If I Could Give Advice To My Younger Self,
I Would Say…
Jennifer, this advice to my younger self is important to me, and if I could stare you full in the face at 22, I would impart it to you with great energy. My counsel is simple: Do not lose sight of yourself. I imagine you laughing at this statement, being the strong, confident, “take on the world” young woman that you are. You have everything ahead of you. You are about to be married, to begin your career, and you feel ready to take on the world. However, I hope you will give a listen to your wizened self.
What no one has yet to tell you is that as a women, the pull toward self-sacrifice will be strong. You are the giver of life, and the boys you will give birth to will affect you in ways you have yet to understand. The intensity of your feelings for them is a gift – cherish it. Yet do not allow it to let you lose sight of you. Know that it is in the best interest of your children that you take some space for yourself, that you keep your ability to exist outside of everyday family needs. Why? Because change is inevitable.
You never know what form change will take but rest assured it will come to you. Being prepared for the challenges life may bring is what I want for you. The reality is that sacrifice of yourself is not rewarded when change comes. Cultivating your skills will allow you to face change from a position of strength rather than from one of vulnerability. In current society, being prepared means making sure to never lose your ability to support yourself and your family – to make money.
Do not ignore your career. Do not ignore what has driven you to where you are at this moment – your passion for what is new, to delve deeper, to work hard and to surprise. Yes, you can apply these things to motherhood – as well you must to be you! However, know that the traditional ways of motherhood are not valued in a monetary sense, so you will need to make room for two paths. Demand this from your partner too. Do not try to take care of it all because that life is not sustainable. No one can do it all – not even you.
I hope that as you move forward over the next few years you will keep my words in mind. Embrace the experiences you are about to have and grow from them. Remember that as you add loved ones to your life, taking the time to know and honor yourself will enrich those relationships.
– Jennifer Riley Simone | President at Fresh Figs Marketing, LLC –
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