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30 New Year Resolutions 20-somethings Should Make

30 New Year Resolutions 20-somethings Should Make

The new year has already started, but it’s not too late to make some resolutions. Our 20’s are the years during which we learn the most about ourselves, and really develop into who we will be in the future. It’s a time to make mistakes, learn from them, and move into being the person we want to be. In that spirit, we have compiled a list of 30 resolutions all 20-somethings should embrace in 2015.

1. Finish what you start

Often times life gets so busy that we don’t finish something we start, or maybe we just become uninterested in it. Either way, it’s extremely important to follow through with whatever you start. If you don’t think you can finish something, or just aren’t interested, then don’t agree to start it. Finishing a project or even making a deadline will give you a feeling of accomplishment. Finishing what you start will turn into a habit, and it’s a good one to have. Start with following through on your new year’s resolutions.

2. Learn to make your own decisions

You’re in your 20’s now, you’re an adult. It’s time to start making decisions for yourself. It’s nice to have mom and dad’s advice of course, but in the end it’s your life. You will make decisions that turn out great, and you will make some that don’t go so well. But that’s what life is all about. At the end of the day it’s your life, and you will be happier with decisions you know you had full control over.

3. Focus on being more logical about things

Sometimes we make decisions based solely on emotions. And that’s fine, but being logical will help you make less mistakes. Trust me, there’s nothing wrong with being emotional, but not thinking things through logically won’t get you far. Logical decisions are easier to back up when necessary. Being logical also makes you think differently about situations, and might open your eyes to things your emotions would have cut off.

4. Spend more time focusing on your passion

We only have this one life, so do what you love. In your 20’s you have more time to focus on you and what you enjoy. Find your passion and make sure you incorporate it into your daily life. You might work at a job you don’t exactly like, but going home and doing something you love can change your whole attitude. If you don’t focus on a passion of yours, life can seem more routine than you might like, and no one likes to get stuck in a funk.

5. Follow your dream – If not now, then when?

If you have a dream, then go after it. A lot of people have dreams they wish they would have chased after, but never thought they could achieve. You don’t know what you don’t try. Your 20’s are a time of living and learning. What better time to chase something you have always had your eye on then? It’s not so much that you can’t follow a dream when you’re older, but you might regret not trying it sooner. If it doesn’t work out, you still have plenty of time to try something else.

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6. Spend less time focusing on unimportant things

It’s easy to get caught up in the drama of your friends, family, or even the world. Try to focus less on those things, and more on the important things in your life. This will help get rid of the things that no longer matter, and make some room for the things that do. If it’s not important to you, then what are you doing spending so much time on it anyways?

7. Spend more time with family

As a teenager, your family can fade to the background, and your friends can seem to be the most important people you know. That all ends in your 20’s. You come to the realization that your family will always be there for you no matter what. You have probably found this to not be so true of some of your friends, though. Spending more time with your family will bring you greater enjoyment than you previously could have thought. Enjoy them while you can.

8. Weed out the people who don’t need to be in your life

Another thing that changes in your 20’s is the company you keep. Start to get rid of the toxic people, and only keep the ones who enhance your life. Life is too short to not enjoy the time you spend with others. Why waste your time with people who bring you down?

9. Focus on being honest

Let’s be real for a second here, lying gets you nowhere. Focus on being a better you in 2015 by being more honest. Not only with others, but with yourself as well. You might not always get what you want with being honest, but you won’t feel bad about it. Make this one a priority, and as soon as you do, you can achieve more than you ever thought.

10. Get into shape

In your 20’s your metabolism will start to change. You can no longer not work out, and still keep your figure. The good old days of eating whatever you want and not seeing a difference in your body are going out the window. If you don’t start to get in shape now, it will only get harder. Develop a habit of being more physically active now, and reap the benefits for the rest of your life.

11. Start to change your eating habits

Getting healthy isn’t easy for everyone, but it’s definitely worth it. Once you start to eat healthier you will be amazed by how it makes you feel. You will feel better about yourself, and your body will start to feel better as well. Along with eating better, drink more water. This will go a long way with your skin and body as well. Changing your eating habits in your 20’s will help you stay healthy in the future. It might get hard, but don’t give up.

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12. Focus on keeping your mind healthy

This is a lot like getting in shape. Your mind is just as important as your body. Today there are plenty of apps that you can get on your phone to help exercise your brain. Those are great, but don’t forget about the old fashioned way as well – books. Start reading again in your 20’s and keep your imagination strong. Cut out some of that television time, and read. You might even find it to be a nice escape from your crazy world.

13. Be more independent

At some point in your 20’s, hopefully you will move out of your parents’ home and start to fend for yourself. Being more independent can be a scary change, but there is no better way to figure out who you are. Start doing things for yourself this year. And this includes not depending on others for your own happiness.

14. Spend more time alone

In your 20’s you go through some weird stages of trying to figure out who you are. It can be hard to figure out the answer to that question when you are constantly with a friend, a significant other, or family. So give yourself some time to really be alone, and enjoy it. Figure out the things you like, and the things you don’t like. What makes you happy, and what makes you tick. Being alone will ensure that no one else influences your thoughts. Dig deep enough, and you might just find out who it is that you want to become.

15. Work on building your self-confidence

You’re coming into your own in your 20’s, and that can cause some doubt in yourself. Things might not have gone how you had hoped, but don’t let that get you down. No matter what someone else thinks, you’re amazing. Having confidence in yourself will help you in your job, your relationships, and your sense of self. Stop being worried about what others think about you, and start realizing what you have to offer the world.

16. Stay up-to-date on current events

Remember in high school when you had to present a current even to the rest of the class? That was a long time ago, but we all remember how much we hated it. However, in your 20’s it’s more important than ever to be up on what’s going on around the world. Staying up to date will help you be more informed, and help you make your own decisions about your political views. Plus, it’s nice to actually be able to hold a conversation about what’s going on today.

17. Learn to communicate effectively

Communication goes a long way in all areas of your life. Communicating effectively can help you in your career, and in your relationships. Often times misunderstandings come from communication failures. Once you are able to communicate your thoughts and ideas to those you interact with, you will find that your life gets a lot easier, and those misunderstandings happen less often.

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18. Make meaningful connections

In your 20’s you start to start to realize who your true friends are. Some people you used to talk to all the time will slowly go down different paths than you. And that’s okay! This year, make it a priority to only make meaningful connections that will last. This could be through networking at work, or simply making new connections in personal relationships. At some point in your 20’s you will realize that not everyone is worth knowing, but that there are also some people you couldn’t imagine your life without. Find those people and enjoy what they bring to your life.

19. Only stay in romantic relationships that have potential

When we were younger, we would stay in a romantic relationship because it was fun. We enjoyed that person’s company, or maybe being with them benefited us somehow. Either way, we knew the relationship wasn’t going to materialize into anything more than what it was. In your 20’s, if you don’t see the relationship going any further, then get out. Don’t waste your time on something that isn’t going anywhere. We may still be young, but you don’t want to miss out on something that could have led to finding “the one,” for someone who you knew wouldn’t last. Focus on finding someone that you truly love.

20. BE HAPPY

This resolution can get you further than any of the ones above it, or below it for that matter. If you aren’t happy right now, change that. Your 20’s are some of the best years of your life. You’re more carefree now than you probably ever have been, or ever will be. So don’t waste them being unhappy. I can’t tell you how to be happy, but I can tell you that once you figure it out, your whole life will change. Focus on you and enjoy the little things in life!

21. Believe in yourself

Why would you not believe in yourself– you’re one of a kind! Work on trusting and believing in yourself in 2015. You know yourself better than anyone else, and if you believe in yourself others will follow. If you push yourself you will be able to see how great you truly are.

22. Find a mentor

Your 20’s are full of first time experiences. Mentors are there for you when the going gets tough, or even when you just need some advice. These could be people you admire in your life, or people at work that you look up to. Getting advice about a situation someone else has previously gone through can add value to the situation for yourself. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone.

23. Focus on progress

Your 20’s are a time of change. Focus on the progress you see in yourself and in your work, rather than the failures that might have came along. Each step we take forward is an accomplishment that should be embraced. This year, stop looking back on your past, and start looking toward the future. Let go of the things that you currently allow to hold your back.

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24. Give up a bad habit

We have all heard the line that it’s easier to quit now than it is when you’re older. Your 20’s are a time to let go of any bad habits you might have. This will allow you to be healthier in your future, and yes, it will also be easier now than it will be when you’re older. Smoke? Binge drink? Don’t sleep enough? Snack out of boredom? The list goes on. It’s time to give one of your bad habits up, and start living toward a healthier life.

25. Embrace your quarter-life crisis

Turning 25 this year? It’s absolutely crazy how different the day before your 25th birthday and the day after your 25th birthday can feel. All of a sudden (even though your birthday is nothing new to you) you’re 25 and you don’t have anything to show for it. Thoughts like, what am I doing with my life? Where am I headed? Who am I? Start to run through your mind. It’s okay, it’s normal. There’s just something different about being 25. We feel like real adults now, who need to start thinking about marriage, babies, and our career choices. Whatever it may be, take your freak out in stride and live with it. Maybe you do need to make some changes, but trust me, you’ll live.

26. Realize there are some things you just can’t control

Some parts of your 20’s you feel like you have no control over anything, and other times you feel like you need to have total control over everything. Life just doesn’t work that way. If you are a control person, try to work on understanding that you can’t control everything. Especially when it comes to your work situations. You might be in control of the work you do, but you aren’t in control of your boss, or deciding who your co-workers are. Try to loosen up a little, and not having control won’t seem so bad.

27. Make some time to travel

Again, your 20’s allow for more freedom than many other decades in life. If there is a place you really want to visit, make it happen. If you don’t do it now, you will end up regretting it later. Take some time off work and just go. The experiences you will get from your travels will be well worth it.

28. Don’t feel sorry for yourself

Your life isn’t nearly as as bad as you think it is, and there’s almost always someone out there going through something worse. In your 20’s, your life isn’t typically as problematic as you think. So, start working on solving the problems, rather than dwelling on them. Be a little more selfless and give back to your community. That is a sure way to help you understand that you don’t have it as bad as someone else. If you keep feeling sorry for yourself you will never be able to feel better about yourself.

29. Quit the job you dread going to

If you wake up every morning absolutely hating the fact that you have to go to the hell that you call work, then it’s probably time you start looking for a new job. In your 20’s you’re still new to the career thing. You probably haven’t been anywhere long enough that you feel trapped, but if you do, then you should definitely get out. There probably won’t be another time in your life when you can just quit a job and your whole world won’t blow up. Don’t get stuck doing something that makes you miserable. Find something new and move on.

30. Start saving for your future

I don’t mean you have to put away hundreds of dollars every month, but a little bit can go a long way. In our 20’s we don’t always think about the future, and many people don’t start saving until their 30’s. Starting to put some money aside now will put you in a better position when it really matters.

Featured photo credit: Browse more: bridge, girl, italy, rialto, summer, sunny, veniceTest Drive image Take a look how this image can be used! Girl on Rialto Bridge, Venice, Italy via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

Can a Dysfunctional Family Become Functional?

A dysfunctional family is more than disagreement or constant arguments. Anything from plain neglect, to abuse and even verbal and physical violence is the everyday experience of those who are part of a dysfunctional family.

You know how this looks:

  • Parents constantly comparing children.
  • Siblings in conflict because of tolerated bullying.
  • Domestic violence.
  • Adultery…
  • And many others.

For all the members, this will mean emotional pain and even trauma; which, in case it doesn’t get resolved, will have a detrimental effect on the individual’s personality and development.

Needless to say, the younger members are the most vulnerable, but that doesn’t mean the parents are out of danger, as most commonly the parents play the roles of abuser-codependent, and in some cases, both parts inflicting pain on one another.

Most like to think these problems stem from deep-seated issues, and that therefore it’s pretty much impossible to deal with them.

This is only true for families not willing to do what it takes, for if only a single member is determined and knows how to do it, the whole family can do a lot of progress.

In this article, I’ll break down for you the basic steps of fixing a dysfunctional family. Although it may seem hopeless, it is possible to turn things around.

If you have ever felt in this position, or if you know somebody who is, this article is for you.

How to fix a dysfunctional family

In a few words the solution for a dysfunctional family lies in dropping the ego, focusing on the solution, switching blame for responsibility and doing the work as a unity, for the good of the whole family.

And this will accomplish things you once only saw as a dream.

Dropping the ego? Switching blame for responsibility? Doing the work? What does all this mean?

It’s simple. In a nutshell, it’s that which will allow you to turn a dysfunctional family into a functional one.

Let’s take a look at how exactly this can be done. And near the end we will also talk about what you can do in a dysfunctional family with cynical traits.

Dysfunctional families where not only problems are well-known, but also nobody seems to want a fix or openly decide to perpetuate the harmful behaviors. Such as the case of abuse and physical violence.

There is also a solution for these, it’s just not what you are expecting…

Dysfunctional… Or just average?

Most families are dysfunctional, though at varying degrees of dysfunctionality.

The milder cases, are just marked by “typical” comically-shrouded bullying or lack of interest in other members’ development or wellbeing.

You can know a family is dysfunctional if their interactions are anything different than cooperation, solidarity, care and support. But let’s get more specific…

A dysfunctional family is one in which members directly or indirectly suffer emotional and/or physical harm inflicted by other members of their family. Most commonly, perpetrated by the parents.

Even harmful actions as “passive” as neglect, which is inflicted by inaction rather than action, signifies a dysfunction within the family.

Dysfunctional families have conflicts such as:

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Lack of interest and time spent together
  • Sexism
  • Utilitarianism
  • Lack of empathy
  • Unequal or unfair treatment
  • Disrespect towards boundaries
  • Control Issues
  • Jealousy
  • Verbal and physical abuse
  • Violence and even sexual misconduct or abuse

You may think a dysfunctional family has very little or nothing to do with personal productivity, but you would be wrong in thinking this way…

If a person is not emotionally well, she will not be able to perform as desired, as the emotional harm that has been inflicted will hinder everyday performance in the way of inability to concentrate, lack of mental clarity and low levels of inspiration, motivation and discipline.

Having a functional family does exactly the opposite: It creates productive members with no emotional baggage.

How to turn it around

When you’re part of a dysfunctional family you know it. You can quickly identify in other members the behaviors and conflicts that create the dysfunction.

But just in case you’re having trouble telling functional from dysfunctional I will tell you the following:

One of the easiest ways you can recognize if you are in a dysfunctional family is to survey your won feelings.

We often overlook this, but have you stopped to ask yourself how you feel?

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As cheesy as it may sound it really sheds a lot of light on the subject.

What behaviors, actions and attitudes in your family you wish were better?

Do you think certain behaviors and actions from your family marked you in the past?

Sadly, we cannot go back to the past to correct it. But we can do a lot in the present…

Correction is possible

In order to fix a dysfunctional family, you must start by putting an end to the behaviors and actions that are affecting you.

Verbalize it.

All members of the dysfunctional family have one issue in common: They don’t put a stop to the harm.

Whenever you feel your boundaries being overstepped there is just one single word you have to remember: STOP.

This is the door to a better, more functional family, because after this, comes the fix.

But first you have to identify and make others know where exactly lies the problem.

So go ahead and fearlessly start with “Stop”, followed by your expression of dissatisfaction.

Putting it to work in real life

In real life it would be something like this:

“OK, stop! Every time you belittle me I feel you don’t care. I need attention and respect, and it is your responsibility as my family to provide them to me”

Or:

“Stop. When you compare me with my cousin it hurts, I feel like I don’t matter and that’s not ok. I ask you to stop doing it.

Or:

“Please stop. When you start yelling all respect is lost and it turns into a battle of who can do it louder. Don’t raise your voice and let’s work this out the way humans do”.

As you can see, here you start by putting a stop to the toxic behavior when it arises. And afterwards you verbalize why it’s wrong and what needs of you need to be fulfilled.

This is what you have to remember:

1-Stop.

2-Why it’s wrong?

3-What you need.

And this will also work well in case you need to do it for another family member.

It’s a family thing

A dysfunctional family cannot be fixed by one member alone.

Yes, a single member can initiate progress and be the leader of the change. But in order to completely become functional all members must contribute to the solution.

In other words, you will need cooperation…

So don’t be afraid of asking for it!

Approach your family member and ask to be listened.

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We sometimes feel our needs are “not that important” or we simply believe they won’t listen. But thinking like this would be like being defeated at an unfought battle.

You will be amazed by how much people listen when you voice your needs, especially if it implies showing yourself open, vulnerable and in need.

It’s not a free-for-all battle

In order to get your family to cooperate, first you must fix your individual relationships with every member of the family. Remember: Relationships are always between two people, and two people only.

No matter how complex, the quality of a multi-member relationship (like a family) will always depend on the quality of the individual relationships.

Once you have straightened the relationship with every member of the dysfunctional family you will be able to better communicate with other members and help in the betterment of their individual relationship.

And this is where we will talk about the fix itself. The one I mentioned in the introduction…

The method

1. Drop the ego

Wherever there is conflict there is ego.

You cannot fix a relationship where there is ego, because the ego will want to win. Always. Yours and the other person.

Ego craves control and satisfaction, and in many cases, to establish dominance.

What does this have to do with a dysfunctional family? Everything. Ego will interfere with every plan you have to fix it.

It will make people suborn and defensive. And it will also make them drop responsibility. This is why, the first step is to drop the ego.

After you make sure you are not going to allow your ego to interfere you must work to make the other person do the same. How? By speaking from the heart…

Tell the other person how important all this is to you.

Tell the other person that it’s not a matter of arguing, but just working things out together.

Point out how it is not possible for you to do it alone.

And ask for sincere attention without any desire of opposition, because what you are doing is by no means in the hopes of harming the other person, but just to better the relationship and stop the damage being dealt to you.

You will have to point out the mistakes you need corrected, that’s for sure. And that leads me to the next point…

2. Not blame, but responsibility

When talking about others’ mistakes we often use an accusatory tone. And that’s natural, it’s what things should be like if ego was not present.

But since we are all creatures of ego, this immediately brings the shields up. And then unsheathes the swords…

When we blame others they automatically enter a defensive state, and this only leads to a failed negotiation.

What you need to do is to shift from blame to responsibility. And even that will have to be done carefully!

Instead of telling them off or demanding change or complaining, calmly point what the problem with their behavior is.

As much as this feels contradictory, also make them feel understood. You know how difficult it is to accept a mistake, so just make them feel it’s no big fuzz… which does not mean it’s ok, but it takes tension off.

You will do something like this:

“Hello dad. Can I talk with you for a minute? I really need to tell you something.

I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I know this is something you do care about.

You see, whenever I talk about my accomplishments you mention something else that makes my achievement pale in comparison.

I know you don’t do this intentionally and I know you might have not realized this until now, but I want to let you know this really brings me down.

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It would mean a lot to me if you could stop doing it, and it would help better our relationship, because this has already forced me to distance myself from you. And I don’t want that, I want a good, healthy relationship with you”

What happened here?

We started off with making it something important, something that needs both time and attention. Then we openly show ourselves vulnerable, just as we are.

We also mention why he should listen, and shove our feelings there again, because they are important.

We describe the issue with no attachment and with no hostile intention. It’s just a description.

And then we take the blame off. Just before we assign responsibility without actually saying it.

You are not blaming him directly, but you are pointing out the inevitable fact that his actions are causing a dysfunctionality. He is now responsible for changing.

This is what “switching blame for responsibility” means. What comes next? Doing the work!

3. Doing the work

What would any of this mean if, in the end, nothing changes? Exactly, nothing!

This is why you must follow up with every change that needs to be done.

Do so in a manner that is not hostile. Bring it up in a casual manner, and emphasizing how you both reached an agreement and how that is important to the family.

If the person doesn’t follow up don’t hesitate to bring it up again, and tell them you feel disappointed that your honest try at it was not listened.

It may even be a subject in itself, and therefore the need for another conversation.

“When you go back to old habits it shows that you didn’t really care about what I said. But back in real life you just reinforce how much contempt you show towards me and my feelings.

I talk with you because I care. Because although it would be easier for me to just distance myself from you I rather do my part in nurturing this relationship.

But there is just so much I can do, if you refuse to do your part I can do nothing else.”

You need very clear and positive communication in order to make this work.

Love is all you need

You must remember that in order for a dysfunctional family to become functional, all the work needs to stem from love.

That is the single one requirement for all this to work: Love.

And what happens if it simply is not there?

What happens if, nobody is willing to do what it takes?

What happens if a member of the family refuses to change and is happy with the harm he or she is dealing?

There is only one thing you can do:

To break away.

Let’s be honest, people, especially adults, are very difficult to change.

There is a Jewish proverb that I love, which sums it up like this:

“We spend the rest of our lives trying to unlearn what we learned before we were 7”

If you find it very hard to change the very traits that make your family dysfunctional or if it’s simply impossible, you still have a card up your sleeve…

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Although nobody likes to beak away from family members, we must remember we have a responsibility with ourselves as individuals, before any relationship with anyone.

You have the responsibility of making yourself happy and free. Because you matter as an individual, regardless of any relationships you have, be it family, friendship or romantic.

Putting distance

So in case you are dealing with a family member who is simply unwilling to change take both physical and emotional distance.

What do I mean?

Learn, first, to take their damage in a detached manner.

Don’t let it hurt you further. Instead take a deep breath and distance yourself emotionally.

Don’t be attached to feelings such as “Why doesn’t she love me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” or “If he wasn’t like that my life would be perfect”.

Simply refuse to keep participating in the emotional downward spiral and accept, even if it’s painful” that there is nothing you can do. Accept that even without that relationship you are whole, you are worthy of love and respect.

They are their responsibility and you are yours. So decide what is best for you.

Realize it only comes down to two possibilities:

I keep the relationship and therefore accept the abuse. Or…

I choose my peace of mind.

And don’t let your mind fool you. We often think that since we all are imperfect, we must take the good and the bad behaviors of people. And we are especially forgiving towards our family…

Well, guess what? We are also responsible adults who are aware and must own to their acts. Never excuse abuse or violence or transgression towards you or anybody else.

Choose your happiness and if possible, also distance yourself physically, as it will increase your peace of mind tenfold.

How to prevent it

There are two key concepts you must bear in mind in order to prevent the dysfunctionality of a family:

  • To be completely aware of one’s own mistakes and not allow them to impact others and…
  • To make sure our SO’s are also on the same channel before creating a family (i.e. having children)

Dysfunctional families are the product of irresponsible paternity, for the decades-long unresolved emotional conflict ends up surfacing in the family inevitably, and it will for sure harm those who least deserve it: Innocent children.

You may notice we went from talking about family, to talking about individual relationships, to talking about you. We went from “them” to “us” to “me”.

Why? Because in the end you have the power to fix a dysfunctional family. To correct the mistakes you have in yours and to prevent dysfunctionalities if you don’t have a family but plan to create one.

Priorities and clear thought

You may be part of a dysfunctional family, but that does not mean you are powerless or that you have to suffer the consequences.

You learned today how it’s all a matter of priorities and thinking clearly.

You learned that, if love exists, everything is possible. You learned that even when there is no love and no fix for your dysfunctional family, there are still things you can do. It’s a matter of choosing your peace, because you deserve it.

Everything will be better if you apply this knowledge. If you talk to that problematic family member. If you help them see the harm they are doing. If you make sure they do change and treat you the way you need to be treated…

If you choose yourself over that toxic family member. If you refuse to justify the harm that others can do to yourself. If you realize the most important relationship you have is with yourself.

And lastly, that you also have to be aware of your actions and be open to criticism. Because we might be unknowingly harming others. And that would be us creating a dysfunctionality. Don’t allow it to happen.

Dysfunctional families are not impossible to fix. It just takes love, cooperation and responsibility.

But if you tried and those elements are not present, just choose yourself instead.

Featured photo credit: Xavier Mouton Photographie via unsplash.com

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