Dear young girl,
I see your struggle to find a place for yourself in this world. Some days are dazy, others, hazy; throwing you into a state of seamless confusion. Your paths are shrouded with doubts, marked with the treacherous insecurities and uncertainties of tomorrow, saddled with the crippling fear of the unknown. You are sometimes even at a loss as to whether you’re worth anything at all, as to whether your presence in this world even holds meaning, as to whether your thoughts and actions are of value to anybody anyway.
Know now my darling, that I recognize your fears. Actually, I live them everyday! With society, reckless and relentless in its quest to remind me and you of where we belong, of what we must and mustn’t do, of how we need and needn’t look, even of who we should and shouldn’t be, I want to say that I acknowledge your uncertainty. I validate your unwillingness to put up with all of this catastrophe any longer, while not quite knowing where all these will eventually lead to.
You are right to think that way my dear. Why must we bother anyway? When nobody cares? And nothing changes?
Well, if you’ll permit me, I’d love to tell you a different version of this story— the flip side of the coin, perhaps. Allow me to direct you on the path where hope resides and overflows in all of it’s glorious abundance. This is not the story as it has been passed down loosely from one generation to the other. This is the story told properly, and this time hopefully in a voice that is identical to yours.
Dear young girl,
Change neither happens in a day nor at once. As you know, Rome was not built in a day. Change comes as a result of the persistent and collective efforts and sacrifices of certain passionate individuals, who know that it is important for them to set the pace, whether or not they’d live to see the fruits of their labour yield results. Change is painful and it takes time. But, it has to start from somewhere—and that someone to start can be you.
Dear young girl,
Do not ever think that you do not matter; or that your opinions stand irrelevant in the face of others’; or that what you think is not equally as important as anybody else’s. And while it probably may seem so, for the most parts of our world, master courage, be bold, and endeavor to never lose trace of your voice. Although your repressors are bound to rise against you, hoping they scare you with their pointless uproars, hoping that it breaks you till you recoil back into your shell and hide away somewhere, exactly where they need you to be, I wish you do not give them that pleasure.
For it is important that you to take up space. And by taking up space, I mean, not keeping up with some stringent conformity invented by society or whoever in order to please or fit in. I mean, not shutting up or holding back your views or opinions because somebody else thinks they don’t matter enough to be heard or said. I mean fighting for your fundamental human rights and speaking up against the many injustices that this world thrushes on you and others of your kind day in and day out. I mean working hard to occupy positions in real places of power, particularly those places traditionally thought to be meant for only one kind of gender, because representation matters! Truth is, if you look closely enough, majority of those in those places don’t even belong there and probably do not even know what they are doing there—they’ve only been made to believe so.
So yes! Break stereotypes. Shatter glass ceilings. In fact, forget about the glass ceiling and venture into the rooms where no woman has dared to enter yet and sit at the table with pride because you equally belong!
Yes, it is expected that you get overwhelmed by the many naysayers and dream-wreckers around you. Those telling you you’re too ambitious for your own good. The ones that say you should stop emasculating the men around you and lower your standards. The ones that tell you that you can dream but not too much because after all, everything for you ends after marriage and childbirth. The ones that never cease to remind you of how grateful you should be if any suitors look your way, after all, aren’t you just a bunch of ovaries praying to be grabbed quickly before your expiry date creeps up on you? Sad right?
I know, that after hearing things like these, slowly you begin to question yourself, sometimes even believing they may be right. And in the loneliness of your thoughts, in the lack of support and community, in your hunger for value to be placed on your dreams and aspirations just as much as your fellow gender counterpart, you may tend to feel helpless, hopeless, and resolve to give up.
But I’ll tell you this one thing. The option of giving up is a luxury you cannot afford—not for yourself, not for the women who came before you, and obviously not for those that will come after you. Sometimes it’s not that you don not know you shouldn’t give up, you just need a reminder of why you shouldn’t. And maybe mine will be that unknown but familiar voice asking you to keep your head up and to never look down. I want mine to be that soothing and affirming voice, cheering you on at your lowest, when you’ve reached that breaking point and it’s so hard to identify any supporter regardless of which direction you tilt your head towards.
My dear young girl,
I assure you, with the little I know and have witnessed, that if you keep on fighting this seemingly unending battle of having to prove yourself time and time again, there’s more to gain than lose. Generations will benefit from your bravery, your courage, your strength, your resilience and unwillingness to surrender to defeat. Your choice to break through and march into all the hostile environments and occupy space will be the hallmark of your success story. The same voices that tried to hold you back will now rise and call you legendary. Yes, those same ones that told you it is impossible just because you are a female.
‘She is one of a kind,’ they’ll say.
Your legacy shall not be flippant, as the rise and fall of the sea waves, but shall be equivalent to one born out of insurmountable years of hardwork, bravery, endurance, perseverance and persistence. Both young and old women alike will hear the intriguing story of your intrepidity and their worn-out spirits shall be revamped, as they see their faces reflected in yours. All of these is possible my dear, if and only if, you make that bold decision to stay firm and resolute in your truth.
Dear young girl,
You’re much more than you give yourself credit for. It is okay to take a break and relax when you’re tired and broken, because only then can you bounce back stronger and fortified, even much prepared to face off other hurdles. However, in the times that you lack motivation, do not hesitate to draw strength from the incredibly powerful women mentors around you, those that have already walked the path that you seek to walk now, both known and unknown. Learn from their journeys, however different it may be from yours. Let their courage inspire you. Let their stories be a source of nourishment to your purpose.
Lastly, dear young girl,
Constantly remind yourself of the fiercely beautiful and worthy creation that you are. For indeed, you were fearfully and wonderfully designed by God! And while it may not be simple or easy, make it a point to take up space daily in your universe and be fiercely unapologetic about it. Because you equally belong!
Hello there. I hope you had a good time reading this piece. This piece is a letter from my heart to all the young girls/ladies/women with big dreams like me all over the world. I tell you dear, don’t cave, don’t fall, don’t fear, don’t fret. Follow your heart and live your dreams. Most importantly, be unapologetic! There’s no reason why you should be apologize for wanting to be more. You deserve a chance at the table too and if you don’t get one, my dear, create your own!
Hope to meet you at the top someday… And cheers to being bold and beautiful✌💪.
“Little girls with dreams become women with vision.”