Saturday, August 27, 2016

Letter #3: You Don't Owe Anyone Anything.

Hello Brave Girl,

Two letters in one month. Obviously, mom has a lot she needs to say. I write these to you as a "Just In Case". Just in case something happens to me. Just in case I forget to tell you as I get older. Just in case you don't want to listen to me as a teenager, but don't mind reading things from me. Etc.

Today, I want you to know, without any kind of explanation from you whatsoever, that you don't owe anyone anything. Not me. Not your dad. Not your grandparents. Not your future friends or future significant others.

"No" is a powerful, and sometimes hard, word to say. "No, I don't want to do that." Or "No, I can't do that for you." Or even "No, you can't be in my life." All of those things are hard to say, and one day will probably need to be said at one point in your life. The part I want you to focus on, is not feeling guilty for saying it.

I'm telling you this, because I don't think anyone ever told me this growing up. Usually, I never had a hard time telling a stranger no. That was easy. What was harder was telling people I loved no. People that would take advantage of that knowledge about me. That they could push me into doing something they wanted or needed. Those people were toxic, to me at least.

It sucks when that happens. It sucks when you have someone you love and would do anything for, use you. And a lot of time, it was in unexpected ways. Sometimes people just wanted to be saved from themselves. But That. Is. Not. Your. Job.

You were not brought into this world to fix anyone. There's a fine line between helping someone who needs it and wants it, and helping someone who doesn't want to get better. You have to know the difference and you have to know when to walk away and cut that person from your life. It's something I failed at constantly because I felt like it was my responsibility to take care of everyone- regardless of how much they used me.

It wasn't, and its not going to be yours either. I want you to know, right now, you owe me nothing. Everything your dad and I do for you is because it brings us joy. You bring us more joy than I ever imagined possible. The only thing you can do for us is to live your life the way YOU want to live it. To make the choices that will make you happy in life. To travel. To go to college. To create art or to to be a successful business woman. Or both. And to learn to say no to those who would take your happiness away.

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