Where has the time gone already? Every parent says it even though it’s totally cliché but I don’t care. I blinked and my beautiful number 2, Nayia, has also become a high schooler. A high schooler?! The big school?! Seriously? Seriously. It feels like yesterday that I were in her shoes. A wave of nostalgia, excitement and agitation has kicked in for me so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and advice to my only daughter, you may wish to do so as well. x
To begin with, I want you to know how proud I am of you. I am truly in awe of the young lady you’ve become. You embrace challenges with such grace and confidence. You wake up every day taking on board anything that comes your way and can handle it all. You are smart, kind, hardworking, funny and talented. An amazing human being. I am honoured and humbled to be your mum baby.
I’m guessing you’d be mortified if I sat you down for some motherly advice so to avoid any of your annoyingly annoying eye rolls I’m writing you this instead. I think it’s easier for me this way too.
So, here’s what I want you to know:
Ups and downs
Some days will be ridiculously fun and exciting. Some will be crappy. And that’s ok. Enjoy the journey. Embrace the challenges. Revel in the laughter. Look for silver linings. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and mummy knows that best of all.
Accept yourself for who you are. Be true to yourself. Be authentic. Be you. You might wonder what “being you” means. Not an easy thing to figure out but that’ll be your job in your teens. Develop your own ideas, your own definition of success. Do not change for others. Your identity is so much more than your gender, your religion, your body, your ethnicity, your looks.
Try not to compare yourself to others. Each person is unique. We come in all shapes and sizes. We all excel in different things. You are beautiful, intelligent and worth it.
Find Your People
You will meet so many new people tomorrow. In that mix are your people. I’ve been telling you that for ages. People you will love to hang out with. People who will make you laugh. People who share your interests. People who will introduce you to new ones. These people may come from either your nursery or junior school. They may not.
The cool dudes
There’s a huge difference between “cool people” and people who are cool. You are one of the coolest human beings I know. Find interesting people- people with fascinating stories to tell, different hobbies, amazing taste in music, books, and films. Social hierarchy doesn’t matter. You already know this but sometimes a friendly reminder is nice.
Friends should wish you well. They should make you feel better about yourself. I was lucky to have found my person very early on at high school. I’m sure you will too. If it’s not one but two or a group, better for you!
Be the kind of friend you’d want. Be reliable. Be open. Be kind. Be you.
A smile works wonders
Do not feel sorry for yourself. It’s ok to have bad days, sad days, days where you need to complain but try to shake it off and find what makes you smile. Smiles are contagious. Especially yours. Smile with me. I’ll always be around to make you smile.
Dating. Butterflies. Crushes. Love
I’m all for the flitter flutter. You know how much I love butterflies. Find someone that likes you for who you are. If they make you feel bad about yourself in any way or want you to change, they’re not the one NO MATTER HOW CUTE THEY MAY BE. People that are cute on the outside aren’t always cute on the inside. Character counts. Go with your instincts. Be attracted to a sense of humor and a brain. These people will make you laugh when you need it the most. They’ll grow up to cure diseases, write books, and program computers. They will be interesting. Interesting isn’t just cute. It’s hot.
A kiss should stir the butterflies in your stomach. It should send tingles down your spine. It should make your fingertips numb. Kiss someone under the moonlight. Kiss someone sneakily. Kiss someone in the middle of summer. Kiss while your favourite song plays. Kiss hello. Kiss goodbye. Kiss someone who may break your heart. Never date a bad kisser. A good kisser is a sign of a promise of something good!
Musicians wouldn’t be writing all those sad love songs if it were easy. It sucks. Big time. When it happens, I’ll be there with the homemade chocolate brownie I taught you to make, movies and a shoulder to cry on. Always. ALWAYS.
It’s YOUR Body
You decide what to do with your body. YOU. Only You. Speak up if someone ever tries to push the boundaries or makes you feel uncomfortable.
Never drink and drive. Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking. If you’re not sure if someone has been drinking, assume he/she has. Call us. Anytime. Anywhere. Me and your father will come to you in a heartbeat. No questions asked (ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration) We will always be your designated driver if and when needed.
Say No To Drugs
I’m sure you are rolling your eyes and saying “oh god mum” under your breath but seriously drugs are bad. And dangerous. And scary. And unnecessary. I’ve gone 41 years without ever trying any drugs. I don’t feel like I’ve missed out on anything.
If it’s been texted, instagramed, posted, tik tocked or shared digitally in any way assume everyone and anyone can see it. If you wouldn’t be comfortable with the entire school seeing something or hearing something- don’t put it out there. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others even if those conversations happen over text or social media. Pictures of private parts are never private but always a bad idea. It’s hard to make things disappear in cyberland even if an app claims it does. The only thing harder to make disappear is a bad reputation.
Sometimes people are nice. Sometimes they are mean. This has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Stay Nice.
Fess up. We will always forgive you. Remember punishments will always be less severe if you fess up and admit to your mistakes.
Accept that sometimes you will be wrong. Recognize when you are. Don’t be too proud to admit it. Just say sorry.
Talk to us
Talk to me. Talk to Daddy. About anything. We may seem annoying at times but we are always here for you. We will always listen and help guide you to find your way. You can depend on us. We know what it’s like to worry about not having a friend to sit with. We’ve had our hearts broken. I’ve lived through my fair share of mean girls. We aren’t know-it-alls but we know what all that feels like. Talk to us. If talking makes you uncomfortable, write a letter. Text. Whatever is happening to you matters to us.
Speak Up For Yourself
Be your own biggest champion. Stand proud. Be brave. Be confident. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. Daddy believes in you. When you believe in yourself magic happens.
You need sleep.
Read books (please). Ride your bike. Dance. Daydream.
Make Good Decisions.
Decisions you won’t regret. Decisions you can be proud of. This applies to friendships, relationships, parties, homework, driving, during school, outside of school, every minute of every day.
Believe that great things can happen to those who work hard and are nice. Follow your own passions. Not mine. Not daddy’s. Not your friends. Yours.
Leave your comfort zone. Audition for shows. Raise your hand. Try new activities. Talk to new people. Laugh in the face of your fears. Embrace curiosity.
Try new things. Try to get good grades. Try to get involved. Try to be a good friend. You just have to try.
Meet new people. Laugh. Be silly. Be goofy. Be geeky. Try to eek some fun out of every situation. Keep that song in your heart. No. Matter. What.
Happy High School.
It goes fast. Enjoy every second.
P.S. I love you.
P.P.S. I’d love if you let me be a part of it with you.