Every year that I place another candle on my birthday cake I find myself pondering even more about death.
I mean, I’ve always thought about death a lot. I suppose that happens when your mom flings up to the heavens in your 20’s. Or your dad is rockin’ that old age and dementia. Or maybe I was just born with some weird gene that makes me think about death and dying more than others.
I don’t really know.
What I do know is because I think about how I’m going to live my life through the lens of truly understanding and taking in that any moment can be my last – I’m motivated differently.
And with that motivation comes a deep yearning to pass any knowledge or wisdom I have up in ma’brain to my daughter – before I go tits up (that’s The Vic’s way of saying dead).
It’s so funny to be soaking up my daughter at her age right now, especially when we have random conversations about life while I’m sitting on the pot and she’s taking a shower.
Who knew an 8-year-old could be so deep?
After our chat sessions I’m usually left thinking, “Damn I need to write this down!”
So here I am writing this stuff down.
Here’s a few nuggets for my daughter and anyone else really.
What I Want My Daughter to Know About Life
• You don’t have to be strong all the time. Fierce + flexible has become my mantra.
• However, choose wisely who you’re vulnerable with – make damn sure that person(s) can hold a safe space for you.
• Friends can be your family, too. And when you have that – nurture the hell out of it because not everyone experiences that in their life or even lifetime.
• Take full responsibility for YOU. Examine everything in your life – all decisions and actions taken on your end. Never start with blaming someone else; see yourself first and then unravel what could have been done differently so not to repeat that in the future.
• Forgive yourself – and others – often.
• Be vigilant of your surroundings. Take your darn headphones out of your ears when walking alone somewhere – especially at night. Look around and in your car before getting in it and then lock the doors as soon as your ass is in the vehicle. Park in a well-lit area at night. Walk with a purpose when alone – almost like you have the strength to take on a pack of wolves if it came down to it.
• Don’t watch crime shows before bed; only when the sun is out and not every noise will send you wanting to call the police.
• Stay off social media as long as possible. And if you do join that digital space, don’t let it define who you are. Remember how you feel after you leave an app – if you feel worse after scrolling or conversing on the Interwebs, stay the hell away. You get to control your thumb and what you click on.
• Listen to your body. Eat real food. And give your liver a break in your 20’s, ok?
• Any person you’re in a relationship with will never fulfill your every need/desire, etc. and they shouldn’t. That’s why you have friends, family, work, travel and yourself to nurture so many aspects of your soul. And a good margarita.
• As The Vic (your nonno) says, “Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear.” Keep that zinger in mind.
• Make truth your default setting. Tell the truth as often as possible. The more you do it, the easier it’ll become.
• Trying to figure people out is exhausting. Read a book instead. Or figure your own self out.
• Learn the Serenity Prayer and refer to it often.
• Show up. Moment by moment. That’s where the magic is, Baby Girl. Trust me on that one.
• Get your teeth cleaned every six months.
• Don’t try to win an argument with someone who thinks they’re right.
• Drink a shit-ton of water every day. I love mine with a squeeze of Meyer lemon.
• Get lost in a bookstore.
• Travel frequently – even if it’s just getting out of town for a night – that can do wonders for the head and heart.
Most of all, Baby Girl, say “I love you” and give those smooches and squeezes to the ones you love every time you greet or leave them.
You truly don’t know if that’s the last time you’ll see them, but I always tell myself it is…
So, I squeeze tight, express gratitude and say “I love you” a million times – because why not?
Love + Living,
Keli (yo mama)