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100 Things Every Girl Should Know

100 Things I Want My Daughter to Know as She Grows Up

The other day, I went for a walk with my daughter and we wound up in my friend's garage, just talking with a couple people. This friend had never met her before and immediately pointed out that she looks nothing like me. I wasn't offended—she doesn't. Aside from her bright red hair, we look nothing alike. He then commented that she might not look like me but maybe she would act like me. My immediate reaction was to say, "I hope not!" But he looked at me and shook his head and said it wouldn't be a bad thing if she did. Thanks for that. I started to think about it and I realized, he's right. It wouldn't be a bad thing if she turned out like me. But there's a couple things I want her to know before she does. And a few things that every girl should keep in mind as she grows up:

  1. There is nothing in this world that you can do that will make me not love you. I may get angry with you, even now, but my anger will NEVER overpower my love for you.
  2. You cannot and will not please everyone. Someone is going to be disappointed with your actions and that's okay.
  3. When fighting with friends, never bring up their secrets. It's okay to fight, but never break the trust someone has in you.
  4. Let yourself cry. You don't have to be strong all the time.
  5. There are so many what-ifs in life. You can't spend your time wondering. It will destroy you. Accept things as they are.
  6. Pray. Even if you don't believe in God. Pray to the people who are no longer with us. It helps you realize what is really important to you.
  7. Go visit your grandparents. It's not a waste of time. They love seeing you and they have so much to teach you.
  8. Not everyone is going to love you. Ignore these people.
  9. But always defend your friends and family. I will never be mad if I have to pick you up from school because you were defending someone.
  10. Even if you don't believe, church isn't a waste of time. It's a community and a powerful one. Go.
  11. Don't look for similarities with people. Look for your differences. Let them show you all the ways in which you are not the same. You'll learn a lot.
  12. Always stand up for what you believe is right. Even if it scares you, it will be worth it in the end, I promise.
  13. Get into some trouble. I know I'll probably kick myself for saying this later, but a little trouble is okay.
  14. Don't justify your actions by another person's actions. I don't ever want to hear you did something because someone else did the same thing.
  15. Let your heart get broken. Let people in. Let people love you. Even if it doesn't work out, it will be worth it.
  16. When your heart gets broken, don't dwell too long. Eat some ice cream, watch a sappy movie, talk to me about it, we'll go egg his house together, and then move on.
  17. School isn't a test of education. It's a test of obedience. But on that note, that means there is no reason you shouldn't get all A's.
  18. Do as I say, not as I do. I know, it's a cliche. But it really is true. I was an asshole. So was your dad. But now I know better and I want you to do so much better than me.
  19. You live in a first world country. Remember that when you complain. I mean, complain—everyone has something to complain about. But keep in mind that in the long run, most of your problems probably aren't that bad. 
  20. Volunteer. Volunteer like crazy. It may seem like work at first but trust me, it's not and you'll learn so much.
  21. Learn as much as you can. Don't learn for the sake of grades or to get a good job or whatever. Learn for the sake of learning and you will never study a day in your life.
  22. Skip. Skip instead of walk. I don't know why, but it will brighten your entire day. People are going to judge you based on the shoes you're walking in anyway, might as well give them something else to judge you for. Skip.
  23. Actions speak louder than words. You can talk the biggest game in the world. But if you don't prove it, then your words are meaningless. Your actions will scream volumes. Don't talk. Do.
  24. Clean your fucking room. Like, just do it okay? It teaches you to de-clutter. Not just your room but your life. Having a clean room makes you feel accomplished. I'm not really sure why cause you're probably going to mess it up again in like the next 24 hours and have to clean it again but it makes you feel good so just do it.
  25. Put down your fucking phone. Put it away. Shut it off for an hour a day. Go outside. Be a real person, not a screen.
  26. You don't have to know what you're doing with your life by 18. Explore all your options. Then decide and if, somewhere down the line, you decide it's not right for you, change!
  27. Please don't go to art school. I love you. I will support you in whatever you decide to do. Please don't go to art school. It will destroy your creativity and you will be jobless. Everyone I know that went to art school seriously regretted it and is now back in school, going for something else.
  28. Stay creative. Even if you're horrible at art, practice it. You don't have to paint. Play music, dance, draw, color, act, sing, sew, write…. Just be creative. Play. Creativity is one of the greatest traits you can have.
  29. Don't do drugs. I know, I know… duh. But seriously, don't do drugs. If you're gonna do drugs, smoke weed. It's about as addictive as coffee and it's okay as long as it doesn't become a daily habit. Nobody likes the person who is high 24/7.
  30. Don't EVER drink and drive. No matter how old you are, no matter where you are, no matter what time it is, no matter who you are with. Do not drink and drive. Call me. I will pick you up. No questions asked. I won't ever bring it up. We won't have a discussion about it. I will just be there and I will drive you and whoever else home. Just please don't ever get behind the wheel after you've been drinking and don't let anyone who's been drinking drive you home.
  31. Color outside the lines. Scribble. Color like you're mad at the world. It is the most relaxing thing ever. Fuck the people who make fun of you for it. They don't understand the genius that is coloring outside the lines.
  32. Read. Read everything you can. Read fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, biographies, newspapers (if they're still around), magazines, comic books, romance novels, Harry Potter (like you haven't already) everything! Reading is the ultimate escape from reality. Read and you will learn more about yourself than you ever imagined.
  33. Play sports. You may be bad at them. You might not be. Just play. It teaches you to work on a team. And it's a shit ton of fun. Get competitive but always be a good sport.
  34. Your friends are the greatest family you will ever have. I mean, I'm the greatest family you will ever have cause I'm your mom and I'm fucking awesome. But your friends are the family that you get to choose. Choose wisely. Always make sure to tell them you love them.
  35. Don't be afraid to express your love. Whether it's to your friends or your boyfriend or me, do not ever be afraid to say “I love you." If you don't tell people that you have that strong of an emotion towards them, they might never know. Tell them. Constantly.
  36. Hugs are better than anything. Hugs are great. Hug a lot. Hug before you leave anywhere. Hug new friends, hug old friends, hug your dog, hug yourself. Just hug.
  37. Be loud. Be loud, be heard. Make sure you are noticed. If you are quiet, you will never get what you are asking for. Roar. Be loud. Be a lion.
  38. Be a kayak. Most people are canoes. They need more than one person to make them go and you only row on one side and if your partner stops rowing you're just paddling by yourself, going in a circle. Be a kayak. Don't rely on anyone but yourself to move you forward.
  39. But don't be afraid to ask for help. There is a huge difference between relying on someone and asking someone for help. Never be afraid to ask for help. Everyone needs help every once in awhile. It's okay to need help.
  40. The boy who picks on you might like you, but you shouldn't like him. Why would you want to be with someone who shows his affection by bullying you? That's not right. You deserve a boy who tells you how pretty you look, not a boy who makes fun of your pigtails.
  41. Don't set ultimatums for people you love. You will either get what you want and they will hate you for making them rush into a decision or you will be disappointed when they don't pick what you wanted them too.
  42. Believe in yourself. This probably should've been put higher up on the list. You really can do anything you set your mind to.
  43. The first draft of anything is shit. Ernest Hemingway said that and I must agree. Don't expect anything to be perfect the first time. It never is, darling.
  44. You cannot do epic shit with basic people. Surround yourself with the people whose lives in general motivate you to set your own goals and do epic shit.
  45. Everyone is hurt about something. Just because people don't show it doesn't mean they aren't struggling.
  46. Failure is not permanent. Don't let failing at something bother you for too long. “Failure is a bruise, not a tattoo." And even tattoos can be covered by something even more beautiful.
  47. Never forget what people do for you. Do as much as you can for others but always recognize and acknowledge everything that others have done for you. It will make you so grateful to be surrounded by such giving people. It will keep you humble.
  48. Absolutely nothing in life is fair. You are never going to get the same things as other people and they are never going to get the same things as you. It will never be equal. It's not going to happen. Ever. You need to understand that as early in life as possible. Life is not fair.
  49. You are not bored. You are lazy. You live in a huge world that I guarantee you haven't seen even an eighth of a percentage of. Go explore. Or if you can't go explore the world, explore the recesses of your mind. Imagination is infinite. You can create a whole world inside your mind.
  50. Life is better barefoot. It just is.
  51. Nobody lives their entire life without sin. Stop trying to be a saint. You will sin. You will make mistakes. You will repeat some of these mistakes. It's okay.
  52. Look for the humor in EVERYTHING. You can find something funny in ALMOST every situation. Laugh as much as you can about as much as you can.
  53. Go fishing. By this, I mean take breaks. But hang up that “Gone fishing" sign and walk away from whatever you're doing that is stressing you out. Come back later.
  54. Forgive. Forgive friends, forgive family, forgive yourself. Forgive people who didn't even apologize. Don't hold a grudge. It makes you bitter and gives you wrinkles. Never forget what happened, but always forgive.
  55. Travel as much as possible. There are so many other places to see that you don't live. Go. Visit. Stay awhile. Explore the world. Take in not only the tourist sites but also the things you won't find in a travel brochure.
  56. If you can dodge traffic, you can dodge a ball. Just kidding. I mean that's probably true but don't play in traffic. Just seeing if you're paying attention. Also, Dodgeball is a great movie and you should watch it.
  57. A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man. Yes, I just quoted The Godfather. Find a man (or woman) who wants to spend time with his family. Who makes time for their family no matter what. Family is important and if you don't make time for them then who would you make time for? A man who spends time with his family is a great man indeed (usually).
  58. When hitting someone, turn into the punch. This is important shit, okay? Every person should know how to throw a punch.
  59. Words are the most powerful weapon you possess. Be very careful with your words. You never want to regret something you said because no matter what, you will never be able to take those words back. You can retract and say you were wrong, but once a slice has been made, words won't stop the bleeding.
  60. Don't mix your drinks. Learn to drink straight. You'll spend less and people will fear you a little bit. Be a badass. Drink straight.
  61. Nothing is ever free. Nothing. Not one damn thing in this world. Everything comes with a price.
  62. A dog really is a girl's best friend. It's important to have dogs so that when you come home, someone is always happy to see you.
  63. You train people how to treat you. If someone does something you don't like, but you don't say anything about it, you just taught them that it's okay to do that. Train the people around you to treat you the way you wish to be treated.
  64. Eat some chocolate. You'll feel better. Eat some chocolate and never feel guilty about it. I won't feel guilty when I'm eating chocolate out of your Halloween candy while you sleep.
  65. Make a kick-ass playlist. Diversify your music and make it awesome. Like vibe to some Nirvana but also head bang to Slipknot and don't be afraid to dance your ass off to some Usher and cry your eyes out to Tim McGraw.
  66. Sharing is caring. There are enough shitty people in this world who keep too much to themselves. You don't need to be one of them. Share the luxuries you are blessed with.
  67. Drinking the faucet water won't kill you. I do. I have been my whole life. It won't kill you or I would be dead by now. If I am dead… you should probably disregard this advice.
  68. Don't lie. Even if you do something wrong. A mistake is much easier to forgive than a lie. A lie is saying that that person isn't worth the truth. Never make anyone feel like they aren't worth the truth.
  69. Take tons of pictures. Hundreds and hundreds of pictures. Not the perfect smile moments, the laughing too hard to look at the camera moments.
  70. Hesitation never wins. The early bird gets the worm and all that jazz. If you know what you want, go for it. You might not get the opportunity again.
  71. Nobody ever drowned in sweat. Hard work will always pay off.
  72. Always treat a gun like it's loaded. Never point a gun at someone that you don't have every intention of shooting. Loaded or not. Don't do it.
  73. Wait 24 hours. If you're upset about something, wait 24 hours before reacting. If it doesn't still bother you 24 hours later, it probably isn't important enough for you to waste your time worrying about it.
  74. Wear sunscreen. Wear fucking sunscreen or you're going to get a sunburn. Wear sunscreen.
  75. Don't dumb yourself down. Don't ever dumb yourself down. You're better than that. You're smarter than that.
  76. Don't fill up on bread. No matter how good it is. The main course is always so much better. Limit your bread intake.
  77. Never get your haircut the day of a special event. Always give yourself a week to get used to the haircut and adjust it if necessary.
  78. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it. Don't sit at your desk. Go be bold and sit with people and talk and enjoy your lunch with good conversation.
  79. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally. They might be giving their life for you. Show them the respect and gratitude they deserve. Buy them a drink, pay their bill, shake their hand and thank them.
  80. Never answer your phone at the dinner table. I don't care if you are sixteen or sixty. Unless it's an emergency, it's rude. Put your phone away and enjoy the meal and the company in front of you.
  81. When it comes to your car, know how to change a tire, change a spark plug, and jump a battery. You should also know how to drive a manual. And always keep kitty litter in your trunk for icy situations.
  82. You may not be able to dance, but dance anyway. Embarrassing yourself with funny dance moves is a lot more fun then sitting on the bench all night watching other people have fun.
  83. Know the words to the national anthem. Don't screw them up. Know them, know them all, and sing them in the right key.
  84. It's okay to take your heels off to dance. Wearing heels and dancing all night is a hard feat. It's okay to take them off. Just make sure you put them back on when going to the bathroom. Never go to a public restroom barefoot.
  85. The opposite sex likes people who shower. Smell good. It's one of the first things people will notice about you. Smell good and walk tall, even if your mascara is running.
  86. In college, always sit near the front. You will stand out immediately and it will come in handy during grade time. It will also help you stay awake in your early morning classes.
  87. There is a fine line between looking sultry and looking slutty. Find it and remember that there is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt. Sometimes, it's your best option. But always wear a bra to work. Or a heavy sweatshirt.
  88. If you don't understand something, ask. It's better to ask and have it explained to you than to pretend you know what you're talking about and look like a fool.
  89. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser. It's a gift. Open it and be surprised, even if you're pretty sure you know what it is.
  90. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. Stairs are not one of them. You'll have way more fun cannon-balling in. It's about enjoying life, not looking good. And never be the last one in the pool.
  91. Never lie to your doctor. If they can't help you, they'll point you in the direction of someone that can. Be honest with them.
  92. Be mindful of what comes between you and the earth. Always buy good shoes, sheets, and tires. Never go cheap on these things. Buy the best. You won't regret it.
  93. Don't pose with booze. I wish I knew this one sooner. It's unbecoming. Unless you're taking a picture where you are toasting something with wine or champagne, don't take a picture with booze.
  94. Always keep your word. Do what you say you're going to do. Be reliable. And people will remember you as being reliable. Give yourself a good reputation.
  95. Slow down. You don't have to be going 100 mph all the time. Sometimes the real joy in life is doing 15 in a 30.
  96. Time is not money. It's better. You will never get the opportunity to get your time back. Time is precious. You will never get back wasted time. Your time is valuable, spend it on people who deserve it.
  97. Never drink to feel better. Make it a habit to not drink when you aren't in a good mood. If you are sad, angry, upset, or frustrated, don't drink.
  98. They aren't judging you. Stop worrying about what other people think of you. They don't think of you nearly as much as you think about you. Worry about what you think of yourself.
  99. An end can be a good start. Pulling something to a close can be a great way to start the next chapter of your life.
  100. There is no shame in calling your mom. If you ever don't know what to do or you're just frustrated with life or you need help or money, there is no shame in asking your parents. I'm always here for you. No matter what. I will always answer.

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