It Takes A Village… to raise a child. So, I’m asking bloggers from my village to each write a message for me to pass on to my girls. If you’d like to write one, let me know.

This week’s message to my girls is from a woman who I admire for her kindness and strength, Kristin Brumm, who writes over at the emotionally raw, inspiring and brave blog Wanderlust

An Open Letter to Little People (Bianca’s, mine, yours if you’d like)

From where you sit now life may seem fairly simple and straightforward and in many respects it is. But as you lean towards adulthood you’ll no doubt try to complicate it, because that’s what we all do.

For instance, as you grow up you will have many friends who will all have different ideas of what is required to be adored by others. Because you are human, you will for a time play the game of trying to morph yourself into these different ideals. It is my hope that sooner, rather than later, you will learn that the quality which others most respect and find attractive is authenticity, the irony being that once you discover this you will no longer care much what others think.

Many things will seem wildly important to you at different times in your life. But here’s something that really is. Find the one thing in life that makes your heart sing and do it and never stop doing it, even if it makes your parents weep into their pillows at night. They’ll get over it.

A well-paying job is lovely. A home is lovely. But before you chase that kind of stability, get out and see the world. One cannot purchase the perspective of life as viewed from beneath a worn rucksack on a lost bit of track somewhere in the Peruvian Andes.

If you’re unsure whether or not you should say it, and…

  • you’re really angry 
  • in a business meeting 
  • have had a few too many 
  • are talking to an attractive man/woman who’s not your significant other 
  • are in a chat room 
  • are being evaluated for a raise 
  • are about to hit reply to all   you probably shouldn’t.
If you’re unsure whether or not you should say it, and…
  • you’re feeling hurt 
  • are feeling centered 
  • are in therapy 
  • are hooked up to a lie detector test 
  • the man/woman of your dreams is about to walk out the door 
  • are only at the $5,000 level on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire   you probably should.
Things that are a bad idea:
  •  Credit cards for college students 
  •  Credit cards in general (unless you pay them off every month) 
  •  Thinking, eh, you’re okay to drive 
  •  Unprotected sex with your boyfriend/girlfriend because my god you love him/her so much and besides, you know it’s a safe time of the month 
  •  Unprotected sex in general 
  •  Drugs, legal or otherwise, prescription or street, your parents’ or yours or anyone else’s 
  •  Owning a firearm (unless you live in the Yukon and need to take down a caribou for your dinner, what the hell are you thinking?) 
  •  Tattoos that spell things out 
  •  Martyrdom 
  •  Whining 
  •  Playing the victim 
  •  You get the picture 
 Things that are a good idea:
  • A degree in the liberal arts (yes, you will get a job) 
  • Condoms (yes, harp harp) 
  • Being the first to apologize — contrary to popular belief, it takes a bigger person 
  • Laughing at yourself 
  • Turning off the TV and reading. Lots. 
  • Speaking your truth 
  • Over and over and over, even when it hurts 
  • Accountability 
  • Integrity 
  • Love over gold 
  • Take your calcium 
That should do for now.  Carry on.

Kristin x

Kristin Brumm is the creator of Wanderlust, an award-winning blog where she shares her thoughts on love, loss, parenting and the vicissitudes of life. She is a writer whose work has been published in online and print literary journals. She is a “mommy blogger” who connects primarily with other mothers on the web. She is an advocate for many social causes, especially those that impact our basic human rights to live free of fear and coercion.