But I hope that the knowledge that I have amassed is enough helpful information that I can lead my girls down a better path than if I just let them try to navigate on their own.
1) Surround yourself with people who motivate you.
Let's face it. Some friends and family are giant leeches that suck every bit of life out of us. You don't need people like that in your life. If you do manage to succeed at something, these people usually don't care and will find it difficult to pat you on the back.
2) Wear what you like, not what other people think you should wear.
If you like yoga pants, wear them with pride. If you love sundresses, wear them on those warm days and rock those cute sandals. If you have a thing for skinny jeans, fine. I hate them but whatever floats your boat. If you have a thing for really big heels, walk carefully and strut your stuff. Wear what makes you happy, not what makes your friends happy.
Although if you want to look like a skank, maybe you should listen to
a friend or family member that tells you to cover up.
3) Never marry a man that cannot do anything for himself.
Seriously. I've been in relationships and seen other relationships through friendships that make me wonder about the men out there. I knew a guy, 21 years old at the time, that didn't know how to make a TV dinner. For real... he had no clue. His mother had babied the hell out of him his whole life and it left him lacking basic adult knowledge needed to live on his own. It was so sad. Find a man that can do laundry, clean, and cook for himself. They do exist. I married one. :)
4) Travel as much as you can.
Life is not meant to be lived in one place. Getting out of your city, your state, your region of the country, can open your eyes to so much more than what you've always known. This country is really beautiful and there's so much to do and see. Meeting people from different areas of the country, hearing different accents than your own... it's fun and you learn first hand how different we all are and how okay it is to be different. I recommended road trips since you can actually see the country from eye level and not just fly over it. If you have the opportunity to travel out of the country, take it!
5) Always apologize when you screw up... and do it as soon as possible.
Taking too much time to say you're sorry can destroy friendships. I have had it happen to me. If the person that you wronged means a lot to you, you should do everything you can to fix it. Now.
6) Don't let fear stop you from doing the things in life that can make you happy.
Fear is crippling. Sure, it's good to have a healthy fear of things so that you don't just jump without looking but letting too much fear guide you will leave you standing in one place and never getting to experience what life is all about.
7) You should always make time for those people in your life that you care about.
These days, it seems like everyone is sooo busy. Life is crazy sometimes and the clock doesn't stop ticking no matter how much is on your plate each day. But no matter what, you should always make time for the people you love. If you cannot manage to pick up your phone and send a text or call someone once in a while, then maybe that relationship doesn't mean as much as you like to say. With all of the different forms of communication that we have at our fingertips these days (FB, email, Twitter, texts, etc.) there's really no excuse to stay silent for too long. Note: I've been guilty of this before and I have tried very hard to correct it.
8) Date/marry someone that doesn't mind doing little things for you and do the same for them.
I used to live less than a mile from a gas station. The guy that I dated at that time would NEVER run there for me if I needed something. Never. Even if he was on his way out. It was nothing major but the fact that he wouldn't do simple little favors should have made me realize that he'd never be the kind of person that I'd want to marry. fast forward to the present: my husband has gone to the store at midnight before to get more butter when I was making cookies. Yeah, he's a gem. And no, that's not all that I love about him. He's a thoughtful person, plain and simple.
After I kept joking about going to Target just to get popcorn and an ICEE for months, one day when he ran there for some food, he came home with popcorn and an ICEE for me. He's just that nice.