If I had a daughter there are a few things/ lessons I would try to impart to her
- God over everything. He is the creator of all, even you. There will be many times in your life when He will come to your rescue although you may not notice much of His presence yourself until your mid to late 20s. He’s always there and always has been. Once you hit 30 and start looking back over your life, you’ll see what I am talking about.
- Love yourself. No one else on this planet is required to love you, not even your parents (although they always will). However, you MUST love yourself. You are stuck with you forever. If you can’t love yourself, flaws and all, you are going to have a hard time convincing someone else to.
- It isn’t always going to go as planned. I am living proof of that. When you reach a certain age you start to think you know what you want to do with your life, and you are going to lay out this nice, neat plan. You know what they say about best laid plans….
- IF it doesn’t go as planned, DON’T PANIC. Trust that there are several paths to your destination and that God, in His perfect will, will get you to your destination exactly when you’re supposed to be there. Notice I said “When you’re supposed to be there”, and not when YOU want to be there. God does have a sense of humor, but He’s never late.
- It really is true that life is what you make it. Any and everything can happen to you, whether it be good or bad. The question is what are you going to do about it? What are you going to do in the aftermath? You can dwell in the mess or turn the mess into a message. You make the choice of how what happens to you affects you.
- Don’t listen to what other people say, watch what they do. A person’s actions will say so much more about their intentions than their words ever will. Sometimes just listening to words will leave you wanting. It’s kind of like the famous quote from A Knight’s Tale, “You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been found wanting.” Words are very pretty and can sound very nice, but if the actions don’t back them up, then it’s probably safe to say that there is always going to be something lacking with that person.
- It’s okay to NOT be perfect. You never will be anyway. There will always be someone smarter, prettier, or someone who has more experience than you. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to improve yourself or do your best. You should ALWAYS do that. Just don’t beat yourself up if you fall short sometimes. No one has it 100% together all the time.
- Falling in love can and does happen more than once. I know that high school heartbreak makes you feel like the world is going to end but trust me it won’t and you won’t die (although you are going to say that you feel like you are), as you get older you will start to see what is really important in a companion and you will wonder why you were so stuck on “what’s his name” in the first place.
- There are associates and then there are friends, you can associate with a lot of people on different levels, but you can’t be friends with everybody. Associates are usually down for whatever cause you are down for, but not necessarily down with you. If you start to change the way you think or do things differently, associates tend to fall off because you aren’t doing what they want to do or what is in their best interest. Friends however will be with you no matter what changes you feel like you need to make and will fully support you. Let me put it to you like this, if there are certain things that you don’t want a person to know because you know your business will be everywhere or you only give them need-to-know info, that’s an associate. Friends don’t have to have firewalls and safeguards like that because they know whatever is spoken is in confidence. Friends show up in your darkest hour, when you feel like you’re sinking and wade through the deep water with you without wanting anything in return. Associates tend to bail when the water gets ankle deep. You will have lots of associates, but you will have a small circle of friends.
- There will be times that you will be your own worst critic/enemy. Most people will tell you that they are harder on themselves than anyone else. I include myself in that group. It is one thing to critique yourself, but you can’t beat yourself up so much that you lose the will to try again. Give yourself a break. Take some time to regroup and think about what it is you are trying to do and then do it. If you fail, that’s fine, keep trying.
- Be self sufficient. There is nothing wrong with having someone to depend on to help with things, but don’t make that your life line. Learn how to change your oil, change a tire, fix a faucet, mow the grass… all that “boy stuff”. You’d be surprised by how many men actually dig a girl that can handle her own and doesn’t depend on him for everything.
- Patience is key. Oh boy, well this is something I am still trying to learn. I am VERY IMPATIENT. It is my nature, but I am working on it. I am impatient with a lot of things, but mostly myself. This comes from a place of feeling like, at times, that I am not good enough, smart enough, or could ever be enough for someone else. I don’t ever, EVER want you to feel that way. It is a hard place to get out of. It will be hard, especially with people who are close to you, but never let someone else’s words have so much power over who you are or how you feel about yourself. Know that you have power and stand firm in it. Be kind and gentle to everyone you meet (especially yourself), because you don’t know what kind of personal battle a person may be going through.