They once were babies.
That thought envelopes me.
They once upon a time were diapers at the foot of their bed, thick hooded sweatshirts and elastic pants and now they’re not.
They’re in high school & college. Some are graduating in May. And since I’ve hopscotched around the East Coast enough to know that growing up is a mess, I have words for them.
- Find someone who steadies you when you’re stressed about the rent check, your electric bill, the things you did wrong at work, the credit card payment you swore you scheduled but really, believe me, didn’t.
- Hold them close & treat them right & tell them over & over that you are thankful & appreciative & lucky & blessed. You will need them, and you won’t ever know when.
- Make decisions to carry you through today & tomorrow & next month, but know that six months from now could look a lot less like you expected. Don’t let your upsets keep you from finding something better.
- Work hard. Work when you have to but even when you don’t. Be responsive. Be attentive. Be respectful. Be the kind of employee who does what’s right – not what looks good. Be lazy on Sunday when the football game comes on but on Monday morning, be ready.
- Chin up & smile. You are a learner. In everything you do, you’ll learn. Over & over you’ll think that life is about messing up & making the same mistakes but one day you’ll wake up and stop making them. One day you’ll appreciate all the criticism because you grew.
- Learn how to dress appropriately. There are outfits for Friday night & outfits for Casual Friday & outfits for important meetings & outfits for every other day. Be conservative. Pay attention. Learn to accessorize.
- Stretch yourself. Throw a dart at your target and promise yourself you won’t let fear or anxiety or lack of resources or lack of knowledge stop you. Do things that frighten you because you’ll land somewhere new & better.
- When you’re unhappy, change something. Your hair. Your outlook. Your routine. Find a place in your heart for new people. Find a place in your schedule for old friends. Find the root of your unhappiness & crush it.
- Be a mentor. Teach people. Help people. Figure out what fulfills you and run like the wind toward it.
- Give & give & give. Give your time & your knowledge & your heart & your love & your resources. Give people the kind of friendship that makes them feel grateful. Focus on the relationships & the efforts that make your heart soar. It’s time.