I hope you explore the world around you and absorb it like a sponge. Dive into the deepest, darkest waters and climb to the tallest, towering points. Listen to the words of others as you go, and etch their stories on your heart. Fill your lungs with fresh air, and learn the native songs as they float around you. The world is a truly beautiful place with so much to teach, and you have so much to learn. Soak in the very simple lessons and the undeniably epic ones too -- each will help shape you into the person you will become.
I hope you know your value and never settle for less than you are worth -- at school, at work, and in relationships. Know that you are worthy of love and respect, and once you believe it, teach others how you expect to be treated. Don't allow others to berate you. Don't berate yourself. Negative inner dialogue is often the thief of much happiness. Learn to love yourself. The rest will all work out.
I hope you stand strong in what you believe, even when you are standing alone and especially when you are standing up for others. There may be comfort in numbers, but nothing worth accomplishing is ever done out of comfort. Though you may feel small and your knees may shake, your one voice can make a tremendous difference. When others try to quiet you with threats and fears, this is the time your voice needs to be heard most. Value kindness over popularity and courage over conformity.
I hope you laugh every day -- big laughs, belly laughs, laughs that come from the soul. I hope you laugh loudly and boldly as tears stream down your face. I hope you snort. I hope you almost pee your pants at least once from this type of laughter. And I hope you cry with no apologies -- through heartbreaks and broken promises and earth shattering news. I hope you are never afraid to feel your sadness, and I hope you are never too serious and solemn to share your amazing laugh with the world.
I hope you find the beauty in the simple moments -- a child's small hand nestled in yours, the sound of faint giggles at bedtime, the way sun dances on your skin as the soft breeze kisses it, a warm embrace, the smell of freshly cut grass in the spring, the feel of the soft ground underneath your bare feet, a familiar face, the whispers of the rain, a kind parting word. There is so much to appreciate in each second of every day. Life is fast fleeting; live for the little moments.