Warning: sappy post about parenthood. You can stop here if you don't want to hear my jumbled thoughts.
Lately I have had my future children on my mind a lot. Over the past few months I have been noticing things about my peers that I don't like. That sounds really harsh, and I'm not trying to say that I am perfect or even close, but I have been reflecting a lot on the person that I want to be as I have watched the people around me. As I've done this, I have prayed to know how to teach my children important life lessons. It is such a scary thought to think of raising a family. I don't know squat about raising kids, but I know some things that I definitely want to teach my children. Here are some random thoughts from me that I want to save for my kids one day:
1. Be kind and be genuine. Emilee and I talk about this all the time. We always single out the people in our lives who make us happy and confident aka our "comfort people". We also talk about how these people are more rare than you would think. I majorly scored in the friend department, but as my friends have moved away, I've noticed there are a lot less genuine, kind people around. Emilee put it perfectly the other night when she said "it's like it's not cool to be kind anymore". I've overheard conversations lately where I've heard people talk about other people not being cool, so they didn't want to hang out with them. LIKE WHAT?! First of all what makes people think they are cooler than other people secondly WHAT?! I can't imagine one of my friends being like "yeah, this person isn't cool, so we aren't going to hang out with them". I know a lot of awesome people who have been made to feel like they aren't "cool enough" or "hot enough" or "wealthy enough" to be accepted by our peers. I hate that so much. Be a person who makes other people feel good. Another thing that I've noticed is how few people seem to genuinely care about people. I've been at parties where people will talk to me, but will constantly be looking around the room to see who else is there. Sometimes people will leave mid conversation to go talk to people they would rather be talking to. I'm sorry, but that is SO RUDE. If you want to talk to someone else at least finish the conversation. I feel like so many people are always looking for the cooler people to hang around or the cooler scene to be in. I have had so many superficial conversations where I can tell that the person doesn't actually care about what is going on in my life. If there was one thing that I wish there was more of in my age group it would be more people who are genuine. I have met some people lately who have seemed so interested in me and what my life is like, and it has been so refreshing. I didn't realize how much I appreciate people looking me in the eye the whole time we are talking. Just be kind and care about people and how you make them feel!
2. I love Provo for the most part, but I feel like so many people are getting caught up in the social media scene. They define themselves by the number of "likes" and "favorites" they get and care more about the image they put out to the world rather than embracing who they really are. I have to add that I have been TOTALLY guilty of caring too much about social media and what people think of me. It's only been over the past few months that I've started to realize how superficial it is and how much better life is when you don't care who is liking you or judging you. Be yourself! Post what you want to post on Instagram because it makes you happy, not because it will get more likes. If people judge you for it, that's on them. People who don't like you AREN'T WORTH YOUR TIME and aren't the type of people you want to be associating with.
3. Embrace imperfection. I gave a talk in church a month or so ago. It was about the pioneers and how we can be pioneers. I felt prompted to share a little bit about my struggles. There was a section where I talked about how the pioneers wrote about their challenges in journals, and how I want to let my posterity know what I have been through. I want my kids to know that I have gone through hard times. There were times when I quit. There were times when I didn't think I could go on. I want them to know though, that I got back up, and I worked until I got to a place where I liked who I was. I want them to know that it's ok to not always be happy. It's ok to make mistakes. I want them to accept their flaws and work on overcoming them, but to also be confident enough to share those flaws with others. I can't count how many times people have approached me about anxiety, because I was willing to be open about it. I am NOT trying to toot my own horn at all. I just know that some of the deepest relationships can be built by opening up. There is power in being vulnerable.
4. Don't put unnecessary stress and pressure on yourself. I wish I would have learned this lesson years ago. I have been so bad at this. In every relationship that I've been in I've felt pressure from the beginning to know if it's the right thing. It has strained the relationships and at times has been the downfall of them. Yesterday I was talking to Britt's incredible mom Tami about my current stress. I'm trying to figure out where I want to move to. The current top contenders are New York City and D.C. ( I keep praying and getting the answer that it's my choice but HOW DO YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO PERFECT CITIES??) I have no idea what I would do in either of these cities (added stress), but I feel like I'm supposed to be making a big move at some point in the next year or so. It has been stressing me out so badly. Tami gave me the best advice about it. She told me to just keep living my life by the Spirit, and I will be guided in the path that I'm supposed to go. I need to stop stressing because that will distract me from following the Spirit. I don't have to make this big decision about my future right this second. I will figure it out and will know when the timing is right. God has a plan, and as we live our life truthfully and by the Spirit, we will know the best paths for us.
I'm probably the weirdest person for always thinking about my kids and planning traditions and things that I want to teach them, but I am so excited for that time in my life. I really do love being single and am enjoying this stage of life so much, but I can't help but get giddy thinking about reading with my kids and introducing them to music, musicals, movies and THE WORLD. There are so many exciting things about parenthood, and I look forward to it so much. Until then I'm going to expand my world, so that I can expand theirs'. There is so much to learn and explore, and I get giddy thinking that one day I'll have children to share that with.