A decade of life means lessons learned, songs sung, tears cried, and shoes outgrown. This is especially true to Rae Herbison, who recently celebrated her tenth birthday and decided to spend the afternoon with Bolivar Commercial reporters explaining what she has learned over the past ten years of her life.
Herbison had an exciting birthday filled with cake and shopping with friends.
She also had a chef come to her home to cook for her and her family.
"It felt like a big deal to turn 10 because people learn a lot in 10 years. If I had to talk to someone who was five about things they needed to know over the next 5 years I'd tell them that things are going to get harder and some things wont get easy. You can't think you can just go home, study, come back and do well. You have to work for it," she said.
Herbison is very active and has learned over her ten years to keep a balance with her studies and her activities.
"I don’t want to miss my activities so when I get back I work on my school work so I can try to study as much as I can because I don’t want to make a bad grade and lower my average," she said.
"My favorite activities are dance classes because you can get all the bad thoughts out of you. You don’t have to focus on good things but dance those bad thoughts out. My favorite costume for this year is my ballet one because it has a mask on it," she said.
Herbison has a fun and funky style, known for pigtail braids, tall socks, glitter, and an assortment of polka dots.
"My style is bright and colorful. Every time I look at my closet I try to think about what would look good on that day because each day you have to do something. On Monday you have free dress and I like to wear boots or dresses. On Tuesday sometimes I like to wear skirts because they're kind of like shorts and you never know what you'll do in science lab. On Wednesday I have to have on shorts or pants for PE," she said. It's important to be prepared for any situation.
Wisdom and age tend to go hand in hand and Herbison said she has learned many things now that she is older and wiser.
She said if she was speaking to someone younger than her, she'd have several pieces of advice to offer.
"Always have a grateful heart, always try to keep track of the things that are more important in life. The things that aren’t as important think more about things that are important. The more important you should think more about and things that are less important think less about.
"Another one would be think about your family more. Think about your mom more than your favorite pair of shoes," she said.
Herbison believes family should be top priority and enjoys spending time with hers. She fondly spoke of dinner dates with her dad.
"It's important to be close to your family. Me and my dad like to go to the Mexican restaurant but my mom isn't the biggest fan. So while we're at the restaurant, mom will get me ready for school the next day by setting my homework out on my desk and make me study sheets while I eat rice and beans and tacos," she said.
"My mom does a lot to help me do the best that I can," she explained after describing a hard-working mom that ensures she stays on top of her game.
Herbison said, through her many activities with both friends and family, she has learned a great deal about her school and her town.
"I really like my teachers the most because they're the ones that try to support us to the best. Not your friends will know what's happening every week, your teachers will know more about it than they are," she said.
Herbison encourages residents both young and old to get involved in the community and live their best life.
"There are so many restaurants here and different places you can go. In Cleveland there are so many activities you can do. I got to dance on stage recently at the Grammy Museum for the Mardis Gras Family Day.
"I enjoyed it and wasn't too nervous because I knew what the stage looked like. We did have to go on a little later though because the other performers went over time," she said.
Herbison said all in all, she feels empowered to have reached 10-years-old and looks forward to another decade to come.