5 years ago
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TreeToday, I thought I would “pay it forward” by sharing some of the smart, often humbling, advice given to me by dear friends, both old and new, during the past seven months of my strange and twisted journey that brought me to where I am today.

I call this treasured advice my collection of “w.o.w’s” — words of wisdom. I wish I could remember every piece of grand advice given to me by friends during our numerous and lengthy philosophical talks–often wine-filled discussions at home or belly laugh and tear-filled chats at the (embarrassingly high) number of local drinking establishments I’ve  supported in the past 200-something days.

On that note (cheers), moving on….

For you, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite gems that friends have lovingly sent via text or email. I’ve kept them as daily reminders that life truly does unfold exactly as it should. The answer to “why” is always there, but you probably won’t get it as fast as you’d like. To tide you over while “waiting for why,” enjoy the following w.o.w’s from my personal collection.


History can only repeat itself if you let it.

Do not settle. I have too many times, and it has left me angry and bitter. I hate it. I cannot rid myself of it. Dodge the bullets and guard your precious children.

Purposefully hurting someone else is not winning—it is stealing.

To have the ability to so easily say hurtful, vitriolic things to another person means you are so hateful and vengeful inside that you don’t even care enough about your own identity in life.

How fortunate are you to be able to look forward. It means you have a new canvas—a fresh, white, clean canvas to paint however you wish.

Focus on what you have right now. Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is not promised.

There are two kinds of self-centeredness: I’m so wonderful or I’m so awful. Both make it impossible to serve others, and both are destroyed at the cross.

Facebook is the most highly curated mirage ever.

There is a false sense of security in having someone new in your life if you are really only reliving your same insecurities with them.

Fear is not of God, so get at that root.

What if you were guaranteed your worst fear about yourself? How do you choose to live your life? Do you travel? Volunteer? Become resentful and bitter, or maybe wise and at peace? Don’t let your fear overtake you so much that it becomes true. Play out your fears and take away their power over you. Get humble, get thankful.

It’s the people who know what will hurt you and purposefully and intentionally use that knowledge against you that you don’t need in your life. The people who know what will hurt you and do anything to keep from using that information to hurt you are the people to keep in your life.

You are a strong, smart, beautiful woman and mother. Nothing anyone could say or do could ever take that away from you.

Sometimes, all you have to do is forget what you feel and remember what you deserve.

When you continue to talk and think about who and what hurt you, you keep that person and situation alive. “Kill” them both by moving forward and thinking about something else. Keep the lesson, not the pain.

Men are men and typically only care about what they want and need. Until they care about you equally or more, don’t go there.

There is a thin line between love and hate. When people are happy, they have no reason to hurt you. When people are miserable, they want others to be miserable, too. When people truly love you, they want you to be happy.

When you don’t have closure, you have to wait for the wound to close on its own. Expect the healing process to take longer than you’d like.

You have all the power. You always did. You are stronger than you know.

Fresh starts are the best.

The one who cares the least has the control.

We teach people how to treat us.

Things don’t just happen “to us,” they also happen “for us.”

God said with faith we can move mountains, but he never mentioned it would be one rock at a time.

Your worth is not dependent upon the misguided opinion of another.

Failure is a state of mind. Change your perspective, even slightly, and the world looks different.

This is not the end, middle, or beginning of the book. It’s just the part where the story gets so interesting that you can’t put the book down.

Your story changes as it is being written.

Grieving takes time – much more time if you keep picking at the wound.

Let’s call a spade a spade and be choosy from now on.

When you think back, start feeling relieved instead of sad.

I think you thought this person solved, or answered, some of your (false) self-held inadequacies, but that’s way different from real love. Be honest with what it really was and who this person really is.

Inner peace begins the moment you stop allowing another person to control your thoughts, emotions, and actions.

Learn to distinguish between what you know to be true, and what you wish were true.

Just because you want something doesn’t mean it’s workable.

Learn to honor your own experience.

And here are some of the more funny ones I found in going through my w.o.w’s….

Jennifer, I find you cray.

You should write a cute little book about all of these stories, and simply call it “Assholes.”

I think you just posted a quote by Drake. Ok Jen, now…I’m going to need you to use your arms and crawl out of the house and start be around people again.

You’re partying on Greenville? Seriously, Jen? What is this? 1994? You have to do better in 2013–across the board, girl!

Oh, and the Christmas tree drawing? It’s my favorite w.o.w from 2012 from my daughter:

Dear Mom, I have no idea what our life would be without you. Even when you are sick, you still manage to everything and more. I love you so much there are not enough words in the English dictionary to say how much – not even supercalafrajalisticexpealadocious. Not even close. So enjoy this Christmas tree I drew for you where we are all tall enough to reach the top, and now you never have to take it down. Thank you for always taking care of everything we need.





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