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Liberata Dolce model fashion blog blogger style new years 2016 Lorraine Castle

I’m on the pursuit of happiness…

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New Years is always an interesting time.  Some see it as an ending, others a new beginning.  Both as a fresh start.  Or, you just see it as an opportunity to buy a new outfit, drink champagne and make out in public acceptably.

I personally am all for the new dress part.

But above all, I see it as a time of reflection.  A way to summarize how I’ve grown by the lessons I learned.  And with that comes a chance to develop an action plan.  Call it a Bucket List for personal growth.  For instance, some days I think I have this whole adulting thing nailed.  I made it to work, I drank actual water, AND I did laundry.  Go me.  And then there are days where I eat ice cream straight from the container with the freezer open and refuse to put on pants.  And in all honesty- that will most likely be my game plan tomorrow.  But pants or no pants, I’d still like to think that I’ve evolved into a slightly better version of myself over the last year.  That I’ve gained a slightly higher awareness of who I am, what I can contribute, and who I still have yet to be.

Its called acceptance.

And its not easy.

Its not easy to accept that you spent another year dating guys that broke your heart.  Its not easy to accept that you didn’t make time for that epic roadtrip to California.  And its definitely not easy to accept that you lost some friends along the way, and you’re not even sure why.

But it happened.  All of it.  And you have to stop asking why.  Life is too short for that.

And start asking:  How are you going to use this to learn?  To grow?  To be better?  To try harder?

And, most importantly, is this the year you’re finally going to stop kissing douchebags?  Probably not, but still….

And so New Year’s is the time you take all the things that happened over the last year, the good AND the bad, and you put it behind you.  And you carry on with only the lessons.  Pants, or no pants.

You cancel and continue.

Below are the lessons I’m taking with me into the new year.  And who knows, maybe this will be the year I finally meet someone, creating the most electric “Power Couple” since Becks and Posh.

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Or maybe I’ll keep eating ice cream in my underwear.

Either way, I’ll be just fine…

And you will be too.

And now, my observations from my always beautiful-yet-slightly-confusing pursuit of happiness thus far….

Do what makes you happy.  Whatever it is.  People will criticize you either way.  Accept it, erase it, and move on.  It usually has nothing to do with you, but is rather a reflection of their own unhappiness.

Look for the highlight of your day, every day.  Some are harder to find than others, but I promise- there will be at least one moment, every day, where you’ll find happiness in simply being alive.  And that alone is worth it all.

Let it be.  Whatever it is you’re holding on to- hurt, resentment, jealousy.  Its in the past now.  Keep it there.

Live in the present.  In everything you do.  Living in the past leads to depression.  And waiting on the future creates anxiety.  But being in the now could be pure magic- should you allow it.

My mother is my best friend.  As I get older, it becomes increasingly clear how defining her love and guidance has been, and continues to be, in my life.  Her love for me continues to amaze me.  As does her patience.

Figure out what defines you.  And own it.  Then figure out how you can use it to help others.

You are enough.  Whoever you are at this moment.  Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.  Walk away from anyone who makes you doubt your worth.

Trust your gut.  If you’re still in doubt, Google it.

If it doesn’t make sense, its probably not true.  Its as simple as that.

Wear your heart on your sleeve.  Don’t be afraid of who you are.  Or how you feel.  The people that are meant to be in your life will only value you more for it.

At the same time, knowledge is power.  Be careful with what you dispense to others.  And remember that those who talk to you, will talk about you.

Be the person you want to date.  If you want honestly, give it.  If you want love, exude it.  If you want a one night stand, go on Tinder.

Say what you mean, mean what you say.  Even those with nothing still have the value of their word.  Don’t cheapen yourself.  Or sell yourself short.

When in doubt, over-dress.  Always.

Give.  Whatever you can.  As much as you can.  Even if its just your time, I promise that there is someone out there who needs it.

Get to know your body.  Love every inch of it.  Do everything you can to take care of it.  And let no one disrespect it.  It is the greatest tool you will ever own.

Stop saying “I’m sorry” all the time.  Save it for the times when you truly mean it.  People will take it a lot more seriously.

Slow down.  You will be amazed at all the incredible things around you, literally ALL THE TIME… if you just take a minute to see them.  People ARE still good.  Miracles DO happen.  And wishes DO come true.

With the right chemistry, kissing is bliss.  And cuddling is heaven.  But doing either with just anyone will only leave you feeling cheated.

Choose wisely.  When faced with a difficult decision, ask yourself which consequence you would rather live with.  Go with that one.

Perception is reality.  So pay attention.  Make sure that the projection of your own self is something you’re happy with.

Remain optimistic.  Especially with love.  You’re going to get hurt.  But don’t let it make you cynical.  Keep your heart open.  But protect it with all you got.

Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.  The race is long.  And in the end, its only with yourself.

If a boy wants to see you, he will see you.  That goes for calling, texting and any other form of communication including smoke signals.  End of story.

Make some art.  Whatever art is to you.  Do it.  Indulge in your creativity.  It is the most personal and unique imprint you can leave behind.  It will also most likely be the most cherished after you are gone.

Find someone you can be free with.  Sexually, emotionally, physically, spiritually- and go fucking WILD.


Be careful with who you exchange energy with.  You can give a lot away while seeing very little in return.  Reevaluate anyone or anything in your life that consistently leaves you feeling drained.  Cut your losses and move on.

Learn how to communicate again.  Stop texting.  Be authentic.  Make time to be genuine to those you care about.

Not everyone is going to know how to receive your energy.  Make peace with that and move on.  Never dull your shine for the sake of someone else.

Don’t be scared.  Or anything.  Or anyone.

Be kind.  It will always be better to build someone up, rather than tear them down.

Travel.  There are some lessons that can only be learned by taking yourself out of your comfort zone.  These will be the lessons you will appreciate the most.

People change.  Some for the good, some not so much.   Only you can decide which one.  Then keep it to yourself.  Not everyone will take the same path as you.  And that’s a beautiful thing.

Smile.  Even when you think you cant, you can.  Not only will you feel better, but you might help someone else out too.  A lot of great things started with just a smile…

It really is the simple things.  I’m talking about nature.  Watch a meteor shower.  Go to the beach at night.  Hike every chance you get.  Your soul will thank you.

Bob Marley’s 3 Little Birds.  Live it, learn it, love it.  Make it your anthem.  Listen to it in the morning.  Let it set the standard for your day.

Most of the apologies you’re waiting to hear will never happen.  Forgive them anyways.  At the same time, ask yourself if anyone is waiting on yours.

Its okay to be single.  Its also okay to feel lonely at times.  Both are temporary.

And finally-

You have done SO much better than you give yourself credit for.  At the end of the day…or year, in this case, we all have things we wish we could change.  Or do over.  Or do again.  There are people we will miss.  And people we hope we never see again.  But when you break it all down, and see all the experiences you went through, I hope it hits you-

You’re still here.

You survived.  And you came out a stronger, better, wiser person for it.

So keep trying.  Keep fighting.  Keep believing in love.  Keep planning your roadtrip.  Keep banning pants.  And above all, keep being a good person.  Because if for nothing else, go into the new year believing this-

For whatever you put out, the universe will give you back 3 fold in return.

Its the Law of Attraction, darling.

And I’m all about that life.

Now go drink some champagne, cheers to life, and manifest something amazing for yourself.

And have a fabulous New Year- may it be your best year yet.

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