​Dear daughter; lessons on love and friendship.

I chuckle at the irony of what I’m about to do. Truth be told, I don’t know much about love and friendship. Attempting to talk about it, would be like Hitler giving a lecture on tolerance. I’ve only ever had a handful of friends and up until I was twenty, I did not understand these two concepts. I would like to believe that I have grown; that in just two years, I have acquired knowledge I should have amassed in twenty two years. But really, the jury is still out on that. So let’s see.

Friendship as I know it is the purest form of love. You are going to grow up in a society that will make you believe that a sexual relationship is the height of all relationships. But you are my daughter, and as you will find out, I am not in the business of raising you into a cliché. You will be a rebel, an outcast, an outlier before you ever are ordinary. So take it from me, if you screw up all the relationships you will ever be in, if you’ll break the hearts of everyone you set your sights on, pick one friend that will know every bit and crevice of your soul. When you find this person, it doesn’t matter gender what they’ll be (because people will try to tell you that you can’t be friends with male people. Another myth I’ll debunk), be good to them. Endeavor to unravel every bit of their being. Learn the difference in the quivering of their voice when they are about to cry from happiness or sadness. If you can’t do anything else for them, never let them forget that you love them. Be vulnerable, be honest be raw. Because really, out of all the things you could give to people, the greatest will always be your uncensored self. That and your time. So if they ever call you in the middle of the day saying they are having a bad day asking to talk for a minute, please say yes. Because you can always finish your homework an hour later. What you shouldn’t do is let your friend go through the day thinking they are a bother to you. If you ever have the power to make someone feel better, do it. And as you get older, you will find that these are the things that truly matter.  

In your lifetime, you will come across people that you will be inexplicably drawn to. The sad thing about life is there won’t be a lot of these people. So when you do come across one of those people, drop everything and see what shore that current dumps you on. These people will come in various forms; family, friends, strangers on the street. They will serve different purposes for different periods. I hope you will be selfish enough to enjoy these people, especially the ones that are not permanent (actually nobody really is because we all die.) But just because people aren’t permanent doesn’t mean they aren’t worth it. Some of the best memories will be made by people you shared a bus ride with, people it didn’t even occur to you to ask their names. 

Finally, I hope you know what kind of treatment you deserve. Don’t ever be too busy loving and supporting other people you forget to do that for yourself. No one deserves to be happy more than you do. If you ever are to choose between people, pick the ones that put in an effort over the ones that claim they love you. Because not everyone that loves you will try. But people that try will always love you. Pick the friend that listens to you. Pick the friend that knows all the different ways to put your pieces back together because they’ve seen you fall apart so many times. Pick the friend that cherishes, you’re A-Zs, your skin to your bones. Pick the friends that knows all your scars and the story behind each one. Pick the friends that calls you just because. God, pick people who try. I cannot tell you how important that is. And when you have chosen this person, try for them. Try even if it kills you.

And when all is said and done, not all relationships last. There are people who for whatever reason will hurt your feelings. Please forgive those people. If I should leave you with anything, may it always be an unwavering assurance that people’s actions are not a reflection of your self-worth. This is in no way saying that you are beyond reproach. We all need a little shaping. What we do not need however, is a crumbled sense of worth stemming from someone’s indecency. If you ever have to listen to such misconceptions, if your only choice is to sit and watch your life and everything you stand for be reduced into a vulgar misunderstanding spewing out of even more vulgar mouths, I hope you know not to turn the pits of your stomach into a graveyard; a dark dreary place to bury every judgement passed, every door slammed. But above everything else, may you always find the light inside you. That you will use this light to illuminate your shadows of self-doubt and turn them into reflections of beauty and joy. That you shall always put your happiness above all else.

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