To the little lady loves in my life.
I have written you before. I know this. But there is stuff I need to tell you because it keeps circling in my brain and as you get older, you will come to realize that when your aunt has something on her mind, it won’t be silenced until she gets it off of her chest.
The world has been a scary place. This is just the truth. When you are old enough to go to school and understand things on a deeper level, you are going to learn about this time in history when the force of being a woman became so strong that we started to take over.
You are going to hear stories of women who were abused and assaulted. They were ignored and harmed. They were overlooked and traumatized. They felt like it was their fault, that they were to blame. They were scared of repercussions from a male-dominated world so they suffered unthinkable pain. What is so soul-shattering is that the amount of victims that there are-- it seems impossible to represent them with a number.
But slowly, these victims-- excuse me-- these survivors started stepping forward. They shared their stories even when their voices shook. They spoke beautiful, heroic and strong words. They looked their predators in the eyes. They took the power back and in doing so, encouraged other women to do the same. They gave us a movement. It is unspeakably empowering.
You will learn things and you will have questions because, and I truly believe this, the world is going to be a much better place when you learn about this. When you have those questions, never be afraid to ask them.
Here is what I want to tell you about your worth.
You are queens. You are perfection. You are so full of joy, confidence and pure kindness. I can’t tell you how it feels when I tell you that you look gorgeous and you respond, “I sure do.” I hope you keep that self assurance your entire life. Because, trust me when I say that you will always be gorgeous.
Never stand for a man talking to you disrespectfully. It will happen. Sometimes, people are idiots. That’s a fact. If you feel taken advantage of or harassed in any way, please use that beautiful voice. Please don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed by anything in your life-- but if you do feel those things, please try your hardest to tell us anyway. This includes boyfriends of any age-- no matter what the relationship. I am telling you that no matter how insignificant it may feel, you need to stand up for yourself Every. Single. Time. Set your standards high and it is OK to keep them high. Make sure that people know that you know your worth--- from now until forever.
Never be timid. Never quiet your voice and never be afraid to speak up when something doesn’t feel right. You have an army of strong women behind you and a few good men that will lay in front of a train for you. We will always protect you, fiercely.
When it comes to the other girls and women in your life, celebrate them. When they are knocked down, you pick them up. When they are victorious, be the first to cheer in their honor. There is no competition, only community and the community is big enough for all of us to succeed. Trust your girl on this one. Spend no time being hateful or mean to another person, especially another woman. She is walking a similar journey and your job is to lift each other other up, always.
Be approachable, but fierce. Breathe fire and also compassion. Be a good, true and solid friend. Be honest-- even when it is hard. Be someone that the other women in your life can turn to. Be a force with a twinkle in your eye and never let the world steal your warmth.
As women, we are the strongest beings on this planet. Never let anyone tell you differently. Or, actually, I dare them to tell you differently.
When I was about 10 years old, I played on an all boys soccer team with my best friend Paris. We didn’t want to play on the all girls team. We were better than the boys and we knew it. So we tried out and made the team. We started and our coaches were smart to start us. We were the toughest little chicks this league had ever seen. During one of our games, I was going head to head with a boy on the other team and we were fighting for the ball. His mother-- A WOMAN-- yelled to her son from the sideline, “Don’t let that GIRL beat you!” I was shocked and I was furious. What did that mean? Why did “girl” sound so bad coming from her mouth? The rest of the game, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. We won. I got into Emma and G’s (my mom and dad for those of you that are not Hazel and Eve) car and I was so upset. I started and cry out of rage and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. After all, we won. Finally, I said “That mom said I was a girl!” Emma and G busted out laughing-- little did they know they had a fire breathing feminist in that mini van. I still think about that mom from time to time and, I swear on my life, sometimes I smile when I remember that I stole the ball from her son-- 20 years later. So, like I said, dare someone to tell you that you aren’t tough.
When it comes to your career, my hope is that it is a different world. I hope so many more women are in charge and that men are put in check because, girls, I have stories for days about loser men that have done inappropriate things. I have stories of women who told me, “that’s just the way it is.” Don’t you dare accept that. And when you, little loves, become the forces I know you will, when you get that seat at the table, never take it for granted. Never be intimidated, but always be respectful. You can change the world. You can do whatever the hell you want to do.
When you feel weak, lean on us. Surround yourself with people you trust. Surround yourself with hilarious people, too. It is so good to be for the cause and to fight for things you believe in and it is good to change the world, but there seriously is nothing better than funny. Funny is the best. When picking friends and partners, funny has to be in the top 3 qualities you are looking for.
When you stumble, wallow. When you need to cry, let it out. It doesn’t make you weak. If you want to hide your tears, get in the shower. It all looks the same and for some reason it feels much more soul cleansing.
All in all. Understand the stunning human being that you are. Know that you bring so much freaking light to this world and speak up when someone tries to dim that light. Love yourself first. Take care of those in your life. Make sure each person leaves you a bit better than they were before they approached you. Celebrate women, don’t judge them for struggles you may not know about. Be an advocate for them and for yourself. Accept challenges and work hard. Know that being a woman is having the upper hand and not being a step behind. And if anyone ever tries to harm you in any sense of the word, you tell me because trust me, they will regret it the minute they meet me.
I can’t wait to see who you turn into. It is going to be something so spectacular. I feel honored to be here to watch.
I love you.