I’ve learned a thing or two about life. I was inspired by something that happened in my daily life, offline life, and decided to share some of what I’ve learned here. I have lived over thirty years on this blue rock. I am an sibling abuse survivor. I am a mother, daughter, and wife. I’m also a friend.

I work hard, sleep barely, and have doubted myself more times than I can count. I have also realized that nothing that can be said in a review or by someone can ever hurt my feelings because I’ve called myself the worse things, said the worse things to myself, or thought the things that have been said before another conceived of them.

If you’re still reading after that then perhaps I have some things to share after all. Now let me impart my wisdom.

  1. Respect your elders – There is a lot to be learned by those that have gone through it. The things that elder women and men can tell you are truly worth learning from so that you can navigate your own path.
  2. Music is important – It’s more important than just something to dance to. It can rise you up when you’re down, set the mood, and even help you heal. It has become, for me, something that reconnects me to the loved ones I’ve lost and to happier times.
  3. The meaning of life has to be overcoming things – We all have survived something, whether we realize it or not. That thing could be something simple or something complex, but we made it through the other side and we overcame it. If there is a meaning to life, for me, it has to be overcoming things. Learning from them is a bonus.
  4. Trust your gut – Life experience sticks with you in the form of a ‘gut feeling’. Whether you got that experience on the street, the classroom, or listening to the adults and elders in your life your gut will help steer you in the right direction most of the time, it has for me at least.
  5. Embrace the suck – For those I’ve shared my stories on my abusive sibling, almost dying at their hands twice, and still being the person I am I’ve been asked if I could change anything about my life would I? The assumed answer has always been that I would erase all the abuse so that it never happened. I wouldn’t. Yes, my abuse sucked. It hurts me in invisible ways even to this day, but I wouldn’t remove it from my life. It was something I overcame, survived, and without having dealt with the cards life gave to me I wouldn’t be the person I am typing right now. I’m strong. I’m smart. I’ve based decision-making on the ‘sucky things’ I’ve dealt with. It didn’t consume me fully it became lessons.
  6. Love, fully, and without regret – Don’t hold back when you feel for someone. Love can be risky, but fully be in the moment of it.
  7. Enjoy the small things – I’ve learned that even the small things will stick with you. I will remember the first time I kissed my husband, falling over, and him laughing at me right after for the rest of my life. At the time it was an embarrassing situation, but it has become a small happy moment. It was the moment that I realized I felt more for this person than I had previously thought. I still enjoy the memory of my child giving me flowers he picked for the first time. (He doesn’t know it, but I still have one of them saved.)
  8. Go boldly forward – Wake every morning grateful, but also step forward boldly and conquer it. You may not be given the day after so everyday must be treated as if it is a gift, because it is.
  9. Pay your bills and prioritize needs and wants – This lesson came after a winter without electricity. No, it wasn’t me that didn’t pay my bills. I paid the bill and got the electric on though. I’m currently not comfortable enough to go into this too much, but it really happened when I was a teenager and it really sucked.
  10. Enjoy your youth – I laugh with my oldest friend now how as a kid we wanted to be 16 to drive, 18 to be considered an adult, and 21 to drink. With all that we thought we’d be more ‘adult’ that way, but all it did was tick away years we didn’t realize we would miss later on. You’re a child for a shorter amount of time than you are an adult. Being a adult sucks, is hard, but if you are smart about it, enjoy the small things, and love fully you’ll be alright.

I’m still pretty young, I don’t feel it, but I know it. I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to learn about life, but these ten things are what I’ve learned so far.

Dear Younger Self,

You don’t know it yet but things are going to be getting easier. I know you’re lonely, feel like a weirdo, and feel as if nothing will ever change, but it does. In the next couple of years you will meet someone that changes the direction of your life.

He will accept everything about you and for everything else he’ll tolerate it because he loves you so much. The feeling will be mutual. In fact, you’ll get married to him a few more years later and have a child. You’re still married and that child is thriving as I type this.

I know…I know…you’re thinking I’m full of it. I remember being in disbelief a lot of the time and having such an overwhelming dreadful feeling. Feeling caged all of the time and simply escaping into writing, it will change for the better. Learning patience is a challenge you’ll overcome and then must teach to someone much more important that will come into your life.

There’s a lot of things that you will simply have to learn and experience, but that’s okay. You haven’t learned yet that all of the bad and all of the good experiences, even people, are lessons to be learned.

You’ll lose touch with a lot of people, but some will resurface. It’ll be okay. I know you need to hear that, it’ll be okay. You have just started to learn things can be okay and have already learned that people come and go in your life, it’s apart of life that won’t change. You will eventually learn those that matter will be around a lot longer and that’s when you will also learn that you’re lovable and worthy of love.

There are dark times ahead. We’ve never faltered when having to face the darkness before, we just never knew that the situation was ‘dark’ at the time we just shrugged things off as ‘just another day’. I won’t go into it fully, how dark things will get because at the age I am now you’ve learned to look for the light at the end of the tunnel and the positive that comes from struggle. There is a lesson in the dark, you will find it, and you will survive even if you felt you weren’t going to.

Love, Your Older Self


What would you say if you could talk to your younger self?