Hold on to Your Bravery: A Letter of Admiration to my Girls
by Rachel Carpenter
My beautifull daughters - all three of you.
There are so many things I love about you. You are all talented, smart, creative, and full of personality. Your outer beauty is only enhanced with your words, actions, and thoughts. One of the best parts of being your mother is watching you grow into the women you will too quickly become.
But the thing I admire and love most about all of you is your bravery.
That’s right - your bravery! You are not out slaying dragons or conquering kingdoms; you have not tackled the business or real worlds (yet). Regardless, your bravery is evident in all you do. You wake up everyday and see positivity, fun, and adventure. You move schools, states, and even countries without much trepidation. The three of you tackle problems and tricky situations without fear and with courage beyond your years.
Whether you try out for the main role in the musical or jump off that high rock into the ocean, I’m amazed. I admire the way you can dance without embarrassment or wondering how you look. Your hair and clothing styles are unique to your personalities, and you are never ashamed of what you wear or how you look. You all face the world without fear of rejection, shame, or guilt.
I hope you never lose your bravery.
But there may come a day where you realize you lost it along the way. I know I did.
I do not know when I lost my bravery. The world can be cruel and unforgiving, and somewhere in my life I let too many people and expectations dictate my life. My teen years were peppered with moments of insecurity and doubt; shame and embarrassment; pain and fear. I worried too much about how I looked and if I was acceptable to the world around me. I pushed aside the good parts of myself to “fit in,” even though those parts were what made me unique. I chastised myself for mistakes and failures. I fretted about things that were trivial and did not matter. I never regained that bravery as a young adult, and I look back now at all the time I wasted on worries and fear that were unnecessary. I still struggle with body image, guilt, anxiety, and fear of the unknowns of life. These are not things I ever want you to struggle with.
By becoming a mother - your mother - I regained some of my bravery back.
For the three of you, I can face anything.
I can overcome my own feelings of inadequacy and poor self-esteem to be the positive role model you need. I can advocate for you and defend you when necessary. I will fight for your rights to freedom, education, equality, and love. I will support you in all you attempt and do in your lives, even if it is not what I may have chosen for you. I can be a brave, strong woman and mother for you.
Most importantly, I will make sure you hold on to your bravery.
Fear and anxiety are normal feelings in life. Life will bring pain or guilt. But for the three of you, I want those to remain fleeting moments. I want your courage and adventure to stay one of your defining traits. I hope you continue to take chances and risks. I love watching the games and schemes you imagine. Keep dying your hair different colors and wearing that shirt with those shoes! Stay true to yourself and remain brave in the face of adversity.
I will be here for all of it - no matter what you do, who you become, or what you choose in life. Hold on to your bravery, my courageous girls - the world needs women like you.