My sweet daughter:
Today you have turned 13 years old, you are no longer a little girl.
Now you are in a new phase of life. From your body and hormone changes, and the heightened emotions, this transition from childhood will certainly not be easy and this will be the trickiest time of your young life. Everything is changing at a rapid pace.
What I’ve learned from being your mother is that although you are my child, we are not the same, and I cannot make life decisions for you. I can’t nor do I wish to control you. This is your life and you have the freedom to live it. You are your own person, and the only thing I can do as your mom is try to guide you and do my best to arm you throughout these years with as much knowledge and wisdom as I can. Then I have to stand back and hope that whatever adversities you face and battles you have to fight, you will have the defenses within you to make it through.
As a woman, you will face many challenges and I hope these 13 lessons can help you in your teenage years as you continue your path to womanhood.
1. Never compare yourself.
You must always remember that you are uniquely beautiful. There will be girls who will be taller, fitter, smarter, skinnier, or may have more things than you, but that doesn’t mean that you are lacking anything. Never compare yourself to others, to the way they look, dress, or their financial status. You are not like them. You have your own qualities and beauty and there’s no one else like you.
2. Don’t let anyone bring you down.
As you go through life you will encounter a lot of people who will attempt to break you down, hurt you, and tear your spirit. There are a lot of assholes in this world who try to make others feel miserable with their words and actions. These people only want to make you feel as unhappy and miserable as they are. But at the end of the day, you are in charge of your own emotions and don’t let these people drag you down. Don’t allow others to make you feel less. The sad truth about life is that bullying and judgments don’t ever end. What you will experience in school is simply just the beginning. You will always encounter critics along your journey through life. This is why it’s imperative for you to know that what others say about you does not define who you are. Stay away from people who criticize you and try to tear you down.
3. Express how you feel.
When I was a teenager I didn’t know how to process everything I felt, so I built a wall around myself and often wished I could become invisible. By doing this I only made myself hurt even more by bottling everything in. Whenever you feel sad, unhappy, or depressed please don’t let silence eat you alive. Talk to me, talk to a friend, or talk to anyone you trust. Talking to someone who genuinely cares and supports you can minimize some of the pain you feel. Expressing your emotions will lift some of the heavy weight that you carry.
4. Not everyone is your friend.
You will come across a lot of different people you may think are your friends at first, until you realize they actually are not. You will come across those that act like your best friends when you see each other, but are quick to turn their back and trash talk you. Those that say they wish you the best, but secretly hope you fail. Even the friends you consider closer than others can end up surprising you when they reveal their true colors. I hope you realize that not everyone wants the best for you. Instead of trying to befriend everyone, just focus on having a small group of friends that genuinely care about you. The smaller your circle of friends is, the better because it’s likely those are your true friends.
5. Be more than your looks.
You are a pretty girl but I want you to know that looks are not everything. Being pretty might attract boys and get you more friends. But if your personality and character suck, being pretty doesn’t matter because everyone would stay away from you. Be more than just a pretty face. Be kind. Be well-mannered. Be smart. Don’t strive for having the perfect looks, instead focus on becoming a woman of substance. Your looks should only be the icing on the cake.
6. Stand up for yourself.
Remember that bullies prey on those they can get away with bullying. People will try to push you around at school, at work, and throughout your life. Stand up for yourself. Don’t be the person that everyone walks all over. Don’t get pushed around like a rag doll and don’t be afraid to stand your ground and speak your mind. Use your inner-strength to defend yourself and take control of an unfair situation when it arises. Standing up for yourself means you are fighting for something you think you deserve. Standing up for yourself will help you take charge of your life and believe in your own power.
7. Say No!
You will be faced with situations in which you have to say no. You will have people telling you to do something because everyone else is doing it or because “it’s in or cool”. You must learn how to say no to people and situations. Whenever someone tries to influence you into doing something that goes against your core values say NO. Say no to gossip. Say no to bad influences. Say no when something doesn’t feel right. Set up your boundaries. Say no.
8. Respect yourself.
The best way to earn respect from anyone is to respect yourself first. Hold yourself and your life in high regard to demonstrate respect for yourself. Do not make choices that are disrespectful to the life you want and who you want to be. Respect is earned through your behavior. We teach people how to treat us. When you are acting out of respect for yourself and others, respect will be given to you.
9. Take your time.
You will only be a teenager once in your life. Enjoy this time to learn and discover things about yourself. There’s timing for everything. Don’t rush to do things just because other kids are doing them. Just because they have boyfriends, it doesn’t mean you have to have one. Just because they are wearing makeup, heels, getting piercings or doing adult things, it doesn’t mean you should be doing those things too. You’ll get there someday, and there’s no reason to rush. Not many good things come from rushing. Trust me, I know.
10. Be aware of men.
You are becoming a woman, your breasts are getting larger and your hips are getting wider. You are becoming more attractive and you will have a lot of male attention. Boys will try to sweet talk you just so they can get one thing. They might even tell you they love you just so you feel special and they can get what they want then move on to the next girl. Don’t ever let boys use you. Don’t fall for this trap.
We lived in sick fucked up world and there are a lot of sick bastards out there. Young girls and women are being assaulted, touched inappropriately, and raped. Don’t ever let anyone touch you in the wrong way. Don’t ever let anyone force you to do things you don’t want to do. This is your body. No one else’s. Don’t ever let anyone disrespect it, mistreat it or abuse it.
I am not saying all boys are bad. I just want you to be aware of those that only want to use you and hurt you.
11. Don’t chase boys.
You were made to chase your dreams and not made to chase after boys. Don’t ever let a boy be the center of your universe. Focus on your education and pursuing your passions. You don’t need a boyfriend to make your life great. Guard your heart and don’t freely give it away to any boy that comes along. You are the prize, you shouldn’t be doing any chasing, a boy that is worthy of you will show up at the right time. God will make sure of that.
12. Hard times make you stronger.
When life gives you hard times, you will experience an array of negative emotions. You will fail, you will fall, and you won’t always win. That is part of life. But that’s how you learn. No one likes to suffer, but hard times provide you with the opportunity to unleash your real potential which would never be reached otherwise. When hard times hit, you will only be momentarily weakened, but you will become stronger after the storms settle.
13. I will always be your number one supporter.
As long as my heart still is beating and God allows me to continue to be on this earth, I will always be there to support you to accomplish your goals. I will always be there to celebrate your triumphs and accomplishments with you. I will always be there to cheer you on as you tackle life challenges.
I will always be there at your highs and lows. During times when you have fallen down and are bruised up, I will be there with open arms to pick you back up. I will have tissues in hand to wipe your tears. I will have bandages ready to take care of your wounds. I will always have the right words to say to heal your soul. I will always be there comfort you.
I hope you take to heart all the life lessons that I will be teaching you throughout these years.