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

Vulnerable

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Reflecting Pool, Boston

Being vulnerable is scary. It is. It can make you extremely self-aware and show you sides of yourself you may not be comfortable embracing yet. So why succumb yourself to this feeling?

Society teaches us to be strong. To be fearless and seek power through success. This mindset instills in us the thoughts that pain and emotions are unnecessary, as if they are only standing in our way. This made sense to me at first. I mean, who wants to willingly feel anger or sadness? Well, according to a Ted Talk I watched today, whole-hearted people do.

The Ted Talk explained, after extensive research, that we tend to numb our emotions. Whether this is by blocking unsettling feelings from our minds or turning to vices, many of us tend to suppress what we are feeling rather than actually dealing with it. You would think that numbing the bad would allow you to only focus on the good, right? Wrong. This is what we as humans need to recognize and change as we grow.

You cannot choose when you feel pain. Sure, you can strive for a positive outlook and handle uncertainty with grace but ultimately life will throw you some curve-balls and it’s okay to be upset when this happens. When you numb your pain (from heartbreak to shameful moments) you also numb your chance at joy and happiness. Which in turn leads to searching for meaning in your life, being dissatisfied, reliving your negative emotions and as a result continuing this cycle.

Break the cycle. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. This not only gives you the chance to connect with others in a more genuine way but it will help you find what true happiness means to you. Vulnerability comes with being honest with who you truly are which overtime leads to accepting who you are. The study showed that those who were accepting of themselves, and have a strong sense of love and belonging, are the same ones who believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

This took me a second to grasp, the concept of the beauty behind vulnerability, until I realized I have caught myself living my life like this more and more over the years. As I become more comfortable with who I am it has become easier for me to reveal myself to others, whether this is through words or actions. I have definitely texted my crush asking them to grab a coffee (and even been turned down too), wrote essays about very personal topics that I later had to share with classmates, and continued to learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It may not always be ideal but knowing what I deserve has given me more courage to go after what I want.

Vulnerability, in the sense of expressing who you are and what you deserve, is worth adapting into your lifestyle. Be strong and powerful but brave enough to love yourself. Like anything, it takes time, but it’s worth the effort of learning to be aware.

Life is better when filled with deep connections & self-love.

XOXO – Autumn

Scribbles Will Do

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French Caribbean Sea, Guadeloupe

With each new day comes fresh thoughts, emotions, and interactions. The combination of the predictable and the unexpected is what keeps our days interesting. It’s also what makes some days better than others. Whether you’re out exploring with your friends or getting lost in a novel, surely enough you’ll be having new thoughts or being reminded of old ones.

Certain memories may be ones we try to ignore while others are ones we can’t wait to relive. We rarely get to choose our emotional reactions that accompany these but we can control how we handle them. Writing has become my go to outlet over the years. I write in a journal from time to time, keep notes on my phone, scribble random thoughts for new articles on colorful sticky notes, and of course write on this blog when I feel inspired.

Between the craziness of work, my social life, career opportunities, and back & forth relationships, writing is my quick escape.

I’m the type to overthink but rarely become overwhelmed. Getting my thoughts down on a piece of paper, no matter how scattered and raw they may be, allows me to get out of my own head for awhile. I can see my thoughts from a different perspective before I have time to dwell on them for too long – the negatives ones at least.

Scribbling down my stories, emotions, and ideas is my way of reflecting on my life and myself. During the not so great times it gives me a chance to see the bigger picture while writing down my happier moments lets me replay them again in my mind.

English may not be everyone’s favorite subject, but I believe writing is beneficial for all. No, this doesn’t mean you should write a book or start a blog, passion needs to accompany those paths. Writing is simply a way to reflect on your thoughts and express yourself whenever you need to without expectations.

Maybe I’m slightly bias, but when I give a journal as a gift to my friends they always end up using it – even if they were hesitant at first. Better yet, they end up loving it.

“Happiness is a string of happy moments,” so why not give yourself a way to cherish those moments even longer while also giving yourself a way to calm your thoughts when life gets the best of you?

Try it. It can’t hurt ~ happy writing!

XOXO

Autumn