After several weekends spent with you at the mall in my capacity as head (and only member) of your one-person Prom Committee, after all the eye-rolling, the hissy fits, the dress rehearsals, the giggles at the dressing room, the shopping for accessories, the helping-you-whine-to-your-parents, I wasnt really expecting to be surprised at our “final product”. But you, pretty girl, still managed to take my breath away. And as I look at you now — stick-on bra, soft curls and all– I wonder, are you ready for the world?
Listen to me, pretty girl, and listen hard. Just seven things that I wish someone had told me back then.
First. If you are to live fully and dance exuberantly, you must be prepared to trip every so often. Some of them will be ugly falls — gaping wounds, blood all over, the whole nine yards. In one of those falls, you will cry like you have never cried before. But you will be ok. And you will be able to dance again.
Second. Know the difference between spontaneous and reckless. Spontaneous is going to Tagaytay on a motorcycle with someone for a daytrip. Reckless is forgetting to wear a helmet, and deciding to spend the night. Spontaneous is cutting class. Reckless is skipping an exam. Spontaneous is one too many margaritas. Reckless is one too many margaritas and one bad boy.
Third. love your girlfriends (and gay friends).Because on Saturday nights when you want to wear your pointy fuck-me shoes and goddess earrings and strut your stuff, they’ll be there, shimmying with you. And on Tuesday afternoons when you feel like going to the UP chapel to bawl your heart out, theyll wait for you outside, give you as much time as you need, and then eat fishball and isaw with you while listening to you whine some more.
Fourth. Temper “fun fearless female” with “nice gracous girl” sometimes. This whole cosmo culture has conditioned us to believe that being a bitch will get us what we want — and to where we want to go — faster and that kindness is weakness. Open your soul and let the sunshine in. There’s just too little real goodwill going around.
Fifth. Change whatever you want about how you look, but don’t change your skin color. Consider it an extension of your glorious heritage, your rich culture. Brown is beautiful, don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise. Besides, pasty-white looks gross on young girls and pasty-white is what you’ll get with all those skin whiteners.
Sixth. Define your spirituality according to your own terms. Community worship sometimes makes me claustrophobic. I pray everyday in the silence of my room, trusting that I have a God who listens. Nurture your faith in a manner that keeps you grounded, connected to the universe, and safe and sound at night.
Seventh. Drink ten glasses of water a day. 🙂