You are too young to know it yet, but you are so incredibly lucky to be growing up with so much opportunity and choice for women. We still have to fight but there are some incredibly brave women standing up and making their voices heard and working hard to create a better future for you.
I have raised you to be strong, confident, unapologetic and brave (all traits that you both have in spades, much to my occasional exasperation) but most importantly I want you to be kind, compassionate, smart and loving. In honour of International Women's Day, I want to celebrate the two of you and share some lessons I hope to teach you as you grow older.
A good partner will never make you chase them for affection or attention. They will never intentionally hurt you.
Marriage is hard work. It requires constant maintenance. But know when to let go if things can't be fixed and you aren't happy.
You can have more than one love in your lifetime, and people change.
Love is love. Trust yourself; we can't help who we are attracted to.
There is nothing you can't do because you are female, so never let yourself or anyone else tell you otherwise.
There is nothing wrong with choosing not to marry or have children. Both are a choice we all thankfully have.
Have independence beyond your partner or parents. You never know what the future holds, and it is important to have skills and money of your own.
Don't be afraid to speak up about an issue you feel strongly about, but accept and respect different views and make sure you are educated on any topic you choose to debate.
Never use being a female as an excuse. There is nothing you can't do because you are female, so never let yourself or anyone else tell you otherwise.
Believe you are amazing. Be your own best friend and champion. It is no one else's responsibility to make you feel good about yourself.
Don't be a keyboard warrior. If you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't say it at all.
Life is a lot easier if you roll with the punches. You can't control everything, so learn to accept and let go of things that take you off track.
Moments don't define us. We have all done things we regret. Try not to hold onto them - they are one part of our life and not a representation of who we are.
There is always a way to reach your goals. If they mean that much to you, fight for them. Good grades at school aren't the only way into university or a career. Closed doors can be opened.
I hope to always be there with you in the good and bad moments, and if there's just one thing you take from this, know there is absolutely nothing you can ever do or say that will make me stop loving you with all my heart.
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