My dear sweet daughter, Elise –
There will come a time when you will be ready to leave our nest to venture out into the world so you can find your place and purpose. My mother raised my sisters and I to be strong, independent and loved women, and it is my hope that when it’s your time – you’ll be ready and confident in your strides…
I’ve learned a lot, experienced a lot, and witnessed a lot over the years. Bits of wisdom came along the way, as well as a lot of tough mistakes and lessons learned. As you grow older and mature over the years, I hope these 5 things help you be the best *you* you can be:
1. As soon as you humanly can – master the skill of multi-tasking, scheduling & juggling life. As a woman, you will always wear many hats. Sometimes it’s not fair and sometimes, it will overwhelm you. You will manage five tasks at once…always. And you will get the least amount of sleep of anyone in your home… But I will teach you this art over the years, and I promise you – it will serve you (and all those around you) well.
2. I will spend the next 20+ years teaching you what to look for in a perfect partner. And you will learn from your own experience too… But one thing is certain: find a man that both respects you and adores you. One can not come without the other… And yes, you will go your entire lives working through your differences and choosing your battles, but the exact chemical makeup of your love must and should be defined by equal parts of Respect and Adoration. You deserve no less, my sweet girl…
3. You’ll hear this more times than not in life, especially from me – Find your passion. Then be really, really good at it. Then find a way to make a living from it. Many will tell you to work hard in school with the goal of a well-paying profession. And in your spare time – maybe you can carve time for your interests. But I will tell you that life is too short to not do what you love every.single.day. It truly is. So take it from me and dedicate your life to dreaming big doing what you love most.
4. You will be defined by so many things in life… By what you do. By where you come from. By what skin color you have. By who you surround yourself with. You’ll spend many years figuring out how you want to be defined and how you want to make your mark on this world. But I sincerely hope to show you that all of those things – though characterizing – will not define who you are. Be kind. Be civic-minded. Be generous. Be thoughtful. Make an impact on those around you, and I promise your life will portray a life of meaning.
5. And lastly and most importantly – Come home. A lot. Bring your spouse, your children, your loved ones. And share your life with me every day through whatever medium consumes you. Never will I stop teaching you, stop caring for you, or stop loving you. Ever.