“When you're an adult, you will understand.” If I had a nickel for every time my mother said those words to me as a child. I never listened to those words, until lately. A lot of the advice my mom gave me when I was a kid is finally beginning to make sense. Like this:
Make time for yourself:
Basically from the second I passed that driver's license test, I was moving nonstop. I crammed in as much as possible in every day. Homework, softball practice, pizza with buddies, maybe a party. It seemed I was always in a rush. No hour of my day was just…unscheduled. My mom said this in a sing-song tone as I dashed out the kitchen door for the umpteenth thing I “had to do” that day, “just be sure to take time for yourSELF.” And I would say “yeah, yeah.” But never did. I went at that speed into and throughout college and never experienced a problem. It's only recently, as a college graduate and working person, that I am beginning to experience the negative effects of making no time for myself. I will get annoyed with the people surrounding me. I'll even experience some depression, feeling like I don't know myself. I will become unable to focus on my work (and that is secretly my brain saying I just want to think about NOTHING for a little bit). I'm realizing that time for personal reflection, or even time to think about nothing at all, is crucial for re-charging. We often see getting drinks with friends as a way of re-energizing, but in reality it isn't. You have to listen to other people's stories. You have to think about what sort of impression you make. Your brain is still working pretty hard. True relaxation of the mind comes when you are alone. That's why I decided to finally do what I've always wanted and track down a singing teacher. I use a program called The Singing Zone which created by voice coach Per Bristow which lets me work on my technique from home.
Let men chase you:
This advice used to drive me nuts. I would think “how old world of her.” To me, letting a man chase me meant playing games. It meant allowing myself to be taken care of by a man. I've since learned that that is not what my mother meant at all. I had to do things that made me look desperate though first, to see that. My mom was trying to tell me not to overwhelm a man. If he asks you out and you want to go, go. If he gives you a call and you feel like picking up, pick up. But, don't ask him out three times in a row. Don't show up at his home unannounced to make him a surprise dinner he didn't ask for (unless you're in a serious relationship and it's established that you are always welcome). Don't get him a ton of gifts if he hasn't gotten you one. Essentially, let him know that you know your worth and let him show you that he knows it too.