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Tracey, Bethesda, Maryland

Tracey created the collage pictured above to represent her goals for the trip.

You are important. Listen to the whisper. If you miss the whisper, recognize the brick—don't wait for the 2x4.Trust your instinct. If you have to ask someone whether this shirt looks good on you, you already know the answer. Stop questioning yourself. Did I say, "You are important?"

Your social self and your emotional self should be in sync. You know you're in sync when you feel good, comfortable, and able to be yourself. Do not go through life on autopilot, it may be easier, but it is not healthier. Did I say, "Be true to yourself?"

Practice. Practice breathing. Practice mindfulness. Practice reflecting. Practice looking at yourself and loving at least one thing that you see. Did I say, "You are a phenomenal woman?"

The universe is fair. You get what you give. This does not always happen in ways we may understand. Like, did I ask the universe to give me breast cancer? Think, maybe I needed to go through the cancer to start really living. Maybe not.

Carry only your backpack through life. Others may ask you to carry theirs. You may want to carry someone else's. But carry your own. Let others carry their own. Did I say, "Breathe?" ...

Be a caterpillar. Melt in your cocoon from time to time so you can emerge a beautiful butterfly. Take care of yourself; the world has only one you.


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