When I was little my father had a saying that he made me memorize. “La experiencia es una maestra severa, primero te somete a prueba y despues te da la razon” – Here is the translation. Experience is a tough teacher, first it twill test you and then it will give you its reason. I find that in life’s journey has many lessons to be learned and they can be profound as they are particularly to you; however it will resonate with many others. As a cultural mom living in a modern world, these things I know for sure.
- There is always someone judging your parenting style – know in your gut that you are doing a good job and just keep doing that great job. I love going out with the kids to the store, park or wherever and my youngest gets a tantrum in the middle of the store. You get either the weird judgy looks, or the ‘well meaning’ folks that give you advice. “Maybe he didn’t sleep? Is he hungry?” As a mom of three very fun and active boys, this isn’t my first time around and a supportive look is more helpful than the sneers.
- You have to remind yourself just how good you are. I live in the city, where life is fast and before you know it… the day is here and then gone. You may have plans and goals and then life happens. Mistakes happen, and plans sometimes don’t go according to plan. It is easy to be tough on yourself and get bogged down. Don’t… (Yes I know, easier said than done). But… give yourself a self-talk, listen to uplifting music (whatever music you find inspiring and moving), go on a walk, go to sleep, take a shower and then… tell yourself how good you are. It really will help.
- You’re not always going to fit in, be proud of what and who you are This one is a fun one for me. When I was younger, I always wanted to fit in. I wanted my classmates to like me, and I wanted to be invited to their parties, but I felt as the odd one out. As an adult, and a Latina following African traditions, this is a little bit impossible to do. Finding my place within society is basically — that I make my own space. I am very comfortable wearing a full African outfit with a very tall gele (headwrap) and yes I go shopping with it. I say, no matter who you are and what you are into. Be proud. Stretch your neck a few inches taller even though when you walk by you know that they are looking, and staring at you. Walk with added grace. Just walk with the “know” that you totally rock! Fake this until you make it, and yes you will make it!
- Always learning keeps you sharp Remember that commercial that said ‘reading is fundamental?’ I totally agree with this. There is always something to learn, to read, to help you grow. Now, I love watching TV; however reading a good book, article or blog keeps me sharp, current, and I am able to have something that I can relate to with others. Don’t believe me? Have you ever watched TV for hours and hours? When you get up from there, don’t you feel a bit groggy, down and clumsy? It’s your brain cells dying! (LOL okay, they are not dying, but I’m sure that your brain cells aren’t getting any sharper either…)
- It’s wonderful to meet like minded folk Remember what I said about fitting in when I was younger? I wish that I would have learned this when I was a child. It would have saved me a lot of heartache. You may not have people around you that share in your hobbies, interest, likes in music, love of furry friends, love headwraps, parents of toddlers, social beliefs, religious beliefs or whatever you are interested in. What do you do? Find other folks who like the things that you do. Find some on Facebook, join a meetup group, check online for local groups – and have a ball. There is nothing better than a bunch of like-minded people together. It’s like the creative and brain cells just unite and ignite more power, creativity, good feeling and sense of community. These people will share in your likes, successes and you will feel GREAT!
The best support I have found is with others, and just the desire to do great things and to be comfortable in my own skin. There are more … but really, I want to hear from you. Now it’s all about you… Write in the comments below and do share on what things you know for sure. Also, go to the Facebook Fan page and continue the conversation there. Thank you so much for reading.