Archive for the ‘Alisha’ Tag

to me, fearless is having fears. fearless is having doubts. lots of them. to me, fearless is living in spite of those things that scare you to death.   Leave a comment

To me, FEARLESS is not the absence of fear. It’s not being completely unafraid. To me, FEARLESS is having fears. FEARLESS is having doubts. Lots of them. To me, FEARLESS is living in spite of those things that scare you to death. FEARLESS is falling madly in love again, even though you’ve been hurt before. FEARLESS is walking into your freshmen year of high school at fifteen. FEARLESS is getting back up and fighting for what you want over and over again… even though every time you’ve tried before, you’ve lost. It’s FEARLESS to have faith that someday things will change.  **************************************************************

After reading the fabulous blog post, The Girl in the Taxi, written by my Little Sis/ Pen Pal/ Friend, Alisha, yesterday morning I spend the day lost in thought.  Many thoughts.  Even somewhat-secret thoughts.  (Thanks again, Alisha & Kristin!) 

Anyways, with another full day of work and volunteering, I found myself walking from Navy Pier to Michigan Ave…because I lost my CTA pass AGAIN…and taking in the city.  Exhaustion and Stress accompanied me on that walk, as well as dozens of other pedestrians, but in essence I felt alone.  (Long story that you’re not going to hear.)  Although I eventually found comfort and company as I recalled Alisha’s post.  Soon I was reflecting back on the last 2.5 years in Chicago and consciously reminding myself how much has happened since then… including all of the fears and doubts that arose as I embarked on this journey shortly after my 25th birthday.  Goodbye Columbus, Hello Chicago?!

Back to Alisha’s post, The Girl in the Taxi, which is what inspired me today in the writing of my own.  Besides the fact that we are Soul * Sisters, I really do see a lot of myself in Alisha.  And if anything, this last post of hers confirmed that.  As Alisha and I began corresponding last year, I found myself reflecting back on my own college days quite frequently, and even effortlessly.  Those days were filled with doubts, fears, insecurities, anxiety, and tons of questions: What happens after graduation?  What am I going to do with my life?  Where am I going to go?  What do I want to be?  Who am I…really?  There are so many days where I wish I could Time Travel like Henry (in The Time Traveler’s Wife) and tell my younger self that, “It’s all going to be okay.” 

But since I cannot change the past for myself, I’ve realized that I could help guide the future for others (of that age and/or situations), like Alisha.  While there are so many stories and life lessons that I could share, only one all-encompassing message comes to mind: Believe in Yourself.  When an individual is graced with confidence, then Anything and Everything is Possible.  Live Life. Take Chance. Follow Your Heart. Make Your Dreams Come True.  Trust me, I know that Life is Scary and Change is even Scarier.  New Experiences bring about Doubts and Fears, some that you didn’t even know you were capable of feeling.  But you need to feel those feelings. 

 

Let Yourself Be Vulnerable. 

Let Yourself Get to Know Yourself.

Let Yourself Face Your Fears & Doubts.

Let Yourself Strive to Become Fearless.

Let Yourself Live.

the story of us: confidantes, pen pals, friends, and sisters.   2 comments

Some things never would be
But we know now that no matter how far we traveled on our own separate paths…
Somehow we would always find out way back to each other.
And with that, we could get through anything.
To us. Who we were, and who we are. And who we’ll be.
To the pants. 
And the sisterhood.
And this moment, and the rest of our lives.
Together and apart.

~Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants~

 

 Sisters touch your heart in ways no other could. Sisters share… their hopes, their fears, their love, everything they have. ~Carrie Bagwell

********************************************************************************************

The name Alisha frequently appears on this blog and her notes & profile pic tend to be all over my Facebook wall- especially right now.  But very few people know exactly who this remarkable, stunning lady is; and hardly anyone knows the entire Story of Us.  Well, until now.

Ladies & Gentlemen, it is my honor to tell you exactly how the Sisterhood of Alisha Thomas and Kristen Medica began a little over a year ago, and how since then we have gone from Confidantes to Pen Pals to (Facebook) Friends to Sisters.  As all stories tend to be told, let me start at the very beginning…

In January 2010, I enrolled in an online class through my alma mater, Ohio University, as a way to complete the pre-requisites for the Child Life certification.  So after my New Year’s guests left town on Sunday, January 3rd, I found myself mentally preparing for my first day (back) of school.  Human Relations ECED 410, here I come!

Like any first week’s assignment, we spent time getting to know our classmates by sharing a few details about ourselves.  Typically this is the worst assignment ever when you’re in a classroom and have to say something unique about yourself (which of course never applied to me).  However, being 4-years out of college and in an online format, I found myself enjoying this activity- especially hearing others’ stories and learning about their backgrounds.  And on top of that, our Professor Tom Shostak appeared to be incredible.  I think I’m really going to like this class.

On a fateful day in late January/early February, a friendship was born.  As I signed into Blackboard after work, I found myself touched by the courageous words written by Alisha Thomas as she admitted to her struggle with anxiety.  Being something that I knew a little too well, I (believe I) found myself writing a response applauding her for speaking out and admitting my own battle with those pain-strickening troubles.  Truth be told, I wasn’t sure if she’d respond but I knew I had to reach out to her. 

She responded, graciously, which marked our first electronic communication.  The first of many.  For a few weeks we exchanged Discussion Board comments and emails sharing our struggles with anxiety and life stories.  Through daily emails a friendship began as we confided in one another about fears, doubts, anxieties, insecurities, dreams, wishes, crushes, etc.    We found comfort in sharing our thoughts and the other’s responses of wisdom and encouragement.  Looking back, in only a few weeks Alisha became the younger sister I always wanted. 

“We should become Pen Pals,” Alisha wrote in one of her emails.  Always wanting a Pen Pal, I was thrilled.  “Yes! Absolutely!” can be my assumed responses. 

On February 22nd, exactly one year ago today, I wrote the very first entry in the Pen Pal Book.  (Obviously pictured on the right.)  She then, Alisha and I have shipped the book back-and-forth from Athens, Ohio (her) and Chicago, IL (me) every few weeks/months.  We fill the pages with our daily activities and life stories- good days, bad days, past experiences, lifelong dreams, crushes, heartbreak, and, of course, struggles with anxiety.  (Note: Fortunately anxiety takes up less space in the book as time goes on.)  We share favorite quotes and songs and suggest novels & movies for the other. 

And in the last few months, we’ve allowed others to share in our love for the Pen Pal Book.  Alisha’s brother, Jakob, commonly leaves his mark on the pages in the form of drawings and little notes.  I love seeing what Jakob shares with me!  My dear friend, Darlene, also shared in our joy by writing in the infamous book when I visited her &  Paul, last summer.  (Note: Like Alisha, my friendship/sisterhood with Darlene began electronically and I corresponded with her for 1.5 years before our long-awaited meet-up.)

Besides the Pen Pal Book, Alisha and I inevitably befriended one another on Facebook- which put faces to our names and email addresses.  And that, my friends, is how our friendship really began.  While we anxiously looked forward to receiving the Pen Pal Book from the other, we learned that daily communication was necessary too.  Not only did we enjoy Facebook stalking one another’s current crushes (lol), but through Facebook is how I began my love affair with Alisha’s family: Her 10-year old brother, Jakob, and mother, Kelly.  It really didn’t take long before I started seeing them as my family.  🙂

A few months ago I had the idea that I was going to surprise Alisha and “meet her” at her upcoming graduation in June 2011.  But yeah, I couldn’t keep a secret from my Sis and so I mentioned my plan to her.  It is through that she came up with the Best. Idea. Ever.  SIBS WEEKEND!!  So this past weekend, I FINALLY ventured back to Athens, OH to ‘meet’ my extended family: Alisha, Jakob, and Kelly.

Words really cannot express just how A*MAY*ZING this past weekend was.  As I’ve put been putting it: I have never weekend had a time filled with so many smiles, laughs, and pure joy & contentment.  It was truly the most PERFECT (my favorite place ever) with Alisha and her family, it was exactly what I could have ever wanted it to be.  From playing Wii and watching YouTube videos with Jakob to finally experiencing Athens with Alisha, it was simply magical.  Sure, it wasn’t one of those typical OU weekends- and actually there was no alcohol involved for me- but that’s what made it so fantastic- besides the company of course.  It was exactly how this 27-year old OU alum needed to visit her former college campus.  After all, as one wise alum once told me as an undergrad, “Athens is about what it is because of the people.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Another beautiful part of this weekend was reconnecting with my former professor/confidante/mentor, Linda.  Interesting enough, I actually believe that Linda played a large part in my initial reach out to Alisha.  See, Linda was a professor of mine during Spring Quarter of my senior year.  (aka The Season for Panic Attacks)  I just remember receiving an email from Linda after class one day asking me how I was doing- hinting at the fact that she noticed that I didn’t seem like myself- and encouraging me to open up more in class and share the thoughts that seemed to be running through my mind.

To make a long story short, Linda’s kind-hearted reaching out made me confide in her about the uneasiness I had been feeling, beginning our own weeks-worth exchange of emails.  I found myself opening up to her more than I had ever done with anyone- well maybe besides Libby, Brandon, and Jenni- let alone someone you barely knew me outside of the classroom setting.  Still, her genuiness shined through during class and in her emails and I found it impossible not to let her in.  Since then, which was five years ago, I have always had the highest regards for Linda.  So much so that within those first few weeks of correspondence with Alisha I insisted that she take one of Linda’s classes before graduation.  Fortunately, she’s enrolled in her YAL course next quarter- spring quarter of her senior year just like me!

Alisha and I were so honored to share the Pen Pal Book with Linda and include her into our Sibs Weekend afternoon.  She is truly an incredible woman and I feel blessed to have her in my life as a friend and mentor.  

Like all good things Sibs Weekend found itself coming to an end, but not before a trip to Columbus (which is where I had to catch my bus later that night).  While the sadness of the inevitable goodbyes began playing in our minds, we knew we had to make the best of our remaining time together.  We loaded ourselves in the car and headed to one of my favorite places in Ohio: Easton.  First Stop: Build-A-Bear. 

So true story: For years I have told my brother that IF (huge IF) I ever have a boyfriend, Nicky should tell him to build me a bear.  Call me crazy (because I am), but I have always wanted one.  I mean I’ve built many bears (and a bunny) in my day, but never one for myself… until Sunday, February 20, 2011 that is.  The best part is that this was totally Alisha’s idea!  Yep, we are definitely meant to be sisters! 

Surrounded by a sea of children and parents my age, the four of us piled into Build-A-Bear to create our little sidekicks.  I know, we are totally adorable!  We definitely took way to long to decide on our choices, but eventually we chose the following: Alisha- a puppy named Lynn (my middle name); Kelly- (the same) puppy named Sammy; Jakob- a monkey named Justin (yes, as in Justin Bieber); and me- a bear (decided upon by my boy Jakob) named Lauren (Alisha’s middle name).  And now for the hard part….choosing outfits.  Seriously, I have an easier time choosing clothes for myself!  Anyways, we finally made our decisions with my little Lauren dressed to the 9’s in a true Ohio-lovin’ outfit: Ohio University tee underneath a red & white (for Ohio State) Cheerios outfit (Alisha loves Glee), complete with red & white (OSU) and green (OU) ear bows AND…brown cowgirl boots.  Love Love Love.  After acting like we were kids again, Jakob and I let the girls shop in Forever XXI while we sought out fun in the photo booth.  (I ♥ him so much!)  But of course we had to take Alisha back for some photo booth fun with us afterwards.  Note: I really think that IF I ever get married, there has to be a photo booth there….even if it means I must have my reception at Chuc E Cheese…or, better yet, Easton since we know it has one. 

After feeding our hungry bellies and indulging in many more laughs, we all knew that our time together was dwindling.  As Alisha drove downtown, we started expressing our I am going to miss you’s and planning on next visits.  After pointing out my old apartment, we pulled into a spot on High Street nearby MoJoe Lounge (my hangout spot until the bus arrived).  Led by Jakob, my family insisted on walking me into the coffeeshop/bar, which I finally gave into.  Shortly after, the tears began building up in our eyes s the I love you’s were exchanged.  And my poor Jakob was so sad that it made me cry.  “You know that you are a little brother to me, Jakob.  I will always be here for you,” is all that I can remember saying as the sadness kicked in full force.  I would have given anything to have been able to go back to Athens with them, but unfortunately the Reality of Big Girl World is that you cannot always do what you want to do.  So with tears in my eyes, I said my goodbyes and more I love you’s with my family. 

I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, and I am missing them terribly even two days later.  Still, I know that they will be in my life forever and I cannot wait to see them in Pittsburgh on Easter weekend when they get to meet the rest of my family.  And then, more fun in Athens for Alisha’s Birthday/ Mom’s Weekend in early May.  I cannot wait to see them again!  Hopefully I can beat Jakob at Wii next time. 

 

*** Let this Story of Alisha and Me remind you that you never know where, when, and how you’ll meet your next best friend/ soul sister. ***

 

This post is dedicated to the A*MAY*ZING Alisha Thomas.  My life is so much better with you in it and I honestly cannot remember what it was like without you and your family.  I will always be here for you and believe in your more than you probably believe in yourself. Sis, I love you!  XOXO ~K

…and i can’t remember life before your name, ohio.   Leave a comment

Greetings again from my Starbucks in downtown Columbus!  Yes, I did it again.  I rode the overnight mega of all buses (aka Megabus) from Chicago to Columbus, OH.  Arriving at 6:15 am this morning, I took my hobo-looking self into my morning post and pulled a Superman swap into the bathroom.  Goodbye, travelin’ hot-mess-minus-the-hot girl and Hello, reasonably presentable I-love-being-back-in-O-H-I-O lady.

Now I don’t have much time since Nila is on her way to pick me up, but I wanted to give a quick hello before embarking on my A*MAY*ZING weekend back in O-H-I-O.  Today I’ll venture around Columbus before Kristin and I roadtrip back to good ol’ Athens, Ohio for my weekend with Alisha, Jakob, and their mom, Kelly!  SOOOOOOO EXCITED to FINALLY meet my beloved Pen Pal/Little Sis and her family!! 

As always, it feels great to be back in Ohio…however, I have to say that it feels different this time.  I feel different.  I’m in a really good place right now and I hope it stays around for a while.  I have a funny feeling that it will.  As my dear Darlene says, Pingers Crossed.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

this was just a dream   2 comments

Besides the occasional celebrity crushes (I had the biggest thing for Grant Hill since his days at Duke) during my adolescence, I would have These Dreams. Big Dreams. Make the World A Better Place Dreams. Paint a Smile on Everybody’s Face Dreams.  These Dreams were filled with Hope; Sincerity; Generosity; Beauty; and Love.  Dreams of Saving the World through Simple Acts of Kindness and Making A Difference through Words of Encouragement.

This was just a dream.  A Childhood Dream.  A dream to exchange Disappointing Yesterdays for Hopefully Tomorrows.  Dreams dreamt in order to look forward to the future instead of holding onto the past.  They were only supposed to be dreams (or so I thought.)

Over these last few weeks, I’ve seen the lightbulb blinking on and off indicating, This isn’t just a dream- anymore. You are actually Living Out these Dream of Yours.  In fact, during my grad program interview last Friday, this came into full fruition while speaking of my current volunteer activities.  Between you & me, and possibly my interviewer, the realization caused tears to well up behind my eyes.

I was going to write more on this post, but once again my go-go-go lifestyle is getting the best of me these days.  But trust me, no complaints here.  Even though my emotions got the best of me two weeks ago, I’ve been granted a lot of clarity since then.  (We’ll leave it at that.)  And in many different ways, I’ve found myself inspired to continue Living My Dreams.  Especially yesterday.

On Tuesday night I heard heart-wrenching news from my Little Sis, Alisha, that her (Big Brothers Big Sisters) 7-year old Little, Adeyah, and her mother, Tiffany, had their house robbed.  My own heart broke for this family and the vulnerability, sadness, and anger that they were going through.  Knowing how special this family is to Alisha, I willingly took this upon myself to bring a smile back to this little beauty’s face. 

A simple Facebook post about the situation was all it took to draw out the support from generous friends of mine.  Today I am still overwhelmed with the beauty that was shown yesterday.  Words cannot express how touched I am by the Kindness that was exhibited; so much so that I am inspired to Give More to help those in need.  

If you are interested in helping little Adeyah & her mother, Tiffany, during this difficult time, please feel free to send me an email at Kristen.Medica@gmail.com or comment on this post and I will get back to you with more information.  Everything but their clothes and large furniture were taken in the robbery, and we’ve learned that it’s best to supply them with giftcards- Walmart being my recommendation. 

One last comment from me and then it’s back to go-go-go for me: Time is the Best Thing that You Can Give of Yourself.  All over this world, people are in need of helping hands.  Find a Cause that Speaks to You.  Become a Volunteer in Your Community.  Make A Difference in a Child’s Life by Becoming a Big Sister or Big Brother.  Do Something.  Anything. 

If You Can Dream It, Know that You Can Do Make It Happen.

happiness hit her like a train on a track coming towards her. stuck still, no turning back.   2 comments

The rule of Quest Physics goes something like this: If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you. ~ Eat. Pray. Love.

If you know me on a personal level, in the flesh and not just as a blogger, then you know that I never do things for myself.  Doing things for others is what makes me happy, so the way I see it is that doing things for me is doing things for others. So deciding to dedicate a year of my life to myself was a difficult concept for me to accept.  It took a lot of courage to step up and say, “I need to do this for me.”  I knew I had to do it.  I knew it was time.

For someone who has always taken care of others, even running herself down to do so, focusing on myself was a struggle- to say the least.  If I had to do it all over again, I would…but I’d also want to pass on those first few days that proved to be pretty rough.  I felt selfish as I dedicated more time to taking care of myself and not everyone else.  But it was through my online Human Relations course, where I ‘met’ Alisha, that Dr. Shostak taught me an important lesson: If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you expect to take care of anyone (everyone) else?  Dr. Shostak really helped me during those 3 months, allowing me to look at myselt from a new perspective.  Through one of our class’s online discussions, a question was raised that really made me see the changes that I’d gone through.  The question, What do you fear the most? elicited my repsonse, “I don’t fear anything…anymore.”  I really don’t.  During that class, I realized more and more that if I conquered the obstacle in moving to Chicago alone and overcoming all of the challenges, then I can do ANYTHING. 

Looking back, that was the moment when I began becoming “me” again…the “me” who stopped letting fear & doubt hold her back from doing the things she wanted to do.  With the love & support of many beautiful people, I’ve been able to make a lot of progress since then.  In fact,  I can sit here and say that I’m more fearless now than back then.  Life hasn’t been perfect and this blog serves as evidence that weak moments have gotten the best of me every now and then.  However, I’ve learned to accept and appreciate each struggle and mistake, identifying each as a lesson to be learned.  While the rejections still sting, I’ve been able to tell myself, “This too shall pass.”  And it always does. 

If I think about it, I actually do have one quirk that can be categorized as a “fear”: To live with regrets.  To say “been there, done that” doesn’t even scrape the surface.  For a while, regrets defined my life and prohibited me from really living.  In a way, I don’t regret that time in my life because I know it’s had quite an impact on me. 

For one, I now live my life to prevent myself from having any regrets that would (potentially) hold me back (again).  I take chances; say what I mean(t) to say; do what I want to do….and most importantly, I let myself be happy.  Adopting this as my (new) life philosophy, I knew there was no turning back.  But what I didn’t know ahead of time that I was also welcoming happiness (back) into my life.  Saying that may shock a lot of people, especially those who tell me that I am “always smiling”, that I’m not always happy.  In fact…wait for it…for awhile I believed that I didn’t deserve to be happyI know, those damn hormones and teenage years that seem to haunt those you’d least expect.

That illogical idea has diminished over the course of this past year, causing the smile on my face to be the most genuine it’s been since I was an innocent, (emotionally) scar-free kid.  I wish it didn’t take me so long, but I know that I was the only one who had to convince myself that I deserve to be happy.   I do, and you do too.

Reading, and then watching, Eat. Pray. Love. really encouraged me to dedicate my energies to finding happiness through a balanced life.  Balance: Now that’s a concept that I’ve struggled with for awhile, especially when it comes to doing things for myself.  While it’s been a wonderful year, it’s also been quite a whirlwind as I’ve tried to do as much as I can, in as many different places, with many people.  Translation: I’ve spent a lot of time traveling to visit friends- mostly in Ohio.  It’s certainly worn me out a bit, but being able to see my friends makes me happy- and that’s what matters to me the most.  As instructed in Eat. Pray. Love.: “To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced life.” 

I know I’ll always be the kind of person that likes doing things for others to make them happy. That’s just who I am.  But I now understand that I need to make sure that I’m happy too.  So if doing something truly makes me happy, then I see no reason why I shouldn’t do them.  I cannot think of anything better in life than being able to make others happy and being happy yourself.

Song of the Moment: Dog Days are Over performed by GLEE Cast- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxQveFlxdyk

 

~I think I deserve something beautiful.~

let me have a moment: hakuna matata   Leave a comment

It’s only 9 am out here in Chicagoland and I actually allowed myself to “sleep in” til 8 am this morning.  Somehow being up for 1 hour, and really only ‘up’ for 30 minutes, I find myself stressed.  It will all be fine when I walk outside, in the cold air, in an hour or so.  But for now, I’m reminding myself to breathe and drink coffee from the Hakuna Matata mug Alisha sent me.  You’re the best, Sis!

While this long weekend has granted me amazing opportunities- in the form of volunteering- I’ll admit that it’s been quite frantic.  In the shower this morning, I (frantically) told myself- perhaps even outloud- that “You cannot do everything.”  But I sure have tried this weekend, and succeeding for the most part.  With the exception of this morning’s stressor, which is a work-related incident, I can say I’ve done fairly as I played the role of Super Volunteer, NFL Games Volunteer Coordinator, Child Life Extraordinaire, and, oh, Cat Sitter.  (Although Phoebe, Sarah’s cat, may disagree as I never ended up staying as long as I planned, but she was fed on time- for the most part.)

However, I feel as though I’ve done a horrible job at performing other roles, including Friend, Daughter, and Sister.  Other than a few texts, Facebook messages & “Happy Birthday” posts, and 2-fifteen minute phone calls with my mom, I’ve been lacking in the family and friend circuit.  Looking at unanswered calls, texts, FB messages, and emails, I just feel like a bad friend to so many people.  Thank God for Stef and our dates on Thursday and Saturday nights, which were definitely saving graces for me this weekend.  Not only did she help me relax (a bit) and have fun, but she also helped me feel like I wasn’t completely absent in the Good Friend category.  Thanks so much, Stef!

AND…I’ve been a non-existent working-outer…which is a MUST as soon as I have time!!  All I want to do is run my tired legs off and do hours of yoga. 

Okay, I feel somewhat better, which is the reason I took this time to put a post together.  But the show– that is this weekend- must go on…and this girl needs to get ready to head down to Solider Field and promote at the Bears Game.  Oh, and feed Phoebe before I catch the bus!  Seriously, is this weekend over yet?

Anyways, before I head out to get ready, let me say a huge THANK YOU to you for letting me take this time to allow myself to write (my therapy) and breathe.  And to my friends, some whom read this little blog of mine, I promise you I’m fine.  Exhausted?  Yes.  But fine.  I’m very much looking forward to walking through my apartment door tonight, ignoring the dirty pile of laundry in the entry way, and curling up in OU blanket and responding to some messages and emails.  And maybe, if I’m not too tired, beginning to fill out some of those grad school and Child Life internships applications.

you can stand under my umbrella.   Leave a comment

There are too many rotten things in this world, and if I can put a smile on one little girl’s face, one little boy’s face, then I’ve done my job.  ~ Tiffani Amber Thiessen

I love rainy days.  I love the sound of the rain on the window.  I love jumping in puddles in my rainboots.  And I love when the rain beginning dying down and I can close my umbrella and feel little raindrops on my skin.  But today wasn’t a rainy day, it was a torrential downpour.  And as I commuted both to and from work today, in the monsoon that hit Chicagoland, there were no windows as I found myself outside in the middle of it.  And while there were certainly puddles, there were soaken wet ballet flats on my feet instead of those rainboots- which were staying dry in my apartment.  And as for feeling the raindrops on my skin (and all over every inch of my covered body), that did happen while my umbrella was still up.

Sure I felt wet and horrible, and looked even more horrible, but I love the rain.  It’s so cleansing- literally- but also mentally and emotionally.  I always feel like some of my best thinking is done when I’m in the rain.  Today was no exception.  After a long day at work, I found myself with low blood sugar as I ran a few errands.  In between stops, my mind began wandering.  Soon I found myself thinking about all of the younger girls that have come into my life recently, allowing me to play the big sister role

You’ll know my little angel, Hazel, and my sis/(hopefully) future sister-in-law/Pen Pal, Alisha.  However, this weekend I was fortunate to spend time with my boss’s 15-year old daughter, Liz, and her friend, Tara, as they ventured to the city (from the ‘burbs) for their first unsupervised trip downtown.  Hanging out with them, I found myself remembering what my high school years were like.  (Not too lovely and we’ll leave it at that.)  I found myself in a big sister role, as someone who wanted to guide them through life and let them know that I’d always be by their side.   Isn’t that what big sisters are for?

It’s funny because I always wanted an older sister, but never a younger one.  I think I just wanted someone to guide me through life and let me know that someone was always there for me.  But now, I want to give others that opportunity that I didn’t have.   The world can be a cruel place- especially within those high school walls- and I just don’t want them to go through any of the pains and struggles that I experienced.  And if they do, which they probably will, I want them to understand that they have sidekick in life.  Someone who’s proof that the struggles make you stronger and that they are able to get through ANYTHING.  Those teen years can be horrible, and the years after are filled with confusion, so it’s always nice to know that someone is there to help you through it.

Having endured my own personal struggles growing up, I find that it is my duty to help others through theirs.  As girls, we constantly find ourselves with societal pressures and then we put pressure on ourselves.  I want to do whatever I can to make sure that Hazel, Alisha, Liz, Laura, Tara, and whatever other young girls become my ‘younger sisters’ in the next decades, feel like they can count on me and my strength to help them through it.  I want to share my own struggles and experiences with them so that they know I once wore their shoes too AND I overcame them.  I want them to that they can and they will overcome theirs. 

I cannot end this post without thanking the older sisters that have helped guide me: Darlene, Adriana, Ruth, Kristin, Sarah, Carrie, and now Dina.  (Just to name a few.)  All of them have helped me, especially this past year or two, and I am forever grateful.

Song of the Moment: Crazy Ride by Michelle Branch- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCZqnFiwjQo