A Letter to My Future Daughter: From A Young Indonesian Woman

Hi, sweetheart.

Since the first time we met (I don’t know whether I gave birth to you or I adopted), my priority in life has changed. You have become my priority. You are the angel that I need to take care of. You are the diamond I need to keep an eye out for. You are the most precious, priceless thing that I have. I cannot believe I call you my daughter. It is just… perfect.

As a woman, people will tell you what a woman should and should not do. Honey, if you think that you don’t want to do those things, don’t do it. If they say that a girl should be soft and you think it does not suit you, don’t do that. I don’t want you to follow other people just because you want to fit in. One thing that a woman should remember is that she doesn’t need to be anyone else to be pretty, sexy or smart; just be her own self and don’t hurt anybody.

Be a woman who defines their own perfection for themselves, not a woman who defined the word ‘perfection’ for someone else.

Sweetheart, when you grow up and hit puberty, don’t worry. I’ll always come to the rescue. When you have your first period, don’t worry. You will learn a lot of things that will open your mind. However, in that time, you will probably also develop feelings for someone. I do not mind whoever you choose to date and fall in love with. If you love that person, love them unconditionally.

But, having your first period means your body will change. One negative thing about that is that some people might treat you like a sexual object. Show what you want to show and keep what you want to keep. I’ll let you pick between modesty and nudity as your way of body empowerment but whatever you choose, people will call you names. Don’t ever let those words define you. You are the one who has the right to define your own body. . Be grateful for your own body. Feel empowered, feel strong, feel pretty.

Maybe there are some days when you will listen to people that say girls cannot have big dreams. Choose your own path in life. If you want to get married and have kids, do it. If you don’t, don’t do it. Once again, don’t listen to people. You have the right to get an education and become a workaholic It is always up to you. This is your life, not mine.

My daughter, people come with differences. Whoever they are, respect them if you want to be respected. Love them if you want to be loved. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Loving each other is the greatest feeling. Smile to people, help people, be there for them. There is nothing more beautiful than treating people with respect and love.

You are the light to my own darkness. Because I know that the first second that we meet, I will fall in love with you. I am already falling in love with you. Whoever you are, you will meet this woman and maybe feel thankful that I am your mother.

I love you. I can’t wait to meet you.

 

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