Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Five things to let go of your Senior Year - Dallas Area Photographer Lisa McNiel

My mom has a saying, "This is free advice. Take it or leave it."That's how I feel about this blog. I should tell you it's filled with four very pretty girls, some of my senior models, wearing all white boho style. The rest of it is just advice we can all use, whether or not we're in high school. It has nothing to do with these girls, just things I've observed.

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1. Walk away from drama.  

Seriously, it may give you an adrenaline rush, a tasty tidbit of gossip, something to text your friends about, but it's exhausting and unnecessary. The sooner you learn to avoid drama, and people who thrive on drama, the sooner you will be able to accomplish your goals, enjoy your family and friends, cease stewing about silly nonsense, and halt the emotional dragons that would love to fire you up and get you on their "side." 

2. Avoid people who steal your joy - fake friends or "frienamies."

According to Heart-support, there are 5 types of fake friends:
1. - the one who talks bad about you behind your back
2. - friends who won't apologize, but rather makes excuses
3. - those who suck the emotional energy out of you
4. - friends who make you feel guilty for not interacting on their terms
5. - people who have to be the center of attention or in control of everyone in the group

We all have moments of weakness in any of these areas, and growing up and hormones and the changing social dynamics of high school don't help, but if you find yourself consistently putting up with, or even being the friend who shows one or more of these traits - check yourself and/or tell your friend you can't handle it, and/or limit how much you'll put up with. Be a good friend without enabling someone else to bully, manipulate, malign, drain, or control you, and please take a minute and see if this might even be a blind spot in your own life.

3. Wave goodbye to artificial expectations...

that you can only be happy if such and such happens, if you get into a certain college or university, if your crush likes you back, if you weigh a certain amount or have reached a grade point average. Goals are important, but they can't be accompanied with a voice in your head that rejects you if you don't check a certain box.

According to, "Studies show that people who are happy are spending time... with people they love, and working on things they are passionate about. The common element is not the things they achieve, or what they are doing. The common element that creates happiness is that they are expressing love in all those instances. They are expressing love to who they are with or for what they are doing."

4.  Relinquish activities that bring no joy or growth.

I'm not talking about cleaning your room, your job, or homework, I'm talking about questioning priorities to make the most of your days, your heart and your mind. But first, count the cost! Everything is a tradeoff. Sometimes you need to power through the pain and frustration, but sometimes it's OK to quit, especially if you are doing so to follow another passion, or just rest a while.

5. Please give up this delusion - if perchance you suffer from it: A belief that you are better or worse than other people because of your grades, political leanings,  friends, abilities, looks, race, coolness, clothes, athleticism, or finances.

If you put into practice what most of us learn so late in life, empathy, the ability to imagine you are in the circumstances of someone else, it will help you to stop judging, and lend them your heart.

If you just read that and thought that someone else needs to do that, but not you, you missed the point.