Monday, September 17, 2012

Hold On To Fifteen As Long As You Can

My daughter turned fifteen on Saturday. She celebrated all weekend — cupcakes, a movie, a sleepover, out for dinner, an "Adventure Trail Ride" with her beloved horse, presents and then ... more cupcakes. 

My husband and I walked around dazed, muttering to each other and ourselves, "How can she be fifteen?" "When did that happen? " and "We are so-o-o-o old.""

This birthday, more than any other to date, feels like a major milestone. Maybe it's because she just started high school a couple of weeks ago. Or maybe it's because I remember so keenly how it felt to be fifteen. I certainly didn't think of myself as a child.

Growing up in New York City, I had far more autonomy than my daughter does. (And growing up in the 1970s, I had far far fewer electronics.) But, I still experienced a lot of the confusion and wonder and pressure and joy and sorrow that she's feeling right now.

So, for this post, I was trying to think of advice I could give her. Instead, I've turned to some other very smart women.

Happy birthday, sweetie. These are for you:

1. "Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent." 
Eleanor Roosevelt 

2. "Understand that the right to choose your own path is a sacred privilege. Use it." 
Oprah Winfrey 

3. "When you do the best you can, you never know what miracle is wrought in your life or in the life of another."
Helen Keller

4. "If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it."
Erma Bombeck

5. "The most effective way to do it is to do it."
Amelia Earhart

6. "The good news is that you don't know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish!"
Anne Frank

7. "You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself."
Ethel Barrymore

8. "You can do no great things, only small things with great love."
Mother Teresa

9. "Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get."
Ingrid Bergman

10. "Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion."
Martha Graham

11. "Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that's the one that is going to require the most from you."
Caroline Myss

12. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."
Maya Angelou

13. "Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."

Ella Fitzgerald

14. "You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try."
Beverly Sills 

15. “About all you can do in life is be who you are.”
Rita Mae Brown

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