Lessons from an Educated Debutante

In the new year, we often resolve to incorporate positive changes into our lives, whether it’s to eat better or exercise more. While physical health is important, it’s also crucial to pay attention to our mental health. So many of us women spend our mental energy on the demands of everyday life. It’s easy to be affected by stress and negativity.

The Junior League of Raleigh holds five general membership meetings each year. These meetings are a chance for us to hear League news, mingle with friends and be inspired by the League’s work in the community. Our most recent membership meeting in November featured special guest speaker and blogger Adrian Wood, of Tales of an Educated Debutante. This eastern North Carolina-based writer, PhD and mom of four provides a candid view of a modern woman’s life and shares stories that we can all relate to.

Here are five life lessons Adrian shared with us that keep things in perspective and will help you start the year on a positive note:

  1. “Real isn’t the life we envisioned for ourselves; it’s never neat and tidy. Real is where we are this second. It’s the life we ended up with and call our own, a messy, joyful and crazed existence.”

  2. “Being real is acknowledging not just the mundane and silly things that beckon us all, but the truths that bring silence to a cocktail party. We tend to compare our insides to others’ outsides, so when we put on a brave face, hide the ugly or scary or hard side of life, we are pretending it doesn’t exist, and then those around us feel more and more alone, isolated in their own real, which really is everyone’s. It just depends how good folks are at hiding it.”

  3. “All of you have a story to share. A difference to make. Think of a world where perfection is kicked to the curb. It doesn’t matter how much money you make, what job you have, what size you wear, where your kids go to school, if you’re single, married or divorced. Lay down that semblance of order that we tend to present to the world on a silver platter and bring out the Tupperware. Offer the real version, the truthful one, the messy one.”

  4. “Joy is hiding in just being yourself, the authentic you. You, not the you that you wish you were or could be or aspire to be or thought you would be. The best version is you in this very moment. No one is keeping score but you. At the end of our life, there is no winner, there is only winning and I want to be winning.”

  5. Be kind to strangers. You never know who’s watching.

    Adrianne with Junior League of Raleigh’s Executive Vice President, Randi Ligon, and President, Samantha Hatem


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