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Life Lessons: Maya Smith

Life Lessons:
Maya Smith

Are you happy at the moment?

I am content and I know that I am blessed and that’s my definition for happiness at the moment.

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Well, I was not a typical 16 year old. I didn’t have a curfew, I was a permanent babysitter for my younger cousins, I worked a part time job and I was extremely focused on being the next lifetime broadcast journalist in the city of Birmingham. If I could go back and do it all over again I would tell myself don’t forget to have more fun along the way because you have the rest of your life to work!

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

You can’t be angry with God for too long…you need him…the MOST!

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

Gosh, there’s just so much, where do I start? I guess at the beginning right? Well I’m in the process of launching a few ventures! One is Reese Anthony Designs which is a company that I started with a gal pal at work. We take distressed furniture that most folks wouldn’t want and turn them into chic treasures! I’m writing a blog with another friend about our adventures in being single moms and last but not least I want to finish painting and decorating my bedroom.

What’s your secret to happiness?

I read. I read anything and everything I can get my hands on and I’ve been that way since kindergarden. I make it a point to read something new (meaning that I would not have had an interest in it otherwise) every day. Reading actually relaxes me.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

I am extremely spiritual. I read my prayer books, I say my rosary. I believe in my novenas and I talk to God all the time the same way I talk to my friends; and I make sure to thank him for the little things.

What’s your biggest regret?

I wish I would have chosen another major for my undergrad degree.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

My son is only 2 and he is fiercely independent, but he gets so frustrated when he’s working on something and it’s not happening fast enough. I can tell that he slowly starts to lose confidence in himself and he immediately calls out to me. As a parent the first thing I want to do is run and help him. Instead I sit back for a few minutes and I simply say to him, “You can do it.” Initially this only frustrated him more but now I watch him slowly pick up the pieces to whatever he’s working on and he begins again and I can see him starting to believe that HE really can do it. And as he finishes the project, usually a puzzle or a game that he’s trying to play he’ll look at me and say, “Mommy, I DID IT!” And I say, “that’s right, you did.” I’m trying to lay the foundation early that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING that you put your mind too even if you’re the ONLY person that believes that YOU can….because guess what? If you don’t believe that you can do it no one else will. I tell my son all the time he’s not just Greyson but “Greyson the Great.”

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

I have got to kick this habit of thinking that bad things only happen to me. Bad things happen to everyone and unfortunately bad things often happen to good people. At the end of the day it’s all about how you handle it. So instead of analyzing over the why and how, one has to just decide to get over it, pick up the pieces, don’t wallow in it for too long…JUST MOVE ON!

Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life? 

I am proud of the fact that I’m one resilient cookie. I’ve been thrown more blows in the last 5 years of life that would give a Lifetime movie the highest ratings night it’s seen in a minute! I’ve been able to overcome things that most people would have probably had a nervous breakdown over. However, from those experiences it’s important to learn. The life lesson that I’ve walked away with is that: “It’s not about having a Plan B, Plan C or Plan D; it’s more about being able to reinvent yourself after those curve balls are thrown at you.”

When were you happiest? 

Unlike a lot of people I believe that I had one of the best childhoods that one could ever have and I’m eternally grateful for that. I grew up with a Mom and a Dad present and a ton of extended family. My earliest and happiest memories were: spending time at my grandmother’s house as a little girl and waking up in the middle of the night to her asking if I wanted to eat tea cakes and drink coffee with her (yes at 1 and 2 in the morning); playing dress up in her closet with her fancy nightgowns and house shoes, running through her back yard with my cousins and younger brother picking black eyed susans, wondering through the woods picking black berries, coming in from playing all day to a home cooked dinner: fried chicken, homemade biscuits with rice and gravy and don’t forget the red Kool-Aid. Umph, those were the days because I didn’t have a care in the world. I was a naïve innocent – the way all children should be.

What ten words best describe you?

Mommy, Resilient, Compassionate, Non-Conformist, Selfless, Non-Chalant, Entrepreneurial, Sassy, Inquisitive, Candid


Maya Smith is a single mom to 2 year old Greyson the Great and is actively working on several transition plans so that she can be a SAHM! When she’s not chasing after Grey and working at her traditional 9-5 in digital advertising, she’s getting Scentsy samples out to her customers, searching for the latest furniture bargains to turn into treasures or laying out article ideas for her latest blogging venture.    

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