STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

Second Chances: School of Life

Joined: 3/3/2016
Posts: 7
Marci Hart
Second Chances: School of Life

I used to have a lot of fear around giving people second chances. What if he were to lie to me again? What if she were to judge me harshly again? I used to try to decide whether to forgive, or trust people in the first place or not, based on whether I thought they were trustworthy. At some point, however, I realized that if I were going to trust others, I had to base my trust on myself, not on them. I learned that we often let each other down even when we don’t mean to. I realized that trusting others is always risky, heartbreak happens, and betrayals are often unplanned and therefore unpredictable. Experience taught me that instead of wrestling with whether or not I could trust other people, I could simply decide whether or not I wanted to take a risk, knowing that I may or may not be let down, but that I could always trust myself to recover, even if the worst happened.

I also began trying to make wiser choices when making new friends or deciding which relationships to continue. I learned that most people show us who they are and that it’s simply naive to “believe the best” of a person who shows clear signs of being a jerk. On the other hand, hearts are fickle, feelings change, and many people just don’t know themselves or what they want. They try to figure it out by trial and error, and even good people hurt others through sheer ignorance. What liberation it was for me to discover that I could let my guard down through trust in my own strength and resilience, no matter what other people did or didn’t do. Also, I could forgive anything, but forgiveness doesn’t always mean the continuation of an unhealthy liaison.

As I’ve gotten even older, and become a mother and a wife, I’ve had to face the reality that all relationships eventually end. We are all going to die one day. Many loved ones will die before me, and eventually I will leave others behind as well. Keeping ourselves emotionally distant from others by not trusting cannot completely save us from the pain of this, or any other loss. I would rather love and forgive fully, even recklessly, and suffer great pain of loss, than to hold grudges, withhold trust, and suffer the pain of regret of a half-lived life.

Rate this:

Parents blog on StageofLife.comAbout Us is a blogging community for parents.  It allows people who are raising a family to share stories about the adventure of parenthood in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Read the blogs and stories about raising a family, or check out the writing contest for parents, quotes about parenthood, parenting etiquette, funny videos about kids, discounts for families, and other resources for raising a family on  Register to start your free profile, share an essay about your family, and pass along your wisdom to help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a college professor, teacher or educator - review our literacy, blogging and writing resources.

Stage of Life Writing Contests

writing contests

Enter National Writing ContestWriting Contests

From 2010 to 2016, ran a monthly, multi-generational writing contest.  With over 3,000,000 visitors and tens of thousands of participating students, teachers, parents, and bloggers involved over half a decade, grew into the world's largest multi-generational writing community. writing contestsWhere is the Writing Contest Now?  As grew into a global writing destination, the coordination of managing an international writing contest became too time intensive for the website's owners.  So starting on Sept. 4, 2016, unfortunately had to end the writing contest portion of its services. 

However, we are now actively looking for new owners of who may want to carry on the mission of helping to change the world, one story at a time.  If you know someone who may be interested in taking to the next level, we can share details around the opportunity.  Please send an email to our owners if there's interest to acquire the website.

But in the meantime, there's still plenty to see and do here - just check out the various links and menus on the page.

Past Annual Writing Contest Results:  While the energy and time to carry on the writing contest has come to a close, you can see summary reports and the winners from the monthly contests on our Writing Contest Winners page.  Tens of thousands of people have submitted essays over the last six years.  Our editorial team has been extremely grateful for all of the wonderful essays shared over the years - words and stories that have helped us change the world, one story at a time.

Sincerely, owners Eric & Rebecca Thiegs and Joe & Lisa Thiegs

Bragging rights, international recognition, and gift card prizes were part of the fun for participants of the free writing contests on

Mentions for the Stage of Life teen writing contests, teen trend reports, etiquette Q&A, and teacher resources by...

Our writing contests mentioned by
Our Teen Trend Report mentioned by MarketWatch Our etiquette resources mentioned by FOX Business Educator tips mentioned by Mashable


Each month over half a decade, Stage of Life hosted and judged writing contests for both students and adults.  We thank the below brands - our educational sponsors - who supplied gift cards as prizes for the winning essays as we helped the change the world through blogging, storytelling, and our literacy-based initiatives...

 Writing contest sponsor  Writing contest sponsor on  Blogging contest prize sponsor Spa & Wellness gift cards by SpaWeek writing contestsWhat made our writing contests different?

  • Stage of Life writing contests were always free to enter
  • Essays from our blogging and writing contests have been picked up by the media, e.g., and used by teachers as mentor texts across the globe
  • We wanted to hear your personal, authentic thoughts on real world topics each month.  We picked writing prompts for which your answers and wisdom may help our readers
  • We awarded the winners with real prizes (cash and/or gift cards) from our site sponsors
  • By entering the Stage of Life writing contests each month, writers were supporting our free educational literacy initiatives and their words reached hundreds of thousands of viewers who visited

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy