Growing up in a family with eight kids, my life has always been hectic. There’s a 25 year age difference between my oldest and youngest siblings, so my family has always had something exciting going on, whether it’s a wedding, a science fair, or the birth of a new child. Throughout my first eighteen years of living, I’ve learned many life lessons from people in nearly every stage of life. Here are the most important things each family member has taught me.
Michael: Never be afraid to ask questions. | Although Michael’s the youngest sibling, he has taught me one of the most important lessons. When he was three, he would always ask, “Why?” to anything anyone said At the time, it drove me crazy. I was tired of answering his questions. Looking back, I realize that he pestered everyone with questions simply because he was curious. He would never accept anything just the way it is; he would always ask for the “why,” for the reasoning behind everyone’s actions. He simply wanted to know how and “why” the world worked.
Melissa: Release love into the world and you will get love back. | Even though many people say that “what goes around comes around,” Melissa provided me with a completely new understanding of how this saying works. She taught me that high frequencies attract high frequencies and repel low frequencies, and vice versa for low frequencies. In other words, positive vibes receive positive vibes in return. If you think positively, you will naturally find yourself surrounded by other happy people who reinforce your positive energy. This has helped me so much become happier overall.
Carl and Dad: Family time is important. | Whether your family is the people you grew up with or not, spending time with the people you love is always important. Both Carl and my dad have managed to always find the time to be with their kids. My dad often has to shift his schedule around just so he can be with us and works late into the night. They have shown me that it is always possible to make time for those who you love and that this time is essential to happiness.
Johnny: Find something that you love and stick with it. | Johnny has inspired me to pursue one of the hobbies I find most soothing: blogging! For the past few years, he has made multiple social media accounts such as an Instagram account for our golden retriever and a Madden Mobile gaming channel on YouTube. He now has an Instagram account that has become extremely successful considering the amount of time he’s had it, which made me hopeful that one day this blog may be successful, too. 🙂 (Go follow @animals_are_superior_ on Instagram!)
Brian: Always speak your mind. | Brian is never afraid to call out one of the Caps players while we’re watching a hockey game. As one of the Capitals’ biggest fans, he gets so frustrated when the team messes up. Brian is the realest person I know. If I need advice, I know I can always go to Brian for his genuine thoughts and wisdom. Even when family members don’t listen to his advice, he nearly always turns out to be right. And he will fight anything he sees that goes against his beliefs and argue against it adamantly.
Mom: Don’t ever apologize for your sensitivity. | I’ve always been a sensitive person, and I get it from my mom. She has the biggest heart of any person I know. She always puts her family before herself, especially her kids. The only time I have ever heard of my mom yelling at someone is when someone yelled at Carl for running out into the street, and I wasn’t even alive to witness it. But we both know all to well that the most kind-hearted people get hurt the most. I would often find myself apologizing for being “overly-sensitive,” as some called me. My mom told me in response that “overly-sensitive” doesn’t exist. The most sensitive people are the most caring and lovable people, but they also are the most vulnerable to others. Don’t apologize for your big heart.
Kristen: Don’t waste your present worrying over the future. | I think this is the most important lesson I’ve learned in my life. I’ve always been the type to constantly think about how what I do now will impact the future. Kristen is such an excellent example of how to live freely because she does everything out of pure enjoyment: she listens to country music because she likes it; she is a runner because she likes it; she eats what she wants because she likes it. She doesn’t preoccupy herself with the problems of the future, but rather deals with them when she gets there and lives in the moment.
Ashley Anne: Don’t care about what other people think. | Ashley Anne has been one of the primary influences in shaping my perspective over the past year. She always dances to the beat of her own drum and doesn’t let other people’s judgements affect her. She is the epitome of a strong, independent woman: she is living in a new city by herself for the first time in her life, and she is doing amazingly well. She has found the perfect balance between relying on friends and family and enjoying her own company. I think this is greatly because she follows her heart and doesn’t care about what others are doing. I hope that one day I can be like her.
Grandma, Grandpa, and Dad: Embrace your inner nerd. | Both of my grandparents on my dad’s side were physicists, and I’ve inherited that gene. I’ve always loved math and science, but I started to become self-conscious of it in middle school when other students started expressing how much they hated the subjects. I just couldn’t relate, and I thought that I was weird. But now that I’m a year away from college, I view this love for the sciences as a career path that I know I will enjoy. I also see it as a representation of my connection to my dad’s side. My dad has always encouraged me to pursue a subject that I love, and the fact that it’s the same as his parents makes him especially proud. My dad and I try to have breakfast together as often as we can, and we almost always find ourselves talking about banking, humans, math, chemistry, and/or physics. Maybe my love for subjects that are so widely hated is weird. But I’m okay with that.
Who are you thankful for today?