Monday, January 8, 2018

Dear Anshu

Dear Anshu,

I am not sure when you will read it, and if you will read it at all. But in case you stumble upon these letters, just know that I am writing to you to tell you all that I’ve seen, heard and learned right through my twenties, and now in my thirties. In the hubbub of routine, job, school and just life, I don’t know, maybe you and I might not sit down and have these talks. Or maybe we will.  

But whether we do or don’t, if you ever want to read through what runs in my head, this is where you should head. It’s not pearls of wisdom or any magical formula, it’s just my take on things.  It is everything I want to tell you, woman to woman, as your mom, friend, and confidante (hopefully!). It is everything I want you to know if I don’t get around to telling you myself when the time comes. 

I want to do something for me. I want you to go find a mirror, take a deep look at yourself and say these words: “I love you, you are beautiful and you are the best!” Sounds absurd? Well, it might, at first; but you need to know that you have to allow yourself to feel loved before you get to hear it from anyone else. You need to look at yourself and learn to love what you see; every curve, every blemish, every imperfection, dent and broken bit, before you can expect or hope that someone else would look through the debris and find the real you. 

I have learnt it the hard way that sometimes, you don’t give yourself the permission to be loved or deemed smart, beautiful or brave unless you meet with someone else’s definition or guidelines on the established criteria. I get it. The world around has set so many expectations up on us that says that we need to fit into one of those boxes before we are deemed to be loveable. You know what, to hell with it. 

I want you to work on getting the love of the only one that matters; you. I want you to look at yourself and love what you see, any time, every time. I want you to know that it’s not narcissistic to love yourself and want to look beautiful. It’s true that beauty is not skin deep, but it doesn’t hurt to put in an effort to show yourself off a bit. If you want to be a princess, go right ahead, sweetheart. All I’d say, quoting what a colleague once said, is to be a princess who’d gladly kick someone’s ass if they got in her way.  If you’d rather choose to be not a princess, that’s awesome too; whatever works for you. 

.All I want you to do is wake up and look in the mirror and find you favorite person in the whole wide world there. You know, we all grow up and become those shoulders to cry on for others. The pep talk givers and silent and strong supporters who keep egging our friends and family on to do their best.  

Why do we not offer ourselves that favor? Who told us that we shouldn’t tell ourselves that we are nearly there, we can do it, we are the best! I don’t know! I’ve realized that giving yourself a little pep talk every day helps you keep those inner monsters at bay and get ready to face the day and life head on. 

So, my dear, go find that mirror now and throw a kiss to your and mine, our favorite person in the whole world.