Dear Nat,

Today is International Women's Day. Each and every woman is a blessing. But, we haven't all been afforded the same opportunities or circumstances.  On crazy, stressful days remember that you are fortunate to have choices.

I love that you had a few years growing up surrounded by colors, sights, sounds, and cultures that were overwhelmingly beautiful.  I know you were younger, but I hope you remember the experiences that you had while living overseas.  You've seen first hand that it's not an equal playing field. 

Today is about celebrating the strength, creativity, determination, and courage of women globally in every circumstance.  There are places and situations that need to be better.  No doubt, you'll make an impact in your own way on your individual journey.  

You're graduating this year, off to college in a matter of months.  I'll add to this because there are so many things that I want to tell you. But, this is what's on my heart today. 

  • You are in control of your health and happiness.   Continue to follow your own passions and to make time for your interests (no matter how silly they are).  Don't depend on others to make you laugh.  Take care of your body.  You are blessed with abundant choices.  Choose the right foods to eat (yes, chocolate is okay - are you kidding me?).  Make time to exercise.
  • Continue your education.  Yes, even after college.  Learn through experiences.  Travel, take a class, learn a new skill or hobby. 
  • Remember your "five".  That number will change. But keep seeking women and friendships that make you better.  Women that listen, lift you up, and love you without judgement.  Don't forget to be this woman too.
  • Don't neglect yourself.  Carve out time to take care of "you". Don't lose sight of your passions.  
  • Find a way to give.  Financially or through service.  Share what you can to empower others.
  • Being different or choosing a different path is okay.  Do that!  And celebrate others who do the same.
  • You are equal.  Walk with your chin up in every situation because of this.

The official IWD 2021 theme is "challenge; A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change."  Pay attention to those words especially for this time in your life.  They are pretty powerful.

Always remember that I love you fiercely.

Mom


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