I Grew Up As An Only Child And I Wouldn't Change A Thing

I Grew Up As An Only Child And No, I Don't Wish I Had A Bunch Of Siblings

Because I didn't have siblings, my house became the gathering spot for me and my best friends. I always had a plus one. And that's how they became family.

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Being an only child almost always sparks an interesting conversation. Oftentimes people who are only children simply can't imagine having siblings and those with siblings can't imagine living in a pit of loneliness. What they don't know is that pit of loneliness isn't actually that lonely and involves a lot of quiet, self-exploration, and being the star of the family unit. Sounds like a party to me! I feel like whenever I tell people I'm an only child they give me a look of pity as if they are imagining me pacing a dark hallway during the Victorian era with a china doll as my only friend.

First of all, the hallway would have been very well lit because my mother is an interior decorator, but I digress. Whenever I tell people I'm an only child they automatically assume I am spoiled and think too highly of myself. I'm not saying they're totally wrong since I'm currently writing a self-indulgent article and expecting people to read it because they are sure to be intrigued by the fabulousness I've been radiating since day one.

Yes, my pink pastel childhood bedroom did house a canopy bed with faux roses strung about the top and a dollhouse my dad built for me (and installed electricity into). Yes, I had the super sweet 16 complete with a ballgown, tiara and matching pink Hummer Limo. But, I don't think being an only child made me spoiled. I got a lot of things but I never expected them. I worked hard in school even though there were no siblings to compete with. I think I am a pretty good sharer.

Now that I've introduced my only childless to you, I am going to tell you just how ~unique~ MY experience was. You're probably rolling your eyes, but I promise you might understand my life a little better after reading this (I am such an only child, why do I care if you understand my life?). I grew up in a one square mile town, walking school district, no stop light kinda deal. And I loved it. My friends became my family. They are still the family I choose today. I always had playmates because of the small size of my town. I especially needed them because I didn't have that childhood companionship with cousins either GASP

Yep, that's right folks. Not only was I an only child but I was also the only grandchild on both sides of my family. Which means I was also the only niece to all six of my aunts and uncles. I was always kind of bummed out that I didn't get that cousins-opening-presents-together-on-Christmas experience, but because of that, I am so close with my aunts, uncles, and grandparents, just like how not sharing my parents with siblings created my profound relationship with them.

As I got older, I realized I wouldn't be a real aunt until I got married. I am so close with my hometown friends that I am sure I will get to be a fake aunt to their kids, but it isn't the same as blood. I started to be curious about what my relationship would be like with my future younger cousins as every year ticked by without them.

As much as I dreamed about what it would be like when I finally had cousins, I never could have conceived of how much my relationships with them would shape me during my young adult years. When I was 14, my aunts who are twins were due one month apart and I went from having zero cousins to two in a blink of an eye. I couldn't contain my excitement. I felt all the feelings people tell you that you're supposed to feel, but even deeper. I didn't know how much I could instantly love someone or how overwhelmed with selflessness I could be. I didn't know how many things that I'd loved and experienced until I thought about sharing all those things with my Aedan and Daisy.

Three years later when I was 17, our family was blessed with another little girl, the sister to Daisy, Miss Lily. Since I am so much older than them, I feel like more of an aunt or mentor. They inspire me to give them something to look up to. It has been the most beautiful experience for me.

I think who you surround yourself with has a great influence on who you become. For me, I surround myself with my family and friends who are like family. As an aspiring writer, I am crafting an identity and I just don't see how I can express that if I don't give you a little taste of where I came from and the people who make me, me. They've taught me how to love and be loved so well. They're still teaching me things every single day.

When I think of all the people closest to me in my head, I picture every one of their faces meshing into a completed puzzle in my heart. That's really cheesy but I'm being real right now. And I guess my final point is this: I'm an only child but my heart holds a whole lot more than just me.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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10 'We're Going To Disney World' Reactions That Will Make You Wish You Had Kids

And lots of money.

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Looking for a good cry today? Take a scroll through this list of "We're Going To Disney World" reaction videos and I promise, you'll be singing "When You Wish Upon A Star" and sobbing by the end.

1.  Movie trailer.

Mom and Dad put together a fake movie trailer as a way for the kids to guess what was going on (the first minute and a half of the video). I lost it when baby girl started crying. The way they squeal with each other when they find out they're having breakfast with the princesses is priceless. I'm already done, guys.

2.  Game of pictionary.

Okay, these kids are the absolute cutest. Like the cutest ever. I pretty much died when brother hugged his little sister.

(I definitely recommend your turn your volume down for this one, though. You'll see what I mean.)

3.  Mystery presents.

THIS WAS SO CREATIVE AND CUTE. WHY DOESN'T MY SIBLING DO CUTE THINGS FOR ME? Seriously though, this was so incredibly creative and thoughtful. I love the gag gifts that seem so random until she puts it all together. Ugh. So sweet. Plus grandma recording in the background is the cutest thing ever.

4.  Christmas unboxing surprise.

Little man stole my heart in this one. His reaction was literally everything. He RUNS into moms arms and SOBS. And now I'm sobbing. And then he thanks mom and dad like a bunch of times. This just seems like the sweetest family.

5. Luxury limousine.

This was cute as is and then got even cuter as the limo pulled up. This kiddos were so cute and giggly and I love that momma made sure they knew how much she and daddy loved them. Ugh, so pure. I hope they had the best time.

6.  Sleeping beauty.

This little girl went zero to a hundred REAL quick. From dead asleep to jumping on the bed in less than a minute. She was so precious with her "let's go" and "how do I look" comments. And she thanked her parents! Man, I want to be her friend.

7. Bursts of tears.

I lost it with little dude started crying, BUT THEN LITTLE GIRL BURST OUT IN TEARS AND I REALLY LOST IT. This was TOO CUTE TO HANDLE. Also can we talk about how adorable these guys looked in their hats? I literally can't.

8.  Mickey cookies!

These girls are the sweetest when they realize they're going to Disney World, AND that their bags are already packed in brand new suitcases. How fricken cute. Look at their cute little skip to the bathroom, and how excited they get over the new suitcases. Who knew kids even got excited over suitcases? These girls are adorable and their momma is the best. ALSO, HER COOKIES LOOKED AMAZING.

9.  Gulf of Mexico.

These kids were SHOOK when they realized their usual drive to Iowa was looking a little different than usual. Props to mom and dad for utilizing the OG Mickey Mouse Club theme song to drop the bomb on their kiddos. And props to them for keeping it a secret until ten hours in on their drive! I also love how it took bud a second to process the news before it finally hit him.

10.  Today?

This sweet baby cried happy tears when she found out she was getting to go to Disney World that day.I think her sister was just glad she didn't have to go to the dentist. Needless to say, I cried when she cried.

"Disney World?"

Time to birth some children and save my entire salary so I can make all the dreams come true. I only hope my kids are at least half as cute as all of these babies.

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