The Best Advice My Mother Ever Gave Me

The Best Advice My Mother Ever Gave Me

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  • Lauryn Higgins

    Lauryn Higgins is a graduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is studying Journalism and Mass Communication. She spends her weekdays working in PR and her...

It's funny the things you remember. 

I remember the first time I was stung by a bee. I was seven and I thought I was dying, so I laid down in the grass, closed my eyes and said a sweet prayer. I'm normal, I promise. Or the time my brother tried to run away from home and got half way down the street before he got hungry and turned back. However, one memory from my childhood has remained so clear throughout the years. I was five and wanted to be a ballerina. A noble pursuit, I thought. So, my mom signed me up for dance lessons, bought me a leotard and tutu and took me to my first class. Five minutes in, I found myself in pure agony. I hated dancing. I ran right out of the studio and into my moms arms, mustering, "I don't want to do this, I don't like these girls, my bun hurts and I want to go home." Without flinching, my mom picked me up, grabbed our bags and headed straight for the car. And she may have given the other Pampered Chef wielding mothers a "No one will speak of this, my daughter is perfectly, perfect," look. She was my superhero that day. She saved me.  But that's what moms do. They're the first responders. Superman in a minivan. They save us when we can't save ourselves. And make the best grilled cheese. Their words are magic and their spirit is what fuels us. 

So, in the spirit of Mother's Day, I've asked locals the best advice their mother ever gave them and this is what they had to say.  

"Throughout your life- keep generosity in your hands, kindness in your eyes, compassion in your arms, forgiveness in your heart, patience in your breath and acceptance on your lips."  

Brooke Priddy – Designer and Dressmaker at Ship to Shore Clothier

"Only fools and dead people don't change their minds.“ - my mother told me this right before I walked down the aisle at my wedding…

Mary Rich- Executive Producer of Spirit Savvy

"Piss or get off the pot," which helped me launch into my writing career.

 Melissa Reardon- Editor in Chief of WNC Magazine

“If you want something, get it yourself.”
This sound advice has helped me become the strong, independent person I am today.  Now if only I could impart this advice on my three sons…

Esther Manheimer- Mayor of Asheville

My mom would often send me napkins and pieces of paper where she had written, "She thought she could, so she did."  

Tricia Ellis – Intern at Asheville Fashion Association

“Measure my ingredients accurately!”  Today I tell the same to my cooks...that way they prepare the food consistently and accurately every time.  My mom is the one who really got me excited about cooking and who I learned fundamental cooking techniques from!

Katie Button- Executive Chef at Curate and Nightbell and James Beard Rising Chef Finalist

I was going on Spring Break my freshman year of college. I was taking a train all by myself from NC to Winter Park, Florida to see a high school friend in college near there. My parents were overseas, so my grandparents were going to take me to the train station. Before I left, my grandmother said," Well, dolly, have fun, watch out for strange men, and if anyone gives you a stamp, and tells you to lick it, don't. It might have acid on it." Favorite advice from anyone ever.

Kendra Penland, Interim Executive Director, Green Opportunities

She told me when I was considering whether I wanted to marry a man (my now husband) : Be sure you will always want to give him the bigger piece of meat -- since I'm a vegetarian, I've changed that around to be the bigger piece of pie! 

Gwen Wisler- Councilwoman for City of Asheville

My favorite "advice" is how she expressed her affection: always a hug and kiss on the lips.  Even today at age 70, with daughters in their 40’s and 50’s.

 Stephanie Keach- Owner of Asheville Yoga Center

Always look on the bright side, and be open to life's surprises and possibilities.  And, when entertaining, a gracious hostess does not display candles with unlit wicks - light the wicks to blacken them before guests come over - unlit, new candles look cold and store-like; it will make your table look more comfortable and inviting to blacken them first. 

Liz Whalen Tallent- Board of Directors at Asheville Downtown Association

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“Sometimes it’s better to wait instead of rushing into things, the outcome is way more worth it.”

Austin Davis- Anthropologie student at University of North Carolina at Asheville

“When you start feeling sorry for yourself, find someone to serve.”

Hannah Moore- Therapeutic Foster Care Program Manager
CARING For Children Inc.

 “Always spend good money for great moisturizer.”

Ayana Dusenberry- Editor, Director of Asheville Grit

 “Don't sit down and cry about things when you have so far to go and so many moments left in this world to be thankful for.”

Andrew Scotchie- Frontman of Andrew Scotchie & The River Rats

“My mom once told me that it was cheaper to cancel a wedding than it was to get a divorce.” I called off my wedding and roughly 18 months later met the guy who is now my husband.

Jaime McKee- Director of Alumni Relations at Mars Hill University & Asheville Grit Blogger

When I was in the third grade my girlfriend broke up with me and I was devastated.  I can remember being upset sitting in my bedroom and my mother said to me and I will never forget it or the moment, "Love is like a bird, if you set it free and it comes back to you it was meant to be." She was using an analogy that a third grade child would understand playing off the quote "If you love someone, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don't they never were." Kahlil Gabran or Richard Bach or unknown.  Good advice for a third grade child who is upset over losing his love and it's stuck with me all these years later.

Kevin Oursler- General Manager at New Mountain AVL

Whatever situation I think I'm in, my mom finds a way to make me laugh about. If it’s not fun, then it's funny. This has always kept me light hearted and able to turn a situation into something funny even if it's extremely embarrassing.

Paul Juhl – Saxophone player for Empire Strikes Brass

The best advice my mother ever gave to me wasn’t ever said, but shown.  She has an inquisitive mind, a love for new experiences, and a keen sense of adventure which was infectious to me as a young child.  She is fluent in German and almost in French and instilled a love for travel, history, culture, foods, languages, and the human experience.  Whether it was eating strange new kinds of seafood while at the ocean, taking a trip to a new city or country, or something as simple as great conversation with new friends at dinner, she has always been kind, warm, and joyful.  It has had a huge impact on me and I thank her for that. She taught me that life was full of adventure and good people are out there to meet, learn from, and enjoy life with.

Kevin Wheeler- Head of Operations at Highland Brewing Company

Don't let the gas in your car get below a quarter tank! I still haven't learned...and it's scary every time.

Jonathan Scales- Steel drum player for Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

My mom recently told me then gave me a little token that says "Be brave, have courage and remember I'll always be with you"

Ally Stacher- Professional cyclist and owner of Ally’s Bar

You put shit in and you get shit out.

Nicole Judson- ipsyCare Representative & Asheville Grit Blogger