Dear Girl

Dear girl,

Remember that you are so much more than any number on a scale or pants size – do not let a number dictate your sense of value and worth – you are so much more than that, and, the sooner you learn this, the more you will begin to enjoy life, truly enjoy it, and put that energy into wonderful causes and goals. If a partner ever makes you feel less than beautiful because of your size or physical experience, seriously consider being with that person.

Remember that you are allowed to be in a relationship where you are someone’s Queen. It’s easy for women to always want to be the caretaker and to table her own goals. You will know when you find someone who supports and enables you to strive for your best self.  Relationships are about reciprocity, about a partnership, a real partnership, about open and honest communication.

Remember to be the Queen of your own life, your own sense of self, and your own direction. You do not need to be with anyone to know and own your value, or to feel special. Learn to love and respect yourself while you are not in a relationship, then, one day, you will be in a position to accept the love you deserve. Don’t ever let anyone (including yourself) make you feel undervalued for being single. Healthy relationships are great, but this is a position of empowerment.

Remember that there is a difference between being taken care of and being cared for. You can take care of yourself, but everyone wants and needs to be cared for in love and in life. It’s okay to not know the difference, it’s okay to figure out the difference as you grow and experience life and love, and it’s okay to not settle until you are living the difference. It’s also okay if this does not come from a romantic relationship – there are so many meaningful relationships and friendships in life. Whomever you surround yourself with should make you feel cared for.

Remember you can never save or change anyone. This is not your duty nor is it your responsibility and, depending on how much you love this person and want to change him or her, you risk losing yourself by trying to save someone else.

Remember that being romantically involved with someone should bring out the best version of yourself. If you find yourself not liking who you are, or frequently experiencing emotions, behaviors, and attitudes you don’t like about yourself, seriously consider whether the person you are with is good for you.

Remember that women’s intuition is a real thing. Listen to it. Trust it. Go with it.

Remember that you can be bold and opinionated and take charge – whether it’s of your life or a project at work or your body, and this doesn’t give others the permission to call you bossy or a bitch.

Remember that no job or no relationship is ever worth losing yourself over.

Remember that you, as a girl, and one day woman, will face women who want to lift you up, as you help lift them up, and women who will see you as the enemy and the competition. Be one of the women who is an ally and advocate for other women. Surround yourself with women who support and encourage you. We need to stick together as women to continue to progress and succeed.

Remember that you can walk away.

Remember that apologizing too often can be at your detriment. The sooner you stop apologizing, the more seriously people will take you – at work, in athletic endeavors, in relationships. I’m not talking about a sincere apology for a genuine mistake or something you did that hurt someone. Stop saying “I’m sorry” for all the day-to-day, trivial things that you have nothing to apologize for. Own whatever you are doing, command respect, and hold yourself and your actions with authority – it’s your life.

Remember to always ask for your worth. Never accept the first offer. If you hear about a job opening in your company that you are qualified for, ask for it. Prepare a presentation covering why you are the person for this role, if you have to. If you are promised a promotion or raise and it doesn’t happen, ask for it again. Still don’t get it? Find another job. Remember – women inherently believe they owe their company something, while men inherently believe the opposite. Modify accordingly.

Remember that you can change your mind. You can change your mind in what your dreams are, in being in love with someone, in your feelings, in how you spend your time… It’s your life and you will change as you grow, and that’s a good thing. Give yourself permission to change your mind.

Remember that, someday, you may be a mom. Or, you may be in another position where what you say, what you do, and how you hold yourself will be absorbed like a sponge by tiny, beautiful young girls. Be careful what you say about yourself and other women in front of this impressionable audience.

Remember that the universe listens when you say cruel things about yourself – be kind to yourself.

Remember that you are worth it. Being female is a challenge and privilege – play hard and play big – paint your canvas and do it unapologetically.

Run on, my friends.

L

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