Life is a roller coaster of up and down moments but it’s up to you how you handle its curveballs, blessings, and roadblocks that come across your roadmap of life. It’s your movie screen of memories that you constantly take photos of to look back on and remember. It’s a video full of highlights, main events, and everything in between to replay in your mind. You only have this one life to make the most of it. There may not be a guide book on how to do that but you can certainly leave a few footprints of advice for others to follow.
Below are a few consejos — and life advice — I hope to inspire in my daughter as she travels along with on her own roadmap of life.
Live in the Moment
Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up that you forget to live in the moments in time. When I was young, all I wanted was to be on my own and in my own place. Never did I imagine how much I would miss watching my mom cook or going out with my friends who I might never spend time with in the same care-free way. When you’re young you think you have forever but in reality, in the blink of an eye, you’re the adult. Take in those moments. Get lost in them and make them last because once that day ends, they will only exist in the chapters of your memories.
Own Who You Are
In today’s society, it is easy to get caught up with trying to look like someone else, be like someone else that we forget we are a masterpiece just the way we are! Remember you are in competition with no one, and the only race to run is your own. If you want to improve anything, improve on who you were yesterday. Own your personality, own your laughter, own your scars, and own your authentic self because in reality there is no one out there like you in this world, and that is what makes you one-of-a-kind.
Never settle when it comes to what is important to you. When you settle, you are only cheating yourself out of what truly will make you happy. You do not want to look back one day and wonder what if I had made different choices. Wake up each day and look forward to your work. Believe in the company you work for, do not just work there or better yet, believe in yourself and be your own Latina Boss. Most importantly, never settle in love. Choose someone who will know to take care of your heart, as much as your relationship. Someone who sees past your flaws and still wants to stay and someone who inspires the faith, hope, and love no one else could.
Chase Your Dreams
It is never too late to make your dreams come true. Never forget that. I don’t care how old you are, or what someone tells you that you can or cannot do. Anything is possible if you believe in yourself and the gifts you have. I wouldn’t be here writing this if I didn’t chase my dreams. I never imagined the stories I would write or the amazing artists I have been able to interview if I stopped believing in myself. You are your greatest hero and biggest supporter. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you from doing you. Anything is possible. The faith of a mustard seed has produced some of the greatest dreams and turned them into reality.
Not Everyone Will Have Your Heart
This may be one of the hardest lessons to learn. Not everyone will have a heart like you. You will be there for others when everyone walked away, and they won’t be there for you, and it’s okay. Expectations will kill you every time. Do everything with a good heart and expect nothing. Your blessing is your kindhearted nature that is unlike anyone else. It’s going to hurt when others won’t believe in you but don’t let that stop you from doing good for others. You may be the answer to their prayers and sent to them as a blessing, and that is one of the greatest gifts to cherish.
Spend Time Alone
This is important. Spending time alone is necessary to appreciate who you are, what you want in this life and that you don’t need to place your happiness in anyone else except yourself. When you spend time alone, you will discover a deeper sense of what makes up the fabric of your being, your heart, your soul. You gain your strength for any battles ahead you may face. The time you spend alone can help you discover so much about this crazy world we call life. Learn to be on your own for a while and enjoy the messages life is trying to share with you.
Stay Healthy/Be Healthy
Just as you lay out a road map for your life, it is important to lay out a road map for your health so you can be strong and healthier well into your golden years. You have to learn to eat differently as you get older. Everything in moderation. That pizza at midnight or cookies for dessert won’t be as welcoming to your body. Start a love affair with exercise early on, and it won’t come as such a shock to keep it up as you grow older. I’ve seen women in their 60’s striking yoga poses that young girls do in their 20’s. You only have this one body. Take care of it and it will take care of you.
I can’t stress this enough. Travel, travel, travel. Travel with your friends, travel with your siblings, travel with your family but get out there and see this great big world we live in. Do you want to take a train ride through Europe? Save up and do it. Do you want to take a road trip? Do it! Just like you have a nest egg for emergencies, create a savings jar for traveling. You don’t want to look back and wish you would have seen the majesty of the Grand Canyon or the beaches of Costa Rica or walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. The world is the window to your imagination. Create an award-winning movie screen of memories you will want to revisit over and over.
Spend Time with Your Parents
This is important to remember because as you’re getting older, so are your parents. My biggest regret is not spending more time pampering my mom before her time was gone. You say tomorrow we will do that but one day tomorrow will be too late. Take trips together, have a spa day, cook dinner together and share old family recipes but create one of kind lasting memories that no one, including death, can take from you. Take silly photos just because. Hug them every chance you get and say I love you every single day. Those memories are all you will have to reflect back on your journey with them.
Never Lose Faith
There will be days when you want to give up, and feel like everything is coming against you but that’s when you dig in your boss babe heels and know that it’s not the end of your story. Those dreams are in your heart for a reason, but it’s up to you to believe in yourself even when no one else does. You’re never alone, even though it may feel that way some days. Just consider the fact that you just haven’t seen your breakthrough yet and that it may just be around the corner. Keep working on yourself, keep striving to do better, and never lose your faith in the blessings God has stored up for you in your career, in your relationships, in your health. Miracles happen every day!