To my gorgeous little girls,
I am sure that once you bloom into womanhood you’ll think of me as the most boring and out of touch person on the planet, aside from maybe your father. I doubt that you’ll take on board anything that I have to say but I’m sure that wont stop me saying it. I want you to know that your dull old mother had a whole other life once. I’ll spare you the details as I’d prefer you think of me as a total square. Young people need to have something to rebel against. Lets just say in the words of the great Frank Sinatra “regrets, I’ve had a few”.
I know you need to make your own mistakes and you are likely to make some that I haven’t even thought of yet. Nevertheless I’d like to save you the pain and the bother of repeating some of mine. Here are some things I’ve learned the hard way, in the hope that you won’t have to.
- There were many opportunities I did not take and chances that I missed. I look back in bemusement at the adventures I did not have due to teenage silliness but mostly fear. So girls, don’t be like your Mum. Be the exchange student, join that drama group, volunteer for that scientific expedition and learn all you can. Life is going offer you many joys on a platter, take them before they pass by. Most importantly dont let opportunities slip away because you think you’re not up to the task. Steel yourself and have a go. You will be surprised by what you can achieve.
- If you dont ask you wont get. So dont be afraid to speak up. Ask for what you want. The worst thing that can happen is that you’ll get no for an answer. If you keep asking you’ll eventually get a yes.
- Academic success is a definite advantage. It broadens your options but it is not the be all and end all. The world is littered with individuals achieved in school but suck at life. The most important thing is to have a clear goal and to take the necessary steps to achieve it.
- Figuring out what your goal is can be the hardest part. Try to find a vocation that you enjoy. It will make putting the time and effort necessary for success much easier. If find yourself in a role that isn’t giving you any satisfaction then either find a way out or focus on the positives and change it.
- Sure guys are super cute and they can be alot of fun but there are times in your life when they shouldn’t be your main focus. Please don’t short change yourself by wasting all your energy relationships that you probably won’t care about in a few years anyway.
- On that theme, if a guy wants to change anything about you, your looks, your dress sense , your attitudes or goals, he is not worth it. If he doesn’t accept you the way you are right now, he is never going to.
- I dont expect you to remain chaste until marriage, that would be deadly dull. I know that you’ll probably be swept up by the narcotic flush of attraction and fling caution to the wind. Having casual sex doesn’t make you a “slut” or a bad person but too much of it does erode your self respect. Also for the love of God – be careful!
- While sex is best within a stable dating relationship dont rush in. Take it slowly and get to know the person. It could save you considerable hassle in the long run.
- There seems to be two schools of thought about marriage. One is the “Carrie Bradshaw” mindset where you wait for your Mr Big and don’t settle for anything less than the “thunderbolt”. The second is the “settle for Mr Good Enough” because your Mr Perfect will never arrive. I don’t subscribe to either of these views. I believe that there’s certain elements that must be present in a marriage if its got any chance of surviving. They are respect, friendship, consideration, shared purpose and some level of physical chemistry. If the relationship hasn’t got all of these then don’t put a ring on it. Believe me, its hard waking up day, after day after day with the same person even if they are the most reasonable, easy going individual in the world.
- If you can find a man like your father you will have truly struck gold
My girls, right now you’re pure energy and spirit, untainted by the world. I watch your personality and talents take shape and feel a surge of pride. I know you’ll be strong and brave and I know you are kind. I have utter faith in you. Most importantly of all, whether you listen to your old Mum’s advice or not I’ll always be there for you.
Nothing but love always