Last week I shared with you a letter a father wrote his daughter about the pressures of growing up in this “better be perfect looking or else” culture we live in today when “perfection” is just a wave of the mascara wand away.
I gave myself the challenge to write a letter to my future 13-year-old daughter on how to relish life, though I’m not even close to knowing “it all.” Here we go!
Dear (future) daughter of mine,
Hey Lovely, in life there will be challenges and difficulties (like puberty), celebrations and triumphs (like acing that math test), but all of those lessons learned and victories won are moments that shape your You. A life puzzle… of sorts.
Here are my top 5 (so far) things you should know:
ONE: Become a Thunkie
Or a thinking junkie. Your brain is beautiful, use it! Show your personality, communicate your dreams. Soak up all the knowledge from not only the classroom, but also life’s experiences. Pick up a book, a real one…smell the pages, have your eyes scroll across the serif text, learn something of value. Because in the end your brain is your most valuable tool, though sometimes you’ll wish it would shut up so you can follow your heart.
TWO: Don’t Believe Everything You Read (and watch)
“The 10 Ways to Get Every Man to Want You”
“5 Days to Flawless Skin”
“The Get Toned by Tuesday Workout.”
All of the above could have (and no doubt have) been headlines for the women teen magazine, Cosmopolitan. Don’t believe the hype, I admittedly tried the 10 ways… didn’t work. Flawless skin? I’ll keep my laugh lines, thank you. And you can never get toned by Tuesday, ever. Also those models and celebs on the cover, they’re photoshopped to have beaming sun-kissed skin and the perfect hourglass shape.
In life many things are based around appearance, influenced by marketers. In today’s (2014) culture there’s a high value on appearance. For women we’re told to be younger, thinner, and more natural by caking on make-up.
Today, were even lacking in powerful female characters in TV/movies and even in real life. In the off chance a woman of power like former secretary of state for the Obama administration Hillary Clinton, is in the news she’s labeled as a “bitch” or “bossy” and often critiqued more on her appearance than her work. Bet you didn’t’ know you were getting a culture history lesson, did ya?
Lovely, if people call you “bossy,” shoot them a warm smile and reply “thanks,” you’ll catch them completely off guard leaving you to bask in your Thunkie glory.
THREE: Always Believe Your Mother
I know, I know you’re like “mommmmm, seriously?” Dead. Deal with it. As you grow and mature you’ll be thanking me one day, as I did my own mother (yup, tastes like vinegar). However, I’m not going to silver platter these “told you sos,” some you’ll have the privilege of learning on your own. Like, social media. Just know what happens on social media is being collected by the Library of Congress and will no doubt come back to spook you during that important job interview. Which is why you shouldn’t put up a fight when I say you have to be in college before your granted the responsibility of running your own reputation on the wild, wild web.
FOUR: You Only Live Once
This has been my life motto since I was 12, until Drake went and ruined it with his overplayed tune. Even my screen name was “ulive1” on AIM (which was basically text messaging via the Internet). Anywho! Please remember that this life is precious. You only get one shot to make the most of it. Everyday is a blessing. Don’t drink and drive. Do travel. Don’t speed. Do work hard because it will pay off. Don’t worry too much. Do dance around your room and Do and ask your mother to join you.
FIVE: Be Vibrant, Be You
Be strong, be steadfast, be giving. Take responsibility of your happiness. Dismiss those who prove toxic on your well-being leaving room for others that paint your world in positivity and love. Positive thinking is powerful and how you view yourself affects how others, in all aspects of your life, view you. So make the promise to yourself—you deserve it—because you are beautiful, because you are you!
Be the best You, you deserve it and so does the world!
With all the XOs,
What are some life lessons you would share in a letter to your future child or current sister, cousin, friend? Share in the comments!