Yesterday was my Birthday. That day 22 years ago I came into this world. I thank God for this. I thank my parents who were open to life. To Celebrate I want to explain 22 Lessons for these 22 years
Lesson 1: I might very well be the stereotypical youngest child.
Ok so I am the youngest of five. I always like to say I defy the stereotype of the "spoiled youngest child". In some ways, I do defy the stereotype. But in many ways I have gotten to do things my siblings did not get to do. I went to Ireland in high school while this was partially due to what I chose to be involved in my parents did give up much to fundraise so I and they could go to Ireland. I have had the most time with our parents. This has been good in many ways. I have been able to learn more about them and ask questions. In general they have been freer while as I have gotten older. But in the end, It doesn't matter if I fit the stereotype because it is not my identity in the end.
Lesson 2: Sometimes Dreams are Just Dreams
From a young age I desired to be a dancer, but I am not going to college for it and I am not going on any dance tours anytime soon. Though I did do one year of ballet lessons in the second grade, I wasn't able to continue after that. I tried getting back into dance a few times. But as life goes sometimes you can't do everything. Eventually i let go of doing professional dancer I still love to dance. I can't think of a wedding especially family wedding where dancing isn't a thing. So while the dream of professional dance died I will love to dance and will always love to dance. You don't have to make a hobby your job to love it.
Lesson 3: Plan Ahead
So I am not a planner by nature. This is ironic since it makes me less anxious when I actually plan ahead. This at least for the younger me is also the "don't tell mom you have a hole in your shoes the night before a trip" lesson. The story is right before I believe it was the trip to go to D.C. for the 100th anniversary for the Girl Scouts I told my mom that I had holes in my sneakers. Naturally, then we had. to run out to Kohl's or the like to buy new ones. The other part of this is that I often try to keep a list of all my duties in my head. Pro don't do that. It really doesn't work. Or at least for me it doesn't because I always forget something.
Lesson 4: Don't take things personally/Everything literally
I am still working on this one. I am getting better. I often take things personally that I shouldn't. I am quite a literal person due to dyspraxia. I also feel deeply so the taking things personally comes somewhat naturally. But not everything is personal and sometimes I take even the broadest statements personally when I know they don't apply to me.
Lesson 5: NIcknames can grow on you
I don't know why but for some reason my older brother Stephen called me Pickles when I was younger. Actually he still calls me it from time to time. I despised the nickname at first. Then my elder sister, Samantha shortened it to Pix and I didn't mind it as much. I have grown to like. But I still have a question where the heck did Stephen come up with the nickname "Pickles"?
Lesson 6: If you make up a game, some may take advantage of the rules
When I was young my sister had this thing called the Fun Bud Club. All my siblings and a lot of my cousins (primarily on my father's side) were in on it. It did keep the younger ones busy. It was basically something where you would do tasks to earn points to win prizes. Of course some used it as loop hole to be served (you know who you are). Of course as I saw Sam as the Primary Awarder of points I would always ask her and most of the time she would say no. It was fun while it lasted but we all grew up and grew out of it.
Lesson 7: I am quite gullible
Another thing I don't like to admit. Though I would gullible yet skeptical because I sometime stop myself and consider if it could be true. This has to some extent lessened with age. The funniest moment was when my Uncle Vinney tried to convince me he was superman. I didn't go for it. To prove it he picked me up. How would this prove it? While he had large muscles likely from his being a Marine.
Lesson 8: Never Tell A Teenage Boy Whom You Like
Honestly, this was just because I perhaps don't always think before I speak. In the seventh grade, I told a male classmate whom I liked. Naturally, this boy told the whole grade. I was naturally embarrassed. But hey you live and you learn right.
Lesson 9: Big Families Rock
Now here is my family:
So Technically this is has my brother-in-law, Matt's family, my sister and bother-in-law's friends, and my family's family friends in it. Otherwise this is my entire family extended included. Both parents are 1 of 9 (7th of 9 and 8th of 9 respectively). This means lots and lots of birthdays and wedding anniversary's to remember. But it also means lots and lots of love and laughs. Later in the night this particular night for instance one of my brothers would appear in a gorilla suit and 'steal' my sister Sam from Matt. It's a movie reference but also a tradition of sorts in my immediate family as my uncle Paul did the same at my parents wedding.
Lesson 10: Colors can also grow on you
Honesty time I was highly against pink for a long time. I am not quite sure why. However, now though it's not my favorite color I genuinely like it. Perhaps I didn't want to appear to girly when I was little. I guess that's ok however, why is it a bad thing to appear girly I am in fact a girt?
Lesson 11: Youth Group Can Lead to Non-Faith Related Obsessions
I was fairly involved in my church's youth group as a tween and teenager. I liked a lot. It was a time to hang out with friends. There was one particular time that one of the adults who helped with it made homemade scones. This person was not British but had been in the military at one time and learned how to make them through it. It was the first time I ever had scones and the first time I had tea. Thus, my obsession with tea and scones was born. I do not drink coffee and never got into it really (only Starbuck which may not really count as coffee). I think this experience is why. I don't mind generally speaking tea is less caffeinated than coffee.
Lesson 12: Neatness is a Habit
I am not by nature a neat person. I more live in organized chaos. This meant my sister, Veronica had to often step over the pile of clothes on my side of the room when we shared a room as kids. I have gotten better bit by bit. What really helped was discovering the power of putting things away right away though I still struggle with that. But as this less states neatness is a habit.
Lesson 13: God Gives you Gifts...Use Them
I truly believe that God gives talents as gifts. Each is given his or her own talent to bless the world. Sometimes you won't be told directly what the are. It may be a compliment on something you made or something you did that tells you you're talent. In my case, taking a career inventory told me my primary gift. The career counselor came out and said that I should be writing at that very moment back in 2017 but it took me until 2018 to actually submit a piece of work somewhere. I think sometimes we ignore things because of laziness or fear perhaps I did at the time. But now I want to write as much as I can. God gave this talent might as well use it to bring glory to his name.
Lesson 14: All is Fair in Love and ....Mario Party
For years my siblings and I played Mario Party on Christmas Eve. The game was always tense. I rarely won. I believe I generally came in last. It a team mini game came in last you probably didn't want to be my partner because I always messed up the buttons on the controller. But once in a great while My team would win even if wasn't overall champion. Those games are some of my Favorite memories.
Lesson 15: Mother Knows Best...Or at She Thinks She Does
I honestly can say that for the most part my mother generally knows best. She's been "smarter" than doctors at times. She is also really good at calling me out when I need to do better. Which is probably why I deny that she is right sometimes. Also, I can't blame her for mothering sometimes because mothers always worry about their children.
Lesson 16: Movies are Quotable for a Reason
I love movies. I haven't been to a theatre in a while but in general I love movies. I love quoting them too. In my humble opinion some of the most quotable movies are:
The Princess Bride
It's a Wonderful Life
She's the Man
Now these are only the first ones that come to mind they aren't necessarily in my top five or even my top ten most quotable (except one and two). One of my favorite lines in all of movie history honestly is when Iron Man says "Are we going to address that Cap just said 'language". It's from one of the Avengers films I laughed so hard when I heard it. Also I may have not gotten it perfectly right.
Lesson 17: It may be Called Victim but it's more accurately Survivor
I was bullied a lot throughout childhood. For a long time I saw myself as a victim of this bullying. Yet it didn't necessarily break me. So in many ways I am more of a survivor. I could have chosen to completely shut down. I could have let particularly the elementary and middle school bullying not allow me to make friends with my first high school friend, but I didn't. I still struggle with people pleasing perhaps because of the bullying but overall I have moved forward from it.
Lesson 18: I have No Taste Buds
This is obvious hyperbole. I do have tastes buds but I will at least try most things. As this is so, my sister, Veronica often quips that I have no taste buds. I have tried things from all around the world. I even tried bugs at an event at Ball State (can't remember the name of it at the moment).
Lesson 19: Expectations Aren't Always Necessary
I set expectations for everything. Maybe most people do. Yet sometimes you shouldn't set expectations. I learned this mainly through my first roommate experience in college. When we met in the summer it seemed we were a perfect match. Then by Thanksgiving I was without a roommate. I had set expectations high that even if my roommate and I weren't best friends we would be friends. So I was crushed when we were merely ships in the night and ended up not being friends at all. Sometimes you have to learn lessons the hard way to really learn them. Though I didn't quite learn it completely until I repeated the scenario but not to the same extreme sophomore year.
Lesson 20: Leaving is Sometimes Necessary
If you have read my May 1st post, you know that I will be attending Franciscan this fall. Actually, as I am currently taking summer courses, I am already attending Franciscan. I felt out of place at Ball State. I often felt that I had to hide who I was to be a student there. So in the end I decided to leave. It was hard because I had found a few places where I could be myself most especially the Newman Center. However, overall my experience with feeling like I must change my worldview and values to stay there I could not stay there as I would not do the very thing I felt I need to do to stay. This is ok. Sometimes God leads us to a place for a time and when that place has served what he wants he allows us to discover it's time for us to move on.
Lesson 21: The 21 Hype is overrated
I turned 21 last year. While this meant I can legally drink, honestly the hype surrounding this birthday is overrated. Ok so I can consume alcohol now. Big Deal. Ok admittedly it's nice to be able to join my 21+ friends for drinks or be able to have a glass of wine at dinner whether at home or out. But overall it's really not that big of a deal. I stayed in for my birthday granted it was during the time where lockdown was just letting up so bars weren't really open that much. I guess that's what made me realize I had made an idol out of this birthday. I tried a few drinks but maybe had a total of two drinks across the entire night (maybe more because there were shots involved). Don't take this birthday too seriously
Lesson 22: Learn to Laugh at Yourself
As my motor skills aren't great because of dyspraxia, I have learned to laugh at myself. I mostly just call myself a klutz. Although this is accurate, I may point out that I wasn't always this way. Also I like to poke fun at myself when I can't seem to speak my mother tongue of English especially because I am majoring in it. But majoring it doesn't mean I can speak it properly all the time.
So those are my 22 Lessons if you made it this far thanks for reading my ramblings.