for me to write about friendship. To brag about the wonderful, concrete relationships in my life that have been there since high school. But it’s not easy to admit that with time comes changes. Changes I keep trying to push aside or ignore, hoping things will go back to normal. Back to the old, inseparable crew who didn’t need anyone else to feel whole. Back to us. The ‘us’ who would spend days on the lake and nights partying up at camp. The us who played charades based purely on events from our lives, unfiltered of course. The us who adventured to casinos and concerts on a whim, made any hotel room feel like home, drove around aimlessly while singing our favorite songs, and stayed up as late as possible (hiding the fact that we had work the next day) even if it meant only getting one more hour together. We couldn’t get enough – friends turned family.

“Each time of life has its own kind of love.” – Leo Tolstoy

Those memories are what have made it challenging to accept the inevitable. The new people who come into our lives and capture our hearts in a different way. To admit that not every friend prioritizes our crew anymore, but rather chooses their partner or work obligations without hesitation. “This is what happens when you grow up,” seems to be the go-to phrase for anyone trying to help me make sense of this summer. Yes, I understand that, but it doesn’t make it sting any less.

Letting go isn’t easy. Admitting you’ve outgrown friendships is even harder. And drifting apart from people who have been by your side for over ten years is just plain BLAH. Yes, blah.

If I’ve learned anything over the years, through relationships and loved ones, it’s that love never fully fades. We may be investing our love more intensely into other areas of our lives but it can never alter what used to be. Nobody, not even time, can erase every laugh we’ve shared. Every hug we’ve given or heart to heart we’ve helped one another through. Every night we’ve spent reminiscing over a game of cards. Every boat ride we’ve taken snuggled up together under the stars. The trashy bars we grew to love. The inside jokes that nobody else will truly appreciate. The love. It always comes back to the love we shared.

Our lives may be going in separate directions but I suppose it makes the time we do spend together now that much more special. We each have our own unique ideas of what our days should look like – where our futures will take us – and I smile knowing how different they will all be. I’ve often said my friends are all so different but it’s our likeness of hearts that keep us together. That still rings true to this day. We may not be attached at the hips anymore, but maybe that’s a good thing. Our memories won’t fade. Our friendships will bloom in new ways and our love for one another will never disappear. And for that I am grateful.

Each time of life has its own kind of love. Beautiful thought, isn’t it? Whether you’re falling in love for the first time, putting love into your friendships, discovering your own self-worth, or learning to love your life in general just be sure you do it fully. Love wholeheartedly. That’s the only way to do it, I promise.

Cheers to making more memories with the people I love & watching us all shine in our own ways. Change is good – despite what it may feel like during those transitional moments. Part of loving others is wanting them to be happy no matter what, even if that means taking a back seat on their journey.

Tru fam, I love you. Always.

XOXO

– Autumn

 

 

 

 

Live Flavorfully

 

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seasonal allergy blend, photo by Autumn K. Dube

What does it mean to live life flavorfully? Anything you want really. I know, technically flavorfully isn’t a word, but it resonates with me in so many ways. It feels rich in color, authenticity, and sounds like a purposeful way to live one’s life naturally – so obviously I’m all about it.

This word came to me when I was trying to find a way to express how it feels to live a life guided by natural essential oils, specifically doTERRA brand. This is a new venture I am taking on and am genuinely excited about. It’s a simple way to improve your quality of life, aid your ailments both big and small, boost your mood, and overall become more grounded by replacing the toxic products we have integrated into our everyday routines with ones directly from nature.

I was hesitant for a few months to even begin to start sharing my knowledge and reaching out to others about essential oils. I don’t want to be one of those annoying Facebook friends who pushes vitamins or protein powders down your throat with the casual #ad hashtag at the end of every post. That is not something I believe in and is exactly the opposite of what I hope to achieve by spreading my passion for doTERRA products.

My family and I have been using essential oils for a couple years now. I would never advocate for something I don’t believe in. I use Lavender oil on the bottom of my feet at night and really do sleep better – it’s meant for calming moods. I use doTERRA shampoo and conditioner, which work wonderfully together, and the scents of orange, lime, and peppermint help to wake me up in the mornings. I have used tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca, on my acne scars for over two years now and have seen drastic changes in my complexion. I love it. I use what doTERRA calls Deep Blue, it feels like icy-hot, on my sore muscles after a workout or on the back of my neck for tension headaches. Peppermint on my temples has also proven to reduce pain when a migraine comes on, it’s cooling and quick acting. Oh, and lemon oil rubbed on a stomach does wonders for hangovers. Best part? All of these products are completely natural and extracted in an environmentally friendly way from different locations around the world.

I use these products. I have experienced their multiple benefits and heard others tell miraculous stories about their experiences, too. I really do love how these oils help enhance my mood and health. The human body and mind are capable of healing themselves naturally. doTERRA essential oils help to support and improve the ways our bodies already know how to function. By not adding anything unnatural to your body, like drugs and medicine, and trying essential oils instead, you are simply helping your body to function in ways it is already designed to do.

I love how powerful and complex human bodies are and I have always believed in the strength of a positive mindset. Combining these with essential oils has helped me to live my best life. Seriously.

So no, I won’t constantly nag you about trying these products or attending future events I host, but I will share the changes I have seen in my life in hopes of inspiring others to try doTERRA essential oils for themselves. I am eager to bring these to my community, sell them to those who want to make a change in their lives for the better, and educate others on why essential oils really do work.

Thank you in advance for supporting my new business venture! I am more than willing to answer any questions and share my personal stories.

Cheers to working hand in hand with nature to change the quality of our lives. It’s the way life should be (can you tell I’m from Maine?).

XOXO – Autumn K. Dube

Learn more on my personal doTERRA website: https://www.mydoterra.com/autumndube/#/ 

 

What Being a Positive Person Really Means

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Old Port, Maine

If you know me at all, you’ve heard me stress the importance of living life with a positive mindset. I’d happily accept the title of ‘broken record’, referring to how often I repeat those words, but I would never label myself as a hypocrite.

One of my friends called me this in a conversation we had while I was still at college. It was a talk filled with lots of emotions and no filters when it came to speaking our minds. Yikes, I know. “You are a positive person and you always talk about that but you’re not constantly happy and that’s hypocritical. And you even complain about things in your life, too.” Correct. These are all accurate observations but definitely not aspects of myself that I should be ashamed of or criticized for.

After reflecting on the words that left me feeling bitter, they became easier to swallow than I would have expected. It all comes down to what positivity means to an individual person, as most things in life do. In my eyes, and compared to my old self, I am proudly living as the happiest version of myself despite what that may look like to others.

Living a positive life doesn’t mean walking around with a smile plastered across your face every single second. It doesn’t mean being upbeat 24/7 and only having good things happen to you. And it definitely doesn’t mean you have to love everyone and everything that comes into your life. This constant bubbliness would actually lead me to insanity, it’s simply not natural to be “on” all the time.

Becoming a positive person means deepening your understanding of yourself and what makes you happy. It’s the realization that happiness comes from within. It’s prioritizing your needs but also recognizing the joy that comes from helping others. And it’s being able to love yourself, flaws and all.

A positive mindset is a safe place you create for yourself. It’s where you can breathe easy when things aren’t going your way or you’re simply having an off day. Smiling like a fool doesn’t make you a positive person, but choosing to not dwell on the hard times or carry anger with you, does.

Everyone experiences hardships. These difficult times are what allow you to have empathy for others and gain appreciation for the little things in life. You will surely feel a range of emotions when tough times find you. You are entitled to express these emotions and feel them wholly, as this is how you heal. But the next step is where you define yourself. Do you want to stay at this low in your life or choose to live in brighter days?

I choose to follow the sun.

Even when I complain, stress out, or feel upset I choose to not make that my permanent mindset. I feel my emotions as they come, and seek out comfort from loved ones as needed, but then I find ways to move past them. There are some people who sadly can’t see the positive sides of situations but instead bring others down with their negativity. That’s not enjoyable or healthy for anyone but sometimes it’s inevitable. After many years of searching in all the wrong places, I finally know what it means to be happy and I come back to this state of mind daily through gratitude and love. It takes time and experience to learn and trust in the beauty of your life, but choosing happiness is easier than you may expect.

Cheers loves, bring on the sunshine!

XO – Autumn

Just Say Thank You

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Future is Female – Neighborhood’s Cafe, Boston

Every day I take the time to write in my gratitude journal. It takes five minute tops and it’s something I truly enjoy doing. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on everything I have to be thankful for, no matter what kind of day I’m having.

I recently held a program at my college and handed out gratitude journals to random people. I explained the basic concept and the importance of thankfulness. One girl asked me, “Do you really find something to be thankful for every day?” I never thought this could be deemed a difficult task. She was amazed when I said “yes” without hesitation and I was shocked she even asked that question in the first place.

I feel that many people believe being thankful is associated with big things. Having a lot of money, welcoming a new life into the world, or even getting the perfect job. These are all wonderful reasons to be thankful but if we just focus on the big-ticket items we miss out on living a life of gratitude, and that in itself isn’t something to pass up.

I took the time to explain to the baffled girl how easy it is to find something in each day to celebrate. The perfectly crispy bacon at brunch, a kind text message from a friend, a sunny morning, or even a heads-up penny on the ground. Some of my friends may laugh at my amazement with nature or love for simple moments, but I know this appreciation for the little things is what allows me to be a positive person. And better yet, my outlook helps to connect me with others who share this same quality.

Embracing a mindset of thankfulness allows for even more blessings to enter your life. If you can be grateful for the big things, then you can easily learn to appreciate the minor things too. Plus, it just makes for better days to choose to say thank you for what you have instead of focusing on the things you lack. Because what’s the point in dwelling on the negatives?

It really is easy to attract goodness into your own life. Simply start by saying “thank you” and go from there.

Cheers loves! May you all find endless reasons to be grateful each day.

XOXO – Autumn

Cheers to My Ladies

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Athena – Goddess of War, Wisdom, and the Arts. Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas.

 

There is so much energy here in Las Vegas. Crowds of people walking the strip, searching for that one slot machine that will give them the big jackpot. Herds of ladies trying to work their cameras as they follow a yellow flag on their walking tour. Groups of bachelorettes strutting through the casino in their little black dresses knowing they’re turning heads. Women arm in arm with their men as they sneak playful kisses walking down the marble hallway of The Venetian. And of course, the older ladies who fully embody the word bedazzled and fluff their imitation Farrah Fawcett hair every ten minutes.

These ladies are colorful. They are brilliant in their own ways, especially when they’re drunkenly cheering one another on. Their bold personalities have me missing my fierce ladies back home.

I’ve already written about my overbearing love for my best friends, you could say one too many times. Obsessed? Possibly. Proud to show them off? Always.

Not only are the women in my life generous and ambitious, but they are passionate. Passionate about music and their love for food. Passionate about their faith and the power of the universe. Passionate about living independently. Passionate about their future goals and advancing their unique talents. They exude an energy that draws you in and makes you feel like you can do anything. These are my favorite types of people. These are the women worth celebrating.

It’s a privilege to be a woman. To know what it takes to thrive in this world and overcome obstacles that men are blissfully unaware of. We are nurturing by nature and strong by choice, learning from past badass ladies who blazed a trail for the women of today.

Chelsea Handler spoke out today and her words resonated with me, “If you have trouble being bold for yourself, you can always be bold for the other women.” Be brave for the women who aren’t able to have a voice. Be fearless for the women who are too scared to dream. And be bold for the mothers who only want the best for their daughters.

I am so proud of the woman I am becoming and even more proud of the women I surround myself with. There are no limits when it comes to our futures. Our possibilities are endless. Isn’t that a beautiful thought?

Cheers to us, on International Women’s Day. Never stop thanking and supporting the fabulous women in your life because you know damn well they are doing the same for you. Stay fearless. Stay passionate. And most importantly, stay bold.

XOXO – Autumn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stronger Together

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Women’s March Boston – photo credit: Betsy Roy

 

All my life I have been surrounded and influenced by intelligent and beautiful women. I felt that today, in honor of the Women’s March, it was necessary to say thank you.

Thank you to the mothers who never tell their children their dreams are too big. Thank you to the powerful women who use their status as a platform to do good in this world – Gloria Steinem & DVF, I applaud you.  Thank you to the genuine men that stand by women and believe in them wholeheartedly. Thank you to the women who embody fierce friendships and choose to uplift one another instead of tearing others down. And thank you to the women who know their strength and take pride in it. You are all wonderful.

I was not physically at a march today, but I was definitely there in spirit. Seeing live footage and photos of everyone coming together, in a sea of pink, filled my heart. There is so much good in this world and today was exactly the reminder we needed. When people choose to promote love and hope in a peaceful manner, greatness happens. This is when love trumps hate. This is how we will continue to move our beloved country forward in a progressive and all-inclusive way. I am so lucky to be growing up in an era where so much is possible.

I am proud to be a woman. I am grateful I get to stand alongside so many diverse communities with the knowledge that it’s one’s heart that truly defines them. We are stronger than we think, especially when we come together.

Thank you to those who marched today, wherever that may have been. Your determination and hope are inspiring.

Cheers to the women who know their worth and aren’t afraid to fight for it. Keep going.

Much love – XOXO

Autumn Dube

Thank You, 2016

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Biddeford Pool Beach, Maine

 

It’s difficult to avoid the overwhelming amount of people who keep labeling 2016 as a total shit show. From a worldly perspective, I totally understand this outlook, cause yikes was this year unsettling. But on a more personal level, I feel the need to show 2016 some serious love.

At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution in the form of a phrase. It was sort of like my own personal mantra. “Living vicariously through myself” became my everyday reminder to do what makes me happy. The result of this mindset snowballed in the best, most unexpected ways possible. I first learned to be brutally honest with myself, then learned to express my feelings more openly, and as a result ended up living authentically and apparently inspiring others to do the same through my writing.

Who knew unleashing my true self would label me as an “inspiration.” This is a compliment I have received many times throughout the year, from strangers and loved ones alike. I am forever humbled by their kind words. Inspiring others was never an initial intention of mine. Hell, I am still trying to figure myself out. But the idea that sharing my own struggles and passions could light a spark in someone else was truly magical.

I have loved the journey 2016 has put me through, challenges included. My path has taken a wild turn and I have learned entirely new things about who I am, but more importantly, who I want to be.

In 2017 I want to continue to step out of my comfort zone. I want to open my heart to new people and push heartache aside. I want to manifest positivity into my daily adventures. I want to inspire. I want to be the best possible friend I can be. I want to find new things to love about myself. I want to stop biting my nails (ha). I want to write. I want to explore. And finally, I want to keep surprising myself.

I’ve been attempting to narrow down a new phrase to carry me through 2017 – remember, this can change over the course of your year if needed. “Don’t become complacent” will be my new daily reminder. I have been grateful for every opportunity I have been given but I definitely can’t become satisfied just yet. I want to use those words as my motivation to accomplish more and pursue my goals fearlessly. I hope to continue to grow as an individual and I believe this outlook will help me do so. You should always be proud of your accomplishments but continuously to strive for more.

I am extremely hopeful for this new year and I know it will bring even more blessings. After all, your life is whatever you make of it.

Cheers,

XO – Autumn

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” –  Elite Daily

Honesty, Writing, & Bright Futures.

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Fanueil Hall, Boston 2016

As a national contributing writer for Her Campus, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to write about various topics, trends in pop culture, and serious issues. This range of article assignments opened my eyes to different styles of writing but also helped me to recognize a common theme – the importance of honesty.

Honest writing is truly the best writing. It has taken me years to fully embrace this concept, as it’s scary to dig deep sometimes, but wow, was it worth it. Genuine writing derives from the ability to be honest with yourself. Whether it’s grappling with who you are or what you want out of life, the most important thing is to give yourself the opportunity to change.

My most recent article for Her Campus, titled “I Took Risks in My Love Life for One Week & Here’s What Happened”, was the most challenging yet rewarding piece I have written yet. I pushed the boundaries of my comfort zone, officially told the world I’m bisexual, and learned a lot about my self-worth in just one short week. An added bonus was the feedback I received from loved ones and strangers alike. It was heart-warming to have so many people reach out to me to share their stories or appreciation about my article.

I have now begun living my life as my authentic self. It’s a beautiful reality to wake up every single day and recognize how far I’ve come. This feeling came from being honest with myself, no matter how difficult and frustrating it was at times. Point is, I’m here and I’m so proud to say my future is even brighter than it was before.

Whether it’s in your writing or everyday life, be sure to stay true to who you are and be honest about what you deserve. It doesn’t have to be scary.

Cheers loves – to honesty & genuine people!

XOXO – Autumn

Below is a short clip from my national article, check it out!

“I bought an attractive stranger a drink.”

“I’ve seen this done in movies. The confident woman buys an attractive guy a drink, turning the tables on the standards of dating. I had to see for myself how this scenario would play out in real life. Naturally, I chose Thirsty Thursday to make my move. Sitting at a table with a few of my girlfriends, I scanned the bar for a potential prospect. This part of my night was funny, somewhat stressful, but overall entertaining knowing the power was in my hands.

As I was scanning the nearby tables, a tall blonde guy walked out of the bathroom and past my table. We locked eyes and he smiled ever so subtly. Without hesitation, I whispered to my friends, “I choose him.” I watched where he went to sit – a table with another guy and three girls. Crossing my fingers none of those ladies were his girlfriend, I asked my server to find out what he was drinking and buy him his next round. Apparently, his drink of choice was a watermelon margarita, go figure.

Margarita in hand, I watched my server walk over to his table and place it down. His friends began to laugh and his face lit up when she said, “the girl in a pink sweater bought this for you.” His reaction was everything I could have hoped for. I mean who wouldn’t be grinning over a free marg? Funnily enough, a server came over to me a few minutes later and handed me a black business card. It belonged to watermelon margarita guy. I was caught off guard but loving every second of this little charade. Soon enough he came over to the table to thank me for buying him a drink and introduce himself. The conversation was casual, I could tell he was nervous too. In his very distinct Boston accent, he ended the conversation by telling me I should text him. Mission accomplished.

I miss hearing stories about people meeting in person and going on incredible dates. And here I was, trying to make it happen for myself. No, I never ended up texting him, but his little black business card will be a reminder that even the smallest rewards can come from simply putting yourself out there.”

  • Article was written for Her Campus By: Autumn Dube

Success is Better When Shared

 

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Boston Public Garden, fall 2016

This morning I woke up to find that my best friend’s article had been shared nationally on Her Campus’s social media. I was beyond giddy. I quickly sat up in bed, read the article, tweeted about it and of course texted my friends the fabulous news. I was experiencing the same emotions I had felt when some of my articles were picked up by nationals before I was hired by them this summer.

I was especially excited because I knew exactly what emotions she must be feeling. Having your thoughts and opinions shared with fellow college students across the nation, through a successful online magazine, is spectacular. I thought about this for a while, her accomplishment and what’s to come next. And then, as expected, my competitive thoughts kicked in. Her Campus is my find, my platform for my work, that I’ve been working so hard to become recognized on. I’m not one to share or be overlooked and now my best friend was being noticed too.

 

Quickly slapping myself out of it – why would her success diminish mine in any way? My initial reaction was full of joy and pride. The article she wrote was important, talking about mental health which she has advocated for throughout her college career. The article was well done and her voice was beautiful, all qualities I admire in writing. So why did I experience that moment of anger towards the situation? As if it took away from everything I have accomplished with Her Campus.

I will always believe success is more meaningful when shared. And, who better to share it with than your best friends? This girl has been cheering me on since day one, supporting my every move and giving me the strength I need to thrive. I have succeeded in many ways but I know I couldn’t have done it as easily without her consistent motivation. So yes, I’m hitting myself for even having those brief thoughts of jealousy towards her.

Both of our voices deserve to be heard. We have found a wonderful platform to share them on, reaching an audience that can relate to us. I think competition is fun, and her success will only push me to do better, but it will never take away from what I will accomplish.

The idea of applauding someone else’s success is an important message being spread in today’s modern world (especially among the feminists – hayyy) and I finally found myself in a situation that allowed me to see it clearly. I purposely surround myself with beautiful, intelligent, and courageous people – obviously they are going to be doing inspiring things throughout their lifetime. This is what draws me to them in the first place.

The most important thing you can do is to be confident in your own ability to succeed. Give the same support and encouragement to your friends when they are seeking greatness and they will surely return the favor when it’s your time to shine.

Everyone wants to be successful, but doesn’t it mean that much more when you have people to share it with?

I’m so proud of you, J.

XOXO – Autumn