Anyone who knows me knows I cannot wait to have kids. Alongside my long-term education and career goals, motherhood has been something I've known I want for myself for as long as I can remember.
Even though kids are still at least a few years down the road for me, I have to admit I've already started thinking about the logistics of it: how many kids I want, how I want to parent, and the important lessons that I'll impart on my kids. If I'm lucky enough to have a daughter, I want her to know these 27 things about love, life, and staying true to herself.
1. Your body belongs to you and no one else
Your body is not mine, a boyfriend or girlfriend's, or anyone else's. It's yours and yours alone to do what you choose with. Whether that means getting tattoos or plastic surgery, having kids or going on birth control, having sex with someone or choosing not to, the decision is yours. Until you're old enough, I will make decisions for you to keep you healthy, safe, and protected, but once you're old enough to decide, the choices you make are up to you and I will respect them.
Take life at your own pace and don't let anyone rush you into anything you're not excited about.
2. You don't have to be nice all the time
It's important to be polite, to use your manners, to say please and thank you, but I don't want you to feel like you have to be kind and gentle and act as a doormat for people to walk all over.
3. It's not your job to save everyone
It's not your job to make someone a better person or to save them from themselves. It will be impossible to save everyone and the belief that you'll have to will be a burden that is far too heavy for anyone to bear.
4. Don't make yourself smaller to make someone else feel better
Be loud. Be passionate. Take charge. Don't let the world's expectations of you shrink you into being anyone you're not proud of.
5. Let yourself feel things
There's no shame in feeling a full range of emotions. It's a healthy and effective coping mechanism, far more than bottling everything up until you can't take it anymore. Go for a drive, have a good long cry, or call me to talk. Let yourself experience everything life has to offer without limiting yourself.
6. Fake it til you make it
Practice confidence even if you don't feel like you're confident. If you can fake it, you can often trick other people into thinking you are.
(Don't fake orgasms though)
8. Soak up as much as you possibly can
Read books, go on trips, live your life enjoying as much as the world has to offer. I can't wait to see all you'll experience.
10. Know what bridges to burn and which to rebuild
Some relationships won't last and it's okay to let them go. Decide wisely which you choose to keep around and which ones are better to let go.
11. You can always say no, even to me
No is a complete sentence. If something makes you feel uncomfortable or just isn't what you want to do, just say no. No explanations or justification necessary.
12. Don't change for anyone but yourself
The right people will love and accept you the way you are. Grow as a person for yourself but not because it's what someone else expects of you.
Accept nothing less and know when to recognize when you're being disrespected.
14. Treat everyone with respect
You're never more important or less important than the people you encounter, whether it's the homeless guy on the street or the President of the United States. Treat everyone with kindness and respect, even for just a moment, even if it's just a smile.
15. Prioritize yourself and your wellbeing
You and your health are more important than school, work, and anything else. If you need to take a break, take one. You won't be productive or healthy if your burn yourself to the ground.
16. Accept advice but ultimately decide for yourself
Only you are in charge of your own fate. Don't let me, any authority figure, a friend, or a guy make decisions for you on how to live your life. You're the one in charge of your destiny and you have to live with the consequences. Don't be afraid to make your own choices.
There is nothing worth compromising yourself and how you feel about yourself for. Know your worth and don't pass out pieces of yourself.
18. If something matters to you, work for it
Good things don't come to those who wait, they come to those who put their feet on the ground and work their asses off.
19. Get out of your own way
You are likely the biggest barrier between where you are now and where you want to be. Take a step out of your own way and don't be afraid to let yourself succeed.
20. Trust your instincts
If something makes you feel uneasy but you can't quite pinpoint why, trust your gut. Call me, I'll come pick you up. Walk away. Make sure you're safe. Nothing is worth jeopardizing your safety and wellbeing for.
22. Be careful who you trust
Not everyone has your best interests in mind. Sometimes the people you trust will betray you. Learn who you can trust and be choosy. Don't let just anyone into your inner circle.
23. Be selfish with your time
Don't spread yourself too thin. Decide what things and people are worth your time and concentrate your energy on that.
24. Remember where you came from
Look back with gratitude on the people and events that shaped you. No matter how successful you are, someone always helped you get there. Be humble.
25. Actions speak louder than words
Pay attention to the way someone behaves, not just what they say. Keep your own words and actions in mind too with how you present yourself to others.
26. You are beautiful but you are also so much more
Your worth is not defined by your beauty and your physical appearance is not a unit of measurement for who you are as a person.
27. You are enough and I love you more than anything
Nothing you could ever do could change the way I feel about you. You don't need to prove yourself to me or change yourself to fit some sort of expectation you think I have for you. You don't even exist yet and I'm already so proud of you and the person you'll become. I'll always be here to support you and care for you in everything you do and I can't wait to see all the things you achieve.
I love you.