If you're a regular here at Adventures you'll notice that I've tackled this subject a few times, in my first blog, in my subsequent Girl Blog posts 1 & 2, and my rants about being treated like an object, and there are more than just the ones I've linked here. Some might think that I'm repeating myself, or maybe call me a self indulgent feminist, or a ball busting frigid bitch. I don't know... I don't particularly care. I will continue to post what is in my heart and mind until the world has changed for the better, so as long as we coast along the status quo prepare yourselves for a loud, opinionated, independent woman. Consider yourselves duly warned.
Lessons for the New Generation of Women
- Learn to love and respect yourselves, because no one else will if you don't. If you allow others to walk all over you they will. It isn't always easy to be strong and to stand up for yourselves, but it is worth the fight.
- Be independent. This doesn't mean you shouldn't have someone helping you carry the load some times. Relationships are fantastic when they're healthy, but you should never depend on someone for your survival. Get an education, learn how to balance your checkbook, be able to cook your own meals, and pay your own bills. Forever isn't guaranteed and if that person you depended suddenly isn't there anymore it'll be easier to pick up the pieces and move on if you already have the skill sets in place.
- Be an active participant in life. If something bothers you speak out against it. If something speaks to your heart and inspires you, be vocal for it. Don't let things pass you by because you don't think you can make a difference, you'll be surprised at the sound one tiny voice can make.
- Love your sisters, and not just the biological ones. I know I've written about this before, and I probably will again, but when life gets you down there is no one in life that has your back more than a good girlfriend. She understands the emotions you're dealing with and how sometimes you just need someone to sit next to you to feel better. She understands the need for silence as much as the need to scream. Men can be fantastic support systems for the women they love, but they don't always understand that it takes more than a minute to be okay and that sometimes you have to cry and be angry before you get back to being your normal self. Your girls will understand because they have been there.
- Don't let your dreams be trampled on. So many times I see woman give up things that they love for other's hopes and dreams... or even worse because they feel their dreams aren't logical. Maybe your dream was to be the next American Idol, but you can't carry a tune in a bucket...that doesn't mean you should stop singing all together. Sing your heart out whenever you get the chance. Maybe you wanted to be an artist, but your work isn't selling and you need to pay the bills, so go get that job that will keep your bank account in the black, but make sure you have the time to create, even if it's just for yourself. I think we've all gotten lost from time to time, but if you don't figure out some sort of outlet to make yourself happy and content you'll just be filled with resentment and that's no way to live life.
- Don't be afraid of your mistakes. Nothing teaches you how to grow and be better than falling down a few times. Every scar has it's own story, you can choose to heal or to pick at the scabs and bleed forever. Failing builds more character than winning, and it's best to learn early in life how to deal with sadness and defeat than to have life kick you in the teeth as an adult and to not know how to deal.
- Develop a good poker face and never let your enemies see you sweat. This world is tough, you have to be tougher. I'm not saying emotions are bad and should be hidden, but sometimes reading a situation and thinking about your reaction can help you out more than a spontaneous outburst.
- It's not shameful to ask for help. This doesn't counter my independence stance at all, it's impossible to do everything and to please everyone. There are occasions where you need to call in for back up, to delegate, and to take off your superwoman cape and to let someone else save the day. This doesn't mean you're weak or incapable, just that you're strong and smart enough to know when to say "enough is enough."
- Define yourself.... even if you haven't figured life out yet. Be comfortable in your own skin, it's the only one you're ever going to get. If you don't want people to think of you as a "mean girl" don't be a mean girl. You don't want to be seen as a doormat? Don't let people walk all over you. It's not always as easy as that, but if you want to be perceived (or don't want to be) as a certain type of person you have to figure out a way to become that person.
- Check your baggage at the door. This is super hard, not even going to try to deny it, but if you don't let the new people in your life speak for themselves and are constantly comparing them to people of your past (good or bad) you'll never get to really know the person standing in front of you.
- No one is entitled to anything. Ever. Grow up, get a job and be responsible, just because you want something doesn't make it yours until you earn it. Same thing with people, just because you want someone (or they want you) you have to earn your place in their life (or they have to earn a place in yours). It isn't hard to get that spot, be kind, be honest and trustworthy, be supportive when someone needs you, be a good friend.
I'll leave you with this today, there is no bigger insult than someone telling you that you're boring and forgettable. Make your mark and carve your name in the history of the world.