Candytopia

I cherish the moments where I can just kick back and be a kid again! That means having fun and being carefree without having bills, issues, and whatever other adult situations on my mind. Well this weekend I got to do just that by going to Candytopia! It was held here in Dallas, Tx and of course I got to live in the moment with one of my best friends, Nicah. If you aren’t familiar with Candytopia, it’s a pop art museum that you can interact with and of course eat all the candy you want. I highly recommend anyone in the area to check it out. It’s great for the family and for singles too! Check out a few of my photos below:

 

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What I Learned After College

I haven’t done a real reflection post in a while and thought that this was the perfect time to do one. I want to share the lessons I learned AFTER college was over and done with. These are some lessons that truly changed my perspective and life for the better.

Not Everyone Is Your Friend

I learned this both in and out of college. I’ve had many friendships that have ended over the years that I thought would last for a lifetime. You’re not going to get along with everyone and shouldn’t expect people to appreciate your friendship the way you do. You’re two different people that have different backgrounds and experiences.

Those experiences shape you into who you are and how you relate which may mean you clash and that’s okay. The important thing is finding those people who you don’t constantly clash with that are your biggest fans and vice versa. Those people who will have your back through it all.

I can proudly say I’ve found that in my two best friends, Veronica and Raquel. I feel sufficient with them being my only two real friends and am blessed to have them in my life.

Your Job Will Be Different Than Your Degree

I heard that this happens, but I didn’t think it would be me. I ended up getting my first real job in insurance and my current job is in collections. That is completely different than advertising, but strangely I’m okay with this. I feel like I ended up where I needed to be and the convenience of my job to my apartment also helps.

I still hate that I worked so hard for my degree to not even do anything with it. All I have is to say I have an education. At times it feels like a waste of money when I see how much my student loans are and how I’m not making ads. Honestly, I don’t think I would have been happy in advertising anyway so it worked out.

Life Happens After College

I thought that because my college experience wasn’t the best that I was doomed for life. To my surprise, it has been the complete opposite. Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies, but it has definitely been better than college.

I don’t deal with bullying anymore and finally, have the independence I dreamed of having in school. I’m starting to figure out what I like and have actual hobbies. It’s way better than going to class and then back to my room trying to make friends with people who don’t care about me.

I have even traveled more than I did in school, but I could use some more travel in my life. I’m still successful and beating the odds. I’m finally getting my emotional and mental health together to where I control it instead of the other way around. I definitely like how things are starting to go regardless of the mistakes I may make along the way.

You Won’t Meet The Love Of Your Life Right Away

This was a hard one because I’ve always longed to be in a relationship and get married someday. I just got out of my first real relationship for the better and realize now that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

I ‘ve gotten comfortable with being by myself because being in a verbally, emotionally abusive relationship is not worth my wellbeing. We had good times,  but the bad outweighed them. I finally see that it’s important to take your time to get to know someone and not rush the process.

You’ll probably date quite a few people before you find the one and that is okay. There is no law that says you have to date one person for the rest of your life out of obligation when it’s unhealthy for you. I also don’t need to be married right now or ever to feel complete. I’m my own person and bring something unique to the table and he should too. We don’t have to be each other’s half to make a whole. We need to already be whole to come together in a relationship that will last.

You Should Date You

This is so so so important. It was the biggest and best lessons I could have ever learned. It kind of goes with the whole relationship piece. It’s important to get to know who you really are and want to be. It’s not going to be linear, but it helps to have somewhat of an idea of who you are and where you’re going.

I’m currently dating myself by figuring out what makes me happy, what I like to do, and how to enjoy my own company. I’m finding out that I don’t need a man or anyone else to make me feel whole and love myself. Looking back at my past, I can tell that’s what was missing from the equation. The way I allowed people to treat me and how I treated myself showed that there was a lack of love and confidence.

I’m happy to say that I’m learning to love me and gaining confidence every day. I’m taking care of myself in a holistic way. Let me tell you it feels great! Don’t get me wrong we all need connection, but you shouldn’t be dependent on the connection. Interdependency is the goal and I’m getting closer and closer every day.

These are important lessons I learned after college that is helping me get through life as we speak. Of course, this is just a smaller segment of a larger picture but still has just as much value.

Through the mistakes, heartbreak, and good times I’ve come to realize that life isn’t linear and stops for no one. You have to grab it by the horns and make it instead of it making you. The great thing about life is that you never stop learning.

So I’ll continue to learn and be resilient through the trials I may face. I encourage you to do the same because you’re worth it no matter what people say or how hard life is hitting you right now. You are not your mistakes and you are important. Don’t forget. Trust me I have to remind myself every day.

My Favorite Place To Blog

Blogging. I have a love for it, and when I want to get into my zone, I have to go to specific places. Sometimes I want it to be quiet and calm while other times I want an environment with stimulants yet still serene.

My Apartment

I always love being by myself in my apartment especially when I want to write. I can control the atmosphere. If I want background noise, I have the authority to turn on music or the television if I want. When I want things quiet, I can turn it all off with the only noise being my thoughts.

I never thought I would enjoy my own company as much as I do when I’m blogging at home. There’s just something about having your own space that allows you to be creative.

Starbucks

When I first started blogging, I would go to Starbucks nearly every day. It has that same variation as my apartment but is usually on the side of being a stimulant and serene. I love the smell of coffee and the ambiance from the people to the music.

I enjoy my favorite latte, mocha, or caramel macchiato while I type away on my MacBook. I get tons of work done every time I go. Starbucks has and will always be one of my favorite places.

The Library

The library is definitely quiet and calm. I don’t go often, but when I do, it helps me focus. I’m able to keep my train of thought effortlessly without the distractions that I sometimes have in my apartment or Starbucks.

I also like the fact that I don’t feel the need to buy anything to stay there for hours. When I’m at Starbucks, I feel like I should always buy something to use the establishment. That’s most likely what you’re supposed to do, but still, it can get expensive. The library is a great way to get all types of work done and get out of the house to change up the scenery.

Bottom line, I love changing up where I write because it helps my creativity flow whether it’s changing from sitting at my desk to the dining room table to the couch while at my place or going to Starbucks and the library. I love to go to these places almost as much as I love the content I create while there.

When it gets warmer, I plan on using my patio more and using the Starbucks patio too. Being outside is another great way to get my creative juices going, but I digress. I hope you enjoyed learning about some of my favorite places to blog. These places help me get into the zone to create content that I think you guys will enjoy.

Travel Bucketlist: Places I want to go

With February wrapping up means that March and Spring Break are on its way. That means there will be tons of traveling for some of us while others will be planning staycations to have a good time. Both are great ideas! I’ll be in the staycation bucket this year, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think about the places I’d like to go and the adventures I would have in them.

I decided to list out the different cities or countries I want to visit sometime in the future. This isn’t an extensive list by any means, but a snapshot into my travel mind. Here we go:

Fiji

Fiji is a beautiful Island near Australia that I’m dying to go to. From the photos I’ve seen it seems like a tropical paradise where I can get away from all of my typical worries. Its waters look crystal clear and I can just imagine scuba diving deep into the South Pacific/Oceania Oceans. Not only would I go scuba diving, but I would love to go hiking in the falls of Taveuni known as Fiji’s Garden of Eden. I may never get to go, but I’m sure if I did it would be an experience to remember.

blue body of water
Photo by Stephen Paris on Pexels.com

Paris, France

I’ve always wanted to experience Paris in the cliche lovey-dovey way. I’m a sucker for romance and Paris is the perfect place to fuel the flame. I would love to experience the Eiffel Tower and get a view of this beautiful city. I feel like it would be interesting just to explore the city from the cuisine to the sights.

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Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

Bahamas

The Bahamas are a no brainer. Most people get to go at least once in their life typically on a cruise. I would love to cruise around the Bahamas on the Carnival Cruise Line or another high-quality cruise ship. Just imagining the beaches and tropical drinks make me want to pack my bags today. It would be great to go on pigs beach or go snorkeling to admire all the interesting sea creatures.

dock with cottages
Photo by Francisco Cornellana Castells on Pexels.com

Egypt

Pyramids. Enough said. The rich history that Egypt holds is enough in itself to make anyone want to travel there. I would love to be amongst the pyramids and ride camels through the dusty deserts.

sand desert blue sky egypt
Photo by David McEachan on Pexels.com

I hope someday I will get to visit each of these places and create memories with family or friends while there. I aspire to be well traveled and be able to look back on my life in old age and be satisfied with how I chose to live my life. One of those things being the places I traveled to. Let me know your top 3 places you want to travel to next.

Apartment Tour 2019

Hey guys! It’s Paige back with another blog post to kick off 2019. This one is uniquely special because it is my first apartment tour! I recently took the plunge and moved out my parents’ house back in late December. Since I’ve pretty much gotten all of my furniture, I thought it would be a good idea to let you guys get a peek.

I got a majority of my furniture from Rooms to Go and a few things from Design Within Reach. Below I have labeled everything to indicate where things are from. I still need to get a TV stand and put some art up, but besides those things, I’m completely furnished.

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Home Goods Welcome Mat
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Rooms to Go – Coffee table and Rug; Home Goods – Accessories on top of the table
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Rooms to Go – Bedroom Set

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Patio Furniture – A gift from my mom
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Rooms to Go -Living room set

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Design Within Reach – Dining room set

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Moving to Addison was such a huge step for me and at times I second guess my decision, but overall I’m glad I did it. I can tell I’m going to learn a ton being on my own; in fact, I already am. I dreamed of the day I would be able to move into the complex I’m in for almost two years and God blessed me to where it is no longer a dream. I can’t describe how grateful I am to be in this position even if things aren’t necessarily perfect. I’m still thankful and know that God will see me through and keep me.

I hope you enjoyed my little apartment tour and stay tuned for the TV stand and art!

P.S. This post is not sponsored and everything was purchased with my own money

New Year’s Resolutions

I know how cliche it may be to say you have a New Year’s resolution, but I have actual, realistic goals that I want to accomplish. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting throughout the year and especially now with the new year. I’m going to give you guys some insight on what I think I should do for 2019 even if they may be goals I can accomplish in a short time.

Be Frugal

I really need to work on budgeting and making sure I do not have mini shopping sprees every day. Okay, maybe not every day, but it is enough for me to question where all my money is going.

The first step will be to stop eating out all the time and cook again. I have way more space now that I’m on my own in my new place (blog post to come). I’m also going to try to set an actual budget for myself, but stick to it instead of having it there yet ignoring it.

I feel like if I have the right financial plan, I’ll be able to pay some things off and handle comfortably making me less overwhelmed. Being an independent adult is such a different experience than I could have ever imagined.

Stay Active

One word, barre, barre, and more barre! I love going to barre and hiking! I plan to continue to do those activities even more or the same amount in 2019. I need to stay healthy and keep my anxiety low.

I also want to get back into running. I’ve fallen off, but it makes me feel so good, and it’s fun. I’m going to find a beautiful park to run close to my new apartment complex and make it a point to run every morning or evening. The goal really is to run about 3 times a week while integrating barre and hiking.

Build Relationships

I am really going to try to work on my relationships with others. I have kind of fallen off because I get so concerned about me and my health that I forget the people I love need attention and my presence at times too.

When I’m out with people, I’m going to make it a point to keep my phone away and maybe snap a pic or two then be present for the rest of the night. Now of course if something super exciting happens that I don’t want to miss, I’ll pull out my phone, but ultimately it’s staying off of social media and staying social with those around me.

Bipolar Disorder Won’t Win

Being officially diagnosed with Bipolar disorder was hard to come to terms with, but I’m happy I have an explanation. Now it is time to take it by the horns and handle business. I am going to figure out how to manage it, so it isn’t interfering as much with my relationships or my peace of mind.

I’m not going to let life stop and feel that I’m damaged goods because I have a mental health disorder. I’ve allowed it to make me shameful, but I have also seen the beauty in it too. So many people focus on the negatives of Bipolar Disorder which can really have an impact on people like me who manage it every day even when sometimes it feels like you’re not managing at all.

I want to break the stigma for myself and see how I am Paige, not Bipolar. I know there are things I need to personally work on to lessen my triggers, but I’m willing to take the steps and conquer this once and for all (really for the rest of my life). I am more than a conqueror and can manage this through the strength of Christ.

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!

I am hopeful and excited for what the new year has in store for me and everyone. It is incredible to see the change and how far we have all come since this time last year. The people who have come and gone out of my life; the experiences I’ve had and made the best and worst memories from; it is all just an enriching and captivating state of mind. Here’s to 2019!

Amazon Christmas Gift Guide 2018

Christmas is in the air and all of our wallets. That means it’s time to give to others by one of the many ways we know how: Shopping. If you want to know what to put around your Christmas tree, I have just the ideas for you. These Christmas gifts from Amazon can work for a variety of people on your list.

Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

The Echo Dot is the best gift for that tech-savvy person in your life. This device is excellent for hands-free control by using the famous Alexa to help you out. She has over 50,000 skills and is the perfect virtual assistant. Echo Dot can be controlled by your voice or phone with a tap of a button making it easier to do a mundane task like getting up to turn off a light or trying to find the perfect music to play. It’ll be a great addition to any household.

Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

The Amazon Fire TV Stick allows you to stream over 500,000 movies and TV episodes from Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube and much more. You can watch live news and sports as well as jam out to your music libraries on Spotify and Pandora to name a few. Alexa also comes with this device making it easy to control your movies or TV show with your voice! I personally want one of these myself.

UGG Women’s Scuffette II Slipper

You may already know about UGG for their boots, but they also make adorable, sturdy slippers. This is the perfect mom gift especially if she hangs around the house. Keep her feet warm this winter by getting her some UGG slippers. She’ll appreciate you for it, or you can get them for yourself. I would! I like how the inside is fury, so you’re feet are sure to stay warm and toasty. Because of the material, you will be able to walk outside, and if it is wet from snow on the ground, it won’t matter. These slippers are waterproof and durable

Calily Eternity Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser Aromatherapy

Do you know someone who is always high-strung and needs to relax? Well, you’ve just found the perfect gift for them. Aromatherapy is excellent for helping people de-stress, and it smells great too! With this device, they’ll have the option of putting any type of essential oil they want making it a customization gift. You can get generous provide them with a few to try. The colored lights also can set them in a good mood to go along with the scent of oils.

Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

If you have a foodie type of person in your life, this is the perfect gift. They’ll be able to make breakfast sandwiches in a matter of minutes! It’s also a compact size making it fit anywhere in their kitchen with ease. If they’ve only got a couple of minutes to spare before heading out the door, then this gift will come in handy. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

If these gives don’t really float your boat, Amazon has tons of more options. The possibilities are endless when you use the site to find your Christmas gifts this year. I hope you enjoyed my mini-guide and check some of these products out!

The Top 3 Freelance Websites I Use As A Freelance Writer

So you’re a freelancer looking to earn money? I’ve got the perfect websites to find online writing jobs to fit your needs. It’s a luxury to be able to work from home without having to answer to the boss-man. Being self-employed has been one of the greatest things that have happened to me, and I’m willing to share the wealth.

I have three top websites I use to get jobs fast and have even gained long-term clients from. Writing content isn’t the easiest job in the world so searching for clients to produce content for should be. Here are my top three sites to finding online writing jobs:

Upwork

I’ve talked about Upwork before, but it truly is the best thing since sliced bread! It’s the best site to talk to real clients and get real jobs. I love how easy it is to use and the fact that you can see how your money is really operating. The con is that they do take a small fee from your profit for tax purposes, but of course, you’ll get that back once you file taxes.

Upwork was the first platform where I got the majority of the clients I have today. I still am using it at the moment and have no complaints. I another thing that’s commendable is if a client hasn’t paid you after fourteen days, and you turned in your work for them they will step in and give you the funds. Unfortunately, I had to deal with this once when a client became unresponsive, but Upwork handled things smoothly and made it easy.

The other cool thing about Upwork is that it is for all different kinds of freelancers from graphic design to administrative work. The possibilities are endless!

Textbroker

Textbroker is my favorite way to earn instant money for articles. This site has a variety of pieces you can write for different clients, and you get 24 hours to complete most work. It may seem as though it is not enough time, but you can really earn some significant bucks. Unlike Upwork, this site is specifically for freelance writers. You even get rated on the work you do, and that unlocks the groups you can join and clients you can write for.

You don’t get paid per article as much as you would for a long-term client, but the potential is still there. For instance, doing 5 columns within a week or even a day could earn you at least $20 if they all get approved and depending on each articles rate.

I like the fact that the instructions are easy to follow and there isn’t much need for the back, and forth you would typically have. At the same time, if you do have questions, it can be hard to get a timely response before your time runs out that you would otherwise get with the typical client writer relationship.

Indeed

Just like Upwork, Indeed has a variety of jobs to choose from. It is kind of my least favorite out of the three because it is so saturated with other posts, but it still works. Indeed is where I got my first two clients ever and even have them to this day.

Indeed is great if you want a writing job that is more advertising based like being a copywriter or if you are more into report writing. However, if you like the freedom of self-employment, they have plenty of freelance jobs available to you.

Indeed is another excellent place to get long-term clients rather than the one time article then on to the next. This will help you have a consistent form of income in the long run and not have to stress as much of when or where you’ll find your next job.

These three sites are great for getting your content out and finding the perfect client for you. I highly recommend you at least try one of the three suggested. Either way, you won’t be disappointed by what you find. If you do decide to check out these freelance websites, let me know how you like them. Remember, with all the great things in life it will take some time!

My Experience As A Favor Runner

If you’re in the DFW area you’ve probably seen a lot of people running around with blue tuxedo T-Shirts and may be wondering what it’s all about. Those people my friends are Favor Runners. Literally. Favor is an app where you can have someone deliver pretty much anything you need to your house or office. It’s kinda like an UberEats or InstaCart to name a few similar apps, but not limited to food.

I thought it would be fun to share what it’s like to do one of these “get cash quick” type of apps. Here’s my Experience:

When I first signed up, I had to go through an hour orientation. While there they told me about what to expect, the do’s and don’ts, what I would be doing, and what I need to do to be successful as a runner. I also bought by Favor gear so I would be ready to hit the road.

Another thing that I didn’t know, and probably others don’t know, is that they do background checks and see if you’ve had any driving tickets within the last 36 months or so. I think this is really important so you can be comfortable knowing that not just any strange person is able to drive for the company and come to your house to deliver food or whatever else you may need.

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The cool thing is, is that you can start doing runs that same day as long as you have passed the background check. You also have to download the app while you’re in the office and verify your banking information before you can do your first run. For me, I decided to start the next day, but I did download the app and have everything verified the day before.

For my first run, I had a food order as expected. I did my favors in the Addison/Richardson and North Central Dallas areas that day and let me tell you I had a good time! It was actually fun for me calling in the orders and delivering them while texting the customers with updates and questions.

The way Favor does the customer service experience makes you feel like each order is personal rather than a number. You get their name and phone number just as if you’re a personal assistant. Which is the mind set they want you to have.

I enjoy the fact that I have the full ability to customize the messages I send, where I complete my favors, and my schedule. It makes things hassle free and flexible just the way I like.

Another cool thing is that you get a minimum of $2 per tip plus 35% ($2.10) of the delivery fee. This guarantees you $4.10 a run. So even if for some reason your customer doesn’t have the best experience (which hopefully they will) you will still get a tip. The other great thing is if you commit to a scheduled time you’ll get $9 per hour guaranteed. So even if you don’t get any favors you’ll still be paid.

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Favor is honestly the fastest and easiest way to earn money that I have personally ever experienced. You get paid every day according to what days you have chosen to run. It’s also very easy to talk to their support team and they’ll even check on you themselves too to make sure everything is going well. I think this is a nice personal touch and reminds me that they care.

So far my customers have been really nice, understanding, and have tipped very well. That helps me out considering I need the extra cash for personal reasons. There are times where I’ve had a difficult experience with stores, but it’s nothing that couldn’t be solved.

The Favor Runner app tracks statistics too. You can keep up with how many favors you’ve done for the day, week, and month. You’ll also see how customers have rated you with a total of 5 stars. In the app you can see your schedule and customize it too. It’s also a good way to keep track of how much you’ve earned and the amount of time you spend on each favor.

When you’re actually doing a run you should keep the app open. The app will be a great way to make calls to the stores or even the customer. You can also text your customer with your pre-made template through the app.

Favor has what they call a hot spot. These spots are visible in the Runner app so you know where to go to get the most favor orders or the better chance of getting an order. I always like to take the directions to the hot spot because 9 out of 10 times while I’m on my way I get an order the closer I get to it.

The other thing I want to mention is the early assignments option. This will get you double assignment so when you’re close to finishing one order you’ll get your next one to head straight to afterward. I like it because it is good for time and money.

The other great thing about favor is that they give you the option on whether or not you want to deliver alcohol. Even if you don’t deliver it (like me) you still get decent sized orders with good tips to go along with them. I personally don’t deliver alcohol because there are a lot of rules and regulations that go along with it that I just don’t have time for.

The gear has actually been worth buying too. It keeps the food either hot or cold just like they said and makes it easier to carry the items around.

I haven’t had too many none food orders, but the ones I did have weren’t complicated or anything. The only problem I have sometimes is trying to find people’s houses or even the stores if they’re kind of hidden.

Overall, within just a couple of days, I’ve made over $200 and use the app Everlance to track my mileage for an income tax write off during tax season. If you forget about downloading the Everlance app, Favor will recommend it to you again at your orientation.

It seems that Favor really cares not only about its customers, but its drivers too. Ordering from them has been great and driving for them has been even better. I recommend anyone who is interested in earning quick cash and doing a driving service try Favor first. You won’t be disappointed.

Use my code and start running: Paige R. invited you to Run with Favor! Apply today!

Love Hurts | Reflection

The thing harder than falling into love has to be falling out. If you think about it, your whole world changes drastically. No longer can you reach out and share moments with that lover or they comfort you when times get hard. This time they caused a hard time and there is nothing you can do about it.

Here I am, yet, again going through a gut-wrenching breakup. I may be doing dramatic, but this is a tough pill to swallow and hurts like hell.  I really thought things were going to be different with him and it hurts that he is literally the same as every other guy I’ve dated in the past. I honestly don’t even know where things started to go wrong. Maybe I’m just that much in the clouds to where I don’t see what is truly going on around me. We went from one day of him introducing me to his family and us spending every day together to me reminding him of his ex so he wants to call it quits.

The good news is I’ll eventually be okay. This is not a death sentence although it may feel that way and it isn’t the end of the world. He’s not the only man I will love in my life and certainly not the last. In fact, he met me when I had things end with another ex. It’s almost like the circle of life.

I still can’t get over the fact that I truly thought we were going to last. How stupid of me to believe and hope for a change in something where I don’t have all of the control. I forgot there was another brain and feelings making the decision for me. I forgot that there was the possibility we wouldn’t be in sync. I forgot. The 23-year-old dreamer forgot to only be an optimist and not put all of her eggs in the basket. Trust me it will happen again unless I remember to remind myself and that is perfectly okay.

I’ve learned that even through these hard times it doesn’t affect your value and you can still hold your head high. So here I am. With my heart broken, but my head held high ready to conquer love and not let this experience turn me negative because I deserve so much more than that. We all deserve so much more than that.

The next time you find yourself hurt by love, let me tell you that you’re not alone. You will get through this and everything will be okay. Your optimism will pay off in due time and you can’t let the negativity of one bad event change your whole outlook. There will be someone different who rocks your world and reminds you of why you had to go through this eventually. At least this is what I hope for myself and for you.

So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love. – E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly