1. What Susie says about Sally, says a lot more about Susie than it does Sally.
Girls will be girls will be girls will be girls. When I was in middle school, I had a “best friend.” I clearly remember one night my dad told me, “You guys won’t be best friends by the time you walk across the stage at graduation.” I said back, “Dad, we will always be best friends. Nothing can change that.” Unfortunately, my dad was completely right. By the time graduation rolled around, it made me sick to even look at my “best friend” from back in the day. Girls are mean. For some it’s a stage, for others it’s a lifestyle. You cannot control what they say about you, but you can control how you respond. Silence is the best weapon. From someone who’s been there, trust me, no response is the best response.
2. When you’re upset, stay away from your cell phone.
Nobody ever says anything nice when they’re mad, sad, or hurt. Nobody ever posts anything nice on social media, either. If you need to vent, write it down on a piece of paper and throw it away. You’ll still get if off your chest, but your hurtful words won’t linger in the aftermath. There’s no sense in giving someone else the power of getting the best of you. When you wake up in the morning, don’t check your phone for a text that probably won’t be there. Get out of bed and stay away from the phone. I am aware that this is much easier said than done, but I’ve been there, and hurtful words won’t make the hurtful actions disappear. Breathe in, breathe out, move on.
3. You are more than your body.
When a boy tries to have sex with you, it’s not because he thinks you have a really nice personality. He likes what he sees, and that’s the only thing on his mind. The attention might make you feel good, but seriously, respect yourself. I don’t care if “all the other girls are doing it,” you won’t be. Sleeping around only makes you popular in the locker room. It’s not cool, and it doesn’t make you anymore of a grown up. It won’t gain you any friends, in fact, you’ll probably lose some. Never give a part of yourself away to someone who doesn’t deserve it. You are valuable, and you are more than your body. Boys will say anything, and some of them will make it sound really nice. Be intelligent enough to differentiate between love and lust. If you find yourself questioning their intentions for even a moment, walk away. YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT.
4. I know you’re not really sick.
You’re either avoiding someone at school, avoiding a test at school, or avoiding waking up. I practically wrote the book on excuses to get out of school. You’re not fooling me, even though I’m sure you’ll put on quite the production trying to convince me otherwise if you’re anything like me. It may seem easier to lay around the house for the day and hide from the world, but avoiding what you don’t want to face typically just makes it harder. Also, things are never as bad as they seem. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and be thankful for another day; you are blessed.
5. You will get your heart broken, and it will hurt.
Boyfriends sound like a lot more fun than they actually are. Sure it’s fun to have someone to go see that new movie with, someone to pay for your meals, and someone who makes you feel special. You’re not going to believe me when I tell you that dating in high school is a waste of time, but I wish you would. When you find your first love, you will feel on top of the world. Seriously, you will feel like you’re floating on clouds. You’ll think you’ve found the one, trust me, I KNOW. I am begging you to not get so caught up in him that you forget how to make yourself happy, by yourself. Once you venture down the road of depending on him for happiness, it’s a long way back. Your first love won’t be your only love, but the breakup will rock your world. It’s okay to cry, it’s okay to be sad. It’s not okay to feel like you weren’t enough. It will take time, and it might take a lot of time, but it will get better.
6. When you find “your person,” don’t lose them.
When it comes to your person, just say you’re sorry. There’s going to be someone who can finish your sentences, tell you the truth when you don’t want to hear it, and stand by you when you make really stupid decisions. This person is more than your best friend, they are your person. I have my person, and I’d be lost without her. We’ve gone months without talking, more than once I may add, because we’re too alike for our own good. Do not make this mistake, just say you’re sorry. You’re going to have other really good friends, too. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate their friendship; they are important, too. But your person will connect with you on a different level. They will understand you when you don’t understand yourself, and you will form a bond that nothing can break. It is possible to find a soulmate in someone other than the person you marry, and it’s pretty awesome.
7. It’s okay to stay home.
You aren’t lame for choosing your bed over a party on a Friday night. There will be other parties, and I promise you aren’t missing much. It’s okay that you want to be alone. It’s okay to stay home and watch movies. It’s okay that you’re not in the mood to go out. It’s okay.
8. If they miss you, they’ll do something about it.
Still hung up on that break up? It takes time. “But Mom, I really love him.” I’m sure you do. I know that nothing I say will take away the hurt, but my arms will always be wide open, and I’ll keep plenty of Kleenex boxes in stock. I know what it feels like. I’ll make you an ice cream sundae, but I’ll understand when you don’t have the appetite to eat it. I will tell you this, if he misses you, he will do something about it. Because if he’s missing you and doing nothing, he’s not the one. Even if he finds the courage to say he misses you, it’s okay to not want him back. Your heart will heal. Do not settle. You’ll make a million excuses for him, I know. But please remember this; if he wants to be with you, he will prove it.
9. People make mistakes, especially the people you love.
I will make mistakes, so will your dad, so will your brother or sister, so will your friends. Your teachers and coaches will make mistakes, too. Everyone will make mistakes. You will make them, too, lots and lots as a matter of fact. Do not stop loving people when they screw up. The people you love and that love you will probably make some of the worst mistakes. Learn to forgive, especially if you expect others to forgive you. Part of growing is making mistakes. Part of loving is forgiving. My dear, the ugliest people are the ones who do not know how to forgive. Don’t carry around grudges, and always, ALWAYS, be the bigger person.