26

“Can I see your I.D.”

I roll my eyes internally, and sometimes outwardly, when asked that question.

“I am 25 going on 26, can’t you tell!”

But this post isn’t about how young lookin’ I am on the outside and how young actin’ I be on the inside.

It’s about the important lessons I’ve learned in my early 20’s; many I am still working on as I head toward them late twenties. 

  1. Some lessons are bigger than a person or the people involved. Give yourself time to heal from what makes us all human, but remember, the Universe/God uses people and situations to guide you. It is not right to hate or hold on to interpersonal anger. It is also not wrong to distance yourself from points of stress. But, let go of hate and let go of anger, and work to understand things outside of bodily experiences.
  2. Keep your childhood and/or college friends, they are love and moments you will never forget, but don’t be afraid to form one or two quality adult friendships with people who share your value/moral scale and who make you a priority. 
  3. Live honestly. Tell yourself the truth and be earnest with the people you encounter in this life.
  4. You will make mistakes, maybe even some big ones. Forgive yourself. The people around you will make mistakes, maybe even some big ones. Forgive them. Secondly, pay attention to how people in your life react and treat you when you do make mistakes. From there, decide how to proceed with them. There are people out there who will want to use your mistakes to write a negative narrative. There are people out there who will not forgive your mistakes. There are people out there who may never want to forgive you. Learn to be okay with that. Life is so much more than the mistakes we make, and that old saying about learning from them applies. 
  5. Set professional boundaries for yourself and don’t let anyone guilt you for it. At this stage in life, you are probably working to fulfill someone else’s dreams; you have dreams too — learn to leave work at work; log off your work email when you’re home; come up with a way to decompress before you get home; demand better pay; speak up for yourself when you’re treated like shit; bring down the patriarchy and white feminism!! — sorry, got carried away. Anyway, I’m not trying to get anyone fired out here, so do this responsibly.
  6. Therapy! Growing up in a Haitian household, I learned that no one deserves to know my family’s business. As much as I think discretion has a place, it’s not to be used when sitting on someone’s couch who you are paying to help you heal. Therapy can be expensive and depending on your health plan, it might not be feasible. In that case, find someone who you trust to be honest with you to speak with on a regular basis. Maybe it’s your favorite aunt who you call on the drive home from work. Maybe it’s your mama. Maybe it’s boyfriend number 2 who knows how to drop that philosophical knowledge.
  7. Know thyself (Delphi Ruins). I’ll share a short anecdote for this one. Someone once told me that I have no concept of privacy. It was a way for them to bully me in a conversation where that statement was unnecessary, but I wasn’t hurt because I know myself. I hold very few things private, purposely. The things I keep private usually have to do with other people’s business, but I generally feel comfortable openly sharing of myself. If I had not known myself enough to be comfortable with that truth, it could have made an already painful week in my life even more painful, but it did not because I know myself and that is a part of myself that I am comfortable with. In knowing yourself, it is important to accept that not everyone will love all aspects of who you are; that’s okay. 
  8. Choose love over loyalty. I learned this early in my 20’s and it’s an easier lesson for me because I am a natural critic. You will learn that human beings crave allegiance, we want loyalty, but loyalty can be dangerous. Hold close people who aren’t here to blindly support you but will be honest with you because they love you. Hold close people who will disagree with you but lovingly. Hold close people who know your faults but who will not belittle you.
  9. Educate yourself. You don’t know everything, no one does, so remain open to learning. I’m not only talking about classroom learning.
  10. Have a financial plan. My cat is sitting on her perch laughing at me as I write this rule because she sees me stressin’ about finances at least twice a month when I do a version of budgeting that ain’t really budgeting. In all seriousness, this lesson is my greatest challenge, but I am doing number 9 to help me get to a place where I have a solid financial plan.
  11. Learn a few legal things. Not every contract or agreement put in front of you is legit, know the difference and if you don’t, rely on friends who do to help guide you.
  12. Don’t settle for sub-par sex. Sex should be like eating ice cream. There are so many flavors, colors, tastes, cone sizes, textures — ice cream purists, don’t debate me on this, I like my ice cream melting soft, it’s a thing. This lesson is especially important for women because sex positivity is not encouraged in our culture. Anyway, you don’t have to settle for a lame who don’t know how to get in the mane, nah mean. And a secondary lesson, it doesn’t matter if the sex is heavenly if they treat you like crap. You are a freaken gawd, don’t be out here with sub-humans who don’t know how to return texts or calls. Thirdly, don’t be a crazy person and out here sending six paragraph text messages cuz the ice cream put you in coma — you gon’ be alright!
  13. Some people are assholes; you don’t have to be an asshole so don’t be an asshole. And if you ever are an asshole, own it and apologize.  
  14. You might not save the world, but you can change it. This TED talk says it all: https://youtu.be/JH6FBwbqxUA ((you better come back and finish reading this whole dag-on post!))
  15. Failing does not make you a failure, it makes you a scientist! Not exactly, but failing is not the end. When you fail, you learn. Remember that time when the hip-pop, rappin’ group Girls Time didn’t win that boring ass show… 25 or so years later, we got Beychella. I use this analogy because it’s important to Beyonce between the failures. Yes, I used Beyonce as a verb! Don’t sit here and gloat when you fail, figure out what led to the failure and determine how you can be better then repeat as many times necessary.
  16. Learn to be silent. I talk a lot so this is especially for the talkers… learn to be silent. You might not be right about everything you think you are right about, so be silent and observe every once in awhile. Of course, don’t use this lesson at the expense of using your voice or if it makes you feel small to be silent.
  17. Be.Be you,
    the truest version of you
    Filters are meant for Instagram,
    not the sound of your beautiful heartbeat
    You are a marching band,
    when your feet hit the ground pavement waves
    Find your rhythm,
    through the smiles and tears there’s a truth
    It is you.
  18. Support your friends and colleagues. It’s great to love Beyonce and attend every single show, but it’s also great to support your friend with the budding poetry, art, music, interior design, travel, etc… career.
  19. Take care of your health. Diabetes and high cholesterol run in my family, so I am taking better care of my health. As much as I would love to look like Teyana Taylor, I’m cool with my extra bootie and stretch marks as long as I am living a healthier life. Start small, right. Don’t overwhelm yourself. For me, this meant picking up an informational booklet on diabetes and cooking foods that combat the onset. It also means walking or jogging a couple times a week and doing weird little blood flow exercises in my apartment. I use to be so hardcore with my insanity and extreme fitness exercises, so I constantly need to remind myself to not set crazy expectations because it’s discouraging for me. Refer to number 7, know yourself enough to know what works for you.
  20. Be love, be peace, be whatever the heck you want to be!

Celebrate my birthday by reading my books: goo.gl/oE72rh

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PC: Kaila Skeet Browning

 

You ain’t gotta be lonely just cuz you alone, baby.

I am on my own again! 

When I moved down to Florida almost four years ago, I initially lived with an amazing couple, Jorge and Marie, on Miami Beach. From there, I found a couple of dope roommates, Mark and Tony, and Tony’s black lab, Sally.

After a few months with the most amazing 30-somethings in South Florida, I moved out on my own, but I wasn’t really on my own. When I lived alone for the first time, I had an amazing neighbor-friend, Greer.

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Greer and I both worked for the same community organizing network, DART.

Though I was on my own, in my independent living space, Greer was apartment 5 and I was 6. We spent a great deal of time together and counted on each other when we had amazing days and tough ones. Not only were we each other’s emotional support, we jogged together in the morning, shared meals, hung out on the weekend, and exchanged advice about love and life.

From there, I became an organizer for the 2016 election year. The commute from Broward County to Palm Beach County proved to be difficult. Us Floridians know, I-95 is unpredictable, so a 30-minute commute can easily become an hour and in some rare cases, two. Because of the highway’s unreliability, I found supporter housing with Jim and Lorrie, who I spent two years with. Read about how Lorrie, Jim, and I connected here: https://delraynewspaper.com/5-questions-flose-boursiquot-24056!

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Also pictured: Flossie …. Artist: https://www.facebook.com/TiffanyFreemanStudios/

After two years living with Lorrie, Jim, and all the pets pictured, I decided to venture out on my own again!

When it came time to settle in my apartment, I knew it would be important to cure loneliness before it set on. Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes need to isolate myself, I can isolate in a room full of people — I climb in my head and stay there until I’ve worked out whatever it is that requires isolation, but I love being around people. My friend, Danielle, and I recently talked about where we get our energy; I derive much of mine from positive interactions with other human beings.

Living alone is the opposite of interacting with human beings, so what could I do to not feel so far away from life forms. 

  • First, I got a cat! Sasha. She’s the sweetest, most mischievous creature on the planet. I love that she has gotten use to my alarm clock in the morning and gets in my face until I wake up to feed her. Sometimes, she even gets all up in my face before my alarm and causes trouble. I’d like to think that we share a mutual bond. She purrs and meows when I get home and sits on my lap for pets whenever she feels like it. The bottom line, I’ll always have a pal in Sasha.

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  • Lastly, I have started planting herbs in my apartment. Not only has having my personal herb garden scattered around my apartment been a slight dollar saver, it’s also helped liven up the place. Plants, much like a kitty cat, help foster a routine — if I don’t water the suckers and show them love then they die. You don’t want your plants to die, do you, DO YAHHHH!

 

 

Don’t be afraid to take the living-alone-leap, when you’re ready, it won’t be so bad if you anticipate loneliness and find ways to cure it before it sets on. That’s not to say there won’t be days when you do get lonely, but those days won’t become routine.

Gags Don’t Belong On The Job

This is not a slight to any past or current employers, but a great piece of information I learned tonight while discussing small business with a friend who is a superwoman and starting her own company with a group of amazingly talented people. Can’t wait to share more with y’all once she’s off the ground!

Long story short, we were discussing what millennials see in employers that we appreciate and the practices we no longer wish to see. From there, we began discussing conversations that are taboo at work. For example, discussing salary and benefits with your co-workers. This is a practice employers discourage because it often leads to the forming of a union but you have every right to discuss these issues. Actually, it might help bring work issues to surface and aid your employer in practicing business more justly. If juste practices are important and your employer doesn’t practice them, that job or career is likely not a good fit for you, but idk… don’t blame me if you ruin your life.

Back to the topic at hand. A great practice is to ask yourself why certain situations are taboo in the workplace and what you can do to change them. Secrecy or gags within workplaces does not excuse the many offenses folks have committed, but I think keeping quiet has aided a lot of terrible practices including sexual harassment because employees are believed to have no power and should not be speaking out.

Furthermore, if you are in a situation where you need to be treated justly, speak to your boss, then go from there. I’m tired of hearing so many friends who were told college was the way to go, so we did, and now many of them will be in debt for life… can you imagine. Life! You work a middle class job and for the rest of your life you have to pay off loans because our society told you that you HAD to go to college to make it in America.

Now you’re at this job and they’re paying you shit money and expect you to appreciate basic ass shit employers should be doing anyway. Don’t be angry about it in secret & exhale with friends although that’s totally cool — exploding and exhaling with friends is great –, do something!

Also, this idea that employees should not talk to each other about benefits and pay is fucking silly and perpetuates a capitalist system that says there ISN’t ENOUGH TO GO AROUND SO SCRAMBLE FOR WHAT YOU CAN GET. Ugh. No!

Anyway, I’m on a tangent. Maybe because I’ve been reading up on economics too much in preparation for my 3rd quarter at SOM, but I hope this was helpful.

The Atlantic
The Atlantic

Read more:
https://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect/employee-rights
https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/07/when-the-boss-says-dont-tell-your-coworkers-how-much-you-get-paid/374467/

The Last Lecture

Pick your secret valentine, the Delray Beach Public Library told me as I made my way back from the fiction section where I had just picked out some Octavia Butler gems.

I stopped, thought about my difficulty making decisions but quickly realized that my eyes were fixed on a small book in pink wrapping paper with a heart glued to the material. The center of the heart had three words— biography, inspirational, philosophy; three things I’m down for.

Later that Friday evening, I unwrapped the book excitedly in my room and let my fingers run across the title, The Last Lecture. I had heard of Randy Pausch and this amazing lecture from a dying man back in college, but I never pursued the book. Perhaps, the Universe feels I needed to read the powerful work now more than I did back at Syracuse University.

What do I think 

Well, I have just finished wiping tears from my eyes as I finished the 206 page body of work. It’s incredible. Although Randy was a left-brain and I happen to be a right-brain, I found The Last Lecture moving, inspiring, and philosophical in that it encouraged me to think deeply about the meaning of life, death, love, family, and all the shit I hoard in my life.

Lessons that stuck most 

I read over 120 pages of the book in one sitting and probably could have finished it all if I hadn’t made plans to take myself to see an awful box office success.

Okay, back on topic. Here are the lessons that struck me most from The Last Lecture:

  • Brick Walls 
    • Nothing is impossible. Treat the things you want as a brick wall, you might not be able to jump it today, but work yourself up to make that leap.
  • Don’t think about it too much 
    • What other people think about you is none of your business, live your life.
  • Be honest 
    • Lies always come back to bite you whether you know it or not, so stay honest.
  • Communicate 
    • Talk directly about your needs and be willing to listen.
  • Materials don’t mean much 
    • If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. So what if your car has a dent or two, does it do what it is meant to do — then why spend money on vanity. Clothes come in and out of style, don’t waste so much money on a wardrobe.
  • ‘No’ isn’t an answer unless we’re talking about consent 
    • When you want something don’t take the first or second no, keep pursuing it — it’s like the brick walls.
  • You can lead a positive life 
    • You can be a left-brain like Randy and remain a positive human. An even more important point, you can be diagnosed with terminal cancer with months to live and still live life positively. Be a Tigger not an Eeyore. 
  • Watch how you spend your time 
    • Plan your day and watch how you spend your time. You can accomplish so much in this life, all your childhood dreams, if you spend your time strategically. Maybe cross a Netflix series off your list and work on pursuing one of your dreams.
  • Fundamentals matter 
    • I got a C in calculus in college despite how hard I worked because I never learned the fundamentals of math — don’t be like me. In whatever field you find yourself, learn the fundamentals otherwise you’ll always be playing catch-up.
  • Let your children dream, question, and write on the wall 
    • Don’t stifle your children. Encourage your kids to dream and when they want to do something get inquisitive with them.
  • Take care of your needs first 
    • You cannot do what you are purposed to do if you allow others and the things you encounter in life to drain your battery. Charge up then worry about everything else.

Although the above are what struck me most, all 206 pages offered insight. Randy wrote The Last Lecture after delivering his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon. The book and lecture encourage us to live out our childhood dreams and leave a tangible piece of himself behind for his three young children. It’s clear that Randy is in love with Dylan, Logan, Chloe and his beautiful wife Jai. It brings him great grief knowing that he won’t be around to live out the life he and Jai dreamed — that tragic realization and Randy’s openness about crying in the shower or how he and Jai cling to each other in tears is heartbreaking.

Despite all of that, I leave the book knowing that Jai, Dylan, Logan, and Chloe will survive (and have, since the book was published in 2008) without Randy in the present form but will carry pieces of him as they journey.

The Last Lecture begs you, the reader, to answer the following questions:

  • What is important to you? Are you working toward achieving it?
  • Are you living a logical and positive existence?
  • How are you doing on accomplishing your childhood dreams?
  • If you had to give a last lecture (no matter what field you’re in), what would you leave behind?


Choose the God of love

I’ve only been on this Earth, in my present form, for 23 years. There’s a lot that I am figuring out. Today, I attended mass at one of the churches I work with and the Deacon there preached on why our young people are moving away from the church. He touched on the usual things, sex, homosexuality, weed, alcohol… He did so in a manner that I found polarizing, so while he preached, I pulled out my pen and paper and allowed my mind to respond, to reflect.

In truth, if we have sex we won’t automatically get AIDS and die. It’s also likely that we won’t get pregnant. Our churches are preaching an irrational message. Youth know there are 75 different ways to prevent an STI and/or pregnancy. Our churches need to preach with a foot rooted in reality. Meet our youth where they are. There are many dangers to unsafe/irresponsible sex, including STI’s, but openly discuss the emotional consequences, speak honestly about how sex can be an intimately beautiful experience. To draw young people to God, to assist them in their spiritual growth, we must meet them where they are and we must debrief the messages that they are receiving from the world while introducing them to a God of love.

In our world of “knowledge,” “rhetoric,” and “theory,” we may get caught up in proving a point using the messages of the “market god” while neglecting the messages that our “God of love” has placed in all of us. Our growth with God and our spiritually can only be fed if we remain open and willing. Willing to neglect our desires of the flesh. Willing to look passed polarizations that turn God into an angry-cheek-slapping-hypocritical-bastard while the world is an ever-forgiving place.

Whether we recognize it or not, we are feeding our soul. Every single day advertisers sit in board rooms and compete for human attention, for human purchasing power–they compete to feed our souls. Many times they win.

God uses one avenue, he uses his love.

I believe that it is without a doubt there are many containers, religious paths, that we can use to get to God. Choose one. It doesn’t matter whether your path is meditation on the Word through the Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Buddhist texts… choose a path that leads you to God through his love. Choose to grow spiritually, in God.

Choose the God of love, and when you do his message will glow through you and attract all those around you.

How a diva cup took me to the moon

A few months ago while at a work conference in Ohio, I was having a conversation with my colleague, Jacqueline Nye, and she mentioned how annoyed she was that she forgot her diva cup.

Diva cup?

Images of a gold encrusted pink pimp cup with the word “DIVA” carved out in gold lettering popped in my head.

As it turns out, a “diva cup” is a small silicone cup inserted in the vagina to collect menstrual blood. After that conversation, I did some Googling and found that women are using more sustainable ways to “period.”

It seems that although sanitary napkins, known as “pads” in the streets, and tampons are quite popular they are not the best option for women or this gorgeous planet that God has blessed us with. To find out why sanitary napkins and tampons are so yesterday, visit: http://sustainablecycles.org/sustainable-menstrual-products/ and http://sustainablecycles.org/menstrual-cup-basics/ but make sure you come back and finish reading my post!

After more googling and a Facebook post about sustainable periods, I was sold! Yes, I post stuff like that on Facebook. Why? Because periods happen, dude, and it’s not something that should be hidden under a dark cloudy sheet. We should communicate comfortably about period products in the same way that we discuss makeup removers.

Anyway! I learned about Mooncups which are much like diva cups, and I also stumbled upon information about cloth pads. There’s a demographic of women who have ditched the silly ways of sanitary napkins and tampons because…

over 13 billion pads and 7 million tampons are used and disposed of every year! (Tree Hugger Cloth Pads)

I’m all about trying to do my little bit to conserve this planet so I paid $30 for my Mooncup and $35.89 for a shipment of four cloth pads from Tree Hugger Cloth Pads. Both products will last several years before needing to be replaced.

What is it like to use a Mooncup for the first time?
Frankly, it’s kind of like the first time you put anything foreign in your vagina. I was like oh, this feels weird. Huh. Not bad. Once I stopped focussing on the fact that I had a tiny cup inside of me, I didn’t even feel the thing in there! 100 times better than any tampon I’ve ever used including those tiny compact ones from Kotex that are better for the environment than the ones with a plastic applicator.

How do I get it out?
Okay! This part was scary. The Mooncup has this little stem that sticks out like a tampon string would. Well, I just pulled on the thing. Lord! I thought my vagina was going to come out with the cup. Little did I know, the Mooncup functions with awesome suction power. Don’t just yank it or your vagina will be hella pissed. (Ha! Vagina. Hella pissed.) Here’s what you do… squat over your toiled seat, like you would to take a tampon out and squeeze that bad boy out using those vagina muscles. While doing your kegels, use two fingers, one on each side, and squeeze the bottom of the cup. It’ll start to slide out, then and only then do I recommend pulling the stem. Most of the time, I just take it out directly from the sides without using the stem. I credit this section to my future cousin-in-law Tiffany Freeman, if it were not for her advice I wouldn’t know how to kegel my Mooncup out.

What do I do with it once I get it out?
Just dump the bloody contents out in the toilet. It was a cool experience to actually see my period blood in all its glory for the first time. I thought I’d be grossed out but instead, I felt so close to my body. But, enough with the sentiments. Flush the blood, wash the cup and put that sucker back in. ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU PUT THE CUP IN AND AFTER YOU TAKE IT OUT, unless you’re into getting infections.

Should I use soap?
I just use water until it’s clean.

What about leakage?
I didn’t experience any. But! I did put on one of my Tree Huggers just in case.

Tell me more about them Tree Huggers, girl…
They are like any pad except they are made with water-resistant fleece and are re-usable. There’s no smell and it feels like I’m sitting on soft carpet all day. They soak up an unbelievable amount. I would recommend having two large overnight ones, and two regular ones–for sure. There are also pantyliner sizes. After use, I put it in my bathroom sink and turnon the hot water, then I squeeze all the blood out until the water is clean. Afterwards, I use some soap to do a pre-wash and hang up in my shower. Once dry, I throw them in my hamper. During the day, I carry a leather pouch I once used as my sanitary napkin and tampon carrier to keep clean cloth pads and to store dirty ones. The brand I have come with a snap, I ordered mine with a second snap which makes for a snug fit.

What I learned about periods after using the Mooncup and Tree Hugger:

  • Our periods don’t smell. That bad period smell comes from using a tampon or sanity napkin, because they do not allow our vagina to breathe. I didn’t experience any of my typical period smell using these sustainable alternatives.
  • Our periods are not gross. It is a natural process that women undergo; embrace it, love it.
  • Sharing with other women and asking them questions makes the process of transitioning to sustainable menstrual items easier. There’s tons of information available on disposable period materials like sanitary napkins and tampons, but very little about sustainable alternatives, so share what you know.
  • Try using a Mooncup, Diva Cup and/or cloth pads before you decide sustainable methods are not for you. I know it may sound gross at first, but just give it a try the next time Mother Nature comes knocking.

I’m here for questions and things, please don’t hesitate to ask below or e-mail me at letitflose@gmail.com. I look forward to having you join me on the moon next month 😉

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Lessons Learned Moving Over 1,300 Miles from Home

While living in Vermont for five life changing months, God saw it fit to implant the glorious idea of community organizing in my mind. Before I knew it, I was interviewing for a job to work at a grassroots community organization in Miami-Dade. When I wasn’t searching for KKK chapters in the South and alligator attacks (yes, I know super ignorant of me), I was anxiously apartment hunting and trying to convince myself that I really wanted to move so far away. News flash! I’ve been living in Miami-Dade for about 10 months now and here are a few lessons I have learned about “adulting” while away from the cradle.

  1. You can do it! Moving out of your home state won’t be easy, but you can do it.
  2. Take time to estimate your financial situation as accurately as possible or else you’ll be bloated from stress for like three months.
  3. Do it on your own terms. When I applied for the position I have now, I intended to begin work in June because I knew I wouldn’t be financially ready to start in January. However, this position was one of my top picks and I felt a bit of pressure to say “yes,” so I did. What do you think happened when I started in January–I had no money and remember experiencing stomach growling stress. Now, I probably budget a little too much because of FOFAP (Fear of Financial Ass Planting).
  4. Trust others. For the first three months I lived with a kind stranger and her partner on Miami Beach for only $550 a month. The room and bath even came with a cute little pooch. What a steal!
  5. You won’t make friends like you did in college so you’ll have to friend date… I hate dating so I still have no friends.
  6. Love yourself. I’ve become really good at giving Flose some lovin’ these last 10 months. I take her out to the movies, I treat her to dinner every once in a while, I make sure she gets her exercise–stuff that will make her heart smile.
  7. Even with all the self lovin’, you’ll still get lonely sometimes. Learn to deal with that loneliness in a healthy way. Sometimes that means having a glass of red wine and watching Friends for three hours. Other times it means having a well deserved cry session. And rarely it means sleeping in for a few hours in your messy living space. I’m not sure if any of those examples were healthy, but whose judging!
  8. You’ll quickly learn who your actual friends are versus acquaintances. Actual friends will send random texts to check in on you. They’ll make an effort to visit around the time of your birthday even if you have to crowd three or four people in your room. When you have a really shitty day at work, they’ll sense it and send an “I love you” or “Tell me what’s going on with you” text or they’ll actually pick up the phone to hear your trembling voice. They’ll plan a road-trip with you and spend lots of days with your talkative ass. When you’re home, even if it’s just for a day, they’ll make an extra effort to see your Florida-kissed smile. And when they’re in town, they’ll make time for you, even if it’s a two-hour dinner and they’re still drunk from three days of partying. This is not to discredit acquaintances, they have a place in your life but don’t fool yourself into thinking they’re your rock.
  9. Your relationship with your parents will get stronger. My dad and I spent close to 45 minutes on the phone one day. Like he had more to say than, “did you eat today,” seriously. Although, my mom still gets upset if I don’t make contact for a couple of days, when we speak the conversation is of value. I have learned to appreciate my parents in a way I never did living at home or five hours away when I was in college.
  10. This lesson is kind of scary and caused me a bit of anxiety over the past week… You’ll start to realize that you parents are aging and that shit ain’t cool.
  11. Your siblings will still be assholes to you, but they’ll be the nice kind.
  12. Spirituality, God, will find you even if you’re running away from him. When he catches you, you’ll hold on tight and begin to rebuild your relationship with him even if it’s not in the traditional sense.
  13. Treat your body with respect. I don’t mean that in a woman shaming kind of way. Drink water, eat vegetables, don’t binge drink, exercise… stuff like that because chances are you’re not that responsible and haven’t found a primary care doctor so you can’t get sick.
  14. Even with all that body respect, you’ll still get sick. When you do, you’ll really miss your mommy.
  15. Find a hobby or two.
  16. Learn to roll with things, because not everything will turn out how you expect it to.
  17. Breathe.
  18. You are awesome, moving far from home is hard, and it’s okay if you don’t get everything right because no one does.