I read a blog recently about “100 things I want my daughter to know”…or remember…or something. (I forget the exact wording). The sentiment was the things she’d want her daughter to keep with her. There were some that I liked and some that felt to me like they were perpetuating stereotypes.
I feel compelled to write my own list. I’m not the healthiest individual, so I write letters to my kids often… Just in case. I hope that my daughter reads this after I’m gone (which will hopefully be many, many decades from now) and it empowers her.
1) Don’t try to be me, or a certain model or actress or singer or even scientist… Be yourself.
2) You are just as great as anybody else.
3) You deserve just as much respect as you give.
4) Be the best version of yourself you can.
5) Make the most well thought-out choices you can at the time and don’t second-guess yourself.
6) Forgive yourself and learn from your mistakes.
7) Forgive others and learn from their mistakes.
8) Learn to discern others’ mistakes from them using you.
9) You are beautiful. You were born beautiful and need no fancy clothes or makeup to make you pretty.
10) That said, if you like makeup or fancy clothes, rock it. (Just realize you make the clothes look good, not the other way around)
11) Your body is your own. Nobody can tell you your worth. You are priceless.
12) There is no one body type that’s the prettiest. Be proud of your broad shoulders. I was always so self-conscious of mine and I wish I would have not let others tell me I should be thinner.
13) Self confidence is contagious. Others will see you in the way you see yourself.
14) Speak up. Loudly, if you need to.
15) If you like tattoos, then get them! I only ask that you think them over for at least a year beforehand.
16) If someone pressures you into sex, you should not have sex with them.
17) Go with your gut.
18) Your dreams are attainable.
19) Intelligence is not something to hide.
20) Your plate should always be half filled with veggies.
21) Never wear a bra that doesn’t fit.
22) Never wear shoes that don’t fit, either.
23) You can be anything a man can be.
24) If you are LGBTQ, there is nothing wrong with that. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
25) If someone treats you badly, don’t take it.
26) Fight for others’ rights and your own.
27) Injustice preys on those with no voice. Be that voice.
28) Organization makes life easier.
29) Worrying about things almost never changes them.
30) It’s okay to go through embarrassing phases to find where you’re most comfortable.
31) Sometimes you have to wipe the “friends slate” clean in order to grow.
32) If something is bothering you, talk about it before it gets so big that you blow up.
33) If you make a mistake, own up to it and make it right.
34) Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that tattoos aren’t feminine.
35) Never stop learning.
36) Science and math are everywhere.
37) Question everything.
38) My beliefs aren’t and shouldn’t be yours. Find the path that feels right for you.
39) You can always do more than you think you can.
40) Your brother loves you, even when he gets on your nerves.
41) Take care of your teeth like it’s your job.
42) Don’t make fun of people.
43) Remember there’s a “big picture”.
44) If someone tells you something, research it. Don’t take everything that people tell you as truth.
45) Just because you read it on Facebook doesn’t make it true, either.
46) Dance when the feeling strikes you and do it with reckless abandon.
47) Cry when you need to. A cleansing cry can work wonders.
48) When you love people, tell them. And tell them often.
49) Laugh. Laugh as much as you can.
50) Love your job. If you don’t, actively try to change your situation.
51) Children are wonderful, but don’t let anyone tell you that you need to have kids if you don’t want to.
52) Condoms are not something you should be talked out of using.
53) Be judicious about who you have sex with.
54) Sex isn’t shameful or dirty.
55) You don’t need to marry someone because it feels like the logical next step. If you get married, do it with all your heart.
56) Self breast exams are a necessity.
57) Always know that, every minute of every day, I love you. Even when I’m gone, my love for you is so big that it doesn’t die with me or even you. It is forever. Long after we’re both gone, my love for you will dance through the leaves of the trees on the wind. Unconditional and eternal. I love you like that and I hope you love yourself the same.
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