These, my love, are a few things that you ought to know.
Read the news, all of it. The parts that you disagree with. Those parts will grow you. Read the news, even if it’s crap. It is knowledge, and it is shared by other humans who you will undoubtedly need. Knowledge is power. Remember that. Also, read books. Every day. Read, read, read, if you are lucky enough to know how.
Get a sense of direction, you don’t want to be the person who says, “I’m just not good at it.” That is bullshit, you can learn to be good at anything. Buy a compass, put your phone away, look at a map. Ask a stranger. You will go nowhere if you do not know where you want to go.
Learn early on, that “TR,” means “Thursday” on a schedule. Go to those classes. Listen, take notes, or at the very least, show up. Life is one big follow-up.
Learn how to throw a punch, and deflect one. Then, learn how to use your words, and how to use silence. Both are powerful. Pick your battles, young one, because enough will pick you along the way. The one thing you should know is that you do not have to show up to every argument you are invited to.
Tell time universally, a bubble does not let your roots grow. Learn how to leave a good tip. If you can afford to be there, you can afford to tip. Say thank you, often. Do not, however, use “thank you” and “sorry” interchangeably. “Save your sorry’s for something sad,” your aunt would say.
Do not be boring, on your own account. The world is vast and there are so many topics of interest out there; you are sure to find one that ignites your spirit. Drawing, music, bowling, chess, nature, knitting, photography, sports, theatre. There are also seven billion people in the world, go meet some of them. And if you don’t like the ones you meet, or they don’t treat you right, leave them graciously and go find some new ones.
Good relationships will mean a good life. You will be the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. That can be an incredible and terrifying thing. Choose wisely. No matter your status, power, place in the world; you are a human being, and you have the power to choose. There are no excuses for surrounding yourself with negativity. You attract who you are, not who you want.
Show up for the people who are good to you. Keep showing up, even when it’s hard. Do not insult those people who love you by wasting your energy on people who do not. That will be hard, remember that. Show up for yourself.
Pet dogs, be kind to animals. Carve something, paint a wall, build a model. Learn to play chess and at least one card game. Take a pottery class, throw something as far as you can. Work a landscaping job one summer. Take risks, tell the truth, cook something different. Learn how to jump a car and change a tire, but ride your bike more than you drive. Dance when everyone is watching.
Learn when to give up and start over, when to ask for help, and when to keep going.
I will always love you, unconditionally, uninterrupted, and truthfully. I will always be in your corner.
Go and become and do not let anyone stop you.