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“Heal. Release. Move on. Thrive!” – Read “Letter To My Daughter at 20” by Debbie Edwards

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My darling, as you turn 20, I wanted to share a few of life’s most important lessons with you. You will have many significant people through your life, and a best friend. You do not need to be intimidated by your best friend, or your boyfriend, mother or job for that matter. Trust those who show you the truth in them. We all need allies in life; but remember the benefit of the doubt is subjective, don’t give it to just anybody.

When fear threatens to cloud you, don’t let it. If fear is what pushes you to do something, make a decision DON’T DO IT, DON’T MAKE IT! If fear is the reason for putting something off, for procrastinating with an important decision, DO IT WITHOUT DELAY.

The success and happiness of your thirties is directly correlated to the decisions you make in your 20’s. People will always feel they know what’s good for you. Take the advice, nod, even mull it over, but in the end, do what YOUR HEART feels is right for YOU.

When faced with a decision, ask yourself three questions; is this the right decision? Is it for the right reasons? Is it the right time? If your answer is YES! YES! YES! You won’t go far wrong in life.

In everything you choose to do, be kind. Kindness is a rare commodity; it puts you and your interests behind that of the next person, not just in grand gestures, but even in the little things. It emanates from the heart, and is felt by those who cannot be fooled by insincerity. A shortcut to morality is the golden rule of life; ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’ you’ll discover that this really is the start of wisdom and righteousness.

And while we’re on the subject of morality, relationships will NEVER be clear, it isn’t the nature of things. But you can help yourself by doing an exercise; make 3 lists: 1. What you ‘want’ in the man you love 2. What you would ‘like’ in the man you love 3. What you will not tolerate in any man in your life.

And stick to this list…preferably the first list. Standards dictate who we let into our heart, who stays there, and who deserves to be there. The more you compromise with these lists, the longer it will take to find your soulmate.

While looking for him, never covet what another woman has. Let what is meant to be yours, come to you. This habit people have of running in packs isn’t all that healthy either, after all the saying goes ‘relationSHIPS sink when they have too many passengers. You don’t need to let everybody in. And while you’re at it, Jealousy sucks! Try being on the receiving end of it, you’ll understand how damaging it can be to any relationship. Spending a fun weekend with someone is not enough to know if you really like them. You only really get to know people in their reactions when things are not going their way, and over a prolonged period. Further down the line when you think it’s a done deal, it’s still NEVER going to be ok to have sex in your parents house, unless you’re married. Get over it!

There’s never going to come a time when you should stop feeding the child in you. It’s the part of you which will always experience the real beauty of life, afresh, every time. Don’t ever be afraid of your own company. For anyone to love being with you, you must first love being with yourself. Wear your hair EXACTLY as you please. Society will have to get used to it. When you are choosing clothes think about what this will tell people about you when you wear them…and always be true to who you are. Everything on the outside should be a further expression of what is on the inside. Save! Yes, now IS the right time to do so.

There will be rough times, and you must survive your own traumas, but don’t fall victim to your story. Heal. Release. Move on. Thrive! It’s your motivation which will dictate the results of ANY action.

Always try to come from a good place. It will show. My darling you’ll never stop learning, and, while education is a leveler, LIFE is the best teacher. Best case scenario, use both. Reading is a joy! Read! It’s never too late to learn to love books. But if the books you’re reading don’t make you a better person, you’re reading the wrong books. Quality of life is what you give to yourself. Not what your job or your relationship gives you.

Decide what you love to do, and start doing it TODAY.

________________________________________________________________________________________
Born to Caribbean parentage, Debbie Edwards, a published poet and writer, relocated to Abuja in 2001. While working for various international organisations, Debbie remained closely affiliated with the arts through links with the Abuja Literary Society, the Abuja Writers Forum and the Abuja Play Reading Group. Debbie has 3 children (2 daughters) and currently lives and works in Lagos.

50 Comments

  1. Edith

    March 13, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Well written and elaborated,i am above twenty but will have to adopt to some of the above advise, Thank you

  2. Genny

    March 13, 2013 at 11:18 am

    A letter from deep down the soul! A must read for every woman I must add. Life as it is for the women folk rightly summarized; keys to a happy and fulfilled life. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Nero

    March 13, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Thank you so so much for sharing this great letter. I have learnt more that one or two things too.

  4. www.anemistyle.blogspot.com

    March 13, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Gosh this is lovely, wish a new all this at twenty.

  5. Adeleke Taiwo

    March 13, 2013 at 11:31 am

    lovely articles, many should read this.

  6. Bimpe

    March 13, 2013 at 11:34 am

    this is beautiful

  7. just me

    March 13, 2013 at 11:37 am

    Wow this is what every mother shld be doing. The. World will be a better place

  8. Joyce

    March 13, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Nice not all mothers do dis

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      March 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      I know, a lot of mothers are still regretting decisions and choices from their earlier lives. I don’t say that in a bad way, either. There are not a lot of grown women that have reached that place of having inner peace about who they’ve become and can turn around to give true guidance to a younger generation.

    • Lovlyn

      March 13, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      At least they can impart even if it’s just a little wisdom- a little goes a looooong way- to their loved younger ones, so the younger ones don’t make the same mistake. I love the title of the article, “Heal. Release. Move on. Thrive!” I’ve come to learn than we need to release so we can heal, then move on, and thrive while we’re at it. God Bless!

  9. ALEXA

    March 13, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Beautiful article and quite inspiring

  10. Stella Kashmoney

    March 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Lovely article.

  11. NWANGWU CHIBUZOR

    March 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    this is so lovely and educative i must pass this message across so as not be selfish. thanks bella.

  12. Gezani

    March 13, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Git goosebumps and wish all mothers can speak to their daughters like this

  13. Bimbo

    March 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    I’m loving this. wish I was still 20 but I could still use sum of it. Thnx for sharing

  14. creamlicious

    March 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Caribbeans i have noticed are very open-minded people and Its soooo great!!
    wish more mum will be so open, daughters would have more direction in life and better behaved! Great write-up

  15. uby

    March 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    i am in my 20s and i am blessed for seeing this letter

  16. Jay

    March 13, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Fabulous! This is Wisdom and not just for the 20’s but to all. Thank you.

  17. Anthonia

    March 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Nice article

  18. jamilah

    March 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Berry nice I wish someone wrote me this kind of letter a long time ago. Mrs. Debbie Edwards WELL DONE

  19. jamilah

    March 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Very nice I wish someone wrote me this kind of letter a long time ago. Mrs. Debbie Edwards WELL DONE

  20. OGO

    March 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    very lovely article!!

  21. ZM

    March 13, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    “don’t fall victim to your story” Today’s Mantra
    uberchicmichi.com

  22. dexter

    March 13, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    I am so glad this was published.I will be 21 in exactly a week and this has come right in time.I can relate to this in the “hair” aspect cuz i really want to go natural as this has been my dream for years now but everyone keeps discouraging me.The painful part is that my mum is really against me going for the “big chop” and it breaks my heart cuz i always want to please her but seeing this letter has really made me realise that i just need to sit down and tell her about how much i love being natural…..*sigh* .Thanx for this BN.

  23. Miss Hoy

    March 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Very nice, am truly inspired by the words of wisdom!

  24. x factor

    March 13, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Classic!

  25. My Own Business

    March 13, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    This is an excellent article…..I’m 25 and I wish I knew all this years ago, but its not too late. My favorite lines are “Benefit of the doubt is subjective, don’t give it to just anybody” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

    Thanks Debbie, God Bless you for this.

  26. Kamal

    March 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Inspiring

  27. the360engineer

    March 13, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    really nyc… i would put this up on my blog…more people need to read this

    the360engineer.blogspot.com

  28. Sas

    March 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    So well written and wise words from a wise mum.

  29. X

    March 13, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Well written Debs, proud of u….

  30. bchild

    March 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    nice piece..actually took some points from these..wish every african mother cud be as open as these..

  31. Debbie Edwards

    March 14, 2013 at 1:58 am

    Thanks for all your encouraging comments. My daughter, soon to turn 21 says her favourite line is ‘follow your heart’. Oh, what it is to have the blessing to do so. Let’s teach our daughters, to express THEMselves, not to mimic us. Love you, my sisters! X

    • Iphie

      March 14, 2013 at 8:08 am

      well done Debby.

  32. Stella

    March 14, 2013 at 2:17 am

    Inspiring article with many words of wisdom

  33. J

    March 14, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Well written!!! I pray for the grace and wisdom to teach my unborn child the truth in this letter.

  34. highflyer

    March 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    very light but so so inspiring…i love this

  35. Sparkle

    March 14, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    My confidence just got pumped up again. I’m gon be 20 in August and I’ve been thinking but trust me I feel determined to face whatever after reading this :). Thank you

  36. Rose Gachette

    March 15, 2013 at 1:56 am

    Hi Debbie I love the letter to my daughter very inspiring n true can you write my book if i tell you my story

    • Debbie Edwards

      March 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm

      I think I need to wrote mine first Rose. Xx

  37. maya

    March 15, 2013 at 2:42 am

    wow!! this is lovely!

  38. 2blunt

    March 15, 2013 at 10:18 am

    pls google also “abraham Lincoln letter to his son’s teacher’ and read, more inspiring

  39. bellaswan

    March 15, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    lovely article

  40. Just saying

    March 16, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    This is just fab. Already thinking of the letter I’ll write to my girls….Hmmm

  41. byakuya

    March 18, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    will be leaving my 20s soon but am mighty glad i read this
    thank you. I must share this with my younger ones.

  42. emmytee

    March 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Wow…if only parents and not women alone will take up such responsibility, then this world will be a better place. Inspirational and empowering, wish loads of this could be spread to other young and old parent in other to inspire the kids and youth.
    I LOVE THIS

  43. Omolola

    March 19, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    “But if the books you’re reading don’t make you a better person, you’re reading the wrong books. Quality of life is what you give to yourself. Not what your job or your relationship gives you.” .. I love this part more

  44. The Fairy GodSister

    April 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Wish my mom had told me stuff like his when I turned 20….. I hope to be so open with my own kids to be able to tell them anything and have them be really free with me too

  45. Partyrider

    April 18, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Beautiful.

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