January is a month of birthdays in our family. My little Sister and Brother both have birthdays in January and so does Barry. Can you believe Barry and AJ are 18?? It just doesn't seem like it could be.
This year hasn't been the easiest of journeys for all of them. I have always tried to be honest, and frank with them all. I've also tried to simply talk to them. I believe respect is key. I believe to give respect I must also receive it and the same applies in return.
While none of them are my children they are all a bit like my own. It is very interesting having siblings 20 + years younger. It truly is much like having a second set of children for me or maybe like an extra set of parental expectations for them. I've tried hard to be more of a sister than a parent but sometimes is isn't easy.
I cautiously give advice and more try to share my life's experiences and tales of my own journey instead.
Tonight, I find myself pondering what I would tell my 18 year old self, if I could.
Would I say, finish high school. For no other reason than to look back and know that you did it the right way. That you will be annoyed by the fact that you have a GED instead.
I think I would say, go to college. Because later, you will have a desire to have to rely on no one and your 40 year old self will feel like not having that degree is holding you back just a little.
I would say, talk to you parents. Speak intelligently, decisively and respectfully but still speak. That you can't hold it against someone for not understanding where you are coming from if you don't tell them.
I might also say, wait to have children. Even though you think you are ready early on,your not, so wait. And when you finally start having the kids you have always wanted at 30, it will be exactly the right time and you will do a great job. You can improve but you are trying and you acknowledge your faults. As a mom, you will do just fine!
I think I'd include, no partner is worth not being your true self for. Have confidence and be who you are.
I would say, love your family. Don't give up any time, due to arguments and disagreements, you will miss it one day. You will come to realize it didn't need to happen so don't waste one minute of it!
I would strongly emphasize to my 18 year old self that when times seem most difficult, stick to your dreams, even if they seem almost not worth the hassle. And COMMUNICATE! It's the key to everything. Also,Be nice! It makes you a better person. And don't ever do anything you'd be afraid to admit to your parents- be trustworthy and honorable. It will make looking back on your youth much easier.
And the most important thing I would say to my 18 year old self, is live your life so that you have no regrets. Own your choices, right or wrong - take responsibility, learn to say your sorry and live today like there is no tomorrow because one day you will realize it isn't guaranteed!
Oh Yeah, one last thing- if you can get through all the other things, don't forget to enjoy the ride!!!
What would you say?