Wouldn't change a thing...

I recently took a trip home to visit my family & on the plane ride I read an article out of Elle about a now famous actress (can't remember her name, nor re-find the article), who said she was grateful for her lessons she learned by growing up poor.  This hit so home for me, because (my mom hates the word poor), but let's face it we grew up in survival mode.  While reading the article so many points she said hit home, that I wanted to write something myself about it. 
It might sound odd to some people who know all the details that I wouldn't change a thing about my childhood.  From things that occurred for it be just my Mom raising us, to how we grew up.  I wouldn't change a thing.  Growing up in what some would consider a "struggle" gave me some of my core values I have today. I think the 3 most important ones, that I see helping me in my daily life are:
 #1 Working hard for what you want.  I started "working" at around age 11, helping my Mom's company put stickers on their fliers.  I will never forget how excited I used to get about the few dollars I would earn from that job.  My mother is one heck of a strong woman who did the very best she could, but because it was tough times, I was never just given anything (materialistic that is), I had to earn it or wait for a holiday. 
# 2. Appreciation for what you have.  The whole saying, "when I started counting my blessings my whole life turned around," can apply to this. I may not always have what I want, but it was always stressed to me growing up, that it is important to be grateful the things you do have!  One very important example I have of this, is water we can use. I recently posted this picture in my album from my visit home. 
From 4th grade to 9th grade we lived in a home that had Iron water (also no neighbors for a mile & no stop lights) that was unusable.  Because water purifying systems at that time were super ridiculously expensive (I imagine the one needed in that house still probably is) we couldn't afford any method to fix the water.  So we traveled to Lynn Run weekly to fill up 2 gallon milk jugs of water to drink with, cook with, & even boil to bathe with.  We also had to go to the Laundromat weekly to do our laundry.  Visiting Lynn Run the other day truly reminded me that it is important to be grateful every day for what I have!
#3. Knowing that everything is NOT always going to go my way.  Now I know this is something everyone learns at some point or another, but I feel blessed that I had to learn it so early on.  I learned quickly that I am not always going to be able to do things with my friends, people would sometimes let me down, sometimes I wouldn't be able to wear the new & latest style, sometimes I would have to eat ramon noodles instead of sushi, and if something "unexpected" happens (always does) it's not the end of the world. 

So there you have it, some may wish that I had it "easier" growing up, but I everyday think I wouldn't change a thing, and am so grateful for the very important life lessons growing up this way has taught me. :)