When I was twenty-one, Third Sis mailed a box to my apartment in Philly, where I was living and studying then. The box contained ten small trinkets and handwritten notes; even the box itself was hand-wrapped in blue-green colored paper with a rectangular note glued on its cover. She’d written everything herself and named this little box:
‘The Incomplete Growing Up Girls’ Survival Kit (because growing up is tough)’
Four years have since passed and in that period, I’ve moved from Philadelphia, PA, on the east coast of the US to Stanford, CA, on the west coast and now back home in Malaysia, though I’m still home away from home. I currently live in Miri, Sarawak, in Borneo Island – the eastern side of Malaysia; my hometown is in the west. Over the years, I’ve also traveled the world quite extensively – but I’ve never forgotten this little box and what it contains. It is a keepsake, one I hold dear.
What fascinates me about this growing up kit is that she’d given this to me on my twenty-first birthday because that’s the typical, average coming-of-age milestone. She’d gifted this in hopes that I would leave behind, at long last, the insecurities that plagued me during my childhood and girlhood years. I believe she wanted to console and equip me with the right mindset and emotional sustenance in navigating early adulthood, . What I find funny, ironic – laughably strange – is that it is now, in my mid-twenties and thick in the woe of adulthood, that this survival kit acts exactly as how Third Sis intended.
I’ve found comfort, strength, and emotional sustenance from this kit and have, for months now, thought of doing this: I would like to share it with the world. My hope is for more girls, women and late-bloomer adults to obtain similar strength and ease as I have through her wisdom. They’re not all revolutionary, I know, but I’ve found that too often, it is the obvious that we take for granted. So here’s all ten of the growing up girls’ survival kit, curated and created by my Third Sis:
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #1: Pick Our Your Best Qualities
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #2: Band-Aid Your Heart
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #3: Stick Together
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #4: Get Directions
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #5: Give Yourself A Break
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #6: Make Connections – But Remember You Can Always ‘Unpin’
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #7: Take A Chill Pill
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #8: Pick Your Cards Right
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #9: Erase The (Erased)
- Growing Up Girls Survival Kit #10: Mirror Yourself
May you also, sincerely, find strength and emotional sustenance in these ten growing up girls’ survival kit reminders ♡