I was only eighteen when I got some of the best advice from my father. It has stuck with me ever since then and I share it with many people.
And certainly live by his words of wisdom.
I had just broken up with a boyfriend. Our relationship lasted only a few months and it was long distance. And since I was going to college in a different town. If our relationship should continue, it would be long distance still. Some people can’t handle long distance. And he couldn’t.
I remember exactly where I was crying. In front of the garage at my dad’s house. He came outside to smoke and asked if I was okay.
“Yes,”I said. “No. Maybe. I don’t know. I’m just upset.”
I explained my situation and he quickly asked me a question.
“Ashley, let me ask you something,” he said. “Can you control when it rains?”
What in the heck is he talking about, I thought. I am talking about a heart break and here is asking about the weather. This isn’t small talk dad.
“Um, no not really,” I said.
“Well, the answer is no, you can’t,” he said. “But-” he started. And then gave me a big smile- the one that flashes his dimples and lights up any room, “But you can control what you wear when it rains.”
I thought about for a minute.
“Well, people are like weather Ash,” he continued. “You can’t control what they say and do, but you can control how YOU react to what they say and do. You will never control another person. Ever. Once you realize that, life will be a lot easier.”
It made perfect sense. But not that the time. I wanted to make my ex-boyfriend be with me. I wanted to make him say all the right things.
But I took my dad’s advice and let him go.
And thankfully, I did because my found my Justin a year later.
I try to apply that advice to all people and situations.
Some things are simply out of our control.
And there is nothing we can control except our reaction.
So wear rain boots when it rains and think about how you will respond when someone hurts you. Because those are really your only options. Trying to do anything else will just destroy your day and mind.
Oh, and smile knowing your parents are right sometimes. A lot of the times- and you learn that and appericate it more as you grow up.