Things I want to tell my daughters (when they are old enough to understand). In no particular order.
- People are going to stare at you. You are beautiful, so don't let it bother you. Even when you think they're staring because you're too tall or your ears are weird or no one gets your fashion sense. It's all irrelevant. You. Are. Beautiful. Let them stare.
- Write it down. All of it. Keep pretty (or not so pretty) journals and notebooks filled with scribbles and ticket stubs and bad poetry. Decorate them. Store every happy, sad, mad, sublime scrap of your life between those covers. You will treasure it someday. And then your daughter will treasure it someday.
- Read amazing books. I have a list for you (seriously, they line the shelves of our home). Read them. They will shape the way you see your world, they will be the screen through which you experience your movie. Francesca Lia Block will change your life. Don't worry, I have every single one of her books, just waiting for you to be of an age when you can read them.
- Listen to awesome music. And by awesome music I mean the stuff they don't play on the radio. Get recommendations from your grandfather, your father (I fell in love with your father through music. No lie.) Lyrics are everything. It should light your soul on fire. It should make you feel something.
- Love God. Passionately. You can love boys (and you will love boys), but only He can teach you what it really is. Your daddy might come close, but God is Love. Period. Don't believe in him because I tell you to, or because it's just something you've always believed, and never really thought about it. Chase after Him, discover him for yourself. Don't let anyone stand in the way of that. Especially not Religion. Christ is not religion, he's love.
- Eat lots of chocolate. Or sushi. Or delicious chunks of aged cheddar on crispy baguettes. Point is, never feel guilty for what you love to eat, don't be scared of food. Your body is your body. Big, small, slender, curvy, spotted, tailed, whatever. It's yours. Treat it with love. Feed it yummy things. Take it for runs just to feel how far you can push it, to feel the earth moving beneath your feet. Don't let ANYONE tell you what your body is supposed to look like.
- Barbie is not a real woman. There is plenty of documentation stating that she simply couldn't function or even exist given her measurements. I don't care if you play with barbies. But never, ever, ever compare yourself to one. That goes for models and airbrushed advertisements as well. It's not real daughter. It's illusion.
- You will get over the guy you think you'll never get over. I promise. Write lots of bad poetry (refer to point 2) and listen to some Ani Difranco (point 3). It'll get better.
- Never stop playing dress up.
- Know that I'll love you, fight for you, protect you, cheer for you, cry with you, and support you with my dying breath. You are not my daughters by blood, but by God, by love. You are mine, and I am yours. Always.
Let's face it, they'd probably roll their eyes and turn the music up (I know that's what I did anytime I even heard the word advice). It's only now that I can even half appreciate what my mother taught me over the years. Thanks mom.