Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Letter to Young Women...

Dear Young Women of the World,

       I think it's important I share some of my knowledge with you.  When I was young, there was no internet--and even when there was it was for AOL Instant Messenger.  There was human contact.  Anything you needed to learn about life, someone told you  in person or over the phone, when you were allowed 30 minutes on the phone a week by your parents. In fact, it was hard even to talk to your friends via phone.  My family had two phone lines--my parents line and the kids line.  Me, being the youngest, had limited rights to the "kids" line.  And, when we did get the internet the phone line was hooked up to the internet so when you picked up the phone all you heard was scramble noises.  If you really needed to know something you looked it up in an encyclopedia or dictionary,  there was no google. 

 Am I blowing your mind yet young child?

      This brings me to my first bit of knowledge for you: GET OUTSIDE AND GET MESSY.  There was no such thing as wifi.  What would we have done with wifi anyway?  There was no smart phones, just big bulky pagers which you couldn't call back anyway if you were outside.  Yes, outside.    We played outside.  We got mucky, muddy, and dirty well into our teenage years.  We partied in the woods and went sledding when it snowed, EVERY TIME,  not one time a year.  We did not bitch it was too cold or too wet out when it snowed.  Every time snow hit the god damn ground we were outside running a muck.  Do more of that, please.  Let go of your smart phone and experience the world a little.  Everything beautiful does not only have to be viewed on facebook.  You, yes you, can actually see the world as it happens..not in a facebook update.

    With that, I am begging you to please put your phone down when someone is speaking to you, when you are walking, or when you are driving.  I work for a school district and when I go into the high school I am terrified.  1. Every single student is 10 times taller than me.  2.  They all are walking with their phones glued to their faces. 3. Running into each other becomes much easier when  your phone is in your face and your thumbs are texting.  It's like a really really big traffic jam of large,  slightly too old for their age, children.

     Secondly, have fun while you can.  I was wild in my former years.  Now, I am lucky to be able to stay up for an awards show on Sunday night that is on past 9:00pm.   Take advantage of that. Do not miss a single thing in those years.  I am not saying go out and do anything illegal or dangerous that could get you killed.  I am saying experience life, stay up late, pig out with friends,  get in trouble (a little, not a lot), and HAVE FUN.

     Third, experience your feelings.  Your feelings are yours, they do not belong to anyone else.  How dare you allow someone else to tell you how to feel.   Let your feelings run their course, put on your big girl pants, and move on after.  There is one person in this world who is allowed you judge you: your mother (I guess two if you believe in wooden Jesus).   Why is your mother allowed to judge you?  Because you likely came out of her woo-haw (which gives her an everlasting hold over you), and she probably has done more in her lifetime for you then you can ever repay.  If your mother is not around or has already maybe passed, then your grandmother or father apply here too.   If you feel like you need to be judged---go out and commit a crime which requires a judge and a jury of your peers to decide your fate.  FEEL WHAT YOU NEED TO FEEL FOR AS LONG AS YOU NEED TO FEEL IT and once you decide you are done feeling it, Let it go.

     Fourth, and along with that,  don't be afraid to fall in love.  I fell in love twice in my life.  I do not regret a single second of either time.   Have I had my heart broken?  Of course.  Have I lived to tell about it?  Of course.   What does not kill you, makes you smarter.  Even if you learn nothing from having your heart broken,  its your heart, do with it what you will in your lifetime.  You only get one heart and one lifetime.  Take the risks you need to take to find love.  If you never fall in love with a person, fall in love with something.  Fall in love with your job, art, traveling, etc.

    Fifth,  fight with your mind not your fists.  There is nothing more disturbing to me then seeing people yelling at each other or even worse--fist fighting.   I hung out with a pretty rowdy crew when I was your age and back then, there was a lot less to lose when fist fighting.  Today, you can go to jail or kill someone.  Be smart.  Do not raise your fists or your voice, improve your argument.  When I was your age my mom always said "kill them with kindness" which then, drove me insane.  How can you be nice to someone who is being an asshole?  Easy, control your anger and reply.   It will drive the person either 1. insane or 2. completely befuddle them.   If anything, the people around you will think highly of you for walking away or being kind. 

   Sixth, everyone you meet is fighting their own battle.  You have NO IDEA what someone else life is like.  Remember that.   It is not your job on this earth to judge others, it is your job to be KIND to them.  I know I have talked about my best friend Holly before, but just the other day she said to me "I am your friend, not your judge".  That was probably the best thing she has ever said to me.

   Seventh,  JUST TAKE THE JACKET.  In my entire life I have never heard my mom say "You better bring a jacket" and regretted bringing the jacket.  I have however, regretted not bringing a jacket.  Moms have this spidey sense that tells them the temperature at ANY given place at ANY given time.  Not a single mother in the ENTIRE WORLD has been wrong about the temperature.  This includes temperatures in restaurants,  movie theaters, parks, and states they've never even traveled to. 

   Eight,  whatever happened yesterday happened yesterday--let it go.  The only way one day predicts the next is if you let it.  Life is funny like that.  I've encountered a lot of stress, nay-sayers, horrible days, and sticky situations.  When I was young, I carried it with me every day like a brick in my purse.   Now, I still struggle with it, but I am 100% happier when I let it go and start over the next day.
      
   Lastly,  make sure you love the people who love you.  You will lose people in this lifetime.  You get no warning before it happens.  Make sure your parents and family know you are grateful for them, and your friends know you love them.  As an example,  I cannot imagine a world without my best friend Holly.  The other day I told her that "she's my person".  She then responded "Your totally my person".  Of course I have other people who are my best friends--Talia, Kate, Alli, Brielle, Lisa.  But Holly, she just so happens to be my person.  Talia could be my person too, but she's my sister.  So,  by default, Holly is my person.