Advice for my daughter:
- You are amazing and special and no one has the right to take that away from you.
- Boyfriends are fun, but never screw over a friend to get one. Good friends can last a lifetime, it is a rare boyfriend that does.
- There are toxic people in this world – they can be male or female, young or old, white or black. It isn’t important to make them be nicer, rather to recognize they are toxic people and allow them to have as little impact on your life as possible. They may be mean girls in high school, or your boss, or even a family member. Protect yourself as best you can from them. It is not your job to make them non-toxic, but to protect yourself from their influence.
- Your education is one thing no one can ever take away from you. Protect and cultivate it.
- You teach other people how to treat you. If you allow people to treat you like crap, they will think it is OK and keep doing it. You are worthy of respect and kindness.
- Your dad and I will love you always. There is nothing you can ever do to make us stop. There is nothing you can ever tell us to make us stop. We will love you no matter what.
- Recognize when it is time to say something is “good enough”. You can make yourself crazy striving for perfection. Know when to stop and move on to your next task.
- You are beautiful. You are not too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too blonde or too dark. You are beautiful just as you are. You should never feel like you need to change yourself for anyone else’s approval (even yours).
- People you see on TV and in movies and those in magazines are not “real”. They have been lighted and photo shopped and edited and made up to appear as they do. Do not hold yourself to that standard of beauty. Be you.
- Choose wisely when you pick your life partner (whether male or female). Choose them for who they are now and who you can become together, not who you want them to be. You will only frustrate yourself and them.
- It is cool to be smart. Never feel you have to hide your intelligence to impress others. Anyone who is threatened by your amazing brain isn’t worth the effort.
- Most things are OK in moderation. (I am not talking about drugs here – a little bit of those can kill you). It is OK to have a little sugar, some fatty foods, an afternoon in the sun, and occasional lazy days. But more often than not, make the choices that are the healthy choices.
- No naked pictures. Ever. Let me say this one more time, no naked pictures. You never know what will happen to these pictures and, even if you don’t have future aspirations on the Presidency, the potential for embarrassment and humiliation is infinite should they fall into the wrong hands. Repeat after me – No. Naked. Pictures.
- Honesty is important in your relationships. I’m not talking about the “Do I look fat in this dress?” kind of honesty (though still important), but you should be able to tell them the truth about what you are thinking and how you are feeling. You should be able to expect the same from them.
- Money is not everything. It can only make things easier for you. Never let money rule your decisions, but do what you can to be self-sufficient. Desperation can make you do things you wouldn’t do otherwise.
- Don’t give away your power. If you twist yourself into knots to make someone else happy or change yourself for their approval, you are giving away your power.
- Abuse is never OK. No one has a right to place their hands on you. If someone who claims to love you does, run. Get away. It is exceptionally rare for abuse to happen “just once” in a relationship. Never gamble with your well-being.
- You ALWAYS have the right to say, “No”. (Except when I tell you to brush your teeth). Practice saying it often. This applies to anything anyone ever wants to make you do that you do not want to do or are uncomfortable doing. Let’s say it together, “No”.
Did I miss anything? I’d love some suggestions!