The next 10 years:
A letter from a father to his daughter on her 20th birthday
Congratulations on entering the journey into new decade. For many, at this time, life gets hard and their dreams become clouded by the troubles of life. I know mine did …and it took me over a decade to even begin to see them again. I know what you’re thinking: “Oh great, here comes another lecture from dad.” Yeah, maybe, but you may want to read on before you pass this one by as me telling you a bunch of stuff you already know. I’m aware of my need to over parent; I really am.
I hope you’ll listen and understand:
Most parents (me included) tell their kids they need to have it all together. That they need to make choices right now, and that it’s life or death because they’ll stick with them for the rest of their lives. Honestly little girl, I can count on less fingers than I have on one hand the decisions I made in my twenties that couldn’t be reversed; and even those, have become part of who I am. For the, future academics of the world, doctors, lawyers, etc., maybe there is more permanent choices to be made at your age, but that’s not you.
You’re like me. Rushing right now could lead to a life of mere survival or mediocrity because you never took the time to get to know yourself first. You could find yourself living the life someone else had in mind because it seemed like what people do.
In the next decade, work to answer the big questions: Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose in the world? What will be my big adventure? Hopefully, you’ll have a little time to get to know who Jesus personally too. The world is a big place and contrary to what people say, life is not short. It’s long for you right now. If you live it like it’s short, you’ll find yourself trying to cram your whole life into one or two years. It can’t be done. You can’t enjoy an entire life experience in just a year or two.
Take time to figure out what you really want in the next ten years. Maybe by thirty you’ll start to know. Then, you can start to align yourself with people and places that fit the life you want. Enjoy it. Stop and smell the flowers of time because they are always in bloom.
There’s no hurry to finish. Never catch yourself wishing it was tomorrow when there’s still even on second left on the clock of today. Even though I’m telling you that life is long, time is precious, and you can only spend each second on one thing.
Don’t waste the next ten years focused on what you don’t have or what used to be. Focus on each moment intentionally with the word love, and it’s meaning always on your mind. Take this time to learn the real meaning of love, that love is about action, emotion or attraction. If you learn this in your twenties, you’ll find yourself among the wisest in the world.
I love you and I am always there for you. Just remember, the next decade isn’t about me, or anyone else because this is your time to shine. This is where you find the voice you will use to sing the melody of life. Go out, my little girl, introduce yourself to the world. Know that daddy is just nine digits away, smiling all your smiles with you, crying each bitter tear as well, and waiting eagerly for you to need him again. I love you little girl.
-A proud daddy