Life Lessons from my Cousin

When I went away, I loved having the opportunity to be in a new environment with new people, but more than anything, I loved being able to try new things.

I’ve always liked to try new things (particularly new types of food), but sometimes my fear of not being able to do new activities to the best of my ability prevents me from doing them.

When I was little, my parents bought me pretty, pink Barbie roller skates with the accessories to match, so I could learn how to skate.  However, I was not picking it up, and as a perfectionist who was determined to pick things up straight away as a child, I simply stopped trying.

I never picked up a pair of skates again after that and I never went skating at all, until my cousin took my sister and I skating with his friends.  Although it was a fun activity, skating served as some sort of life lesson for me, due to the parallels with my own personal life.

I  fear a lot of things in this world, which can prevent me from moving forward, but I refused to let my fear get the better of me this time and stop me from learning to skate.

It was my fear of falling and what people would think of me that hindered me from getting out there, but my cousin told me that if I wanted to learn to skate, “Don’t be afraid to fall”.  As it turns out, I did end up falling a few times, but I was proud of myself for getting out there and trying.

I went from not being able to stand up on my own to being able to skate around a little on my own.  I also continued to make (small) improvements, which was helped by reassurances from my cousin.

Skating was also a lesson in trust, which is an issue that I struggle with in my everyday life.  I avoid putting my trust in others, because I feel that they might let me down, so I prefer to rely on myself.

However, when skating, I had to put my trust in my cousin to teach me, keep me upright and stop me from falling.  I was afraid that I would fall, even with him holding my hands, and there were times when I almost dragged him down, but he always kept me on my feet.

It was only when he let me go that I fell, but he just wanted me to trust myself enough to do it on my own.  Whenever I said, “I can’t”, he would say, “Yes, you can”, which reminded me that I can do it and I need to stop doubting myself.

Skating taught me to trust, fight through my fears and embrace new experiences, which brought me joy.  I’m so glad my cousin continued to push me, motivate me and convince me to try, because I feel that it helped me to grow.  And I am definitely gonna try skating again.

Level-headed, Intelligent and Funny

As it’s his birthday, I think it’s only right that this dedication goes out to my beautiful little cousin.  Of course, he’s one of my many cousins and he’s not so little any more.  He’s into the latter half of his teenage years and he is definitely towering over me in height, which may not be hard, but he really is tall.

Over the years, I’ve watched my cousin grow into a great young man, who I can sit down and have a good conversation with.  We can actually talk on a level and he comes out with things with substance, which makes me really respect him.  He’s got a very level head for his age, which I guess helps.

My cousin is also very, very smart.  I know that he’s intelligent by speaking to him, but I didn’t realise just how intelligent he was until a few months back after he got a set of exam results.  I was extremely proud of him and it showed how God always has his back.  I can’t wait to see what amazing things he does in the future, as he continues to mature and increase his knowledge.

Like the majority of people in my life, my cousin is funny.  My sister and I have mentioned how much jokes he gives us on numerous occasions.  He has a more subtle humour that not everyone will see and he delivers lines in a dead pan or serious way, which just makes them hilarious.  I don’t think he even realises how funny he is.

My cousin always believes in me and supports me through whatever I’m doing, which I really appreciate.  I know that I can always count on him and that I can always talk to him, which makes him extra special.  I really do love him with all my heart.

Proud to Call You Cousin

One of my closest friends from my school days made me really proud this weekend, as she walked many miles to raise money for charity.

My friend not only has a beautiful heart, but she has so much inner strength.  I know that she has been through a lot, but she has fought through everything and come out better for it, which is a quality that I really admire.

Due to our surnames being so close in the alphabet, she became one of my first friends in school, because we were usually forced to sit next to each other.  We would talk about many different things and she was the one who got me into One Tree Hill in its great first series.

We also referred to each other as cousins, because half of her double-barreled surname is actually my mother’s maiden name.  It was a lot of fun trying to convince others that we were cousins, as they thought that it was a total joke; however, I still call her my cousin.

I remember the fun I had dancing away at her 16th birthday party, where her friends from outside of school made me feel so welcome.  I also had a great night celebrating her 22nd birthday, when I was also dancing away and made to feel welcome in a group where I was the only individual from our school.

This is another one of my friends that I see very rarely, but I know that she will always be in my life.  She is a loyal friend and one of the sweetest people I know, although she has a serious toughness about her, which I love.

Just like with many of my other friends, I wish that I could see her more often and go for more fun nights out.  She is funny, entertaining, warm and a great person to talk to.  I know that she will always make me feel comfortable, included and part of a group.  I love my friend with all my heart and I am proud to call her my cousin.