Don’t You Wish Your Mother Gave You This Letter?
Leadership December 7, 2016 growthguided 3
Some parents try to safeguard their children against everything, in hopes of not frightening them with the reality of the difficulties they might encounter in this life. Other parents make a point of treating their kids like adults, serving them a dish of hard hitting reality.
Sounds scary, right? Definitely. When you reach 18, you’ll have two possible courses of action available to you:
 You go to university, and I’ll support you as much as I can until you graduate or find a job.
 You say no to university (and I’ll never condemn you if you do this) and go straight to work. And in that case, you’ll have to look after yourself. I won’t support a girl over 18 who isn’t in education because I don’t think it’s the right thing to do. You have three years to decide…
And we’ve already thought of a new purpose for your room. It’s going to be our bedroom.
You’re a lot better than me. You’re a truly wonderful person. I’ve known you for 15 years, and you’re way more amazing than I could ever have imagined in my wildest dreams. If someone doesn’t understand this, that’s their problem (well, it’s also your dad’s problem to some extent as well).
You’re a completely different person to me. You have your own individual personality. You don’t have to love what I love. You have every right to overrule my authority and to not share my values. There’s one nuance to this, though: you’ll have to bear responsibility for your own choices.
You can become a mechanic, a business analyst, a homemaker, a beauty therapist, a high-level manager, or someone who works at the cash desk in a supermarket. I don’t think it’s my place to interfere in the path you choose in this life. But still, don’t forget about point number 1.
I didn’t bring you up expecting you to repay a debt. I don’t expect you to provide for me when I’m old. You have the right to choose to focus on what’s important to you, on what you value. It’s your life and your choice.
Whatever happens to you in this life, I will be by your side if you need me. I’ll support you, share in your happiness and your sorrow, and I’ll try to help if you ask me. But I won’t interfere uninvited.
I’m under no obligation to come and help at the snap of your fingers. I don’t have to drop whatever I’m doing for you or sacrifice my comfort entirely for yours. I can. But I don’t have to.
Who you marry, whether you have kids, what kind of people you’re attracted to, who you vote for — that’s all your business. My views, passions, and convictions should have no defining influence on you. You should do what your heart and your conscience tell you to do. When you do, you won’t lose me, and you won’t cease to be my daughter.
This isn’t easy to understand, but it’s the truth: everyone is thinking about themselves. I am too. Every person out there, whatever their circumstances, simply behaves in a way they think is right. No one is deliberately aiming to make your life worse. They’re simply doing what they think is best for them, as they see it, and nothing more. It’s just that your map of life and theirs don’t entirely match.
There aren’t any guaranteed ways to achieve success or avoid misfortune. You are not in control of this world. You can do everything right and still end up in a crappy situation. You could do everything wrong and end up living the high life. The only thing you need to worry about is being honest. Don’t lie to yourself. Learn to understand yourself. Try to fully grasp your true needs and feelings. And think about what will be best for you.
When you get that job or place at university, someone else loses their chance. When you go on a date with someone, the chances are that was or could have been someone else’s first love. You might even take someone’s favorite place at the movie theater. But don’t worry about it, because what’s bad for you will be good for someone else, so you’re quits.
No, not even me. Just you. I can’t get entirely inside your head, and you’ll always leave things unsaid, or hide something, from everyone. I know this because I do it myself. I have a mom as well. Only you know EVERYTHING about yourself. So only you know what you’re capable of.
From 18 years of age, you’ll be responsible for what happens in your life. Bring up your own kids if you think you can do it on your own. Take up that challenging job if you think you can manage it. Emigrate if you think you’ll survive on your own in a foreign country. ALONE. If you’re lucky and you find people willing to help you, then it will be easier. But no one is OBLIGED to help you. Remember that.
Every action has a consequence. The chances are you won’t foresee all of them. But try to at least consider as many as you can. The more potential outcomes of your actions that you can think of, the more rational your behavior will be.
I’ve offered you 14 points that I think will help make your life better than mine has been. But, as I said above, you are not me. Don’t compare yourself to me. Don’t think that our lives should or can correspond in every way. I always wanted to bring a person into this world who will live their own life. So go and live it.
jen10February 5, 2017 #1 Author
Oh my goodness how beautiful . I have a knot in my throat from not letting myself cry and i only read some of it as of now. Ill have to prepare myself for the tears that will definitely spill out when i do. WOW ….
growthguidedFebruary 5, 2017 #2 Author
Let those tears flow (: Allow yourself to release (: