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Writing Your Life Story

I have to admit, I was pretty anti-Twitter for some time until one of my mentors, Lisa Bloom, recommended that I utilize it more. And boy, was she right. Ever since I’ve been using it, my hits on the blog have tripled. I used to get 2,000 hits a day and now I have been getting over 6,000 on average! But that’s beside the point. I’m mentioning Twitter this morning for another reason: it is not only an excellent way to connect with others, it is also a great source of inspiration.

Speaking of Lisa Bloom, she tweeted this message out: “If you don’t write your own life story, someone else will write it for you.” That got me thinking. As a budding author, what do I want my story to be? I think ultimately, life is all about leaving a legacy. How do you want to be remembered and what do you want to pass on to the next generation? The messages we want to convey about ourselves through the words we speak, the actions we do, and the people we associate with are in our control. Every choice we make in our lives is of great importance because you never know where that choice will take you—that is why we need the foresight to know that we are making decisions that promote our legacy rather than damper it.

What do you want your life story to be about? Will it be full of adventure, will it be a whirlwind romance, or will it be a thrilling mystery? Like any good book, I hope there will be elements of every genre. And remember, with every bestseller there comes a great conflict, a challenge that may seem insurmountable. We are sure to face many of these conflicts in our lives but try to remember that there is often a happy ending in these books. You can have that same happy ending if you choose to see it that way. After all, we cannot control what always happens to us in our lives, but we can control our reaction to it.

As Natasha Bedingfield said, “the rest is still unwritten” so write carefully. Be proud of what your life says about you.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Please follow me on Twitter by clicking here

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

A Walk Down Memory Lane

An old friend reached out yesterday (don’t you love when that happens?) and she was asking for help with a UCLA application. She wanted some inspiration for writing her admission letters and in the process I pulled up my two essays to UCLA. It was a nice little walk down memory lane and I thought I’d share. So here’s a little glimpse at me back when I was a hopeful senior in high school…having no idea that I would be at UCLA or that I would have a blog about happiness. It’s amazing where three years can take you! Here it is–the prompt was asking how I handled a challenge in my life. Here is what I had to say:

Death knocked on my family’s door when I was two. My mom was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer, and nearly died because her doctor misdiagnosed her for over two years. My aunt and grandma would also hear the haunting words, “You have cancer”. Thankfully, these three women are courageous survivors, but cancer has left a scar that goes deeper than the skin: fear. After my family was tested at the UCLA medical center for the genes BRCA 1 and 2, I discovered that I may have an 80% chance of developing breast cancer. This is a daunting statistic, but I have had something positive emerge from it. I have learned to embrace each day with gratitude and to express love for others on a regular basis because whether it is cancer or another end, life is a precious and fleeting gift.

We have celebrated this gift at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for the past six years. Relay for Life, a fundraiser for cancer research and prevention, is a community event that promotes celebrating, remembering, and fighting back. I have introduced over 1,000 students to the organization by speaking across California at Relay for Life events and personally raising over $13,000 in the past two years. I feel blessed to share the gift of service with my peers by leading them on our local team, the California Stars. I am also extremely grateful to walk beside my mother, grandmother, and aunt during the Survivor’s Lap to honor their victory over cancer.

As each year passes, I have raised more money and gathered more people in the fight against cancer. This year was incredible; I will never forget the moment when I heard the news that our team had won. The California Stars was announced as the top fundraising team with over $23,000. Hearing our names called was not just an accomplishment, but in many ways, a life defining, all encompassing moment. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I hugged my mom. This final amount was a battle cry against the disease that had once tried to kill her. We had won, and cancer had lost.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Please follow me on Twitter by clicking here

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

One of My Favorites

That "oh no" moment.

Don’t you love the moment when you realize that you have a 15 page paper due in two days? I had that moment driving back after an amazing Thanksgiving break. Somehow, with all that Black Friday shopping, eating, and doing OTHER homework, it just never crossed my mind. So unfortunately that is where my writing is directed today.

In the mean time, I want to direct you to one of my most popular posts, “Your Inner Owl.” Being a Chi Omega, I love anything and everything “owls” so I hope you’ll enjoy this post. I’m gonna need some of that wisdom as I try to get through this paper!

To read “Your Inner Owl,” please click here.

Keep shining,

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook

Please follow me on Twitter by clicking here!

The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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