Life as Skyler Sees It
"Without storms, there are no rainbows"
Skyler Marie Hirsch
Skyler's words and actions have touched the hearts and inspired the spirits of many, including me. On this page I'm honored to share an excerpt from my 16-year-old granddaughter's 11th grade autobiography project
A mind set is made up of many different things. All the aspects of life: relationships, values, morals, daily experiences, and the people with whom we interact lead us to become who we are. Every day we change something, something as small as how we feel about a person or something as big as how we look at the world. The crazy thing is the biggest changes in our mindset can be changed by one little word, phrase, person, or action.
Very early in my life I went through things that changed my mind about the world. When I was 7, my best friend passed away. He was my neighbor and we were together everyday. I was home so I saw all of the ambulances and police cars. I never thought it could be for him, maybe it was for the old man next door or anyone else on the street, but not the innocent little 10 year old.
His saying, “being kind is cool” was always what I thought when I thought of him and it reminded me that being a kind person is cooler than being a mean person. When I was in elementary school, I would always get “bullied.” I used to think that the person was mean but then I switched my mindset to think that they must just not get enough love in their life and that all they know is how to be mean. I was in elementary school and that's what my brain was thinking.
In the same year that Vinny passed away, my Poppy passed away. I was very close with him, so his loss was hard. After he passed, my Nanny gave me the Tiffany earrings that he wanted to give me and I remember the exact spot where she gave them to me, on the street right behind where his nursing home was.
Soon after my Poppy passed away his best friend, Bobby, passed away. I remember sitting at Bobby's funeral listening to my father’s speech which was beautiful because my father’s writing is amazing. I listened and developed my love for writing.
The way that his words affected everyone there was amazing. I looked around and everyone was watching him, paying no attention to anyone else in the room but him. Everyone came up to our family afterwards to tell him how amazing his writing was. I was so proud.
Every time I wore the earrings my Poppy got me, I referred to them as Poppy’s earrings even though he never got the chance to give them to me. I connected a very positive emotion to the earrings. They made me feel pretty and fancy. Considering I was so young when I put them on, I felt unstoppable, like a beauty queen. The meaning behind everything is so important, more than just jewelry, and more than just a speech.
The way I work is I try to wake up everyday and tell myself that it is the best day of my life. Everyday is a new day. Every day has potential to be the best day. When I started to think this my days started to get better. The bad days got a little bit better and the good things seemed even better. Looking at everyday as a blessing instead of just making it a normal day is an amazing way to think. Life isn't normal. The fact that we somehow made it to this earth as the humans we are is an amazing thing.
Every single thing that happened in all of my ancestors' lives led to me. That is a gift that we can't take advantage of. Waking up and seeing the humans you love is the best thing. Someone loves you! I also think about this. No matter if I think so or not, I influence someone. Someone, maybe a person who I don't even know, looks up to me. If that's hard to believe, think about someone who you look up to or admire who doesn't even know. The problem is not enough people speak up and say something about it and that's why people don't believe it. The more vocal we are about how we feel about people the more we brighten people's day.
When Vinny passed I learned one of the strongest lessons of my life. I never told him that I loved him. I was too young and never thought that such a thing could happen that I never felt the need to tell him. Now, I preach to everyone to tell everyone that they love them, it doesn't even have to be love just how you feel. You know how you feel about someone but no one can ever know for sure unless you tell them.
Everyone deserves kindness in their life and everyone acts a certain way for a reason. You never know what is going on in other people's lives. A person who is mean and who has negative views on the world most likely has some horrible things going on in their life. Be kind to everyone; everyone loves to be loved.
"Be kind to everyone; everyone loves to be loved"
Luke, Skyler, Greg and Sarah
Skyler, 16, lives in upstate New York with her parents, Greg and Sarah, her older brother Luke, and their 3 dogs, Benny, Oakley and Roxie. Skyler loves chocolate milk, the sky (of course!), and most of all, her family. Skyler is a prolific writer and has compiled dozens of hand-written journals and numerous pieces of non-fiction.
Shortly after her birth, I began bringing Skyler outdoors at night to see the night sky; she was immediately quieted and mesmerized by the stars and has been reaching for them ever since!
An exceptional student, Skyler plans to attend college after graduation next year with a double major in business and nutrition. An avid cheerleader and gymnast, Skyler began cheering and tumbling with North Colonie at the age of 4 and cheers with both North Colonie and Cheer Intensity in Albany. She hopes one day to open a gym of her own.