Letter to my Daughters | September 25th 2013

“Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence boils down to curiosity.”

~ Aaron Schwartz


Dear girls,

You know how they say ‘you only live once!’?  It is true. This is both incredibly scary and incredibly freeing. A lot of us spend the majority of this one chance playing it safe, doing what we are supposed to do, conforming to society’s standards, keeping up with the Smiths, accepting the status quo, falling in line, saying Yes when we mean No, staying angry too long, loving too little, protecting our hearts a little too much, keeping our opinions to ourselves and trying to please everyone.

Living just slightly under the surface of a full life.

I do not want this for you. I want the two of you to live fully. I have no clue yet what you will choose to do with your lives, but I hope it is what your heart truly desires. And I hope that when you make a mistake, as you will, you don’t dwell on it too long and don’t let it get you down. Dust yourself off and try again, try it differently, work harder.

Passion does not translate to hard work. Can you be passionate about saving animals from becoming extinct? Yes you can. But to actually make that happens requires hours and hours of hard work. The funny thing is, this kind of hard work does not feel hard or even feel like work because it is enjoyable. The hard part often is tearing yourself away from your work because you care about it so much. That is what I want for you. To find something you love to do and work hard being great at it. Learning everyday and never thinking that you know everything.

I also always want you to listen to your heart. When you do something that is not right, I will ask you, ‘Did that feel right in your heart? Did it feel good to do that?‘. And you say, ‘No, mama, it didn’t feel good‘. You have to be tuned in to your heart because your brain, as I have learned, will often take you in the opposite direction.

Find something you love to do. Work hard. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Listen to your heart. Repeat. Live fully.

I love you both so much. Thank you for being a part of my life.

hugs & kisses,


Please follow the circle of letters to Sara Tegman next and see her wonderful photos and read her words.

4 Responses

  1. Oh you wise lady – I always love your words – I come back to your letters again because of them – what you say to those two beautiful girls is always a lesson or a reminder to all of us – thank you for that – you are so special xx

  2. Rashmi, I so agree with Kirsty. I feel that not only your daughters benefit from your wise words, but I do too. They are so lucky to have you as their mom, and I am definitely learning a lot from you. Love their sweet smiles and faces!

  3. Your letter is so perfect. Live fully. Live fully in your heart and do what makes you really happy with a LOT of hard work. It is so true. It is so simple. Stay true to who you are and the rest of life will allow you to live fully with an open mind and heart. I definitely need your advice a little more in my life. The perfect letter! The quote from Aaron Schwartz is perfection. Darling image. Is that the first day?

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