January 23, 2017


Dear Layla,

I’m not sure if you’ll ever read this, but I wanted to write a few thoughts that have been swimming around in my mind about the kind of woman I want you to be. Above anything, I hope you become someone you decide—believing and acting on things that are important to you. I don’t want you to feel an obligation to please others or strive for someone else’s opinion of you. I’ve spent too much of my life doing that and it never made me happy.

First, learn from your mistakes. We all screw up. We say dumb things or do something we regret. What makes us better is when we move forward, taking pieces from those moments, and create a new part of ourselves. Not a single person on this earth can determine your worth and though you’ll find yourself listening to the voices that tell you otherwise, DO NOT BE MOVED.

Don’t fall for petty arguments or the shaming of other women. Women need the support of other women-- now more than ever. If someone dresses differently or worships differently or speaks differently, you are not to treat them poorly. I do want you to be a good judge of character and surround yourself with people that bring you joy. Life is too short to remain in relationships that are toxic or harmful. There is no shame in learning from someone, remaining civil, yet removing yourself from their presence.

I hope you always see and empathize with others’ hurt. You will often not relate to others around you, because of the circumstances you can or cannot control; just know that there will always be situations you won’t understand. Someone will always have it better than you and someone will always have it worse. Everyone is fighting their own battle. Whatever life you choose to live is your own, and that woman you pass on the street lives a life that is her own. This doesn’t make anyone better than the next, it just makes us different. Seeing those differences and appreciating them will make you more compassionate toward others.

You have been born into exceptional circumstances and I want you to give back. You don’t need to do what others expect of you, but you do need to be kind. You need to smile at your neighbor and let someone cry on your shoulder. You need to skip out on obligations and spend time with a family member who needs you. You need to stand with to your classmate who’s standing alone. Give something up because it will give someone more. You need to act on the change you want to see in the world by being that change yourself.

I love you for your gentle spirit and the world needs it. You can do more than you know.

Love always,


P.S. Don’t have a boyfriend in High School

P.P.S. Don’t watch the Bachelor 

P.P.P.S. Dad told me if you asked him with your big, doe eyes, he’d NEVER be able to say no.  

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