I’ve loved you since you were a little elf baby, roaming the beaches of Hawaii in the buff, stealing my shoes and my heart. And here you are graduating from college next month like some kind of grown ass woman.
How did this happen? Graduating from college is a big mofo deal, and I want to make sure I lend you all my (extremely limited) wisdom. Of course, I’m not saying I can give you better advice than your commencement speaker, Ms. Oprah Winfrey (although Opes and I do kinda have a history), but Oprah doesn’t know you like I do, and Oprah doesn’t love you like I do, so I’m going in.
First of all, know that you’re a star. A bigger star than Oprah. Sure, she *loves bread* and eats it all day and still loses weight, and she had quite the successful talk show, and some people say she’s the “most influential woman in the world,” yada yada yada, but did a 5-year old Oprah climb a mountain in a sparkly skirt, holding her aunt’s hand, only to pause and declare at the peak, “you know, I’m really quite lucky” out of nowhere? Did 10-year old Oprah act as her aunt’s maid of honor and handle a last minute hair emergency like a g.d. pro with a casual, “nobody’s going to even notice your hair”?
Did Oprah start her own company, in the middle of college, that offers a subscription delivery of high quality chocolate truffles infused with Chinese herbs to ease period symptoms? And Opes, does this company not only produce and sell an amazing product but also work tirelessly to destigmatize periods and women’s bodies in general? (They’re vaginas, not vajayjays for God’s sake, O.)
Well, did you, Oprah? Does it? I’ll wait.
Cassidy, I’m still trying to figure out how this works in the time-space continuum, but I’d like to be you when I grow up. So my second piece of advice would be to never lose your kindness, sensitivity, nobility, spirit, or style. You’ve got all of those in spades. Sometimes the world can beat you down. They’ll do it with their horrible driving, their judgmental crotchetiness, their online (and real life) perviness, and all sorts of other soul-crushing ways. But you just need to remember that you’re Cassidy Shao Ming Lam, first of her name, christened by the legendary Tche Fu Lin as “Loyal & Bright,”, slayer of stereotypes, and OG member of the Lin/Lam Family Varsity Dim Sum Eating Team. And no one can take that from you.
Thirdly, and I know I already mentioned this on the phone to you, establish a yearly girls’ trip with your friends now. After college, when everyone goes their separate ways, it’s such a balm for your soul to have some dedicated time with the people you love and the people who love you. We’ve flirted with pro soccer players in Milan, got pooped on (by birds!) in Florence, almost drove off a cliff in Mexico, lost at poker in Monaco, had multiple outfit changes on a Cannes beach, built a beer pong table in Palm Springs, ate our weight in lobster in Maine, and laughed until we cried many, many times.
We’re currently planning our laugh-crying trip to Vermont for this summer.
Some quick pieces of advice:
- Use the buddy system when you go out. There are too many creeps out there.
- It’s worth it to pony up for Puffs Plus tissues and good toilet paper.
- Try to drink a glass of water per alcoholic drink. (You won’t be able to keep it up, but the key is trying.) As you get older, the hangovers get worse.
- Floss every night. Even Pretty Woman knew this, and it wasn’t easy to do in her line of work.
- Put good vibes out into the universe and good vibes will come back.
- Trust your gut/Spidey sense/women’s intuition.
Lastly, I know that you’re a hard worker and a serious businesswoman, but don’t forget to engage in a little tomfoolery and a dash of shenanigans, because your 20’s are supposed to be fun. (And for that matter, your 30’s and 40’s too. No word on 50’s yet.)
I can’t wait to celebrate with you and for our personal dinner with Oprah. (I’m guessing we’ll have to order an extra bread basket!)
Love you more than you’ll ever know,
p.s. Don’t forget to come visit your aunt, uncle and cousins in Boston. xoxo