1. An accomplishment is an accomplishment. Even if it seems small to other people, don’t let what others think diminish the importance of what you’ve done.
2. Be excited to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 for the fourth time. And show it. Life is short, and you should enjoy the things that make you happy.
3. Read. No matter how low-brow the books you read are, you can always learn something from them.
4. Stuffed animals are for everyone.
5. Baking makes you feel better. Sometimes the best medicine is making a spice cake together at 1 a.m.
6. If you want to pet someone’s dog, ask them. Life is too short to not pet as many dogs as you can.
7. Put your best effort into everything. Everything.
8. It’s OK to be a huge nerd if that’s who you are. It’s who I am. And I own it. (Thanks, Mom.)
9. Having special needs is not an excuse not to try. With a lot of diagnoses on my plate, sometimes it can be hard for me to tell if I’m struggling or if I’m afraid to try because I’m afraid to struggle. So I try. Always.
10. Never do something because someone else wants you to do it.
11. There are many, many things that are more offensive than curse words or mean names.
12. Having a name that you have to spell every single time is not a problem. It’s a blessing to be different.
13. Stand up to authority. Fight for what you deserve.
14. It’s not lame to enjoy hanging out with your parents. (Some of my best memories are just hanging out with my mom.)
15. Your grades do not equal who you are or what you are worth.
16. Someone always has my back. It’s my Mom. And I can count on her always.