A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter — no.8 “Your Body is Only Yours” and “Ambitions and Dreams”

Dear strong and beautiful daughter,

Your body is yours — not god’s, not society’s, not your family’s, not the government’s, and not your partner’s. It is only yours.

Say “no” whenever you need to. Say “yes” whenever you want to. 

When I was younger, there were times I wanted to say “no” but didn’t. I didn’t want to hurt anyone or have someone see me as a bitch or tease. The feeling of regret is simply not worth it. If you don’t feel confident or comfortable with a situation, say “no”. 

Don’t feel afraid to say “yes” either. Try new things and learn what you like.

Set your own standards. You don’t have to live up to anyone else’s expectations.

The most important thing is that you’re happy and healthy, and that looks different for everyone.





My ambitious daughter with dreams and goals,

Pursue the things you love even if there’s a lot of work involved.

They say if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life, but I’ve learned that’s not quite how it works. To be able to do something you love, you usually have to work pretty hard to get to that position.

Here’s the thing — you only get this one short life. There’s nothing after it, so you really have everything to live for. Pursue the things you love. Set big goals. Be ambitious. This is your time.

There’s one very important lesson I’ve learned from working as an artist and writer:

It is more important to be different than good.

There are millions of people that are good in any given field, but you have to find a way to stand out from them. You are smart and unique and I’m sure you will find a way to make your work your own, which leads to another lesson:

Don’t compare yourself to others.

If you do your best and let your passion shine through, I’m sure you will get far in life. Find what you love and find a way to make it work for you. I will be rooting for you every step of the way.

I’ve done a lot of things in my life and here is a formula I tend to follow:

  1. Stay organized. When you’re an adult, no one is going to keep track of your life for you. Write it down and then follow through and do it. Stay on top of the things you need to do.
  2. Take risks. You’re not going to grow if you don’t let go of your doubts and try something new or go for something bigger. It’s the only way to move forward.
  3. Pursue your passions. You only live once so why the hell not? Fuck those who say you can’t. You are the one in control of your life.

A lot of this formula came from grandma and grandpa — especially the organization part. Your grandparents were successful people. I am grateful for the things they taught me, but of course, I had to put my own spin on it as well.

Now it’s your turn. I’m showing what I do but I want you to put your own spin on it, too. Take what you want; leave what you don’t. Find out what turns your dreams into goals and your goals into accomplishments.

I can’t wait to see all the things you do when you get older. I spend a lot of time wondering what you will be interested in. It’s so exciting to watch you grow!




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