25 April 2013

A love letter to my daughter on the eve of five years.


I have loved your father for five years. At the age of twenty, five years is a big portion of my life. We were kids when our lives first intertwined, but we were ready. Our story began on the shores of the East China Sea. And I can't help but to believe that's where your story began, too. You are accumulated of all that we ever were. Children who climbed trees, scraped knees, and were desperate to grow permanent teeth and cross the street alone. Teenage angst during the years when we were discovering who we were for the first time. When your dad told me I was "worth the risk" and we loved deeply for as long the oceans stretched between the two of us. The words on the paper that connected us when time zones and continents couldn't. Hundreds of airplane dinners, and thousands of sunsets on opposite ends of the Earth. Mountains towering twelve-thousand feet above us, and the frozen powder that melted in our hair the day we wed. The gold flecks in his green eyes, and the silver in my blue. All of us. We are you.
 Loving your dad senselessly,  without hesitation has been the the most rewarding, worthwhile decision I have ever made.
I have a lot of hopes for you, little one.
Number one being that you will be a woman who loves herself. I beg you to love yourself completely, without regard. There is no shame in confidence. So much of my life was wasted with me neglecting the relationship I had with myself.  Hardships will not be easier, but they will surely be lighter if you decide early on to release yourself from the shackles of self-hate. Self-love breeds self-respect, and will in turn attract those who do the same for themselves. Don't forget to belong to yourself, first.

Another thing I pray for often is the person you will find to love in your lifetime. And I just hope they are a fraction of the human being your dad is. Find someone who ignites that self-love, never someone who dims it. A healthy marriage is comprised of two whole humans, not two halves. 
I do not know much, but I do know what love is. Love is simple. It will never confuse you. Your heart and mind will be in agreement when you have found it. Two of my favorite quotes say it best:
"Love; it will not betray you. Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free" - Mumford and Sons
"Everyone says love hurts, but that's not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt." - Unknown



Find someone who loves you well. Someone who never belittles you. Even in the heat of an argument. Someone who is gentle with you, but does not treat you like you are fragile. Someone who knows what you are capable of, and celebrates those pieces of you. Not someone who is intimidated by your strength. Someone who can call you out for being a brat, but doesn't make you feel guilty for being flawed. It is not love's job to punish you. And remember the person you love is just as broken as you are when they fall short. No one is perfect - do not hold them to this standard. Find someone who is patient, forgiving, and apologetic. Someone who practices forgiveness freely and often. Love someone who is humble, kind, and empathetic. Not only with you, but with a beggar on the street, or a stranger in the supermarket. Common courtesy is important. Compassion is important. Kindness is important.
Marry someone who is driven and hardworking. Someone who optimistically supports and uplifts you in regards to your goals. Someone who will do things that do not thrill them, simply to enrich you. Marry someone who is honest. Honest with you, with others, and with themselves. Deceit will benefit no one. You cannot love someone you do not trust. Find someone who willingly shares responsibility. Someone who doesn't expect you to adhere to silly gender roles. You will be a team in every single sense. Find someone you cherish togetherness with. And someone who understands the importance of alone time. Someone who values your opinion. Someone with a willingness to learn. A person with an open mind. Ignorance is never attractive. Find someone who makes it easy to feel grateful. For everything. Someone who serves you. And someone you want to serve, without reward.


Marry your best friend. I do not say that lightly. Really, truly find the strongest, happiest friendship in the person you fall in love with. Someone who speaks highly of you. Someone you can laugh with. The kind of laughs that make your belly ache, and your nose snort. The embarrassing, earnest, healing kind of laughs. Wit is important.  Life is too short not to love someone who lets you be a fool with them. Make sure they are somebody who lets you cry, too. Despair will come. Find someone that you want to be there with you through those times. 
Most importantly, marry the one that makes passion, love, and madness combine and course through you. A love that will never dilute - even when the waters get deep, and dark. Do not settle for second best. This sort of love is out there. And I hope you have the courage to start over, and try again until you have found it.  This love is worth it, baby girl.
Throughout your life, I want you to be sure that I love your father. Wildly. Effortlessly. Thoroughly. 
And I know wholeheartedly that that love is reciprocated. 
Here's to year six, when we get to meet you - the product of these past 5 years. 
And the product of this love. 

-- Your mom.

19 comments:

  1. Goosebumps, tears. I love your writing. Happy Anniversary <3

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  2. Very sweet! Wonderful advice! You made me cry.
    I can't wait to meet your little baby girl!

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  3. The words, the pictures... in tears. So beautiful. You are already a fantastic mother and I think there is advice in there that all of us can take something from. So beautiful, honestly. :)

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  4. This is the most stunningly beautiful post I've read in awhile. So incredibly sweet and amazing. Your daughter is a lucky girl to get such a wonderful mother and father. This is the greatest advice. Truly truly beautiful, lady.

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  5. I don't know you, I found this link through another blogger's weekend links, but I am crossing my fingers that when I browse through your blog further I find out you are a writer, a poet, a something that I can buy and read, and re-read, and send to everyone I love as a way to express my true sentiment! Gah, look at me, I'm gushing. In all seriousness though, this is stunningly, emotionally, and so eloquently beautiful. Thank you for taking the time to write it and share it with the blog world. Happy Anniversary.

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  6. This post is something i want to print and keep in arms reach when love gets tough. your words are so beautiful and sweet and perfect. most certainly brought me to tears. you are an inspiration, ntima. thank you for sharing your beautiful mind with us. happy happy five years to you both.

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  7. such a beautiful, well-written and touching post. i love this - and i know even more so, your daughter will love it so much. :)

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  8. How lucky your daughter is to be born into so much love!

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  9. You are raw and honest and it's unavoidable to smile at everything you post. My prayer is for you continue to have a healthy pregnancy, and an even healthier baby A. Cheers to your family of 2 1/2!

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  10. This post is beautiful, feeling so touched <3

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  11. I'm so happy for you two! I've been following your story for a while and I think that you'll be amazing parents! I just have a little doubt.. How do you pronounce your name?? I have an idea but I'm not sure that you say it like that! haha

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  12. this is so beautiful! You will make the most amazing mother and it's funny we are both of the same age and we are completely on different path - I can learn a lot from this. I wish you all the best with your love, this new love you are being into the world and year 6.

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  13. This is so incredibly beautiful! You are an amazing, talented young woman to write such a letter to your daughter! You and your husband are so fortunate to have found each other and to be expecting a little girl together. She will thrive in your love.

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  14. So incredibly beautiful. I hope to write a letter like this one day to my child <3

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  15. I just found your blog and it's amazing. The writing, the photos, everything. Love it. This letter? Breathtaking. So glad I found you.

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  16. love this letter so much the most beautiful thing ever!!! I remember when I saw the video of you waiting in the airport, and then this so great. such a love story. love this. congrats.

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  17. This is so beautiful. I saw part of it quoted on pinterest and managed to track it down to you. I read it to my fiance and he was as touched as I. We're getting married in September and would like to have my brother read an excerpt from it as one of our readings.

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  18. I can't come up with the right words to express how I feel about these, your words. They are lovely, insightful, and full of truth. Thank you. They have taught me more of love, and let me hope for such a love. Thank you for using your gift of wisdom put well to words, and thank you, thank you for sharing it.
    http://thevagabondlyfe.wordpress.com/

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  19. First of all, I would just like to state that this is such a beautiful post.

    I am new to your blog and truly enjoying it!

    However, I do have one request...Would you please consider adding a blog archive somewhere on your blog. I really enjoy browsing blogs when I find new ones and it is very difficult to browse without the archive. The only way I have found to get to your older posts is to hit the older posts button over and over again. If you would consider adding an archive section I would greatly appreciate it.

    Oh, I also wanted to let you know that your photos are so beautiful in every post that I've seen and read so far. I look forward to reading more.

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