trembling but roaring


dear [ future daughter ], i hope you run like a girl


DEAR [ future daughter ],

WHEN you grow up, I hope you run like a girl. Meaning, I hope you run hard, run fast, as fast as a cheetah [ one day you'll learn that they are the fastest land animal on Earth ]. Running will hurt your lungs, your powerful legs will ache all over, and in the beginning you might cramp up, but I want you to run everywhere, and when people stop you and ask you what you are doing, I want you to tell them, "I'm running like a girl!"

WHEN you grow up, I hope you hit like a girl. Hit things hard - be it baseballs, punching bags, boys who are being rude and mean to innocent people, and, if life seems like too much, hit the wall - we can always patch it up later, plus you'll have a reminder that you made it and you're okay now. Hit without apologizing. But only hit with good intentions. And if people ask you why you hit so hard and fast, I want you to tell them, "I'm hitting like a girl!"

WHEN you grow up, I hope you feel like a girl. I hope you feel deeply, widely, honestly. I hope your heart feels so much joy and love it can do nothing more but spill over into the world, and flood the hearts of others with your feelings. And if people accuse you of being too emotional, I want you to tell them, "I'm feeling like a girl!"

WHEN you grow up, I hope you speak like a girl. I hope you speak loud and clear and with all the sincerity in the world. Think well and hard before you speak, and speak the words the world needs to hear. Speak truth, speak love, speak to build up grand palaces of solid steel in the hearts of others. Speak to repair broken souls. And if people approach you and ask why you're words are so deep and unnatural and full of healing, I want you to tell them, "I'm speaking like a girl!"

WHEN you grow up, I hope you don't turn out like me. Yes, I am still only seventeen, and I have quite a bit of life to live, and lessons to learn, and cells to grow, and ideas to connect and flourish and die before I will ever meet you, if I ever get to meet you [ oh, God, I pray with all my heart I get to meet you ], but I pray you won't turn out like me. And in order to not turn out like me, you need to know that not every bad thing is your fault, you nose is adorable, your mouth is perfect, your eyes are deep and dark and someday the right man will come along and drown them; you are capable of surviving math/science/history/foreign language/whatever subject you'll struggle with, just don't mark yourself a failure before you actually try. YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. If you like sports, play hard, play strong, but don't work yourself too hard. If you like art, know that creative blocks will tumble in your way and you won't be able to see the path and you will try everything to move them but they won't budge, but remember they are not your fault, they do not define your your talents/strengths/weaknesses/abilities. They are there for you to stretch your muscles, and they will move, and when they move, the dam that held back your light will break and you will flood the world with your brilliance. No matter how strong the urge is, don't step on the scale. YOUR WEIGHT. HEIGHT. GRADES. BRA SIZE. JEAN SIZE. DRESS SIZE. DO NOT DEFINE YOU. Numbers don't define you. Don't you dare let those numbers define you. You body, EVERY INCH OF IT, is precious and perfect and strong and able and stunning and powerful.

WHEN you grow up, I hope you will know that being a strong woman is not the same as being manly or lacking femininity - wearing jeans all the time instead of dresses, lifting weights instead of working in the kitchen, although it could be those things. But rather, being a strong woman means being who you know you are, who you are meant to be, and being without apologizing, no excuses. It means being complex and deep and crafted with a million different beautiful threads. It means crying a lot of sad tears, crying a lot of happy tears, crying tears that have no story. It means being proud of your body, your mind, and every sunspot and dimple and every layer of skin.

MORE than anything, though, I hope that when you grow up, you will stay true to yourself, whoever you may be. I hope that you will strive to learn about everything you love, and then some. I hope you will strive to love every single person around you, knowing that there are many different kinds of love, and it's okay to say "I love you" a lot [ you really can't say it enough ]. You will find yourself at rock-bottom more often than you'd like, but you can only go up from there. Ask questions. Don't be ashamed of yourself. Love your body. Take care of your mind. Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruits and anytime is a good time to eat chocolate. I love you. God loves you. The trillions of cells in your body love you. You are necessary. You are worthy. You are loved.



  1. Thank you for this, I really enjoyed reading it- for myself and for my (possible) future daughter. :)

  2. this is so so beautiful. it's basically an anthem for every girl in the world.
    i think it's so important to tell little girls these things, good and hard things.