No Alcohol Challenge 3/1/2021
I WAS RAISED A CATHOLIC AND ALL MY LIFE I ALWAYS GIVE UP SOMETHING DURING LENT. EVEN THOUGH I DO NOT PRACTICE CATHOLICISM ANY LONGER, I DO ENJOY BEING CHALLENGED. LAST YEAR, FOR EXAMPLE, I GAVE UP SOCIAL MEDIA FOR THE 40 DAYS OF LENT. THIS YEAR I CHOSE TO ABSTAIN FROM ALCOHOL. I DO NOT DRINK EXCESSIVELY (MAYBE EVERYONE ENJOYS THE SPIRITS, SAYS THIS) BUT I DO LIKE TO HAVE A GLASS OF WINE HERE AND THERE AND MY WHISKY WHEN IT GETS MORE SOCIAL. HOWEVER, I HAVE GAINED SO MUCH WEIGHT OVER THE YEARS AND I HAVE BEEN WORKING OUT MORE CONSISTENTLY AND WANTED TO DETOX MY BODY OF ANY ALCOHOL TO GIVE IT A BOOST. I AM SLOWLY SEEING CHANGES TO MY BODY BUT I AM ENJOYING THE FEELING FIRST. MEANING, I CAN FEEL MY BODY STRONGER AND I WANT TO ALSO FEEL HEALTHIER. SO I AM TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS TRADITIONAL/RELIGIOUS SACRIFICE TO BOOST MY BODY AND I CAN TELL YOU THAT I FEEL CHANGES. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT IT IS LIKE FOR THOSE WHO DRINK DAILY OR EVERY WEEKEND THAT STOP DRINKING. IF I ONLY DRINK SOCIALLY, AND I FEEL THE BENEFITS OF NO ALCOHOL, THIS COULD ONLY MEAN THAT ALCOHOL IS THAT DAMAGING. I AM MORE LUCID, MORE AWARE, MORE RELAXED ACTUALLY WITHOUT IT. IT IS ACTUALLY A REALITY THAT EVERYONE SHOULD EXPERIENCE. I HAVE HAD MY FAIR SHARE OF NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES WITH ALCOHOL AND I KNOW HOW PLEASANT IT CAN BE TO DRINK SOCIALLY. HOWEVER, I AM STARTING TO SEE HOW CRIPPLING IT CAN ACTUALLY BE. IT IS KIND OF SCARY TO THINK OF HOW CONTROLLING A SUBSTANCE AS SUCH CAN BE WITH YOU ARE THE ONE CONSUMING IT BY CHOICE. SO LET ME TELL YOU THAT IT HAS BEEN REALLY HARD TO NOT DRINK EVEN THOUGH IT HAS BEEN 2 WEEKS. IT IS NOT THAT I AM AN ALCOHOLIC OF ANY SORT LOL EVEN THOUGH A NICE GLASS OF RED WINE WITH MY DINNER, ESPECIALLY A NICE JUICY STEAK, REALLY PAIRS WELL… IT’S THE NO IN THE ALCOHOL THAT I CANNOT CONSUME THAT IS BOTHERSOME. TELL SOMEONE THEY CANNOT DO SOMETHING, AND THEY WANT TO DO IT MORE THAN EVER. IT IS ALL ABOUT DISCIPLINE AND SELF CONTROL WHICH APPARENTLY MANY PEOPLE LACK. DISCIPLINE AND SELF CONTROL ARE NOT TO BE WRECKED WITH.
THE MOST CHALLENGING MOMENTS ARE WHEN YOU ARE IN ENVIRONMENTS THAT YOU ARE ACCUSTOMED TO DOING WHAT YOU CAN NO LONGER DO NORMALLY. FOR EXAMPLE, I WENT OUT TO DINNER WITH MY FRIENDS LAST WEEK AND I WAS REALLY TEMPTED TO ORDER A DRINK AND “START OVER” WITH MY CHALLENGE BUT I FELT REALLY PROUD OF MYSELF FOR STICKING TO MY PLAN AND DRIVING HOME SAFETY WITHOUT ANY WONDER IF THAT “DRINK” WOULD INFLUENCE MY DRIVING. I WAS HAPPY TO SEE MY GIRLS. I WAS HAPPY TO MAINTAIN MY SELF CONTROL AND NOT STRESS OVER IT AS IF I HAD AN ACTUAL PROBLEM. SOMETIMES WE LET SOCIETY DICTATE WHAT WE DO BECAUSE EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT BUT I LOVE BEING TOTALLY AWARE AND COMFORTABLE. I ALSO LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING A GLASS OF WINE WITH MY STEAK IN APRIL…
I AM ALREADY LOOKING FORWARD TO MY NEXT CHALLENGE WHEN I COMPLETE THIS ONE: NO CARBS (YIKES) LOL…
The win-win mentality is more about the pain than it is the triumph. I hear a lot about the butterfly effect. Everyone is transforming, suddenly. I don’t know if it’s a temporary quarantine effect or an actual growth spurt but kudos to you for both because everything grandiose starts small.
In order to have the win-win mentality - you have to suffer a lot. You have to endure loss, rejection, denial, neglect, confusion, and darkness. Whether it’s a combination of some or all, you can define each category as you please. I shall define them as such.
Loss can be experienced in different forms. Perhaps your loss is of a person, a relationship, a job, a home, or even a loss of self. Sometimes you lose parts of yourself that no one else knows about because there are parts of yourselves you save for specific people, circumstances, or simply for your own hearts.
Rejection can simply be that an idea of yours is not welcomed, including but limited to your beliefs (mainly spiritual but also political). Your intellect can be rejected because the person or group whom you are communicating are close minded or simply unable to or choose not to hear you out or respect you enough to learn from you even if the information is incorrect. The more obvious act of rejection can be from an employer or potential one and lastly a rejection of facing a hurtful situation. You may seek peace with some, but they may be rejecting you because although you might be ready to face them, they most likely are not. ***Sidebar: Not everyone is built for truth even though they ask for it. 🙄
Denials are from the people you thought had your back or from the organizations you thought owed you something. You may expect honesty and loyalty from someone, but it can be denied faster than a debit card with overdrawn funds. Denials can come from superiors who may tell you to your face that you’re valuable but lack interest in your abilities to advance in placement. Denial can come from a family member who cannot accept the truth without keeping the emotion at the forefront. Denial is the root of lies and deceit. It is painful.
Neglect can be self-inflicted. You may go into a rabbit hole of depression, self-esteem deprivation, careless physical space or body and they all head towards neglect. What about the neglect received earlier on as a child? What about that mom or dad who brought you into this world but never gave you what you needed? Some do. Some feed you, provide shelter and send you off to a good school. They obey the law but never ever show you Love. These kinds of neglect cut deep and unfortunately trickle down to a repetitive cycle of trauma. We call these neglect childhood traumas, generational curses, and sometimes mask them as mental illness.
Confusion is tricky. Ironic. I know. As we develop into the adults we become, we are filled with confusion. We process how we are raised and start to create a visual of what we want in our future. However, sometimes the future is not what our circumstances can support or help flourish. We either become confused because of societal standards, family practice, media influence, religion, and sometimes simple curiosity. Confusion can make you do bad things because we blur the good and bad things and go with our hearts and not guts or brains. Remember that if you cannot make up your mind, go with your gut! At the end of the day, confusion can be used as an excuse when you mishandle your own life or make mistakes that could have easily been avoided.
Darkness is - well - the dark. It is the unknown. This is where fear hangs out, anxiety vacations and pain hides. Darkness is the thing that makes you come face to face with the demons that don’t let you live your best life! Darkness is where your shame creeps back up. Darkness sometimes is triggered by the slightest feeling of insecurity and reminder of your heaviest memories that causes your stomach to churn.
Without any of these described pains, triumph cannot be experienced on the level that it is intended. To describe it simply, let us look at the How enjoyable is a meal when you are not hungry? How quenching is the water when you are not thirsty? How comfortable is the bed when you are not tired? How refreshing is the shower when you have been home all day?
It is my personal experience that whenever I endure hardship or work hard for what I want and get, I appreciate it more than I would have if it came easily. I know that many people could relate and agree that whenever you are given something, you don’t treat the same as if you worked for it. Remember when you were a kid, and someone gave you money, but you would go spend it on the silliest thing or some weird game or sneakers? Now your paycheck goes out the window to pay bills and whatever cash you do have in your wallet you try to hold on to it for dear life. Nowadays the extra dollar flying around the dryer feels like winning the lottery.
Life is so much more gratifying for me after having experienced all the trauma, the heartaches, the darkness, the pain! It is important to remain in a state of gratitude and it is much more feasible as the underdog.
**This is probably why I love the METS! ⚾🙈
Once you know what it feels like to overcome the pain and actually experience joy, you begin to live in a win-win state of mind because you know what it feels like to lose and you are choosing to stay on top.
Someone must lose for someone else to win but whenever you have lost so much in life, you learn to live with that and instead of losing you learn something thus the win-win mentality is born.
Cuarentena Crazy 5/14/2020
It is so hard to complain when all is well. It is so sad to see the world grieving all kinds of losses, especially when you see those who are losing their parents, their children, their friends, co-workers, and the heroes on the front lines.
Everything is frustrating. Sometimes we do not have to live something to feel its impact and be saddened for others. Compassion and empathy are both important to have and show others when moral support is all you can give during a challenging time like this.
Every time my throat gets itchy, I panic for like 30 seconds.
I take my vitamin C.
I take a spoonful of homemade immunity booster.
I pray and thank God we all have health at home and nothing, absolutely is missing.
I am probably not the only one to panic when you think you’re symptomatic. My allergies keep me on my toes and wondering if It could even be possible to contract COVID 19 from my own home when I haven't been in contact with anyone! The struggle is so real.
Right before we were quarantined, I remember thinking that officials should close the schools and places where too many people gather all at once to avoid the spread.Little did I even consider that the gym would close and that the quarantine would last the entire spring season.
I am used to spending my spring afternoons scratching my eyes, taking allergy meds and watching my kids play their baseball or softball with their school teams and my weekends freezing my behind off in a mom lawn chair. I can complain about this and I feel so guilty because others are fighting for their lives, and here I am- spoiled rotten because I have lived a great life and continue to do so.
It’s my version. I get to miss seeing my kids on the fields. I get to miss the sun. I get to miss the rain. I get to miss being outside without feeling like I am inside, trapped inside a surgical unit. I want to breathe.
I know this is not in vain. It just cannot be. Many people, like myself, have our theories. Regardless of what conspiracies at play, there is a lot to learn here. Let nothing be in vain. We would not be only survivors to tell a story, but we are survivors to change our own narratives. We are in control of the present more than ever.
I think people are struggling the most with being in the present. We are so used to living in the past and stressing the future that the only time we pause to live in the present is when we are forced to slow down. Well, the universe is angry, and she is not afraid to show us!
We have been mistreating ourselves this whole time. We have been feeding ourselves poison for breakfast, envy for lunch, and depression for dinner. This quarantine has not only taught me more about myself but also more about my limitations. I thought I would wait for a big break and someone would notice me or my work and ask me to share my story with the world. Ha! I am so naive to think I was that special. Like come on now. Hustlers hustle then they get noticed. DUH Lillian!
Little did I know that I was the one who wanted to share my own story and other works the most so I saw an opportunity and began to finalize my first book and while it's rough around the edges, I submitted my manuscript and Voila! I fed my mind positivity for breakfast, energy for lunch, and love for dinner.
This quarantine has also driven me crazy. I am mostly pumped up for work, the house, (I am such a chef on most days, but now- I am like Lillian Ray) and my own projects. However, I have my moments, my days, and nights when I just shut down. I think it is more than okay to do that. I have been programmed to keep it moving and it is my biggest challenge! You are not alone if this whole cuarentena is a challenge in and of itself. I mean, I know folks have been following challenges and trends for many years now, but this one- I wonder how the challenge lovers are liking this one now!
Any who, I am now on a road of many new ventures, not only projects of my own, but I am moving differently. I have been reborn in a time of darkness. I have created my own light and as crazy as all this feels, I am going to redefine this level of crazy as inspiration.
Be inspired. Share your work! Do the thing you have always wanted to do! It may not look like you thought it would, but you created that vision in your head so reimagine it, recreate it, and birth it! Do your thing!
Spin the quarantine and make the best of it. The quarantine may have been caused by COVID 19, but the quarantine can result in something great. It is all up to YOU!!!
Opportunities don’t come our way always so take advantage that the world has slowed down and listen to your inner intelligence. Learn something new. Be a better you. Or strengthen the you that you are already! But don’t just go crazy, do something inspirational.
I have a theory that I have been faithful to for a few years since I began a journey of healing. My theory is that the base of all health is my triangle of internal balance. I understand that physical health is extremely important and for many people it is at the forefront of their lives. I also know that everything is relative whether we know it or not. In the beginning of my journey, I recall thinking - if I am not okay emotionally, spiritually and, mentally then the rest is off balance as well.
It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
My take on this: How we react to situations are based on how healthy we are within this triangle of balance.
You may experience a hardship in life, financially, relationship-based, or even physical health. BUT, if you are balanced internally, then, whatever you may have to face will not be bitter but only as a small setback that is seen as a lesson thus solvable and not the end of the world.
Why the order? Why is the word mental at the top of the triangle and not spiritual or emotional?
Mental health is crucial! Mental health IS health!
So many people suffer from a form of mental illness or several and won’t be able to attain many goals or reach the maximum capacity to which they can accomplish. How can someone pray on their knees without the ability to decipher their pain or understand its origin or gravity of impact? How can someone be mentally healthy with an imbalance of emotions? I have questioned myself repeatedly about my emotions specifically when I had been depressed and again, whenever I have felt disconnected with God, it is all because I wasn’t mentally fortified.
Emotional and Spiritual health is also kept in the triangle of internal health. Yes, physical health can be internal as well, but the triangle of mental health that I speak of is something that on a scale we have control over and/or ignore because society has created a stigma leading to many people ignoring its importance. I am no doctor, I am not certified to wholeheartedly define health in all its components, but this is how I see it and I speak for myself or based on my OWN perspective. I think that my own experiences, nonetheless, do qualify me to speak on this and I believe that everyone deep down has something to address internally.
Being spiritually healthy is synonymous with having hope and believing in anything that brings out the good in you. Spirituality is the God within us, our good hearts and nature will remind us of good or bad karma. Truthfully having a strong foundation of faith and hope in the universe will remind us that the energy we put out into the world will and can be returned. We cannot blame others for our own faults or our history. Every decision that we make without consulting our spiritual bases will have its consequences. Spiritual health is being in touch with your morals and values, it is staying in tune with your own mind, body, and soul. This alone brings us peace because we take responsibility and hold ourselves accountable. Believe me when I say, there is nothing like looking in the mirror and being an adult about the crap we have done.
Emotional health is being able to feel and express those emotions in a harmless way. We cannot keep our emotions bottled up in a secret lockbox inside our minds and hearts. It’s like wishing someone to be harmed but we end up drinking the poison ourselves. When we are not in touch with our emotions and do not find harmless ways to express them, we harm ourselves and those who we love.
This triangle may have been discussed in books, seminars, and the like. If so, I may be calling it something else or repeating something already discussed and coined. However, it is a strong theory of mine I am pretty sure someone else has also brought forward.
I think it is important that maintaining a balance of mental, spiritual, and emotional health is ongoing. We never just get there as if we can take a magical pill or get surgery and let time itself handle the healing aspect.
Mental health is constant work and high maintenance, but it's compensation will reward your life in the most amazing way.
Believe in yourself and all that you are or can be and WILL be. Help yourself first and then help others.
Treat yourself in the way you would like to be regarded by others because that is exactly what you are going to get. The universe will also compensate you for your greatest efforts and lack thereof.
Born and raised in the state of New Jersey, like every person on earth, they want to leave where they have always been to experience life outside the bubble we had been trapped in for entirely too long. Since I got married, I pestered my husband to leave and start fresh for various reasons, and because of the same reasons, we didn’t leave. Thirteen years later, we rented a Budget truck, crammed all our lives into a 3-4 room truck leaving behind, several mattresses, awkward shaped furniture, thirteen years of memories, the good, the bad, and the ugly behind. We left hoagies, the Atlantic City boardwalk, the diversity in food and the closeness of all Targets, ShopRites and everything behind. We were leaving behind the reasons for which we had not left before, our friends, our families, our history, our heartbreaks, our childhood. My husband and I didn’t realize we were also trying to rewrite our story, a story that was beautifully imperfect. Yet, we left, we left it all behind or so we thought. We drove down to (3 nights later traveling in two different trucks (he is a truck driver himself and had to drive his own truck down while I drove the overweight and overloaded Budget truck) the townhome with all the hopes that life will return to us in all senses of the word. We were tired of the routine and how dirty it was up here.
With our two kids and a dog, two trucks, hopes and dreams to rejuvenate the family, we drove past 8 states into the sunshine state. We were happy to begin a new journey that didn’t include the drama we were escaping from. Thus began, the new everything. New home, new routine, new neighbors, new coworkers, new highways, new mall, new weekends, new family relationships. We forgot, new issues, same drama, new location, same deep-rooted problems. The one problem that we did not anticipate being a new one was financial distress. I had already found a job before moving down, teaching (a joke to say the least down south- starting with the pay). We own a trucking business, problem solved, we thought. We thought we could live within our means and live in “paradise”.
Where did we go?
Trying to give our kids a better education there that sort of kinda synonymous with the one in Jersey, we moved to Oviedo. Close enough to Disney, far enough from Disney (which by the way we never stepped foot into because) as I quickly began to realize, paradise was more of a nightmare than a fresh start.
My son had gotten injured in Cooperstown that summer playing baseball. When we moved down, we had no health insurance. As we tried desperately to get him the treatment needed for his recuperation, we became inundated with bills. When I added my children to my health policy, they began to take out over $900 monthly out of what was a small, a very small check as a teacher. The kick was that when I took him to several specialist appointments, I began to get billed saying my insurance had not reached its deductible. Let me break this down, for a family to be eligible to use their insurance, our family had to reach a $5500 deductible out of pocket per calendar year (Jan-Dec) not fiscal year (which in the educational world means - August - July , In Jersey- July 1st- June 30th). So I called early December and finally got this cleared up, not only was health insurance cleared up for me but the fact that I was teaching as a hobby and not because it was worthy to be paid to do what I love. I was getting 40% of my earnings and paying 50% more in health insurance.
Money Money Money Money Money MONEY...
Furthermore, our business was not booming. One of our trucks was involved in a serious accident and we began to tap into our savings.
For weeks, I tried convincing my husband the same way I had before to move down south to move back up north.
I had desperately tried to assimilate, but Florida kept showing me over and over that 1. It wasn’t my time and/or 2. It will never be for me.
I didn’t realize that I was so homesick either until I found myself more excited to move back than I was moving back.
I missed Tastee Subs, my home gym, Saladworks, Shop Rite, health insurance, my friends, my neighborhood, my family and most of all- HOME.
High Taxes? So worth it!
I do not care about the taxes, the dirty streets (in some areas, Jersey is beautiful- go down the shore, go to the park, the schools).
I came back to my suburb, close to the train station, route 1, 287 and the parkway!!!
I am home and little did I know that I had to leave NJ to Love it.
For the past 14 years I thought I knew what I was doing. I had unwritten and unspoken expectations in my marriage that also carried onto my other relationships with others. I usually treat others how I would like to be treated expecting them to do the same. I thought people had common sense and/or decency to treat their loved ones with the same capacity of understanding, support and love. However, now almost 31 years old, I am found in the moment of complete reflection because I am not trying to grow up anymore, I need to GLOW up. I have expected too much of my spouse. I put all my eggs into one damn basket. I am not saying that he has been the worst spouse in the world. I am saying that I grew up wanting him to fulfill every void my father had not filled and be the perfect husband I imagined he would be without there ever being a real communication of expectations. Yeah, I said: if you ever cheat on me, I will leave you in a heartbeat but we NEVER do exactly what we set our minds to in the way we claimed it would happen. Let me clarify a little about my marriage. My husband is 7 years older than me and when we met, he had a 1 year old daughter and at 15 years old I was blessed with baby momma drama and yes by the age of 16 I became a wife, a step mother and THE woman of the house.
I knew nothing about anything. I acted like I did. I had a vision. I wanted the white picket fence. I wanted happily ever after but ignored the steps of life, relationships and self-love.
Self-love was a distant if not an unknown matter to my knowledge. I am so happy we are now in the age of self-love. We are screaming it to the world through Instagram, podcasts, and books like, you’re a Badass (which is a must read, because we are all bad asses). I am happy to be a part of this generation, that is so easily misunderstood, because we’re trying to break the chains and stop carrying the crosses of our descendants. Pain and suffering ends with us, at least those who want to heal. Healing has not been an easy journey and I am so grateful for the indirect support from the universe to be able to do so because my son and daughter will not carry the crosses of pain and self-hate which some people refer to as general curses. There are heaps of resources that have helped me with this journey. We cannot do it alone, that is for sure. We would go insane!
When my marriage felt like it failed, I realized that not only had he not met my unspoken expectations; I realized I also faulted in many other ways. It’s always easy to blame others but so difficult to sit in therapy for months, reflect on our own mistakes and look in the mirror without make-up, or a clean cut. We want to fit into a perfect shot but cannot handle the work to be the best versions of ourselves and instead look onto others to fill the voids we cannot fill ourselves. We want our besties, our spouses, partners to “balance” us out but we really are just sucking the lives out of each other until one drops dead and then we go and see if someone else is willing to do the same and it continues to happen over and over again. We become judgmental, resentful, and just plain ol’ needy! We need to become stable, mentally and emotionally, so we can extend ourselves to others because what I have learned is that we are not meant to fill anyone’s voids, we are extensions of the beauty God laid here on this world. I have begun to see the evidence of God’s existence right here in every one of us: when we spread and feel love, we feel something that is inexplicable, but it requires constant effort. Love is God and fundamentally a VERB! Yet, we must choose to love ourselves first and enough before we can expect anyone to do so wholeheartedly.
False hopes are indeed the same as unspoken expectations. We hope that whatever we do not have, our partner should be able to fulfill or the universe to simply provide it for us because we deserve it (how entitled is our generation).
We hope to have a better relationship than our parents. We hope to be taller, stronger and smarter than the ones we looked up while we're growing up. Then our hearts collapse when we end up 5’1, bigger, not stronger, and just poor on different levels. Even if we speak our hopes into existence, we end up mirroring everything we didn’t want to because it’s what we know, or we end up heartbroken because we somehow felt entitled to what we claimed. Not everything we want is what is good for us.
I have made it my duty to unlearn some habits by loving myself way more, valuing my own gifts, feeling satisfied with the kind of beauty I possess inside and out and spreading love onto others as an extension of God’s glory. We need to stop blaming our mommy and daddy and our partners for how we feel and love ourselves enough to live the life we deserve and desire. The journey we are on is ours and we come alone and leave alone, sorry twins, even you two came alone and will leave alone- you are welcomed to this world one at a time and despite all of the similarities, we are ALL uniquely designed and no one has authority or power over your heart, soul and mind. Stay true to yourself and if anyone ever betrays you, it’s on them not you. Easier said than done, I know. But Love is a VERB, remember to choose to LOVE yourself every day and the world will make a little more sense.
August 31st, 2017 marks the day every mother dreads. My then ten-year-old was marked a young lady and she blossomed into a butterfly. For a year prior to that, she was already experiencing mood swings, headaches, odd eating habits and sometimes even cramps. She also started to see the world differently. She didn't tell me this. She only asked certain questions that I knew only an emotionally heightened. thought conscience, psychically changing little girl would ask and then pull back as if she didn't ask a thing.
August 31st, 2017 was perhaps one of the saddest days of my life. I remembered all the reasons why it is painful to be a girl. I remember waking up at night holding onto my sheets while I twisted and turned because my abdomen hurt so much. I remember waking up to a mini pool of blood because I didn't know how heavy I would be and realized I had ruined my underwear, pants, sheets, and comforter and yes, the bed.
August 31st, 2017, my daughter called me, and I missed her call. I was at a new teacher orientation for the new district I had been hired at as an English teacher. I knew something was wrong when my husband's call went through and then I noticed that I had several missed calls and two voicemails. I went to the hall where there are beautiful murals painted by the students/artists of the school. That (the image above) was the mural I stood in front of when I heard his voicemail.
Voicemail: "Babe, Naillil got her period."
Second Voicemail: "Hi mommy Bendicion, um when you get a chance to call me please call me. I have my period. Today is August 31st, so that means, I'll get it late in the month. (What ten-year-old pays attention to the actual time of the month they get their period?!) "Again, I have my period. Hopefully you can call me."
I cried while all the thoughts of pain, suffering and womanhood had started to creep into my angel's life. I stared at the picture and prayed to God she would never change her sweetheart.
I knew this was going to be a lengthy process. It was hard for me as a 10 year old when I got my period.
I knew it would be even harder for her. I was a mature 10-year-old. My daughter is still (one year later) very naive and has a hard time keeping up with daily routines. I still have to tell her to wash her hair, or even use mouthwash and floss when brushing. Like most ten-year old's anyway (which is why I felt she wasn't ready).
What I learned throughout this entire year is that every year is crucial from her.
We will never forget what happens after you blossom into a butterfly. You never forget your crushes, the songs that come on the radio on your favorite and worst days, the rain or sun that glared on the windowsill. Most of all, you will never forget how badly you needed a mom.
Lillian likes to share her thoughts. Sometimes her experiences are shared here and on her podcast; True Lessons
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