Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dear Tessa (part 3)

Dear Tessa,

Not sure if you've noticed this yet, but you're sort of a big deal. People are already starting to talk about how beautiful you are. I hope by the time you're all big and grown up, people won't care so much about physical appearances, but I doubt it. As a girl/woman, you'll have to deal with society's obsession with aesthetics. The world will nitpick at you like a piece of lint on a wool coat trying to find a flaw. Don't listen to those people, my love. But don't ever believe that beauty isn't important.

There is nothing wrong with paying attention to the way the curves and loops of a flower petal intertwine to make a pattern that will cause an involuntary curl of a lip, into a smile. There will be an evening when the sun will set on a long walk home after a grueling day at work. You'll pause, dip your hips into the curb, and xerox the way the gold sparkles onto the leaves into the part of your mind that turns off the negative thoughts.

The most important thing you can do in life is search for beauty. Find it in the earthworms that come out after a summer rain. Find it in the strumming of a guitar by the man with the holes in his shoes who does it out of love and not greed. Find it in the dampness of a book in the hidden stacks of a library when the security guard is flashing his light into your hiding spot. Find it in the sweetness of a watermelon slice. Find it in the stranger who holds the door for you and keeps you from spilling tea on a favorite blouse. Find it in the warmth of a blanket and a mug of hot chocolate.

Hunt for beauty on the days when you're starving for affection, attention, and validation. Sometimes you'll be buried so deep in pity and misery, that you won't believe that such a thing doesn't even exist. There is so much ugly in the world, but be careful, for it's usually disguised in wrapping paper topped with a bow. You'll know you've found the real thing, though, when your heart begins to beat really fast or if you're like me, a tear will cradle in your eyelash until it drops onto a cheek.

Lastly, Tessa, while you acknowledge the beauty of the rest of the world, don't forget to see it in yourself. The biggest mistake I have ever made was sitting in a room filled with other wonderful people, amazed, and going home to not see it in myself.

Be your number one fan. When you look in the mirror or look down at something you have made, admire it. Smell it. Taste it. Listen to it. Feel it. Give yourself butterflies because there is nothing more beautiful than a woman who loves and appreciates herself.



  1. This brought tears in my eyes. Beautiful.

  2. This is so wonderful. I really wish I could have had anyone, especially in my family, tell me these things. Now 26, I'm still struggling to come to terms with the truths you so eloquently expressed. Your niece is very lucky to have you as an auntie!

  3. You have no idea how amazing your writing is. I could sit here and read your posts for hours on end.

  4. So beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes and filled my heart with hope and happiness. PLEASE WRITE A BOOK--I will be the first to buy it!