My friend Janae has started a beautiful project, called In My Daughter's Eyes. As part of the project she has been asking women to write a letter to the 12 year old version of themselves. As soon as I saw it, I loved the idea. Oh, what I would tell that little girl! I've procrastinated and thought on this for a while and finally am joining in. I urge all my readers to join Janae and her beautiful project.

Dear Robin,

The next ten years of your life are going to go by fast and the ten after that, even faster. Remember that every today will turn into tomorrow. Don't rush things. Don't wish for speed in the days. Today you are the child but, you will wake up one day and be the mother. Cherish these days of carefree time and no responsibility. One day, little eyes will look to you and your childhood will be long since gone. Remember these days with fondness and know that everything you go through is molding you into the person, the mother that you will someday be.

"Forever is composed of nows."

You are beautiful and you are strong. Don't let anyone tell you any different. Hold yourself to higher standards and know that you will find love someday but, only you can make yourself complete. Make your mistakes, as everyone must do but, know that each mistake is only a stepping stone through life and will lead you to what you've always wanted. Once you get there, accept it and do not be afraid.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

When dealing with others, remember that you can only control you. What other people do or feel is up to them. Stay open minded, treat people with kindness, remember that words can sometimes be powerful but, they are just words. Show through actions. Be and do what you want others to be and do for you but, don't be disappointed when they don't.

"When words keep you from feeling good, use them as firewood and let 'em burn."

You're going to spend a lot of your time worried about your appearance. You're going to spend a lot of time worried what others think of you. These things are perfectly normal but, I hope you'll remember that true beauty is not about your weight, the brand of your jeans, your glasses or lack thereof, your hairstyle or your accessories. You're going to meet some people in your life who seem to have it all. What you don't know now is that those who seem perfect on the outside may be a wreck on the inside. Work on your beauty from the inside and your outside will shine. Instead of caring what others think about your choice in clothing, care about what they think of your attitude. Remember that no one will remember what jeans you wore on the third week of your junior year in high school but, you and others will always remember how you treated people and how often you had a smile on your face. Strength and kindness are truly beautiful. Grace is much harder to come by than makeup. Those people who are only popular because of their clothing or where they live, will find with time that the "real world" takes much more depth than high school. Treating people well is much more beautiful than $200 jeans and designer handbags. Loving yourself and being secure with yourself is gorgeous. Self esteem is sexy.

"Grace has been defined as the outward expression of the inward harmony of the soul."

Friends are important. Treat them well. You will have many different kinds of friends and you'll be lucky enough to make some friendships that will last through the next 20 years and beyond. No matter the dynamic of your teenage friendships, cherish them. Times will change and people will move on. Some, you'll never talk to again. Have fun now and take something from everyone you meet. Learn something from everyone and try to give them a piece of you as well. Learning from others, being open to the differences is how we grow as people. Be open to that growth. Be a good friend and remember to be a friend to yourself. Don't let petty things ruin good friendships. Those are the people you'll miss down the road.

"If we don't change, we don't grow. If we don't grow, we aren't really living."

Have fun but, keep your head. There are a lot of stupid things in your future. Many of them I wish I could change. I truly feel that you must make these mistakes in order to form who you are. Going into these situations with a clearer head and more self-esteem will keep you from regret but, will not stifle your fun. Do not try to use outside things to fill the hole inside. Only you can do that by realizing how much you are worth. By acknowledging that you are amazing and beautiful and stronger than you think you are, that hole will fill on it's own.

"It's a shallow life that doesn't give a person a few scars."

Embrace your scars. Embrace the challenges. Learn from all of it and have fun.

Because, I promise you, one day it's all going to be worth it.

And you deserve it.