People always say “Be yourself.” That’s good advice but really what does it mean? I think it’s easier to explain what it DOESN’T mean:
When you’re being yourself you’re not pretending to be interested in something or someone you’re not.
You’re not doing something just to please someone else (or just to tick them off.) You’re not wearing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. You’re not pretending to have fun when you’re not having fun. You’re not trying to impress anyone. You’re not trying to fade into the background. You’re not trying to change anything about yourself or someone else.
I think that’s a good start. What does “being yourself” mean to you?
I wish you had known my father he was such a good man gentle and loving. One early memory I have of him is that one night in our neighborhood I was hit by a bike - a boy was riding his bike and road up on the sidewalk and ran right into me. The bike hit me in the face with the handlebars and I was knocked down before I knew what happened. My father scooped me up and carried me back home. I was crying the whole time. the funny thing is I don't remember the pain, but I very clearly remember being in his arms and hearing the clip clop clip clop of his shoes. It was an after dinner walk - he was still in his suit from work and he had his loafers on and made a clip clop on the sidewalk I will never forget the feeling of being carried in his arms as he hurried back to the house to take care of me. I was in pain but I knew I would be OK.
I miss him very much and I wish you knew him.
Say it early and repeat it often, so that it sinks way down deep: There is nothing you could do to make me stop loving you. No mistake, no failure, no decision, nothing. There is no hole so deep that if you fell into it I wouldn’t climb down to help you out of. I love you no matter what.
That uneasy, uncomfortable or even downright painful feeling you get when you’re faced with something that challenges you ... resist the urge to run away from it. Take a breath and just sit with it for a minute. That feeling you’re feeling is growth. Growth always hurts a little bit. Give yourself a beat to get adjusted before you decide if you want to stay or turn back.
I hope you don’t have to struggle with your weight. For me it’s been a lifelong battle. Some things I learned are: Listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. Eat as many vegetables as possible. Ignore the scale and focus on other goals, ones that are in your control such as how long you can run (or dance, or row, etc.) Reading a book instead of plopping down in front of the tv with a bowl of ice cream, saying “no thanks” to a treat. Focusing on pounds lost or gained is deflating. Stay in good shape for as long as you can! Make your health a priority. It’s much harder to get in shape than to stay in shape.
Kids make fun, it’s not nice but they just do. Just blow it off if kids make fun of you got something silly. They’ll drop it if they don’t get a ride out of you.
... But bullying is different. If kids are being mean, threatening or scary, tell me and your teacher.
A lesson from author Tom Zumba. I hope you’ll never need it:
“There is nothing
easy about this thing called grief.
But I ask you to please
more often than you say no.
Say yes to you.
Please choose the light
more often than you choose the darkness.
Not that there aren't gifts in the darkness.
But it's often so much easier to find them
in the light.
Do all you can to stay in the light.
Please remember that the person you love
Don't forget that.
Here with you.
And your relationship continues.
Don't be so overwhelmed
and pissed off
that he died
that she died
that you spend most of your time
focusing on their death.
Focus on your life.
Say yes as often as you can.
Choose light as often as you can.
Remember that he lived as often as you can.
Don't lose her in the details of her death.
This thing called grief is hard
But you are stronger than you think.
His book is called Permission to Mourn
Gambling is a very tricky thing. It can get out of hand easily because of how the brain works. That initial “rush” of excitement starts to burn pathways, and causes chemical reactions that need to be fed more and more. Before you know it you’re gambling more often and with more money, trying to achieve that rush. Be very, very careful with gambling.
Gambling casinos and online gaming know this and they exploit it to make TONS of money. It’s a scam. Avoid gambling all together or step away very early.
Talk about “don’t judge a book by its cover.”
People come in all shapes, sizes, appearances. “Clean cut” is an outdated and misleading notion. Be open to who people are on the inside, they’re pretty amazing if you give the a chance.