Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Letter To My Daughter #2 -- No Script

Scarlett-
There are some things in your life that are definitely going to happen. You are going to get older. You are going to die. That's it. Those are the only two things I can guarantee will happen to you. Otherwise, nothing is guaranteed.

Nothing. Is. Guaranteed.

Don't let this frighten you. In fact, it should make you feel free. "Nothing is guaranteed" is just another way of saying that nothing is scripted. You get to choose what you want to make of your life. It may seem obvious and simple but there are plenty of obstacles to truly choosing your own path. 

You'll discover that everyone has an idea of what you should do with your life. Most frequently it will go something like this: go to college, get a job, get married, have kids, die. (They'll never mention the die part.) They'll figure out how old you are and then ask you the appropriate question. Where are you going to college? Where are you going to work when you graduate? Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? When are you getting married? When are you having kids? It may not seem like a big deal, but when you're asked these questions enough you'll feel like this is what you are supposed to do.

You don't have to do that.

You don't have to do any of those things. Those people don't mean any harm. It's just what they think people do. That list of things that we're all "supposed" to do is what some people call an "invisible script." Some people follow this invisible script because it's all they know. Some follow it because they haven't thought about anything else. Some follow it because they are afraid. Some follow it because it's easy. I don't want you to be one of those people. 

I won't let this invisible script be the only thing you know. Don't let yourself do anything thoughtlessly. Don't be afraid. Don't do what's easy. Make your own choices. Think about why you want to go to college. Think about what your passions are and if college is right for you. Think about the kind of job you want to have. Choose one that will fulfill you -- not the one that will make your life comfortable financially. You're going to be doing that job for most of your life, you better make sure you like it. Think about marriage and what it means. Think about the impact on your life and your potential child's life before you have kids. Kids will become your life so make sure you've lived yours before you have any of your own.

I'm not telling you that following the college, job, marriage, kids invisible script is a bad thing. Hell, your mother and I did it and we're both happy with our choices. We've got you and that's more amazing than you know. I just want you to know that there are other options and that you shouldn't shy away from them. Nothing is guaranteed but nothing is preordained. Use this to your advantage and live a life that makes you happy.

If you break the script and live an unconventional life that makes you happy, your mother and I will love you. If you follow the script because that's what makes you happy, your mother and I will love you. Just make sure you've written the script the way you want it written.

Love, 
Dad

P.S. -- If your mother or I ever bug you about getting married or having kids, you have full permission to smack us on the side of the head.

1 comment:

  1. Great advice! Wish someone had told me this many years ago. Wish those same someones would not place so much value on the invisible script! Thank you, Jeff!

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