Dear Little Girl

You Life Is Still ... To Be Determined

I wrote a letter to a little girl, telling her all the things I wish I had known in the hopes that she could learn them a little easier, or faster than I had. You can learn more about WHY I wrote the letter here.

Maybe she is your little sister, or your best friend’s daughter, or even a letter to yourself.


Dear little girl,

There is so much that I wish I knew that I want to tell you. I want you to carry it with you your whole life. These lessons were not easy to learn.

You might not realize it yet, but you are very special. You have a light in your eyes that is impossible to ignore. You have a joy in your laugh that is infectious.

You are stubborn and strong. You know what you want and you fight for it. You love hard. You hurt easily. You change everyone who meets you for the better. You might not realize it yet, but you are very special.

I need to ask you a favor — I should warn you, it might not always be that easy. Being different is hard. You have a voice. Use it.

Never lose your light — in fact fight like hell your whole life to protect it and only surround yourself with people who celebrate it.

Be open to change. I know that isn’t always easy for you. Be gracious when you’re wrong. I know that isn’t always easy for you either.

It’s a long road. Forgive yourself for the things you do wrong and celebrate the times you get it right. You will get plenty of practice in both.

You will find your way. Remember that on days you feel alone. You’re gonna be okay — You are enough. On days you aren’t that sure, remember who you are going to be is still to be determined.

Let the world see all of you. Even the messy parts. People will judge you and also praise you — none of it means anything unless you learn to love yourself. I mean all of it. You are not too much of anything.

Always do your best to find your wild.

Promise me you will remember you are not what the world tells you that you are — you are who you choose to be. And every day is a chance to choose differently. Your life is still to be determined.

Don’t let people call you names. Because you’re not so easily defined. Do spend your hours and days trying to please yourself — trying to please others never really works.

Always look for the good in every situation. It is there if you look hard enough. Don’t let the pain you will find along your way harden you. You may end up with a few bumps and bruises — maybe even a scar or two— but they will be part of your lessons. Use them to grow.

Find compassion for yourself and others. Everyone is just doing their best.

I’ve got a secret to tell you — You get to make up the rules. To be the author of your own life.

  • Be brave enough to say yes.

  • Be humble enough to say when you’re wrong.

  • Be open enough to love with your whole heart — even if it’s been broken.

  • Be strong enough to stand up to criticism — to fight for what you believe in.

Don’t grow up thinking you don’t deserve to be all of yourself. Because while you may not realize it yet, you are very special.

You are brave — so take risks even if they’re scary. No matter what you can always go home.

Speaking of which, be gentle with your mom. You are her biggest challenge and her greatest gift. She wants to give you the world even when she disagrees with you. Even if you don’t understand it right now — or it doesn’t look the way you want it to — her love truly is unconditional. You’ll feel the same way about your daughter someday.

It is your job and no one else’s to make yourself happy. Which means no one can steal your happiness unless you let them.

Do not ask what the world wants you to be — instead ask what the world needs that you can help with. You have a unique set of gifts and the world needs them. Let the world see all of you. You might not realize it yet, but you are very special.

Everyday is a chance to choose differently. Whether you are 6 or 60 — Who you are going to be is still to be determined.