Life is a lesson, or actually a series of lessons. Some can be easy and fun to learn, others are hard. Some may appear impossible, and other’s will damage you. We all have experiences we’re proud of, ashamed of, even confused about. Yet, those are all lessons that shape us into who we are. They change us, sometimes for the better and other times for the worse.
My family was always very poor and for the first seventeen years of my life we lived on the crime filled streets of Chicago. I would fall asleep to the sound of gun shots. My high school constantly had the police called out, and by the time I was a junior, we had a staff of officers and security manning the hallways. At the start of every school year our graduating class would get smaller and smaller. Some students simply dropped out, some were held back, some became parents, others went to jail, and there were the handful who laid down in the ground.
All of those experiences shaped me. It made me more aware of the dangers out there. More cynical and less naïve. It made me street smart and book smart. I don’t imagine life to be filled with rainbows and butterflies, and I didn’t have to wait until my adult years to learn that.
One of the most fun lessons I had to learn was taming a bad boy. My husband’s father died when he was nine and his entire family fell apart. His dad had four children with his first wife and three with my mother-in-law. Before his death, both families co-existed and my husband was the youngest of seven kids. After his death, the other four siblings vanished into their own lives. The hurt of losing not only a parent but half of his siblings, made my husband a bit cold and distant. He doesn’t let people into his heart or life easily. So many women have tried to shape him and mold him, tame him, only to fail. Yet, according to my hubby, I came around and knocked all of the walls down. So many women tried to become his wife (without pregnancy being a factor, as he married his first wife because she was pregnant although neither of them truly loved each other. The marriage was short lived and a disaster from what I’ve been told) yet I’m the one with the ring (without a baby attached). Taming a bad boy is definitely a lesson made for a romance novel.
Now I’m embarking on a new life lesson. My preteen stepdaughter just received her gift from Mother Nature. She went from being a spoiled little brat with a bad temper to a spoiled monster with an even worse temper. Yesterday (we get her every Wednesday and every other weekend) she said her mother threatened to kill her if she didn’t drop the attitude, and her father almost killed her because of her snottiness. Guess who has her this weekend? Yes. So wish me luck in learning this life lesson.
What about you, what life lessons shaped you and which were fun to learn?