Grow through what you go through.

Growing up, there wasn’t a ton of money to go around my house. With a boatload of kids, living in one of the most expensive cities in Canada, my parents had every penny counted towards something two days prior to pay day arriving.

There were times when things got really bad. And yes, I know I am not the only one on earth who can say this. I was not alone in what I went through. And a lot of what I went through, kids are going through right now.

On more than one occasion, my brother’s and I went out on our bikes after dark to collect bottles from around the neighbourhood so that my mom could return them to the grocery store in hopes of getting $10 for gas money. That $10 would quite literally be the difference between my dad being able to drive to work and my dad hitchhiking to work. And since my parents always did everything within their power to make sure their children were looked after, as kids, we did everything in our power to make sure our parents were looked after.

I’ve learned a lot of lessons from my past. While I am a firm believer that our pasts don’t define us, I also believe that our past does teach us a lot if we’re willing to learn from it.

Me, I know A LOT about how to stretch a dollar. I’m exceptionally good with my money. And, though it does worry me at times (as I’m sure it does with everyone on earth unless you’re Bill Gates), I recognize that my upbringing taught me a lot about how to stay calm in times of financial struggle or monetary crisis.

Everyone on this earth has been through something difficult in their life. EVERYONE. What I’ve noticed though is some people seem doomed to make the same mistakes over and over. They’re not willing to learn from what they’ve been through.

I think that one of the best things you can do for your development and growth as a human is to learn from the circumstances that have made you. Grow through what you go through; learn from what you’ve been through. If you truly want to better yourself, to let your past make you better and your present make you stronger, then learn your lessons. Take the shittiest things that have ever happened to you and ask yourself how you can make sure that never happens again. Remember the hard times and ask yourself what you learned from them. I guarantee you, even if it’s not top of mind, you learned something from these times.

If you’ve been through hard times, if you’re going through hard times, ask yourself what you can take from the difficult and the struggle. Ask yourself how it’s going to make you better. Grow through what you go through. It sounds cliche but you’re braver than you think, stronger than you know and smarter than you believe.

Stupid things I did when I was a teenager.

Story time!

Back in the stone-age, pre-facebook, circa the point in time where cell phones were just starting to become common, there were so very many reasons to be happy and so very many mistakes to be made. That is what it means to be a teenager, after all.

Hey, we’re all human right?

I’m the middle child. I’m also the only girl. It’s safe to say that the majority of my child-hood was spent being ignore or forgotten about. That’s not me whining, that’s stating truth. Parents with four sons tend to worry a lot more about their sons then about their daughter’s making bad decisions. (Sorry boys) I had a double-whammy as I was also the middle kid. Middle kids across the world can attest – we get forgotten about a lot.

I took full advantage of being forgotten about and did a lot of stupid things. I love reading stories like these – hearing what people were like when they were teenagers. Hearing the trouble we caused and the lessons we learned that have shaped the adults we’ve become.

  • I let someone pierce my bellybutton at a house party using a safety pin.
  • I borrowed my parents vehicle to go for pizza. I just didn’t tell them that pizza with friend’s was in the States. This was, obviously, prior to legislation coming into place requiring a passport to get across the border.
  • I used to skip 4 of the 5 days per week of school to go to the hospital and spend it with my friend. Thankfully, school was always something that came relatively easy to me. When it came to writing exams or figuring things out on my own for homework, it wasn’t too difficult.
  • I dyed one half of my hair pink and one half of my hair blue. Dying my hair a crazy colour isn’t something I consider to be stupid. What I didn’t like though was that I did half one colour, half another. That looked ridiculous.
  • I dated a drug dealer. For several years. And I believed him each and every time he said sorry and that he’d changed and that he wouldn’t treat me like shit anymore.
  • I, along with a friend, decided one weekend that I badly wanted to see Alaska. Alaska was not close enough for us to get to in a weekend without getting on a plane. But, for some reason, we got in her car anyway and started driving. We got stranded in the middle of a no-cell-reception portion of the drive with two flat tires at 2 am and started walking until we could find someone to help. We got into a truck with a strange man at 3 am (thinking back on this I’m amazed we didn’t get chopped up to little pieces) and instead of helping us, the man drove us back to the car with the flat tires and left us there, in the middle of nowhere. That was a long, cold night.
  • I had a fake ID that said my name was Britney Spears so that I could start getting into bars at 16.
  • I broke my ankle playing soccer and, when they gave me an air cast instead of a real cast, I decided it wasn’t cute to wear to Formal so I took it off when I left the house. Let’s just say, walking around on a broken bone is not smart. I ended up making my ankle worse.
  • I was hired for, didn’t show up for and quit a job all in one day. Yeah… that one I got in a lot of trouble for from my parents.
  • My high school was a lot like that on Veronica Mars. Actually, it is/was eerily similar when that show came out I thought it might be based off my school it was so close. Anyhoo, some members of the basketball team got in a lot of trouble for gang-raping a cheerleader at a house party. One of their rich daddies was a lawyer who, not only got them off, but threatened legal suit against the school until the basketball team was reinstated to play. Feeling like we didn’t want these assholes to get off the hook for what they did, we did the only thing we could think of at the time (and I in no way condone this). Some kids from school and I went out into the parking lot during basketball practices and flattened all of their tires and put some serious scratches down the sides of their cars. Which, because the school was filled with children of predominately wealthy folk, meant that a lot of really nice cars had some really shitty damage done to them. While I know that I could have gotten in a lot of trouble for this one, so I don’t always share it with people unless I really trust them, I don’t regret this one. I don’t condone this behaviour, but I also felt as though those guys needed to at least suffer from something that their lawyer couldn’t legally get them off the hook for. It’s retaliation that didn’t/doesn’t make much sense… but what they did to that poor girl was inexcusable and horrible and though I don’t know her anymore, it probably still stays with her to this day.

Honestly, I could go on and on. I was an idiot I know that. But I also know that you learn from the choices you make in life and I believe that everything I’ve been through has brought me to this point. I’m a pretty resilient person, at least I’d like to think I am. So I don’t mind when we all gather around the table and share stupid stories of years passed.

We were all young and dumb, once. I’m so glad I’ve become a person who can embrace who I was. I don’t like regret. I once heard someone say that you should never regret anything because at one point in your life it was exactly what you wanted. Well, that’s how I try to lead my life. Embrace it! And, if anyone has actually read this far, tell me a story of a stupid thing you did when you were a teenager.