I know we’ve talked about this before, but I’ve always wanted to write down my thoughts for you. There’s so much that I want for you in this life, and I want to share with you my hopes and dreams for all your years that lie ahead. There is so much that I wish I’d known when I was your age… there are always so many things that adults wish they’d done differently, and I am no exception. While I know that you will make your own choices, your own mistakes, and learn your own lessons, as your mom I’m still reserving the right to shove a few of my opinions down your throat in hopes that you will remember SOME of them over the years.
Make a list of your dreams, and do everything that you can to cross of every single one. You are capable of achieving ANYTHING that you want to do. You can live anywhere in the world, and experience anything you want to! Never lose sight of what you want in your life. When you are old and gray you will have these memories to make you smile and share with your grandkids… they are precious stories and fulfilling your dreams will give you an immense sense of achievement and satisfaction.
LIVE YOUR LIFE, NO ONE ELSE’S
There is a lot about our world that can make you feel that you need to be a certain person and live a certain kind of way, but that’s not the case! I grew up never questioning that I would get married, have kids and live in the suburbs within 20 minutes of my family. I never once stopped to think about what I wanted, or if it was the same as what everyone else wanted FOR me. If you want to get married and have kids that’s wonderful! If you want to live down the street from me and come every Sunday for dinner that’s great too! But take some time to decide what it is that YOU want out of your life.
DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO
Once you know how you want to live your life, you will need to work hard to get yourself there. I think a lot of adults would agree with me saying that if I’d known then what I know now, I’d be a lot better off. Working hard when you’re younger ensures that you won’t have to work as hard when you’re older, and how nice would that be? I hope you will work HARD in school. Make an honest effort. You are so bright, and so capable. Get good grades, go to class, study hard, and you will quickly see the payoff.
Remember, all those nice things that you want will cost money, and you need to be self sufficient. Don’t count on other people to take care of you. Maybe you will marry a prince charming and be wealthy and never have to lift a finger, but more likely than not you will have to work for most (or at least some) of your adult life, and you will need to learn how to take care of YOURSELF. Be smart with money, pay your bills, don’t spend what you don’t have and always save for that emergency that could be just around the corner.
MAKE A PLAN
When I had you, I was 26 years old and not married to your dad. We welcomed you with all the love and excitement in the world, but it wasn’t an easy road. We didn’t have a lot, and it was a struggle. In the end we realized that we were much better friends, and I think we’re doing a wonderful job raising you “together apart”, but it can be tough!
I hope almost more than anything that you will take your time in life. Accomplish the things that you want for yourself, and when YOU are ready and fulfilled as an individual THEN welcome someone else in and embark on all those new journeys together. I hope that if you decide to marry and have children that you will make sure you are established first, and truly happy and committed to your partner or husband. I will support you and love you ALWAYS, but I want you to know how much easier your life will be if you achieve all your goals BEFORE you have children. Finish school, find a great job, save some money, travel, spend time with your friends, sleep in on weekends, learn to cook, explore new hobbies, buy a home, fall in love with someone who is also your best friend, love what you do for a living and once all those pieces are in place adding children to the mix will only enrich your life in every way possible!
You are perfect. I bet you didn’t know that! Lol.. but you are. You are beautiful, and SMART… you are so incredibly smart. You are kind, and loving, and funny. You are imaginative and compassionate and moral. I have spent my entire life finding flaws in myself and I don’t want you doing the same! This is also a “learn from my mistakes” lesson. When you look in the mirror, never ever look for perfection (even though as your mom that’s what I see!). Look for the very BEST version of YOU. Don’t look to magazines of movies as an example of what is beautiful.
I should set a better example for you when it comes to this. I can’t imagine how many times you’ve heard me comment about needing to lose weight, or how many times you’ve seen me wave away someone’s compliment, “Oh please.. no.. I look awful!”. Your first impressions of body image and confidence come from me, and I think I’ve failed you in a sense. Women are so inclined to put themselves down, but don’t get sucked into that. You are a confident and outgoing girl, don’t ever lose that!
As I write this, I’m watching your five month old sister roll around on the floor with her toys, and I wonder what kind of women you will both grow to be. I hope that you will always love and support each other. Even though you are 8 years apart you will likely become very close as the years pass, and one day I hope that you and your children (if you have them! Remember it’s okay if you don’t!) will get together for barbeques and birthday parties. (Please don’t leave your little brother out.. he’s a boy, so you will have to be the one to call him and make the plans.. if he gets married, become friends with his wife.. she will be the one you’ll be in touch with 90% of the time!)
REMEMBER WHAT’S IMPORTANT
At the end of the day, the people in your life are what make it. Surround yourself with love, choose to be around people who care about you just the way you are, and if you get married I hope you will choose someone who is loyal and completely dedicated to you, a man of his word who does what he says he will, and who is honest and makes no secret of his adoration for you!
Finally, please remember this: One day you will both be old and gray. It won’t matter what he looked like, or how he cut his hair. It won’t matter if he drove the coolest car or had an important title at work. It won’t matter if he wore the best clothes or was the most popular boy in school. All of that will be long gone… but if he makes you laugh, and makes you happy, and if the thought of holding his hand for 50 years to come feels right, then he’s likely the one.
I can’t wait to see the woman you become. I see you changing every day and coming into your own. Your tastes and preferences make me smile as they become more distinguished and specific. I love that you are carving your own little path through the world, and I will be right here beside you the whole way. I am so proud of you, and I know that this world is a better place for having you in it!
Love Mom xo