Advice to My Future Daughter

By: Bella Baxter

If I ever have you, because I haven’t found anyone near good enough for me to actually consider mixing genes. Seriously, no one. Well, there was one but he moved to another country to write music and whittle spoons from fallen tree branches. Last night I skyped him and he said I look like I need a cup of tea and a steak. He cares if I am sad and anemic. Anyway, this advice is based on all of my 29 years of thoughts and experience. Here goes…

  1. Get to know your body. Look at it and feel it. Observe all the wonderful colors you have already tattooed on your skin. I bet you didn’t think you had oranges and browns and purples? No one will ever love your body as much as you should. Look after it. Stroke it. It’s your vehicle for this earth. Get to know what it likes and doesn’t like. For example: my body likes being vegetarian and swimming nude in the ocean, yours might like Jazz and Banoffee pie. Which leads me to…
  2. Have a wonderful relationship with food. Food is for enjoyment and nourishment. Aside from these two things, it should not occupy your thought. Like a majestic tree, throughout your life you grow out and up. Get a bit fat, grow a bit taller. Its science.
  3. Be wonderful at thinking. Really consider things like aliens and god. Travel to the far walls of your mind. Spend hours just considering things. Once, during a very hot summer, I watched an entire ice cube melt into my belly button while thinking. Its not wasting time. It’s brilliant. Carve out time in your life to peruse your thoughts.
  4. Do not be frightened of sex. Do not let religion or other people terrify you away from feeling pleasure with another human. Being safe and respectful are the only two things that should influence you sexually. Whatever persuasion you are – go for it. It can be surprisingly spiritual, it’s fun, and sometimes you bump into lovely people. If sex is a conversation you have with your body, chat away dear girl.
  5. It has not been medically or spiritually proven, but I truly believe all of life’s problems can be cured with a nap, a big bowl of pasta and a phone call to your mother. Call me.
  6. Live alone. It is the most wonderful, freeing experience you will ever have. At the moment I have been living alone for one glorious year. This flat is my sanctuary and nest. At one point, I had three different types of cheese in the fridge and I bit into a wheel of gorgonzola like an apple. Instead of furniture I have ‘experience stations’ like a pile of pillows I like to roll around on, and a yoga shrine which is basically a soft mat surrounded by one million mango scented candles. Please experience the sweetness of having a space on this earth all to you. It is worth the cost. Almost.
  7. Do not place too much importance on ‘falling in love’. There is no doubt that you will experience this phenomenon in time, but remember that just because you are in love with someone does NOT mean that they are good for you. In fact it often means you will allow them to do horrible things to your heart in a very unceremonious way. Find a friend and have a baby with them instead. Like my spoon whittler, someone who wanders around your house whistling, completely nude save for one explorer sock. Pretty sure he’ll be your dad. Please know that the type of love that has legs to run years into the future usually starts in an unremarkable way. It will not hit you like a hammer in the chest across a dance floor at a French Halloween warehouse party (like your mama once thought it did). Love does not appear in you, it grows dear girl, like a garden, it grows.

Anyway if you are any daughter of mine you wont listen to a word I’ve said because you’ll be supremely intelligent. You’re probably reading this while trying to put out a candle with your toes. You’re probably untangling your hair with a sparrow’s bone you’ll later use in some ironically derivative art installation. You’re probably curled into a nook with a lover somewhere exotic. I can see you braless, haggling at a bazar. Oh, my aching ovaries. I love you already.

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