A Letter to the Year 2016

Dear 2016,

If we’re being honest, I don’t remember you too well. I am certain of one reason, you FLEW by. What I’m not so certain of is – did so much happen that you were overwhelming and I blocked you out? Or the opposite, and nothing was worth remembering? I don’t mean for this to sound negative because it isn’t. Rather, a reflection on how I lived the past 364 days of my life: absent. Upon reflection, I want and need to be present. I want and need to be mindful. I want and need to be doing.

I’ve always been described as happy. My presence has meant something to someone at some point and that means the world to me. Lately, however, I’m almost positive if you asked someone to describe me in one word, happy wouldn’t be the adjective. That’s gonna change. I want my presence to be meaningful again. I believe it’s my purpose and I plan on fulfilling it. Cheering others up, cheers me up, call it selfish but it’s the truth for me and many more. It’s a good selfish, and I really plan on focusing on just that, cheering and building people up.

Unfortunately though, I’ve realized that you can’t really be there for others unless you’re there for yourself. To love others, you have to love yourself. I’ve struggled. Self-love is HARD. We are our own toughest critic, and in being so we limit ourselves in the most restrictive ways. But we have to realize that we’re all unique, amazing, and important humans, breathing, living, for a purpose–a good one. I’m going to replace the “cant’s” with “can’s” and the “should have’s” with “did” as an effort to make the most out of the life I’ve been given. Yes, this fits the whole cliche new year, new me trend but it’s something I’ve needed to do and haven’t truly acknowledged.

Every year is going to have it’s ups and downs, it’s life. I don’t expect myself to be sitting here this time next year saying 2017 was perfect. Perfect doesn’t exist. Perfect doesn’t show growth. Perfect isn’t human. What I do expect is to be better. New year, BETTER me. A girl with dreams, a girl who laughs, a girl who listens, a girl who acts, a girl who gives, a girl who thrives, a girl who speaks, a girl who LIVES.

2016- thank you for making me realize my need for change. While it may have been a year of trial and stress, it most certainly did not pass without joy and love. I’m grateful for the past 365 days but oh so looking forward to the next.

“365 days, 365 opportunities”–make the most out of them.



A Good Life Project by Johnathan Fields

This past weekend I visited my best friend. She goes to school in upstate NY, and let me tell you the drive was something else: beautiful but BORING. She happened to leave this part out describing it as an EASY ride compared to the hectic route I take through New York City to get to my school. She was smart to play it down though, she knows me well, because I was already nervous about visiting her in the first place. I’m not one for handling crowds and new people well, they tend to make me incredibly anxious, and I was going to visit her school for the biggest football game of the year. I’m SO happy I went. It ended up being a weekend just to have fun and just be with my best friend. I got to see what school is like for her, and how it differs from mine, and I loved it. I also was going through complete best friend withdrawal and needed a weekend away with my person.

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This girl gives me life. We were really proud of this pic & we love to match LOL (check the shoes)

Anyways, because I sat in radio static or silence for the majority of my way there, I decided to download podcasts to my phone for the ride home. Scrolling through iTunes, I came across a podcast entitled “Good Life Project,” here’s the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/good-life-project/id647826736?mt=2 . Now, before you judge, listen to one of the episodes. As I drove through the mountains and middle of nowhere, listening to Johnathan Fields and the guests he has on his show, I made a choice. I chose to act, and live a “good life.”

Instead of doing the homework I neglected all weekend, or going to bed considering I had conditioning at 6 the next morning, as soon as I got home I created this blog. Why? I honestly think just because of the inspiration and motivation I got from listening to 4 hours straight of really amazing and driven people tell their stories. Seems like a good enough reason to me. Anyways, looking back I think I wanted to be able to look at and see my progress both as an individual and a professional. This idea of the “haven” has two parts, I’m still searching for mine, yet, I also want to provide it for others. Obviously, it isn’t that simple, or at least it hasn’t been for me so far.

I’ve come to realize, from podcasts, talks with friends, books, and more, that before I can make a difference for others I need to make a difference for myself. I have struggles, plenty of them, and in order to be able to be a source of reliability for others I need to learn how to depend on myself. I’m going to have to love myself, believe in myself and most importantly BE MYself before I can do anything happily for anyone else…and that is where I’m going to start.

So if you’re still reading this, one, I love you, and two, THANK YOU for being a part of this, because in my head YOU are holding me accountable. I hope you stick around, and  that one day you will be reading this blog or be involved in something bigger that came out of it to provide the “haven” that we all desire.



Thankful, Grateful, & Blessed

It’s Thanksgiving. The one day in the year where families go around the table saying what they’re thankful for. Clearly, that’s a generalization, but the fact of the matter is we don’t do this enough. I’m going to speak for myself and say the holidays always spark this generous, reflective and motivated phase for me. I come up with all of these plans and goals, and decide that I’m going to make a change, and never do. Now, recently I’ve been going through a state of reflectiveness and mindfulness, REALLY trying to evaluate where I’m at and what it is going to take to get me to where I want to be without the added stress and worry that comes with the future and the unknown. I understand that I am incredibly fortunate, I’m getting a college education while playing lacrosse, the sport I love, at a division one level, I’m surrounded by a family that loves me and is willing to support me in all of my endeavors and even sacrifice for them, and so much more. What I’ve come to realize though, not to sound selfish, is that even with this, I’m not happy. That doesn’t mean I am not thankful for the opportunities I’ve been give, grateful for the people that have gotten me to where I am today, or blessed to be living, because I am. However, I will not maximize the potential these incredible things have to offer until I make changes in my life. With that being said, I plan to continue this reflectiveness, not letting it go as soon as the clock strikes midnight and Black Friday begins and I lose track of what I have and shift my focus to my wants. I want to be better and starting today I plan on making a conscious effort to do so.

Yes, today is Thanksgiving, be grateful and thankful, but remember that we’re blessed with 364 more days in the year in which we need to do the same.



Project Haven: An Introduction

I’ve made a conscious decision to take action. Rather letting life happen, I want to live–create my own happiness.

Hi, my name is Grayson. I’m a Secondary English Education Student, a D1 Lacrosse player, but most accurately, a young adult trying to navigate my way through this crazy thing called life. I started this website/blog for a few reasons:

  1. I’ve always loved writing and wanted a place where I could share my thoughts.
  2. I’ve struggled in life as many of us have, we’re human, and want to create a place that fosters community, love and support. You could call it a safe haven, but I like to think of it as a place where you can go to be reminded that you aren’t alone & that you matter, because every single one of you does.
  3. I’ve dreamed of starting my own organization that targets the lack of support and resources children/adolescents are given to help them succeed and makes efforts to provide them. Raising awareness through this platform will help me do so.
  4. I’ve made a conscious decision to take action. Rather letting life happen, I want to live–create my own happiness. I want to help others, and the idea of creating/sharing content that even one person can relate to or find encouragement from is all I need.

So if you’re reading this, thank you! I appreciate your taking the time to read my words and hope that you continue to do so! I want to end this intro with the quote that is currently the header of this site: “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody” because the fact of the matter is the world we live in is struggling, especially now. It needs more kindness, more love, and more hope. By acknowledging others’ greatness, we will create the world that we want to live in, our happy place, our safe haven, and that’s my goal.