Artwork: “Girls” by Dana Todd Pope
The school year has already started here in Atlanta and I have two young ladies gearing up to start new chapters in their young lives; one is starting her first year in college while the other is starting her first year in high school. And then my toddler will start daycare soon.
Even at these different points in their lives their obstacles, worries, drama or setbacks may be similar. It’s hard to verbally give them the advice I feel they need, seeing that they know everything already (lol), but I would like to give them this letter. And open letter really to all our daughters.
#youdidthat You made it to the next chapter in your life and even though I know you may be tired of school (which I really don’t understand how that’s possible…just j/king), I know that these next years of your life will be amazing but also challenging.
You may not believe it, but I’ve been there before. Even though world is on display more with T.V., YouTube, Snaps and all that other jazz, I’ve still felt the same joys and sorrows that you have, and will endure in the future. Heartbreaks. New friends and then no new friends. Emotional breakdowns. Crazy adventures. Sex (which I prefer you hold off until marriage but I’m trying to be a realist here). You will experience so much in the coming years; hell maybe even this year so I wanted to share a few stories (not advice since I know you know everything J) that I hope you keep in mind as life comes at you.
The world can be cruel but it’s up to you to change it. Girls in particular will really test your confidence, your will and your values but it’s because we all struggle with many internal conflicts. Rather than hate her or fight her, give her time to reflect by doing the complete opposite of what she expects. Whether that’s walking away or just having a side conversation, it’s moments like those that will shape how you deal with adversary when people don’t put some respeck on your name (rubs hands like birdman).
Understand that you’re beautifully flawed. God made you that way so the world could see how magnificent His grace is. Don’t grow to be like, look like or act like anyone else. Use your values and common sense to shape the woman you will be today and in the future. Honestly, it’s easier to follow the crowd than the stand above them. I challenge you to find the nerve and confidence to fly high above them. I promise the view is so much better.
I don’t know it all, but I do know a lot. I’ve seen a lot. I’ve experienced a lot. I’ve fallen A LOT. So even though it may seem that I’m out of the loop, behind on the time (so what I still use “nah” or “yo”), I’m still very much in the know. Trust and believe that even though you choose to wear Jordan’s while I chose to flex with Air Forces at your age, the path you will be tasked to walk will look very similar to my footprints. Don’t hesitate to come talk about those “tasks”.
One last thing, you will always be judged and that is okay. From the melanin in your skin to the strains of your hair all the way to the shapes on your face and the inflections in your voice. Some of these judgments you’ve already experienced, but unfortunately, there is so much more to come. However, let me reiterate what I’ve said before: Only God can judge you. Don’t be scare of earthly judgments—whether good or bad—because they will drive you to be greater. Let someone’s “you can’t” or “you won’t” turn into “I can” and “I will” because you are destined to. Your purpose is greater than any argument, any misstep, hell any letter grade, but each obstacle and achievement gets you a step closer to your purpose.
I leave you with these thoughts not because I’m your mother, but because my mother left them to me, and her mother left them to her and so on. Our legacy is all about being beautifully, flawed believers. Keep that in mind as the world throws you whatever it has.
Your family is here. Your true friends will be there. And I, even though I may not be your best friend all the time, I will forever be the hand that holds you up, pushes you along and wipes your tears and fears away.
Go be great young lady!
Whoooo…I almost messed up my makeup on that one but let’s keep the inspiration going. Drop some inspirational words/thoughts for our daughters below. If there was ever one post that I hope to go viral, I pray it’s this one because our girls ALWAYS need to stay empower. Our future depends on it.