It seems pretty fitting, on International Women’s Day, to write a letter to the single most important female in my life.
Because although you are “only” just three (four in a few weeks as you constantly remind me), one day you will be a woman, and, as your mum, I have so many hopes and dreams for the life you will live and lead.
First, and possibly most importantly, know that you don’t belong to anything or anyone. Nobody owns you, not even me or Dad.
Do what makes you happy; happiness and the ability to find joy in your days is so important.
Make friends and keep those friendships alive, they are important, not just when you are young, but throughout your life.
Be proud of being a girl and a woman. Women are amazing. (Men are too, of course, and although we are all equal, that does not mean we should not celebrate our differences too. I believe it’s diversity and our differences that make us great.) You can be ALL woman and still rule the corporate world – should that be your dream. Just like a great man can choose to stay at home and raise his children every day. Do what sets your soul on fire.
Dance and sing everyday. It’s a cliche but you dance like no one is watching, you smile and gets those hands in the air.
Don’t take things for granted; your relationships, your health, your success. Work at them and they will flourish.
Make a difference in the world, and aim to leave it a little better than it was when you entered it, be it by having raised a healthy child, grown your own vegetable garden or fought for something you believed in.
Don’t let yourself be consumed with negative people and their negative energy.
Forgive your enemies – nothing will annoy them more. You don’t have to respect them or even like them, but forgiveness will set you free.
Believe in miracles, little ones and big ones.
Be kind. Kindness will always breed kindness.
Don’t ever underestimate how strong you are, the power you can have. If others underestimate that is their problem. You carry on fighting the good fight.
As your mum, as a woman, ultimately, I just hope when you are grown, that I have done my job right. That I have raised you with empathy, confidence, intelligence and grace.
The world needs more women like that.