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To My Dearest Daughter – It Is Not Your Job

“Life is tough, my darling, but so are you.” – Stephanie Bennett Henry

To my dearest daughter,

It’s taken me more than half my life to realize a few things, that I wish to share with you today, and that I wish had been shared with me sooner. If I have but one advice to give you, it is this. Do whatever you want to do, and go wherever your soul wants to, conquer the mountains if you must, or live in a dilapidated caravan outside the city. Do it all, whatever your heart desires, and do it with kindness. Just remember this…

It is not your job.

It is not your job to be pretty. It is not your job to love pink. It is not your job to put on a dress. It is not your job to wear ballerinas. It is not your job to grow your hair out long and pretty. It is not your job to get your ears pierced. It is not your job to tweeze your eyebrows or wax your upper lip. It is not your job to go to the mall because the other girls are going. It is not your job to be a cheerleader. It is not your job to be Prom Queen. It is not your job to get 500 likes on your profile picture. It is not your job to sing and dance, if you want to wrestle and play the drums. It is not your job to be lady-like. It is not your job to be gentleman-like. It is not your job.

It is not your job to stay out of the temples if you’re menstruating; or the mosques, or the churches. It is not your job to cover your head, or your arms, or your legs. It is not your job to wear a two-piece at the beach, or by the pool. It is not your job to get married. It is not your job to be a wife. It is not your job to be a mother. It is not your job to ‘further the family line’. It is not your job.

I took a little time in life to get to all these things, to learn and to understand. And I know without a doubt that if there are any lessons I would like to pass on to my daughter, then these are it. Do all the things I’ve mentioned above, my love, do them ten times over. But don’t, not even for a second, think that it is your job. Do them if that’s what you want to do, do them if that’s what your heart desires; do them if they resonate within your soul. Be anything and anyone you want to be – don’t let stereotypes or society dictate who you are. It is not your job.

Remember… You were born of me, my child. You were born to live free.

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