What do you do when you get a Facebook message from a man you don’t know who is 51 years old (which is 24 years older than you are) and it says “You seem interesting ….. and a little damaged. I think I’d like that” ?
I thought I meant that question rhetorically, exasperatedly, at first, but…
Too many young women I think are harder on themselves than circumstances warrant. They are too often selling themselves short. They too often take criticism personally instead of seriously. You should take criticism seriously because you might learn something, but you can’t let it crush you. You have to be resilient enough to keep moving forward, whatever the personal setbacks and even insults that come your way might be. That takes a sense of humor about yourself and others. Believe me, this is hard-won advice I’m putting forth. It’s not like you wake up and understand this. It’s a process.
A few years ago, I made the absolute and conscientious decision to stop dating. Not out of desperation, but rather as an act of faith. God had created me as a loving, passionate person. She wouldn’t give me those qualities and then deny me the opportunity to practice them.
Dear 10-Year-Old Self,
Before you ask me when you have your first kiss or if you’ll ever have a boyfriend, I need to tell you some more important stuff first. What’s more important than a first kiss, you ask? Plenty.
First of all, don’t let that kid in your class, Danny, who called you fat, make you self-consciously wear oversized sweatshirts for the next four years to hide your body. That kid is horrible and years from now he will be boring and bald and trying to get in touch with you to come to the set of the TV show you work on. No, you don’t work on Cheers. That show’s not on the air anymore. That would’ve been awesome, though.
Another thing: Say thank you, always. Gratitude is the closest thing to beauty manifested in an emotion. When you’re grateful, people are attracted to you.
Also: Make sure you appreciate Mom and Dad. Yes, they never seem to let you do anything now except read books. Once you turn 18 you’ll never get to live with them again, and you’ll live far away, and you will miss them so much it hurts.
Next: Learn forgiveness and bestow it generously.
Finally: Don’t let anyone give you any crap. Mastering a balance of these last two will take you a lifetime, so you had better get started now.
Ohio University, English