I was given a writing prompt from a great blogger, Brittany Herself, I follow her blog and thought this one seemed like fun. She gave her bloggers a list of writing prompts to choose from. I chose:
- Write a letter to yourself 10 years ago. What do you know now, that you wished you’d known then?
Dear Smashley Ashley,
There are many things that I wish I would have known ten years ago and it is impossible to sum it up into one blog post, it would ramble on for hours. However, I decided to break it down into ten different points, if you will.
1. I wish I would have known the importance of a rubber sheet. There is nothing quite like being a regular at the Mattress Superstore once a month to replace your child’s mattress the first few years of life. I wish I’d invested in some serious, heavy duty, and durable rubber mattress covers. I would have saved myself ample cash and probably saved an entire land fill
2. I wish I would have known that as you age and grow, so does your family (mom, dad, sister, grandparents, aunts, etc.). There is nothing like waking up one morning and realizing that your family relationships have greatly changed as you’ve aged. I was raised with a tight-knit family. I spent Christmas’s with all my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. We made yearly trips to Canada (our homeland) to see them and they would come out to the US for holidays, spring breaks, etc. Growing up, I remember many friends who’s aunts and uncles weren’t overly involved in their lives, however, my family/extended family was really tight. We knew all the happenings in one another’s lives. As you age, people do their own things with their own children and their own family and you realize that most of the people you thought would be there and support you as you went on in life—well, sometimes they aren’t. I am lucky that I still have one aunt whom I still to this day refer to as ‘Auntie Jayne’ and I am still exceptionally close to. However, it was a different heartbreaking situation that happened years back that made me realize that once you are a grown up, the people who you always thought would be there to support you and were always your biggest cheerleaders during your younger years will not always be there in your moments of failure as an adult. Thankfully, my own parents never gave up on me and still help me in a multitude of ways to this day. However, I’ve learned it is up to you to solve your own problems and figure out your own life. I’ve learned that it is up to you to revel in the high moments and to fix the low ones…on your own….and maybe sometimes phone mom and dad when you’re in a serious pickle.
3. I wish I would have known that there is only one acceptable cotton swab. The Q-Tip brand is and always will be the best brand. There are many things you can get away with buying the generic version of, however, Q-Tips are not one of those items.4. 10-years ago, I wish I would have known that the love you feel for other people’s children, whether it be children you nannied for in college, or your own baby cousins will never come close to the love you feel for your own child. On that same note, I had no idea ten years ago that the one single person on the planet that can frustrate you more than any other person will also be that same tiny person you birthed.
5. Ten years ago, I was under the impression that a college education was a sure ticket to some sort of job that would pay the bills, provide a home for my one-day-family and a life of stability. Little did I know that was a complete facade. Maybe things could have been different if I’d followed the career path of a lawyer or doctor in college, but a basic Communication & Family and Human Development degree will not in any way, shape, or form provide for a family in Southern California. I am pretty certain that the salary I could have made with my measly degree in Communication & Family and Human Development would barely cover the rent my family pays in my small, 3-bedroom home built in 1967 with a leaking air conditioning and a garage door that sometimes rolls up and on other days, does not. To sum this one up: I wish I would have known that making money and providing for your family is DAMN HARD.
6. Ten years ago I was a chain smoking, alcohol drinking, bad eating, type of girl. I ate what I wanted and chowed down at Del Taco and every other preservative filled fast food joint. I weighed 125lbs and didn’t give a shit! Now, being well into my 30th year of life I’ve learned the hard way that staying healthy takes a shit load of work and with demons like Monsanto out there, I spend most of my trips to the grocery store reading labels to make sure I am not inadvertently poisoning my family. To sum this one up: Knowledge is power! The more you know, the healthier you grow.
7. 10-years ago I’d never known anyone who had experienced cancer. Nothing quite prepared me when a friend of mine was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. I knew it (cancer) was out there and it could happen to anyone but I never imagined it would be someone close to me and someone I know. Furthermore, I never imagined that my friend, Larkin’s cancer experience would teach me more about life and faith than I could have ever imagined. My friend’s cancer introduced me to a life of faith and led me to a relationship with the big guy upstairs. Larkin shared her journey with all of us and with her courageous spirit and never ending resiliency, she ironically helped save my life and spirit too.
8. Ten years ago I thought for sure that I had friendships all figured out. Little did I know that as you age and grow so do your relationships. Some stay in-tact and others drift apart for one reason or another. Furthermore, even as an adult the relationships you form, you think you know what makes a solid friend but again, you are sometimes led blindly down another wrong path. 10 years ago I thought I had friendships figured out and here I am 10 years later and to be honest, friendships and people are just as difficult to figure out as they were in my 20’s. My mom told me as a little girl that you are blessed if you can count a few great friends on one hand. She was right. I can count a few great friends on one hand and you know what, I am beyond grateful for that.
9. I wish I would have known ten years ago that putting carpet in any room of any part of your home is an awful idea when you have children. Tile, hardwood floors, anything, absolutely anything BUT carpet. Yes, I am even suggesting linoleum if the option is that over carpet seeing that is all your budget permits. Kids are fucking messy.
10. The last thing I would tell myself ten years ago in this letter I am writing to myself today is this: love yourself. You are going to screw up, you will fuck-up monumentally and ironically enough, it will be those fuck-ups that create you into the woman you will one day become. Messing up and hitting rock bottom will create resiliency and oddly enough, will make you a much better person down the line. So, buckle up, Smash! Buckle Up!
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