An Open Letter to my Daughter,
…to be opened in fourteen years
First of all, you are amazing.
You live in a society that has not always been kind to women, and remnants of that will still likely be around when you are a young woman. Research that is becoming available to me in this time has found that brains of men and women are structured differently in some regards. It makes sense to me too, as women are biologically constructed to make and nurture their young, and men are built to nurture and protect their young. [Yes, notice I said that it is a natural biological imperative for both moms AND dads to nurture their children.] This is the important part though: always remember that different does not equal better, it just equals different.
There are many different personalty tests that are used in working with businesses, so that people can have an appreciation for how each co-worker is different. One person may be neat and orderly, while another may work in messy chaos. The idea is that neither of them are wrong, they are just different, and when they start from that understanding, it is so much easier for them to work toward a common working relationship that works for both of them. This starts with the recognition that each person is doing their best, and everyone is right; they all just need to find a way to be right together instead of separately.
Men and women are not the same. Men and women will probably always have differences in the way they act and react, but neither is right or wrong. Know that for everything you wish to accomplish, you have just as much right as any man to follow your dreams. Never be with anyone who wants you to believe otherwise.
I will always love you. We will always have a special relationship, I hope that is as true for you now, as it was on the day I wrote this. You deserve to be happy, and to share your life with someone you love. Never settle for misery in a relationship, thinking that you should just deal with whatever your partner throws at you. Remember, you are amazing, and yes, you CAN find better.
Relationships are always hard work. The ditsy girls depicted in the movies who happen upon Mr. Right (or Miss Right) and everything is magical and easy because “it was meant to be” are just as much a fairy tale as Shrek. [If you cannot remember Shrek, then I am sure you can find it on Netflix, if it still exists.] I love a good movie, just as much as the next person, but movies are often mostly fantasy. In real life, relationships are hard work, and I cannot promise that you will find an amazing person that you click with, and that you are so in love with that the relationship is never work. What I can promise you is that if you find the right person, then all of that work is worth it.
It is also good for you to know, on the subject of love, that as an adult, I want you to have a happy and fulfilling sex life. In principle. However, I do like to have a fantasy world that I believe in sometimes, and in my mind, you will always be six, and will never be interested in sex. Please plan your conversations with me accordingly.
You deserve happiness. Choose happiness. Love and compassion for others will get you far in life, and you will have that love and compassion returned to you. Treat others like you want to be treated, and for the most part, they will treat you in kind. Don’t waste your energy on those who do not, because that just puts you in a negative place. You will only have a finite number of thoughts each day, don’t waste them on thoughts that perpetuate misery.
If you are ever made to feel by another person, be it a lover, or a boss, or even me, that you do not deserve to be happy, then know that person is wrong. No one ever deserves misery. Never accept that as your path. Love, and be loved. Live, and follow your dreams toward happiness. Maybe both of us can let a part of you always be six.
- Study: Men’s And Women’s Brains Wired Differently (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- Gender equality: why women are still held back (theguardian.com)