Anyone who really truly knows me, knows that I am a total sap at heart. I believe that life is really just a collection of memories; good, bad, ugly and in between that make up the core of who we are. At 42, I can look back at my 11 year old self and see a little girl about to lose her father. There is so much I had to learn the hard way. If Max can take just one of these 11 lessons and bypass a moment of angst, confusion or pain, then I've done my job.
1. Laugh until your stomach hurts: There are few things in life that you can't figure out a way to laugh about. No matter how awful it may seem at the time, dig deep and laugh. It's ok. Who cares what everyone else thinks? Just figure out a way to laugh.
2. Believe what you see; not necessarily what you hear: People really do show you who they are. Watch them. Believe them the first time. Don't waste your time expecting them to change. Let them waste their own time figure out how to change.
3. Believe in yourself: Know that fundamentally, you are capable of anything. Because you are. Get out of your own way.
4. Understand that your parents really do know more than you do: Because they do. Teenagers know nothing. They only think they do.
5. Open your heart: Go into the world with your arms and eyes wide open. Believe that you are loveable. Because you are.
6. Have opinions: Whether it's your favorite food or who you want to be friends with, know how you feel about things. Develop a sense of self early in life. Take a stand. Become who you were meant to be, even if you are only 11 years old.
7. Don't believe what other kids say about you (unless it's nice): Kids are often mean for no other reason than they can be. Don't be that kid. And don't believe that kid either.
8. Feel things: Part of really living is really feeling. So be happy. Be sad. Be angry. Be all of those things. And let go of the things that don't serve you well.
9. Ask questions: Don't pretend you have it all figured out when you know you don't. Ask. We will tell you.
10. Read a book: Don't wait for people to bring the information to you. Open a book and figure it out for yourself.
11. Like who you are: You are standing on the edge of becoming whoever it is you choose to be. Choose to be a person you will want to get a drink with when you are 30. Those are my favorite kind of people.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013