Thought Catalog

The Letter Mothers Should Send To Their Daughters

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Dear sweet baby girl,

So you’re sad. And you’re scared. You don’t know who you are or where you’re going. Or maybe you do know, but you’re sad and scared anyway. Well, guess what? It’s okay. It’s okay to be sad and scared. Because life is scary. So if you want to break down and cry, go ahead. No one’s going to tell you that you can’t. (I think everyone is entitled to a minimum of three complete mental and emotional breakdowns per month, and for the record, I exceed this quota regularly.)

Now, when you’ve finished crying over this boy, or this class, or that interview, or everything, or nothing…Whatever the case may be, when you’re all cried out, pick yourself back up. Wash your face. Make a cup of tea. Turn on your favorite song and dance. By yourself. And tomorrow when you wake up, I challenge you to find spots of happiness. Maybe overall you’re still sad. Maybe you will be for a while. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t smile, or laugh, or see the beauty in things around you.

Take note of these moments and at the end of each day, write them down. Make a list of all the things you’re grateful for—the things that make life worth living: Good music. Bad music. Those fingers of evening light that hit the trees just right, reaching into your soul and reminding you that God loves you. Those little, sometimes annoying and embarrassing messages from Mom and Dad. We love you, too. Cold days that inspire you to eat too much soup and take too-long hot showers. Sunny days that last longer than you expect. Letters and packages delivered by little trucks pushing through the snow. Boys who know how to kiss, and make you feel like you know how to kiss, too. Nights when you get enough sleep. Nights you don’t.

Go on a hike with your best friend. Push yourself. Take a yoga class. Try rock climbing. Maybe you’ll learn you have a fear of heights, or maybe you’ll be the next to crest Mt. Everest. Write some poetry. Write what you feel. Go to a reading and invite your family (even if the poems are about us). Or, you know what? If poetry’s not your calling, then screw it. Paint instead, even if you’re terrible at it. Make crappy art. Try knitting. Sing. Join a rugby team. Just do it—do something. You might discover something about yourself, or at the very least find a reason to laugh.

See movies, but don’t just watch them; analyze the heck out of them to keep your mind working. Go out dancing with your girlfriends, or stay in, watch scary movies, and paint your nails; eat too much; drink mojitos out of mason jars. Go on dates. Let your friends set you up with your friends. Let him take you to dinner and fawn over your beauty and intellect. Accept his compliments but don’t let them define your worth or your being. At the end of the night, thank him for dinner and conversation, but don’t kiss him if you don’t want to.

Don’t worry. Live. Breathe. You will find who you are and what you want eventually; I have faith in you.

Love, Mom TC mark

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