To My Mom, My Hero

To My Mom, My Hero

I don't tell her this enough, but I am so lucky to have my mom.

This is the first Mother's Day I have missed in twenty years - this summer, I'm living in Columbus, working hard and taking classes (switching your major three times WILL set you back to graduating on time). The first Mother's Day I've missed - and so, here is the best gift I can give from 800 miles from home.

I have been blessed with a mother who is strong, funny, relentlessly defensive of her family, especially her children. My mom is the definition of "forever young" - she acts like she's still in college sometimes, and being around her is always, always, ALWAYS an adventure.

But more than that - my mother has taught me more about life than anyone I have ever known. My mom has lived through some tough times, and rather than coming out the other side bitter or resentful, she has come out the other side full of light, love, and a sense of optimism that is, frankly, sometimes quite annoying. I've never met anyone who, upon hearing I'm Debne's daughter, doesn't say, "Oh my gosh, I just love your mom." And damn right.

My mom has taught me the importance of optimism, of choosing to laugh about your embarrassments and sorrows rather than wallow in them, and that there is absolutely no reason to do anything less than your best. Most important in that lesson is that as long as you did your best, there's no reason to get down on yourself.

My mom also taught me the importance of sticking up for yourself and asking for help. This lesson was primarily taught in the fierce and unrelenting way she defended my brother and me - hell hath no fury like a Debne scorned. There is no reason to let people walk all over you or the people you love.

She taught us the importance of hard work, and how hard work, more than right place right time and knowing people, will get you farther. With that lesson, of course, is knowing the services available to you, and taking advantage of those always.

My mom also taught me the importance of being a good friend, and what that means. She was always there for advice, for problem-solving, and occasionally to say "screw them" (especially when I needed it), and to say "you're being an asshole" (ALWAYS when I needed it).

My mom is fun loving, strong, confident, and the most amazing mother a girl with self-esteem (among other) issues could ask for. I could sit here and keep telling you how lucky I am to have my mom, how incredible she is (which I could never do justice in writing), but the important thing to remember this Mother's Day is this: you probably don't tell your mom how lucky you are to have her enough. You probably don't let her know how incredible, smart, beautiful, inspirational, or any adjective you feel best describes her, enough. So in addition to breakfast in bed, and flowers, tell your mom how much she means to you.

If I grow up to be half the woman my mom is, I'd be pretty damn lucky.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Marlette

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8 Things I Have Not Thanked My Best Friend Forever For In, Well, Forever

Thank you for always being the best.

1. Being there through it all, even if you're not "physically" there

We can't always be together, but you have never completely "left" me behind and have been there with me through thick and thin and I am so grateful.

2. Being my biggest cheerleader

Thank you for not only being there through the bad, but also celebrating my victories with me. I can always look forward to telling you good news because I know you'll be happy right along with me.

3. Answering my "important" phone calls

Whether it's a "he texted me back!!!" phone call, or an "I found a gray hair, please help!!" phone call, you pick up the phone and hype up with me no matter what.

4. Being selfless, and going above & beyond to make sure I know I'm worthy

This explains itself and I am so grateful for that.

5. Brushing my hair when I don't feel like it

Okay, this probably sounds silly... But it's the greatest struggle to brush my hair and I'm glad you do it for me sometimes!

6. For being there through all of my mini-crises

You already know what I'm talking about here...

7. For talking me out of things

If it wasn't for you talking me out of things, I'd probably have quit my job, be dating a horrible guy, got my eyebrow pierced, etc.

8. Making me a part of your family

I'm too lucky to have you all as my second family.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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Be True To Yourself And Stay Real With Those Around You

You're not being rude, hopefully.


It is important to not be fake or easily swayed by others' opinions. Being true to yourself and having a set of values that people acknowledge as respectable can get you far. Doing the right thing and being reasonable allow you to keep it real. Keeping it real is constantly seeking the truth. However, there is a fine line between being real and being rude.

If you say you're "just being honest" and following that with a rude comment, you're not being real. You can't tear down the people around you just because you're trying to be real with everyone. Being real with the people around you means being respectful. Think about others before you think about yourself. Think about what you're going to say before you say it. Also, think about how you're going to say it.

Tone plays a critical role in keeping it real versus being rude. There are many ways to phrase a statement, and many meanings can come from one statement. By putting emphasis on a different word each time you repeat the statement, it can drastically change the tone. Tone is the intonation of the voice as expressive of some meaning or feeling. If you are aware of your tone, it can stop you from being perceived as rude. It is important to be heard and say what you need to say, but it is also important not to hurt those you care enough about.

Intent also plays a role in being real versus being rude. It is obvious when my mother is telling me something with her best interest at heart. It is obvious when a guy in my elective is telling me something with malicious intent. The fine line between being real and being rude is the intent. The purpose of the phrase coming out of the other person's mouth has a profound effect. Once you learn how to tell the difference between the two, you will have an easier time in life. Make sure to think before you speak. Analyze whether what you're about to say will benefit the person and take into consideration why you are even phrasing a statement. There is a real reason for everything you have to say, and there are also real consequences for what you say.

Context is also important when it comes to maintaining the conversation. Conversations are situational and it is important to only say what is relevant. In order to keep it real and not be rude, you have to dissociate from other outside conversations. You have to know that comments taken out of context can be hurtful and used against you. The circumstances are different for each person involved, so it is in your best interest to keep it real.

It's definitely easier said than done. However, taking context, intent, and tone into consideration will stop you from being perceived as rude. Everyone wants to keep it real, but not everyone is capable of staying within the threshold. This line between being real and being rude has consequences, when the line is crossed. Keeping it real is truly an admirable quality to have.

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