One. Do not try and be older before you have been young.
Two. Be true. Don’t spend time reading magazines that fill half their pages with how to lose all that weight to be a better you, and the other half trying to convince you that you already are. The only person who can really make you happy is you.
Three. It’s ok that you’re afraid of spiders. And of tomorrow. It’s ok that you’re afraid of failing and being alone. It’s ok that you’re even afraid of admitting you’re afraid. Don’t let fear stop you moving your feet.
Four. Do not fret about the fact that you talk more than men, or that you cry more than men or that your thighs sometimes touch because you eat more chocolate than men. Those curves are gorgeous. The tears will dry, and get this – women smile more than men too. When you’re told you talk too much, talk more! (Unless of course it’s your mother, then shut up) but otherwise – sing, speak bright and proud – use your voice, do not second guess yourself.
Five. Realise that there is no such thing as the greener side. This is your life. Take whatever you have been handed – be it big or small or rich or poor. Own it. Care for it. Shake it like a madman, woman! Wave it madly like a flag. Then claim it like land that was taken from you and now you have come to take it back. Your life, is worth your life.
Six. You are beautiful. Six. You are beautiful. Six. Some of us will never be that size. But beauty is not defined the label of your jeans.
Seven. Seriously, gossip columns? Stop that shit.
Eight. Celebrate. By that I don’t mean find any
excuse to drink at any time of day… but search your soul for moments of joy, for someone getting a lucky break, for a hug, for being able to eat today. Celebrate yourself, celebrate your friends; celebrate everyone who has not given in.
Nine. Have you stopped to consider the outrageous notion that you will bless the world with life? Children are more than the future. They are the now. The pain will be worth it.
Ten. The word “women” does not mean weak. It does not mean worthless. It does not mean wasted. Walk away from those who ever make you feel ashamed to be called what you are. Woman. Yet you are so much more. You are every shore line waiting to be kissed by the waves – no less wanted for always being there. Perfect in time and space, making deals with the moon – no one else can do what you do.
Eleven. When you laugh, laugh loud. Laugh like you’ve got stars in your mouth waiting to burst out. Laugh from the pit of every hell you have walked out of unscathed, laugh for every bathroom stall that’s heard you crying for better days, laugh out the poison, laugh in fresh breath. Do not stifle the anthem of cackle and guffaw. Laugh like you’re fighting a war you know you’ve already won.
Twelve. Always remember, love yourself before you love anyone else. Be committed to your dreams whether in the form of people or sleep. Do not leave before it is time. Do not shy away from things you don’t know, press in. Press on. Promise that you won’t lose yourself if you ever let yourself go.
Whether mother, sister, friend, aunt, cousin, grandmother, daughter, great grandmother, partner, or lover. You are woman. And you are wonderful.