While heading up the escalator at Heathrow Airport, leaving The Tall Blond behind and barely able to hold myself together…it hit me that I should probably have told her a few more things besides “don’t mix your liquor” and “boys are mean.”
Mind you…those are important things to know!
The reality is, as I bid her farewell while she ventures out in this world in a country I barely know…unable to reach her without effort…there really is a ton of advice I may have forgotten to mention.
Like…you can be in love with two people at the same time, put eggs in your ground beef to hold hamburger patties together and always have a spare pair of panties in your overnight bag when you’re travelling!
I’m not sure I’ve prepared her well. I mean, she’s there and there’s not a lot I can do at this point, but what if I haven’t shown her everything she needs to know to make it on her own?
I’m not sure I know it all myself!
Ever since I rode up that escalator…leaving her behind…all these things are swimming through my head! Like…much as I don’t drag my butt to church each week…God is with me every single moment of every single day. And…fall in love with a man who reads.
Then there’s…don’t like what others like just because you think they’ll like you more…like the things you like despite what everyone else thinks. Squeeze cheese is disgusting. Listen to your body. There’s nothing more beautiful than laughter. Life isn’t always fair and doesn’t always go as planned…but sometimes what you learn from all that crap is pretty awesome.
Look people in the eye. Listen to them. Care more about what they’re saying than the story you’d like to tell them. Always eat the red ones last. Carve your initials in a tree. Trust your intuition. You can’t have everything. Carry a bigger purse. Wear your seat belt. Don’t lose control. Don’t be mean. Before you post anything in social media…remember your grandparents can see it. Always leave a place better than you found it.
Friends will fail you, disappoint you and hurt you…but some will lift you to higher places than you can possibly imagine. Don’t follow in my footsteps…make your own path…be daring. Don’t stick straws up your nose in a restaurant. Only get a cat if you’re prepared to change the litter every day. Some things are worth fighting for. Make good choices. Don’t colour your hair. Or get a tattoo. Or pierce odd things.
If you can’t open a bottle of jam, run it under hot water for a minute and try again.
You don’t need to prove anything to anyone else…only to yourself.
Hold open doors for others. Accept help. Be gracious. Wash the dishes before you go to bed. Get angry when it counts. Be passionate about things. Paint a room a bright colour. Collect art. Boys aren’t everything. Use stain remover. Don’t put too much bleach in the sink or it will burn off your nose hairs. Don’t forget to lock the doors. Stay in touch with your brother and sister.
And you can always come home.
There…that about does it for now until I start thinking about it again but the thing is, I have to trust that everything I’ve done to this point should be enough and that much as I’ve learned…she needs to discover a few things on her own.
Like, it’s not so easy…letting go.