• J. Woken

Dearest Friends

Written c. 1998

Dearest Friends,

Please hear me out, listen carefully and take to heart all I’m about to tell you. I’m not saying that you have to agree with me – because, frankly, everyone has a different outlook on life – I’m only asking you to listen. Here goes:

Every day make sure you do a little something for yourself, a little something for someone else, and a second bug something for both you and then, and everything in between is a tossup. Dance as much as you can – your legs won’t work as well as they do forever. There is no such thing as a bad hug or a bad hugger, but there are such things as bad huggies (and I don’t mean the diapers). Smiles are cheap, as are hugs, jokes, laughs and long walks at night. Speaking of night, make sure you take time to look at the stars. You won’t be around forever – trust me, death is inevitable, no matter how many doctors you pay or how many surgeries you receive – and the stars won’t be there forever either. Look at the stars because, one day, you won’t be around to see them anymore and you may wish you had. They are some of the most gorgeous things ever created and there shouldn’t be a night that passes where you haven’t taken a slight moment to soak them in. Constellations are of little significance. If you don’t know the official ones make up your own. After all, the constellations we have now probably started out by connecting the stars like those connect-the-dot pictures that we had to do back in Kindergarten. Don’t be embarrassed to sing and don’t ridicule someone else because they don’t have a voice like Mariah Carey or Will Smith. We’re all different and that includes our voices. Sing along with a song you like; you’d be surprised at how much better you feel after you’ve sung one or two. It works, honestly. I’ve done it time and time again. If you don’t know all the words, oh well… make them up as you go. Don’t try to please other people too often; you’ll only end up frustrating yourself. You have to let them deal with their own problems sometimes, as much as you’d like to help. You’ve got to let them be disappointed sometimes, too. Disappointment is a part of life. And there’s nothing wrong with crying or laughing or just taking a moment out by yourself for a while. Stay healthy and get enough sleep. Laugh, and do it proudly. There are few things worse than laughing just to make it seem as if you’re enjoying yourself. It’s okay to be sad, just don’t overdo it. Know when it’s time to move on. Faster isn’t always better, nor is bigger always better. Listen to your own advice. You’ll most likely feel guilty once you’ve realized that you haven’t. Learn to type. It’ll come in handy. Don’t procrastinate. Time manage. Trees and birds are our friends – love them. Take pictures, naps, chances, field trips and stay up late every once in a while. Don’t fret everyday over makeup, nail polish, or how your hair looks. Don’t take too many shortcuts; go the long way on occasion, otherwise, if you don’t, you’ll forget what the long way is. Inspect grass. Climb trees. When you have the opportunity to be silly, be your favorite animal. Silliness is a gift not to be taken for granted. So, therefore, practice being silly. Sunbathe. Moon bathe. Bubble bathe. Eat strawberries and wear orange – strawberries are a happy fruit and orange is a happy color. Be happy (but not all the time). It’s cool to get dressed up for no reason at all sometimes, but jeans and t-shirts are fun, too. Try things. Dream. See, with a capital “S”. Not like “see” as in just looking around. Know what you’re looking at and appreciate what’s there. If you really Look then even graffiti is pretty. Don’t be afraid to die. There is such a thing as “clean dirt”, believe it or not, therefore, get dirty every so often. Remember how fun mud pies were. Talk to people. When hugging always have the other person left go first, or else let go at the same time. Use at least SPF-15. Hot baths are always good, even on the hottest day in summer. Try it. You’ll see. There is a specific point, which everyone should attempt to reach and hopefully achieve: the goal is to be confident in oneself, but not self-indulged. Don’t be ashamed if you want to stay single forever, if you never want to have children, if you don’t go to church, if you don’t want to travel the world, if you don’t take a shower twice a day, every day, or if you don’t want to talk to anyone for a while. Go horseback riding at lease one time in your life. You may regret it the next day when your legs are terribly sore, but you’ll have fun while you’re at it. Stand at the top of a hill, spread your arms, face a cool breeze and close your eyes. Believe me, you’ll be smiling when you’re finished. Make figures out of clouds. All bugs aren’t bad. Play with them, if you dare do so. Be daring. The insane are only as crazy as you can imagine. Cartoons aren’t only for the young, but also for the young at heart. Standing in the rain without an umbrella isn’t bad unless you’re trying to force everyone else to do it with you. Give and receive at least seven hugs a day. Total, that’s an impressive fourteen. Write a real letter from time to time – by that I mean use pencil and paper, not your keyboard and computer screen. Buy something expensive at least once every couple months. Don’t be a penny-pincher. Santa is real; he is a spirit that lives inside of every child, man, and woman. Believe in him… and the Easter Bunny. Have Faith. Don’t doubt. Leave your window open at night. Chocolate milk is a delicacy that was non-existent a while back. Love, or at least try to. Money isn’t everything, but neither are material possessions – but you’ve gotta admit, they do make you feel good sometimes, right? So, go ahead, buy stuff, spoil yourself, but don’t become dependant on it. Be optimistic, but understand when the time is right to whine and moan. Tell jokes, even if they’re stupid ones. If you’re at the receiving end of a lame joke, laugh anyway. Not because it was funny, but because it was lame. Laughing at a dumb joke is so much better than saying something like “That was bad… guh…” Not laughing at a stupid joke not only makes the joke just as stupid as it was in the first place, but it makes you stupid as well. Have a sense of humor. Be cute. Romance isn’t dead, it has only life enough to sustain those who believe in it. It’s a lot easier to gain weight than lose it. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to like them. It’s a sad thing to think about, but it’s true. Accept a helping hand when it’s given. Not accepting just makes the offerer feel stupid for trying to help and you’re still left doing things on your own. Earth tones are quiet; those that are not of the “earth tone” category are exciting. Attitude is everything. Ladies: accessorize. Gentlemen: wear belts. Wear jeans with a dress shirt. Combine opposites. Drink coffee, but don’t rely on it to start your day. If you do, then you need to make a change in your routine… perhaps that’s the problem in the first place: it’s a routine. Ride roller coasters, fly kites, and play with dogs. They’re called “man’s best friend” for a reason. Ask books questions. Have patience – sometimes answers to questions you want to ask will be revealed to you without effort. Pay attention to your sixth sense. Trust your children – you might be underestimating their intelligence. Pay attention. Stay focused. Discuss. Children: be compassionate towards your parents. Parenting is hard work. Forgive and forget. Visit as many of the Eight Wonders of the World as possible, but don’t stop when you see them all; look for your own worldly wonders. If you’re one of those people who won’t stop doing something, the Earth will continue to function properly without you turning it. So, take at least one break per day. We should all wear t-shirts that read: “SMILE… You’re talking to me, isn’t the reason enough?” People could use that kind of encouragement. Besides, it would be funny. Ice cream is good, so eat some (but not too much). Combine foods – if not for the taste, then do it for the curiosity. School smarts aren’t everything, nor are they nothing. They’re exactly what they are, and so are you. If you feel you have enough of them to go to Harvard, but you want to take up something less glamorous, go for that something less glamorous. Essentially, if you do something you don’t want to do just because it seems to be the better or the choices, you’re mistaken: it wasn’t the better or your choices. Don’t feel guilty if you find yourself searching for looks instead of personality in a partner. Seeking out a good-looking partner has to be one of the most natural things in the world. Just make sure that physical attributes aren’t all you look for – just think, you’ll have to talk to each other sometime during the relationship, so you may as well try to make it a worthwhile conversation. Watch movies. Listen to music. Play an instrument. Cook (or at least try to). Draw, even if your creation looks like something out of a horror movie. Time is NOT your enemy, yet it’s not your friend. It does what it pleases so don’t fret. Make things. Catch butterflies. If you don’t catch them, oh well, if you do, good job. Nevertheless, have fun doing it. Looks aren’t everything, but they are something. Forget your watch once in a while. You’ll lose that horrific “watch tan” and, who knows, you may even enjoy your day a little more. Inspiration is a powerbar for the soul. Highlight things. It’ll make books a little brighter and perhaps, by using all those joyful neon colors, it’ll make your mood a little brighter, too. Make good first impressions, and great last impressions. Keep in touch. Make sure thing you read remind you of things you’ve done, and not that things you’ve done remind you of things you read. Don’t look straight at the sun, but rainbows are nice. Do you know Noah’s story? Rainbows are a reminder to humankind. If you don’t know his story, read it. You may find it interesting. And, if you ever find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow give me a call. Let me know if there’s another one somewhere for me to find. Love you all and stay safe. =*

With Much Love and Sincerity,

Jessica L. Myer

#lookingback #reflection #youth #advice #wordsofwisdom #past