Rachel Leandri: Letter to my future daughter

One day, when I get to meet you and have the pleasure of watching you grow, I hope to instill in you the ideal to be a victim of your own optimism and to never stop smiling.
Some days the world is at odds against you, and you won’t like the person you are or want to leave your bed. Realize that nothing lasts forever, and better days do lie ahead…I promise.
All of your problems will not be solved in a day, but just stay calm, and know you are never given an obstacle that you are not strong enough to handle.
Please understand that there are just some things you cannot control, and that’s perfectly OK. We aren’t always meant to know what is going to happen in the future. If you’re anything like your mother and her perfectionist ways, this will not be the easiest thing to grasp.
Be a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and there’s a new life-lesson to be learned almost every day, some more valuable than others.
Always do things with meaningful intentions. Don’t do them for popularity, or social media likes and favorites, or ever because you feel pressured or afraid.
Sit with the girl who is sitting alone at lunch, make an effort to visit your loud grandparents who never stop prying about how college is going, be the first to say hi when you see someone you never quite clicked with in high-school.
I cannot stress enough to you, to love. Love fiercely and freely, in all ways. Fall in love with a boy, fall in love with your relatives, fall in love with your friends. Do it often and do it without fear, because things can change in the blink of an eye, and you never know when the last time with someone close to your heart is going to be.
Test your limits and work hard for what you want. Be passionately involved with anything and everything that interests you despite of what the rest of the crowd is doing. Joining clubs and groups in high school and college helped define the person I am today not only academically, but also personally and professionally. T
ry out for varsity cheerleading even if you aren’t the most coordinated or apply for that internship you’ve heard how difficult it is to get picked for.
What took me almost 21 years of my life to learn, is to not worry about what anyone else is doing, but yourself. Your biggest competitor in this world, is you. Please do not compare yourself to other girls. Your focus should be to become a better version of yourself than the person you were yesterday.
Success is believing in YOUR abilities and the person YOU are. If you put yourself out there regardless of what anyone else is doing or saying with confidence, you will go far.
Most importantly, be appreciative.
There are times you will be discouraged with peers who make you feel that they are more fortunate than you are, and this sometimes will hold true. The truth is there will always be someone who has it better than you and someone who has it worse than you.
Life is all about perspective, and those that are thankful for what they have are always rewarded with more.