Remember who you are

Growing up, there is one thing that I was told over and over again. Whenever my sisters or I would leave the house, my mother would tell us that she loved us, regardless of what recent teenage drama she was battling with us…

…and then she would tell us the most important thing: Remember who you are.

There have been many times since I left the house and started living on my own that I have heard my mom say this in my ear.

I am a “grown up” now, whatever that means, and my choices are mine to make, mine to regret and mine to complain about to the other sisters as they console me.

Whenever someone, male or female, challenges my beliefs, or the way that I was brought up, I start to think, “Am I wrong in my beliefs? Am I wrong in my opinion?”

In the family dynamic that is the Weather Vane, when your opinion is voiced, 100% of the time someone, or more than one of the sisters, will challenge you. I believe that this was and still is a major part of my up bringing. Whether it is fashion, the recent Ebola crisis, or religion (which is a favorite topic among the sisters, and for some reason we discuss this in VERY public places very loudly not because we make it that way, but because we are not afraid to let our opinions known, and we welcome outside thoughts), I never feel that my opinion does not matter, and if the conversation turns to an argument, which lets be honest does happen, then there is still a conversation.

We are four sisters with so many similarities and so many differences that it makes sense that we could and would argue about whether Katy Perry’s out fit at the VMAs was fantastic or horrible, or if the new health fad is just that – a fad or something that is substantial.  Whether it is philosophical or political, I respect my sisters’ opinions, and I hope they respect mine. One of my most favorite bloggers, Ken Breadner, posted something which really resonated with me:

“I respect your philosophy and political opinion, even when (especially when) it differs from mine (how else will I refine my views on things?) All I ask is the same respect in return.”

I respect other’s opinions, even if I do not share them, and I think that this is part of remembering who I am and learning and growing into the woman I am going to become, and Mom – I know who I am, thanks to you. I know that my opinion is respected within my family, Cody respects it and my close friends respect it.

I am not a prize writer, reporter, journalist, but I know that I look forward to voicing my opinion and hearing that of others, especially my sisters.

~ Jacqui

Trying to understand

A few weeks ago, I came across this:

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I have seen this quote or some iteration of it a few times before, but for whatever reason this time, it struck a chord with me.

It really got me thinking about the quality of the conversations I have with the people that matter.

Was I actually understanding what was being said, or was I busy thinking of  what to say next?

More importantly, in this go-go-go world, was I scared of the idea of not knowing what to say right away and pausing to really consume what was being said or shared with me?

I noticed it wasn’t just me that struggled with this concept of mulling over what was really being said, digging deeper and trying first to understand, secondly to converse.

I noticed it even more when a disagreement was brewing.

That got me thinking of how many arguments could have been avoided if this piece of wisdom was practiced more frequently. How many sorries could have been saved from having to be said?

Could relationships have been saved or outcomes changed? Could a friend’s call for help have been heard sooner? Could my circle of incredible friends and family feel more connected? Could Michael and I thrive even more?

The answer is most definitely.

I feel it’s part of this need I have to slow life down more lately, to take a step back and truly enjoy it.

I’m going to try the same with my conversations until it becomes second nature. I am guaranteed to not always agree, but I can at the very least take that step back and try to understand first.

~ Toni