I see you. I recognize your struggle, I am all too familiar with your pain and confusion. As humans, and especially as women, there are so many standards we are supposed to live up to, a criteria we're supposed to meet. Every year around my birthday I do some self reflecting and I want to let you in on some of the things I have discovered. The moral of it all being; you will never, ever, in one million lifetimes, please everyone. And that's okay.
It's really okay.
Here's some things I've learned in my twenties:
People are going to judge you for anything they can possibly judge, love yourself anyway. You are incredibly capable of being a professional with pink hair, a septum piercing and tattoos. Your appearance has no affect on the work you can do, or the kind soul that's in your body. The girl that you think is drop dead gorgeous and you'd give anything to look like her? She has just as many body issues as you do. Be kind. You have no idea what someone is going through in their life. Date the boy your dad doesn't approve of, he might be perfect. Wear the skirt your boyfriend doesn't like, it is YOUR body. Stand up for what you believe in, no matter how small it may seem. EAT THE CAKE. Coffee is not a food group, but don't ever deny yourself it's sweet nectar. Your feelings matter in every relationship, whether it be romantic, friendship, family or work. Let yourself be heard. Always give more than you take, but don't let others completely drain you either. You can't pour from an empty glass. Tell your kids yes more than no, and try not to yell as much. Put your phone down. Read. Read and escape. Always shop at antique stores. Respect our environment. Take the trip, travel the globe. Laugh. Laugh often and hard, laugh like you mean it. Don't go to bed mad at your partner, conflict doesn't get any better by avoiding it. Tell the truth. Buy the shoes that are too expensive. Tell the important people in your life how much you love them, every chance you get. Let your kids have pizza three nights in a row. MAKE MEMORIES. Hug strangers. Watch the sun rise, and watch it set. Don't ever take the little moments for granted, because they always end up being the most important. Cherish the friends that don't leave. Accept criticism and improve. Prove the ones who said you would fail wrong. Embrace every stretch mark, scar and imperfection. They are yours and no one else's.
This is your life. You deserve to be happy. So take the chances, make the memories, and live your life how you want it to be lived.