As you reach your tender sixteen, there are a couple of things I would like to share with you. I want to start by telling you, my beloved daughter, that I love you endlessly. I fell in love with you when I heard your heartbeat for the first time. I fell in love with you when you clutched to my bosom in the middle of the night. I fell in love with the way you smile, with how you smell, with every single piece of you because you are a part of me. You have to know that, to me, you are far more precious than the Kohinoor diamond. Alex, you are a blessing in my life and I’m forever grateful to God for proffering me the good fortune to be your mother.
Darling, you are not born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You are born with a sword in your hand. You are neither the hopeless princess of a disneyland nor the delicate sleeping beauty of a fairytale. No! You are not any of those. You are a warrior. A true warrior. You do not need someone to save your bacon because inside you lies all the might to guard yourself and others as well from the demons. You are that much admirably invincible, my goddess. You’re growing up to be a beautiful woman tomorrow. Seek not, my child, to be the evanescent beauty that pleases nothing but the eyes. I’d rather you seek to be the sempiternal beauty that pleases everything but the eyes. Oh dear! What fools these mortals be who acquiesce to society’s decree. Fair or ebony, tall or knee high to a gnat, it matters not; for beauty transcends the conventional to alight on a face- as fresh as the morning dew, to alight on lips- words they enounce soft and gentle and to alight in a heart- generous and tolerant. This is the unvarnished definition of beauty, love.
Being your mother, honey, I bestowed upon you this thing called ‘life’. Yet, you have to feel alive. And for you to feel alive, you should forge your own identity. You have been put on The Promised Land with a divine purpose. It is your cardinal mission to honour and give meaning to your life by discovering the reason for your existence. Once you uncover your ikigai, stick to it like a moth to the flame. Earn your livelihood around what spurs you to get out of bed at 5 a.m. You enjoy photography? Be a photographer. You enjoy cooking? Be a chef. I’d be proud if you choose to get your hands dirty just to keep your passion burning. Pour your heart into what you do, and I promise you will wear the crown in your chosen field one day. Do not get too comfortable settling. It’s like being trapped in a dark, scary room where you are screaming at the top of your lungs with no one to hear you. You don’t want that, do you? So, embrace challenges. Be on the go. Try. Rise. Fall. A thousand times over. Experience life-both with its lemons; and colourful spices and flavours. Flatline is for the dead.
Alex, you are bathing in the fountain of youth. You are just about to explore the different facets of your sexuality. Your sacred feminine spirit is calling on you to wear that little black dress, to do that gorgeous make-up or to dream of a charming prince on a white horse. However, there will also be moments of skepticism and disdain when you will feel like the ugliest creature on Earth, especially after watching The Oscars. It’s perfectly normal. Through it all, I want you to act responsibly with your body. You owe it to yourself. Your first kiss with your boyfriend might make you want to believe in French romance and the happily-ever-after kind of love. Why shouldn’t you anyway? But I want you to believe in second love, too. The kind of love that feels like hushed waves washing over a dry shore-yeah, it does exist. I’m not gonna ask you to look at the world through rose-tinted glasses. It’s also a cruel place here, my child. A pig-ignorant society will judge you. There will be men who will drool over your body. You must absolutely learn to say ‘no’ without apology. It is not your responsibility to smother the lingering lewd thoughts men have around your physical features or material attire. You are not accountable to me, let alone to your next-door neighbour, or your uncles and aunts. You are accountable to your conscience. Just do good no matter what and stay true to who you are.
A rich life is what you deserve, Alexandria. Travel to places you’ve never been before. Learn a new language. Read books. Laugh out loud. Do the bungee jump. Dance under the moonlight. Be goofy. Love fiercely. Eat your greens. Lift heavy. Rock your heels. You have but one life to make the most out of it. Baby, you are a powerhouse of intellect, courage and joy. You are a million stars under a sky. Sprinkle your angelic shine everywhere you go. Carpe diem!
I got your back!