It was October 2016, in a pool in Dubai (was there on business) and I was speaking to my mother saying; “so I am planning to have a baby next year… a girl, born in Mid October would be good (oldest in the year is good but our September is already pretty full witth mine and Kian’s birthdays so October would be the next best thing)… which means I will need to conceive in the third week of January… which means, I will need to come off the pill in two months. Ok great – that’s my 2017 plan sorted!” My mother shook her head and said; “Melody you can’t plan life like that!” – but guess what- turns out you can!!!! You can’t get more mid October than 16.30pm on 16th October.
After wishing and praying for a little girl (and researching and googling how to conceive one!), the moment when we went for that private scan (had to know as soon as I could!!) and they wrote ‘it’s a girl’ on my scan screen, was truly the happiest moment of my life. I will always tell you the story of the mummy who asked God to bring her a little girl, and the mummy called her Arielle Persia.
The day you were born, the sky turned pink, and nothing has ever been the same since before you were here. You are loved by so many and it’s easy to see why. You are the most beautiful, long-haired, chubby little girl with a magical smile.
My dear daughter. I write this letter to you on your 1st birthday – as a guide through the journey of life. I wrote a similar letter when Kian Kennedy turned 1 and all of that applies to you – but here’s a bit more.
- Always invest in yourself – character and mind is everything. Know yourself Arielle- YOU are your greatest asset. Never apologise for being you. Never start a sentence you believe in, with the words; “this will probably not make any sense”. Express you, understand you, the rest is not in your control.
- Kindness is the ultimate power. Disarm people with kindness- especially when perhaps it isn’t expected. Show it but also recognise it in others, even when it’s not so obvious. Being able to see kindness, will enrich your life and in turn, you’re able to give more to others.
- Clothes, labels and trends don’t make a woman. Her confidence and mind does. Whatever circles you find yourself in, hold your own and always have something thought-provoking to say. That’s beauty.
- I recently met a lady, Aastha Gurbax, at a panel we were both sitting on at J.P. Morgan. She was intelligent, capable, beautiful but she was also extremely kind. She took control by way of sheer capability but did it with such grace and kindness – valuing everyone that you couldn’t help but stand and support in utter awe of her positive power. That’s balance. I found myself inspired. Or my childhood friend Elnaz Amiri – such love and soul. Recently at her wedding, whilst she was making a speech about her parents and brother, I remember thinking, if Arielle grows up and says these words to us, looked on by her brother with tears in his eyes and pure love as a family – then we were good parents. Or my own mother, mamani, who led by example – fierce independence and set an example for hard work and determination. Gather inspiration and surround yourself with what you want to be more of. It’ll rub off.
- Live for you. Through your life, you may be someone’s friend, girlfriend, wife, mother and obviously always our daughter. But always live life for you. Never stop knowing the answer to the question; ‘what makes me happy?’
- My darling- CHOOSE to be happy! I see so many people waiting for happiness like it’s an event that suddenly arrives or a destination they try to reach all their lives. Happiness is a habitual mindset. It’s a process. It’s a choice. Very little in life is fact. It all comes down to how your mind perceives it. Decide in your mind to interpret things in the best way and give people the benefit of doubt – your world will be so much more beautiful that way.
- Hagheto az donya begir (get what’s owed to you from the world). It is no one’s responsibility to come and hand you what you want or even what you’re owed on a platter! You have to go forward, put yourself out there and sometimes fight for what is your right. But always balanced with kindness.
- Compromise – yes! But NEVER the core of you. If you follow the above steps of knowing yourself well with a high level of emotional intelligence, then the people in your life, will know it’s not even negotiable. This will ensure, you never wake up one day, wondering how you ended up where you are. Stay alert and be fiercely you.
- Sometimes people may judge you, have low expectations of you or place you in a box. Don’t say ‘oh well!’ and live up to it. Surprise them! Starting what I am doing when I was young and very female meant that this happened to me many times, and you’ll love the moment you win someone around who thought they knew you! It’s ok – we all judge sometimes. But win them around and allow yourself to welcome them!
- Be your best! Live your best life! ENJOY it!! Your 20s will be an adventure – a real growing time, filled with experiences that shape your life decisions. Really make the most of this time. Say yes to everything – go everywhere! It’s a time when you have nothing to lose! All the while, try and keep the big picture dreams in your head – that will act as your compass. The destination is known, but the route is not- so take the journey for all it’s got!!!
- See the world but more importantly than landmarks and hotels, are PEOPLE. Speak to everyone you can- whether at airport lounges, trains or accidental run ins in the strangest ways! Everyone has a story- but not everyone is passionate enough about people to find those stories and hear and learn from them. Some of the most life-changing moments I have had, have stemmed from conversations with strangers- people outside of my circle, who have taught me something new. The skill you will gain from speaking to and connecting to different kinds of people, is one that will also serve you well. Always smile, ask questions and always listen.
- There are people who will upset you or disappoint you. That’s life azizam. I’ll always be here – but I can’t always protect you from it. Allow it to be your lessons in life that make you strong and resilient. Forget the harsh words someone said, forget the bad things – it will only clutter and destroy your soul if you don’t let it go. But NEVER forget the lessons it taught you. That’s what will propel you to go forward and grow. Part of the ‘investing in yourself’ that I was talking about earlier.
- Don’t ever let anyone shut you up – speak loud, speak clear, and be kind. Never be afraid of your voice and the powerful impact it can have.
- Wait. Before you quickly respond in conversations – wait. Listen. There’s always more. And the most important part you’ll need to hear, usually comes as an added extra- not the main event. Usually I have missed this benefit, from jumping in too soon, when I should have held back and listened. It was due to passion and eagerness, but nevertheless, sometimes silence is the most intelligent response, until you’ve gathered enough information to take your stance.
- Whatever you do in life – whether stacking shelves in a supermarket (like I did for my first paid job) or whether you become the Secretary General of the United Nations – do your job well. Take responsibility seriously and always accept it takes hard work and building over time for success.
- Kian Kennedy – oh that brother of yours! I have loved and been so happy watching your relationship develop. From the very moment you were born – he assumed responsibility. When the nurse placed you in a cot, to take you from the delivery room to another room, he had only met you 10 minutes prior, but he ran after the nurse and said; “go slowly – be careful – my baby sister is in there!” (he had only just turned 3). I knew at that moment, that you two would be eachother’s most valued friend. Be there for him- I have a feeling he will need your female input at junctures of his life. Watching your relationship develop, will be the most beautiful thing I will probably ever witness.
I Love you Arielle Persia – with every single bit of me. I hope I do right by you.
You will forever be my dream come true. My gift from God.
Asheghetam azize delam – nafasam – hamekassam. Mamanet ghorbonet bere.
Tavalade 1 saalegit khoosh.
(written 14 October 2018)