Thought Catalog
March 9, 2017

This Is What I Want My Daughter (And Every Other Young Girl) To Know

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Unsplash / Christian Langballe

I have thought about you often and am constantly wondering if there will ever be a you in my arms. Now, do not take this personally, little one, but I never really wanted to have a daughter.

This world is a cruel place for little girls to grow up in. But, if there ever comes a day when I get you, when I have you in my arms, there are a few things I want you to know.

There are a few things I want to pass on to you. Little one, you are loved already and I don’t even know you yet.

I don’t know if before we are born if there is a far off world where we exist or if there really is anything out there before we are brought into this world. So, I don’t know if you are even out there or even anywhere at all.

Despite everything, you are still a figment of my imagination and we have not yet met, there are so many things that I can picture. So many different variations of your smile, your intelligence, your kindness. I want you to be able to navigate this world in a way that I wish I could have, little one, here is what I wish I knew when I was growing up.

Know that while people may tell you that this world is a scary place, that people are bad, that it is difficult to wade through all of it; all of it is inherently good.

It is only when you allow the world and people to beat you down, when you forget that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, that there is more to this life than hurt. Those negative things only break you, you have to look past the occasional setbacks and keep looking forward.

Sweet girl, I know this will be hard, I know you will cry yourself to sleep more times than you will ever let me know about, but baby girl — this world, me, your dad — we all love you so much and would give you everything that we have to see you smile. Your smile will change everything, it will bring forgiveness and love.

While you will give love to others, darling, you must love yourself first. I can’t tell you how important this is. How much loving yourself will allow you to see the world and the people around you differently.

Your body, regardless of how it is shaped or how many dimples you have, it carries you to the places you will go. It will see so much, it allows you to leave your mark.

Your body isn’t anything more or less than anyone else’s body. Know that it is beautiful in the purest form of the word and even though it is hard not to compare yourself to others, your body is still beautiful.

To the media, to the other girls, to the boys who will make you feel like it is not good or less than theirs, please know that none of it is real.

Society will try to rewire everything we have taught you into believing that your body isn’t what people enjoy to look at but, darling, it is because the reality is that bodies come in all shapes and sizes.

Baby girl, I need you to know that I will not always be able to protect you from yourself. But when you are looking in the mirror or laying on your bed in the dark with only the voices in your head beating you down, please hear mine too.

I will always be there to tell you how brilliant you are, how your brain is a wonderful thing, how your smile lights up a room and your laugh sets others hearts on fire. You are adequate, you are kind, you are smart, you are enough. You, as you are, will always be enough.

Please, baby girl, dream. If I teach you anything in this life, it is important to dream. To build up your imagination and be able to get lost in a world that is so beautiful. A world that is filled with all of your desires. I want you to chase them, chase them until your feet hurt and then keep going.

This world will conspire to give you everything you want if you just believe. Get lost in music, let the lyrics flow through your body and dance like no one is watching. Read books endlessly, they have so many lessons that I could never teach you, I know because I have learned so much from them. Baby girl, dream big and dream often.

Little one, this life is fleeting. I know that you are little now but you won’t stay this way very long. I know, too, that the moments that are passing you seem like they will stretch on forever and a day, but they won’t.

Time will fool you into believing that you shouldn’t chase your dreams, that you can sit back and watch it go by for a while.

But don’t let it fool you, our years are limited and we have to take advantage of them. Ignore those people who tell you that your goals are unreachable. You be whatever you want to be; a doctor, a world traveler, a beautician, a mathematician, a paleontologist. Follow your passions, be you, there is no one better.

But, please, be kind on your journey. Be patient and understanding. The people who you will meet in this life are not perfect and neither are you.

Every single person will make mistakes and while those mistakes may get you down, they are beautiful mistakes and they help you grow as a person. Make as many beautiful mistakes as you can, learn from them, and move on.

Humans, while they may seem like they will be around forever, are not superheroes. You will meet a lot of people, especially your dad, that seem like they are a superhero, but they aren’t — they have made the same mistakes as you.

We are all to blame, we all put people on pedestals that they always fall off of. Little one, don’t be afraid to help those people when they fall. Light a fire under them and help the rise back up.

Show them the kind of person you are, treat them the way you want to be treated, listen.

The mark that you leave on this world is in the end only memories. Memories that you have given to others. Leave your mark wisely.

Don’t let others and society put you against the people in your life, don’t let them take away your passion. Build up, not tear down. Celebrate every tiny difference, we are all unique and that deserves to be noticed.

Little one, don’t be like me when I was younger. Don’t wilt, bloom. Don’t hide yourself away and shut everyone out. Always be open. Live your life with your arms wide open.

Travel outside your comfort zones more often than not, see how other people live their lives and take something away from it. Talk and laugh, be around people. Let them see the wonderful person you are and will become. You need to be seen and heard. You need to understand that all we need in this life is to dream, to hope, to love.

I know that you are not even a you yet, that you’re not even a thought. You are just a concept, an idea. Please know that when you do arrive, I will do everything to guide you, to protect you. To build you up and not bring you down. To navigate this world that still wants to teach you how being a girl is wrong.

One day, I will meet you. For now, enjoy being wherever it is that you are and whoever you are. When you come here, you will be home. TC mark 

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