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A Letter to My Future Daughter About Self-Worth


To my future daughter,

We have not yet met, but there are a couple of things I would like to tell you and a little advice I would like to give you. I want to start by telling you that you will never know a day without love; I will love you endlessly for the rest of your life. I will never let you know a life without care or appreciation.

Please pay very close attention as you read the rest of this letter.

I want you to love yourself. There is a lot more in just saying it, you really truly have to mean it. The initial step, I believe, is becoming comfortable with who you are, what you look like and the ideal woman you want to be someday. Be honest and kind, but also assertive and conscious. Self-respect is one of the most important qualities a person can assume.

In case one day I forget what it feels like to be a teenager and distraught, I want you to know there will come a time where you feel yourself deteriorate into nothing, and that is OK. You must go through struggle to find strength. I will not let you go through it alone. I will be there if you need me because the hours between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. make you feel like you are either on top of the world or underneath it. Find a song that soothes your heart (my go to is “Beautiful” by Bethany Dillon), and please do not let yourself forget that you are human and it is OK to feel pain… it means that you are alive. Just breathe.

Your mental health comes before school every single time. If it’s midnight and you are too sad to move, or you are stressed about an upcoming exam, put the textbook, index cards and notes down and go to sleep. One bad score does not define you and it will not diminish you in my eyes. It will not make me love you any less and it certainly will not take away your chances of a successful future. Your health and happiness are more important than the grade you receive. Please do not forget that. If it’s 3 a.m. and you find yourself in a state of complete despair, please don’t turn to substances, alcohol or any other destructive behaviors to drown your demons, they can swim and they will. Climb into my bed (like I used to do with your grandmother) and I will cuddle and soothe you until you fall asleep.

I refuse to be oblivious to your sufferings. I hope by the time you read this letter, rape culture has changed. I hope by now you won’t be scared to walk alone at night, scared to wear what you want or scared to say “no.”

Don’t you dare let someone tell you that your dreams are too far-fetched. You can do anything you set your mind to. Always remember quality over quantity as it applies to essentially every aspect of your life. I promise. Please don’t say you like something if you don’t. You don’t have to change yourself to impress anyone.

Do not be ashamed of loving who you want to love. One day you will meet a boy or girl who makes your heart flutter. You will feel butterflies inhabit your lungs and flowers sprout out of the darkest parts of your mind. Don’t be scared to fall in love. I know it’s terrifying, the idea of giving your heart to someone and trusting them not to break it, but I want you to believe in love. I don’t mean you need to find it at 16… just because your friend has a boyfriend or girlfriend, doesn’t mean that you need to. I want you to believe in second loves, because they prove love exists even after you assured yourself it didn’t.

I want you to be OK with being alone. I want you to sit in silence and feel whole. I want you to know your worth does not depend on your relationship status. But one day, I want you to look across the table at breakfast at the love of your life and wonder how the world ever made sense before you met. Express how you feel and don’t hold back. Never be afraid to feel; I want you to feel everything. When you feel your world slip away and you fall into darkness, I will tell you that when I was 17 I searched for peace in ways that only stripped me of my happiness and made me sad. I ripped myself apart and found myself at rock bottom. It is the human experience. But it is also temporary.

I write this at 19 years of age, and I am still struggling but I see a happy future. I want you to know that no matter what, I will always love you. Even after all those “I hate you’s,” door slams and even all the “you’re ruining my life” moments, I will love you unconditionally. You’ll grow up to be thick-headed and stubborn like me, but you will grow up to be your own person and it will be a pleasure watching you grow. If you fall, I will be there waiting to catch you with nothing but love in my eyes. Laugh a lot, love unconditionally. Be honest. Discover your favorite book and get lost in the author’s words. Have a favorite dessert, holiday, season and smell. Find yourself a happy place.

If you never listen to a thing I say (which I know you won’t because you are my daughter), please just remember this letter. I love you.

All my love,

Mom

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Thinkstock photo via Digital Vision