We don’t know each other yet. Perhaps we never will. Perhaps you’ve not even been born yet. Maybe one day, I’ll be your mother, or your teacher, or your boss. Perhaps we’ll pass one another in the street, or sit together on a bus into town. Occasionally, when I’m older, you’ll hurry across a main road to help me carry my shopping bags. Maybe you’ll knock on the toilet cubicle next to me, and I’ll pass a scrunched up, handful of loo roll under the door. You could live thousands of miles away, in a country that I’ll never quite make it to on holiday. I might read your books or watch you on telly on a Tuesday night.
Where you are, and even who you are doesn’t matter, really. This is still for you. I think about you all the time. I think about the world we’re building, and the world we’re knocking down for your arrival, and wonder what you’ll think of us. I have high hopes for you, all of you.
I hope, first and foremost, that you’ll be safe. I hope that you don’t have to carry your keys on your knuckles when you walk home alone. I hope you never have to ‘ask for Angela’. I hope that the country you live in affords you the same rights as men. I hope that if you ever need an abortion, you can do so freely and safely. I hope that he always asks ‘is this ok?’. I hope that you always say ‘no’ when it’s not ok. I hope that no one ever asks to touch your hair. I hope that no one ever sends a picture of their horrible little genitals. I hope that you can marry who you wish, if you wish. I hope that it’s never “our little secret”. I hope that you’re always believed.
“I hope that you can always walk into Zara and find jeans in your size. I hope more of your clothes have pockets.”
I hope that you can always walk into Zara and find jeans in your size. I hope more of your clothes have pockets. I hope that foundations come in more than one shade of brown. I hope you don’t count calories. I hope that you never see an advert for diet pills. I hope no one dictates what you can and can’t wear. I hope you don’t classify food as ‘dirty’ or ‘clean’. I hope you like your body. I hope fashion magazines still exist. I hope you don’t buy it because someone on Instagram told you to. I hope you put flat shoes in your handbag. I hope sanitary products are free.
I hope you’re offered a pay rise. I hope you get a decent pension. I hope your workplace has a good maternity policy. I hope your workplace has a good paternity policy. I hope you aren’t vilified for going home on time. I hope you don’t have to pump breast milk in a stationary cupboard. I hope you’re listened to in meetings. I hope your interns get paid. I hope your boss isn’t a creep. I hope one day you are the boss.
I hope the air you breathe is cleaner. I hope the sea you swim in is cleaner. I hope there are more rhinos and lions and elephants. I hope you always carry a reusable water bottle. I hope your country’s natural resources aren’t being depleted. I hope you don’t drop litter. I hope you get to travel. I hope you send postcards. I hope forests are replanted. I hope there’s more fish than plastic. I hope that wall never gets built.
I hope it gets better. I hope it’s not too late.
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