You inspire me. You truly do. Your “no-nonsense” ways of keeping me grounded, the way you make me smile when times are tough, and your amazing ability to bring us back to reality when we are gone far off in “lala” land. You are funny, smart, and God bless your amazing ability to go for what you really want. From the day I saw you, 9 months old, desperately trying, while lying in your crib, to put your sock back on your left foot. I knew right then and there, you would be determined. Determined enough that when I went back in an hour later, there you were sleeping, your tiny foot in the air, and the sock was half on. You did it!
As you grew, you continued to show me your “old soul” ways. Like the time you corrected me and said that the spider in the picture book was not a spider at all, but a tarantula. Or how, at 6 years old, you went out for 3 days with your tiny pink helmet and bike, no knee pads, just roughin’ it and ready to learn to ride that sucker without training wheels. You succeeded without a smidgen of my help.
I know I’ve told you these stories a million times, yet, they are in my heart, and will remain forever there.
Those are not the only years that are special to me. As I watch you become a young woman, as you are today turning 16, I am amazed at how much you have grown, how you view the world, and how I see you want to make a difference. I love the way you are finding your own style, how you wish to be different, in a world where sometimes differences are not tolerated. I love the way you are your unique self, distinct as a snowflake. Continue to find your footing and walk your walk. Its perfect!
Yet, if I may, tell you, what I would have said to my 16 year old self, 31years ago… as a gift to you.
Please do not think for one second you are lesser than anyone else. You are just at the beginning of your life, and what you feel today will trickle into tomorrow. So continue to journey knowing you are enough. You are brave, and you can conquer anything if you set your mind to it. It may be cliché, yet your beauty radiates from the inside. Ever see a good looking person turn ugly? I have. Beauty is rich when the kindness and compassion comes out in any human being. Be the change (forgive the cliché again) be the wonderfulness you want to see expressed it the world. You are gorgeous inside and out! So walk with the confidence knowing you are a magnificent radiant being.
Know that you are loved for who you are. Even though, some people you love are not ‘in’ your life now, doesn’t always mean they deserted you. They do LOVE YOU, in a way they know how. I have always taught you that. Sometimes it is hard to think because someone left, that they care. It is easy to believe they have abandoned you. Yet KNOW that you have never been abandoned. That you are here, with those you care about you. When you miss them, carry them on our leaf. Remember the story I used to tell you about the magic carpet leaf? Take those you miss with you, anytime you want, it is magical.
Always speak your truth, never keep anything in for fear of angering someone, their anger belongs to them. Keeping the stuff you want to say inside your heart, will fester, fester so much that one day, you will see it come out in other ways: anxiety, panic, depression or anger explosions. Know that there is always a safe place to say what you need to, and express yourself. Whether verbally, in art, dance, or music. Expressing yourself authentically will only make your life a greater and more passionate experience. Home is your soft place to fall remember this always.
You are NOT your brother and your brother is not you! Be there for each other, and always know a mother’s love is constant. A mom may love differently, discipline differently taking into account the uniqueness of each child, however, mom loves you so much, her heart melts every time you are happy, sad, angry and glad. Know this, do not compare, and keep being the best sister you can be!
Last but not least, you cannot SAVE anyone, you cannot change anyone, and you do not need a prince charming to rescue you. You are your own saviour. What we do not like in others, is a reflection of what we do not like in ourselves. Which brings me back to the beginning. Just be. It is so ok to just be. A woman, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a mother some day (maybe). You do not have to be anything else… just love yourself so much you would want to be your own best friend, and trust me, if you can get that, everything else you ever dreamed your life would be will just follow you like a tarantula trying to ride a bike with a sock on its left foot!