The other day on my Instagram stories I asked what content you wanted to see more of from me. The overwhelming response was you wanted more of my story and life. I felt it was important to start here as my adult life really began with Ava. I chose to do this in the form of a note to my daughter.
Let’s start from the beginning
It was my senior year of college in 2009, right in the middle of a recession. I was close to graduating From The Ohio State University, but completely oblivious to the real world around me.
I was new into a job at a startup in Columbus and thought I had it all figured out. It was a young company with casual cool vibes. I couldn’t wait to graduate and get into the real world. I remember my dad telling me to stay in college as long as I could because I would just have to work the rest of my life once I got out.
A few months prior to graduation, when everything was coming together I started to feel a little off physically and at work. I noticed people around me were being let go week after week but didn’t have enough experience or sense to know my day was coming.
Then it hit. Right there in downtown Columbus, at 22 years young. I thought I had it all figured out, my dreams, my job, my future. I remember getting that “hey can you come here for a minute?” phone call and not thinking much of it.
I walked to my manager’s office, who was also my friend, and lost what I thought was my dream job at the time.
I was devastated as this was a completely new experience for me and I was about to graduate college and need a full time job.
Sometime soon after I lost my job I found out I was pregnant at 22. I was a baby having a baby.
After the shock set in, then came the excitement, but also the sickness. Baby girl and I had a wild ride the first five months being pregnant. I was constantly throwing up and needing to eat every few hours. I remember one of my college classmates said “ohhhh! That’s why you were always eating in class!” when he saw my new little bump on graduation day (haha.)
The moment that forever changed my life
Graduation day came in December of 2009. I remember being so stinking emotional because I knew not only was I graduating from OSU but my daughter was right there with me.
I knew it was the beginning of our life together and despite being so young, I was going to do everything in my power to give her the best life possible.
Baby girl was born in June of 2010 and forever changed my life. In so many ways I feel like we have spent time growing up together and learning what it means to be a part of each other.
My motivation for everything
Ava showed me what it meant to believe in working hard for something so much bigger than myself. Being a parent is the hardest yet most rewarding job there is. While our family has grown to include her brother now too, she was the start of it all.
I knew when I got pregnant everything I did from that moment on mattered in such a bigger way. I knew I had to work so much harder than I ever knew because it meant providing for her.
After a decade on this earth she is less of a little girl and blossoming more into who she was made to be every day. I’ll admit, I’ve struggled with seeing less of the little girl in her and I know she’s ready to grow, but it is fun to grow closer as she gets into new things in this next stage of her life.
As a parent it’s easy to want to keep them little forever, it’s harder to let go of that and let them grow. I’ve spent a lot more time in the last few months learning about where she’s at and how I can support her in a meaningful, loving way so that we can grow together.
A note to my daughter
I want my daughter to know that while life is so precious and can be so fun, it can also be hard and we can do hard things. Let me repeat, we can do hard things! I want her to know that I love her with every part of me and I will always do whatever it takes to support her in who she wants to become.
I want her to know that what other people say doesn’t matter and to choose kindness every time because it wins at the end of the day. Choosing kindness is the ultimate form of freedom and requires so much less energy than harboring hate.
I want her to know that people won’t always be nice and we can’t always make sense of it but there is no reason to try and make sense and waste precious energy on the bad.
I also want her to know that while I’m sure there will be times I would make different decisions than her, I will do everything in my power to understand where she is coming from and support her as long as the outcome of the decision doesn’t hurt her.
I want her to know that life is full of endless possibilities and anything she can imagine, she can achieve. I want to support her to the fullest extent in whatever she chooses to do when she grows up, even (and especially) if it means choosing a different path than I did.
I want her to express who she is and not try to fit the mold into what society tells her to be. I want her to have all the tools to express herself creatively and freely, exploring along the way, knowing that I’ll be right there by her side watching, listening and learning.
I want her to know that above all else, even in the times we disagree, everything I do is from a place of love and care for her and I will always commit to having her best interest at heart.
Ava, I love you and wouldn’t be the person I am today without you. Life can be beautiful and it can be hard but I can’t imagine going through life without each other. I’ll always support you and be your shoulder to cry on when you need it and best friend to celebrate the good.
In times like these when there is chaos all around it’s important to reel it back in and understand what really matters and not lose sight of the big picture. If you’re a parent, you understand how hard and rewarding it can be.
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