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Life Advice for My Niece i.e. “Do the Opposite of What I Did”

I’m trying to flesh out my linkedin,com profile and realizing yet again how I have managed to do it all wrong.  I have no real volunteering experience, I was active in anything beyond newspaper staff (and that was mainly high school) and I can’t even B.S. a current job because I don’t even blog enough to call myself a blogger.

This joins an ever growing list of things I am offering unsolicited advice upon to my 10 year old niece.  I should just start a list because I’ll never remember them all in order to make sure she at least remembers some of this “wisdom.

1.  Be a joiner.  I probably wouldn’t have been one anyway, being shy and all but my folks didn’t encourage participation in extra-curricular activities.  In fact, some of them were forbidden (sports, dances) so by the time I had a chance to make my own choices, I continued to avoid anything that involved commitment or socializing.

2.  Learn computer skills.  Yes, this was suggested as a thing to do when I was in school but I decided it sounded “boring” so I have only the most basic computing skills.  Guys I know who skipped college and somehow acquired major computer knowledge are living lifestyles I’ll only dream about.  

3.  Embrace the way you look.  I am still realizing how much low self-esteem has gotten in the way of all kinds of success in my life from relationships to job advancement.  If you feel great about yourself you don’t have to advertise it; everyone in the room can tell.

4.  Read.  Okay, I actually did this and it’s one of the best things I have done in my life.  Because I read voraciously growing up school was easy for me (until college).  I can write in complete sentences which is invaluable in social media.  Also, it’s made me more open to learning which has paved the way for all kinds of lovely experiences (largely in the classroom or in books).  It doesn’t matter what you read (I love romance novels) just do it because you learn big words.

5.  Respect yourself.  This goes along with embracing the way you look, but if you care for yourself, you’re less likely to wind up with a “bad crowd.”  I can’t say that I haven’t done my share of things that would freak my folks out if they knew of in their entirety, but I don’t have a criminal record or a drug problem and I did finally finish school.  My ego INSISTED that I finish school and keeping company with intelligent comrades who respected me kept me from potentially bad choices.

I’m sure this list is going to get a lot longer in the weeks to come.  My mother’s biggest concern was my chastity and virtuousness but little direction in education in career (actually, sole advice was “We just want you to be happy).  I would have liked help in picking out colleges (or math homework past the sixth grade) but she wasn’t equipped for either.  I want my niece to be a better person than I am, a stronger person than I am.

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About clocklearf

I've wanted to be a writer since the third grade.

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