On Beautifying my Heart

•ŸWherever you go, may people always recognize you have a beautiful heartŸ•

The other night I was at my friend’s house spending some nice, quiet quality time away from the hustle and bustle of finals and planning meetings and the constant moving that our lives have become. We were discussing our plans. She is graduating in a few weeks. I am moving into my final year of my undergraduate degree. Those constant questions of “so what are you going to do?” are coming from every direction. As an actual perpetrator of the situation, I asked her that exact question. And her answer started a conversation that made me so comfortable with my own answer – “I don’t really know.” I don’t really know and that’s okay.

We spoke of the world of opportunities sitting in front of us. And how we are not required to take one or the other. Referencing the quote above, I realize that I want to have a beautiful heart no matter what I do. This friend probably has one of the most beautiful hearts I know, and that is what I want. Whether I am in grad school, traveling the world, moving across the country or across the world – I want people to see my heart.

Yeah, I’m proficient in Microsoft Word and I can list all the jobs and responsibilities I’ve had, but what I want my coworkers, my friends, my clients, my dentist, and, hopefully, my children to see is my heart – that I love so deeply and so passionately. I want them to see that I am focused on loving and on the betterment of myself while bettering the lives of others. That is why I chose Social Work, after all. I can sincerely be the change that I want to see in the world by treating every person I come in contact with with respect, love and support.

There’s no need to plan out every detail of my future. A “Five Year Plan” is great in theory, but it will lead to disappointment or stress (or both). Yeah, I may end up in grad school after I graduate. I may take a year off. I may take a year in grad school. I may take two or more. I will do what I feel is best for me at the time, but through all of it, I will continue beautifying my heart – free it of stress and pain. Free it of the anger and burdens of the past. Because as my favorite singer, Taylor Swift, said, “And I now believe that walking through a lot of rainstorms gets you clean.”


Special shout-out to KitKat: I love you and our conversations, whether on your couch or under the stars in Fenton. You are forever beautiful and I am so blessed to call you a friend. ♥



On Inhaling the Future and Exhaling the Past

The other night while I was back in North Carolina at my parents’ house, I couldn’t sleep, so I started going through my bookshelf. I found an old journal that I used to write in all the time when I was in high school. I started flipping through all of these things I had written back in 2012 and I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or to cry. 

There were so many horrible things I had written. I was definitely nowhere near the person that I wanted to be. I was hypocritical and judgmental. I saw people who were different than I was as strange or not welcome. I was completely ashamed of who I was and I hated myself so much that I projected that hatred onto the people in my life. Not only did I write things about my life that I am humiliated to read now, but I was so saddened by how bad my depression and anxiety was and I didn’t even realize it. 

I had written so many things about how sad I was, or how I couldn’t get out of bed on the weekends. I wrote about how anxious I would get in crowded places or at school. For some reason, I had written these things in a journal rather than expressing to someone that I had a problem. It makes me think what could be different now if I had gotten the help I needed back then. 

On the other hand, there were several things I had written that made me laugh a little. I was worried about the most ridiculous issues. I swore that if I moved away I would never make friends. I told myself that I couldn’t survive on my own. I told myself I couldn’t even get into any colleges other than those in Louisiana. I laughed because all of this was so, so wrong. The funniest part was that I never even mentioned the University of Michigan. Not once. This place had clearly never crossed the mind of 2012 anxious Sydney. Little did she know that this place would become more of a home than what she considered home then.

I turned the last scribble-filled page to a clean, empty page. I began to write my little sophomore in high school-self a letter – a really long letter.

You will find a place where you belong.

You will make the most incredible friends in the world once you leave.

Leaving isn’t nearly as scary as you think it is.

One day, even though that day is not today, you are going to feel better.

You are getting help. You have an amazing support system that won’t abandon you like people are doing to you right now.

High school is 1000% percent not the best time of your life. This is not the peak in any sense. 

Those people who are putting you down because of your beliefs or your looks or anything – you are going to escape that. You are going to find a community that accepts you for who you are and what you live for.

You don’t need to change the entire world. You can change the world around you by helping and inspiring the people in your community.

You are going to be so much happier one day. You are going to find your passion. You aren’t going to be so lost.

You’re going to make it.

“As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald