This week marks 12 years since my grandmother passed away. I remember being heartbroken because she was one of my favorite people ever, but it’s only been in recent years — since I’ve been in my twenties — where I actively miss her and the advice I know she would of given me as I entered into adulthood. Even though she’s gone, I often think of the things she (probably inappropriately) told me when I was a kid that I still hold onto today; and in honor of her, I decided to share them with you. Also, according to pop culture black grandma’s are the wisest people on the planet so…
1. “Life is too short for weak coffee, weak men, or weak martinis”
She would usually follow this up by saying, “don’t be a pussy” which I still believe is very solid life advice. If you’re going to do something, do it all the way, don’t settle for something half-assed. Go big or go home.
2. “Never apologize for being you.”
Know who you are and then don’t be sorry about it. Simple. I basically always took this as her telling me to have integrity which is an incredibly hard lesson for a lot of people to learn.
3. “Everybody’s got shit.”
My grandmother had a pretty tough life so she always wanted me to understand not to judge people, or let other people judge me. Because I internalize everything she would also often remind me not to judge myself too harshly because everyone has a past and makes mistakes. Some people have more, some people have less but everybody has something.
4. “Take care of the people who take care of you.”
Like many grandma’s, my grandma was a nurse so she taught me a lot about how to show respect to people who’s job it is to help you. That’s not just nurses but servers, teachers, police officers; the people whose job it is to make your life easier deserve to be treated as such because they don’t get paid nearly enough for the many things they have to put up with.
5. “Don’t be ashamed to have high expectations.”
She would always preface that statement with, “it’s not your fault if people can’t meet your expectations, that’s their problem.” It’s okay to want high quality things. It doesn’t make you a bad person for wanting something to be better.
6. “You are worth every penny.”
She used to tell me this before she would buy me something terribly expensive and unnecessary because she always wanted me to understand that if I didn’t think I was worth it, no one else would. This has also contributed to the fact that in 24 years of life I never once thought I was worthless. Be good to yourself, you’re worth it.
7. “Disappointment builds determination.”
When I was little I was prone to pouting and it use to drive my grandmother crazy. She use to always tell me this when she saw me pouting because she wanted me to understand that life is full of disappointing things but pouting accomplishes nothing. You can either sulk or you can do something about it, nothing is solved by doing nothing.
8. “If all else fails just say, fuck it.”
You can only ever do the best you can. Sometimes thats good enough for other people and sometimes that’s not. But if you’ve truly done 110% and it’s still not enough for your boss, or your boyfriend/girlfriend, or whomever just say ‘fuck it’ and let it go. Some things are worth being continuously stressed, worried, and anxious about, but most things are not and at some point you have to realize what’s important to you and the rest – well, you know.