Fourteen years ago, I was blessed while in high school with one of life’s greatest gifts, my niece. Now, on the eve of her entrance into high school, I feel compelled to pass along these words of love, wisdom and truth in hopes that she experiences the fullness of these years.
1. You’re BEAUTIFUL.
For all the days you wake up feeling awkward, dealing with a wardrobe catastrophe or unsure of your place in this world, you are beautiful. No one determines your worth, it is inherent. And oh sweet dear, I hope you know just how much you are worth. The beauty you exude inside and out. No one can ever take that away from you and anyone that makes you feel less than isn’t worth a second thought.
2. A Smile is your Best Accessory.
Scarves are beautiful, boots are trendy and make-up is flattering, but a smile is always in style. It costs you nothing – just a conscious decision to put your best self forward. One smile can change a life, can change a mood and can lift you. May the joy you bring to us be just as evident in the halls you walk each day.
3. Talk to the Quiet Ones.
You never know what striking up a conversation can do. Who you might meet. What friendships might surface. You never know who’s life you might save just because you said hello. Love BIG like Jesus.
4. Fall in Love
With yourself. Learn about YOU, about your dreams, hopes, aspirations. LIVE the life you always wanted. Take big chances. LEAP when you feel like standing still. Learn to embrace YOU and love YOU and the rest will follow.
5. Don’t fear Failure.
So you don’t make that team? Or the popular clique isn’t interested? Failure is not a reflection of you. It’s a sign that the best is yet to be. Keep trying. Keep laughing. Keep pursuing.
6. Always prep your hair on Saturdays.
You may or may not find yourself at the DMV taking your driving test and you need to be picture ready. Trust me, I’ve learned from experience (thanks, Dad!)
7. Live in the Light, Be the Light.
And lift others out of the shadows with you. Help them along and build life-long friendships that will change you, mold you and push you. Some of my closest confidantes became that way as locker friends.
8. Have fun and LAUGH!
This is the beginning of the rest of your life. Laugh, dance and sing like no one is watching! Know that you are YOU regardless of what anyone else says.
9. Never lose your love for Zac Efron.
Or I might disown you. Probably.
10. Know we love you.
Through it all, in it all, we are always here for you. No matter what.
May you have the best first day of high school ever. LOVE YOU! xoxo