Dear Future Baby, Don’t Be Like Me
(Forgive me in advance for this disjointed piece. Because it’s not actually a piece. It’s me unloading. My self care. So thank you for being my therapists.)
I don’t know if I’ll have kids. I mean, I want them so maybe I should say, “I don’t know when I’ll have kids.” Right now it seems pretty daunting. Looking at the pool of dating options. The calendar days ticking by. The piles of student debt, LOL. I mean, ish is getting real. But even with the uncertainty, I still find myself thinking about how I’ve navigated this world up ’til now and how I hope to make it a little bit smoother for “future baby.”
So this one’s for you, non-existent, imaginary, invisible baby. My list of “don’ts” and other advice.
(and maybe, just maybe, this one’s for me too. It’s never too late)
1- Don’t let the measuring stick paralyze you.
No, of course I’m not talking about an actual measuring stick. I mean everyone’s standards of what you should be.
Listen. I posted this thing on my Instagram the other day (you won’t even know what Instagram is. LOL) In short, it says, “You don’t get special points for achieving certain things by a deadline. It’s not a race”.
Don’t let people’s thoughts of ‘where and what you should be doing’ stop your from doing what you want to do. March to the beat of your own drum, baby.
2- Save the “world.” Like actually save the “world”!
You’ll probably have the urge to save the “world” like me. While I hope that you do, my prayer is that you don’t get so anxious about doing the work that you don’t do anything at all.
I often say that sometimes the weight of the world is too heavy to bare. And sometimes it’ll feel that way. But just jump in wherever you can. Time doesn’t stop because we sit on our hands and strategize for days on end.
And when I say save the world, I don’t mean tackle every issue that’s on the United Nations’ radar. “The world” can mean your world because there’s enough injustice to make an impact right where we are.
3- Don’t think too hard
“Thinking too hard” definitely impacts your ability to live in the moment and enjoy life.
So I pray that you aren’t an overthinker. I hope that you don’t change your outfit 6 times before heading out on a date or to a job interview. Just text that girl back and don’t think twice about if you’re a “simp” (more on that later). Ask the guy out on a date and forget about gender roles. Don’t play the entire conversation with your teacher in your head. Just go up and ask for what you want. POST THE DAMN PICTURE!
What’s the worst that could happen?
4- Believe in yourself
I mean, this one is pretty straight-forward. No, it’s not a stupid question. Half of your class probably wanted the clarification too.
Take the compliment. Yes you look good today and everyday. Know that your value is about more than looking good, but smile anyway.
TRUST YOUR INTUITION. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right.
And although it’s a horrible example, reality TV star and businessman Donald Trump ran for President and won. So yes, go ahead and apply for that job you aren’t qualified for and be ready to knock the interview out the park.
5- Don’t be a two-way mirror
You’re probably thinking by now… girl, stop with the super artsy fartsy language. But what I mean is, don’t let people bare their souls to you while you hide behind walls, smoke and mirrors. Take it from me, on those difficult and overwhelming nights, you’ll see why this matters.
Open up and be vulnerable. That’s how you connect with people and build long-lasting relationships. Yes, you’re probably going to be hurt, but we all have. There isn’t much gained moving forward when you close off and don’t allow anyone else a space in your life, whether it’s a friend, family member or a love interest.
Find your “person” and don’t select the “PG” only stories to share. Be authentic.
6- Invest in you!
This is the most important. Please don’t ever put your personal wants and needs on the shelf. If you’re going to be a world-shaking life changer, you’ll have to learn how to make time for yourself.
There’s this thing we call self-care. It’s talked about a lot in my circles but has only manifested itself a few times here and there in my life.
So do better than me. Find a hobby and set aside untouchable time for it. Soak in the laughs with family. Figure out what you like and don’t like and obviously make sure you do the things you like. Soak in the sun because the sun loves everyone. Pray. Meditate. Find peace.
It’s okay to make sacrifices for the greater good. But please don’t forget about you.
And lastly…Don’t freaking settle.
Not for that job that doesn’t value you. Not for that apartment that seems like the only option. Not for that university that only offered you one scholarship (PLEASE!). Not for that participation award when you were MVP. Not for that bae who only hits you up past midnight for the “D” or when they’re hungry. Not for that low grade when you know you put the work in. Not for that high student loan payment when… JUST NO!
And not for a mediocre life when you know you were created for MORE. Don’t Ever Settle!