Over the past month, I have read several blog posts devoted to bloggers’ children. Life expectations, words to live by, advice, and the list goes on and on… So, I started thinking about some of the things that I want to tell my children. You know, the type of things I would like them to know if something happened to me tomorrow.
Why am I choosing the Internet to do such a thing?!?! You might to be asking…
I have always heard that once something hits “cyberspace” it is there forever. So, I thought a blog post devoted to each one of my children would be a great way for me to share some of my advice for them.
My first post is to my beautiful big girl!
Side note: It has taken me almost 2 weeks to tweak this post. Some days were full of tears as I typed and others were full of a lot of laughter. In other words, my heart is sitting in this post!!!
1. Not all relationships are meant to last forever.
You are just now entering the world of education. In school, you learn a lot more than just how to read, write, add, and subtract. You also learn about relationships. Your friends will be the best and the worst part of your school experience. Y’all will laugh together, cry together, complain to one another, but there will also be a dark side. As bad as it hurts me to say it, they will hurt your feelings and I am sure, you will hurt theirs too. It is part of the growing up process.
Some of the relationships that you form throughout your life will not last forever. Not all relationships are good ones and not all relationships are meant to last forever. Some are truly there to help you grow as a person. You learn and grow from relationships and life experiences. Sometimes someone is put in your life for a short period of time to teach you something. It is your goal to understand and appreciate those teachings. And, use those teachings to become a better person.
2. Love hard! You WILL get your heart broken, but don’t let that stop you from loving again.
As bad as I hate to admit it, you will get your heart broken by at least one boy in your life. He will make you happy one day and the next day, he will have you in tears. If I could put you in a bubble to protect you from this part of growing up, I would definitely do it. And, at the time, you will feel like your life is over and that you have lost the only boy that was meant for you. The dreams of walking down the aisle with this boy and becoming Mrs. _________ will shatter like glass on a floor.
Don’t let those experiences stop you from loving again. God has chosen a man that is right for you and you will find him when the time is right. You want to be open to that relationship.
Your daddy WAS NOT the man that I thought I was going to marry when I was in school. It is ok… You can tell him because he will tell you the same thing about me. I didn’t even want to go on a date with him, but your nana told me that it was a date and I needed to go. So, I did.
Even two years into our relationship, I STILL didn’t think I would marry him. But along the way, through the experiences we had together, my love for him grew. Then, I could not imagine NOT marrying him.
If I would’ve given up on love after the first broken heart, you wouldn’t be here today. Believe in happily ever after.
3. Smile every single day!
Every single day may not be wonderful, but I guarantee that parts of those days will be. Plus, it takes a lot more muscles in your face to frown than smile. You are alive and breathing! That alone should put a smile on your face.
4. Not all questions have an answer.
I know you are taught in school that questions have answers, but that is not always the case in life. Sometimes, you will never know the answer. And, other times, it may take several years until a situation makes complete sense to you.
I have learned that it is more about the paths that you take instead of the answers to the questions. If you decide to that this road, then you will be taken here.
Appreciate the questions that do not have an answer. That is the fun part. You get to determine the answer. 🙂
5. Find a passion and give it 100%.
If you find a passion and pursue it, then you will never work a day in your life. And, what can be better than that?!?!
Your daddy and I don’t care what that passion is (well, unless it is illegal), but you need to give it your entire heart. If you decide your passion is collecting garbage, then you better be the best darn garbage collector around. Nothing is worth doing unless you commit to it fully.
6. You have the right to change your mind.
Don’t let anyone tell you that you CAN’T change your mind. If you decide you want to change your clothes one day, do it. If you want to change your favorite color, do it. If you get through college and your senior year decide to change your major, do it. Your mommy and daddy both changed their mind their senior year of college. It is ok!
If your passion in #5 all of a sudden doesn’t seem like your passion anymore, it is ok. Find your new passion and give it 100%. The passion that you have in kindergarten will not be the same passion that you have in high school. Your passion in high school may not even be the passion you graduate college wanting to pursue. And, it is possible that you will graduate college with a major that you decide a couple of years post graduation that you don’t like anymore. IT IS OK!
Mommy wanted to be a veterinarian in elementary school, then an accountant in high school, and then a fashion merchandising major in college. I graduated college with a major in Business Administration. I thought I had made the right decision and two years later, I changed my mind again. I went back to school and got my teaching certification. See, it is ok!
7. Find a man that makes you feel like the princess we know you are. Then, marry him!
You will always be a beautiful princess in our eyes. And, we want your future husband to think so too. When you are dating a guy that treats you like a lady, makes your rough days better, and has a genuine sole, then you can’t ask for anything more.
Life is too short to settle for a man that hurts you (physically, mentally, or emotionally), makes you feel like a failure, or just doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Remember what I said in #2… Your “person” is looking for you at the same time you are looking for him. Be open, so you can find him. And, he is definitely NOT the individual that makes your self-esteem plummet.
8. Don’t be scared to make a mistake. That is truly the way we learn.
Every day, you will make a mistake. Some mistakes will be smaller than others, but they are all mistakes. We learn and grow through those mistakes.
I hate to term “mistakes” because it makes it sound like you did something completely wrong when that may not be the case. “Life lessons” is the term that I like to use. Each “life lesson” teaches you a something. Learn from each one of them. If you learn from them, then they aren’t mistakes. Right?!?!
9. Happiness is made. And, money is not part of the happiness equation.
Your daddy and I had the opportunity to choose a career that made a lot more money. Remember, my career choice changed while I was in college and then again after college. We decided to follow a career that allowed us to help young people. We are ok with not making as much money as we could.
It is a personal choice and one that you will have to make one day. Don’t feel ashamed by whatever path you take. And, definitely don’t feel bad if your mind changes several times. It will happen! And, it is ok. What makes you happy when you are 16 will not be the same things that make you happy when you are 30.
JUST BE HAPPY!!!
10. Have a voice.
God gave you the power of speech and a brain to think with, so use them. Don’t be the individual that is scared to voice their opinion. If people decide not to like you because you have an opinion, then they weren’t your friend in the first place.
I have always been told to Stand for something or you will fall for anything.
This has been one of my firm beliefs. If you believe drinking is bad, then stand up for what you believe. When the peer pressure gets tough, remember this saying, and just say, “No!”
And, always remember that you do not owe your friends an explanation for your actions.
11. Be thankful & humble.
Appreciate EVERYTHING that is done for you whether that means someone opening the door for you at the grocery store or someone having your back in a situation.
God woke you up this morning! And, for that alone, you should be thankful.
It never fails, even today, when I start getting a little over confident, God has a way of putting me back in my place. Some people have that little ability to check themselves and others don’t. If you have that ability, then appreciate it.
12. Be kind to everyone.
Your nana told me in school to be nice to everyone because some day, I may need that person. Boy, was she right! In school, your mommy did have a reputation as being a little snobby. But, I was misunderstood. I was an extremely shy person…just like you. Sometimes my quietness got mistaken as thinking I was better than others, which was never the case.
I may have been quiet, but I tried my best not to be ugly to anyone. And, I am so glad I wasn’t. So many people that I interact with in life were around when I was younger.
You will run into people that are not kind in this world. Don’t judge them! I used to be very judgmental of people, then I realized that I had no idea about their life story. Something in their life made them “appear” unkind. The scars of previous interactions or relationships can wear on a person. Sometimes, those individuals need more kindness, not less.
13. Learn to say, “I’m sorry!”
This goes with #13. If you are wrong, admit it. If you hurt someone’s feelings, admit it. The words “I’m sorry” will help you in many situations in life.
You will not always be right. You will stick your foot in your mouth at least once. It happens… to all of us.
Saying, “I’m sorry” doesn’t make you weak. It makes you a better person.
14. Never let anyone dull your sparkle.
God has made you unique with a personality, talents, and ambitions of your own. They should not match anyone else’s. Remember your special qualities and never let anyone tell you that those qualities are wrong. It is your life to live, not theirs. So, I want you to promise me that you will not change your personality to match the expectations of others. In the end, you will not be happy and they will not care.
15. Be a friend.
Life is about relationships! Don’t be the person that is known for spreading drama, starting rumors, and keeping things stirred up amongst friends and/or acquaintances. At the beginning, people may act like they really like the person that likes to stir the pot, but in the end, that person is not received very well.
If you want to have friends, you must BE a friend. If one of your friends needs someone to talk to, be that person. Don’t sit and listen to them in a vulnerable position and spread it around for everyone to judge. He/She asked you to listen for a reason. Remember that reason!
And, on another note, if someone decides to NOT be a friend to you, getting even IS NOT the answer. Live, learn, and move on without being the individual that has to get the last “stab.” Sometimes being the person that “stabs” back is the one who is affected the most.
16. Learn to forgive… Not for them, but for your own peace of mind.
For many years, I struggled with situations that happened to me as a child. I didn’t understand why certain people had treated me certain ways and I held a hard grudge.
I went through several times of depression, denial, aggression, and just pure meanness towards certain people in my life. Honestly, it started to take a toll on me. And, it started affecting the close relationships I had.
Then, I watch a Madea movie (I think it was Madea Goes to Jail to be exact) that put it all in perspective for me. A lady was complaining about the life she had been given. Madea quickly told her that she wasn’t promised anything in life and that she needed to forgive those people because forgiveness is for you, not for them. I felt like she was talking to me in that part of the movie. It FINALLY made complete sense to me.
Now, I am a happier person and can move on with my life! I can’t believe it took almost 30 years for me to understand that concept.
17. Keep a close bond with your brother. Even though y’all WILL argue and fight, he will always be your best friend. And, hey, one day, he will be your protector (even though he is younger).
At the end of the day, your brother will be the person that knows you the best and is there for you when everyone else seems distant. Your daddy and I want to make sure that when we leave this Earth, we can leave knowing that our two children will be able to lean on each other to get through it. And, that they will be able to make the best decisions without us there.
At that point, the two of you will be the leaders of this family!
Your Aunt BB and I have been through a lot together. And, one day, I will share all of that with you. Some of it has been good and some of it hasn’t been so good. But, each situation made us form a tighter bond. I am thankful for my sister and I know she is there if I need anything at all.
I want you to have that type of relationship with Derrick!
18. Education is important.
When I say, “education,” I am not only talking about college. I am talking about elementary school, middle school, high school, and any other form of education you decide to achieve. Your father and I decided to attend college.
If college is not for you, then I want you to choose a different form of education. College is not the only route after graduation.
Finding your passion will help you decide on the right path for you.
19. When life gets tough, pray… When life is awesome, pray… In other words, pray all the time!
God likes to hear from you when things are good, bad, or indifferent. Acknowledge his existence, not just when times are hard. Give thanks for your blessings and ask for help during your hard times.
PRAYER DOES CHANGE THINGS!
20. Believe in miracles. You are here, right?!?!
Miracles happen every day. Some are just a little more obvious than others. Try to recognize the subtle ones as well as the “jump out at you” ones. And, thank God for every single miracle in your life!
21. Wear the new clothes NOW!
For the longest time, I saved EVERYTHING!!! I would get a new top and save it until the perfect day or event. Then, I realized that I am not promised tomorrow. I could leave the Earth in the next hour and that awesome new top would still be hanging in my closet… BRAND NEW!!!
So, when you get new things… WEAR THEM!!!
22. Take time to breathe, think, and absorb every single moment of life.
I remember on my wedding day, when the doors were about to open, I held my breath for a few seconds and told myself to stop and remember this moment. I am so thankful that I did that.
Life goes by SO FAST!!! Don’t wish it away. Enjoy every second; even the bad ones.
There are days and weeks in my life that are so bad. But, I try my best not to wish they were over. Sometimes I say, “I wish it was Friday!” But, in my head, I just wish that my day had gone smoother or I wish for a little break. I never mean that I want to miss out on days of my life.
23. Remember that there is “NO PLACE LIKE HOME!”
Your mommy and daddy will always love you unconditionally. We may not always agree with your actions, but we will never stop loving you.