Liv and Eve,
I write this letter to you on the day that ends another year you won’t remember.
Liv, you turned three in September. I never imagined that you’d grow so fast in the few months that followed your third birthday. You started preschool and learned about best friends, bullies, make-up, and Jojo Siwa. Suddenly, you were thirteen.
Eve, your first year as a toddler was fun. And a bit scary. You went from being a calm, sleepy, go-with-the-flow baby to an energetic, rebellious little girl. Your complacency was replaced with discontentment that came with with next-level tantrums. Who knew a one year old could replicate the sounds and movements of a velociraptor so well.
Girls, while I was blessed to spend time with you, witness your developing personalities, and watch you grow, this year was a tough one for your mama.
You will know of the business I launched, the blog I started, and the book I co-authored this year. You will know of the parties we had, the events we attended, and any other special moments captured on film.
But you won’t know of your mama’s life-changing journey. The trip she took inside herself, and who she found there.
This year depleted me, but it also renewed me. It stripped me to my bare bones, humbled me, and then filled my soul with gratitude.
This year made me think. It made me grow. It moved me. It changed me.
I spent nearly all of my time with you two, playing, snuggling, teaching, caring for you, and in turn I struggled to find time for my business, my writing… and for myself. Your dad worked more this year than he has in all the eight years we’ve been together. It was hard doing so much on my own. I was burned out, angry, and resentful much more than I’d like to admit.
But you know what? It was worth it. All of it.
I want you both to know something.
I want you to know that it’s never too late to start over.
You must never believe that you’re stuck. Being stuck is an illusion, an excuse. Never ever think that who you are at any given moment is who you’ll always be.
For the rest of your lives, you’ll hear me tell you over and over again that you can do and be anything you want. I’m not really talking about your careers or your love lives or your hobbies. I’m mostly talking about being the person you want to be. And owning, loving, respecting everything about her.
My girls, this year I learned so much about the power we hold inside of us.
You are stronger than you know, and more in control of your life than most people believe. Everything begins and ends in your mind. If you want something, pursue it. If you are passionate about something, never, ever ignore it or hide it. You each have been given gifts that are meant to be shared with the world, and you must seek to find them and put them to use. Those gifts are why you are here.
You two will never know all the ways in which you’ve changed me. Your very existence took me down a path that I never thought I’d go down. A path I never even saw.
I resisted it for a long time. I told myself that I wasn’t meant to be here. But I was wrong. Here, I found myself, my truth, my purpose, and the two biggest loves of my life – you girls.
So, you see, when life takes you down a path you don’t want to go down, or maybe you’re just scared, embrace the experience. Take in everything. Learn from it. Enjoy it. And most importantly, grow from it.
So, here’s to a year that I’ll never forget, and to a new year of growth and happiness for all of us.