Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Letter To My Daughter #3 -- Permission

I was what many considered a "good kid." I always listened to adults. I never wanted to break the rules. I tried my best to please. I always erred on the side of caution. If I wasn't sure if I could do something, I asked permission. In fact, if I wasn't told I could do something I often assumed that I wasn't allowed to do it. For me, this didn't just apply to everyday things like riding my bike over to my buddy's house or going swimming in the nearby lake. It included bigger things -- like what kind of job I could have and what kind of life I could live.

I want you to know that you don't need permission for those bigger things in your life. You don't need some adult to tell you it's okay if you want to be a painter. You can be anything you want. People will say this to you a lot. They'll often follow it with things like lawyer or doctor or rocket scientist. They'll never mention things like inventor or entrepreneur (two very similar things) or dancer or activist or solver of world hunger. You can be those things, too -- and all of the other things I'm not mentioning. In fact, I bet you'll have the option to be about a thousand things that don't even exist right now. Be one of those things. You have permission. No. You don't need permission, you can just do it.

I know this may seem like I'm repeating myself from the "No Script" letter, but I'm not. I want to call out this specific point. You may not need it to be called out, but I did. I already see a lot of me in you, so I want to make sure you know that you don't need permission for those big questions in your life. You'll still need permission for some of the smaller stuff while you still live with your mother and I, but we're reasonable people and we trust you. So just ask.

For those big things, give it a shot. If you don't know how to give it a shot, let me know and I'll do everything I can to help you. Just know that waiting around for the world to tell you that you can be whatever you want is never going to happen. You have to go get it for yourself.


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