My darling Ruby,
You are kind, sweet and can be anything you want to be. You have the world at your feet. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
When I was little, I believed that to be a ‘good girl’ I needed to please everyone around me. It didn’t really do me much good. I don’t want you to be a ‘good girl’. I keep telling you that, which probably confuses you a little.
What I’ve learnt, and what I want you to understand, is that being yourself, being confident, being honest and being respectful gets you much further in life than being a pleaser, being nice, and staying quiet - what little girls used to have to be, to be ‘good’.
Let me elaborate on what I mean, for you will grow up and you will have questions. You will have moments that pull at you and press down on you. On those days and days in between, read this again as a reminder of what’s important and what I absolutely want you to know.
1. Be yourself. In a world saturated with social media and messages of perfection it can be tempting to look to others for who you should be. Don’t. Know your own mind and be happy with who you are. It is true when they say, “Be yourself, because everyone else is taken.”
2. You will know what’s best for you. As you go through life, you’ll see that we all have an agenda for you. Even when we think we know what’s best for you, the truth is, as you get older, the only person who will truly know what’s best for you - is you. Trust your gut feeling. If it feels right, it’s right. And if it feels wrong, it is.
3. Learn to say no without apology. If there is something you do not want to do, say no. Your body, your mind, your time are yours. Respect them and others will too.
4. Treat others how you want to be treated. There is a saying that I know to be true: People don’t remember what you did for them, but they remember how you made them feel. Always be kind, for even a small kindness will go a long way. It is a true mark of character.
5. Go after your dreams. Your dreams are what will set your soul on fire. If there’s something you want to do in this world, a difference you want to make, do it. Work hard and keep trying until it’s done, and, if it doesn’t happen exactly as you expect, look for the lesson inside the surprise.
6. It’s ok to make mistakes. Making mistakes means you are moving forward. It means you are trying, you are progressing, and you are learning. Mistakes are part of the process, take the learning and move on.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You won’t always have the answers. Surround yourself with people you trust and whom you can confidently call on when you need support, guidance or just a willing ear.
8. Make time for your health and well-being. Your body and your spirit are yours forever, so take care of them. Eat well and exercise. Only consume things that nourish and enrich you, and cut out anything that doesn’t. Listen to your body and give it what it needs. Throughout your life make time for yourself; you can’t pour from an empty cup.
9. Try your best and know that you are enough. When you have given something your all, that is enough; you are enough.
10. Speak up for what is right and what is wrong. Your perspective is always valid. If you know you are helping someone or something and it feels right, speak up. Do not stay quiet for fear of what others may think. The caveat to this is, do not deliberately hurt or damage someone else in the name of speaking your mind. If you are speaking in service of what is right, speak up! When you see injustice don’t be afraid to call it out in service of bringing justice.
11. Never let anyone make you feel inferior. Be the only person who controls how you feel. Stand in your truth and in your power. Remember: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
12. Don’t be afraid to leave relationships that make you sad. As hard as it may be at times, you must prioritise your own well-being. Love does not have to hurt. You will heal; you will be ok.
13. Those who care will always be there. In times of trouble and when you’re on the highest of high, the people who care for you truly will show up fully. You will know who they are.
The world is yours to explore – enjoy it!