I’ve always been independent.  When I was 5 years old, I hopped on the school bus and waved to my mom with a smile on my face, “See ya later mom!” as my mother cried her eyes out, watching her baby girl go to school for the first time.

I organized neighborhood events. A lemonade stand. A “put flowers on people’s doorsteps for no reason” movement (btw I later learned they were dandelions!).  Organized games to play with the neighborhood kids in various yards. My favorite toy was “My First Business”, a kit I got for Xmas. Sold friendship bracelets on the corner of my street.  Set up a table at the high school flee market and sold clay beaded necklaces I made by hand along with rocks I glued googly eyes on and sold them all for $5. And when I made cupcakes with animal faces for the flea market the next year and it rained, I took those cupcakes to my dad’s work at CBS Television and sold out of all 50 @ $5 each.  Had a paper route and was making hundreds of dollars a week by age 10. Flew to Texas on my own to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins, traveled to Brazil with a neighbor and back by myself by age 12. At 15, I was traveling to New York City by myself, I moved out to live on my own when I was 17, and started my own business at age 24. I think it’s safe to say that am no stranger to doing it alone.

I look at other family and friends and sometimes think to myself – they have it real easy; everyone around them is taking care of them, watching out for them, giving them advice. So now that my parents are gone, who gives the life advice? I’d always given it to myself… my parents were fairly unavailable during the time of their divorce and the aftermath, so I would purchase workshops and seminars to learn about life things (the one that sticks out in my mind and has had greatest effect to this day was Robert & Michelle Colt’s Acting Success Now, a seminar I took as an artist, and learned how to expend yourself beyond your wildest dreams), but once in a while it was nice to reach out for questions about how to deal with things like taking care of a plant or how to maintain my vehicle…

What about the bigger stuff? When I have children, how to take care of them? Parenting advice? Buying a house or a car advice? It seems like the bigger stuff is where it’s easy to get stuck. So when this happens, I just have to suck it up and reach out to people who DO know… or keep asking around until someone gives me an answer… collecting information or research if you will.

I’ve created a small list of people who I can reach out to for different things (all in my mind at this point). It’s growing… and sometimes it’s hard because no matter who I put on the list, no one is going to know me like my parents and no one is going to love me like them so as hard as it is, I can’t compare their advice to my parents. I just have to be thankful that there ARE people in my life willing to give it and I can take it or leave it.

Who’s on your list?