Thursday, August 11, 2011

Letter To My Daughter

In the midst of my ex-wife's strange and un-wonderful machinations, my daughter has been getting ready to go far, far away to college. Unfortunately, there's no actual way for her to complete her education at that particular institution without personally incurring more than a hundred grand in debt, mainly because her mother is not financially capable of stepping up to the plate, though she agreed to. Anyway, I don't want my kid to get saddled with a mortgage-sized college loan to pay back since she'll be in the arts and, unless you're especially savvy and extremely agressive, super lucky AND superbly talented, you will NOT make hundreds of thousands of dollars each and every year. Still, she's my kid and I love her very much and so, I thought I should provide a modicum of fatherly advice. So I wrote her this:

I wanted to write something pithy, something exceptional on which you could rely as a touchstone for your launch into nearly utter independence. But I find that I have so much to tell you and so much to say that could serve to fill in the gaps in your young experience, that the best I could do today was to create an extemporaneous list. Here it is:
10 Things You Must Know To Succeed As A Young Human
1. Be on time. It matters.
2. Don't eat in the dark.
3. You will feel lonely sometimes. Savor those moments instead of allowing them to pull you into sadness. Those moments will become few and far between later and will be the times when you can express your inner voice without external censorship.
4. Be curious and educate yourself.
5. Don't jump to conclusions. Don't be quick to judge or to assume, neither should you dismiss. Instead, gather those cognitive end-points as elements of observation and store them for further use. Not everything is as it first appears.
6. Get plenty of exercise. You will feel better and happiness is impossible if you feel bad. Then, sleep fully, in a regular schedule that fits your brain-cycle.
7. Always pour your own drink.
8. Never carry less cash than is equal to or more than the cabfare from wherever you're going to be to wherever you'll be returning to. Relying on someone else for transportation takes away your options.
9. Don't get conned, unless you really want to.
10. Write it down.
Okay, and just one more . . .
11. Love yourself first. You are your greatest accomplishment.
Wait, there's one last one . . .
12. Call yer Dad. He's the Swiss Army Knife of human existence, has been there, done that, and will do anything he can to help you. It doesn't matter whether it's good or bad, enthusiastically upbeat or downright embarrassing, because he is your Dad and always has your best interests at heart.
There you go. You now know everything you need to. Well, okay, you don't, but you have the capacity to discover and you have the ability to make good choices if you choose to make the good choice of making good choices. Now go out there and beat the world, you world-beater, you.
I love you very much. Don't doubt it. Don't forget it. Count on it.

I miss her so much already, it's not even funny. No. Not funny at all. Good luck kid. I'm here for you and I'll be there for you as long as I live. Amen.

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