Here I am, where you will be, no longer the uncertain and confused teen-aged girl, now a mother to an uncertain and confused teen-aged girl putting on a fashionable face of confidence like a favorite accessory. I have lived your life and have learned your life lessons first hand, as you will come to know. There were tears, laughter, friends, places, loves and losses along the way. Not an easy journey, but there is truth to the saying, nothing worth having comes easily.
We have only one life to live, I want you to know that when you have the choice, live your life on your own terms. Never compromise the little voice inside of you. If you don't listen to that little voice no one will. Be a lifelong learner. Follow your heart, indulge in your passions, see the world, make the impossible possible and always be good to yourself. Not to give the illusion of a fantasy, hedonistic world where you dance merrily in the sunshine, free from responsibility and recklessly living 'la vida loca'. There is an innate work ethic that comes from being inclusive of the traditions of the generations that preceded you, it's intrinsic to you and you will instill that ethic in your children. It is a character trait that they must acquire by nature or nurture, and they will, be patient yet consistent.
There will be people that will come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. Treat them all well. Always give to others the respect that you expect in return. Life is most unpredictable and you never know who might be there to offer you support when you are in a vulnerable place. Be nice, but never naive and you will have to teach people how to treat you, some people just don't know.
Love unconditionally. A true love is formed in a mutually accepting, non-judgmental, forgiving place. When you feel that you stand alone, you against the world, remember that you are loved. Sometimes it may feel like a lost cause, but fight on. You are a fighter and the power of love will fuel your passion.
Take care of home first and foremost. Never put the needs of others before you and yours. This isn't being selfish, there's a lesson in priorities to be learned. Enjoy life, leave no room for regrets. Tell your nearest and dearest that you love them every chance you have. Sing out loud and play board games all through life. Say good morning, good night and smile when you answer the phone. Be different. Be you. Be me. One day, you will want your 17 year-old self to share these life lessons with your amazingly beautiful daughter on her 17th birthday.
A Note of Niecyisms to My 17 Year-Old Self
on My Daughter's 17th Birthday