Friday, July 6, 2012

10 things I learned while being 27:

10) The person you were in high school is not the person you will be when you are a “grown-up.” The 10 years that pass from wearing that cap and gown to your 10 year reunion are filled with lessons that could never have been taught in a classroom. It’s called LIFE and that is what makes you who you are. (By the way, you’ll never fit into American Eagle again, so throw that whole “I’m the same as I was in high school” idea out the window.)

9) That no matter how far away you are from home, a piece of you is still there. In a time of tragedy you are a part of that community and you feel the pain that they feel. Our time here on Earth is precious and short. Love those around you and make sure that they know they are loved. Follow your gut in any situation and if something doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Love those who need it the most. And know that “Love Wins.” Thank you for that very important lesson Melissa… I will never forget it.

8)  Miles and time zones can separate you from your best friends but with one laugh and one hug you pick up right where you left off. 1.5 years of not being together in the same room and we never skipped a beat. Boys have come into our lives and hearts have been broken. Dreams have come true and some have been let go of. But no matter what- we’re always the Brunettes and a reunion of the four of us is just a beautiful disaster.

7) If you think you’re being lied to you… you probably are. Let those who you don’t love go and let those who break your heart go as well. Hopefully the door will hit them on the way out but know that the door won’t open again. No matter how much you loved him, how much he was a part of your life or how happy you thought he made you: let him go. Any man that breaks your heart isn’t worth a moment of your time. It leads to the more exciting prospect that you haven’t met “the one” yet and he is still out there. Now the map to finding him would be a bit helpful in this case…

6)  I can finish grad school. Every time I called my parents in tears saying, “This is too much. I can’t do this. There just isn’t enough time. I’m not like the other students and it’s just too hard” was just fuel in the fire. Hearing the words, “I can’t” come out of my mouth and then hearing the words “You can’t” come of the mouths of others was all it took. If you want something bad enough go get it. Don’t let what you think “makes you different” hold you back. Work harder. Stand taller. And get it done. No questions or debate.

5) Volunteering is my passion. I never really thought I would find so much joy in helping others but apparently I found one of the little pieces that was missing inside me. Sleepless nights, chaotic fires, comforting broken hearts while standing in the rubble of what was once a community, and handing a little girl a Red Cross teddy bear which she clings to because she has nothing left to hold onto except hope… those are the moments that shape my soul.

4)  That old song “Make new friends but keep the old” is a little skewed. I have been blessed to have made some incredible friends this past year and to watch some friendships develop into something truly beautiful. Surrounding myself with those who bring positivity to my life meant saying goodbye to some friends from the past. But sometimes in order to move forward you have to stop looking back. And sometimes old neighbors can be replaced with new ones- even ones you meet knee high in mud and wearing a mask at one of the scariest moments of your life.

3)  The scale is not your friend. Now I learned this lesson years ago but my preoccupation with losing weight this past year showed me that what really matters is not the number I see (Lord knows it’s never what I want to see) but it’s how I feel. It’s taking the time to look in the mirror and compliment myself that matters the most. It’s giving it my all (and then some) and living with no regrets. If I do my best and come in last in the 5K- at least I did the 5K (even better if paramedics aren’t called). If I slip and fall off the “wagon” by eating a bowl of funfetti batter- I’m not a bad person. I’m human. And I have a lot of people who love me… love handles and all.

2) Healing is never a completed process but there comes a time when you can face your fears headfirst and say: “I’m not afraid of you anymore.” My trip to New York for the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center was a trip that I truly thought I would be too scared to take. With my Dad on my right and my Mom on my left I stood in front of those beautiful waterfall footprints- my feet planted firmly on hallowed ground. I ran my hand over their names and took my time to reflect. Precious moments to surround myself with the beauty of the area around me- no longer filled with billowing smoke and destruction. All the while the Island was slowly flooding. It was as if those above knew, “If you’re going to face this fear, you might as well face them all.” And I did. And my gratitude for my parents for walking me through the gates to that sacred place can never be truly expressed to the fullest.  

1)  I’ve made it almost 10 years living on my own in Nashville. From that teenager who hung out for hours in a horse farm hayloft in Peacham, Vermont listening to country music and dreaming of Nashville to that 28 year old sitting in her office at the Grand Ole Opry... Things have changed. I live in a tiny apartment, I can barely pay the bills and I truly believe peanut butter and jelly is an acceptable meal… but in the end I “made it.” I’m calling Nashville home and watching my dreams come true more and more. In the words of the Sara Evans song I wore out years ago on those bales of hay, I was “born to fly.”

Now... what to call the blog since "27 and Perhaps a Little Crazy" is outdated. :) 

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