To My Future Children

To My Future Children

You can move mountains.
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First of all, I hope you know that you are loved. When I was growing up, people didn’t always remind me that I was loved and that I mattered. Truthfully, I’m still growing up at the time of my life in which I’m writing this to you. I’m turning 20 in two months. I feel as though this time in my life is a pivotal moment and I want to share, with you, what I’m learning.

There are going to be times when you feel like giving up, times when absolutely everything seems to be going wrong. It’s in these moments when you have to make a difficult decision. Do you give up or do you keep trying? No matter what you decide, please know that I will be here to support you, but I do hope that you keep trying. At the time of my life that I’m in right now, I feel like giving up. Every opportunity I’ve pursued since arriving at college, I have failed at. Many of my relationships are making me unhappy and I’m struggling to come to terms with myself.

There are so many days when I just want to throw in the towel and give up on 20 years of work. But I don’t. I keep going because I’m thinking of you. I’m thinking about all of the potential you have to live such an amazing life. If I don’t keep going and work as hard as I can, then you will not have as many opportunities. So at a time when I feel like giving up, I’ve decided to keep on going, despite whatever heartache might come. Because, in the end, it feels so much better to say that you tried the hardest you could, than to say you didn’t want to take a chance.

At this time, I’m learning how important it is to love yourself. I have incredible people in my life to support me and love me, but they are not always available to me. I’ve started spending time alone because I learned that I was relying solely on the people in my life to make me feel happy, instead of making myself happy. I encourage you to explore the value of alone time to begin a journey of self-discovery.

While you are growing up, there are going to be times when you think you hate me. I know that because there are times when I think I hate my own parents. No matter how angry they make me, I know that we still love each other. They’re my number one fans and I hope you know that I’m your number one fan, too. I’m not a mother yet, so I don’t fully understand the unconditional love that comes with being a parent. But right now I can say that I will always be here for you, through thick and thin, and I hope you never forget that.

I encourage you to take moments throughout your day to be completely silent. Beauty, happiness, and concept of self, lie in silence. Put away your cell phone and laptop. Get away from your friends and take a moment to think about the silence. Be in the moment. It will bring you a few minutes of peace in what might be a hectic and busy day.

At this particular point in my life, I’m not sure if I’ll have children. But if I do, I’m looking forward to meeting you and watching you grow into a beautiful human being. And to my parents: thank you for everything.

Cover Image Credit: actuality.log

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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To The Friend I Rarely See Anymore

I wish you nothing but the best.

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When we graduated high school, we thought it was the end for us. The distance would ruin us and we wouldn't be able to call ourselves friends. Thankfully, you were my rock for the first year of school. You were the one I turned to when the adjustment was hard or when I needed someone to talk to and just listen. We never lost our connection for a whole year. We proved that nothing could pull us apart no matter how far the distance, no matter the different schedules. We were still best friends.

Another summer came and we only got stronger. We went on countless beach trips, late night hangouts, and Starbucks runs. I didn't even think it was possible to be this much closer to you than we already were. If we weren't together, we would Snapchat or text to never stop the conversation.

Now summer ended, we didn't think twice about losing our connection this time. We had a bond stronger than anyone could fathom. We once again went our separate ways and kept our texting and Snapchat habits.

But something changed.

It must've been the comfort level of sophomore year. It must've been all the new friends we got. It must have been the boys who entered our lives. We don't speak anymore. I haven't seen you since winter break. I haven't texted you since New Year's Eve. Our connection, one that was once thought to be indestructible, came crumbling down with sophomore year. I am not going to lie, sophomore year was the best of my life, but I knew you were missing the whole time. It wasn't the same without you.

I'm not upset you chose to focus your time and life on your new boyfriend. I am happy for you. I am not upset you spend more time with your school friends. I am happy for you. I am not upset you don't text me anymore and killed our streak. I know you're living a happy life. And I am too.

We may have gone our separate ways like we never imagined, but I am happy you are finally happy. Don't forget for one second that I will always be here for you. I will still always answer your text. I will still always be your shoulder to cry on even when no one else is there for you. I wish you nothing but the best, and I hope you're doing ok.

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