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Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Blogs | Sociology of Sheena
Happy 18th Birthday Bianca LaShay
Today my sister Bianca turns 18 years old.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIANCA!!!!!!!!!
Bianca, I love you. 18 is such¬† a milestone. I hope you take the moment to note it and to reflect on what it means for you. Every time its your birthday, I’m taken back to the day of your birth. I was pulled out of class because you were ready to make your appearance. I was only ten years old and they let me in the hospital room to watch your entrance into the world. I had wanted a sister for so long and from the moment I held you, I developed an instinct of love and protection without reason when it came to you. I wanted to teach you all that I knew. I wanted you to feel special and I just enjoyed spending time with you. Even though there was/is a ten-year gap between us, I have always felt an amazing connection to you.
Thank you for being such a sweet and fun sister. Thank you for all the hugs and kisses and laughter and smiles. You inspire me and I am so grateful that we share the connection of sisterhood. I wanted to share a few other things with you. They are in no particular order.
¬†1. Please take advantage of every opportunity. You are going to be presented with so many options for adventures, projects, classes, travel and more and I want you to take advantage of every wonderful thing. Don’t pass on something because of fear or because you aren’t sure of every little bit of the equation. I passed on an opportunity to spend time in Louisiana before hurricane Katrina hit and I wish I hadn’t. I didn’t even have a justified reason to do so. I passed on a chance to stage manage an awesome play because of obligations that could have been altered. I really should have just followed my passion. I don’t want you to have any regrets or wonder what if. So when given the chance to live and to try and to discover and to play…..take that chance.
2. Take the time to discover who you are. This is so important Bianca. It is so SO so important. Knowing who you are will give you a firm foundation. It will negate so much heartache. It will make things less complicated. It will keep you out of trouble. Take the time to figure yourself out. Know what you value and what you won’t put up with. Learn to believe in yourself and to be your own source. Don’t let anyone define you, limit you or change you. You set the standard for yourself. Live in the power of YOU. Figuring out who you are won’t always be an easy thing. Its a journey with high’s and low’s but its worth every step. I want you to speak with your own authority, to stand tall and hold your head high. I don’t want you to apologize or belittle your desires or passions. I want you to live fully in your light. Take the time to know yourself. I think its one of the most important things you could do for yourself.
3. Do not put friends or relationships above your education and personal development. People are important. Community is important. Having a support system is important. I get it. I love my friends. I love dating and relationships. I enjoy hanging out and going on road trips and meeting friends for dinner or jam sessions. I get it. Trust me, I do. BUT do not EVER put another person above your education & enlightenment or personal development & growth. Don’t give up a master’s program because your future boyfriend doesn’t want you to pursue that. Don’t say no on that amazing yoga & spiritual retreat because you’re friends want to fuck around and have a house party over the weekend. There are things we sacrifice for our friends and loved ones but I personally do not believe it should ever be your education or personal development. People may disagree with me but I do not give a flying fuck!
4. Please use every summer for internships, education and/or travel.¬† Ultimately, its your choice what you do with your time. It’s your life. You have to make your own decisions. But coming from my experience of being in college, I would say every summer should be used for an amazing internship opportunity, job, classes or travel. Staying at home and chilling with friends all summer long, going from one party to the next is not optimal. You’ve got to strategize your life and think long-term. You want to make connections that will propel you forward. You can put, “I traveled to Italy in the summer of 2012″ on your resume and in your portfolio. You can’t put, “I hung out with Jane Doe all summer long and went to the beach.” Think strategically about your life and your time. Another option for summer life is to spend it with me in New York. We can take dance classes together. You could get an amazing internship and live in my awesome apartment for the summer. You’d have free food. We’d have lots of fun and you know I’d put you to work towards bettering yourself and building your portfolio. Think about that for next summer! Hint. Hint.
5. Please engage in safe sex unless you’re celibant or abstinent. Please always use protection. Please always use caution and discretion.¬† Use your best judgement with who you let into your life. Sex is fun. Sexuality is great. Dating is awesome. Kissing rocks! Touching is yummy. It just all feels good. I know. But there is a cost to every choice that we make. Always be willing to pay the cost of your choices. Don’t have sex unless you’ve seen the person’s test results from YESTERDAY not six months ago! I think “safe” sex also means engaging in sex that is right for you. Take the time to discover what pleasures you and delights you. And don’t settle for lame kisses and mediocre sex with ok people. Even if it takes longer, find the person that rocks your socks and makes you melt. Five years later, trust me, you will want that to be your story. Don’t waste your time, life or VAGINA on mediocrity, lameness, and complacency because you got caught up, didn’t know how to say no or it kind of seemed ok in the moment. :-)
6. When given the option, take the risk, take the road less travelled, pick the one that scares you the most. This will make for a better life story. I think you will be more proud of yourself this way. I think you’ll be more fulfilled and leave a bigger impact on the world. Be original. Use your unique voice and try something different. Pave the way, don’t just walk down the road.
7. It’s ok to change your mind, to change your heart and to change your way just remember who you are, remember your values and what matters most. This goes along with the above where I talk about “taking the time to discover who you are.” I just wanted to say it slightly differently. After you have a firm foundation in self and you know your values, don’t let life shake you or destroy you or fluster you. For instance, say you want to major in Spanish and you spend three years studying it and then something changes and you decide you want to go save the whales in the ocean and help salmon in Alaska. Don’t freak out at that change in a life goal. Don’t think you’re failing yourself or letting someone down because your priorities or interest shifted. Say you love someone and then you decide you don’t anymore. Don’t let that destroy you or cause you alarm. People make different choices all the time. We evolve and we grow. One minute we want something and its crystal clear and a year later that decision is not what resonates with us anymore. When this happens, if you have a firm foundation in self and if you know your values, change and evolution isn’t so scary. I just want you to know that. For example, I was supposed to be a lawyer or a teacher or do missionary work. I thought I might marry a pastor or go to grad school immediately. I once loved a man and then decided it wasn’t in my best interest to stay with him. I used to love glitter and now its only ok on rare occasions. I used to think issues of sexuality were bad and now I take pleasure in exploring that side of myself. Through it all, through the changes, I didn’t have a psychotic break or feel confused or question who I was because I know who I am. I want the same for you.
8. Always know that I am here for you. You are NEVER alone. No matter what you’re going through, no matter what you’ve done or what you think, you always have me in your corner. I will do anything to protect you, to help you or to hold you. You are NEVER alone. You always have me. I need that to be etched in your soul, sweetheart. I feel as if so many are depressed or suicidal or maniacs are rotating through various mental issues because they feel isolated. I know there are other factors too. But I think a huge issue is that people feel isolated, left out and made fun of. Sometimes people feel no one can understand what’s going on. They feel their thoughts are so dark that they can’t share them. Some people feel like we’re supposed to be perfect so they struggle to share what they are really going through. This all leads to a big fucking mess. Bianca LaShay Young, you are NEVER ALONE! You are loved just as you are. You matter. You are important to my life. You hang the moon for me. In your darkest hour, when you feel so isolated, when it seems like no one has your back or could possibly understand, you must know I am here for you. You can call me any time of day. You can say ANYTHING to me and you won’t frighten me or freak me out. You are NEVER alone. I will be your cheerleader and your biggest fan always. If you need someone to just sing your praises and tell you how you’re the best person ever and really mean it, I’m your girl! LOVE YOU!
9. I am so proud of you. You are a wonderful woman. You have such a delightful personality. You have a gorgeous smile. Your mind is incredible. You are a knock out. You pick up on new ideas and new concepts and new music with such ease. You are one of the best people that I know. I love your laughter. I love your tenacity and your courage. I love your spirit and your enthusiasm. Even though I’m the big sister, I look up to you too and I have always been inspired by you. You’re so great, Bianca.
10. You will always be a “bogohead.” Do you remember this term Bianca? You invented that word when you were two years old. It was your favorite insult. If someone made you mad or if you wanted to pick on me or our little brother, who was only one years old at the time, you would either mutter under your breath or scream really loud, “YOU ARE A BOGOHEAD!” You loved that silly word. It was funny because if we got mad at you and called you are bogohead, you would throw the biggest tantrum, have the biggest cry and your feelings were so hurt. You hated when people called you a bogohead but you loved calling all of us one. You will always be my
precious, silly, sensitive baby sister with a tender heart and funny personality. It doesn’t matter how old you get or if you forget the origin of “bogohead,” I will always remember you at two years old and I’ll always love you for it!
11. Be generous with your kindness and wholehearted with your love.¬† Simply put, the world can ALWAYS use more of it.
12. Do things that will matter pass 5 minutes. Do things that will matter a year from now and five years from now. I want you to be able to look back at your past with happiness, delight and pride because you used your precious time wisely. I want you to feel good about the fact that you made incredible, life affirming choices. Treat your life as the precious gift that it is and make your story memorable.
13. Don’t take things too seriously. There will be times when the pressure mounts, when classes are hard, when everyone wants something, when every decision holds weight and it seems it might all collapse if you don’t select the perfect answer. Just breathe. Eat a popsicle. Do a silly dance and remember not to take things too seriously. You will make mistakes and its ok. Shit happens. Give your self a break sometimes. Give yourself grace and compassion. Love yourself with a gentle spirit.
Happy Birthday my love. I hope today is incredible for you. I hope every day is but today even moreso. I hope you have fun and do something you’ll never forget, even if its slightly naughty. But only a little. I’d like to not have to bail you out of jail at 18. Let’s save that for a rainy day. I love you so much and I can’t wait for every single birthday you ever have. You are the best Bianca I have ever known. Have a great day, sweetheart!
I interviewed my sister when she was 16 years old. Watch that here –> Bianca LaShay Interview
My sister helped me make a hair mist that has been viewed over 15,000 times on youtube. Watch that here. –> Moisturizing Hair Mist