I can’t believe it, my oldest daughter, Makayla, graduated high school this year. She’s off to college later this fall and I am so proud. I’ve teased her several times, calling her my “sacrificial child” because I’ve learned a lot through my many mistakes. I think that happens with the first born. They’re kind of the guinea pig on a lot of things, right? My 8-year-old gets the perks of me hopefully knowing a thing or two more with the second go around.
As my older daughter starts off on her next journey — “adulting” — I wanted to jot down a few thoughts for her as I reflect on my life and the lessons I’ve learned from being an adult. So I wrote her a little letter.
If you have younger kids, get ready — they grow up in a blink of an eye!
Here are just a few things I’ve learned along the way in life. Some you might already know, and some may be things you realize along your path.
Make friends, build connections! Make as many friends as possible. We all get comfortable within our little tribe of friends. You will be saying goodbye to many good ones, but plenty more are waiting for you out there. Meet as many of them as possible. The most successful people I know are good at making friends. Join different groups, forge connections and experience people you’re unfamiliar with. These people will bring you joy (and may even help you get a job one day.) Not only that, but learning more about others will help you learn more about yourself. Try to become more of an extrovert and embrace the complex diversity of the people around you.
Try not to be negative; think positively! Easier said than done, I know; but when we waste our time with negative talk in life, we waste precious moments. Your mind is so powerful. If you realized how powerful your thoughts were, you would never think another negative thought. You wouldn’t let someone you know who’s a jerk live in your house with you, so why let them live in your head? Stay positive.
Don’t spend so much time on social media. Find nature, go out with friends, have hobbies! Social networking is not all bad, but it’s all about balance. You will never get back the time you missed in actual life, with actual people, who actually love you. Set up a timer while you’re on social media, or better yet, take the social media apps off your phone, and only use them when you give yourself designated time on the computer.
Try not to worry too much; plan, but focus on the here and now! The worst things in life are the things we worry about that never really happen. It’s important to plan and be prepared, but nothing comes from worrying too much — except stress and sleepless nights. Take time to pray, meditate, or talk to someone who might be able to help you. I try to always think, “If you have time to worry, you have time to pray.”
You’re beautiful inside and out! Your unique gifts set you apart. What else makes you beautiful? A woman who is truly confidant is beautiful. Your smile. Your laugh. Your optimism. Your intelligence. Your honesty. Your humility. When you give back. All of these things and more are what make you beautiful. Let them shine.
I am so proud of you. Hugs, kisses, and lots of love.