Dear Monica,

You are stronger and more powerful than you are aware of. It takes strength to swim against the stream of sameness. Your strength lies in your acceptance of your individuality, being comfortable in your own skin and your commitment to what is important to you.

Monica, you will realize later, as a mother, that you hope your child finds the confidence and strength to be themselves and that you can give them the courage to do just that. I am proud of you and the decisions you are making; they will become central to the way you teach and how you parent as it will give you the empathy you need to do both.