One never knows when children may grace their life, but I sure know what I hope to instill in mine! Today, I'm sharing the things I hope to teach my child whenever that day comes.
Of course, there's many things I hope to tell my child, many tidbits of wisdom to impart and tons of fun plans in the future that I want to share with them - these are just 9 of many!
HONESTY IS THE ONLY POLICY
I don't need to tell you this twice: honesty is the only policy. Just as I instill in our home, no matter what the circumstance, telling the truth is necessary. Hurting someone's feelings in the short-term is far better than devastating them later and encouraging resentment.
Don't lie about your discretions and don't lie about how you feel towards somebody or something. Live your life as an open book and people will greatly admire you for it.
DON'T LET OTHERS STOMP ALL OVER YOU
Unfortunately, your mother lived much of her young years with negative influences around her, whether it be incredibly ageist older women, mean girls in school, or "mentors" who claimed they had my best interests at heart, but would talk poorly behind my back.
Being such an honest and sentimental person like myself, it isn't uncommon that people take advantage of my kindness and transparency. In these situations, it is vital that you put your foot down and stop letting others stomp all over you! You are a true gem and you have unique talents to grace this world with. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.
BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF HISTORY
Please, for the love of God: be on the right side of history. Don't be a bigot, don't start saying "white privilege isn't a thing" or disrespecting the minorities around you. Love those less fortunate than you, who perhaps don't have families that love them unconditionally.
Be someone's friend, their lover, their mentor, their mother/father when they need you the most. We're all on this earth to share the journey and learn about life through one another's eyes. Marginalized individuals are the most beautiful people your mom ever met. Their stories are so full of color and triumph and are a true testament to the power of human resiliency.
While from your parents you are likely 1/4 Mexican and 1/8 African-American, and perhaps you will later declare you are part of the greater LGBTQ family like your mom, you have privilege. Your skin is light and depending on how you express your gender identity, you have a chance of being widely accepted by our society. Remember this in everything you do - if you join an activist movement for social justice and as you go through your daily life in public, at your job, as a citizen of the United States.
CHASE AFTER YOUR DREAMS - EVEN IF THEY'RE DEEMED "CRAZY"
When you find the one thing that you absolutely love, chase after it even if others call you crazy! Had I not gone after what I wanted in my career, I wouldn't have opened a successful business at age 21 or did what I wanted to do with my life. If I would've played it safe and picked a career path that was "secure" and "traditional", sure, perhaps the security would've been nice, but I would've been miserable and never known what could have been.
NEVER CHANGE YOURSELF FOR SOMEONE ELSE
No matter if in friendship or relationships, never change yourself because someone else wishes that you would. If this is a personality trait or a physical appearance trait, it doesn't matter. Never morph yourself into something or somebody else - YOU are awesome!
FIND SOMETHING THAT MAKES YOUR SOUL SING
Just like your mom LOVES blogging, social media, creative figure skating montaging and the Internet as a whole, I want you to find something that makes your soul sing! Find that one hobby or career path that ignites a fire within you and makes you say: "Now this is what I would do every day even if I didn't get paid for it!"
Having these one true loves, these beacons of light: they pull us through. No matter what hardships we're currently facing, we'll always have some of our favorite things.
PLEASE, CHALLENGE THE WAY I THINK
Okay, I don't mean that you should challenge me on dessert before dinner! Challenge your mom (and other authority, to an extent) on the way that she thinks. Challenge how I see the world, what my "normal" is and share with me your sense of "normal".
It's okay that we don't think or live exactly the same. My parents were Atheist, my mom never wore makeup and my family as a whole never valued close connections the way I did. I chose to live differently: I cultivated positive relationships with my partners' families (and some of my family - at least what I could salvage!), I became enthralled by the art of makeup / fashion and I found a connection with God after a tough childhood of bullying and ridicule.
I want you to feel comfortable enough to live to the beat of your own drum. Go forth!
SELF CARE IS ABOVE ALL
Your mom has gone through a LOT with her physical and mental health throughout life, and finally recognized that self care is so, so important. Please don't let your health suffer before you realize how necessary self love and patience is. Start this from the get-go.
Self care includes enjoying a hot bath or spa day every once in awhile, quality time for journaling, blogging or music, maybe even seeing a certified therapist. It also means eating healthy (and still splurging sometimes, because who doesn't love a cupcake!?) and developing a consistent exercise regimen.
WHEN IN DOUBT, LAUGH!
The best lesson that my dad taught me is this: when in doubt, laugh! I am a big proponent of laughter as the best medicine. Whether this is simply watching a stand-up comic or some of your favorite YouTube videos, don't forget that laughter is always there, even when your life feels like it's coming crashing down.
And finally, as Dev Patel's character Sonny in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" would say:
"Everything is all right in the end.
If it is not all right, it is not yet the end."
What lessons do you hope to impart / are imparting on your child?
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BLOGGER: KATHRYN COFFMAN
Kathryn is the lead contributor + founder at FashionablyFrank.com. Obsessed with leading a life of balance, she started the blog in 2013. Since graduating from The Evergreen State College (Washington) in 2016, she is now a digital marketing specialist through her business, Fashionably Frank Marketing. She believes a cup of coffee is the answer to all of life's problems + that all women should strive to embrace a #girlboss mantra.