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I’ve been through a lot thus far. I’ve lost a lot of time, I’ve pursued the wrong roads, and I’ve made my share of mistakes. The battles I’ve faced have been painful- they broke me and I built myself back up. I’ve given way more than I’ve ever received and bit my tongue about it. I’ve apologized when I wasn’t at fault just to avoid a fight. I’ve given my all far too quickly and always been the bigger person, no matter how hurt I was. I’ve come to terms with my choices and even the few things I wish I could do over- those pieces of time I wish I could get back. I’ve been judged and wrongfully perceived but the biggest judge has been myself. I tear myself up when I make a mistake. I let fear of loss make me push too hard. I try too hard to make up for someone’s past because I see the beauty deep within. I beat myself up over things I cannot change. But this moment begins a change. I have always put others before myself, especially within relationships and that has destroyed things quickly but when revisited, it became appreciated. I have some bad habits but I’m far from a bad person. I have the largest heart which is as much of a blessing as it is a curse- I am so often misunderstood because of it. I am guilty of caring too much, forgiving too easily, being stubborn, texting too much, and being hard on myself. I am flawed but I am one of the most honest and loyal people you will ever meet and from all the wrongs, the one thing that bothers me the most is the truth and the apologies I never got but deserved. I cared so much, even when I was destroyed- I still reflected care & I am not at fault for that same respect not being paid back to me. Change is the most difficult thing in the world, so is compromise and yet, I do it effortlessly for another. “You should be careful with how you judge people for a man’s life is not summed up in one moment.” I am also guilty of romantic nights, little gifts just because, texts to show I care, persistence when things get rough, and being there every step of the way. So no, I’m not perfect and I don’t always do the right thing but I’m not to blame anymore because at the end of the day, I’ve always been honest and it’s never too late to speak up- I’ve never lied to comfort someone or been silent because it was easier & that is what truly makes me who I am. That is what defines me. Judge that.

-Allison Ryder

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