What a Girl Needs


While listening to the hilarious Luci Swindall speak her comedic words filled with great wisdom she rattled off the following insight: “What a Girl Needs from age 0-18 is good parents, 18-35 is good looks, 36-55 is good personality and over the age of 55 ya need cold hard cash…. “While her words bring much truth to light here’s how i see this formula add up…

Good parents — those are few and far between now. I was, and still am, blessed with the most amazing parents one could ask for. Don’t get me wrong there was plenty of “dis” in our “functional” family- a lot of that i take responsibility for. But I have a mom who showed me you could have a job that you worked hard at, helped others and enjoyed all while having a family. I have a dad that showed by example how you always give more than you receive and sometimes just being there to show you care is worth way more than words or gifts. Both my parents showed me what love, communication, trust, sacrifice and determination look and feel like. I have a younger sister who has showed me what it’s like to fight till we can’t stand each other (we were worse than little boys growing up) but then be the one to never leave your side through ALL your crazy dreams and adventures. She is the reason I have the brother I always wanted, thanks to marrying Pete. Together they have been my sounding board, personal assistants and by far the best roommates I’ve ever had! Thanks to the both of them I get the greatest job I’ve ever had- being an Aunt to the most amazing nephew to walk the planet- my heart simply explodes! My goal is to one day, if given the chance, to be a parent – to portray at least half of the amazing traits i have found in all of them.

However, I am well aware not everyone is blessed in this way. Some people learn very early how to survive on their own, fend for themselves, develop thick skin, don’t know what it feels like to have a family or home and can tell your stories that are so horrific about their “family” that is breaks your heart into pieces. I’ve come across many people like this- grew up with them, been friends with them, taught them and even fallen in love with them. While I can’t empathize with them, I greatly sympathize with them.

Through my experiences with these people, and trying to find & make a family of my own, I have changed my definition of what family actually is. I’m not a super fast learner, so it’s taken me some time to realize that family isn’t who you share you last name with. It isn’t who has provided or closely matches your DNA. It isn’t even necessarily who you spend your holidays with.

Family, for me, are the ones that love you no matter what. Because they love you, they accept you just as you are but love you enough to push to do & be better. They are there when you fall apart and celebrate the moments you find yourself being who you were created to be. They are the first ones you call – wether it’s for something good or bad, and the last ones you want to disappoint. When you question who you are & what you are supposed to be doing, they remind you- You don’t write you’re story, you live it- and it has lots of untitled chapters! I am beyond blessed (and my maker knew I would need some strong and stubborn ones) to have actually family that I can truly call family.  But THANKFULLY in addition to them, God have given me (and probably you) chosen family. My dance family and  fitness family members serve that purpose of guidance, reassurance and support. They push me when I need it and encourage me when I fall. They take me in under their wing to provide direction when needed but still freedom to learn on my own. They truly are placed in my path specifically by my maker to be apart of something much greater than we can even imagine…

So at this time of year- when in the middle of Christmas and chaos just remember: The first people to be around Mary and Joseph as they welcomed Jesus into their happy family were their chosen family – the shepherds, the angles and wise men. They were family. Some family you’re born into, some are simple but will go to great lengths to find you, some will watch over and protect you and some will guide and direct you.  Truth is, we all have family-most of us have more than we think. They were given to us for a purpose we may not always understand. But it is our duty and our honor to love them and support them as they do us. My challenge to myself is to never take them for granted, to cherish each moment, each hug and each word while we have them.

So in response to Ms. Swindells formula for us girls – I don’t know about you, but i’m gonna need each member of my family waaaaay past the age of 35. I mean lets be honest – they are why i have my looks (blue eyes & motivation from fitness fam to get my workouts in) who I learned my personality from (you are who you surround yourself with) and who model and teach me how to handle what little money I do have (our lessons are to make it grow, use it wisely and give back because it’s a gift in the first place). So I’m gonna need my family (BOTH biological & chosen- cause for me it’s gonna take several villages!) for forever and I hope I’m able to be that family to someone out there too…

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