To My Younger Self by Jessica Moore

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We are so excited to introduce LOVE LETTERS and we hope over the next few months you will read these letters from amazing women and be inspired to laugh at yourself, forgive yourself, offer someone a hand and maybe, just maybe, share your letters as well.

Please see the submission instructions under our Love Letters tab and write your heart out, we’re waiting.

There is nothing more beautiful than women coming together to share the lessons, the grief, the laughs and the things we wish we could say to our younger selves, girls we hope to inspire or a woman that needs a hug, hang on mama, you got this. We hope to read letters from moms to daughters, daughters to moms, women to women and God, wouldn’t it be beautiful to have a man write a letter?

This project had an accidental start and a few times it was over dinners and weekend getaways with my dear friend, Jess, that I’d catch myself thinking aloud, “I think I want to write love letters to women.” I had no idea that as I shared this idea with the women in my life they would not only jump at the idea, but each had extremely personal reasons for wanting to share their stories and insights and, of course, I’d ask Jess to post the first letter. After all, she wore shades on her trike. She knows things.

Jessica is one of those people who believes in you with an earnestness that makes you feel like you were silly to question yourself. From the moment we met it was Us Against The World and I know when a good thing happens she’s going to send me a text with at least three emojis and a slew of exclamation marks. When I received her letter I immediately got goosebumps. So many times we are too hard on our younger selves, wishing we’d done things differently, what were you thinking, silly girl? Jess shows her younger self compassion and provides endearing insight into the kindness and self love we should all offer ourselves more than any other.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jessica Moore.

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Love Letter to My Younger Self by Jessica Moore

Dear Jessica,

I know you love lists, so I’ll try to make this unsolicited advice less painful than you think it will be. At least read the list; you don’t have to follow everything. Just read the list.

And before you read the list, listen to, “Ooo Child.” These lyrics will serve as the thread that ties all of this advice together.

1. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Don’t make decisions until you’ve had a good night’s sleep and a long walk outside.

2. Don’t touch your eyebrows. Today’s Frida Kahlo is tomorrow’s Brooke Shields. And while we’re on the topic, DO NOT have the mole on your face removed. Pretty soon you’ll realize that being unique is one of the only things any of us really has.

3. Many overwhelming problems will become quite simple after an hour on your yoga mat.

4. Treat the mailman/janitor/barista the same way you treat your best friend.

5. You will endure the kind of pain that you’re certain will be the end of you, but it won’t. Hang in there one more day than you think is humanly possible. The ache is always the most exquisite just before it subsides.

6.. The 5 lbs you’ve gained that are threatening to throw off your whole diet…. no one can see them. Everyone does however, see the frown on your face as you labor over this non-issue. Get over it.

7. Choose the man who wipes away your tears instead of the one who makes you cry. Choose brains over beauty and a sense of humor over almost anything else.
(And don’t choose any man at all until you’re happy with the woman you see when you look in the mirror.)

8. Get a dog as soon as possible. A dog will help you understand your capacity to love and nurture like nothing else. A dog also reminds you that you’re not alone in this world, even when you feel like you are. Trust me on this. Get a dog.

9. Trust your gut and guard it voraciously. Your instincts will always point you in the right direction. When you’re afraid, do it anyway.

10. Be kind and supportive of other women. Not many of your peers will understand the value of this, but the ones who do are unstoppable.

11. People will tell you it can’t be done. They’ll say your dreams are grandiose. Don’t listen. Replace your discouragement with compassion, understanding those words only come from someone who never had the courage to fail.

12. Finally, let life unfold organically. “When you let things come and you let things go, you let things BE.”

It’s all going to be so much better than you imagine it will be, Boo. You got this.

Love,

Me

Jessica is an Emmy award-winning journalist who brings you the news each evening at 5, 6 and 11 on KSNV News 3 Las Vegas.

Originally from North Carolina, Jessica spent time at WDTN in Dayton, Ohio, and WLEX in Lexington, Ky., before joining the News 3 team in August 2010.

While in Lexington, Jessica reported and anchored Kentucky Derby coverage for three years. She also traveled with the University of Kentucky football team to two consecutive bowl games and followed Morehead State to the NCAA Tournament.

In 2009, Jessica made her network debut on CNN during the Northpoint Prison riots and reported for the Weather Channel when a massive snow storm pounded Kentucky. In 2009, a deadly tornado ripped through parts of central Kentucky. Jessica was awarded an Emmy for her spot news coverage of the storm’s aftermath.

When she’s not delivering the news, Jessica enjoys listening to live music, hiking Red Rock, and continuing her search for the world’s best antique store.

You can follow Jessica on Twitter @JessicaNews3LV

Boss Girl

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When I was pregnant with my daughter I knew exactly what she was going to be like, what she was going to eat and that she would not, I touted, be allowed to believe in princesses nor have a PlaySkool vacuum, if she wants a Barbie, Barbie better be a vet. There would be no Little Tikes kitchen, she would never don an apron and God forbid she have a babydoll.

Well, God apparently forbade my mother in law, who saw it as more of a challenge and threw in a stroller and a bottle. She rolled her eyes at me as my daughter held her baby and patted it’s back, “I mommy like you, mama!”

When my daughter played house during a play date in her friend’s plastic kitchen she cried out, “I making pasta like mommy!” My friend ceremoniously smirked, “She just wants to be like you.”

I scowled.

I finally gave up on my aspirations of a feminist toddler when I saw how enamored she was with Cinderella and the glitz, glam and goodness of her fairy godmother. She stood wide-eyed in front of the TV while one of my girlfriends and I nursed broken hearts on my couch. My friend had just found out her boyfriend cheated on her and I was turning marital memories into line items for a judge to review.

My friend looked forlorn as she nodded toward Liv, eyes puffy, as the “One Day My Prince Will Come” part came up. She wrapped her arms around her legs and sighed, “This is how it starts…” Then she started singing along.

“I know. Look at how happy she is though…”

I looked at my daughter with magic swirling around her, wispy fairy tales and Happily Ever Afters and resigned my desire to keep her chin above the dumb girls who only seek a Prince Charming, “You go ahead and believe in love, baby girl!”

My daughter has turned my expectations of mother/daughter on its well-highlighted head. I have had to come to grips with the fact that making a list of the exacts was going to be drawn through with crayon by a child who, at times, feels more like my teacher. I did not have a strong female role model growing up and once my belly started to nudge forward against the button of my jeans I realized that I’d had to become my own role model. I worried that I wouldn’t know how to be a mother so I handled it the way I do when I have a problem. I came up with a plan.

My plan looked like it came directly from a Boss Girl article in Glamour.

My plan did not at all take into consideration the example I could be without bullet points; the woman I am. So, I had to rip it up and rather than starting over, I accepted the fact that the lessons will bubble up around us as they may.

I’m learning too.

I recognized that I wrap myself up in dresses, beauty products, chop veggies and wear high heels with reckless aplomb, but don’t sit before a castle wringing my hands waiting for a man to rescue me. Instead the heels click clack toward boardrooms and Fly By lanes. I realized that my daughter’s viewpoint of femininity and love will be molded by the examples in her life as opposed to Disney and Hasbro.

The last time she wore my heels she did explain that she and Cinderella were heading to New York to close a deal, so I must be doing something right.

Melissa and I discussed this over drinks one night. I fell in love with her a little as she explained that her daughter already knew that Snow White became a dentist before the wedding and Sleeping Beauty went to Stanford. We agreed that we adore the new face of the Disney princesses. Elsa and Anna’s Act of True Love was between sisters; one defending the other against a certain beheading by the manipulative narcissist, Hans. Merida of Brave wanted to compete for her own hand in marriage and decimated the boys with her mad archery skills. Her father finally declared that rather than fighting for her hand they could fight for her heart.

Amen, brother.

Liv has asked me to reenact the new Cinderella movie several times this past week. She runs down the stairs with my shoes and flings one behind her so that I can pick it up. I call out to her and I better do it right because the Prince doesn’t know my name yet, mom. Don’t call me Cinderella! She waits for me on the couch while I fit my heel on her tiny little foot and then she says we can get married.

There is such a chasm of confusion surrounding women who try to live in a man’s world. We think we have to ditch the things that make us soft, strong, nurturing and true to nature. I did the whole “I’m a boss” kind of thing in my early thirties when I needed boys to know that I could smile and then eat their lunch. Now I recognize I can still be powerful in a room and maintain my femininity. I can be a mother with nurturing arms, an intelligent force with a voice and good God, shove the power suit into the corner because that is so last decade. I don’t have to be a version of what the world expects of a strong woman, but stand within the woman I am. I want my daughter to grow into womanhood knowing that she can wear heels and close deals and run marathons and be a chemist, an architect, a cowgirl, stagehand or Power Ranger and if she wants to do it with a hot lip color and bag in hand, do it, girl.

The rest?

We’ll figure it out as it comes or as she guides me.

She, after all, is clearly the boss.