I am my mom’s number one fan. Even when I was little, I used to look at my mom with wide-eyed admiration. Aside from her obvious beauty, class and charm, she has a certain unquantifiable something about her. She’s one of the warmest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to be around and no matter who you are, you just end up gravitating towards her.
While it wasn’t always roses and sunshine for me and my mom (thanks, teen angst), she always loved and supported me—and peppered in words of wisdom whenever she could. In anticipation of Mother’s Day, here’s a list of some of my favorite golden nuggets of advice from her.
You can never be overdressed
If there’s one thing I inherited from my mom, it’s my love for fashion. When I was a kid, we used to dress up in matching outfits before it was even a thing.
She taught me that there’s no such thing as “overdressed,” which basically influenced my entire life. While yes, there are certain considerations you need to take when picking your outfit, being “overdressed”—especially for parties and events—is impossible. In her words, “You’re just dressed.”
If you’re throwing a party, make it one to remember
My mom is famous for throwing the most fabulous parties. Grand or intimate, it was always an event worth attending. She planned every event (from birthdays to simple family meals) with everyone attending in mind so nobody ever feels left out.
Themed parties were her specialty, even before it was a trend. “It’s not a party if something unexpected doesn’t happen,” she once told me. Her secret was always to plan everything as best as she could and roll with the punches if anything ever snagged—all while having the time of her life.
Don’t marry someone if you’re uncomfortable with the thought of giving them a shower when you’re old
Well, this one is self explanatory.
Whether it’s an event, a job or a relationship, always leave with poise and grace
Burning bridges is a big no-no for my mom. As an angsty teenager, she told me that a moment of anger can come back to haunt me for the rest of my life. Whenever I turned a new page in my life (like graduating from school, quitting my first job and switching careers), she reminded me that leaving with poise and grace will speak well of my character.
Even if the old job sucked or if the food at the wedding we attended was bad, she’d always tell me to smile and thank everyone for having me. It’s a tough thing to practice at times, but it’s an important thing to do.
Always wear decent underwear
While this should be self explanatory, just hear me out for a bit. My mom explained to me that should an unlikely event occur—say an accident—it would be a little embarrassing if the doctor laid me out on the operating table, cut through my clothes and found me with holes in my underwear. I know, I know, it should be the least of my worries if it’s a life-or-death situation, but it can give some peace of mind.
People will say what they will, but it’s your life to live
My parents built their lives from the ground up, which means that along with failure, they were no strangers to criticism. People talk, they always will, but our lives are our own. My mom is the shining example of living life unapologetically.
Whenever something bad happens, she just carries on living her life the way she wanted. To her, you can’t stop people from talking. What’s important though is being true to yourself and who you are. “The opinions of others shouldn’t influence every single aspect of your life,” she said. “Let them talk, but it’s your life.”
Above all else, be kind
The one piece of wisdom from my mom that I’ll never ever forget is to always be kind. My mom has lived a difficult, wonderful and storied life, and she found that being kind is the best way to live. No matter how difficult things are, being a decent person is still free. No matter who she’s talking to, she will always extend a hand to them and show them the kindness they intrinsically deserve. It’s a tough life, so there’s always room for kindness.
Mom, if you’re reading this, happy Mother’s Day! This is proof that I always listened when you talked to me. I love you very much.