A Note to My Daughter.
My daughter recently turned 16 years old. Where did time fly?
The years seem to coast by in moments — moments turning into days, days into months, months into years, and all of a sudden, you’re no longer the 16-year-old, rather you’ve been a part of raising one… unreal.
I wanted to write a few words of guidance for my daughter, and although this letter began as something solely for her, as I reread it, I realized that it’s a letter for all of us — young, old, daughter, son, mother, father… human.
Take what you like, leave the rest behind.
As you move through life, be kind to yourself. Like, really f’in kind.
Be as honest and real as you can be.
Take time to get to know You, your likes and dislikes, your interests and curiosities.
Know that life is full of surprises, countless ups and downs. None of it necessarily good or bad, just life.
Put the phone down. Turn off the TV.
Never hide from yourself, your passions, your dreams.
Don’t let anyone make you feel small or unworthy. Your worth is not determined by any other human being. Your worth is beyond measure, something no one can deplete, unless you let them — and even then you are still worth equally as much as every other being on this planet, in this universe.
No one can change that.
Learn to believe in your own unique value. Take time to discover your gifts.
They may be big and bold, they may be subtle and simple. They may make you famous, they may lead you to a quiet place in the woods.
As long as the pursuing of these gifts makes your heart sing, helps you feel more alive, they’re good, they’re true.
If you find that what you’re doing doesn’t sit right with you, doesn’t align with your values and visions, then stop. Take the time, always, to pause, reflect, assess, and then consciously move forward following your own true north.
Go against the grain. Care less about what’s normal and more about what’s right. Less about what’s right and more about what’s kind — for yourself and others.
Understand, we are all going to die; the dying is inevitable.
It’s about the living — truly, fully living is your choice.
You get to decide. Will you follow along, allowing the media, schools, politics and policies to determine who and how you will be?
Don’t allow the world around you to dictate who you should be. Remember who you are. No one else but You gets to define you.
Keep working on discovering the beauty of you, your incredible self, without being wrapped up in anyone else. Know that putting yourself first is not selfish. It is wise. It’s necessary in order for you to give of yourself and share your unique gifts with others. Be kind, compassionate, patient and forgiving to yourself, so that you may be kind, compassionate, patient and forgiving for others.
The world needs you. The world needs your smile, your strengths, your unique gifts. Live and love big, and know that you are loved, always.
~ The Universe (via your mom)
Cat O’Connor is a lover of the written word, inspired thinking, speaking and sharing, Saturday nights, Sunday afternoons, and Yoga… oh yes, Yoga. Look for her in used books stores or out-of-the-way coffee shops, on solo or family adventures, and when in doubt, on her Yoga mat. For Cat, writing isn’t an option. It’s therapy. It’s sanity. It’s purpose. She truly and humbly hopes that what she shares here stirs something in your mind, heart and, wouldn’t it be magic if it stirred just a little something in your soul? You can find Cat on Instagram.