I'll admit it, sometimes I go to Hallmark and get lost in their daily books with quotes and short stories. I'm a sucker for that stuff.. Really. I mean, who doesn't want to read a daily quote about life, love and happiness with a picture of a sunset or a puppy in the background?! Okay, seriously, I picked up a book a month or two ago entitled "What I Know Now". This book contains short letters from extraordinary women to none other but themselves. It's beautiful really... As they tell themselves not to worry about relationships, goals or tragedies. Hindsight is 20/20, right? I decided to do my own venture like this. So, here goes. This is raw and real and me.
1. Don't be in such hurry to grow up.
Life will wait on you to get jobs, get mortgages, health insurance and babies. Enjoy the free meals and $20 bills your parents sneak you and spend them on something stupid- like candy or late night movies with your best friends. There will be plenty of time for grown up things later on.
2. Be still.
Stop every once in a while, take a breath and be still. Embrace the season in your life and embrace what God has in store for you. His plans are a lot better than yours.. Trust me.
3. Enjoy this life of "oh wells" instead of "what ifs".
You will regret much more the things you didn't do than the things you did do that maybe didn't work out. So maybe you're not a good basketball player. People still get a kick out of your violence during annual class tournaments.
Maybe surfing is not your thing. But laughing until your stomach hurts with your friends about how bad you are at surfing is so much better.
4. Play more pranks.
Some of the most fun moments in your teenage years will be when you and Shrena played crazy pranks like the "welcome mat", stealing people's clothes while in the showers at cheerleading camp or fake crying to your mom pretending you didn't make the senior cheerleading squad. Do it more. It's so much fun and it brings a smile to the recipient of the prank.
5. Love the journey.
Every step of the journey of life will mold and shape you into the woman you will become. Love it. Every step of the way. Every moment of the day when you wonder why this or that is happening... Instead, take a deep breath of excitement and smile.. Knowing that this moment somehow changed you for the better, whether it be heartache, loss, annoyance or tears. You will become you because of these things. Love it.
6. Take the Ronnie approach.
Your sweet Dad is so much stronger than you know. He truly lived and walked to the beat of his own drum, setting out the path for himself and by his desires and passions in life. Do that. Do your thing. Do what you wanna do and be who you want to be. And when life kicks you down, take the Ronnie approach and live on with a good attitude. ( you can even wave and speak to ALL strangers.) Watch him every day and learn.
7. Love your buts.
Enjoy the sweet and crazy sayings your mom says daily. "love your buts" and " buck your wuck before I spank your wank" are real sayings. When you grow up you will realize the true genius behind these things. :) Follow her lead not only in these sayings but in the sweet and pure heart she has. If you grow up to be half the woman she is, you will be extraordinary.
8. Dance like no one is watching.
(I hope Connie is reading this and recalls a fun time of boat dancing in Cozumel)
Dance. Even if you look crazy... Even if people laugh. It's like medicine to your heart. Dance in the car. Dance in your bedroom while singing at the top of your lungs to Britney Spears. Dance around the house. Get others to dance with you. It's too much fun to pass up. ;)
9. Smile through the tears.
You will experience plenty of trials and heartaches. You will cry yourself to sleep. You will worry yourself to sleep. You will be crushed by people you love and lose some dear friends and loved ones. You will wonder "why is this happening" and "what did I do to deserve this", but smile through the tears and try to see the bigger picture.
10. Break the rules.
"If I repent of anything, it will very likely be my good behavior. Whatever possessed me to behave so well?!" - Thoreau
Break the rules. Do crazy stuff. Stay up late. Oversleep. Get Tattoos. Go to steak and shake at 2am. Wear the same clothes to work two days in a row because you were up all night with your best friend talking about life. Take a road trip. Skydive. Hang glide. Sleep in a car for two weeks. Eat too much. Raft. Canoe. Take a trip with strangers. Sing alot and loud. Write songs. Write letters. Tell people you love them, and mean it. Take random trips just for fun. Sneak into movies in your pajamas. Kidnap your friend for shaved ice. Lay out at the pool all day with loud music and Cosmo magazine. Make funny faces. Make new friends. Feed the ducks. Sneak out. Smile and laugh until it hurts. It's all worth it.
11. Love people.
People will come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. Some will hurt you. Some you will think you hate. Some will hate you. Love them all. They are there for a reason. You will figure it out soon enough. Just laugh and love them. The ones that stay there a lifetime will make up for the others.