Lately, I’ve been thinking about the kind of life lessons I’ve learned thus far.
I’ve wondered what kinds of tokens of wisdom I could bestow upon a little girl with my big brown eyes, and eyelashes long enough to carry her as far as she wishes to fly. What could I tell her to make her life a little easier so that she might not have to step on the hot coals herself?
If she’s anything like me, she’ll watch them dance with orange and blue flames and stand upon them, just to see how long she can. I’ve always been intrigued by the slightly feral. As a child, I bordered on wild and wandering, just as I’m sure any future child of mine will. So here’s some things I learned that I wish she’d take my word for (but probably won’t):
I learned that sometimes shoes are redundant, and the hot pavement stinging your feet or the splinters you get from climbing too high in your grandparents oak tree, is only one more reminder to crave the feeling of mindfulness and a need to gain a deeper connectivity to the world.
I learned that you don’t always need toys. Throw yourself into a cold bed of clovers with a book when the sun is at its peak in the sky, and you’ll realize what I mean when I say that books are hideaways.
I learned that your mind can be a strange place and you have to figure out how to navigate through thoughts of uncertainty to break them down until they are small enough to chew on.
I learned that making people laugh would always be my absolute favorite thing, and the intense desire to make people feel better, would always be the characteristic I admired most about myself. These mean more than the pretty face you paint on.
I learned that love is rare, not certain; that far too few give it away freely and when they do, it is often fleeting.
I learned that it’s best to hold your breath when burning bridges so you never choke on the ashes and embers.
I learned that homes are people, not places and it doesn’t matter if you’ve moved 12 times as long as the person unpacking boxes beside you feels like a white picket fence and cold lemonade on a Sunday afternoon.
On the contrary, I learned to be careful who you draw out blueprints for, some only want a rent by the night motel room with a barely lit sign, not the soulful Victorian with a wraparound porch.
I learned that someone’s simple brown eyes can quickly turn into liquid gold antidote and melt into all the right places of your heart.
I learned that those same orbs of honey and amber can make your stomach burn when they decide that your eyes aren’t the ones they want to look at anymore.
I learned that it is perfectly fine to cry in the bathtub when your mind is unsteady and your heart is broken, as long as you get out, dry yourself off, put on fresh pajamas, and go watch a TV show that makes you laugh until your sides hurt.
I learned that the biggest betrayal often come from those closest to you. Not everyone that is supposed to stay does, but there will be a person in your life that you will know with unshakable certainty, will never part from you.
I learned that there will be boys that try to minimize you to a bra size. If you’re anything like me, and lack in such area, say to hell with a bra and show off your unfailing confidence in spite of their attempt to stamp a cup size on who you are.
There will be grown men that will tell you that your words and opinions are not valid. Do not hold galaxies of perplex thoughts inside of yourself just because some are too feeble minded and intimidated by the power you possess.
I learned that you should never decrease your value because of someone else’s inability to pay what you’re appraised for.
I learned that it’s supposedly not ladylike to speak up but I say, sometimes you’re allowed to be a barefoot little banshee, and it’s okay to step on the toes of those who disrespect you.
I learned that you’re bigger than your body gives you credit for, so never shrink yourself so an oversized ego can fit in the room.
I hope to have many more important things to add to this list by the time I have a miniature me to share it with.
I will never hide the fact that my life has been one vulnerable, bloody, and brutal hunt of self-discovery after the other. I am only now just starting to grow into myself but at the same time, I’m realizing that not much has changed…I still like to go barefoot sometimes.