Day One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty Two

Hi Viewers,

Haven’t posted in actually forever but what a lovely and amazing day I had today!! I finally am starting to rediscover my happiness. I literally can’t even begin to explain to you, I cried tears of happiness in front of every single one of my friends tonight. Today in it of itself was a gift because one of my best friends from home, Ariel, took so much time out of her day to be with me. She traveled an hour to and fro Tufts, treated me out to lunch, and spent like actually 6 hours just talking and catching up. She is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met; brilliant beyond belief but also humble and hysterical and so down to earth. When she left, I skipped up the hill and couldn’t stop smiling for so so long. Then I went to dinner with one of my best friends which was already a treat, and then we walked into my suite to the lights out and I was like? What? And then they all started singing Happy Birthday and jumped and surprised me with an early birthday party. I can’t explain to you my pure elation and shock when I walked in to see all of my AMAZING friends take time out of their busy schedules to celebrate me. Like …. oh my god. I can’t handle it. My 10th suitemate was FaceTimed in even after getting her wisdom teeth out just for ME. And my friend from Harvard came all the way here, thank you Duncan!! and we danced and then they brought out a cake for me and lit candles. And right at that moment my brother texted me that he got into college and I was filled with an overwhelming amount of pride all in one moment. He’s so special and absolutely any school would be so lucky to have him but like wow, I am so glad that schools appreciate that. And then, this was where I fully started crying; my friends all went around and told me the thing about me that they loved the most or appreciated and I cannot tell you how much that warmed my heart. To see my best friends, my sisters (and Jacob and Duncan:), literally my family spend so much of their time on me and celebrating me was the most beautiful display of love and affection I could’ve ever asked for. I’m lucky that these are the people there for me always. When I’m sad, they wipe my tears and make me feel better. When I’m happy or when I’m excited, they celebrate with me. This semester has seen some of my lowest lows and these are the people who see me and look out for me every single day. I just, wow, I’m blown away. Then they played my favorite songs and we danced the night away. Here we are, right now, giggling and spending time in our home together

Hehe 🥰

XOXO. S.

Day One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty One

Hi Viewers,

Today is national suicide prevention day. In light of that, I just want to remind you how much better the world is with you in it. How much your presence means to me and the people who adore you. There are people in your life who actively look forward to their interactions with you; people whose lives are filled with joy when you walk into a room. Know how much you matter!!! Smile 😘

XOXO. S.

Day One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty

Hi Viewers,

Today was the most beautiful day I think I’ve ever experienced. The Best Buddies International Leadership Conference is unlike any experience I have ever had. There are thousands of students, buddies, staff, volunteers, ambassadors, and people here who have traveled from all over the WORLD to foster a kinder universe. The expression of this weekend is “inclusion lives here”. That means that people are going very far out of their way to promote inclusivity. This hit home for me a few moments today. When I walked into the massive Indiana U auditorium to see people screaming and cheering in their shirts. Mine, for Boston, says “wicked inclusive”. Everyone clamored to get their shirts, because here being inclusive and loving and compassionate is more than the norm, it’s the coolest thing you can do. I watched as one of the buddies strutted out on stage during the fashion show wearing a shirt about inclusivity and beaming ear to ear. The whole audience was cheering him on as if he was the biggest celebrity to walk the earth. Where else does that kind of joy and love happen? Personally, I hope we can foster it in our chapter at Tufts. There was a buddy who shared his story with us tonight. His mom was his fiercest advocate and only friend for most of his childhood, until he met his best buddy. They call each other brothers and they act accordingly. This year, when the buddy’s mom died, the two brothers went on a trip to Vegas to honor her memory. Isn’t that just the most beautiful!!I just can’t explain what tangible kindness and acceptance feels like, but it exists, and amongst the thousands of people that are here, it thrives.

XOXO. S.

Day One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Nine

Hi Viewers,

Long time, no talk! After returning from my trip, I went immediately to Spark the Wave. Over the years, I’ve had really really mixed emotions about it. But ultimately I realized that I’ve never been to camp without blogging every night. And as much as it felt weird and like something was missing, it felt good too. There were some absolutely terrible parts of this week like absolutely brutal. But there were also some incredible parts and I love that this blog gives me a platform to share all of the beautiful things that happen. How at the talent show when one of the performers got scared and faltered, the entire camp cheered her on until she kept going. How one of my kids shared something deeply personal and the other kids celebrated his courage. How my middle schoolers weren’t doing well in the volleyball tournament and two of the high schoolers made them huddle up and made their morale sky rocket. 😊

This week more than ever before, my campers and I got along SO well. I think part of it was because I had less regard for the rules than I usually do, I let them chill and do what they wanted a lot of the time. At Wave Week, there are two main times when you interact with the delegates, color group and core. Color group is like constructive fun time whereas core is more like school where they learn about leadership and group dynamics. I had 20 kids this year in both core and color group and they were fantastic. Sure, they were a rowdy bunch which would’ve usually thrown me but not this year because I realized that they are at summer camp. People are very quick to underestimate middle schoolers but these kids are some of the smartest and kindest. They deserve to let loose and be silly and make ever lasting friends all while doing service and helping others.

I relearned the importance of dance parties. I woke my dorm kids up with blasting music and we all walked down for breakfast dancing and singing through the halls. When my kids got tired in Core, we broke and danced until every single kid had a smile on their faces. I let them play games. I held up the quiet coyote and waited until they all joined. I watched them bond and triumph together. But the most impactful thing for me was that I watched them love and look up to me. They told me I was their favorite staff and celebrated how much they loved me every opportunity they got. They sought me out to talk to at meals and free time because they would miss me. Usually, I would NEVER admit that. I would smile and say how much they loved the camp itself. But I truly believe that I made a big impact on them.

And it’s times when you admit that to yourself that two things happen. The first is that you realize how important your interactions with other people are. How impactful saying “I’m proud of you” really is. My kids whole faces lit up when I laughed with them or told them how brilliant they were or celebrated their wonderful personalities. How standing up for someone can change their whole outlook. Every move you make, someone is watching, especially someone who is younger and the extraordinary things you do teach them to follow in your footsteps. The second thing that you realize, is how important you are in general. It is so easy to underestimate ourselves and this week hearing all of these little voices telling me how much I meant to them, really began to change that point of view. And encouraged me to be the best me so they could also be the best them.

While I do love this blog and I have missed it, I won’t be posting every night anymore. Some days it forces me to find joy when I don’t see it and I think if I’m not requiring myself to do it every night, the joy I relay will be more authentic. Sending love and my best.

XOXO. S.

Day One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Eight

Hi Viewers,

My dear friend’s (and an avid reader of this blog) husband has recently died. In Frank’s honor, I would like to tell you a story about light, something this couple spreads everywhere they go. Last night, my dad and I went to this restaurant that was centered around themes, and this time the theme was fire. They had a firefly room and it was amazing. You walked into a completely dark room and after it took your eyes just a moment to adjust, it felt like we were staring at fairies. Or small shooting stages. These little lights would go off every second from different fireflies all throughout the room. While I was standing there, I felt surrounded by love and light by these fascinating creatures. For a while, my dad and I got to soak in their magic alone, but then a family walked into the room. Watching these three little kids experience the magic of the fireflies, made it even more special. They sat in the corner with their mom just in awe and then they erupted into giggles. And I realized, no matter what language any of us speak, we can all recognize breathtaking beauty. I closed my eyes to experience the serenity of it and when I opened them, I was overcome again by the scene in front of me.

XOXO. S.

Day One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Eight

Hi Viewers,

My dear friend’s (and an avid reader of this blog) husband has recently died. In Frank’s honor, I would like to tell you a story about light, something this couple spreads everywhere they go. Last night, my dad and I went to this restaurant that was centered around themes, and this time the theme was fire. They had a firefly room and it was amazing. You walked into a completely dark room and after it took your eyes just a moment to adjust, it felt like we were staring at fairies. Or small shooting stages. These little lights would go off every second from different fireflies all throughout the room. While I was standing there, I felt surrounded by love and light by these fascinating creatures. For a while, my dad and I got to soak in their magic alone, but then a family walked into the room. Watching these three little kids experience the magic of the fireflies, made it even more special. They sat in the corner with their mom just in awe and then they erupted into giggles. And I realized, no matter what language any of us speak, we can all recognize breathtaking beauty. I closed my eyes to experience the serenity of it and when I opened them, I was overcome again by the scene in front of me.

XOXO. S.

Day One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Seven

Hi Viewers,

Tomorrow, I embark on a journey to China for three weeks and I want to fully experience it. Therefore, for the first time in over FIVE YEARS, I will not be blogging for the duration of my trip. I just want to give myself a little time to grow and to see what it feels like not to blog every night. I think it’s the perfect opportunity for a little break. I wish everyone joy and happiness ♥️♥️ and tons of love!!

XOXO. S.

Day One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Five

Hi Viewers,

Surround yourself with good people; surround yourself with positivity and people who are going to challenge you to make you better.” Ali Krieger

Throughout this year, I’ve learned this in so many ways. The company you keep has the ability to influence your mood and your disposition, so keeping positive and inspiring people all around you is beyond crucial to happiness. ♥️

XOXO. S.

Day One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty Four

Hi Viewers,

Dance walks are officially back and better than ever!! I went for almost three hours and it was utterly marvelous. As I was bopping about and celebrating the joy in the vast blue sky, this woman stopped me. She too was walking alone and she said, “You look so happy walking alone, I’m really happy to see that”. I never have had someone stop me on a dance walk and to know that it gave her joy to see me happy was such a precious piece of knowledge. You really have the impact to alter someone’s day with a smile or a wave, or a dance walk 😉

XOXO. S.