1. Contrary to popular belief, confidence is not a point on a map or something that kicks in once you hit a certain age. It’s more like a spot of sunlight you have to keep running to keep up with. When you wake up, chase it. Swallow down the light. Feel it on your tongue and in your belly. Flowers will bloom in your lungs. Every time you speak, let gold dribble down your chin. Accept more light across your cheeks, your chest, and your tummy than you think you deserve.
2. Find that special place that only you know. The sound of your footfalls on the pavement, your hands around wet clay, the click of knitting needles, water on the edges of a boat, the throaty hum of a guitar against your ribs, the weathered pages of a book. No one has a key to that place but you. Escape there when you need to.
3. Love whoever the hell you want. Give your heart and take it back as many times as you need until it feels right.
4. You are not your mistakes, you are not your disease, you are not your faults, you are not your broken places. You are built instead of all the glittering instances where you clawed your way out with bloody fingernails and rose again a new woman. Each piece fits together to craft the armor that protects you, brilliant as the sun and hard as dragon scales.
5. Nobody cares what boys like to hold at night. The size of your waist means nothing. You are an idol, sculpted of volcanic stone, whose ribs splay back like waiting hands, waiting for the world to pour its secrets into. You are a divine hunter. A force of nature. You are the altar the sun falls to its knees in front of. You are the apex of a storm, and numbers have no home in you.
6. Be unflinching, unwavering, unapologetic. The world may mistake your bravery for arrogance. Let it. Better they think of you as something to fear than something to break.
7. Apologize only when you have hurt someone. Never apologize when they’ve hurt you.
8. Learn to accept praise without discounting it. You deserve a cape of compliments that doesn’t unravel every time you tug at a thread. Pull the stitches tight. Own your strength and your beauty. Let them call attention to it and be unafraid of the sunlight when it finds you
9. Your preferences are your own, your mind is your own, your sexuality is your own, your body is your own. Never let anyone or anything take that autonomy from you.
10. We are queens and warriors and divine creatures, but self-worth eludes us. The sun gets harder and harder to chase every day. There are so many answers, but listen to the one that screams in your head to keep running. Lace up your armor and remind yourself each morning you wake that you are another day lovelier and wiser than the last. And even when everything is dark and you feel like you can’t catch your breath, repeat after me:I am enough.
I am enough.
I will always be enough.