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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Adrienne Patterson: Happy Birthday To Me...

Last week I turned 37…how is that possible??!!  I honestly don’t feel 37, I still think of college as just a few years back and then am absolutely shocked when I count the years and realize I graduated college 15 years ago!! So I have spent the last week  settling into my new age and reflecting on where my life is, what I have done with my 37 years and what I hope to accomplish in the next 37. Sounds pretty heavy but really I have had some good laughs thinking about fun memories, major blunders and just outrightly stupid things I have done!  I can look back and shake my head asking the younger me, “What were you thinking??!!” Thought I would share just a few bits of advice I would give the younger me….

Beware of fashion trends…90% of the time you will look back and regret that you ever set foot out of the house in the latest look!  A friend posted an old pic from college and I wondered how I ever thought that cropped top looked good with those high rise jeans? Why did I think shoulder pads were cool and who the heck ever came up with tight rolling jeans?!  Lots of good laughs but really I would tell my 80’s self to just stick with the basics and just stick w/ jelly bracelets and scrunchies for fashion flair

Pick better friends…how I broke my neck to befriend the popular girls only to find out how unfriendly and shallow they really were. I will never forget one popular girl telling me that while we were buddies in homeroom I was not really an “after school friend” when I mentioned her coming to my house.  Read your Facebook now and chances are the pretty popular girls are divorced and unhappy while the girl you ignored in science in doing things with her life and making a difference.  Your mom was right, true beauty is on the inside!!

Be nice to your sisters (or brothers) they will probably turn out to be the best friend you’ve got!....  I know lots of you will disagree and I readily acknowledge that I got really lucky with amazing sisters who are my very best friends.  I remember thinking the typical thoughts…how annoying, dorky and boring they were.  Oh I brought them to tears when I tore up their NKOTB posters and how they dragged me through the house by my ponytail.  But in the end they are the ones who have stuck by me through it all and their love is unconditional!

Thank your mom for all their hard work!  I know I am not alone when I say that as a parent I think at least once each day about my mom and all she did for me and how I just took it all for granted.   When I am rushing to prepare a meal as I dress the girls for soccer and pack their favorite flavor Gatorade while simultaneoulsy unloading the dishwasher and I hear them moan, “Ewww, that’s what we are having for dinner? I hate that!” First instinct is to throw the food in the trash and say, “Fine, you get nothing!” then I want to cry at how ungrateful they are and how they have no clue how hard it is to find something they actually DO like and lastly I take a deep breath and remember how I said the EXACT same thing to my mom.  Some days I just want to call my mom and say I am sorry and tell her how grateful I am for all she did for me

Don’t do what everyone else is doing!  I know this seems pointless to tell the younger me b/c I was not looking to be some weird oddball, middle school was hard enough even when you did fit in.  But the older I get the more I see the beauty in living your life the way God intended it to be not how Homecoming Queen and cheer captain say to live.  If you like music be in the band, if you like debate join the debate team…explore all your interests because you never know what life holds for you down the road.  And for the record, being Home coming Queen and Cheer captain really isn’t going to carry you that far in life….most jobs don’t ask to see your best herky or your tiara!

Don’t be so anxious to start your period (seriously, it’s a curse), to wear a bra (another curse) or to wear make up.  Enjoy the carefree years when it’s not about how grown up you are or how great you can make your self look with the super padded demi cup bra and blue eye shadow.   I look back and long for the days when I only wore make up b/c it seemed fun not b/c I was plagued with sun spots and when I picked bras based on color and cute patterns not based on the fact that they give me enough padding so that it appears I actually do have breasts! 

Eat healthy not to lose weight but to simply be healthy!  I wish I could tell my younger self that down the road I am going to need to really enjoy raw vegetables and almond slivers if I ever want to lose the baby weight or battle a much slower metabolism.  I so wish I had developed a taste for healthy but no, I just crave the crap that makes me fat and the thought of a carrot stick or cottage cheese for a snack just ain’t cutting it.  I should have really prepared my pallet for these now required smart healthy snacks, ugh!!

Don’t put all your focus on a boy, making the cheerleading squad, getting invited to the best party or having a brand new car to show off when you turn 16.  The truth is the boy will turn out to be a jerk who only dated you to see how far he could get you to go, the cheerleaders were probably bulimic and miserable, the best party was actually pretty lame and the bulimic cheerleader got pregnant and ruined her life and as for the car, well you will probably be grounded from driving or total it anyway.  If only I could have realized early what is truly important in life is not the material things.  It’s all about who God is and who He created you to be and what He has planned for your life!  

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