I just thought, now that you’re turning 12, you could use a few little notes on things I wish I had known when I was your age.
1. Don’t entrust yourself to men – or women, for that matter
You complete me. One half of a whole. My better half. My soul mate.
You may hear all these terms throughout your life, even dripping from my own lips. With all deference to Cameron Crowe, one of my favorite writers, don’t believe the hype.
You are a complete human being without anyone by your side or any carats on your left hand. While the Pharisees were plotting to kill Jesus, others were marveling over his miracles and believing in Him. But He didn’t get caught up in either response. Love people, but don’t make them little fake gods whose presence you need or worship.
2. Follow your bliss
I read those three words from Joseph Campbell in an article years ago that impacted me so much that I tore it out of the magazine and probably still have it tucked away in the annals of our home.
Go towards those healthy desires and gifts placed within you, like your artwork. Use your talents; don’t let them use you. There’s a reason you have them – so don’t spend your life slaving away at a career you hate.
3. Be kind…
…because mean people are ugly.
4. Don’t be angry or overly passive
It’s good to be sweet and forgiving and not cruel, yet that doesn’t mean you should turn into a shrinking violet. Don’t be one of those angry women who wears their disappointment on their faces and allows quiet rage to take over their whole being.
5. Stay away from debt
Neither a lender nor a borrower be. There’s wisdom in that saying that your mom hasn’t always followed, and now I’m paying the price to pay back credit card companies what I owe them. Don’t use shopping as a means to fulfill unfulfilled needs, and you won’t have to worry about debt consolidation later.
6. Don’t dull yourself down for anyone
Shine on and forget the haters. Pray for your enemies. Don’t kowtow and don’t act vain.
7. Speak your mind
Let no one rob you of your unique voice.
8. Listen more than you talk
You’ll learn a lot and gain more knowledge than folks that run their yappers 24/7.
It makes us all look better.
10. Don’t run towards danger
The violent, volatile guys may seem exciting, but like Star Jones says, “Corny pays the bills.” Better yet, as Shannon Ethridge put it, don’t mistake intensity for intimacy.
11. Remember hygiene is really important for women
12. Gravitate towards those people who make you happy
Forget wasting time trying to make folks like you. Focus instead on the ones who are kind and in your face. They might be divine connections. And even if they’re not, at least you will have had a good time talking to them. Avoid anyone, who, after you see them, makes you feel bad or leaves you with continuing negative thoughts.
13. Try, try again
Never give up on your dreams. Remember Georgia O’Keefe was older when she began painting all this pretty stuff. And Julia Child didn’t discover that cooking was her passion until she was into her 40’s.
14. Be different
It’s okay to be unique – weird, even – if you’re being authentically you. Don’t try to fit into someone else’s mold or copy another’s persona. You’re your own snowflake, so let it shine.
Featured photo credit: Taliesin via mrg.bz