Today’s Top 3 Things I Would Like to Tell My Daughter Going into Adulthood:
1. Never lose your dignity over a love affair. Love is both marvelous and maddening at the same time. It comes with a gamut of emotions, and not all of them are always good ones. Because of this, not all relationships last or are meant to be. You will most likely go through many of them before you find someone who is right for you. But no matter how much everyone is looking for that one person — The One, your soulmate, your End All/Be All — it doesn’t change the fact that every relationship that ends is sad and hurts, even if you’re the one who ends it. Goodbyes are always so hard. When this happens, you MUST grieve. Grieving is a very critical component to recovery and healing. When you were little, I always told you that “crying takes the hurt out of you, so it’s alright to cry”. (Do you remember that song?) I am a huge, huge, huge advocate for the medicinal affects of a real good cry. And it’s okay to let other people see you cry; this just means that they know how you truly feel and the truth is good for everyone to know. Everyone does it. Crying is a sign of bravery, not weakness. Yet, there are many stages of grieving: shock, denial, hurt, pain, sadness, despair, anger, and then in many people (and please never be this way!) revenge. During all these stages, in whatever order they happen, it is okay to “Grieve”, but don’t lose your dignity. No matter how hard you try, there will always be something you do in utter disbelief, and shock, and hurt, that will be somewhat desperate — it is human nature to fight for what we want, even if we have to lose ourselves in it for a moment. But only for a *moment*. Someone who once truly cared about you will understand this, and hopefully never shame you for it. However, after about two weeks, if nothing has changed in that person’s heart or yours, and you’ve said and done all those things that may have resulted in a positive outcome, than do the rest of your grieving alone or with a close friend or family member (for as long as I’m on this earth, I will ALWAYS be there for you and with you). Do NOT sacrifice your dignity for someone who has chosen NOT to be with you. I know it’s hard; you miss them, they were your confidante for so long, you couldn’t possibly fathom that missing someone could hurt *this* bad, but you will one day regret your actions if you let your emotions overrule your pride. I promise you this. You may not think so when you so desperately want to be seen and heard (or to see and hear them), but one day in the not so distant future you will wince and feel foolish. I promise. There comes a time that the public grievance becomes an awkward display for everyone who witnesses it. Your emotions are real. Your heartache is real. But so is your self-respect. Walk away after you’ve tried — a day, a week, 2 weeks, max — with the knowledge that you have a long journey ahead of you, but that person has already moved on. You can spend whatever time you need to spend crying on the couch. You can wander around the house with a box of tissues exhausting every sad song that’s ever brought you to the ugly cry. You can have as many friends over and drink as many bottles of wine as you need to feel support and numbness (once you’re 21, of course ). You can get back in your bootstraps and pack up every last ounce of evidence that person ever existed. You can get a punching bag, send bitching chat conversations back and forth with your long distance best friend (or me, once again, always). You can completely change your hairstyle, get a tattoo, go out clubbing, rearrange the furniture, eat more ice cream in one weekend than Ben & Jerry will eat in their lifetime (combined); but DO NOT EVER surrender your dignity by continuing to reach out to the relationship partner that is causing all these things above. Chances are, they may miss you, too, but never assume that. Assume exactly what their actions tell you. The one thing I know for sure: It is better to be alone than to be with someone who doesn’t love you. And I also know that sometimes life surprises you for the bad, but sometimes it surprises you for the good. Just when you think you could never love that way again… Sometimes someone shows up to make you realize that what you *thought* was love didn’t have an inch on the love you thought you could never top. Just don’t lose your head when you lose love. Love yourself more.
2. Never get too big or too old for kid fun. The reason our lives together have been so much fun is because I never just watched cartoons because you wanted to. I never did whacky dances in the kitchen, while I was cooking, because it made you laugh. I never collected children’s books and toys because I just wanted to give them to you. I never read Francesca Lia Block because it was what you check out at the library, or made my Twizzlers into straws at the movies because you thought that was fun. I never took you to theme parks because you liked roller coasters, or risked getting kicked out of the ball pit because you asked me to come in with you. I did ALL OF THESE THINGS before you were even born, and would have had you never been graced to me. YOU, Baby Doll, just made it all that more fantastically fun! I never knew I could love life more than I did when you came into my life, became my sidekick (or the other way around, actually), and my very best friend. You may think that it’s normal that your mom has a massive collection of plastic dinosaurs that sit in the back window of her car, or that all kids have weekly Rock Out Parties with their mom and do stage splits off the couch with toy guitars. You might think it’s just regular stuff when your mom wears a Wonder Woman t-shirt WITH a cape as civilian clothes, or that she screams the loudest and laughs the hardest when she goes down the Slip-n-Slide because she put baby oil all over her body beforehand. I am sure this is normal and regular for a lot of families throughout the world, but if you haven’t already figured it out yet, there are just as many who stop being kid-like and doing kid stuff once they “grow up”. Never stop going go-cart racing, tree climbing, roller skating, or down the slide. Never sit anything out. Never think you’re “too big for that”. I’ve been kicked off more things at Chuck E. Cheese than the Superbowl has kick off parties! Just because it’s says “For Ages 6+” doesn’t mean that “+” doesn’t mean you! All I can say is that being young at heart can be acted out. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks of you. If nothing else, children will LOVE YOU, and truthfully… I’ve always liked kids and animals more than “adults” ( <– they never seem to know as much. )
3. As Sylvia Plath said, “There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” This is one of the best places to read, by candlelight, with a lovely mug of tea and a fizzy bath bomb.
… Oh, and, I love you bunches and bunches of O’s!
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~ Heather Angelika
Founder/Owner of Gallant Girls