People will ask me, How do you do it?
My answer is, You rise to the occasion.
1. When an opportunity presents itself, take it. The best advice I ever received was while I was a lifeguard working at Wild Water Adventures. While working ember watch during an Independence Day firework show, I listened to the words of a 25 year old EMT who explained, When an opportunity presents itself, take it. Sounds simple enough, but to me, at 17, those words were profound.
2. I believe in the capacity of people to do good.
About six months after my talk on the top of the Sidewinder, I began the journey to become a foreign exchange student. Not only did I learn German, and make life long friends, but the main thing I took away from my year in Europe was the world is a big, diverse, beautiful place, and people should not be swift to judge or criticize. I grew up believing many things were black and white (which is typical of most children) and I came to learn that although people make some bad choices it doesn't necessarily mean they are bad people. I believe in the capacity of people to do good.
3. Be resourceful and share what you learn to improve others lives. Life skills are taught. Whether by observation or direct instruction, we are complex social creatures expected to learn a myriad of skills ranging from proper etiquette to cooking rice. Before Youtube, these skills were expected to be learned in the home and young people everywhere are practically starving due to their lack of skills and you have this (in the best case scenario) unintentionally entitled generation who expect their parents to register them for college and chauffeur them back and forth. Use your brain. Find someone to teach you. Keep learning. READ. Be resourceful and creative. To be fair- I'm close to the can't cook side of things- but I can teach you how to use Wordpress, ride a horse, and change the oil in your car.
4. Don't be afraid of money. I grew up thoroughly middle class and for the longest time I felt like DOOM was around the corner. If I couldn't pay my bills it was the END of the world. Now I know, it's not the end of the world. There are far worse things. I have a healthy family and loyal and loving husband and friends who care about me. If I can't pay Verizon, I can suspend that account. PGE can give me their notices. I'll live. The only suckers I pay on time are the credit card companies and my student loans- because if I don't it will really be hell to pay, but only financially, again, real hell, much worse. If your bills are getting out of control, call the companies they will work with you and consider what is truly a want and what are needs. Be wise, but don't let fear and anxiety rule you. Money comes and goes. You might be one top of the world one day and the bottom the next, your relationships are what matters most.
5. Have courage and be kind. Borrowing from Cinderella here, but it is true. Be independent. Be considerate. Be straightforward and honest. Not only is this important in every day life, but professionally. Be one of the shepherds and protect those with whom you work; don't be one of the wolves. We are human beings capable of tremendous compassion and terrible cruelty and some teenage girls are capable of both within the same day. Have integrity. Chose to be better each day and do service. Service will help you to love others and yourself.