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An Open Letter to My Sweet 16-Year-Old Daughter

You are the designer of your life, and you have the license to be as creative as you wish to be in designing it.

Dear Sweetest 16-year-old daughter,

One day you came to me and said, “Mom, I’m stressed because I don’t know what career to choose.”

Do you remember? I assured you that you don’t have to have it all figured out right now, and that the joy is in the journey.

It was such a pivotal moment for me as a parent, because I got to share with you some things I’ll always want you to remember, much of which reached far beyond career consulting.  

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some morsels of wisdom in the form of this letter that you can refer back to when you find yourself needing direction, or something to anchor you. I of course will always be here to guide you, but this is something you can take with you for years to come.

First and foremost, the only thing I’ll ever want for you is to be happy.

You are the designer of your life, and you have the license to be as creative as you wish to be in designing it. Always know that if you’re happy, I’ll always be happy for you and with you.

Whenever you’re in a position to make a decision about anything, always consider the long view and ask yourself what really matters. I’m no hospice nurse, but I’m pretty sure noone on their deathbed ever said they wish they had more money, or more stuff. It always comes back to the time, and the relationships. You can always make more money. You can always get more stuff. You can never go back and reclaim missed moments with people you love.

Your most important asset is, and always will be, time. The sobering truth, as you are well aware, is that none of us knows how much time we have left on this earth. Use this universal truth to empower, energize, and call you to a level of action that supersedes any physical world consideration.

I want your days to be filled with meaning, significance, purpose, depth, connections, and intentionality. Those are the virtues that stand the test of time. All the other stuff we’re conditioned to associate with our worth—the money, the house, the cars, the status, the “likes”, the initials after our name—don’t come with us when we leave this earth.

Take a moment to look around. The only time in your life that things will be exactly as they are today is right now. You won’t always live across the street from your best buds. You’ll move away. They’ll move away.

Enjoy their company now.  

Your siblings will grow up and move out, and you won’t always be able to have movie nights and trivia contests with them. Hang out with them now. I won’t always be standing in the kitchen asking you what you want for lunch, as you’ll have your own kitchen someday. 

Let me make your lunch now.

Every day you spend waiting, wondering, worrying is a day you’ll never get back. Seize every moment. Life isn’t meant to be lived on the sidelines, it’s meant to be lived jumping off the high dive. Get a running start, jump off the high dive, swim to the side of the pool, and climb the ladder again. Repeat every day. Run, jump, swim, climb. 

Got it? Good! 

The best investment you’ll ever make is the investment you make in yourself. That’s an investment that only increases in value over time. Nobody can take that away from you. Remember that always. Expand your mind. Nourish your body. Awaken your soul. Live your truth. Heighten your self worth. Live a life that is true to who you are.

Know that there is never a need to chase money, love, or fame. Do what sets your soul on fire and watch everything else fall into place. It can work no other way.

All this said, there is a way you can have it all. There is a way you can feel, I mean really feel, that you have it all. Not just look like you have it all from the outside.

But the only pathway there is through the soul.

I want you to start thinking now about what kind of legacy you want to leave. How do you want to be remembered? What indelible mark do you want to leave on this world? How do you want to impact humanity?

When you live out the answers to these questions on a daily basis, you’ll never feel like you work a day in your life. That’s because you’ll be coming from the heart-based place of service.

You’ll find that whenever you’re adding value to the world, you will experience ease. Your life will flow. The Universe will partner with you. You’ll have to stop and ask yourself if it’s magic and it’ll be amazing.

Do what feels right to you in each moment, day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year. One heart-centered, soul-based decision at a time is the recipe for a happy and abundant life.

We’re standing just T-minus 2 years away from when you’re headed off to college and truth be told I’m missing you already. The clock is ticking faster and faster every day. When you were little, I just assumed that by the time the teen years got here you may not even be acknowledging me in public. I’m thrilled you have proved me wrong. I love our dance parties in the car, girls nights, dinner prep silliness, and the non-stop laughter. 

We had to have been sisters in a prior life.

You already have everything you need inside of you to be self-made. The universe always rewards those who align with who they truly are and who pursue their dreams with reckless abandon.

I want you to not only fly, I want you to SOAR.

Your brilliant mind, generous heart, and magnetic spirit will all work together to make that your permanent reality.

I am beyond honored that you chose me to be your mom, and I will always be here to love, guide, and serve you.

I love you to the most distant galaxy and back. Because the moon just isn’t far enough. 

Love,

Mom

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