A friend sent me an email about 25 things she wishes she would have known when she was her daughter’s age. My children are 19 and 14.. and I hope they actually read this.. and listen to their mother…
1. Don’t get caught up in gossip or petty fights between your friends. They may seem earth shattering at the time, but most of the time it’s just crap. Always ask yourself if this will matter in a day, a week, a month or a year from now.
2. Get a job. Not because we don’t want to support you but because when you fail on your own and then you succeed, no one can take that away from you. That job will give you confidence, responsibility and self-respect. Sounds like bullshit but one day you will realize it is the truth. And put away 20% of your paycheque. EVERY cheque. Save it. Learn how to save money NOW. Actually, put away more than that, then when the time comes when you want to travel or buy a car, you’ll be way ahead of the game.
3. As tempting as it is, don’t go crazy with credit cards. Get one, use it sparingly, pay it off quickly. Pay cash as much as you can.
4. Start exercising now and do it every day. At least something. Walk, run, whatever you feel comfortable with. Just MOVE.
5. Don’t measure yourself against the ridiculously high standards of the entertainment industry. Just be the best person you can be. If your heart is happy that will reflect in your appearance.
6. You are smart, talented and unique. Never ever forget that.
7. Talk to your grandparents. Spend time with them. Ask them about what it was like when they were your age. Yes, I know sometimes “old people” are “boring” but you’ll cherish the memories you make.
8. Don’t “skip” family events. Spend time with your aunts, uncles, cousins. I know that you’d rather be with your friends but you’ll be happy that you still have these relationships years down the road.
9. When you feel sad or upset, tell someone. Always have someone you can tell things to. Your mother, your father, a friend. Never ever think that anything is insurmountable. Again, think about whether this will be important tomorrow, next week.. next year. And never be afraid to ask for help, regardless of how bad you think your problem is.
10. Go ahead and drink. drink until you puke. Just don’t drive. Alcohol isn’t as likely to kill you as getting behind the wheel of a car. Have fun with your friends but don’t put yourselves at risk.
11. Don’t be afraid. Say hi to that person you like. Go someplace new. Try a new activity. Every once in a while take a risk….(nothing STUPID though.. and always be safe!)
12. Don’t settle. Whether it be in love, or work or your friendships. Don’t stay with someone or a situation just because it’s comfortable. You deserve the best of everything, but it won’t be handed to you. You’ll have to work for it. And if you settle you’ll always be wondering “what if?”
13. Always, always, always take the high road. There is never a reason to intentionally hurt someone. Do what in your heart you know is right and you will never have any regrets. It’s not easy but it is worth it.
14. Do not be embarrassed to say you believe in God if you do. Everyone believes in God, some of us just have another word for God like love, humankind or truth. God is a man made word, believe in what gives you faith and strength.
15. Don’t smoke. Don’t smoke and under no circumstances take chemical drugs. Smoking will kill you. Slowly, something else might get you first just by way of fate but smoking will suck the oxygen from your cells, age you, fight your body internally and invite cancer in to stay. Chemical drugs will mess you up far beyond what you can imagine. Some people can get away with them for awhile. It’s a crap shoot and believe me, the crap will devour you.
16. Smile. Especially when you don’t really feel like it. Sometimes just by smiling, you’ll improve your mood and the attitudes of everyone around you. And laugh every day. If it doesn’t happen naturally, find something on tv or call someone you know who will make you laugh.
17. Perform an act of kindness every day. It doesn’t have to be big. Hold the door open for people. Always help ladies with strollers and the elderly. Buy someone a coffee. It doesn’t have to cost money, just do something helpful and nice. Volunteer. Be charitable. Always remember that “there for but the grace of God go I”. Things can change in a heartbeat. Always help those less fortunate than yourself if you are able to.
18. Be polite. Always say please and thank you. It’s difficult sometimes, but you can do it.
19. Be careful of what you tell others. Don’t tell everyone every bad thing or annoyance about your partner or friends… you may forgive them, but sometimes your friends/family may not. Pick your battles.
20. Always have a pet. You will be the recipient of unconditional love and always have someone who loves you to come home to.
21. Have a dream. Never give it up and never let anyone talk you out of it. Then plan on how you’re going to capture that dream.
22. Always have something that is just yours. Something that you can do all by yourself no matter where you are. Whether it’s reading or writing or composing. Something that makes you happy and fulfilled. Then when you are bored or lonely or just need some time alone, you will always have something that brightens your spirits. Be creative. Cook, paint, sing, write. Dance, sculpt, garden.. whatever it is that makes you feel creative, do it. It’s good for your soul.
23. Fall in love with someone who makes you feel good about yourself. Someone that you enjoy being with in all situations. That makes you laugh but will be there if you need to cry. Never change who you are for someone else (unless it’s for the better..) And don’t mistake hormones for “love”. Love should never make you feel desperate, upset or obsessed. Just always remember that Love is supposed to make you feel GOOD. If it makes you feel bad, then chances are it’s something else.
24. Find whatever it is that you are passionate about then figure out how you can do that for a living. If you love your job it will never be work.
25. Never be afraid to tell someone how you feel. If you love them, tell them. You may not get an “I love you” back, but at least you let them know they are loved. And the more love you share, the more you get back.
By the way, I love you both very much.
Life: Not bad at all. Mind you, wish I knew some of this stuff 25 years ago…
Love: Love my family and friends.
Pants: Burned off a lot of calories moving.. going well!