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Just A Normal Thursday In Boston

Boston is a strange place. You know, I’ve spent the last 4 years commuting every single day to the city and I still haven’t been able to figure it out. Some days are really cold, and then it’s hot and then back to the rain and wind. And on those hot days, you better believe every single person in the vicinity of the city is outside.

Especially the first warm day of the year. It’s always my favorite day of the year, it’s been so cold for so long, and strangely you’ve gotten used to it. You don’t need as many layers as you did in November. And then the weathermen are calling for unseasonably warm temperatures for that one Friday in late April, and professors cancel classes, the esplanade is packed and people are eating their lunch outside at the common. The T has that summer smell. The city feels alive again.

And then there is Valentine’s Day. As a person who has always been single on Valentine’s Day, I’ve spent a lot of time romanticizing other people. Valentine’s Day is always cold, and it’s always just a normal day. But each year I walk to the commuter rail after my day at school, I see couples holding hands, and I see people buying flowers and a card last minute, and carrying it on the train. And I see people going out to dinner. And yet it still strikes me that apart from the uptick in flower sales, it’s a pretty normal day here in the city. And I think that’s what Boston is.

It’s a place where people don’t make a big scene, unless it’s a patriots game. It’s a place where Valentine’s Day is a normal Thursday, you go to work, buy your wife or husband flowers and carry them on the train quietly. No big scene, no big deal. It’s another cold Thursday in February, where you show a little love.

Every person that’s been to Boston can understand it’s a special place, where people keep to themselves, people aren’t about to turn to the person behind them in the line for Starbucks and strike up a conversation about their day. But, I dare you to walk through the city during rush hour on Valentine’s Day and not feel the magic that this city holds, on a day as normal as any other Thursday in February.

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Top 10 of Summer 2018

I’m reading a book right now called “Top Ten” by Katie Cotugno, and also my favorite blog that I read @mixandmatchmama wrote a blog on her top ten of her summer. Because of those two reasons, I was inspired to write my own!

Way way way back in February, I said to myself, “self, you need to have fun this summer.” You see, I’m the type of person who just worries constantly. “Am I doing enough to succeed? Am I working hard enough to succeed when I graduate? Do I have enough money in my savings account?” Blah Blah Blah. But, I don’t know, I just have really been working on being more adventurous, and more fun, so I told myself, you can work, and have fun. You can even make work fun! Setting out to have a fun, adventurous, memorable summer, I believe I did just that!

 

Now, Summer is ending, and senior year at Suffolk University is starting. I am ready, I am energized, I am excited! Without any further ado, here is a look at my summer!

 

10: WORKING 6 am -2:30 At TARGET 2267

Yes, this one is my last on my list, but still, it was so much of my summer that it had to be on the list. Now, this is just like any typical minimum wage job, boring, stupid, annoying, and you do way more work than you get paid for, but still I had some good laughs, and I actually had fun too. It is cool to see how the average person lives their life. I was thinking the other day when I was in the girls section, how some of our celebrities should come work at Target for a summer, and see how hard some people work just to make end’s meet, and see how many people in this world really think and live, it would be quite the learning experience for them. All in all, this job was fun, and I think I made a lot of people smile with my attitude, which is always my goal.

 

 

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9: All my Days by the Pool, Swimming, Dancing, Singing and Reading

It came to me a while back, that many people think that the really great days in our lives, are the days when we don’t necessarily do anything significant, but are just totally normal. Most days, I worked, and then went home and put my bathing suit on, and went to my pool. I read, I sang, I danced, I swam, I just enjoyed the simple pleasure of being alive. And, it definitely was a top 10 of the summer, hands down. I hope I have more days like that in my life, days when the hours tick by, but by the end of the day, you just feel happy.

 

 

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8: ALADDIN

My wonderful mother bought two tickets to see Aladdin at the Boston Opera House for me for Christmas, and the day finally came. Let me tell you, that show was everything it was talked up to be. I absolutely LOVED IT! It was so much fun, so much energy, so much talent, so much pure inspiration. I love live theater, always have, always will! And, sadly I didn’t take any pictures of my mom and me that night, I guess we were just having too much fun!

 

 

7: The Dance Recital 2018, “When I Grow Up”

June 23 was the dance recital this year, and it was amazing. Every year I get so nervous, so worked up, but every year it ends up being amazing, and I just have the best feeling when it all ends. I love seeing the kids have a blast, and I love the progression from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. Their faces when they realize that they can do it is phenomenal. I just love this day, every year this day ends up being one for the books, so it is only right that it ends up in my top 10 for the summer!

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6: Hiking Mount Washington

This day was so great! It was hot, sunny, and humid, but this was the day that my brother and I set out to hike it, and we hiked it. All the way up, all the way down, in 6 hours! I was tired, I was sore, but we did it, and I love to accomplish my goals! And to do it with my brother was so cool!

 

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5: My day in Boston with Andrea and Andrew

It’s no secret that Andrea and Andrew are my best friends, and we hang out a lot in Boston, since that is where college is, but on this particular day, it was extra special. Andrew was in 150 as an OL, but he had this day off, and so did Andrea and I, so we went in and just had a great day. We didn’t have a plan, but we never need one. We walked, we talked, we had coffee, we ate pizza, we went to the Lawn on D. Life is always just so fun with Andrea and Andrew and I hope we are friends for a long time!

 

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4: The night on the Cape with Ben and Bruce

It’s always fun to hang out with people I have known your entire life, I never have to explain myself, or pretend to be anything I’m not, because they just don’t care. This night was a planned photo shoot with Ben, but Bruce tagged along, and we had a blast. Most of the night was driving to Sandwich and back, but it was just simple. It was so fun to be on the beach at night with two of my best friends, and take pictures. We laughed and then we decided to go out to dinner at a “hole in the wall restaurant” because the cape is full of those. But, when we googled hole in the wall restaurant, we chose the Fisherman’s View, and it was definitely not hole in the wall. It was packed, first of all, but also so fancy. But, we figured we were already there, so we couldn’t back out. It was a great night! I’m glad I have my brother and Ben in my life!

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3: Martha’s Vineyard with Mom!

Yes, I have lived in Massachusetts my whole life and this summer was my first time at Martha’s Vineyard. I loved it! So relaxing! So pretty! Next I need to go to Nantucket, I have never been there either!! I am so glad to have Mom in my life as my travel buddy, we travel so well together, and we had a blast exploring the island, and also just enjoying each other. I can’t wait to go back and live the island life again!

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2: Philadelphia with Mom!

Another city I love! I’m pretty sure I love all cities! Philly was so cool, it was so hot, but also really fun and laid back and cool to explore all that the city has to offer. Again, I was with Mom, and we had a blast, from the Museum of Art, to Penn’s Landing, to the Museum of the American Revolution, to swimming in our rooftop pool! I loved it there! I can’t wait to go back to Philly some day!

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1: PAGEANT WEEKEND

I’m sure you could have guessed that this would have been my top of my whole summer! I just love NAM and I love pageants and I loved this weekend because I crowned my successor, but also helped girls of all ages to believe in themselves and I will be forever indebted to NAM for everything they have done for me, including giving my my favorite weekend of the entire summer!

 

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I hope you had a memorable, adventurous summer too! Now, Senior Year, LET’S GO!

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A Thank you to National American Miss

Dear, National American Miss,

I have to be honest here for a minute. I have put off writing this post. And the reason for it is because I know that once I do, the clock is ticking, and the end is really coming, and this chapter of my life will really be over.

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My first pageant with N.A.M. Look how young I was!

Now, you must know that I am not a very emotional person. I get sad, or angry, but it passes quickly. I haven’t cried in two years. I just don’t get sad enough to cry. But, I really think I will cry on July 23rd. Why, you ask? Because July 23rd is the day my journey with National American Miss is really over. There will be no more state pageants, no more chances to win, no more fabulous girls to meet, no more amazing experiences on stage feeling empowered and fabulous. By the end of the day on July 23rd, it will be over. Forever. So, yeah, I’m probably going to cry.

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My 3rd year! I came in the top ten at this pageant!

My first pageant was 6 years ago. And from that first moment I was hooked. I mean, I just loved every minute of it. I loved the friendships and the support I felt from everyone connected with N.A.M. I didn’t win my first year, not my second year, or even my third year. But, it wasn’t the crown and banner that mattered to me anyways. I wanted to be poised and classy and confident and I wanted to be able to walk out on stage in front of a crowd of people who have no idea who I am and introduce myself. And thanks to National American Miss, I am able to do that now. And I love it.

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All the school supplies I connected for Schools on Wheels!

The crown and banner was always my goal, but each year I set new goals, like to win a optional contest, which I did, I won Spokes-model and Top Model. I wanted people to recognize me for my personality. I wanted to feel less nervous walking into the interview and I wanted to know that it wasn’t the crown and banner that mattered, I can make a difference without them, everyone can.

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Volunteering with Alex’s Lemonade Stand

But, that didn’t mean I was going to give up. National American Miss is the best pageant system, and I really wanted to represent them and all that they stand for, even if it was just for a year. So finally, on my 4th year, I won. I won National American Miss Massachusetts 2017, and it has been the best year of my life.

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I traveled to L.A. where I competed for the National Title. I saw Disneyland. I met girls from every state. At Nationals I won Miss Personality and Miss Spirit. I was honored! And when Jordan won the National Title, all of us were in the audience cheering her on, because there was no one more deserving than her. That is a feeling I never want to forget. We were all just so happy for her!

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NATIONALS!

I promoted my project, the Stay Unique, Stay Different Campaign. I volunteered at events like the Boston Children’s Hospital, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Christopher’s Haven. I had a school supply drive with Schools on Wheels. I even spent my entire spring break volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. I spent more hours with children than with people my own age, because I love to inspire them to never give up on what they wish for. I even was blessed enough to be in the Stoughton 4th of July parade, which was magical.

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I miss my sisters!!

I can’t believe that in 13 days my journey with N.A.M. will be over. I am so thankful for N.A.M. for teaching me that it’s not the crown and banner that matter, it’s who you are, and what you do with your life. I don’t need a crown and banner to help others, and neither do you. NAM taught me that the journey is greater than the reward, and God’s plan is never wrong, everyone has their time to shine, I know that now.

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Miss Spirit and Miss Personality at Nationals!
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My best friend Lexie!

 

I hope that everyone in the world never loses sight of what sets their soul on fire. I will be right there cheering you on.

Love, your 2017 National American Miss Massachusetts,

Elizabeth Hadley

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Nathan

For those of you who know me well, know there are few things in the world I love more than Nathan. Who is Nathan you may ask? Why, Nathan Scott of course, from my all time favorite television show, One Tree Hill. But, he is also my bear. My larger than life, boyfriend, best friend, therapist and back seat driver. That is who Nathan is.

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I got Nathan a few years ago from my friend Emma. Her boyfriend gave it to her as a gift, but then, they broke up, so I took it. He is much too large for my house, so I decided to put him in my car and buckle him up. He stays there a lot, but he also hangs by the pool with me, we watch One Tree Hill together, and we cuddle. We listen to music and we go for walks. we play basketball and jam out to music!

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He goes to dance, even the students at the studio I teach at know who he is. They even say to me that they know that I am there or not by seeing Nathan in the parking lot. He goes on my road trips with my friends and me. He is a star in my snap chats and Insta-Stories. He even got to be in my dance pictures with me! And he is just so darn adorable!

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Now, before you get too worried about me, I know Nathan isn’t real. I know the character on the show is just that, a character. But, I so badly in my heart want there to be a real live Nathan, someone who treats me the way that Nathan treats Haley in the show. I so badly want that to be true. And, I created him in my bear. I know that he is just a bear, but he makes me happy when I get up at 5 to go to work and see him in my backseat always smiling at me. He makes me happy when the heat won’t work, or when I roll the windows down and we just drive jamming out to the radio. I love when I drive by people and they see him and wonder what is wrong with me. They probably wonder how I ever got my license?

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The thing about Nathan is that he makes people happy. He makes people laugh with how ridiculous he is, and how large he is. He makes people smile when they see him chilling in the front yard. And, that’s all I want to do in life, make people happy. But, I will always be searching for my real life Nathan, just like Haley and Nathan in One Tree Hill.

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Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

I’m convinced that Mom’s are one of this world’s greatest creations. They are literally some of the only people in the world who care about their children more than anything else in the whole world. They basically do everything for their children up until about age 10, and then they start giving them more independence, but they still worry. I am a 21 year old woman, and getting a text from my mom telling me good luck on my test, or have a great day makes my heart swell. Since, today is Mother’s Day, I thought it was the perfect time to dedicate this post to my own Mother, Lisa Joye Hadley.

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My mom is my best friend, hands down. I don’t know where I would be without her. Probably in a ditch somewhere crying, or in my bed wondering what to do with my life. Every bad day I have, every time I think I could have done better on something, or every time I just want someone to make my day a little brighter, Mom is there. I call her and she just knows what to say. Sometimes I wonder what I did to be so lucky to have her as my mom, and I hope she knows how much she means to me.

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My mom is so unique. She is so hardworking, and incredibly talented with what she does. When my brother and I were little she gave up her dreams for a while to raise us, but once we were older, she went right back to them and now she works even harder. My mom is up before me most mornings (and I get up early). My mom is my favorite travel buddy, because when we go somewhere new, we just want to explore everything that there is to offer, and enjoy our time. My mom is a deep thinker, and she makes me realize how little I know about the world. My mom is strong and smart and beautiful, and she makes others feel beautiful. She has done so much for me, and I love her more than anything. I hope I’m like her when I’m a mom.

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I want my mom to be my maid of honor, and I think she will be. There is no one else in the world I would want to be beside me. I love my mom and I hope she knows how much I love her, even if I sometimes can be a little impatient or rude. I love you mom, I hope you have a great Mother’s Day!

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Cities

pexels-photo-275606.jpegIf you read my page titled “My Favorite Things,” you would see Cities is up there under my list of 10 favorite things. Nothing will ever top Bread, but Cities is up there.

 

I love love cities. There are a lot of reasons why, and for a long time I was totally OK with saying I loved cities, but never really declaring why. But in September 2015, I started spending more and more time in cities, and I started to realize and narrow down why it is that I have always and will forever be passionate about cities.

 

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Beautiful night in Boston!

 

I grew up in a small town, Easton MA to be precise. It’s your typical small town, so I won’t say anything else about it. But, my Mom always took me and my brother to Boston all the time to learn and to explore. She took us to NYC a few times as well. And while my brother was sort of indifferent, I thrived there. I never wanted to leave. I loved the energy, the vibe, the amount of people trying to succeed and follow their dreams. I knew that I wanted to go to a city when I went to college, so that is what I did.

 

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Just a typical view on my walk to classes!

 

For a variety of reasons, I lived on campus my freshman year, but then sophomore year I started commuting. I started to become one of the many many many people who came to Boston every day for work, or school. This is when I started to fully understand the culture of this city. Since I had more free time in the city, I started to frequent coffee shops, and libraries, and cute little shops that are original and totally Boston. I would walk through the common or the Public Garden because sometimes I just couldn’t sit in the Suffolk buildings anymore.

 

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My friend and I out for a walk in the Public Garden

 

And now I know why I love cities, I spent all that time exploring and trying to understand exactly what it was that made this city so special. And I know, at least I know why it is so special to me.

 

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Because each morning, the trains start running and the people come flooding in from all directions to their jobs or whatever it is that they are doing. And each morning the coffee shops are swarmed with people from all different directions, and each afternoon the coffee shops are filled with people talking, or reading or working on their laptops. And they each have a different story, a different past, and even a different future, but they are all the same, they come here to do whatever, but they are just trying to succeed and trying their best to be the best, at whatever it is they love.

 

And in Boston, people aren’t as friendly as they are down south. People don’t talk to each other on the streets unless they previously know each other, they don’t get to know the person behind them in line. But there is a silent feeling of respect that is shared between each person that goes through this city. There is a shared appreciation for each other, without saying a word.

 

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One of my favorite pictures I’ve ever taken in Boston! The pure excitement, even in the air.

 

But now I am at the point where when I go to my favorite Starbucks, they already know my order, and I have friends on my train. I know who will be walking in front of me on the sidewalk by the time it is, and the security guard at my work knows me by name.

 

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Yes, I really did take this picture

 

Boston is a mixture of college students and working people, tourists and residents, homeless people and people who just come for the day. And each year, on that day when the meteorologists say that it is going to be 70 and sunny, with no breeze, you can count on everyone and their dog coming here to enjoy the well deserved warmth that we have waited so long for. It becomes cold in November and stays cold until the middle of April, but yet, the amount of people living here is rising. And until you experience what it is like to really live in Boston, to really be one of the many people trying to succeed here, and until you recognize how good the sun feels on your face after the months of freezing cold, you won’t be able to understand all that is Boston.

 

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Enjoying the sun in the Common!
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My Obsession with Derek Hough

Who is that on the back of your phone case? Who is that person you met with so many followers? Who is that person you are always retweeting? That and other questions are some of the most common I hear. That person, is not just a person, he is the best, most amazing dancer and person that I have had the luck of meeting not one, not two, but FIVE times! His name is Derek Hough, and yes, I am obsessed with him. And no, I really don’t care what you are going to think about that.

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The Derek Hough during the last Move Live on Tour! When will the next one be? 

I remember the first time I ever saw Derek Hough dance. I was in 11th grade and I went home sick. It was September. I was laying in my bed, bored, with nothing to do. I said “Elizabeth, maybe you should start a new show.” So, Dancing With the Stars it was. He was partnered with Amber Riley that season and they won. What I liked at first glance was that he was really good looking, especially without a shirt on. But, then, I started to notice how nice he was, and how amazing his dances were, and how much he cared about everyone he came into contact with. I started following him and started to become one of his biggest fans! I would get so excited for Monday’s so I could see another one of his masterpieces!

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He took my phone from me and took this selfie during the last Move Live on Tour

Skip to the next March when he and his sister Julianne announced that they were going on a tour, “Move Live on Tour.” They weren’t coming to Boston, but they were coming to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut on June 22nd, 2014 which was the Sunday before my last day of school, so Mom and I went! We had terrible seats, but it didn’t matter. Just being in the same room as him, and seeing him dance in real life, as opposed to all the times I had watched and re watched every dance he ever choreographed. It was a magical night, and I still think about it to this day, and how lucky I was to get to experience it.

Later that July, he tweeted out that he was going on a book tour to publicize his new book that he wrote, and one of his stops on the tour is Mohegan Sun again! This time, I was determined to meet him. August 8th 2014 – we got there two hours early, waited in line, and finally when it got to be time for my turn I was shaking. There was just so much I wanted to tell him, and thank him for, but not enough time. There is still so much I want to tell him, but it’s weird to thank someone who doesn’t know me for teaching me to always think on the bright side, and to always try your absolute hardest at everything. It’s just weird. So I just acted as normal as possible and tried to just enjoy the moment, which is the number one thing I learned from him! Along with always being passionate about whatever it is that I love.

 

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My first time Ever meeting Derek Hough

My senior year of high school I met him again. That year he announced that he was going to be the star of a new show at Radio City Music Hall called the Spring Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes! That year was my senior year, and the year I turned 18. My parents are amazing! Just thought I should throw that in there! So, we took a quick trip to NYC to see the show! We were in the second row, and we left about 4 minutes early to go to the stage door! Thank God we did because I got in the front row, and he didn’t have enough time to get to everyone, but he had enough time to get to me, so YAY!! This was probably my least favorite of the meetings, because it was so rushed, but I understand why it had to be, it was on the sidewalk in NYC, and he had to move it along!

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Here we are in NYC outside the Stage Door! 

That July, I went to his and Julianne’s second Move Live on Tour, and this one they came to Boston! I guess they finally figured out that they had a lot of fans in Boston and it was worth it to come! I went with my friend Emma to that one, and we waited at the stage door after the show was over, and this time I met Julianne for the first time! Derek came out that night, but we had to leave because it was getting close to 11:30, sadly. I wish we could have stayed longer, but that’s alright.

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Emma and I meeting Julianne outside the Stage Door! 

My freshman year of college was void of Derek, sadly. He was on Dancing With the Stars and of course I watched, but I didn’t have any fun adventures related to him. Freshman year of college was hard, and Derek wasn’t around much to make it better.

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The Second Move Live on Tour

 

Cut to sophomore year, and that is when things really got exciting! So, Julianne and Derek announced that they were going on Move Live on Tour Part 3 in December, and luckily, I didn’t have school that day. So, I was on my laptop ready and determined to get VIP tickets. I know that they were 500 dollars, but I just wanted to go to the meet and greet and go to the Q and A and I just wanted that experience. I wanted the full, magical night that is the Hough siblings.

That May 5th was the tour at the Wang Theater in Boston, and my mother and father and I had tickets for the second row. The first row was 1,000 dollars, so we went with the second row.

But, earlier in the tour, Derek posted on his Instagram Story that he was going to have a free day near the Boston tour. Of course, as a loyal devoted fan that I am, I watch every one, and try to remember what he says, in case it comes in handy later. Which it did. I was in the library on May 4th at my college in Boston, and Derek started posting that he was in the Public Garden. If you really want to hear how this story goes down, I encourage you to reach out to me, because it was one of the top 3 days of my life. But, long story short, after 3 hours, I found him outside of the Aquarium and we talked and took a picture, it was just surreal.

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After 3 hours of trying to find him, I finally found him outside the Aquarium! 

The next day was May 5th, which was the day of the tour, and so I waited all day and then when it came time for my picture, he remembered me! I was so excited that he remembered me from the day before and we did a really hilarious picture! (See below) I’m not sure why my mother got cut off when I was inserting this, but she was there.

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This picture got a huge reaction from everyone else at the Meet and Greet!

That night was amazing. The passion, the pure talent, and the fun that they have on stage is just so irreplaceable and I hope someday to be able to inspire people to just have fun, and to smile, and to be the best at whatever it is that they do, because life is just really not that long. I wish I could have more experiences with Derek, like maybe dance with him, or just tell him all that he means to me. I know that him and I will never be friends, or we will never be dating, but I will be forever indebted to him for everything that he has taught me, and all that he has helped me to do, and in all the days of my life when I needed him, he was there. I know we will see each other again! Thank you Derek. Just, Thank you.