You’ve left my warm, comfy nest. I understand. It was time. But in the wee hours of your independent and autonomous lives, when you least expect it, I know you will hear my voice. As you sip your lattes, and walk to class, you will think of me, and I hope those thoughts are met with a bit of a smile (after the slight wince and slow head shake, of course).
It took me a whole mama lifetime to become an expert. I earned every tidbit of wisdom I offer you as you make your way in the world. Doling out heartfelt advice is my job. It’s what I do. So, listen up.
Use your gifts. Use your sharp wit, your tender heart, your fierce talent, and your innate grace.
Be your own person. You were born to be who you are.
Know when to listen so that others can speak.
Know when to speak so that others will listen.
An “inside” voice is preferred most of the time.
You don't always have to be right. Seriously, take it from me.
Words matter. They matter more than you think.
You're allowed to change your mind. It's not against the law.
Know when to be stubborn, and when to give in.
Ask for what you want. Don't expect other people to know what you want.
Being rude is completely unnecessary. As is sarcasm. You're smarter than that.
Take care of your adult self the same way you would take care of a baby. We all need coos and snuggles.
And listen to the child within your heart. Trust that little one with the soft voice who always seems to know what's best for you.
Cultivate what you love and do it. Yes, every day.
Stop scowling. So what if they got your order wrong? That's not an actual problem. Plus, your face might freeze like that.
Become financially independent. Pay your own way.
Avoid the credit card trap. Credit cards will clip your wings.
Navigate change head on, like a warrior. Warriors are brave, and so are you.
Write your dreams on a piece of paper. Keep that paper close.
Read what you wrote down over and over again.
Read your dreams so much that they rise up off the paper and it hurts not to hold them in your hands.
Make lists. Lists help you get shit done.
Laughter soothes most ails. It is medicine for your soul.
Once in a while, veer from the path, even if you scratch your legs and trip over a few rocks.
Release your emotions. Release them to make room for more. This will keep you healthy.
Stop over-loading the washing machine. Please. Just stop.
Talk to someone about what scares you. Let someone, anyone, know what makes you afraid.
Because expression weakens fear.
Kindness is always an option. Consider it first.
Truth is your ticket to freedom. And that ticket will never expire.
It’s all fun and games, until someone gets hurt.
Shed some light on your darkest corners. Those corners need to be swept clean. And I'm not talking about your apartment. Okay, maybe I am.
Don't expect to be good at anything unless you practice.
Here's something: practice being grateful. And yes, remembering to be grateful takes practice.
Read To Kill A Mockingbird and The Catcher in the Rye and The Call of the Wild more than once. Make that more than twice.
Always lend a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on. Hands and shoulders are the MVP's of all friendships.
Don't let anyone rush your decisions. Decisions require thinking, unless you are jumping out of an airplane. If you're jumping out of an airplane, don't think at all. Just close your eyes and say a prayer and don't ever tell me about it. Got that?
Follow adventure. Adventure leads to some of your happiest moments. And those moments, (the ones where you follow your heart and tell your head to be quiet), become your backstory. Make your backstory count as you move forward in your blessed, beautiful life.
One day you’ll thank me.
If you forget everything I’ve ever said, don’t ever forget that I love you. And do try to remember that mama needs some love back once in a while.
That’s your cue to call me.
Kimberly Valzania practices mindful gratefulness. She is creatively driven to write about and share her personal experience and opinions on weight loss, fitness, life changes, adventures in parenting, day-to-day triumphs (and failures), and the truth-seeking struggle of simply being human. As words tumble out, they are sorted into cohesive piles and delivered via poetry and short essays. Her articles are featured on Scary Mommy, Rebelle Society, The Elephant Journal, BonBon Break, The Minds Journal, The Manifest-Station, and Imperfect Parent. Read more at her website eatpraypost.com.