My parents and I have a close relationship. Like every young adult, I fought with my parents growing up. As I moved further away from them, I realized how invaluable they are to me. I could not imagine life without them. Even when we disagree on things about my life, we still find the time to forgive one another and go back to the loving post-fight.
My family is special in the sense that growing up, there were few people who looked like me in our Silver Spring neighborhood. The school I attended had few brown children. All my friends were of other races and ethnicities. When I went to their homes, I learned just how different my family is from theirs.
The advice my parents gave me didn't feel like it would make a difference in my life. It sure does make a lot more sense now, whether it is about making friends, dating and relationships, or my choice in fashion.
These are 15 golden nuggets of wisdom my parents graced me with as a child growing up in their home:
1. When we're gone, your brothers and sisters will be all you have.
2. We won't be with you forever.
3. Respect your elders and all authority figures.
4. When in public, dress for the future.
5. Become educated or be a hobo living out of a box.
6. Be something where you can do good things for the world.
7....Or become famous.
8. Do what you love, even if it's not medicine.
9. Find someone who respects you and understands your love of literature.
10. Don't wear a top and a bottom that both have patterns on them.
11. Forgive people; don't hold on to past hurt.
12. Even if someone is bad to you, be good to them.
13. Don't judge someone harshly the first time you meet them, they could be having a bad day.
14. Choose to marry someone who will make you happy and make us proud.
15. Think positive and good things will happen.
Looking back, I really should have listened more. These pieces of advice would have changed my life in huge ways if I would have listened to them then.
My parents still influence me now. I often hear their voices when I make decisions.