*As assumed, I do not have a daughter. This is a creative writing piece written to a daughter I may have in the future detailing the things I would like her to know about life and growing up.

There will come a time in your life where you begin to question the world around you. Things that once seemed as second-nature as opening your eyes in the morning, will suddenly become difficult. You may stare at your face in the mirror some days and smile back at the child you once were, with your full set of teeth now grown in and the eyeliner smudged because you decided to draw hearts around your cheeks. You let people know that they are free to take one when the need the extra support. There will also come days when the girl in the mirror looks foreign to you. You will make faces at yourself, narrowing and widening your red eyes, wondering when this person in the mirror began to redefine herself for those around her.

The redness in your eyes will come from mere survival. Although it will concern me, I will continue to hold to the fact that eyes can be red with exhaustion and despondency, but they can also be red with passion and incandescence. I trust you to know the difference; to realize when the face in the mirror begins to sneer at you, call you names, impart on you a sense of lassitude, and i trust that you will find the way to extend your neck beyond its cracking shell.

I want you to remember that the world is bitter and callous. It will be few and far between that you find someone with a pure heart who will kiss that sleeplessness from your eyes and sit, silent but nurturing, as you crumble like a cookie in a hot cup of tea. Learn to notice when people are quiet, and the different types of quiet you encounter will guide you away from inuring the reality of the world. It will lead you to becoming someone sturdy but soft, an elixir of the girl others want to be and simultaneously, the girl who makes other see their own vitality.

Your journey is wholly your own, it is up to you to make mistakes and bloom. One day though, you will find the balance between the sun and the moon. The boy you wrote countless love letters to in a tattered journal will no longer hold a jurisdiction over you. The way mint chocolate chip ice cream runs down your hands on a warm summer day will stop making you feel dirty. The earthy smell of rain will push you out the front door and you will jump in the puddles as the neighbors whisper about how such insouciance is unwarranted. But, nonetheless, there will come a day when you will find beauty in chipped nail polish and stretch marks at the beach and the reflection in peoples’ eyes. And some day, you will pass this definition of beauty on to your own daughter, and she will be born supine with a thirst for her own dinner party with our strange world.

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.” -Lao Tzu

Happy Living

Published by Ria Pai

Hi let me introduce myself. I was born and have lived my entire life in a beach area as a child of two amazing parents who immigrated to America from India. I love art, music and writing so I try to combine the three. I enjoy deep conversations on a number of topics from politics, to friendships, to fashion. I’m a natural perfectionist, but sometimes find this to be a bit overwhelming. I love mangos, dark chocolate and tea. I make art whenever I get the chance…painting, songwriting, dancing, and writing are all forms of art to me. Since I live in a warm area, I cannot stand any weather that is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit and always find a way to swim in anything from pools to the ocean. I have one dog, a Lhasa Apso who I am envious of because he does nothing but eat, sleep, and lay around all day. I experiment with my style. I am horrible at geography and sitting still, and it’s not uncommon to find me with paint all over my hands. I like to wear bold clothing and I always find a way to wear the same white sneakers with any outfit I can. Hi, my name is Ria, nice to meet you.

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