I typically write about my boys, boy stuff, surviving boys, and all things boys…because well, that’s my life. But sometimes I forget that I am a girl and that being a girl and a woman can be very hard and daunting at times. We have the burden of surviving adolescence, motherhood, and surviving the corporate world against the man, but doing it with poise and dignity, while wearing panty hose and a smile.

One of my most favorite songs is by Martina McBride, and she pretty much nails being a girl, right on the head. By 13 you will have your heart broken, and that is okay. I promise you will survive. It will hurt for a while. You will think that he doesn’t remember you, you even notice you in the hallways at school. But try to wipe those tears away, because there are more important things in life than that silly boy in junior high…I promise. It may feel like the end of the world today, but there are so many more hurdles to overcome.

And always know your body is your temple. I know, I know you hear it from your parents all the time. But no group of girls or boys will be there for you after you make the decision that will change who you are forever. Just be proud and confident in whom you are, and the decisions you make. Don’t ever let anyone force you to do something you aren’t comfortable with…whether it’s sex, drugs, alcohol, or anything — because in the end, you are your best friend.

Then you creep up on college, and post-college life. And you have the world in the palm of your hands. But yet, it’s not exactly what you expected. You may be engaged…although I hope you wait and experience life just a little bit on your own. Try not to go from mom and dad’s house, to the sorority house, to your husband’s house. Try living on your own for a while. Endure living on Roman Noodles, or cheese and crackers; I promise, as you are going through it, it may stink. But it will make you a better, stronger more self-sufficient woman in the end.

I think every young girl needs to live on her own for a while, have taken a trip on her own, and know how to change her car tire, all on her own. Three very important things a girl should know how to do in life.

So, once you get past your 20s, you think things are smooth sailing and easy going, I did too. But guess what? Life can throw you another wrench, so always be prepared. Your heart can be broken at any stage of the game. But just remember, you are only as weak as your weakest link. So never, ever let a man or a boy take your smile away. That has always been my creed and my motto to myself. Life can change in an instant…for the good and the bad.

The reason I say it is important to travel and to live alone is it gives you the opportunity to really get to know yourself as a young lady. Not as someone’s daughter, not as a sister, not as a college student, not as a friend, not as a girlfriend, or a wife; but as you — who you really are. What you really want out of life.

So just remember to make decisions that will always keep a smile on your face, and that you know you can look back at in 20 years and have no regrets about.

Being a girl & a woman is an amazing adventure. We get to have babies, we get to go to college now, we get to vote, we get to be CEOs, and we get to run households. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel less important than what you are because you are a girl…we can do everything boys can do, we just do it faster, more organized and in high heels.