What I Want To Tell My Future Daughter

What I Want To Tell My Future Daughter

By the time you reach your mid to late 20s, it’s hard not to think about the possibility of having kids — maybe not right now (OK, probably not right now, especially considering the fact that I’m single) but someday. I would love to have kids and especially would love to have a daughter (and not only for the endless dress-up possibilities). I feel I’ve lived a lot and learned a lot in my 26 years and know that will only continue, and I’ve thought about what wisdom I could give my future daughter. Here are 10 things I really want her to know.

  1. You don’t have to do what you don’t want to. Too many of us live according to a false sense of obligation. We do what we think we should instead of what is actually right for us. We’re worried about what society expects. But there’s more to life than a stable 9-to-5 finance job, a husband, a perfect house and a mortgage and two vacations a year. Those things are about keeping up with the Joneses (maybe now it would be the Kardashians… I can only imagine what famous family will replace them in the future). They’re not always the right things for you to go after. So if you want to quit your ballet lessons or cancel a job interview or stop doing anything that makes you unhappy, that is 100 percent OK.
  2. Sometimes you do. On the other hand, life is not all fun and games, and pretending that you can just do whatever the hell you want all the time is not the case. Just a short list of things you have to do: go to the dentist, pay your bills, pay your taxes, be a decent human being, treat people with kindness and respect, never forget how fortunate you are. Oh, and yes, you have to take Math. And yes, I know it sucks. You’re looking at the girl who once got 36 percent on a Math exam.
  3. Listen to your gut and you’ll always win. This is how I’ve lived my entire life and I don’t think it will ever change. When I was 11 or 12, I went to lunch with a relative and her friend. Her friend told me not to be a writer because I would be poor (hello stereotypes) and I remember thinking, OK, she’s wrong. And it turns out she was totally wrong, because now I’m making a living as a writer. So always listen to your gut and it will show you the path to go down even when you’re scared and confused. That applies to creepy first dates and beyond.
  4. Your period gets weird sometimes. It doesn’t always mean you’re pregnant. Sometimes you’ll get two periods super close together and other times you’ll skip a month entirely. It just happens. My family doctor once said if something happens once, it’s OK but to get it checked out if it continues, and that’s pretty sound advice.
  5. You’ll lose friends along the way and that’s totally fine. I don’t have any childhood friends. I don’t even have high school friends. My best friendships have come from university and beyond. Recently two friendships that I thought I would have forever have fallen by the wayside, but it’s not as upsetting as you would think. Sometimes friends change and no longer resemble the person you once fell for (platonically, of course).
  6. Life is harder for girls. OK, I’m not that saying that guys have it totally easy. I know that they don’t, and life is hard for everyone. But when you’re female, there are lots of things that you have to do all the time to make sure you’re being safe. You can’t walk alone at night. You have to think about when it’s best to take a cab and when you can brave public transit. You have to wonder if a guy wants to take advantage of you or if he’s someone you can trust with your heart and your body. It’s never easy and it’s not going to get any easier. I’m sorry about this.
  7. People will be jealous of you. If you find success (and, duh, you will), people will be mean because they want what you have. Jealously is an unfortunate reality of being ambitious and good at what you do.
  8. Guys should never treat you badly. Ever. No one else should, either. Feel free to not accept a second date or break up with someone if they are being a complete jerk. You don’t need any other reason except you don’t like the way they’re treating you.
  9. Watch Beverly Hills 90210. You’re welcome. This 90s teen drama is one of my absolute favorites. It was a huge influence on so many teen shows that came after it, and so you owe it to yourself to fall in love with (just ignore the scary outfits). If you’re confused about the boy in your life, your best friends, your dreams and your place in life, this is the show that will make you feel better. It’s comfort food, basically (and has way fewer calories than pizza). Plus, you need Dylan McKay in your life.
  10. Social media is both good and evil. Don’t get so caught up in posting your “perfect” life on Instagram that you forget how to truly live. Don’t think that posting online means you have the right to be a douchebag (you don’t). Don’t forget that despite the awesome things that social media has given us, the potential for evil is always there (like cyber bullying).

Mostly, I can’t wait for my future daughter to get here so I can force her to watch all my favorite shows. A three-year-old would love My So-Called Life, right?

Aya Tsintziras is a freelance lifestyle writer and editor. She shares gluten-free, dairy-free recipes and personal stories on her food blog, ahealthystory.com. She loves coffee, barre classes and pop culture.