Saturday, October 12, 2019

Top 10 things I wish I had known In High School.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of high school students at one of our local schools. I was invited by a teacher/friend of mine. Somehow she thought I might have something relevant to say to the African/American History Club that she sponsors. She asked me to speak about my "career," which I did. Mother, Wife, Caregiver, Autism Advocate, Writer, Creator of an online autism support group.

A good part of the time, my self-esteem is in the toilet. It's like I know I'm a badass, but only kinda, sorta. We all have some insecurities. I guess a part of mine is because I haven't reached all of my goals.  Been a little busy.

Anyway, I didn't want to make it all about me. Because, who cares? So I added this list to my presentation. I hope the students got something out of it, other than the donuts I brought. Ha ha!

Top 10 Things I Wish I had Known in High School 

  1. Find your passion and follow it!  Don’t worry about what other people think. What do you love doing that you would do for free if no one paid you? I always had a passion for writing and telling stories. From YearBook Editor in high school to English Composition which was my favorite class because it allowed me to be creative. 
    I enjoyed high school English so much I wanted to teach it. But No...I listened to my mother and studied business in college. I got into Property Management, Real Estate and the mortgage industry, which was a great learning experience.  However, years later I found myself back to my passion for writing. 

  1. The best love affair you can have is with yourself. Learn to love yourself and listen to your inner voice. In your teens and twenties, relationships are something, but they are not everything. You will have the time of your life. You will meet a couple of jerks. You may even meet the love of your life and still end up heartbroken. It won't feel like it at first, but your heart will heal. Each relationship is an experience that teaches you something about yourself, so it’s worth it. I don't regret one, single relationship I had. I do regret how much power I gave them.

    Never settle for less than you deserve just to be with someone. You can be happy. You don’t need a relationship to validate that. 

  1. Freedom is everything!  The ability to choose your own path, your career choices, where you will live,  without thinking about what other people think, need, or want from you is priceless. 

  1. Take every chance you can to see the world. -Acquiring things, and wealth is great. But you will always treasure your experiences more than your things.  -Take the trip. Go to the concert. Instead of buying the things that you may not even like next year. Get your passport and acquire as many stamps from other countries that you can. Put your toes into as many bodies of water as you possibly can. They're all healing.

  1. Mistakes are okay. Don’t beat yourself up when you make them. Failures and mistakes teach us the most important lessons. Make sure you pay attention to the lesson and don’t keep following a pattern that doesn’t work. 

  1. Friendship -You do not have to chase TRUE friends. You don’t have to always make the plans. Always make the call. You will mutually reach out to each other. You will offer each other comfort and advice. True friends will not make you feel less or unworthy. 

    With a true friend, time can pass without seeing each other and you still pick right up where you left off. 

    Also, become friends with people who don’t look or think just like you. You will learn from each other.

  1. As a minority will have to work harder than your peers in Corporate America and many other areas of life.  It may not be fair, but it’s a reality of life. Always work hard and do your very best. Even when no one else is looking, someone else is always looking. Let the results of your work speak for itself. If your results are good, eventually you will win the game. 

  1. Helping others is good for the soul.  It helps you to get outside of yourself and to bless someone else. My son had the biggest struggles in high school. It was when he worked with other students with special needs that he felt the best. Those kids were always genuinely happy to see him when others rejected him.

    The support group and this blog that I created is probably my favorite accomplishment because I reach so many people all over the world and help them feel less alone.

  1. Marriage and children are a huge responsibility! It can limit your choices. The two sons I gave birth to, are on the autism spectrum. Meeting their needs was really a full-time job.  Marriage is hard and long. You definitely start compromising your own wants and needs for your family. 

    My niece (is my hero) because she is following her passion and not a guy. She just graduated from AFI (film school)  and has already traveled all over the world and has already worked on a major television show. “How to Get Away with Murder.” I always told all of my nieces to enjoy life as much as possible before settling down. So far, they are listening.

  1. Life is not a race. You don’t have to conform to anyone else’s timeline. It’s never too late to live your dreams. You are not a failure if you haven’t graduated college by 22 or received your Masters by 26. Or published that memoir by age 54. The only failure is if you stop moving forward.