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It Isn’t Easy; 6 Things I Wish My Parents Told Me

My parents meant well enough but there are a number of things I wish they had told me about life, love, and success.

Time Doesn’t Heal Everything

Ah, yes. The good old slap a bandaid on it saying that my parents applied to every heartbreak and hardship: “Time heals all wounds”.

As a kid I wanted desperately for this to be true and sometimes it was. But, as we all know, time does not heal every wound.

I wish they had simply told me the truth. Time is in fact a great doctor and it does heal many things but not everything.

There is some pain you carry around in your back pocket forever.

On the good days you forget that it’s there. And you know what?

Life is pretty beautiful despite that pain you carry. Sometimes it’s even more beautiful because of it.

It reminds you to appreciate those good days. Seems unfair and confusing and it completely is.

But that’s life, kid.

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Don’t Fall For The First Person You Meet In College

I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have listened to this one but I suppose stranger things have happened. My parents were pretty tight lipped about their personal lives so most of the college advice I was given centered around grades and attendance.

Good to know, but at eighteen with hormones fully charged and racing, my attention was drawn to every cute guy within a ten mile radius.

I wish they had told me to have fun being single and eighteen. To date and not get locked in a relationship with the first cute guy that walked my way.

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As it turned out, this would have been the best grade saving advice they could have given me.

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Your Credit Score Matters

I was in college in the late 1990’s before the student loan bubble became a regular topic of economic discussion. Credit card companies sent me card after card directly to my dorm room.

And student loan limits… what were those?

I really needed someone to sit me down and explain what a credit score actually meant, followed by a lesson on how it not only matters but how it can impact you negatively for many years.

Granted, I am not a math brain type of person but that shouldn’t have deterred them from discussing my financial future with me. I wish they had told me all I needed to know to protect myself from predatory lenders and eighteen year old thoughts of what happens now doesn’t matter later.

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How To Manage Your Time

This is something I think my parents assumed I just somehow knew. They were wrong.

Time management skills were lacking in school and at my first few jobs. “Just get the job done” or “One task at a time” wasn’t quite the pep talk I needed.

I needed serious direction on time management skills and productivity. How to prioritize at both school and work.

How to juggle a social life with school and employment when there was nobody there to set a curfew.

Seems like pretty simple common knowledge but this was knowledge I didn’t have. I wish they had told me how important time management would be in order to succeed as a human.

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You Can Be Anything, Regardless Of Gender

Sure, I heard “You can be anything you want to be” enough times growing up. But even in my twenties I felt held back by my gender.

Law school, politics, and the IT field all seemed to be dominated by men.

I wish they had told me that my gender didn’t matter. That plenty of women go on to succeed in politics.

As Nancy Bocskor of George Washington University stated in an interview for the girl centered Running Start program “my parents told me there was a great world beyond my backyard – and one where women could achieve great things”.

I know they meant well but I needed to hear those exact words. That anything I wanted to be meant exactly that and wasn’t boxed in by gender parameters.

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Being An Adult Isn’t Easy

Here’s where I really wish they had given it to me straight. None of this “It will all be easier when you’re older” fairytale.

Hearing that might have been comforting but it wasn’t the truth. And it wasn’t very comforting once I became an adult.

I needed to know as an adult that it was normal to feel like you don’t know what you’re doing some days or even most days. Like you’re still a kid trapped in an adult body.

I wish they had told me that being an adult isn’t easy. It’s hard work and sacrifice.

It’s carrying around the baggage of your past while trying to balance your present and unpack for the future.

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All these things and more I wish they had told me as I was growing up. It’s so easy to look back now and criticize what they said and didn’t say.

But, then again, they were adults trying to comfort and raise a child. They were the age that I am now… and being an adult isn’t easy.

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