Things I Learned From My Daughter
Raising a daughter is hard, especially in these times. Social Media inundates these young girls with impossible standards daily. I know that growing up I only had monthly teen magazine to compare myself and my body image to. Once a month, I yearned to look like someone else, wish I had their outfits, hair style... the shoes. You know, perfectly normal teenage stuff. Craving to be the perfect everything and not feeling adequate in your own skin.
Fast forward 14 years later and I am having my first child. When my beautiful Samantha entered this world I had no idea how much I would change that very moment. How much I loved her the second she was born. I remember that moment so vividly. It’s one I will never ever forget. She was perfect and loved and I never wanted to feel anything less than adored.
Becoming a mom changes you. It’s takes you and transforms you into this person that would die for their child. This person that puts herself last so that she can love, protect, care and teach this little being that she should never ever change for anyone. I taught my daughter not to change as I was changing before my eyes. Changing to appease my then husband. I put all my wants and needs aside to become what he needed me to be. . .That my friends is Lesson Number One. DO NOT CHANGE YOURSELF FOR ANYONE.
As I was watching my daughter during her toddler years, it became quite apparent that she was an artist. She danced before she could walk. She made her stages out of anything that lifted her up and she performed. She knew what her passion was and she was embracing it . Lesson Number Two - FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS NO MATTER HOW CRAZY, SILLY OR INCONSEQUENTIAL THEY MAY SEEM. I knew what my dreams were but they didn’t fit into my husbands plan... so on the back burner they went because you know... put yourself last, that makes you a good mom & wife, right? ( sadly I believed that for 16 years)
I was mesmerized by her passion and as my daughter started getting into pre- teen and teen years she wasn’t afraid to boldly put herself out there. Auditions for musicals, dance troops, solos in vocal jazz. You name it, she knew what she wanted and she went after it fearlessly... And she was so brave when she didn’t get that part or solo. She just became more determined to do better, practice more and try again. Lesson Number Three -FEARLESSLY PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE, THE REAL, AUTHENTIC YOU. Fear of rejection on any level terrified me. I didn’t want anyone to laugh at me, think I wasn’t good enough, or embarrass myself if I failed. So, I didn't do the things that scared me, and I stunted my personal growth.
My daughter keep singing and dancing through her performing arts High School career. For her senior project she choreographed a piece. It was a surprise for me and I didn’t know what it was about or the topic that inspired her. This was the year my then husband and I got divorced. When I got to the auditorium the dance instructor walked up to me and handed me a box of tissues. She said you are going to need these. As I watched my daughter's choreographed piece, I was hit with such overwhelming emotion. The piece was about the divorce and how she felt. I bawled all the way through. It was poignant, powerful and extremely beautiful. Lesson Number Four- BE VULNERABLE. Showing vulnerability and being able to put something so beautiful together from something so devastating is darn brave. There is strength in vulnerability. I always thought showing vulnerability meant you were weak but in turn it is really exactly the opposite.
Samantha graduated high school and started modeling. At 19 she went to the Philippines to model and then onto Thailand and China. Talk about taking life at full speed. Traveling around the world, by herself and in foreign countries where she could not speak the language. She took advantage of life’s opportunities and didn’t look back. She always wanted to travel and now she was getting paid to do just that. Lesson Number Five - ALWAYS TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY. You never know where it will take you. I let fear hold me back from many opportunities in life. Things I wanted to do and try but was always too cautious to take a risk.
I have been watching my Samantha for almost 24 years now. She has taught me so much about myself. She has given me courage to follow my passion! Designing t-shirts to inspire women had been in my head awhile. I was so afraid of failure, rejection, ridicule and stopped myself so many times with "what- if's" before finally just taking the plunge. I consider myself fearless now. Fearless is something I would always say about her but never myself. Fearless is not the absence of fear, but looking fear in the face and doing it anyway! Being a mom is the greatest gift and I am so happy to have raised a confident, inspiring & strong daughter. I instilled in Samantha a self love you that I never had in myself. I wanted her to soar above what I had done. But now, with all that she has taught me I truly believe we are soaring together .
Creator of Light Your Life Tees