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Past Blog for BLC 21 Weekend Challenge

Friday, January 25, 2013

Being 16 was a challenging time in my life. My family decided to move from a small town in East Texas to a much larger City in Indiana. I was worried and anxious but at the same time I was excited. After all, the City had a real mall, restaurants and lots of new things to do. What I didn’t realize was how mean people could be to outsiders and being from a small southern town moving to a northern City was a culture shock to say the least. Having a “lovely southern drawl” made matters worse.

Lucky for me, I had great parents. They were a huge support and worked hard to keep me busy and to help me “fit in”. The other thing I had going for me was my athletic ability. I was a strong basketball player and possessed the confidence on the court. This alone probably saved my sanity and gave me back a little control when everything else seemed to be spiraling downward. This is probably why I enjoy sports so much.

Looking back there are definitely things I would change but without those trying times I would not be the person I am today. The wisdom I would give my 16 year old self (and my own children today) is pretty simple:

1) Love yourself and don’t worry too much what others think or say about you.
Be strong in who you are (or who you want to become). Do the right thing
even when it’s difficult.

2) Unleash your sense of humor. Life can be very stressful and one of the best
ways to handle it is to find the humor in all situations. Don’t take everything
so seriously and let things roll off your back. Is it really that important in
the grand scheme of things?

3) Life is not fair. Realize this early and make the most of every situation.
Work hard for what you want and do your best no matter what you are doing.
Give it 100% no matter how menial it may seem at the time.

4) Save money and live below your means even at 16. This was the best advice
my parents ever gave me. It will allow you to do the things you want to do
later in life.

5) Be kind and compassionate to others even when they are mean to you. Until
you walk in their shoes you don’t know what they may be going through; plus,
it’s better to fight back with kindness which means you keep your integrity
intact either way.

6) Take good care of yourself (this goes hand in hand with #1). Workout and eat
healthy. These good habits will carry you through your adult years and keep
you healthy. Don’t neglect yourself. I wish I had maintained my athleticism
throughout instead of waiting until my 30’s to get serious again.

Learn from the past. Don’t dwell on it. Move forward to the future.
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