Spoiled

I know I’m spoiled.  But being spoiled doesn’t mean I have life easy.

I’m tired of being judged for what other people can afford to buy me.  I know I’m spoiled, and I know a lot of people aren’t.  I’m spoiled by the kinds of gifts I get from people, I’m spoiled with the amount of people I can call my best friend, and I’m spoiled because I’ve gotten the privilege of always having two parents, in a healthy home.  I never try to take for granted everything I have.  I never try to take for granted that I know I could get pretty much anything I ask for.  But, I also don’t ask for much.

Let’s start by talking about money.  I was the first grandchild on both sides of my family.  I’m bound to be spoiled because of that, right?  I mean, I guess I wouldn’t expect it anymore now that I’m 19; but when I was younger, that was really the reason I loved the holidays; because I knew I was loved the most so I would get the best and biggest presents (and now watch as I inwardly cringe at how egotistical I was as a child).

Now that I’m 19 though, I’m kind of over it.  Like I said, it isn’t that I’m not grateful.  If you want to give me a trip to Europe, I’m not going to say I don’t want it, but I’m also not going to advertise it like I used to.  I’ve had to many people come up to me and say that they think I’m an awful person because of what OTHER people can afford to buy me.  Have I asked them to buy me these things?  Absolutely not.

I know most families can’t afford to give away large, extravagant presents like mine can.  And honestly, it’s only 1 set of grandparents who can really afford it.  But, through this, I think I’ve learned a lot in my life.

Firstly, love isn’t about how much you can afford to spend on someone.  I mean, the more you love someone the more money you want to spend on them, but that isn’t always possible.  Love is based on the relationships you build with a person.  The time and effort you put into the relationship is what really matters.  Not the presents.

Secondly, I’ve learned what being generous means.  My grandparents use presents to show their love for us occasionally, but typically they are given because they feel like it.  They don’t have to do what they do for us present wise.  That’s just their heart.  My parents are quite similar in this respect, as well as my other grandma.  They have instilled in me that having a generous heart is more beneficial than hoarding all of your money and time.  I love being able to give away large presents to friends, volunteering wherever I can, giving money to charities, and more.

Thirdly, I’ve learned patience and good work ethic.  I’ve seen through all of these people what hard work is and what it took to get them where they are today.  My entire family has had humble beginnings.  Their parents were dirt poor, and they all had to learn how to make life work with the little amount of money they had.  I’m starting to learn that as well.  I don’t have a very similar upbringing, however, I can have an idea of what their beginnings were like.  I work hard for the things I get.  My car, school (grades and paying for tuition), fun trips, and more.  I know I have earned what I have through lots of long hours at work and pushing myself beyond what I thought my limits were to achieve my goals.

I think that effectively covers the money side of things.  Now, let’s talk about friends.  I have 5 of the absolute best friends in the world that a girl could ask for.  That seems like a lot, but I am telling you, they are all like sisters to me.  They are people who know my deepest, darkest secrets and choose to stick around.  They have all seen me at very vulnerable times in my life, and they have all watched me grow as a person; whether they have known me since day 1 or since 10th grade.  And yes, we have had our fights.  I honestly think there has been a time with every single girl where we took a “break” or I got annoyed so I started ignoring them.  But, we have always made up.  I know what makes them tick, and vice versa.  I’m so happy God has spoiled me with 5 of the best friends I could ask for.  I don’t take their friendship for granted because I know what it’s like to not be their friends, and that is an awful feeling.

Finally, we should talk about home life.  Obviously we all know that even though you grow up with both parents and in a healthy home, that doesn’t mean that life is always sunshine and roses.  However, I could really say a lot of mine has been.  Yeah, there have been days and weeks where I didn’t feel that way, but looking back on even those bad times, I cannot think of any instance where I didn’t feel loved.  I feel like there are a lot of people who can’t say that.  Maybe it’s because they choose to think they aren’t loved, or no one tells them that they are (which is sad to think about).  Personally, I think saying “I love you” should be near the top of everyone’s to-do list.  It is free and is something I make sure to tell my friends and family every time I see them.  It is something I try to show to everyone, everyday (although I do not succeed often).  No one deserves to feel unloved, unwanted, or uncherished.  Were we not all made in God’s image?

That was a long rant.  But remember this.  Don’t judge others because of what OTHER people can give them.  If you are going to judge them, judge them based on how they treat what they are given.  Judge them on how they treat others because of what they have.  Isn’t that what really matters?

Until next time my friends,

Aly

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