Happy Day of the Girl

To all the girls, everywhere:

I dream of futures formidable and vast.

I dream of them when I am sleeping, and when I am wide awake. Behind each blink of my eyes is an audacious vision, urging me.

My dreams are vivid with abstract images of times and spaces where equality is not a promise but a fact.

In my dreams, we look each other in the eyes and hold each other's gazes without swallowing down fear. We want to know one another and want to be known. Because it is safe.

It turns out there is enough humanity for us all. Plenty to go around.

In my dreams, I do not fly. I float. I float in a cool sea of collective fulfillment. Here, cradled in the embrace of these sparkling, reverberant waves, I realize this true thing: Contentment is better than joy.

In my dreams, the world is full of girls who are more than the incandescently happy we're meant to regard as a finite goal. In my dreams, they are safe. In my dreams, they are valued. Because being safe and valued makes unhappiness survivable and real happiness possible. Because both are parts of the complex humanity denied by defining a rigidly policed happiness the exclusive objective.

In my dreams, the haunting feeling doesn't exist — I don't feel like I will never be enough of any of the things I am expected to be.

In my dreams, there are no more terrible bargains. Even in my dreams, I expect more. Because I don't know how to expect anything else.

In my dreams, every day is a day of and for every girl.

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