Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The road less traveled

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This year marks the last year my oldest will officially be still a "child."  She is now 17 and a senior (WHUCK!) in High School.  She will soon be making her final decisions about college and then will be off for her new adventure in life.  I wanted to make this Christmas about more than gifting.  So I got her (amongst other things) the necklace above.  But, I also had it wrapped in a letter.  I am re-posting the letter here (with her permission).

Dear Daughter,

For me this is a bittersweet Christmas.  It is, in fact, the very last Christmas before you are officially an adult.  This coming year is filled with many firsts for you.  You will be leaving home and in charge of your well being without having me or your dad here to catch or assist you daily.  You will make decisions that have a long term effect on your entire life.  It is stressful.  But don’t let stress guide you.  It is easy to pick the simple path of least resistance.  But what happens when that path is chosen?  You lead a simple life.  A simple life isn’t a negative in and of itself, but it is the life you want to lead?  You are adventurous, righteous, curious, and brave.  These are the characteristics of change makers, not path followers. 

My wish for you (besides figuring out how not to spill on your boobs) is for you to BE HAPPY.  To be happy you need to start figuring out what it is that will make you happy.  And not happy for now, but for the long term.  My task for you is to realistically look at where you imagine yourself say at my age, or even at 30.  Take some time to yourself and meditate on this. 

Think of these things:
1.    Will I be married?
2.    Will I have children?
3.    What do I like to do for fun?
4.    Do I work to live or is work my life?
5.    What makes me get up every single day and move forward even when I don’t want to?

Once you start figuring out these things, or even have some semblance of an idea about what you would answer for them, you will begin to understand what truly makes you motivated. 

For me, if YOU are happy, fulfilled and proud of yourself, then I will be too.  Whether you are an MD, PA, RN, JD, MS or any other myriad of letters you can accumulate after your name. 
I picked this necklace for you because not only is it a symbol for woman power, but because to me, it represents not limiting yourself.  The world is filled with glass ceilings, but you are strong enough to break any of them; even if your ultimate goal is to not be a career woman but a mom and partner.  

No matter your ultimate path, know that you can make your life as meaningful and fulfilling as you want and are willing to break ceilings to achieve.  I hope this necklace will be a reminder to never ever limit yourself based on outside expectations. 
I love you so much it hurts some days.  I feel blessed to be not only your mom, but to see how our relationship is maturing into a friendship. 

With more love than stars in the sky for you now and forever,

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