Parents impact your life in more profound ways than you can imagine.Ramit Sethi, What’s the best thing you learned from your parents?, The “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” Blog
I recently turned 18 and before I look ahead at what is in store for me now that I am of legal age, I am choosing to look back at the lessons I learned from my parents these past 17 years.
Since day one, my parents have always been there for me–accompanying me as I venture through life. Their guidance, love, and support through my highs and lows are what keep me grounded.
I actually consider my 18th birthday as one of my parents’ parenting milestones for they have witnessed their firstborn turn into a young adult.
Below is a list of things I have learned from them.
Things I learned from my mom:
1. Red lipsticks are magical.
They cannot only transform my look; They can also instantly lift my mood and add confidence.
My mom actually inspired my fondness of red lipsticks. While other people go on about how their ‘“eyebrows” are life, my mom treats her red-tainted lips as something she cannot be seen without especially during gatherings with people she is not closely related to.
She also has this mentality when it comes to red lipsticks that I have adopted which is “the brighter the red, the more beautiful you will look”.
2. A good vocabulary equates to a great mind.
The more you know about words, the smarter you will seem.
My mom used to be a wide reader when she was young and she is proud of how it has helped her throughout her career. She believes that great opportunities come her way because of the knowledge she acquired through her reading habits when she was young.
Wilfred Funk and Norman Lewis in the book 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary stated that “words can make you great” and I could not agree more seeing as how my mom is continuously reaping the rewards of being a wide reader.
3. It is not my task to correct other people’s misunderstandings of me.
Oftentimes, I would always try to let other people understand me and the way I act to not be misinterpreted. I remember, there were times when I would give people the reason why I did certain things to not be gossiped about.
Looking at how my mom always has this I-do-not-care-about-what-other-people-think attitude, it made me realize that other people’s perception of me is not something for me to try to change for I have no control over it.
What I can do about it is to just let it be and live my life the way I want to without stepping on anyone else’s.
4. It is important to double-check everything.
Before, I used to find my mom ridiculously exasperating because she has this hobby of always asking me numerous times if I have done certain things she had asked me to do.
Looking at it from a different perspective made me realize that her continuous bothering is actually significant because there are times when I tend to carelessly forget doing the things she had asked me to do and sometimes those things were really important.
5. Watermarks in pictures is not a great idea!
My mom used to be enthusiastic about putting watermarks that say “jofotos” in every single picture she posts online.
I once followed her footsteps and made my watermark that says “aaligraphy” (I thought of it as a nice combination of “Aaliziyah” and “photography” not realizing it sounds like “calligraphy”.).
Whenever I look back at those watermarked pictures, I cannot help but feel sheepish for they did not turn out to be cool, unlike the way I thought they were before. Although my mom thinks her watermarked pictures are great, I would always think of them as bad ideas.
I actually find her interest in Instagram a blessing in disguise because it made her graduate from her “watermark” phase.
6. It is okay to treat people like the way they treat me.
Treating people like the way one wants to be treated is often draining. It can also test one’s patience. I learned from my mom that sometimes people need to have a taste of their own medicine for them to know how awful they are to others.
7. Being emotional is not a bad thing.
In this world where almost everyone puts on a mask to hide how they truly feel to avoid judgment from others, my mom made me realize that it is okay to be an open book when it comes to what I am feeling.
There was this time when I cried in front of my family because I did not pass the UPCAT which I thought I would pass.
When I apologized to my mom for putting on a show, she said that what I did was only natural and something that I should not apologize for. Because of that, I made it a point to always view emotions as part of human nature.
Things I learned from my dad:
8. Prioritizing education before anything else is always a safe bet.
Although there are highly successful people who are seen as living proofs of how nonvital education is to succeed, I still and will forever believe my dad’s view on how education holds significance that is why it is worth prioritizing.
Most of my regrets that blossomed before I turned 18 are actually related to my education.
9. Boys are the biggest distractions ever known to girls.
My dad always tells me and my sister that boys turn girls stupid. He always reminds us to not be one of the girls who got distracted from their studies because of boys who claim they love them.
Although it sounds self-deprecating coming from him, my dad thinks of himself as my mom’s biggest distraction for he believes that her career would have flourished even more if he were not around.
10. If something is not bettering me as a person, there should be no point in wasting my time doing it even though I have nothing else to do.
There was this one time that I got seriously addicted to watching Chinese dramas. I spent a whole week lying on one of our long wooden chairs with my laptop on hand because I just cannot get enough of them.
Seeing as how I am spending most of my time watching Chinese dramas, my dad talked me out of it. He said that to succeed in life, I must do things that can be of help in bettering myself, and watching Chinese dramas is not one of them.
11. I should not ruin my eyesight because of things that will not help build my success in the future.
My dad made me realize that my eyesight is a precious weapon I should not waste by doing unimportant things that can deteriorate its clarity. I think one of the reasons my dad talked me out of using social media is because he knows that too much use of it can blur my eyesight.
Currently, the only social media I have is Facebook. I planned on permanently deleting it like my Twitter and Instagram accounts but I realized that it can play a big role in both my blog and education so I decided to spare it.
12. Passwords should consist of letters with different capitalizations, numbers, and some punctuation marks.
My sister once asked my dad how to prevent her accounts from getting hacked and that was my dad’s simple answer. I kept it in mind because I know how important passwords are in this world where our privacy is at stake due to the people lurking on the internet.
13. People, especially relatives, should be respected for they play big roles in my life.
I am not the most affectionate person to my relatives and my dad told me that I do not need to be.
According to him, what I need to be is someone who always makes sure that her actions toward her relatives are accompanied by respect. The reason behind it is that my relatives are people who have been part of my parents’ lives even before I was born.
14. Some matters are better to be joked about than to be taken seriously.
I consider myself as a maudlin individual because I tend to cry due to trivial things.
One memory that I will never forget about my dad and me was when we were in Jollibee and I told him that I did not pass the USTET. Instead of comforting me, what he did was talk humorously about it. He said that I should blame it on my mom for she was the one who chose my courses.
His words were not what I wanted to hear when I was crying, but they were the words that made me realize how I am taking everything seriously which should not be the case.
Things I learned from both of my parents:
15. My sister and I bring happiness to the table.
There were plenty of times I have asked my parents if they ever regret having my sister and me because it seems that we are more of burdens than blessings.
As you can see, instead of my parents having the best time of their lives, they are using their money to give us the future they have wanted for themselves.
Every time I would ask my parents that, they would answer no. When I asked for their reason, my dad simply said that they would not be this happy without us. Because of his words, I realized that the happiness my sister and I bring is worth more than their lives without us.
16. Despite our absence from Eucharistic celebrations, I must not let my faith in God deteriorate.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, my family and I were always on the go because we live in Cavite, and our workplaces and schools are located in Metro Manila.
Because of that, we always find ourselves too tired during weekends and absent during Eucharistic celebrations. Despite that, my parents always remind me and my sister that we should not lose faith in God.
Having Faith in God is the default that is not worth changing. In this world where a lot of unpleasant adversities are occurring, my parents made me realize that instead of losing my faith in Him, I must strengthen it more. My faith is something that I should not let wither no matter what happens.
17. Sacrifice is the most genuine form of love.
Sacrifice in the form of love that one does not need to question whether it is real or not; It is the form that one does not need to label and measure for there is no need to. The reason behind it is that sacrifice is love itself.
Before, I used to doubt if sacrifice as a form of love can be done by us, human beings. As you can see, whenever sacrifice and love are being discussed together, only Jesus comes to mind for He sacrificed Himself for us because of His eternal love.
I did not think it was possible to feel a love close to God’s love until I realized how my parents have been loving me throughout my whole existence.
My parents never made me feel that it is their duty to provide for me; They never used all their sacrifices against me.
Although their upbringing of me might not be the best out there, I will never want to be raised any other way.
Thank you for reading! I appreciate it a lot.
This was originally written before my birthday but I was not able to post it because I do not have a website at that time. Now that I have one, I made sure that this piece will be my first blog post. I know it is quite long but I really wanted to expound on the lessons my parents have taught me.
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