Since before my son DJ was born in March 2013, I have been writing to him in the form of a book made up mostly of words of guidance that I hope he will hold dear to him as he grows older.
In this day and age, where we are inundated with “perfect” images of everyones’ “perfect” lives across social media, I found this particular letter to be of utter importance.
If you take away only one thing from this book, DJ, please let it be this: just be yourself.
You are good enough. Most people are afraid to do things because they are afraid they’re not good enough, afraid they’ll fail. But you are good enough — learn that and you won’t be afraid of new things, won’t be afraid to fail, won’t need the approval of others. You’ll be pre-approved — by yourself.
There will be people that cross your path that will try to tell you that you aren’t good enough – not smart enough, not pretty enough, or athletic enough. I’m here to tell you that whoever you are, the kind of person that you grow up to be, will always be enough. You will always be enough.
You will find out that there are people in life who feel poorly about themselves, and think that the only way they can build themself up and feel better about themself is by tearing others down. These people, DJ, are more insecure and confused about themselves than you could ever possibly be. Do not let them get you down.
Don’t be afraid of who you are. Don’t be afraid to be yourself, whoever that may be. DJ I promise you that there won’t be anything you can do to make your father and I stop loving you. Be proud of who you are and where you came from. You are the product of two parents who love you so fiercely and wholly. You were created in me, grown in me. You are a part of me, and my body. Nothing you can do would or could ever change that.
This next one can be tough, DJ. I know from personal experience that so much of growing up is discovering where you fit in, and so sometimes that means you try on a lot of different hats. Still, don’t try to be someone else, whomever you think you should be, meaning: don’t dumb yourself down for someone, or pretend to be into basketball, or ballet, or boxing, when you really aren’t. There is such a thing as compromise, yes, but it is different than claiming to like something when you don’t. Don’t pretend that you’re in to reading if you’re not. Don’t take an art class just to impress a girl, take it because it is something new and different and it will challenge you.
Just be yourself. You’re already amazing.