Today’s blog is an ode to my daughter Elysia Teresa Grace Lepore who I’ve I call Bella or Ella or Bella or both since birth.
This is for calling her Mama on her own shit yesterday,.
Who reminded me of one of my many many many virtues I’ve espoused over the years.
“ What happened to: Do NOT be like them Mom. Be better?”
She got me. Damn!
19 things I’ve learned about life from my 19 year old daughter Elysia which means a ” double blessing”
1) There are very few temporary things that happen in life that pizza, a vent and a nap can’t fix.
2) The best make up in the world, is already on your face – a smile.
3) All 99 pounds of her would go to bat any day for her brothers or a friend or a literal stranger. She may not win but will keep getting back up.
4) Never go to bed angry – stay up ALL night until the other person knows exactly how you think and what you feel. Nothing between 2 people is resolved in silence, especially not at 3 am.
5) As learned by her Mama: Don’t fight the battles you can win. Fight the battles worth fighting for; and she does.
6) If your feel bored or low switch things up – get the tattoo or cut that beautiful hair, even when your Mama cringes because you are a strong young woman, an adult and it’s your right to choose, no one else’s.
7) Don’t be afraid to speak truth to stupid, to call off the bullies, to call out the gossipers and to know when to let the truth and sleeping dogs lie.
8) Life is too short for matching socks, or bra and panty sets, or earrings or occasionally shoes. Don’t even bother trying to be a match, or a duplicate. Conformity is boring. Be yourself, you are one of a kind, just like you were to created be.
9) Have a road map planned out for your life early in it, ya may need to re route, take a break at a rest stop or switch lanes. If you verge off course, stop for snacks, enjoy the scenery, blast the oldies, sing carpool karaoke. Restart your engine, you always held the keys. It’s your car and you decide whether to drive to the mountain or shoot for the moon.
10) When feeling low, watch a really scary movie to remind yourself that it could be a hell out a lot worse- you survived. Then watch a funny one too – stop taking everything so seriously….At least you aren’t the bottled blonde bombshell in the horror movie who should have worn better footwear for running and ended up dead.
11) Running – My daughter ran and competed in track and field in grade 9 and hasn’t run since, except for her mouth ( teen girls are mouthy, so are the adult ones – either way good if it’s purposeful, and not venomous.) I think maybe she thinks like her Mama: why run on a treadmill. You aren’t going anywhere. Run to your destination! We can only give our F**ks to so many things. If running is your mental health clearing space that is awesome. Us girls, prefer late night conversations and brownies, running only to the washroom or to let the dogs out when needed.
12) Being a blogger on Trauma Queen is a lot like Snapchat, live your life out-loud and proud. Snapchat is the highlight reel, but there are many highlights here blogging too, don’t forget to showcase them as accomplishments as well – It’s all about balance.
13) No boy or friend or family defines you. You do. Own it. Those that will respect you, will respect you that much more and those who don’t can f*ck off … You do you!
If they love you it’s a bonus. If they leave you – it’s good riddance.
14) Embrace your inner child – go play laser quest, play hide n seek, dance in the rain, make a snowman, jump on that trampoline, whip down a hill on a crazy carpet, play pool even if you suck, air hockey even when you lose -take a gamble, try to claw out the biggest prize from the machine and cash in your tickets – your proof is you tried. There is a reward to be won!
15) Whether it is a golf cart, a go kart a toboggan, a kayak or a speed boat or a min van go easy around the bends and the forks in the road. Someone might fall off – like your Mother, and get hurt lol. Those bends require extra caution, especially in a parking lot. Take your time.
16) There is no normal. Normal is a perspective of one’s view. Everyone who looks normal often aren’t, and those who appear to be the most normal are often the least. And honestly, who cares anyhow? Normal? Highly overrated and underestimated with zero chance for growth and change. Let your freak flag fly!
17) Do the right thing, even when your voice breaks and your hands shake because it is the right thing to do. Do not allow fear to silence you. That silence does not protect you. It’s protects those who have harmed you. Call the police. Report the perpetrator. Remove his license, to ever make another girl feel so afraid. ( About 3 years back my daughter was sexually harassed by an Uber driver and even though afraid cause the guy knew where we lived – she was upset clearly but she still did the next right thing and then the next… until he was taken off the streets.)
18) Whether it’s is watching as a bigger kid pushing your little brother down the slide in the Mac Donald’s play place or the online gossip mill that changes script through each person’s hands, it passes through – stand up for the underdog, even when it’s you! Don’t entertain bullies or allow them the upper hand. Call them out on that behavior. Stand up for the children, the vulnerable, the cheerleaders and the hockey players, the awkward queer kid in the cafeteria or the prom king – anyone who cannot stand up for themselves.
19) When life becomes overwhelming, whether that is an epic meltdown in the food court of a mall as a child in a snowsuit or over the pressures of being a university student. Let that shit out – yell, scream, cry, punch something soft – get it out of your body because lord knows there may be a shit to deal with tomorrow. If you can’t, you are still holding yesterday’s sh*t. Let it come. Let it stay. Let it speak then let it go. Keep the wisdom and lessons learned, and like hand picked tumbling weed, in one’s hand, take a deep breath and blow the rest away.
I truly believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that often times,we learn far more as parents from our children than they we’ll ever learn from us.
Elysia is a mini-me… well played God, well freaking played!
The third child of four and the only girl and although we are basically twins in many ways 30 years apart.
She is stronger, braver and far more confident than her Mama.
I cry often and get emotional.
I am highly sensitive and intuitive and empathic.
If you are reading this and you bump into my daughter and see her crying – RUN!
Because she is pissed, which is generally when she cries. Unless she’s drunk, and everything spills out ( the drinking age here is 19 – stop before calling child services). “
“She is not fragile like a flower, she is fragile like a bomb.”
But at 19 years old…..she still STILL sleeps with her Teddy every night.
She is whom I aspire to be when I grow up!
Thank you Ella-Bella.