Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Letter To My Daughter #6 -- Be Yourself

Scarlett-
This one may be the hardest one I'll have to write. Not because I don't know what I want to say but because it's the hardest advice to take. It takes a very mature person to truly live this lesson. I'm not sure I'm doing it even now.

Be yourself.

What does "be yourself" mean? Good question. Glad to see you're thinking about what you're reading. "Be yourself" means a lot of things, but in this case I mean that you should never be afraid to be different. You may not see it now, but being different is a good thing. You don't want to be just like everyone else. Being like everyone else is boring. The only person you want to be like is you. 

How do you be you? I don't know but you're doing a pretty good job of it so far. I don't know how to be Scarlett and I never will. Only you can be Scarlett. Only you know what you like and what you don't like. The way you find out what you like is by trying things. Try everything you have the opportunity to try. If you don't like it, you don't have to try it again. If you do, awesome -- there's something new for you to add to your list of "Things Scarlett Likes." Just try, try, try. Never stop trying.

You'll probably find something you like that no one else you know likes. Or maybe you'll dislike something that everyone else seems to like. That's perfectly okay. You don't need to be like everyone else. In fact, you'll eventually discover that it's pretty cool to not be like everyone else. If it's something that you like and it's not hurting anyone, you should do it and you should be proud of it. You might be surprised at how being confident in your choices can really change the way people think about your choices. You might even turn some people on to a new thing they love.

Look, you're already different. You have red hair. Most of your friends will have blond or black or brown hair. You might think you stick out like a sore thumb with your red hair and you might feel like you want to blend in. Don't. Embrace your red hair. Stand out. Don't apologize. Your red hair is part of what makes you you. In fact, I guarantee there will be plenty of kids in your class who wish they had red hair like yours. Learn to love it now because you're definitely going to love it later.

Fitting in is okay and there is a time and a place where learning how to fit in will serve you well. However, you should never, NEVER compromise who you are just to fit in. That's when fitting in becomes the easy way out, the coward's path. It's takes bravery to be who you are and to let the world see who you are. Find that bravery. If you're not feeling brave, come find me or your Mom. We'll always be proud of who you are and we'll always be there to help. Sometimes bravery is a little bit easier when you're doing it with someone you love.

Love, 
Dad

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