By Kate, age 18, California

Ever since I saw those commercials for Staples I have been searching for the "easy button". In every situation, in every frustrating moment my mind searches high and low for some sort of relief. Sometimes I get so caught up in a whole lot of little nothings that I wish I could reach in to the television screen, grab that easy button from one of those highly overpaid commercial actors, and press it for myself. I just want to see what it would be like to have a day when worries are thrown out the window and everything comes - you guessed it - easy.

As always, reality arrives every morning, whether we like it or not. We can spend an entire day fantasizing about sweet nothings, but we all know that when we lay our heads on the cool side of the pillow it will eventually become warm. It's life. It's reality. And frankly, it sucks. But if we spend so much time feeling sorry for ourselves and searching for unrealistic commercial props, how can we make our lives realistically better?

I'm pretty proudly positive that we have all heard the phrases "Get real" and "Snap back into reality". However, what is really the real reality of life? (Say that three times fast.) Is it the number of odd jobs we hold while attempting to survive college life? Is it the pregnancy test with a little pink plus sign, just in time for our 15th birthday? Or is it the contemplating that occurs when our lifeless marriage questions our sanity? Everyone on this magnificent sphere has had their own version of reality. In the end, however, it's not the number of experiences we define as real, for experiences are only temporary. Yes, experiences are crucial to the development of our being, and with every experience, whether it be positive or negative, we program it into our brain like a tiny microchip. But, at the end of the day, at the end of it all, when it's our time to look back on life, we really look back on what made us feel real. We look back on the times, even the unrealistic times, and smile, because even though we knew damn well we mostly attempted to live out our fantasies instead of living out our practicalities, we still found happiness in what may have never come to be.

So I think what I have learned from my early morning self-discovery is the reality that reality doesn't really exist. It's what you make it to be. If you choose your reality to be something that's completely 'textbook' unrealistic, but it makes you feel blissfully and realistically happy, then roll with it. You define you and your experiences. You make yourself real. So, in a confused conclusion, I say, "Damned if it's not, damned if it's real; life is what you make it, life is what you feel."

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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