How to Grow Up
Subtitle: Mary, I don't have all of the answers, but I will always be there to share what I do have.
On Saturday my baby sister graduates high school. My BABY sister. I was 15 when she came into this world, 15 and sleeping on a bean bag chair in the kids and teen waiting room of St. Mary's Hospital. I never thought I'd have a sister and then all of a sudden there she was, in my life, right before I graduated high school myself and left home, only two years later.
This list Mary, is for you...
1. Be proud of who you are, no matter who that is.
Your worst enemy in life is self-doubt, and it effects everyone.
But as long as you try your best, always be your best and do what is right,
in the end you will be able to say that you were someone you were proud of and
that everyone else was proud of as well.
I am proud of you.
2. Work hard. Work so hard your head aches, your heart burns and
you can’t take it anymore. Because you can. As long as there is
breath in your lungs, you can go on.
The payout is worth it.
3. Do what is right, even if it's not popular, or easy for that matter.
I have learned that this applies to adult life as well.
Because sometimes you're the only one standing up for the little guy,
but don’t relent. The little guy needs you and fate has put you there
to be there with him.
Be his hero.
4. There is no such thing as failure as long as you tried and are happy.
Sure, your cousin may become a high powered attorney and you
decide to stay at home with your kids. Our society bases success
on the wrong things, because really and truly, if you're happy and
you have done your best, you have succeeded.
Anyone that says otherwise is just jealous.
5. Stand on your own two feet. While we all want to find that special
person in life, finding that person should not be your entire life’s goal,
because if you can’t make your way through this life alone you're not going to
be a fair partner to your soulmate, and they shouldn’t have to carry you.
You need to love yourself first before you can love someone else.
6. Life is short and precious. Because we don’t know the end game,
we don’t know the time clock on our lives. Live every single day as if
it could be your last, not recklessly, but joyously. Wake up, even if
you are dead tired, and be thankful that you are awake, that you are healthy and able.
7. Care about others, even if they don’t care about you.
Beliefs, opinions, everything aside, we have to live on
this planet with those very people. Some of them are awful,
selfish, terrible, but they’re still people. And kindness pays
forward. If five people just got one person each to care a day, could you imagine what could happen? You learned about it in school, it's called a geometric pattern :P
And caring people make sure that no one starves.
Caring people make sure no one is hurting.
Caring people don’t make war.
8. You are never alone. No matter how hard life gets,
there is always someone that loves you. It might be a friend,
a relative, or a teacher, but never for one second think that
you are in this by yourself.
Because you’re not.
We love you.
And we always will.
10. Take care of yourself, mentally and physically.
Not only will this help you feel better about yourself,
but will help you in the long run. Your overall health is
one of the most precious things that you have and you
shouldn’t take advantage of it by stuffing down a box of
Ho-Ho’s or taking up smoking. Because somewhere out there,
someone is praying that they can just breathe one more day or
that their heart won’t give out.
Honor them by taking care of yours.
11. Have a hobby. A silly hobby. Because no matter how
great your life is, everyone needs an escape once in a while.
Run, dance, sing, write, play a sport, take a pottery class,
do something by yourself that is uniquely you. Sometimes in
life you lose yourself and this is one way to hang on.
12. Make a bucket list. You don’t need to be dying,
but start a running list of things you want to do with your life,
places you want to see, people that you want to meet.
When we are working or in school, we make lists all of the time,
and nothing quite compares with the feeling of scratching something
off of your list, except for maybe doing that list item itself.
13. Shoot for the stars, however far you may have set them.
You may never make it there, but half of the adventure in life is the journey.
And you never really know until you try.
14. See the world. Human beings have been doing amazing things
on this planet for thousands of years. Travel, and take time to
appreciate every temple and ruin, every butterfly and bee and
every color of person on this planet.
15. Have one good friend. Friends and acquaintances
will come and go, but having one good friend, just one,
can make all of the difference. It doesn’t matter who they
are or how you meet, just never forget them and they will never forget you.
16. Recognize your faults. No one is perfect, no one.
Knowing your faults can help you fix them, if they are fixable,
or can help you be a better person knowing your limitations.
People who know faults are the truest people.
17. Trust your heart but listen to your head. Your heart will
guide you to what is right, but you head will insure that
you do not do anything foolish. It takes a combination
of the two in order to survive this world.
18. Know who your real friends are. They are NOT on Facebook.
They are NOT the people you met at a mixer. You true friends, no matter how you met them, are going to be the ones that come running when your world is falling apart,
and never mention again later that they came.
19. Know who you are. Make sure you have a clear understanding
as to who that person is that looks back at you in the mirror.
And be true to them. Don’t change to satisfy others,
just know them, love them and accept them.
20. Your world will fall apart. Maybe more than once.
Don’t give up hope, because sometimes hope is all
that it takes to survive. Hang on, look forward and
know that as long as you are breathing you will make it through.
And when you need me, I will be there to help you pick up the pieces.
I love you Mary, so much, and I am so honored to be your sister.