Open Letter to My Daughter
This letter contains advice that I had planned to drizzle upon you over the years. I’m writing this letter now, rather than later for selfish reasons. I want to be able to say that I gave you this advise at a time when you still thought I was ‘cool.’ – to kind of strike while the iron is hot.
1. I imagine that by the time you’re 16, everyone will have a therapist on speed dial. My advice is this: have girlfriends. Go out to lunch, dinner,coffee, or drinks once a week. Talk together, Laugh together, cry together.
2. My advice on friends is this: ‘cool’ isn’t a fashion statement, or a brand.. Cool is on the inside. Cool, nerd, wild, religious are labels. They have nothing to do with chemistry between friends, and say nothing about the kind of friend they will be. Take the advice you gave one of your friends a few weeks ago and ‘follow your heart’
3. Friends who don’t make you feel good about yourself need to be reclassified. ‘Acquaintance’ is an ok classification.. but I prefer ‘former acquaintance’
4. Have a guy best friend. Laugh together, cry on his shoulder, seek his advice.. But no more. It gets messy beyond that.
5. Keep Dancing: you’ve mastered ‘shimmy to the right.. Shimmy to the left.. Shimmy to the front.. Shimmy to the back.. And a shimmy.. And a shimmy’.. Now, run with it.
6. Work hard.. Set goals for yourself, and reach for the sky. You will find yourself rising to every occasion. But don’t take yourself too seriously. Hard work and uptight are not synonymous. A successful person’s ability to laugh at themselves can only add to their success.
7. Date.. But don’t end up with the first guy you date. Bring your dates home. We promise to hide the dogs, and be on our best behavior.
8. Your brother is your backbone. Run to him if faced with peer problems at school. Keep running to him.. Laugh with him.. Cry with him.. Make him feel responsible for you. Keep laughing with him.. And then laugh some more.. laugh again… and again..
9. Hold your dad up on a pedestal – don’t settle for less.. It’s advice that worked for me, and advice I’m handing down to you.
10. Travel. Go surfing in bondi beach, parasailing in Olüdeniz, eat ice cream at Berthillon, walk on Charles Bridge, marvel at Rome’s never ending beauty.. Climb mountains, skyscrapers.. Keep climbing. If you must go skiing, I’m sure we can find out where you can go.
11. Go skiing.
12. What doesn’t kill you.. Doesn’t kill you! If you survive, you will emerge a stronger person. You will learn the hard way that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (except skiing of course which added nothing to me).
13. Give everything your best shot, but sleep in the knowledge that what will be will be.
14. Love. Love yourself.. Love your brother.. Love your parents (even when you stop seeing them as being cool). Don’t be afraid to let yourself fall in love. Marry for love.. Marry for love alone. But know that love alone is not enough to make a marriage work. If you don’t find love, keep looking… Never settle.
I realize that if you were to read this now you would probably only recognize the words ‘shimmy’, and ‘brother’. But you’re the smartest girl I know, and time flies .. Soon enough I could be coming to you for advice, or for design services. In the meantime, know that I’m here.. And I will always be here.. I will give you advice when you need it.. Chances are I will also give you advice when you don’t need it. Bare with me.. Because maybe just maybe this advice will come in handy.
Maybe..just maybe..you could find yourself writing an open letter giving advice to your eight year old daughter!