“Abstinence is the great strengthener and clearer of reason.”

-Robert South

A little over a year ago I made a vow to save myself until marriage. Now, don’t get carried away, I wasn’t out here wylin’. I’ve always been very conservative, but I just made a decision that regardless abstaining from sex was something I really wanted to do. I feel that it aligns with my morals and values, and I don’t truly believe you can have a successful relationship when you’ve already committed an act that was meant to be the ultimate expression of true love. Jumping into sex before you’ve laid groundwork and built a foundation is the basis for relationship destruction in many cases. I don’t think my generation realizes what we’ve taught ourselves. I don’t think we realize that we’ve taken something that is supposed to and meant to be sacred and dissolved it into something meaningless. We’ve changed the whole purpose and definition.

I have so many friends that come to me crying, even myself at times have found myself crying, over having partaken and later not understanding why the feelings didn’t follow. No, not everyone is perfect, but I for one don’t ever wish to feel that again. I was raised as a Baptist-Christian, and like I said no one is perfect, so I have slipped, but I always found myself regretting it. I wasn’t raised that way. I was raised to believe that sex comes with love and marriage and is something God expects us to hold in such a light. Without love you negate and belittle everything that sex is supposed to be: beautiful. I look around and see girls crying, tweeting, revenge posting just to try and get the attention of someone that no longer cares. They gave themselves to someone that only really wanted one thing from them and now that person doesn’t even respect them enough to continue communication.

We, as women, have ruined the sanctity of relationships by teaching men that they don’t have to try. Some women say, well if men can do it then women should be able to do it too, and to this I say, “NO ONE SHOULD BE DOING IT.” Men shouldn’t be sleeping around with random women, and women shouldn’t be out there sleeping around with random men. Now, if you’re not religious then just disregard all of this, because you may not follow the same moral code of beliefs, which is totally fine! But if you are religious then you can’t pick and choose when you want to be Christian. You can’t say, “Oh today I want to go have sex, so I just don’t believe in Christianity for this moment, but I’ll be back soon.” Like I said, not everyone is perfect, but people are really out here preaching the gospel and purposefully neglecting it’s teachings in his or her own life. Can. Not. Fade. It.

Through this past year I’ve learned so much about my generation and the way relationships work now. Guys have so much access to sex they don’t even remember what it’s like to have to try. They don’t even understand what it means to work at something. I’ve had guys really like me, but refuse to be with me because I won’t have sex with them. This is a glaring expression of immaturity, and I don’t mean that in the “I should just go for older guys” sense. This form of immaturity spans across age ranges. We live in a world of instant gratification. “I like you and therefore you should have sex with me, and if you don’t I like ‘Sarah’ too and she will have sex with me. So what’s it gonna be Alexis?” I choose me every time. Have fun with ‘Sarah’. I haven’t lost faith though. I haven’t lost the belief that I’m doing the right thing and that one day I will find someone that truly loves and respects me for that. This experience has also re-taught me to love myself. Not that I didn’t love myself before, but I’m also constantly changing and evolving. The person I am now isn’t even close to the person I was last year, the year before that, and God knows not the same person from early-college/late-high school and earlier. I have relearned who I am now, what matters to me, where I want to go, who I want to surround myself with, and what I will no longer tolerate from people.

My 23rd birthday was on August 6th and my mom asked me if I felt older this year, and for the first time ever I said yes. Reflecting on myself I was able to consciously understand that I am different. My mindset is more mature. My responsibilities and goals are very real. A lot of the people I used to relate to I now barely even understand. I don’t act the same or think the same. For the first time in my short 23 years I understood that I am an adult. I’m not a little kid anymore. I was really sad, but I was also really really proud of myself, because even understanding that a large part of my youth is gone I now understand more so than ever who I am. I don’t feel lost at all. I don’t feel panicked or anxious. I know what I want. I know where I want to go and how I plan to get there. I have back-up plans if my original designs aren’t to God’s liking. I’m me. And for the first time in my life, that’s enough.

For anyone looking to take the steps I’ve taken, have any questions about how I got here or what my journey has been like don’t hesitate to ask! Never be ashamed of where you are, but be present that there is always better. Understand that you are perfect exactly as you are, but still possess immeasurable room to grow. We are constantly learning and relearning who we are, where we’re going, and what we want to be. And when you feel like you’ve finally found peace, be grateful of every moment, every person that’s stood by your side, and most of all Be You.!

My only goal is to make a difference, increase self-acceptance and self-esteem in youth to young adults. Being young is hard, trying to find your way is even harder, and with today's culture being yourself has become a fuzzy concept. Join me as I navigate my way through, fashion, fitness, and the overall struggles of growing up. Wear what you want. Do what you want. Be Different. And NEVER be afraid to 'Be You.™'.

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