Live the Life You Were Born to Live

We are all entering a new door in our lives…you all are either going to college or entering the work force. Me…I am ending one career and embarking on another. More on that later. I feel the need to give you some bits of wisdom that I have gathered throughout the years. I am not the wisest or the cleverest, but I have been around for many years. I have seen fads and fashion come and go. One thing that has not changed is that teenagers are basically the same now as they were back in 1982. You want love, you want success, you want happiness. For some that has been a rocky road. I know…we listened to your stories. What can you do to help make your dreams come true? I don’t know. I’m only a lowly English, speech, and yearbook teacher. What I can do is give you some tips that if you listen and believe me….they may help make that path a little easier.

Let’s start…

Do your laundry on a regular basis. And if you haven’t learned how to wash your own underwear, figure it out. This is huge.
Keep your room, bathroom, and car clean. If you live in filth, your life will be filthy. And a special note to the guys: girls are NOT enthralled by your mess. It’s gross. One word: Lysol.
Get off your phone from time to time. You might miss life. It’s pretty great.
Attempt to eat healthy and exercise. Your body is the only one you have. Take care of it.
Be a student of the world. Learn new things. Read the news. Pay attention.
Get lost every now and then. You will be surprised what you learn when you figure out how to get home. It’s amazing.
Go to plays. Visit museums. Read poetry. It will enrich your life.
Be kind.
Embrace diversity. Meet people from other cultures, races, religions, sexual orientation. Life is not just Mt. Zion. There is a big, wide, wonderful, colorful world out there. You might be surprised on what might learn about yourself through these people.
Save your money. Keep track of your spending.Pay your bills on time. Nobody likes that person who never has money and is always “borrowing” only to never pay it back.
If you are going to college, you will probably change your major. I changed my three times in four years. Don't stick to something just because it is expected of you. Do what you want to do. Also...don't be afraid to ask professors for help. College classes can be difficult and confusing. There are mentors everywhere. Take advantage of them.
If you are going directly into the work force, show up every day. Be that worker that everyone wants. Be honest and reliable. And....go back to school someday. It will make me proud.
Alcohol. Yes….it will flow pretty freely. Just be aware. Don’t be stupid and then you won’t have regrets. Figure out your limit. And if you don’t drink, power to you. You are the wisest of them all.
Sex. Yes….I am going to talk about it, and this is what I want to urge you. Don’t give it away to those who don’t really care about you. You are worth so much more. Sex is not a weapon, it is not a negational tool, it is not owed because someone bought you dinner or took you to a dance. Respect your body and then others will respect it, too. Also, boys…if you force yourself on a girl, it is rape. Nothing less.
Speaking of sex, none of you are ready for parenthood yet. Believe me, I have spent the past year with you. I know. Be responsible. You took health. Figure it out.
Girls....always make and have your own money. Your goal in life should not be to have a man take care of your. Take care of yourself, girls. The rest will come.
Boys....look for more than looks. The whole package is what you really want...brains, courage, creativity, love. That will make you happy.
This is for those of you who may be struggling with difficult things in your life. Be true to yourself. Don't hide. Be proud of who you are. Remember..those who really and truly care about you will embrace you. Those who don't aren't worth the pain.
High school will not be the best or worst years of your life. I promise. Life will be full of joy. It will be fraught with disappointment. You will experience great highs. You will survive through tremendous grief. All of it is a journey. Just try to be happy. That is all I ask. Just be happy.

And for me….what am I going to do with my life, you may ask. Well…..I have spent that last 31 years listening, reading, and grading others voices. Now it is time to listen to mine. I’ve always had the soul of a writer, and now I have been given this tremendous gift to work on it. Who knows where this journey of mine will take me. Perhaps a best-seller or just a simple blog. I’m just going to try….
So, my kids. The end…or beginning is near. I have loved getting to know all of you….the funny ones, the quiet ones, the ones full of bluster, the ones full of sweetness. Begin your journey.

 I will leave you with a quote I found online:

“She woke up one day and decided to set her life on fire; to go up in flames if necessary. To really live the life she was born to live.”