Here's the next prompt in the 30 Things My Kids Should Know About Me series. It's a good one!
I'm supposed to list ten things I would tell me 16 year old self. I often think about this, along with things I would tell my 18 year old self, and my 20 year old self, and my 22 year old self.....because each passing season brings so much adventure and challenge along with it! I am so proud of the things I've accomplished since I was 16, but holy cow....kids. I had no idea what an amazing adventure and what a unique challenge parenthood would bring. I'm still learning. I'll always be learning because you guys keep me on my toes! You are three beautifully different people and I have to re-learn how to live with you almost every day. I would love to go visit myself during my first year in college and say, "HEY! Pay attention to your relationship with this roommate, because you're going to have to figure this out MULTIPLE times in the future. Good luck."
Anyway, here are the things I'd want my 16 year old self to know:
1. Keep singing and keep writing. They are your gifts. Use them.
2. Learn how to pray for real. Supper time prayers and bedtime prayers and church prayers...they're all fine and good, but learn how to get low and let God in. Learn how to open your heart and be still.
3. Be nice to your mom. You need her more than you know right now, but you're REALLY going to need her down the road.
4. Don't buy all the body image crap the media is trying to sell you. And don't stand in the bathrooms at school trying to one-up your friends to see who can criticize themselves more. Everyone in that bathroom is fishing for compliments, which means they're really fishing for self-esteem. Here's the deal: you're totally good enough. Just the way you are and just the way you end up being.
5. Don't confuse fear with respect. Respect your relationships, emotionally and physically. Don't be afraid of them. Learn to speak with dignity and conviction. It is possible to be compassionate without being a pushover. It's hard, but it's possible.
6. Pay attention in driver's ed classes. You do not belong behind the wheel of a car.
7. Lean on those girlfriends, especially Ann. One day your daughters will run around together and it will blow your mind.
8. It's okay to make mistakes, but be brave enough to own up to them and learn from them. Don't run from them. You're not perfect and no one expects you to be. Listen to your parents and your teachers. They are not your enemies, they are your lamp posts on a foggy highway.
9. Your dreams and goals are worth it. Work hard.
10. Honey, let's talk about French class. You need to work harder in French. Work a LOT harder and become fluent. You're going to need it in order to talk to your in-laws, and to teach your kids to speak their father's first language!
There you have it. I think my 16 year old self already knew most of these things, deep down. But #10 would have made her faint. I am a lucky, lucky lady!