You’ve just turned one. In the past twelve months, you have learned so much. You are so interested in the world. You’re a keen observer. You’re patient. You’re gentle. You’re adorable. When you smile, the sun shines a bit brighter. Everything you do amazes us.
I wonder what your future holds. I have dreams for you but your life will be what you make of it.
Right now, you are barely touched by society and environment. You are so comfortable in your own skin, never self conscious, not even when you’re running around gloriously naked.
Slowly but surely, you will go through what happens to all of us. You will be shaped, molded, conditioned. The adults in your life will show you their strengths. They will teach their values and beliefs, which you will hold as ultimate truth for most of your childhood. They’ll pass along a few bad habits for good measure.
I hope the day will come when you will start to think for yourself and decide on your own values and beliefs. You’ll set your own goals and work on achieving them. That’s when you need to remember that, as you learned to walk, you can learn anything. You didn’t quit then, no matter how many times you fell. You tried and tried again until you succeeded. It’s not that it wasn’t hard. It’s that you were determined. No-one was telling you you couldn’t so you didn’t doubt you could. And you did.
I hope you always keep that sense of self confidence. No matter what society says, you must stay true to yourself. Follow your own calling and don’t be swayed by convention.
I hope you take care of yourself physically: your body is your vessel. It is the ship that will sail with you through the calm waters of easy days and through the rough seas of life’s challenges. If you keep it strong and healthy, you’ll enjoy smoother sailings.
I hope you keep learning. As a one year old, learning is your only job. You learn all day, everyday. If you keep this thirst for knowledge, your life will be easier and richer. Over and over you will be faced with the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable, the unknown. Let these be opportunities to learn and grow, not a time of discouragement and failure.
I hope you believe that you deserve the best and accept it when it comes your way. Humility is laudable but we best serve the world by acknowledging our talents and putting them to good use. Strive to be the best you can be and to do the best you can do. That is how you’ll make the world a better place.
I hope you’re a cup half full kind of person. Regardless of our circumstances, we can always find something to be thankful for. That is, if we look for it. How you behave in the face of challenges can make you expand or make you shrink. Each obstacle contains a seed. Gratitude is the perfect soil for growth and true happiness. Effort, perseverance and faith make great fertilizers. You are the gardener.
I hope you are kind. Be kind to others but first and foremost be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself as you would your best friend. Be your own cheerleader. You are going to be with yourself your whole life. Enjoy your own company. If a day comes when you don’t like who you see in the mirror, become someone else. Life comes with a handy reset button. Use as often as needed.
I hope I’ll be there to guide you along the way.
I’ll prepare you the best I can.
And when I let go of your hand…
I hope you’ll soar.
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