Everyone knows that life is hard, but for girls and women, it can sometimes be especially hard for us to get what we want in life (while still 100 percent getting it, thank you very much). Although my daughter is still small and hasn’t had to overcome any strenuous obstacles yet (besides the monkey bars at the playground), she’s going to realize soon enough that growing up isn’t easy. As her mother, I can’t hand over a rulebook for her to follow. All I can do is try to give her the tools she’ll need to make good decisions, while giving all my love and support along the way. There are some things that I want her to know about life as a woman, and I hope these lessons help mold her into the iron-willed, caring, strong woman she was meant to be.
- Speak up for yourself and other women if a man is harassing you, physically or verbally. Never remain quiet. Never tolerate it.
- Speak up for yourself and other women if you aren’t being represented properly at school, in the workplace, or in any another area. You deserve to be seen.
- Set a goal, and then set one higher. Believe in yourself that you can do it, because with hard work, there are no boundaries that stand in front of you.
- Treat your body well with nutritious foods and exercise. Love that body, and strut it proudly regardless of its size.
- Your body belongs to you, and you only. It’s no one’s to talk about and no one’s to touch unless you say so.
- You can do whatever it is you want to do. Want to be an astronaut? Work hard at math and science and you’ll be in the stars in no time.
- Follow that gut of yours. Listen to it, never ignore it, and it will take you to great places.
- Love everyone, regardless of their background.
- Be brave. Hike the mountain, study for the MCAT, or travel across the world. When you act bravely, you can do anything.
- Always get back up. You will fail – all the greats do. But remember to always get back up.
- Show compassion. You are blessed, so be sure to bless others. You must think outside of yourself.
- Don’t judge others. You have no idea what their life is really like. Instead, act as the only listening ear they may have.
- Surround yourself with strong, caring women. They will push you to be better.
- Surround yourself with people who talk about ideas, not people.
- Know that you are loved – every day of your life.