I recently finished watching a pretty traumatic TV series on Netflix called 13 Reasons Why. If you've seen it I'm sure you will agree that it brings up alot of issues about the school system; it also touches a few personal issues I myself had to work through as a young girl. If you haven't seen it, be prepared as it covers some pretty hard hitting stuff!
I’m not going to preach or tell you how to raise your children, after all haven’t really got a clue about how to raise a child. I have never really been around one being raised, even by someone else. What I do have is an amazing Mother and an equally amazing Grandmother. Plus, of course, I was one once so that must count for something right?
I’m what in the adult world would be classed as an grown-up, I guess. I made a few different choices in my life that meant that instead of settling down and starting a family, I’ve been travelling around the world solo for the past 7 years. Don’t get me wrong it’s been a blast. I’d hit the 30 countries before 30 goal way early on in my twenties. I’ve lived in Barcelona, one of the most amazing cities in the world. I’ve helped run a travel company, whose main objective was to ensure the staff partied equally as viciously as the customers (of which I was a huge advocate). And of course I’ve been thrown out of a county for not having the right visa after almost making it to the alter!
Kids have never been on the agenda, quite the opposite in fact. Until I hit 30 I was 99% sure it was never something I was interested in. Then there it was… I’d heard whispers and rumours about it, but no way did I think it would happen to me. I love my life, why the hell would I want to ruin it with the responsibility of another. I remember it clearly, I looked at another person with their child (a father with his baby girl to be specific) and something odd happened inside me.
They call it the ticking of the “biological clock”. I’ve never really been a big fan of timekeeping, but I also hate being late! Some believe the urge to reproduce is biologically inbuilt, others believe it is due to a social pressure and to do with evolutionary survival. You can argue the so-called “biological clock” triggers an enhanced awareness of reproduction among childless women in their 30s. Is this due to natural selection at work? After all we are all animals just trying to survive right? Either way I’m heading into my mid 30’s and show no signs of biologically or socially conforming!
However, there are a few things I’d like to teach this unborn human... that would hopefully in some way resemble me, crossed with someone beautiful like Jason Momoa and Angus Stone.
Your parents are not always right:
But, it’s best to let them think they are. You may remember me saying I have an amazing Mum? Don’t let me discount this with my first lesson. She probably wasn’t always right. But, she did always reason with me about her opinions in a way that always led us both to the conclusion that what she was saying was right. The truth is I am her first and only child and so we were both learning. As a child you can not know the things your parent knows; they have years on you so accept what they say. Then when you're older, do your own life research when you can!
Not everything will go as planned:
We all make plans and have ideas about what we want to do with our lives. I wanted to be a dragon princess, like Jane from Marten Baynton's Jane and the dragon children's books. More recently, I dream of being Khaleesi from Game of Thrones, or maybe a teacher (not sure which was less achievable). But what is important is that you have these dreams and goals. That you know that unexpected obstacles may come into your life, and that you can evolve and adapt to still achieve your dreams. Failing that we create new ones without becoming disheartened, and with the support of our parents.
Positivity is the key to everything:
Sometimes I think I am annoyingly positive. I'm possibly even too positive in some of the tougher situations in my life. But, what’s the point in not looking for the best in each outcome? Lets look at the other scenario, If you let these things get you down there’s only one person that really struggles and feels bad, you! If you look for a positive solution or the best possible outcome, then you will instantly feel better than you would have done if you let it break you.
Judgment is a fact of life, but it doesn’t determine who you are:
I was heavily bullied as a child and still to this day I don’t understand why it happened to me. I thank those guys that almost ruined me, for now I have been able to go through the rest of my life as a much stronger human. I am unaffected by social etiquettes and the need to fit in. What I learnt was you can spend your time living like a chameleon, always trying to change yourself to fit the mould, or you can live life bold and be individual. Like this people always seem to respect and love you more. School is a tough environment for most kids. But, if you can make it through those early years and forget the social boundaries you'll be able to be yourself.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" ~Dr Seuss~
The most important people are who you choose to surround yourself with:
You will have lots of friends that come and go, but true friends are irreplaceable. Then you will have this cluster of amazing humans that you will travel to the ends of the earth for, just to meet for a drink on their birthday in the middle of a volcanic lake. True friends are hard to come by, but when you meet them, you will instantly know. Their friendship doesn't have to grow on you, they will come smack bang in your life. If travelling has taught me anything, it’s that true connections can be made in minutes and last lifetimes. I have friends all over the world and I still say hi to most of them on a regular basis. Never take your friends for granted!
Like I said in the beginning, these are just lessons built on my opinions and childhood experiences, with little or no research. But if you have other experiences or things you’d like to let us know about, please comment below. Maybe your own growing up experiences were similar to mine? Are there lessons you wish your parents had taught you, or things you'd want to pass on…?