Why I Write.

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I write because I love to.

I write because it gives me confidence.

I write because I was painfully shy growing up and for a very long time it was the only way I felt like I could truly express myself.

I write because putting my thoughts into words helps me draw conclusions and find the answers i’ve been searching for high and low.

I choose to write for SO many reasons that it’s difficult to explain my passion in one simple blog post.

So,  I’ve decided to share some quotes with you all that help explain why it is so important to me to keep PrettyBritty alive and thriving 🙂

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Breathe In…Breathe Out…Let It G0.

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On Monday night, after a long day at work, I decided that the best way to deal with my stress and what I can only describe as “glum feelings” was to attend a yoga class. Fortunately for me Prema Power Yoga in Marblehead offers a 7pm hot power class, which gave me plenty of time to get home, change and grab a quick snack before heading off to the studio.

From the moment I walked in the door I knew that I made the right decision. The calming atmosphere, warm temperature and serene music instantly brought a smile to my face that stayed in place for the entire hour long class. The instructor actually even encouraged us to “smile through the poses” so I felt right at home 🙂

The class was challenging, sweaty, spiritual and calming all at the same time. I truly love the detoxifying power of hot yoga and could feel the negativity, as well as bad energy, dripping out of my body. My mind and body were both working hard for that hour!

Finally, while in shavasana at the end of the class, the instructor chose a reading that really inspired me entitled, “Autobiography In Five Short Chapters” by Portia Nelson, that I couldn’t wait to share.

It goes:

Chapter I

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am hopeless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

Chapter II

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in this same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

 Chapter III

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
see it there.
I still fall in… it’s a habit… but,
my eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

 Chapter IV

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

Chapter V

I walk down another street.

I encourage you all to take a minute to reflect on the above and try to find meaning in it for yourselves. Does it fit in your life story in any way? Can you relate to this evolution of thinking and can you apply it to a challenging aspect of your life? I know I can 😉

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Namaste.

Change is the One True Constant in Life… So, Why Not Embrace and Celebrate It?

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For the first time in a very very long time I am embracing change! Shocking, right?! But, over the past year a lot of amazing things have happened in my life, which subsequently forced me to reevaluate my natural hesitance towards change.

Since my last update I’ve landed my first real “big girl job” and I’m now working in the city! While commuting from home isn’t ideal I know it’s only temporary and I’m able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Only a few more months of saving and I will be able to make the big move! Another change that I am eagerly anticipating 🙂

In the spirit of rolling with the punches and embracing change I’ve decided that it is time to stop making the excuse of “being tired” or “overwhelmed” and refocus my energy on the things outside of work that make me smile, like writing and my blog. I hope to continue to use prettybritty as a platform to raise awareness about eating disorders/disordered eating, but I also want to use the site as an outlet for me to share what makes me happy and what I am passionate about at any given moment. From fashion, to health, to beauty my goal is to share all things positive, beautiful and enchanting.

So, thanks for sticking with me and lets continue to acknowledge that change is truly the only constant in life so why not make the most of it? Whether small or life altering let’s roll with it, adapt and be our best selves 🙂
Happy Monday everyone and always remember: Be Happy. Be Bright. Be You.

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“11 Facts About Women And Body Image”

Hey all! Happy Friday:) I stumbled upon an interesting, as well as informative, list compiled by the Huffington Post entitled, “Facts About Women And Body Image” that I’m dying to share. I encourage you all to take a minute to read them over and then take some time to reflect on the facts.

slide_308927_2707237_freeSource: Glamour.com

slide_308927_2707432_freeSource: The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, “Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources,” 2003.

slide_308927_2707513_free Source: Prevention of Eating Problems with Elementary Children, Michael Levine, USA Today, July 1998.

slide_308927_2707489_free Source: Marketdata Enterprises, 2007

slide_308927_2707521_free Source: Centers for Disease Control, 2004

slide_308927_2708148_freeSource: Zucker NL, Womble LG, Williamson DA, et al. Protective factors for eating disorders in female college athletes. Eat Disorders 1999; 7:207-218.

Source: Sungot-Borgen, J. Torstveit, M.K. (2004) Prevalence of ED in Elite Athletes is Higher than in the General Population. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, 14(1), 25-32.

slide_308927_2708109_freeSource: Dove Real Beauty Campaign, 2004

slide_308927_2708111_freeSource: The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, “Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources,” 2003.

slide_308927_2708096_freeSource: Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., & Estes, L.S. (1995). The Spectrum of Eating Disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3): 209-219.

slide_308927_2708194_freeSource: Collins, 1991.

Source: Mellin et al., 1991.

slide_308927_2708200_freeSource: Rader Programs

It’s a harsh reality we live in, but we can initiate change by creating a dialogue and speaking up against what we believe is wrong.

Worst. Winter. Ever.

Well folks all I can do is apologize profusely and than beg for your forgiveness. I am SO sorry about my absence, but the winter blues really got to me 😦 Blizzard after blizzard, dreary day after dreary day, freezing temperature after freezing temperature…it was hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, literally! And, though we aren’t quite out of the woods yet, technically speaking it is spring so that means summer is not far off! I don’t know about you guys, but I think we deserve the most beautiful, warm, dry and SUNNY summer New England has ever seen, wishful thinking I know, but a girl can dream 😉

So, I bet many of you think that being housebound for the majority of the winter would be ideal for blogging and posting, but I actually found it to be quite the opposite. From the day I decided to start prettybritty I promised myself that I would NEVER write a post when I felt sad, unmotivated, depressed and especially if I was consumed by disordered eating thoughts. Unfortunately for me most days this winter I felt at least one of those emotions. The most I could do was share the occasional link on my Facebook page and even that was rare. I hate to make excuses and I am not trying to through myself a pity party, but I just want you all to know what was going on with me this winter (and I truly bet I’m not alone when I say that I felt blehh for most of the winter months). But, I am disappointed in myself for not turning to prettybritty more because I hoped to use my blog as an outlet where I could reframe negative thoughts and feelings, as well as share inspirational and informative articles, quotes, webpages, etc. That’s were I dropped the ball, but you know what… I’m back and determined to never ever let the winter blues take control of me again!

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One personal takeaway I have from (barely) surviving the worst winter ever is that weather truly affects my mood and motivation. I don’t know about you all but, all I wanted to do was stay in my pjs (and let’s be real when I say pjs it’s not a cute matching set I’m talking full on grey sweatsuedo) tucked under a blanket with at least two heating pads…I’m not exaggerating when I said this winter was a rough one for me haha. The only events that got me out of the house were spinning classes, the occasional coffee run (because the Keurig is only good so many times in a row…) and going to work. But, now that I know just how severe my seasonal affect is I will be better prepared if we ever have a winter like this again…praying to God that it never happens, but you never now 😦 If we are however cursed with another winter like this one I will make every possible effort to get out and be social. I’ve decided to look back on the past few months as a learning experience and hopefully grow from there. Long story short I need to get my butt out of the house, even if it’s cold, and socialize…no more isolating and making excuses because of the elements..It’s gonna be hard, but hopefully i’ll have a year to prepare for it 😉

So, folks since I’m back in business I thought I’d share with you a really awesome article I came across. It’s a few weeks old, but I’m super excited about the efforts American Eagle is making through their promotion of healthy/realistic body images. The National Eating Disorder Association recently honored American Eagle’s lingerie/intimates brand Aerie with the first-ever NEDA Inspires Seal of Approval, for their #AerieReal campaign. “Launched in 2014, American Eagle’s Aerie campaign promotes healthy body image by not digitally removing models’ blemishes, tattoos, cellulite or other features that are typically photoshopped on the website or in advertisements.” Basically NO photoshopping ever…hats off to you American Eagle 🙂 For further detail on the campaign as well as the award they received check out the People Magazine article, “American Eagle Wins Award for Realistic Underwear Ads.”

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Stay tuned ladies and gents for more updates because I’m back 🙂

Self Care Snow Day: A Date With My First True Love…Me ;)

a2a253168ec6a81b82620db0a8f3ce41So guys, in an attempt to fight the extreme sense of boredom that I knew was looming in my future, as well as be semi-productive, during the crazy snownado (shout out to Allie for that term) I decided to seize the day and make it my official “Self Care Snow Day.” It’s been awhile since I’ve focused on some self care and boy I had no idea just how much I was in need of some loving…

“Love yourself first” is a message that I bring up on the reg on the blog and that’s because it relates so strongly to my own insecurities. I honestly have to remind myself, probably every minute of everyday, that the most important  relationship I can have right now is the one with myself. I think it’s way too easy to become consumed by the thoughts and desire of having someone else love us, especially when we are SUPER single (and when I say super I mean it…). If I’m speaking candidly from my own experiences I think a lot of things failed, if not all, because I didn’t have enough respect, or more specifically love, for myself. So, guys we can only live and learn you know? And the main take away I have from past experiences is that I must spend more time focusing on, and taking care of #1…Me.

Therefore, I decided that today I would focus solely on self care and all things Britty. I mean when’s a better time to show yourself some love than when you are trapped indoors with no other responsibilities? So, here’s what I did to make my day all about me 🙂

  1. Sleep In-Last night in preparation for Juno I had the fabulous idea to wash all of my sheets and linens. There are few things better than climbing into a warm, clean and freshly made bed. I honestly dare you to name three things superior to it…but, anyways I slept cozily and snugly in my bed, but unfortunately not soundly (darn snowplows and wind) until I truly wanted to get up. Is it ok that I slept in until 11am? Hell yeah, today’s my “Self Care Snow Day.”ea746aa60c0d8d7699e169b22b3141dc
  2. Get My Sweat On-Knowing that I was going to be trapped in the house all day today I decided yesterday that I should get my sweat on at some point. Prior to Juno I planned to take a spin class at Burn, but obviously that wasn’t going to happen so it was up to me to get my endorphins flowing. I didn’t do anything crazy, but decided a weight/strength circuit was just what the doctor ordered.0ab5aec2536871c0ee57b3410b6691c9
  3. Shower time-After my workout I took the longest shower evah! It was amazing and I cherished every second of it. Once I finally emerged from my happy place (fun fact I truly believe a hot shower cures all) I climbed into some fresh and so clean, clean pajamas. I’m obsessed with comfy clothes and any day where I can wear them unapologetically is one that I consider a day of self care 🙂4dbbbc5acdc419267574ad364394b47e
  4. Boozy brunch– Once I was all comfy, cozy and clean in my rockin jammies I made my way down to the kitchen to enjoy a boozy brunch. I cooked my own meal, which is in and of its self a big challenge, and decided hey I may never again have an adult snow day where I have no responsibilities so why not enjoy a drink with brunch? All in all the drink was yummy, but the feeling of cooking my own brunch successfully surpassed that. Every meal is still tough and having done this meal well brought a smile to my face 🙂photo 1
  5. Snail Mail-So, I’m completely, fully, wholeheartedly OBSESSED with cards. I love sending, and of course receiving 😉 mail, and with a certain hallmark holiday just around the corner I thought it would be a great time to send out a few letters. Can’t share more because I don’t want to ruin any surprises! But if anyone ever wants to throw a card my way I won’t complain 🙂4661007820
  6. Pamper time– And yeah this happened…i’ve been dying to try an at home face mask, but haven’t had the time so thank you Juno for giving me that finally! Also thanks to Women’s Health Magazine, and my bff Pinterest, for helping me come across this easy to do: Aloe Vera and Avocado Face Mask. Definitely check it out you guys! It’s suppose to help combat dry skin and with this weather we need all the help we can get. My skin does feel better and I would try this again.photo 2photo 4
  7. The Post-it Always Sticks Twice-Did I then spend over an hour watching some of my favorite Sex And the City episodes…oh yes I did! Whenever you are feeling less than awesome about your love life (or lack there of haha) Sex And The City is there to raise your spirits. It could always be worse, but it WILL always get better and Sex And The City is there for all of our highs and lows. Carrie Bradshaw for President?c49f206225c375fa3549cf86f60e08e4
  8. Writing– I don’t want this to sound corny or lame, but writing on my blog is truly the most cathartic and effective form of self care for me. I love writing and need to make it part of my everyday schedule because it always brings a smile to me face 🙂 Planning out this post and finally putting it into words gave me a purpose. I can only hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it. a0332f5fd3c6e4bf368e4ba86953248e
  9. TBD-Not really sure what the rest of the night holds, but if I could guess it would consist of me cozied in bed in my clean sheets with a book. I’m a total sucker for historical fiction (yes, i’m letting my geek flag fly by admitting that) and I just began “Day After Night” by best selling author Anita Diamant. I can’t wait to make a dent in it so i’m hoping my “Self Care Snow Day” concludes with me ferociously reading this page turner!

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So far today has been beyond amazing. Learning how to love yourself through methods of self care is crucial in strengthening your soul and I encourage all of us to make the effort to take those days to reconnect with yourself. Stay safe during the rest of your storm guys and thanks for checking in 🙂

Awareness: Disordered Eating Does Not Discriminate

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Hey all, Happy Monday and hope everyone is tucked away at home now during the big storm!

I’ve been dying to fill you guys in on an amazing day I had last week. This past Tuesday I spent the school day at my old stomping grounds, Marblehead Veterans Middle School, raising awareness about disordered eating and many of the issues surrounding body image. Neither are easy topics to discuss, but both need to be brought up and honestly the earlier the better! My main goals as a speaker were to emphasize the fact that disordered eating does not discriminate and is also a complex disease. I really wanted the students to see that disordered eating has WAY more to do with a mindset, as well as behaviors, than purely food and weight.

I’m not going to lie, but prior to walking into the building I was a nervous wreck! I spent at least a week preparing for the big day and strolled in with a solid plan, and filled with anticipation, but for reals… middle schoolers intimidate me! I mean that without a doubt stems from the fact that I was SO unhappy with myself during that time of my life…However, I pushed my insecurities aside and stepped up to the plate because I knew that my presentation was not only a crucial step in the right direction for my own recovery, but was also going to be an eye opening learning experience for the students.

So, I want to share with all of you the outline of my presentation and encourage you all to get in touch with me if you have any further questions! Here it goes:

I began my presentation by introducing myself and explaining to the students why I was “qualified” to discuss the topic of disordered eating and more specifically how the disease has affected me. It was probably the most personal/candid part of the talk and I felt extremely vulnerable sharing my story, especially because I had to tell the kids that I am still in recovery and not yet fully recovered. When discussing my own experience with disordered eating I made sure not to bring up numbers (i.e. weights, sizes, and calories) as well as specific behaviors. I spoke more about the emotional and physical tolls that the disease took on my life as well as what I am doing now, and have done in the past to combat it. I emphasized the fact that I’m not an expert, but I’ve lived the eating disorder reality for a long time and would pretty much do anything to make sure no one else had to go through that hell, so that’s way I was there to talk to them. It was my job to raise awareness and get the conversation going about a pretty taboo topic.

From there we moved on to talking about disordered eating facts and also dispelled myths about the disease. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the students knew a lot about disordered eating. The health/wellness curriculum at MVMS is awesome and the teachers have done an exceptional job with these 8th graders! As my references for the facts, myths, and all the more educational parts of disordered eating that I spoke about I used NEDA’s website, as well as my training to become a volunteer speaker for NEDA Awareness week. If you want to learn more you should definitely check out this site: http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn

Then we addressed body ideals/media influence, which was the most interactive section of the talk. I wanted to emphasize the fact that in our media obsessed culture it’s almost impossible to escape the messages about what our body “should” look like based off of unrealistic body ideals that the media have created. The images that are being pushed at us are unattainable because they are photoshopped! In order to really drive this point home I actually brought in some images that on one side had the unedited picture and on the other side had the photoshopped version. The kids really were shocked by how drastically different the photoshopped images were from the real ones and I truly believe that they will think twice whenever they see an image of what society is defining (on that day) as “beauty.” I couldn’t help, but tell all of them that beauty can’t be defined because it is personal, and comes from the inside… I ended that little rant by telling all of them that they were beautiful because it’s true 🙂

I concluded my presentation by sharing with the kids how they can get help for themselves and/or how they can help someone who they love. I encouraged anyone who thought that they might be struggling with some form of disordered eating to take this online screening test that the National Eating Disorder Association offers. When it came to explaining how to help a loved one I shared with them some Dos and Don’ts.

DO:

  • Learn as much as  you can about EDs.
  • Be honest, be vocal about your concerns.
  • Be caring, but firm.
  • Compliment your loved one’s inner qualities.
  • Be a good role model, practice what you preach.
  • Tell a trusted adult.

DON’T:

  • Place shame, blame or guilt.
  • Make rules or promises that you cannot or will not uphold.
  • Give simple solutions.
  • Ignore or avoid the situation until its severe or life threatening.

 

Speaking at MVMS was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. The faculty and the students were welcoming, warm and engaged throughout my entire talk and I’d love to be asked back next year 🙂 What I hope the students, as well as all of you, have learned is that disordered eating is a disease than can affect anyone, but it doesn’t have to define you and by talking about it we clear up some of the stigmas and myths that are tied to the disease.

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What I Hope For Us All in 2015

Happy Monday! I hope that everyone had a happy, as well as healthy, New Years and that you all are enjoying 2015 thus far. Since I have SO much excitement for 2015 I thought that I’d share with you guys, what I hope for us all in 2015. There’s no better time than now for us to learn, grow, and be the best versions of ourselves! So here is what I hope for all of you, as well as myself:

  1. Never let “the fears” stand in your way. 10671300_755666997820573_4491241005701606868_nLet’s take chances this year. We can no longer allow “the fears” to stop us dead in our tracks. 2015 is the year when we conquer “the fears” and see that we are stronger, and braver than we ever knew. Whether “the fears” turn up unexpectedly or they have existed for most of our lives we must stand up to them. We must never be afraid to share our fears or talk them out because often we will find we are not alone and we will thus have an ally to fight against “the fears” 😉
  2. Make intentions, not resolutions.d129467c2ff9ae4c359e85d46ceeea7eA resolution is defined as the action of solving a problem, so when we set a resolution every New Year we are in a sense seeing ourselves and our past actions as problems that we believe need to be solved. An intention, however, is defined as a the determination to act in a certain way. When we set an intention we don’t see ourselves as problems, but are instead focusing our energies on leading our life differently by making more effective choices. I encourage all of us to make intentions, not resolutions because intentions are more powerful and positive. For 2015 I intend to love my mind, body and spirit for its beauty, as well as imperfections.
  3. Be your own best friend.b8c50eafd861385a81ae508dba368087We have got to learn to love ourselves and stop comparing ourselves to others. We are all unique individuals who should only have to look to ourselves for beauty and inspiration. Only after we alone are able to see how truly amazing we are, inside and out, will happiness become second nature. What matters most is our relationship with ourselves, once that is strong everything else will fall into place.
  4. Learn from the past, but don’t hold on to it, look forward to what is next to come.b4d67e54d8758312d5b1a7839550419cI’m sure we can all refer back to events in our past that we wish with every fiber of our being never occurred, but we also know that there is no way we change them or take them back. So, instead of wallowing over mishaps, or endings, we can think about them in a new way by focusing on what those unfortunate incidents have taught us about ourselves. For example, when a relationship ends we can become consumed by all the negative and hurtful parts of it, but instead of thinking in that respect we must try and focus on the good, and figure out what we learned about ourselves from it. Whether it be that we deserve more or that perhaps we should have treated someone else better, we must not hone in on the hurt. I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason and every scenario, good or bad, is supposed to teach us something so we can become the best versions of ourselves. So, lets try and learn from the past and not be held back by it.
  5. Remember that everyone has a struggle and a story. a43bb1c8dd3268c37f93990c9f0f56bfMany of us, myself included, become absorbed by our own personal struggle and thus have a difficult time seeing that we are not the only one suffering out there. I know that when I am in my absolute worse ED mindset I don’t think of anyone else, but myself, and am convinced that no one understands me. Some of this comes from the fact that I would never want anyone else to feel the pain I have, but another reason is that I believe everyone else has it all together. However, one of the greatest lessons I learned in 2014 was the power of empathy and I can only hope to continue to cultivate this emotion throughout 2015. In doing so I know I will strengthen all of my relationships because I am recognizing that we all have some sort of struggle and respecting one another’s struggle is crucial in becoming the best version of ourselves, as well as nurturing our relationships with others. Empathy creates strong bonds so I encourage us all to give it a try and make it a part of our lives.

Klara Kelly Brand Clan Maven

Hey all! I’m beyond thrilled to share with you some exciting news. Last week I met with the amazing Melissa Shorewood, CEO and Creative Director of Klara Kelly Designs, a fabulous “Sporty Chic” activewear and accessories company based in Massachusetts, and I’m honored to tell you all that I am the newest Klara Kelly Brand Clan Maven!

1484582_10152514942356453_5448959610737170457_nAs a Maven I am now a proud representative of the Klara Kelly Brand and I’m looking forward to aiding in the growth of this up and coming company. From head scarves, to leggings, to ponchos, and more Klara Kelly is there for women who lead busy and active lives. With Klara Kelly there is no need to compromise fashion for function because our products offer both! I am really looking forward to keeping you all posted on my latest endeavor and PLEASE check out the products here at www.klarakelly.com or contact me for more information!

 

 

I Am Worthy. I Am Capable. I Am Strong.

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After reading over my last few blog posts I feel like I need to better explain what I am going through and where I am today. Just because I have written about two very serious issues in my recent posts does not mean that my desire for my blog to be a positive place has changed. Reality is that sometimes we have to put on a serious face to effectively get our point across. I have always been honest with you all about my own journey and I never intend to write any other way. So, here we go:

Did/Do I have an eating disorder: Yes.

Am I in recovery: Yes.

Am I capable of cultivating relationships, building a career and living my life to the best of my ability: Hell Yeah.

I don’t want anyone to take my honesty about my disease in the wrong light. My ultimate goal when I started my blog was to create a forum where I could speak openly about my feelings and finally put into words all that was going on within me. I desperately wanted to know if others could relate to me, but at the time I begin PrettyBrittyShines I had no idea if anyone would understand what I was going through. Unfortunately, I learned all too quickly that MANY of you could relate to my struggle and although I never want anyone to suffer, all of you who have shared your experiences with me have taught me that I am not alone.

But, most importantly you have all showed me that just because many of us are dealing with some heavy duty emotions doesn’t mean that we are incompetent or less than. By creating a dialogue about our feelings we are addressing our issues head on and allowing ourselves to still live our lives. It is the time we are taking out of our day to really focus on bettering ourselves, whether we struggle with anxiety, an eating disorder, or any sort of physical/mental health issue that is MOST important in our journey. It doesn’t matter how we seek help whether it’s from therapy, treatment programs, acupuncture, support groups, meditation, yoga, etc. what is important is that we are cultivating and putting forth an effort to focus on our inner selves. By doing that we are not only helping ourselves, but we are learning to empathize with others. Empathy is key folks and I hope we can all learn to embrace this emotion.

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So, Happy Friday ladies and gentleman and I hope that we can continue to keep a positive light even through our most challenging times and remember that everyone has a story and a struggle.