Summertime is upon us, the sun is shining the trees are green, hell even the birds are out. It is a new season here is Missouri. And so a new season starts for the life of my oldest niece. She will graduate high school and begin her journey to become an adult.
As I sit here at almost 40, I am not even sure where my journey started and how I have made it from A to B. I remember being 18 and thinking I ‘knew’ everything – and for that brief moment, I probably did. Making little to no money was really enough, living at home was not such a bad gig, my body looked its best, my skin looked its best and I knew that the world had a lot to offer and I was sure I was gonna get a piece of it. Out there on a wing and a prayer. Because at this age you really need nothing else, and the glory of that is, you don’t have enough years or experience to have anything hold you back. You really can go big. So girl, I beg you GO BIG! Every dream and idea you have, go for it.
Something about being 18 and graduating makes you fearless. Hell up until this point other than going to school my biggest accomplishment was learning how to drive at 16. Not returning to high school can be blessing, I pray you embrace it. You now have the opportunity to go out there and just be you! The best version of you, you can make up. The things you did in grade school, high school and who your parents are really don’t matter once you leave that place. You get to be you. Not someone’s older sister, niece, daughter or friend. You no longer have to stand in the shadow of someone else expectations. At this point, grab the pen and paper and begin to write your chapters.
Some will be wild n crazy. Some chapters will be filled with sadness and emotions you have never had before. It is okay to feel them, just don’t stay there. Some chapters will be filled with old friends you never talk to again and news ones that show up and start to fill the space. Some chapters will be filled with long nights of homework and struggle. All of them worth writing and experiencing.
As I ventured out and attempted my best version of being fearless I can assure its scary! I have learned that anything worth doing should at some point ‘scare the shit’ out you. Walk through it anyway. On the other side of the wall is a great sense of accomplishment. On the nights you are lonely and afraid – pick up the fone and call a family member. Hell, we take drunk phone calls too…. We are not above that one either.
Never be afraid to fail! Some of the best lessons are in failure. Trust your gut. Trust your gut when you first meet people, and if they feel wrong, they are. But by the same token meet as many people as you can. As you get older it will not be what you know, but who you know. And these people you start to meet now, will last you a lifetime.
Be kind to yourself and your skin. At 18 I never thought about wrinkles, flab or gray hair. Now almost 40, I should have been nicer to my 18 yr old self. Things really were not that bad on this ol’ body. And now, well hell – we just go with it.
I was there the day you were born, chubby little girl of nonsense right from the beginning. Screaming and carrying on like a hot mess. You were a fighter from the word go, so I expect nothing less as you venture out with your adult hall pass.
Watch movies, travel, meet new people, take classes you think you might hate –they might surprise you. Don’t go close minded, be willing to take anything the universe wants to throw at you and catch it and run. I am so excited for you and this new stage of life. I am so proud of the girl you were and the women you are going to become.
We ventured out last week, just you, me and Misty. We had the best time. Memories of a lifetime girl, were made for us. We laughed until we cried, we did things that were unexpected, and all along we did it together. I promise you this, we are always here for you….the good, the bad, the ugly, the fabulous and the freakn daily bump n grind. We are here. There is comfort in knowing you have someone there, this I can assure. No thought too small, no dream to big, no emotion is wrong.
They are all you and we will always love you despite any failure or success. Because you see, you are not smiled upon by us because of the big moments, you are loved by us because of every small insignificant moment that leads to the big is worth noting. We have noted your depth, your love, your soul and your character. Your blue eyes help too, the fact that you have them means, well you are stuck with us for life!
It is hard for me to believe that this small screaming girl that raised such hell is now graduating high school. I am proud of you and the niece you have become. You have 8 younger kids that look up to you and you take it all in stride. It is nothing for you to be seen driving 3 or 4 of your cousins around dropping them off, picking them up. You can be seen doing hair, tying shoes, hell at one time wiping noses and asses, taking them fishing, 4 wheeling, a taco bell drive through, swimming and even providing comfort when one cries – all done at one time or another in lipstick n high heels. You have a sense of humor that is quircky and weird – which is genetic. The only one that really does not get us is Mom. It just is what it is….
You have a smile that is stunning and a laugh that will light up a room. The snorting thing may get you a few sideways glances, but hey. Own it. You have a sense of style that is all you own and you own it well. So girl step out and go get your piece of this world!! Your cheering section is big and sends you all the love you can hold. Love you, Aunt Beenie.