My Dearest Boo,
I love you so so much. You are someone I am most proud of, a part of me, through me, but not of me. You are so uniquely you and I am forever in awe, as I watch you do life in your own special way. You are the very best of anything I have ever done. And by far the source of my heart swellings.
The day you came to us was the happiest day of my life. You completed our family and made us full of joy and laughter ever since. I know I have said before that I wasn’t sure how to raise a little girl. I had a lot of fears about how to do so without passing on my own character defects and insecurities. Gradually, I learned that parenting is not so much what you say or teach (or preach in my case) but is taught by example. With this in mind, I trust that I have been an example of perseverance, patience, and loyalty in marriage, dedication to a family with great emphasis on kids. I have modeled how to be a friend and carefully choose people with whom you share time. How to set goals and work to obtain them, how to keep a countertop clean, and of course, “mom real hard.”
You have been away at school for a month now. I am so proud of how you have adjusted, challenged yourself, and navigated things so far. I hope you are proud of yourself as well. Something that has come up for me in this time (and I am sure most parents) is I begin to wonder “Did I teach her everything I could about life?” I question myself, “Did you get it all in?” “ Did you teach the big things as well as the little things” Honestly, these things don’t really come to you in the course of the 18 (or so) years as we are under the same roof, but they seem to flood my mind as you set out on your own way. Kind of haunts me in a way.
All this to say, this letter to you, is really for me. It is my way of getting it off my chest so to speak. So, Hang on while I just get it down on paper. Of course, most of this will just be full of personal opinions and my own meandering thoughts. As always take what you like and leave the rest.
Faith is trusting in the present, which is only seen in reverse. My hope is that you find your true north. What I mean when I say this, is that someday you will find it inside of yourself to believe that you are not in the driver's seat in life, you are the passenger but also get to be the navigator. You choose your direction in life but you don’t have to go at it alone. Somewhere out there there is a power greater than yourself. Call it fate, call it the universe, call it God, call it whatever you want, but just know that there is a plan and ultimately you will be loved, guided, and protected by this source. You will always be just where you are meant to be, just at the right time. This is probably not the wisest choice to begin with as it is the most complicated, but it will unfold over time. Trust.
They really are simple. Food, Sex and Sports. (mostly) *When I say sports I mean their individual interests. Not all men love sports, just most men I know. I know you will challenge him, that is just who you are. If he is strong and secure, he will appreciate this. But praise him too. Be a supporter and learn his love language. And it is best to know your own and communicate that to him. Be a person he feels safest with. Be his friend. Most men will treat their partner, as they treat their mother, observe this when getting to know a man. Communication is the key to any relationship but should be of the most importance with someone you choose to share your life with intimately. Listen to understand, not respond. Make sure you don’t rely on a man for completion but as merit. Someone who makes you a better version of yourself. Someone who brings out the best qualities in you and challenges you. Also, supports you and loves you for who you are and where you are in your life and doesn’t seek to change you.
Chivalry is always nice. Let someone take care of you and show care for you, it is part of being a good human, and in my opinion…will never go out of style. Take care of him in return. To be of service is just as much for you as it is for him.
And for god’s sake, make sure he makes you laugh, it helps to lighten the load. Find someone with a sense of humor. Life can be really difficult at times so if you have someone whom you can laugh with through the hard times it makes living much sweeter. Laughter is so important. So so important.
I think of marriage as a dance. Sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow, but it is always best when done with grace. Give grace, Life is hard at times. Life is also really beautiful. Life is as good as those you share it with. Choose carefully.
Shoot, I could have done so much better in this area. With all of my shortcomings in this area and after 50 years of struggle, I will say this… LOVE, care for, and appreciate your body in each and every phase of life. Your body is your temple, you will hear this over and over because it really is true. Your body is an amazing thing, it will one day (possibly) create your family, and it works for you in ways we will never understand. One of my biggest regrets in life was not prioritizing physical activity when life got “too busy”. Without going into it too much, I just simply put things in front of it and now I am a little behind the ball and it is harder to catch up and/or reverse. But, it is what it is. And if you can take one thing from this just keep moving, find activities that are enjoyable, and keep your body strong and healthy to the best of your ability. Make time for it, put it on the top of your list, and your 50-year-old self will thank you for it.
Nurture yourself. You can not fill from an empty cup. Make self-care a top priority. Mental health and physical health, without either of these things you have nothing. Get to know yourself in a way that only you can. Trust your intuition, be curious, open, and trusting. Also, know your boundaries, and limits and voice them when needed or necessary. There is nothing a good bath, walk, writing, or some music can not help or even heal. Go within often there is a voice inside of you, let it be your guide. You are already amazing at this. For goodness sake, keep playing your guitar and singing! Your voice is beautiful, harness that gift. Let that light shine.
You know I am big on this. I've been preaching this your entire life as it has proven to be of most importance to me. Attitude is EVERYTHING. If you go looking for the negative you will always find it, the same goes for the positives. Make your choice. There is a silver lining to every problem. Sometimes focusing on the silver lining helps to lessen the burden. There is no good or bad it is our thinking that makes it so. Sometimes our imagination can feel limited, don’t let it be. There are limitless possibilities, search for all the positive outcomes to any problem and visualize them, watch what happens. It is magical. Positive attitude, positive life. This should be on my tombstone. I will shut up now, you have heard enough about this I am sure.
So much to be said about time. It heals all wounds. You can never get it back and you will never have enough. That being said, use it wisely. It is our greatest gift. Guard it. Treasure it. Use it wisely. You will take advantage of it, we all do. But try not to. It is a great teller of truth, as you will recall “people sink their own ships”. Only with time do things become more clear. With time we can only see a bigger picture. It is complicated, just know that time reveals so much. Give yourself time. Take the time you need. But treasure it, it goes so fast. Be present.
little side notes and senseless musings:
bleaching your teeth looks healthier and brighter. (it is vain, but trust me)
Lumify eye drops are really awesome.
WEAR SUNSCREEN; is my best professional advice. Of all the years in my profession, it is really the only piece of advice that is needed.
shoes tell a lot about someone's personality.
sometimes staying quiet is the most powerful tool.
WAIT; Why Am I Talking? if you can answer this in the midst of a heated discussion, it will reveal to you your true motivation. It is usually fear.
A lil shopping never hurt nobody.
When you look good, you feel good. Better said; when you like the way you look, the better you feel.
You can learn a lot more by watching someone than you can by listening.
It is more powerful to be good at losing than it is to win.
Compliment people. Smile at people, you never know the impact you can make on someone’s day. There is so much power in kindness.
If something doesn’t feel right, listen to that feeling.
You will be given the same lesson over and over until you understand what it is trying to teach you. The same goes for insanity. If nothing changes, nothing changes.
Less is better (this is true in many things)
You are surrounded by so many people who support you and you are never ever alone.
Your tribe is strong, if you need help, ask for it.
You are never alone. We always have your back.
Be yourself, you are always enough and you are so so LOVED.
love you beyond words,