Monthly Archives: January 2015

You Matter Challenge Week 5: Believe in Yourself

you matter challenge

Hello my amazing challengers!

This has been an awesome You Matter Challenge! I can’t believe we are already on our last week.

The best part of these challenges we’ve done is that they don’t end here. Recognizing how special you are, letting go of what others think, and helping others are things that should carry through your whole year.
The challenge is almost over, but I am going to keep challenging myself to use the things I’ve learned through the last few weeks.

Last Week: You Matter Challenge Week 4: Do Something for Someone Else
Last week was all about doing things for other people. I loved last week! Watching people’s faces light up when you give them a compliment or offer some help is so fun.

I got a great message from one of our challengers, Vanessa, saying that she actually took a day to collect canned goods to bring to her local food pantry. She even got her friends involved.
This is part of the message Vanessa sent me: “I realized that I had the power to create change in my community. My friends and I actually had a lot of fun hanging out and doing something good. The best part was knowing the food we collected would be helping families that need it. We are actually gonna do it again next month.”

I loved hearing that! Whether you are collecting food, complimenting people, or helping your friend through a tough time, you are making a difference.

But now on to our last challenge of 2015!

Challenge #5
Believe in yourself.

Okay, that one is cheesy even for me. But that’s the challenge. Sometimes I think believing in yourself can be more challenging than it should be. It is also more important than we realize.

Believing in yourself gives you incredible power. This week, believe that you are capable of great things. Believe that you are special. Believe that you have what it takes. Believe that you are amazing.

Comment and tell me how the challenge has been going for you! Let me know that you believe in yourself and what makes you awesome!

– ttfn G –

Dear Hope: I Smell

Dear Hope,i smell
I play a lot of sports and I’ve noticed I smell. No matter how much I shower I smell. I wear deodorant, but it doesn’t help. My friends don’t smell why do I smell. I smell like a boy. What can I do?
– Stink Monster

Dear Stink Monster,
Having a stronger odor is normal; many people experience this. Look for products that say “clinical strength” and that are an antiperspirant/deodorant mix. Antiperspirants help to block sweat and deodorants help with the odor. Make sure you read the directions because some of the clinical strength ones recommend applying at bedtime. At night, when people perspire less, more of the antiperspirants’ active ingredient is pulled into the sweat ducts. That signals the sweat glands to reduce or stop perspiration. The effect lasts 24 hours or possibly longer, even after morning showering. Using an antiperspirant/deodorant mix, you can also reapply in the morning if you want. Secret has some great clinical strength options to try. This should help, but if you don’t see any improvement go to the doctor to have it checked out.

Dear Hope Update: A Loner


On May 21, 2014, A Loner sent Dear Hope a letter about feeling alone. A Loners original letter.  dear hope

Here’s an update from A Loner:

Dear Hope,
Remember me a loner? And yes, I’m doing alright now. Thanks for your advice now I’m slowly crawling back to my life again. Doing whats right. I’m in my last year until graduate and I am currently searching for a place to be an intern there. I’m getting better, last holiday I went home and I felt so happy and relaxed there. All my intentions to end my life were long gone now, I’m happy now and I want you to know that :’)

Dear A Loner,

Yes, I definitely remember you. I am so happy SUPER EXCITED FOR YOU! I’m so glad to hear you are taking the steps to have the incredible life you deserve. It’s nice to hear things with your family are going well. Actually, hearing from you brought tears of joy to my eyes. Keep doing what you are doing. Again so glad to hear things are getting better.

Here is a site that might be helpful:

Intern Queen

You Matter Challenge Week 4: Do Something for Someone Else

you matter challenge

Welcome back challengers!

We are heading into week 4 of the You Matter Challenge!

Last week:You Matter Challenge Week 3: Let it Go 

Last week we worked on the difficult task of letting go of what others think about you. Everyone, sing it with me: Let it go…let it go (you seriously can’t say “let it go” without Frozen).

I think we can all relate to feeling like this challenge was a hard one. Last week taught me that I care way too much about what other’s think. I even noticed times when I wasn’t acting like myself just because I was trying to people please. I don’t want to be a person who worries about what others think. I want to continue this challenge and keep working on letting it go.

Now it is time for You Matter Challenge week 4!

Challenge #4:
Do something for someone else every day.

I know, I know. Last week was all about letting go of what others think, but this challenge is not about what other people think of you. Week 4 is all about recognizing the power you have to make a difference in this world. It is about bringing something special to the lives and the world around you.

It doesn’t have to be something huge or complicated. Here are some ideas:
– Help your mom with the laundry
– Compliment your friends
– Buy a coffee for the guy behind you in the Starbucks line
– Play a game with your little sister or brother
– Smile at strangers (just don’t stare too long, I’ve been known to look like a creeper)

You have the power to affect the world every day. Put that power into action. Even a little smile can make someone’s day.

The bonus: when you make someone else feel good, it automatically makes you feel good!

Comment ideas of what we can do! Let me know how this challenge goes!

– ttfn G –

You Are Not Disposable

you are not disposable


You are not a plastic cup that can be used and thrown away!
You are not garbage that needs to be taken out each week!
You are not dirt that needs to be washed away!


You are someone special!
You are someone who will make a difference to this world!
You are someone worthy of a good life!


Do you feel like you don’t belong?
Do you feel sad, hurt or lonely?
Do you feel like there are no answers and nothing else you can do?


You have that one thing no one else can offer!
You need to be in this world!
You are worth living!


Your past does not have to determine what lies ahead.
Your present does not last forever (no matter how much it seems that way).
Your future does not have to be the same, but you won’t know that until you get there.


– NBL V –

Dear Hope: First Time at the Gynecologist

Dear Hope,gynecologist
I’m getting ready to go to the gynecologist for the first time. I’m super nervous, because I don’t know what to expect. My friends said not to tell the doctor I was having sex, because they would tell my mom is that true? What is going to happen when I go?
– Nervous

Dear Nervous,
It’s ok to be a little nervous, especially your first time. Although the appointment can be a bit uncomfortable, it’s an important visit and nothing to worry about. When you make your appointment, ask about the confidentiality. Doctors understand you wanting to keep things private, but ask before you go in if you are concerned.

What to expect:
First, they will ask you some questions. It is important to answer all questions as honestly as possible. The more they know, the better they can help you. You have already asked about the confidentiality, so you should be feeling more comfortable.

Some of the questions they will ask:
The date of your last period
If you have any problems with your period, such as pain or heavy bleeding
If you have any discharge, sores, itchiness or discomfort in the vaginal area
If you have any health conditions
Your family history
If you take any medications
If you have any allergies
If you drink or smoke
If you are, or have ever been, sexually active (meaning vaginal, oral, or anal sex)
If you have been on birth control and if so what type
If you have ever been pregnant or think you are pregnant

I know it seems like a lot, but it is only to help you. Remember, anything you say the doctor has heard before. They are not there to judge you.

Next: The Checkup 
The doctor will begin with an external exam. If needed, depending on age and sexual activity, they will then do an internal exam. Check out this article: Your First Appointment With The Gynecologist, from U by Kotex for more info on the exams.

Then it’s your turn to ask any questions
You can ask anything; remember they have probably heard it all. If you have a question, don’t be afraid to speak up. Remember, this appointment is about you and your health.

Most girls are nervous before their first visit, but being prepared and knowing what to expect helps.
The doctor is not there to judge you; they want you to feel comfortable. If you are not comfortable, find a new doctor. Keep looking until you find the right fit for you.

3 Lessons I Learned From Being a #Loser


I am so angry! I am so sad! I feel like a #loser. I am soooo disappointed! Do I just suck? UGH

All of these thoughts rushed through my mind recently. They hit me hard and lived in my brain longer than they should have. They were there for a good reason, or so I thought….

It all started with a writing competition. I love to write, but not just here (although I love this too) but I like creative writing (poetry, short stories). Two years ago I found this writing competition for creative writing and decided to enter. Everything that I entered won! I was beyond excited, crazy person excited. So, I entered again this year.

I wrote a story! I spent a ton of time on it. I worked really hard getting every piece right and I was super excited about the way it turned out! It was my favorite story that I’ve written.

All that work and my favorite story won NOTHING! Nothing? NOTHING!?

I was heartbroken! Beyond disappointed. Remember the beginning of this blog? Well, when I found out I lost; I thought all of those things. Here’s a recap if you forgot: I am such a loser! I suck! UGHH! I literally threw myself a pity party for like a week. I blew up pathetic imaginary balloons and everything. I know, super dramatic, but it’s true.

It hurt me because it changed the way I saw myself.

Before the big loss, I thought I was a pretty good writer, but after… I was convinced that I sucked.

I didn’t want to write any more. But I LOVE to write so of course I missed it. Then I started thinking about a life lesson I had recently learned and I knew I had to decide what I really wanted and make a choice. So, I started writing again. I started facing the fact that things didn’t go the way I wanted and I began to realize that it was okay. It didn’t feel okay at first, but it actually was.
I put way too much importance on a competition. I wanted someone to judge me, but only if I got the answer I wanted.

These are the 3 lessons I learned from being a #Loser:

1. Competition can be fun if it is for the right reasons.

What is the point? It started out as a way to have fun, to get feedback on my writing, and push myself. Win or lose, those reasons shouldn’t change. I actually had a lot of fun and I learned about my writing style.

2. Losing shouldn’t change the fact that you love doing whatever it is you do.

Losing shouldn’t change the fact that I love to write! I let the results of one competition take away the simple fact that writing makes me happy.

3. The most important thing I learned was the outcome doesn’t change ME.

I let the loss seep into my mind and bully me. I let it convince me that I have no talent. But it isn’t the end of the world and it doesn’t mean I have no talent. Maybe I have things to work on, but I am still a writer.

Now that I have had some time to get over myself I can see that you will not always get the results you want, but it doesn’t matter. I put myself out there. I learned something. And I got to do the thing I love: write! Someone’s opinions do not change who I am and they should not change the way I see myself or my talents. They can give me things to work on and think about, but they do not mean I suck and they definitely don’t make me a loser!

I would definitely do it again! I’m not gonna lie, losing is hard….really hard, but it opened my eyes.

I have more confidence in who I am now. I guess I’m not a #Loser after all.

Has anyone out there lost something they put their heart into?
How did you deal with it and what did you learn?

– ttfn G –

Dear Hope: Self-Conscious About My Arms

Dear Hope,
I have all the bumps on my arm and it totally sucks. I know what it is arms and there is no way to get rid of it, but it bothers me. I feel so self conscious and I hate to wear short sleeves. I want to be brave, but I don’t feel brave.
– Living Longsleeved

Dear Living Longsleeved,
You are brave, writing this letter was brave. It shows that you want to live life, but you’re just scared. You cannot control how other people might react, but don’t let that stop you. Don’t let your fear of what someone might say stop you from wearing the shirts you love. Everyone has fears or things that make them feel self-conscious. But by continuing to face fears we can conquer them.

Just a side note: You said that there is no way to get rid of it. I am familiar with several types of bumps on the arms that you cannot get rid of, but there are some you can. I would recommend going to the doctor to get it checked if you have not done so already.

You Matter Challenge Week 3: Let it Go

You Matter Challenge

We are already in the middle of the first month of the new year…did that make sense? I feel slightly confused…

Last Week: You Matter Challenge Week 2: Dream Big 

Week 2 was pretty fun. I like dreaming ridiculous, crazy, dreams. It reminds me to have hope. It reminds me that there is more to life than the things we see everyday. It reminds me that there is something awesome to be found in letting our minds and hearts be free to imagine. It breaks past the limits the world has tried to set.

I am dreaming about changing and traveling the world. I am dreaming about being able to fly. I am dreaming about riding a giraffe… is that weird?

Here were some of the dreams that you guys shared with me:

“I tried to remember what I wanted to be when I was 5. I wanted to be a shark. Today I am in school for marine biology. Dreams do come true kids.” – Jonathon


“The challenge is to dream with no limitations. I dream about being happy. That’s my big dream right now.” – Anonymous


“I want to be a ninja princess! I want to save the world from evil! You said dream bigggg…” – Valerie


Shark! Ninja Princess! Happy! Great dreams guys.

All this dreaming is fun and it makes me feel like anything is possible.

Week three!! Are you ready for the week 3 You Matter Challenge.

Challenge #3
Practice letting go of what others say and think about you.

Over the last two weeks, we have thought good things about ourselves, and we have opened our hearts to dreaming crazy big dreams. But both of those things require letting go of what others think or say.
It is okay to listen to your friends opinions and take advice, but it is not okay to let anyone’s judgments affect who you are or take away your confidence.

You get to decide who you are.

If I am being honest, I think this is one of the hardest challenges. I definitely struggle with letting go of what other people think about me. But I want to change that. Worrying about what other people think is not a good feeling.

Their words do not determine who you are and where you are going.
This week practice shaking off the haters and doing what feels right to you.

Do you think this will be a hard challenge too? Let me know what you think in the comments!! Remember, I will comment back and share my thoughts on the week.

– ttfn G –

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