Fight Song

“The ones who notice the storms in your eyes, the silence in your voice and the heaviness in your heart, are the ones you need to let in.”

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It’s been three months since my last post here on Prince’s Palace. I’ve got no real reason in particular for my silence, other than it just being silence itself. I needed to switch my writing head off for a bit and focus on me for a while.

But, you see, the thing with passing time is those events transpire and you find yourself staring at the calendar trying to see where time flew off to. As Ellis Grey famously in Grey’s Anatomy: The carousel never stops turning.

Nonetheless, I’m back. Dusting off the furniture in my palace. Opening the windows, letting a weep of fresh air fill the dusty rooms.

To update you guys on what I’ve been up to and where I’ve been hiding out:

As you all might or might not know, 2015 was a huge journey for me. I had a lot to tackle and find myself standing at the doorstep of navigating what it meant to be a “widower”. 

After R’s suicide, I was stuck dealing with the grief and pain that came along with his decision. I was dealing with a new issue every week, standing host to a lot of his ghosts and kept him in the back of my mind constantly to try and make sure I don’t lose sight of the war I was waging. Little known to me: I was poising myself with his toxic life and decisions. Holding onto him was making me sick – I was dealing with a stomach ulcer and the onslaught of anxiety, post-traumatic stress and some other mental health issues. Instead of battling this I opted for extreme denial.

In some major award-winning performance, I made everyone around me understand that I was fine. That I was over everything that happened – the loss of someone close to me, his betrayal in the form of his cheating and me being left to clean up a few messes. And between that, I was boarding myself up behind walls higher than the tallest mountain on Earth. It was really not doing me any good – it was just making me sicker.

Also: by robbing myself of the love and light of those who were trying to help me, I pushed away, hurt and upset some great, fantastic and amazing people. Some damages I’ll never be able to repair, while other’s I’ll be able to repair with time and love.

So, these past few months, I have been seeing a fantastic therapist. This happened shortly after I lost someone dearly to these selfish and weak actions and I finally awoke to the fact that I needed help.

I have come to face a lot of negative people after I’ve started seeing a shrink:

“Wow – you’re an actual crazy then?”

“You seeing a shrink? It must be amazing to just lie on a couch for an hour and talk shit?

“Oh, a shrink… That sounds like fun.”

People seemingly don’t have the balls to admit mental illnesses exist and that seeing someone to help you is an extremely stupid thing and silly thing to do. And it takes a lot of effort to make them understand that it’s a brave thing to do and seeking out professional help makes you a stronger person… Trust me. Try arguing with an ignorant idiot. You’ll soon realise it’s the worst mental illness around.

But, I digress.

Having chosen to start seeing my therapist, was simply put the best decision I could’ve made in a difficult time in my life. My journey with her has so far been one of immense self-discovery, learning to rewire my neurosis, channel my anxiety and stress, unload my baggage and break down the walls and let the right people in.

As I’m typing this post, I think back to my first session and my last session I had. In the way I’ve begun feeling a burn in bones again, has shown me that I’m starting to become a little more me again.

In a recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy (spoilers ahead), Meredith meets with the hospital shrink to discuss her latest trauma. At the end of the episode, she stares at the shrink with a huge smile, saying: “I came in here, and I felt great. And now I don’t know who I am or what I want.” It basically sums up my whole experience before I chose to seek help as well. Just like Meredith, I’m now asking: Who am I? What do I want?

In a way, I’ve also been standing at the crossroad. Who am I? What do I want?

I’m not the grieving partner anymore, nor am I sad, alone, broken or confused. I’m finally able to be me, with me and explore myself.

That’s just the thing: many people who lose a spouse, boyfriend/girlfriend or partner these days never reach this point of clarity. We’re left to our own good or bad – we need to puzzle this road out and we need to pave the way for our healing. And seldom, we as the “Widow and Widowers Club” are left in just that role, to never become something great or something more.

Somehow, I want to raise my voice a little louder today to let everyone who’s lost someone they love know, life moves on. As sad as it is, don’t ever stand back and let life walk past you. You’re robbing yourself from the greatest opportunity to become something amazing and something more than just a widow/er.

Life may have felt the need to kick you square in the stomach and rob you from something, but life’s also created a platform for you to stand up and be the warrior you were meant to be. This is just a chapter in your book – not the entire book.

Just a few thoughts I want you to ponder on:

  • If you’re reading this and feeling like a little light has gone up in your head, you should put your boxing gloves on and start fighting for yourself again. It’s your time and that time is now.
  • Open up those walls you’ve been hiding behind and start letting the right people in – let the light seep through the cracks and allow yourself to be someone who can look at life now, a little bit wiser.
  • Dealing with grief and all his friends is a mental illness on its own – and we as the victims of a loved one or someone close’s death is the one thing that can break you or build you. Allow it to rather build you than break you.

Create your own manifesto, your own fight song, and don’t allow yourself to give up on that important person: you.

And keep those people who are trying to nudge past the walls close – let them in and allow them to love you. Love is the one cure that makes a warrior’s spirit tougher for the battles ahead.

 

 

A little PSA: Setting the record straight

Happy December my fellow bloggers. We’ve made it –  and now it’s that time of the year where we get to reward ourselves for valiantly fighting through a tumultuous 2015.

Today’s post is a little bit of a PSA. You see, after my last post, I received a rather peculiar email from a reader (whom I’ll not refer to by name), who asked me a rather fetching question that sparked a little revolution in my head.

I have to say, it caught me off guard and I really didn’t expect to even get a mail from a reader. (I think of my blog as this small recluse on the world wide web where a few other travelers stumble upon it and read my crazy ramblings.)

Nonetheless, I give you an excerpt from the mail:

“Dear David,

I know you must get a lot of mails regarding your blog. You have a peculiar sense of writing and it’s filled with lots of raw emotion. I don’t really see it as good writing, but writing nonetheless. Writing that on its own has an audience. But yes. I digress from that.

You see, I’ve read all about your broken heart and how ‘R’ and ‘J’ has gone to break off parts of you  that have undoubtedly left you lost and seeking something. How you’ve jumped the hurdle of R’s suicide and how you’ve begun climbing the mountain after your recent heartbreak.

That’s good and all, but I really want to know: Do you hate them?

Surely you should, right? They hurt you and they’ve taken you apart piece by piece. Why are you being false and lying about your emotions? I can really pick up the lies and deceit you’ve spun yourself – and I’d much rather see you calling them out on hurting you. Hate might be a strong emotion, but it’s much healthier to get out of your system than bitching about them for breaking your heart.

All I want to know is: Will you ever publicly admit you hate them?”

So, my fellow bloggers. The mail does go on and on and on and on and on… But, that excerpt is the core of my PSA.

Yes, I have and do continue to write about my heartache and heartbreaks. This blog, as I have stated before, is some form of an escape for me to divulge the deepest emotions of things in my life. I know it might get overbearing at times, but I do like to believe that grief, heartbreak, pain AND most importantly love is the one thing that connects us as human beings. This common thread draws us all together in some deeper understanding of what it is to have lost in love and life. This is why my blog is on the internet: it’s a sanctuary for us all to understand and to have an A-HA-moment if you’re experiencing the same situation in your life.

But, back to the important point: Do I hate ‘R’ and ‘J’?

As I have stated repeatedly – R’s story in my life is one that has no black or white area. There is so much grey that it’s enough to make the best artist go crazy, shouting: What a monotonous mess! It’s from Day 1 been my grief, my pain and my anger. These all come and go at times. Yes, I have hated him – so much so that I’ve wished him back to life in my head, just to want to strangle him to death again. But, for me to live my life now and let go of all the pain and crap that happened to me, I am in the process of forgiving him for what he’s done. Truth is, I have hated him and sometimes do find myself hating him for what he’s done, but it’s always been a rocking chair that takes me nowhere. I’ve instead chosen to take the high road from here on out and send a little love and light to him each time I find myself edging closer towards hate for him. And I have to say – it’s been productive and helped me heal. Which is the most important fact.

As for J. I can’t hate him. What transpired between us was the culmination of things that went haywire. It truly was an instance of “Right person, wrong time”. I do still have a strong love for him and even though things didn’t go as we both planned, it’s still life. I’ve lost someone before and I really did have a good friendship with J. I can’t hate him as much as I want to. And I really have no reason to. He did come into my life at a good time and really pulled off a miracle by helping me reflect on some issues, return back to myself, who I am and who I could be. It would have been totally different if he gave me a reason to hate him, but he didn’t. It really was a situation where two people loved each other dearly, but both of them really were in bad spots, so much so that it was becoming destructive and damaging. We did each other a favour. In actual fact, he should hate me more than I should hate him. But this wouldn’t fix anything.

So, my dear reader who question why I don’t hate J and that I should: When you mature, you’ll understand that in this world, all of us just need to be a little kinder to each other, as we are all fighting the same battles. A world based on hatred never did anyone good (calling up WW1 & 2 as well as the recent terror attacks in Paris).

As you digressed from the quality of my writing, I digress from your lack of insight into my life. This PSA was simply just to show you that even at my worst, I can and always will be classy as fuck. Taking the moral high road is something that builds character – the one thing I pride my blog on being. Show me one blog that does what I do with a moral high ground, and I’ll chew on my words. But as long as I live, I’ll always try and see the lighter side of things. Not only for my own sanity, but to remind everyone else that it’s always the darkest before the dawn.

Ruin

As a young boy I loved delving into our bookshelves at home. My parents didn’t love me rummaging through our prized set of encyclopedias, but I didn’t care for much of it.

I remember how one particular day, a typical Cape Town-storm brewing outside, I was hunched in a nest of blankets and pillows in my room pouring over the pyramids of Egypt. For hours I stared at the pictures, trying to imagine how these behemoth structures were erected and ’till this day stand tall, peering over Egypt’s deserts and cloaking the tourists in their shadows or bathing them in sunlight.

One piece from the caption an illustration still stays with me today: “These ruins stand preserved as beautiful structures, being one of the most enigmatic, yet breathtaking modern wonders of this world.”

So, my fellow bloggers, ruin… How can ruin be beautiful?

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The realisation

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You’ll remember a few posts ago how I was telling you about the new person I met. The person who was able to restore my broken heart after the superstorm of R who took his own life and left me to deal with the aftermath of it all.

J… The one to put a flicker in my dying heart.

As the story goes, J and I both had a huge falling out and things just continued to spiral out of control. It was something ugly – tearing our hearts apart. Neither one of us meant it, but neither one of us really knew how to really deal with this.

So, this past weekend, J came to Cape Town again. After I pleaded one last time for him to fight for me, he hopped onto a plane to come fight for me.

Seeing him again, felt good. It felt like I was back home, in a safe space. Like I was where I needed to be. Where I was meant to be.

This all didn’t last.

As later the evening, during a Halloween party, I got a little bit drunk and saw him talking to someone else. A jealous rage swept over me like a red mist and before my tongue could stop itself, I was lashing out towards him. Blaming him for the mistakes of R’s infidelity (a story I will get to another time). It was irrational. He saw it, sat me down and tried to break through the walls I had built around myself these past months. After telling me how hard it was being around me when I was closed off, shutting people out and hurting people by being a stone wall slowly crumbling under the pressure of everyone’s troubles on my shoulders and more importantly my own troubles that I reflect inwards… I realised how bad it really was.

It wasn’t ’till he told me how R’s cloud had followed us from Day 1 and that he couldn’t compete with a dead man anymore, that I lost it. A little something inside me died and I got up. Luckily, my two friends Ancomien and Mienke, were at hand to intervene. Mienke stayed behind to talk to J and Ancomien swept a frantic, panicked me away.

Guys, I don’t remember much. All I know is that I had what could best be described as a meltdown. Soon, my friends also started telling me how they were tired of me not relying on them and slowly fading away in front of their eyes… I on the other hand, kept crying hysterically, feeling every emotion in me slipping away.

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The next 24 hours was spent with loved ones intervening.

On Sunday evening, J and I made a mutual decision to not force anything now, and that it would be best if I went to heal myself and that I stay away from him, to stop hurting him on the jagged edges of my heart. This on its own hurt me beyond words and broke the last broken pieces of my heart into dust.

Ultimately, as I laid in bed that evening, I realised that I was never okay. I was not over everything. I had never accepted what had happened to me. And I was losing a lot more than my life… My friends were ready to call quits on me (even though they love me too much to say that me).


And now?

I’ve been on pretty strong tranquilizers since Sunday.

The emotions are all gone from me for now. I think they symbolically left with my tears and washed away. I really do feel empty, for the first time in a while, I really am scared of how empty I feel.

It was one huge mistake. Me, taking everything that happened, the unresolved issues, emotions, pain, hurt, sorrow and plastering them up behind the walls in my head. The biggest lie I have told myself to thus far hasn’t been that R might still be alive, but it was that I was okay with everything and over it all. I was so desperate to be okay again, to be someone who I once remember in passing or even remotely a version of something that I could be okay with. In plastering all those stuff up behind a wall in my head, I did the greatest injustice to myself.

After my friends and people who love me walked in with sledgehammers, looking for that one wall where everything was hidden behind, I’m literally left in ruin now. I needed to be saved from myself. Guys, the worst thing is having being saved from yourself by friends.

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Ruin

Hi everyone, I’m David. And my life is in ruin.

The first step to me getting better and healing is for me to admit this.

Right now, like those pyramids in Egypt, I’m in ruin, but still standing. I’m a beautiful mess. And the great thing about a beautiful mess is that you can either choose to gather your mistakes and carry on forward and be who you are now or you can wipe the entire slate clean and start a new.

As I mentioned, my blog is going to go onto a new course. And I still stick to that promise. From here on out, no more bars hold. I’m opening the doors of my life wide – it’s time for a major spring cleaning and I’d like to invite all of you to walk with me.

For the one thing that ties all of us together is that we all feel pain. We’ve all been through hardships, broken hearts, loss and grief. And we’ve all stood up from ruin to either rebuild our lives.

Let this serve as a reminder to us all – never, EVER, convince yourself you’re okay and then try to bury non-resolved feelings and emotions. Face your demons, fight them and move on to the next battle.

And this time – I won’t lie to anyone again. I refuse to be the Boy Who Cried Wolf. I’m not okay and I’m okay with that. Because I know I have amazing people in my life and supportive readers who will see me through this hardship.

Upwards and onward.

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I’m kind of a big deal

Before the heading of this post makes you vomit, please keep on reading.

After various interventions, a change in my mindset has finally occurred.

You see, the thing is: I don’t really ever make myself off as being important, always raising others above me and making some people and their needs more important than mine. It’s not something intentional, but just the way I have been wired. Helping and supporting others makes me happy and I feel more on top of the world when I’m able to sit down and help a friend in need.

Having always had a superhero complex, this is the only reason why I do what I do. Not for seeking attention or making myself off to be a martyr or a philanthropist of sorts. I do it ’cause it’s what makes me happy and my life worth living.

Unfortunately, as human beings are, this has been taking advantage of countless times by many people. Sometimes, I willingly sat back out of intense love for this person, other times I didn’t know what was happening and I was being blindsided.

But, the thing is just, when you give too much to the world and everyone else, you seldom spare a thought to yourself.

After a recent discussion this weekend with my two of my best friends (Mienke & Ancomien) and my best friend’s mother, who is like a second mother to me, I have had the cogs and gears in my head grinding overtime and re-evaluating this. The first thing for them was that I needed to stop sparing thoughts for others while skipping myself, secondly I needed to stop defending people who were robbing me dry of my good warmheartedness and thirdly I needed to start valuing myself MUCH more.

With a shocked expression, I sat back and didn’t reply at first. I then continued to tell them that this is in my DNA and that I really don’t see myself changing it. I will always help people and never spare a second thought to myself. But, I was reprimanded that I could achieve a well enough balance between the two. Valuing myself enough and caring for others.

Recently, a lot of teen suicides and 20-somethings giving up on life have graced the front pages of our local newspapers here in South Africa. I suspect this is not just a local occurrence and that it’s like this throughout the world at the moment. Suicide, being a thing close to me, is something I have come to condone, judge and understand all at once.

Looking at the overall moral among youngsters, we have all seemingly succumbed to the demons of this world in some way or another. With their fingers lingering up our spines and whispering sweet nothings into our ears, there is a general stigma these days that we are worthless and at most nothing special. The world has broken most of us, while some survivors barely cling on and other just make the final decision that their lives aren’t something special at all.

Two weeks ago, I met with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, for a drink or two. Halfway into the discussion I had to hear that he was recently in a clinic after trying to commit suicide. It was a shock to me. Anger welled up and I was soon interrogating him to try and find out what made him do and why he would try and hurt so much people around him.

It was soon clear that he believed he had no value here at all and that he felt like he couldn’t help anyone anymore, if he couldn’t even help himself.

Nonetheless, we continued talking about everything. As I divulged about how hectic my life was and that I also felt like I was letting a lot of people down, and maybe most importantly myself, he lost his cool. “Pot calling the kettle black, much? You preach to me that I need to value myself more, but you don’t even remotely do the same? Really now – you of all people who has so much going and a lot of people at your feet, and people who would give the world to you should raise you self worth a lot.”

All in all… After much deliberation and thinking, I’ve decided to sit back and up my own ante. It’s time that I need to take things up a notch and start knowing that I am kind of a big deal – without becoming egotistical and a douche bag.

And I think it’s time that this becomes a movement I can reciprocate to others out there who are in doubt about their worth.

Just know, that even if it doesn’t seem that way, you are worth a lot more than you’re making yourself off to be. Your value is what drives you and you just hanging in there makes you a superstar in your own way.

Serve as a waking inspiration and inspire others by being a big deal and never stop fighting against the world.

Just always remember: You’re kind of a big deal. So roll with it.

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The Beating of a (new) Heart

We were dancing in the club. It was a normal night out for me and my three dearest friend. Laughs were exchanged, smiles wide on our faces. Fun was the order of the night and for once I was offering to be designated driver. I didn’t mind – the company was excellent enough for me to have a good time without a drink.

Later the evening Mienke (my best friend and nothing short of a sibling to me), and I were dancing on the dance floor. It wasn’t particularly packed, but the drunk youngsters around me were in their own universes. In our universe, Mienke and I were dancing and letting go after a stressful week.

It was as if we both combusted into a thousand stars when one of our favourite, and probably meaningful songs came on.

This song, Pumping Blood, was originally done by NoNoNo and was covered by Lea Michele in Glee. [Side note: I prefer the Glee-version]. Mienke and I stumbled across this song during a time last year where R had just passed away and I was looking for some form of hope. We both agreed that this song would play again one day when I was okay and every lyric would make perfect sense.

Music is an important element to my life. When the creative side of me is taking over a great span of my head, music calms me, quiets me, or silences me for a few minutes. When I need help, or a pick-me-up, music has always been the magical cure.

So, when this song came on, we danced like there was no end to the world.

In one part of this song, the lyrics go something like:

“‘Cause it’s your heart,
it’s alive, it’s pumping blood,
And the whole wide world is whistling.”

For some time now, these lyrics has signified the new chapter I’ve begun writing on in my life. After a depressing, troublesome and heartbreaking year, I’ve now come back to a point of familiarity. From here, I’ve now realised that my broken heart has been mended and that I’m standing taller than ever.

My blog over the past year has contained many entries about my struggle and continuous feelings regarding R’s suicide and how it’s hurt me in many ways. It’s been a journey that took me to where I am now and I’ve always tried to share the lighter side of every struggle with you all. I really hope I have.

Today, I want to tell you, that even in the darkest times, believe. In it’s purest form, belief keeps your broken heartstrings and pieces alive. When you heal and glue your heart back together and one day find yourself at the dawn of a new day, then you will pat yourself on the back for believing in yourself – even in the darkest of times.

There is nothing more rewarding than standing tall with your new beating heart after a punch that life threw your way. It’s satisfying and oddly cocky to stare at life and let it know you made it up that steep mountain.

I still remember putting my hand on my chest on 27 May 2014 and not feeling my heart beat. It was devastating and soul crushing at the least. But as I was dancing away in the club with Mienke, I felt my new heart beating faster than a speeding train.

The beating of my (new) heart has confirmed what I have suspected for some time now: I’m a survivor of Life’s dark side. And with that being said, I’m ready to start venturing into this new chapter of my life and share it with all of my fellow bloggers.

A huge thanks to each and every person who has commented on a post with kind words and encouraging messages. You all made me stronger and made me realise my full worth and potential.

Now.

Upwards, onwards and onto a new journey.

[My friend Mienke and I – It takes 23 years of friendship for someone to tell you: “I’m glad you’re finally smiling like the rays of the sun, my love.” ]

*365 days later*

Denial. Bargaining. Anger. Depression.

The four friends I have come to known in the span of year’s time. Sucking the life out of me at times, infuriating me beyond compare, driving me beyond the edge of sanity and letting me dwell in the darkness…

It was the four friends I have now come to say goodbye to. I no longer need their company. They have become strangers – isolated from my life.

These “friends” are also four of the five stages of Grief.

Elizabeth Kübler-Ross created a model for grief years ago. We all know the story – she was surrounded by patients in a hospice who were terminally ill and she noticed how everyone had these four “friends” by their side. These stages were also noted in people touched by death.

Now, a few hours shy of the anniversary or my former boyfriend’s suicide, I have come to terms with four of the five stages of grief. After a troublesome, tumultuous and sorrow ridden year, I am now at a space in time where calamity seems to be surrounding me more and more.

If you ask me if I knew this day would arrive… I will blankly stare at you and say: Nope. I gave up on that hope the day I stood beside his casket.

Life has since passed and time has not stood still for me. Time seems to be the only constant that has moved on with me for now – other things are still to come. Change is on the horizon. Peace is knocking at my door. A new me is dawning and acceptance seems to be introducing himself to me.

Confession: I have been afraid of this day for some time now.

Would I be ready? Would I be equipped to face acceptance and feel strong enough to pursue it? Was it worth all the tears, pain and broken pieces of my heart to come to this point and not leave this chapter of my life satisfied?

Well. Guess what. Not ready. Far from ready.

I still hate him with a fiery passion. People seldom try to understand it all, but they rarely understand why I am so quick to hate him while all his other loved ones still scrape together love for him.

I hate him for calling quits on his life, friends, future, loved ones, family, soul mate and…me. No one ever expected anything from him, but only to live and share his sorrow with other’s. He never did. He kept it hidden, like many other secret lives he led. The secrets upon secrets that tore him apart has tore me apart. And not just me… Everyone else who gave a damn about him.

I’ve fallen out of love with him and this hatred has grown to become an overpowering emotion to help me through each day.

Where I thought it wouldn’t be possible to even remotely survive, hatred has powered me through a day with the constant reminded that I can’t give up hope or call it quits, even if I wanted to. I wanted to prove to him that it’s possible to go above and beyond pain, without giving up.

You might stop me in my tracks and reprimand me that I’m far from acceptance. Right so. I won’t fight you on that.

I am however going to challenge you on the points that I am ready to step into the dawn of a new light.

As this sullen day passes, I’m no more the boy who’s boyfriend killed himself. I’m no more the widow. I’m no more the grieving son, the friend with a bag of sorrow on his shoulders. I am a new person to take on the world by storm. A new dawn is waiting for me and as far as I’m concerned, I’m ready to embrace that.

I might not have come to terms with most of R’s death, but I have come to terms that we are not longer an “us”. It’s only me now.

Me.

Only I can move on now and make my world a fantastic place to live in. In this lies the acceptance I speak of. I have accepted the pieces of my broken heart, the lies that tore me apart, the hole and huge gap left in my life with R’s passing and the sadness that has taught me how to live closer to my own fractured pieces of my heart.

Acceptance. It comes in different forms and as grief has different stages, I’m ready to close this chapter in my life.

Stepping into the light of this new dawn, I’m ready to say goodbye to him and hopefully, soon enough, drop the hatred and keep him in a special place within my heart.

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12 Habits Every Youngest Child In The Family Carries Into Their 20s

Every thought here is ON POINT 🙂

Thought Catalog

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1. They learn best by being mentored.

Youngest children learned everything they know through imitation and this is blatantly obvious when they enter the work force. Walk them through the steps of a process and you’ll only confuse them. Sit them next to the most successful person in the office and they’ll be miracle workers by next Wednesday.

2. They show love by showing up.

You know that friend who jumps on board with every crazy scheme and never misses one of your slam poetry readings? Probably a youngest child. We understood from a young age that love means going to every hockey game, dance recital, spelling bee and soccer practice…even if we only had to go because it was cheaper than hiring a babysitter.

3. But they have no problem doing things alone.

Nobody wants to travel to Africa with me? That’s okay, I’ll just go by…

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