I’m an associate editor for my company newsletter (because there are 24 hours in a day, and I like to fill all of them 🙂 ), and the February issues theme was “Life Lessons”, to which I was to write a related piece. I set out to compile what probably would have been a rather boring list of lessons I have learned in my almost-30 years. It occurred to me that whenever anyone talks about life lessons or good advice, they generally go on to talk about advice they have been given over the years that have made a difference in their lives. I myself have received countless lessons and tidbits of advice that have shaped my life and kept me from making a myriad of mistakes (notable tidbits include “Be kind to others, be kindest to yourself” and “Never put your hand where you can’t see it”).
But I think that learning is dynamic; we don’t just learn from what we are taught, we learn just as much from what we teach other people. Our role in the lives of other people and how we relay learned information out into the world is both telling of who we are and has impact on how we take in our own advice. So, when thinking about the theme “Life Lessons”, I asked people close to me “What memorable advice have I given you over the years?” . I got a lot of really great stuff back from friends and family, but what stuck out the most for me was the overwhelming input from my sisters.
Like anyone, I play many roles in my life- a daughter, a wife, a friend, an employee, a reader, a cat-mama, but the role that I try the hardest not to mess up is that of a sister. I have 4 sisters and 3 brothers whom I love dearly and judging from the number of responses I got from my sisters, it seems as though I am constantly bombarding them with advice. Not all of it was company-appropriate and hence, I am “double-dipping”, re-working the article I wrote into a blog post so I can include some of the sisterly advice that I have apparently dished out over the years. Advice such as:
- Try not to eat things the same size as your windpipe
- No needle drugs
- Dance to the radio in the grocery store
- If you’re at a bar with bottle service, keep the glass from the first drink you buy. Boys will trade drinks from their bottles for your (fake) phone number.
- If you need brown sugar to make cookies and the corner store is out, you walk to the next one and the next one. Keep walking until you find a store that has some… 4 hours later. NEVER give up.
- Don’t be blinded by perfection. Sometimes good enough is really good enough.
- Live Fearlessly. Being afraid is unavoidable, but live as if you are fearless.
- It’s not enough to like the people you keep around you, you have to like who you become when you’re with them.
- Dancing with your eyes closed isn’t extra sexy, it’s extra drunk.
And here are some of the things I have learned from my lovely sisters in return.
- You’re never too old to break out the glitter and glue guns (L) or Disney movies (B) but you can be too old for glitter eye shadow (T).
- The best accessory a woman can have is comfort in her own skin (B).
- Embrace your weird (K).
- After everything else washes away, there is only love, so love well (L).
- Say yes. Join every team. Learn new things all the time. Opportunity awaits those who say Yes (T).
- There is only “Yes” and “How”. “No” is for losers (B).