A letter to my 14 year-old daughter: How not to lose yourself in two decades (Part 1)

Hello my beautiful child. Over the past eight years, I have watched you begin your unique journey in facing this world. Already I see a confidence that breeds success…you have a fight that can match no other. You are loving, contentious, and you are extremely affectionate. I also see your confidence sometimes conveniently transforming into people-pleasing. I see your fight being extinguished when you witness injustice (or when you are falsely accused). Your inner affection displays your purity, yet makes me very nervous that others will learn how to take advantage of it. You are a beautiful gift from God, and simply because of that, in the future, you will be faced with situations that will make you question your sanity, your morals and your reason for being. As I sit here and watch you sleep, I am being forced to reflect on the lessons I’m still learning in my own life. Even though the experiences you will encounter during this journey are what will ultimately shape you to be the young woman I’ve prayed you to become, I have to admit there are experiences I wish I could protect you from. Since it’s not God’s will for me to shelter you from every storm, I want to share with you some of mommy’s wisdom about ways you can keep the foundation of your being intact during the most difficult years of your life. You may be wondering why I chose 14 for the age for you to receive this. Once you begin reading, I’m sure some of this stuff already became more than familiar to you in middle school. But now that you are in high school, you have a whole new set of responsibilities that can and will tremendously impact the next two decades of your life (plus by 14, you’ll be able to handle much of my language, if you’re not yet using a couple of inappropriate words of your own).  There will be times when you will feel lost. During those times, or times you need guidance and are scared to talk to me, I want you to have a basic list of instructions at your finger tips. I pray these words of advice will keep you (and maybe your friends as well) level-headed, focused, and out of harm’s way on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level.

10. Remember everyone is not your friend: 

I know you'd love to think that everyone is nice, friendly, and has your best intention in mind, but that is farthest from the truth. The older you get, the more you will realize that young ladies are catty and young men have ulterior motives. Not all the time, but understand that by the time you reach 34, you will probably only have a handful of friends. One or two will probably be childhood friends, and a couple of more will be friends you met in high school and college that have been through the fire with you. You will have people smile in your face and talk about you as soon as you blink. On the flip side, you may actually fight girls who will turn out to do your future baby’s hair… no lie! As people grow, people change. Some will change for the better, many more for the worse. All I can tell you is be careful, be observant, and trust your spidey-senses. Don’t worry, if you already don’t know yet, you’ll know what spidey-senses are soon enough. (In your 20’s, you’ll call it women’s intuition. In your 30’s, you’ll call it God.)