A Letter to My Daughters
“I am convinced that most people do not grow up. We find parking spaces and honor our credit cards. We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are still innocent and shy as magnolias.
We may act sophisticated and worldly but I believe we feel safest when we go inside ourselves and find home, a place where we belong and maybe the only place we really do.”
― Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
You have grown up before my eyes and it fills me with wonder and joy, sadness and fear of the challenges that I know you will all have to face as adults. You have all become beautiful and kind people and have so much to offer to the world. You are all so different and I am very proud of each of you. Letting you all go your separate ways has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. You will find out as you have children of your own that you never stop worrying and that it’s so very hard to let go. At times, when you were growing up, it seemed so chaotic and difficult, but it was the very best time of my life. I am blessed to be your mother.
Sometimes, I wish I could go back and do things differently, but I know I will never have that chance. There were so many times that I know I failed you, but I always tried again. We all grow and learn as we live and having regrets doesn’t change anything. The three of you are my greatest accomplishments and my greatest love. I don’t know if I ever told you about the girl I was…the girl who had so much trouble fitting in, the girl who never really liked herself, the girl who struggled with finding out what she wanted to do with her life. I was the girl that became your mother and that was the thing that made me the happiest. I have been able to find peace with the fact that you all have your own lives that are separate from mine (that’s the way it’s supposed to be) and I’m doing my best to make my own way because the truth is that I am just now taking the time to figure out who I am. I love visiting you and seeing how your lives are evolving and what you all are doing. I am proud of you and want you to be proud of me. It’s never too late to begin to live a life you love.
Over the years, life has taught me lessons that I want to share with you…
First of all and most important, be exactly and unapologetically who you are. You were put here on this earth for a reason, everyone is and that is enough. Learn to love yourself, your quirks, your strengths, your weaknesses and learn to honor YOU. This will save you so much heartache. If you love who you are, you will expect everyone you allow into your life to do the same. Don’t ever settle. Don’t allow someone to treat you with anything but respect for any reason. The only constant in life is change. Learn to nurture meaningful friendships. Treasure these relationships with your life. Relationships need work but they also need both parties to make the effort. If you find yourself giving more than you get, re-evaluate and move on. Life is too short. Surround yourself with people that you respect and that respect you.
You can’t change other people, you can only change yourself. I know you’ve heard me say that. You have the ability to see any situation differently. People come with their own baggage and they are responsible for that…not you. Keep your eye on yourself and work to be the best version of you. Don’t waste your precious time doing things that don’t serve you.
Life is short. Live everyday to the fullest. Take the time to find out what you love and who you are. There will be days that are hard, but you already know that. Those days teach you about the way you want your life to be. You can be, do and accomplish absolutely anything that’s in your heart. Again, don’t ever settle because you don’t have to, and always remember, it is your life. What you want comes first. Listen to your inner voice and follow your intuition. The right people will come into your life when you honor and love yourself.
Do what you love. You may have to do things that you don’t love at times, things that will finance doing what you do love, but don’t make a career out of it. The Universe will guide you what you want in ways you may never expect, but you must have a clear vision of what you want. Take the time to get to know yourself. What is the thing you do that makes time disappear, the thing that you get lost in and realize that you’ve been doing it for hours, you’ve forgotten to eat and you’ve been so engrossed in it that nothing else matters. Do that thing.
The last thing I want you to remember is that I will always be here for you. I will be that person that will answer the phone in the middle of the night and the person that will come to help you when you need me. No matter where my life takes me, you three will always be my greatest loves and my proudest accomplishment.
It is my prayer that you all remain friends…that you forgive each other, love each other and support each other. Your relationships with your sisters can be one of the most beautiful things in your life. Everyone is human, and family is everything!
I can’t end this post without saying how incredibly blessed I am to have the most beautiful grandsons in the world! They bring me more joy than I can even explain! I’m so happy that I am part of their lives!