I have always been an outspoken, confident person. Always. I would like to say that I have never let anyone get under my skin, but that would just be a lie. But, just because they get under my skin doesn’t mean that I will let them know it. I have built up a shell over a very long time, and I can say that there aren’t very many people who have seen me cry. Which I am not sure is a good or a bad thing. But, it is what it is. I decided to make a list for my daughter’s just so that they know where they stand with me, where they should stand with themselves, and how to conquer the world….
Life isn’t fair. I know this one is a hard pill to swallow. But, there will always be someone prettier than you, funnier than you, more popular than you, etc. There will always be an athlete that is better than you on your teams. And, you can choose to wallow in the “Not Fairs” or you can pave your own way, be your own person, work hard, and be better.
Learn who your real friends are. This is a tough one. Especially in the junior high age. But, I CAN tell you from experience a few things….if they talk about you behind your back, they are not your friend. If they do things to make you look bad, they are not your friend. If they laugh at you when you are down, they are not your friend. If they say one thing to your face, and another to behind your back, they are not your friend. If they tear you down instead of build you up, they are not your friend. If they don’t stick up for you when you are around, or more importantly when you AREN’T around, they are not your friend. When they laugh at your expense, they are not your friend. When they make you feel bad about yourself, they are not your friend. If they talk to your boyfriend behind your back, they are not your friend. If they don’t keep your secrets, they are not your friend. If they don’t root for your to succeed, they are not your friend. REAL friends build you up, hug you when you need it, tell you look beautiful, comfort you when you are crying, laugh WITH you not AT you, talk you off the ledge when you need it, have fun with you, keep your secrets for you. REAL friends fix each other’s crowns without pointing out that it was crooked in the first place. That’s what real friends do. Some people around you are NOT your friends, and you have to learn who is good for you and who is toxic to keep being around.
Don’t do anything in life just to impress a boy. Here is the thing about boys….most of them aren’t worth your time. Those that are, will come around eventually and you will know the difference. If you have to try to convince a boy to like you, he is NOT the person you want to be around. Don’t ever let a boy tell you who you should be, dictate how you act, or let you treat your friends differently. Don’t ever drop all of your friends for a boyfriend. Boyfriends will come and go, but those girls that you have loved since Kinder or before? They are the real MVPs, and will be the only ones there to pick you up off the floor and help you put the pieces of your heart back together after a bad breakup. If you put your boyfriend before them, they may not hang around to wait. Don’t let your boyfriend change who you are as a person. You need to be with someone who loves you for who you ARE, not what you wear, or what friend group you are in, or because of how you look. If they don’t love your heart and soul, they aren’t worth it.
Work hard at school. I know that school isn’t the most fun thing to do. But, life really isn’t either. And the harder that you work at your school work, the more opportunities that you have college wise when you graduate. Not that you HAVE to go to college if you don’t want to. But, it does make it easier.
It’s okay to have a good relationship with your Mom. It’s okay to talk to me, and tell me about your day, and what is going on in your life. I like to hear how you feel. It’s okay to tell your Mom about things that aren’t going well, or right, or people that are being mean to you. It’s okay to be open. Trust me when I say, I am your biggest supporter, and I will fight for you until my very last breath. I will also stay back in the shadows if that is what you want. Because, you need to understand what it means to fight your own battles….but, I will gladly be there to hand you the sword and to stay by your side while you fight through hell. Always.
Being confident in yourself is not a bad thing. I know that there are people in life that will try to beat you down, and make you feel like confidence is cockiness but trust me, it’s not. Being confident and standing up for yourself or others around you isn’t always the popular opinion, but, it’s always the right one. Some things are hard, but they have to be done anyway. There is so much courage in confidence.
Learn to love yourself. Every part of yourself. Even those parts that you hate. Because you wouldn’t be YOU without them. Know that it is okay to be nerdy, weird, crazy, wild, quiet, tired, and happy. You don’t have to be them all all the time. If you have parts of you that you don’t like, you are the only one that can change them and make yourself how you want to be. No one can do that for you, only you.
You need to dress in what makes you happy (within reason LOL). No one gets to tell you what to wear or how to dress but your parents while you still live at home. But, according to me, if you feel confident in it, I am happy. No, you cannot dress like a stripper, but also I don’t mind a crop top or cheer wear. Spandex shorts and sports bras are part of life, and as long as you are covered, I am fine. If you want to '“dress up” by wearing a dress or a skirt to school because you think it’s cute, don’t let people convince you that it’s not. If you want to wear leggings and a huge sweatshirt, go for it. You do not have to meet anyone’s approval but mine. And, you know I will let you know REALLY quickly if I don’t approve.
Makeup is just an expression of yourself. If you want to wear it, go for it. Within reason. You and I both know that wearing full glam to school is a bit much, but honestly, I wouldn’t stop you if you wanted to. Makeup is just makeup, and it doesn’t make you “grow up” too fast, it doesn’t make you a slut, and it doesn’t do anything to your personality. It’s literally just an expression of yourself that you wear on your face. And the opposite of that is also true, if you don’t want to wear any makeup, know you don’t have to. No one gets to judge who you are by if you are wearing makeup or not. Because it doesn’t affect your ability to do school, do your job, function as a human being, and honestly sometimes you just can’t win for losing. And you DAMN sure better not let a boy dictate to you that you are wearing too much makeup, or not enough. Makeup is NOT for boys, or other people, makeup is for yourself. If it makes you feel more confident, Slay on Sister. I support it. And if you end up like me, and never wear it, rock that too.
The sooner that you figure out that social media is a lie, the better. I have always been pretty open to letting you have social media-as long as I could monitor it. (Which I DO for those parents who are turning their nose up at me right now…insert eyeroll here) I don’t mind you scrolling for a while, keeping up with your friends, or posting your fun things that you do. But, I also want you to realize that what most people post on their Insta/SnapChat/Etc is ONLY the good things that happen to them. Most people only post their highlight reel, so I don’t want you to compare your whole life to ONLY the good things that are happening to another. Life is hard,and everyone faces challenges, and even though they may seem perfect online….I promise that they are not. They know it too, and they are trying to trick people to think that they are to get the next like, comment, or follow. Don’t base your worth on your social media following or reaction. It’s not real.
Speaking of social media. Don’t fish for compliments. It’s ridiculous. Don’t be that girl who constantly posts about how “ugly” they are so that people will jump to tell you how beautiful you are. Don’t be that girl now, and don’t ever be that girl in the future. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful, because you are. And the only person’s opinion that matters is your own. I know it’s nice to be told by someone else, but at some point in your life you will find someone who tells you without being asked, and TRUST ME, when it’s real and genuine, it is so much better. Don’t be that girl, please.
It’s okay to be JUST FRIENDS with boys. Sometimes boys are the best friends because they are so much less drama than girls. They will pick you up when you need it, and protect you from the people around you. Sometimes boys are just better. You don’t have to want to be their girlfriend to be their friend. I think when I figured that out, the game changed and I realized how much happier that I was.
Don’t let people steal your joy. You are the only one in charge of this, so please take me seriously. If you let stupid people take away your shine its because you LET them. You are the only one that can stop them, and the only one that can take it back.
Work hard in silence, and let your success make the noise. When you work, it shows. Trust me when I say, if you have to try to convince me that you are good….odds are, you aren’t. Working hard at the things that you love is imperative. Pushing yourself past the limits that you thought you had is the best feeling in the world. I promise.
Stay humble. This goes along with the last one. You can be the best on the team, but if you aren’t humble about it, no one will care. I promise that all they will talk about is your attitude. When you are hard working, humble, and keep pushing yourself it pays off. Be that girl. Not the one that seems like she thinks she is better than everyone around her and looks down her nose.
Don’t let people underestimate you. Actually, go ahead and let them underestimate you….but, show them how wrong that they are. Show them that you may be the smallest, or what they think is the weakest, but that you are not going to let that define you. That you are a force to be reckoned with and that you will demand respect. Be. A. Force.
Be a good secret keeper. Sometimes your friends just need to have a place to vent it all out. Don’t be the person that runs to someone else to tell them what you heard. It’s not your secret to tell.
Be an encouragement. At school. At Sports. At Life. Be the girl who lifts her teammates up when they are having a bad practice. Yell for them when they are trying to hit a stunt, or nail a pass, or get it across the plate. Let them know that you are behind them, and that they got it. Sometimes it just takes knowing you have one person that believes in you to be able to push yourself. Tell your friends they look beautiful. Tell them that you like their outfit, or their bag, or their make up. Remember what I said about fixing other girls crowns for them when they don’t know it’s crooked? That goes both ways. Support your friends. Pick them up. Let them know you love them. Tell them that that boy that was mean to them isn’t worth their time, and that they are too pretty for them anyway. When they are having a bad day, tell them all the thing that are awesome about them and that make you love them. Smile at strangers in the hallway and in public. You never EVER know the battles that someone is facing behind the face that they put on at school. You might be the only person to smile at them that day, and that may keep them going.
Be Kind. Always. This is a difficult one. It is easy to lash out, and be mean and rude to people who aren’t the nicest to you. But, most of the time when someone is ugly to you, they are just reflecting the things that they feel about themselves on you and taking it out on you. They may be having trouble at home. Their parent’s may be divorcing. They may be hungry. Or poor. They may be fighting unseen depression or anxiety. They may not have one person at home to tell them that they are the best thing to ever happen to them. They may be scared. They may be in foster care. They may have lost someone. You just never know. So, always be kind to people. Even when you don’t think they deserve it.
Give everything you do 100%. Never do anything half assed. If you don’t want to give it everything you got, it’s time to find something new.
I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. I think you are beautiful, funny, crazy (in a good way), amazing, smart, and so much more. You make my days brighter and better. I am so glad that God chose me to be your Mom. And although you act like me 123821937% of the time, and give me attitude, I wouldn’t change you for the world. I love watching you grow and become an amazing human being. I can’t stand when you are sad, and I wish you could just see yourself the way I see you. Perfect.
Always love each other and be there for each other. There is no bond like a sister, and you should always have each other’s backs.
Keep your standards like you keep your bow, high.
Wash your face. Every night. Just do it. And for the love of everything holy, moisturize.
Try to remember when you are a teenager that I am not the devil, and I always have your best intentions at heart. That WILL mean there will be certain places you can’t go, certain people you aren’t allowed to hang out with, and boys you aren’t allowed to date. This is a several year forewarning. Also, if you try to sneak to a party, just know I will find you and I will embarrass you. If you want to take a chance, roll those dice sister. But, I promise you won’t like the outcome.
Junior high doesn’t last forever. I know it feels like it does, but I promise it doesn’t. You’ll move on to high school then after that you won’t see or talk to half of the people you know now. Your forever friends are made in college….most of them anyway.
Be stupid with your friends. Stop worrying about what people say, and have fun. Laugh way too much. Have funny inside jokes. Make a million memories. Because sometimes when you get older, that is all you have. Worry less and love more.
Be extra if you want to. Leave a little sparkle wherever you go. Blending in with all the rest of the crowd is boring, and safe. The best things happen outside your comfort zone.
Be spontaneous. Well, when you are older. Take advantage of the freedom you have while you still have it.
Don’t try to grow up too fast. You have your WHOLE adult life to be an adult. I wish I would have been more of a kid when I still was able. Be in love with every minute of your life.
Write your feelings down. Keep a journal, a blog, a vlog, whatever you gotta do. Get it out and make yourself feel better so you can move on. Holding on to negative thoughts is toxic and detrimental to you.
Trust yourself and your intuition. When you have a good or a bad feeling about someone, you are usually right.
Don’t forget to take time for yourself. Unplug, veg out, think about life, stare at the stars, watch the clouds, and just be. It’s important to remember just how to breathe sometimes.
Do things that bring you joy. If they don’t bring you joy, find something else.
Know that you don’t always have to have it all figured out. It’s okay to just not know what you want to do. You will get there someday.
Don’t care what other people think. Period. It’s as easy and as hard as that. Do you and be happy.
Admit when you are wrong. I know it’s hard. But when you are wrong, you are wrong. And it takes a BIG person to apologize. But it takes courage and integrity to do so, Ask for forgiveness and move on.
Make sure you have a relationship with God. When it boils down to it, this is really all that matters. Pray when you are having a hard time, and let go of those hardships and let God help you through them. It won’t ever be easier, but it will always be worth it. He gave his life so you could have yours, and that is above all, the most important thing.
I know that there is so much more that I am missing, but this is a pretty good list. Read it, learn it, live it. Share it with the people around you. Throw kindness around like confetti, wash your face every night, say your prayers, and love each other. Because I love you.