I’m 20. And even if women my age are already starting to settle down and looking forward to having a family of their own, the thought of having kids still terrifies me. Maybe it’s not really the thought of having kids, but the thought of the endless responsibilities that come with it.
However, if I do decide that I’m finally ready to have children of my own, here are fifteen lessons I’ve learned and would like to impart to them:
1. You don’t have to follow what society dictates you to do or be. If a 9-5 job isn’t for you, don’t settle for it just because you think it’ll make you successful. Find your passion, believe in yourself, and chase your dreams fearlessly.
2. The world can be a cruel place, but you don’t have to add to it. Be kind, and treat every individual with equal respect.
3. Don’t be afraid to be called “feminist.” Because feminism isn’t just about women’s rights. A feminist is someone who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of sexes. So fight for it, stand up for it, and practice it.
4. If you feel down, pray. If you feel lost, pray. Because even if your dad and I are no longer there, God will always be by your side. He’s been with us through thick and thin, and He’ll be there looking after you, too.
5. Your dad might not fully agree to this, but read as many books as you can. Educate yourself, open your mind to endless possibilities, and don’t stop growing because the world won’t stop evolving.
6. There’s no right or wrong age to start dating. Just make sure that if you do get into a relationship, it’s with someone you’re truly in love with, someone you see yourself growing with, and someone who loves and respects you and us more than anything else.
7. Falling in love might be easy, but staying in love isn’t. It’s just about finding someone worth going through all the ups and downs for.
8. No one deserves to be in a relationship filled with physical, verbal, or any form of abuse or disrespect. So when that happens, don’t be afraid to walk away. Remember, you deserve nothing but the best this world can give. Don’t settle for anything less.
9. You’ll get hurt a lot of times. But no matter what happens, don’t lose faith in love.
10. Accept that your partner might have a completely different opinion than yours, and that’s OK. Learn to respect it.
11. Travel as far as you can, get to know the locals, taste their cuisines, and open your mind to various cultures. The world is your guidebook, honey.
12. Do your research beforehand and try to minimize costs as much as you can. Travel doesn’t have to be crazy expensive.
13. Discover every city, every country, at your own pace. There’s nothing more beautiful than being able to fully immerse yourself in every experience.
14. Don’t be afraid to get lost.
15. Inspire others to travel, too. Because hey, what’s better than exploring every inch of this marvelous world?