My mom taught me lots of great lessons. In life, she taught me to be myself; in work, she taught me not to be afraid of being a bitch; in relationships, she taught me to treat people like I want to be treated; and in love, she taught me to always follow my heart.
For the most part, she had all her bases covered when it came to rearing a young daughter. I mean, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I followed her advice and I feel like I turned out okay.
I know to believe in myself and to be kind to others and to demand a certain level of respect for myself… and these are all great lessons she taught me. But I've got to admit I’m still left with some blind-spots.
For example, she didn’t teach me what to do if I wanted to text a guy first or how to tell whether or not I’m even in a relationship with said guy.
She never taught me how to react if all of my friends post a picture on Instagram from an event I clearly wasn’t invited to or how to cope with my unrelenting FOMO when I see photos of the party I couldn’t make.
It's all very frustrating for me as I believe it was her sole duty in life to warn me of any and all future challenges I might face... but then I have to remember: How could she? She never had to deal with sh*t like this.
Young people today are treading completely unchartered waters.
Instead of picking up and calling our friends, we send Snapchats (that are also delivered to 25 of our other closest friends).
Instead of dating boys we're in love with, we “casually hook up” while doing everything in our power not to "catch feelings."
Instead of looking up to real images of real people, we idolize images that are completely digitized.
We live in a world where rules are vague and perceptions are constantly skewed and distorted. This leaves us with a whole new collection of wise words to pass down to our own daughters.
1. Those girls don’t actually look like they do on TV and in the magazines.
2. If you want to text him first, do it.
3. Value face-to-face conversations.
4. Don’t confuse your Facebook profile for your real-life self.
5. Stop trying to be the “chill” girl.
6. Put your phone away when you’re having conversations IRL.
7. Enjoy being single.
8. Stop letting your friends draft your texts for you.
9. Don’t let your social media likes be your source of validation.
10. Never make yourself small.
11. Stop spending obscene amounts of money on juice that gives you the sh*ts.
12. Meet online dates at public places.
13. Don’t get catfished.
14. Don’t confuse being sexually empowered with letting people take advantage of you.
15. Keep fighting for different standards of beauty.
16. Life is better without a filter.
17. Have sex for yourself.
18. Those Photobooth pictures you posted of you and your friends in middle school can -- and will -- come back to haunt you.
19. Don’t cyberstalk him.
20. Don’t post anything to make him -- or anyone -- jealous.
21. There is no such thing as a slut.
22. Never underestimate the power of your words. Especially the ones you post online.
23. It’s okay to masturbate. In fact, it's encouraged.
24. Until you two have had a conversation about it, he is not your boyfriend.
25. You don’t have to live your life like I lived mine.
26. Don’t get married before you’re 30.
27. Be careful whom you trust with your nudes.
28. Give the guy a fair shot before you hop back on Tinder.
29. Stop tweeting about your love life.
30. Be careful about what you drunkenly Snapchat. Odds are, you'll wonder for the rest of your life about what you sent (or the rest of the day... but you get the picture).
31. There’s no right way to be a woman.
32. Get tested after every partner.
33. Don’t become overwhelmed by how many fish there are in the sea.
34. It’s okay to change your mind.
35. Never say sorry when you’re not sorry.
36. Focus on your (real life) friends, not your followers.
37. Stop filtering the sh*t out of your pictures. You look fine the way you are.
38. Swap your Netflix binge for a book before bed.
39. It’s okay to be "basic."
40. Take your headphones out and have a conversation with someone.
41. Don’t be an object; be a subject.
42. Sex is as much for your own pleasure as it is for his.
43. You can be happy on your own.
44. School is not necessarily going to be the greatest measure of your success.
45. Your value is never in your beauty.
46. Don’t subtweet.
47. The world is somehow both huge and tiny. Explore it.
48. Be able to take care of yourself before you find a man who can take care of you.
49. You will never really know why he didn’t text you back.
50. Refrain from texting when drunk at all costs.
51. Don’t panic if you haven’t yet found "the one."
52. Don’t hide behind your screen.
53. There’s a certain level of respect you deserve, even in the hook-up culture.
54. Keep your private life private.
55. Stop overanalyzing every text message.
56. Don’t be afraid of a telephone call.
57. Good texting chemistry doesn’t always translate IRL.
58. It’s okay to cyber-date.
59. Nobody is having as much fun as it looks like on Instagram.
60. F*ck FOMO; learn to live in the moment.