shutterstock_196964318Big ups to you, my princess. 18 years ago you came into this world, a DNA hybrid of your mother (analytical, right brain, organized, responsible) and me (rebellious, left brained, disorganized, irresponsible). We blinked and now we are here, celebrating your transition from reliance to independence.

Are you ready? Yes and no: beautiful, creative, intelligent, caring, you are the whole package but you are naïve which is not your fault. You have grown up in a supportive environment with few worries. You have learned to try and fail and try again but life will not be as easy as growing up in Sonoma. It’s all about developing grit and I have a few suggestions:

 

 

Don’t do dumb stuff. Every day, life will present a giant pool of excrement and you will decide to either dive in or walk around. Your choices become who you are, make good ones, learn from bad ones.

Develop a personal mantra. Three simple ideas to keep you focused. Work hard, create and love is how I roll. Adopt these or develop your own. Spend some time thinking about who you are and how you fit into the world, study philosophy, think deep thoughts. Be a deep person.

Seek your path. Sure it will change, sure it will morph into something you have no idea about now but keep a goal in mind. And make it big, as a healthy American you have all the opportunity in the world. Behave accordingly.

Care about money but not too much. Our mortgage in Sonoma is $2100 per month, phones $150, Utilities $300, Cars $300, Food $400, and on and on. The good life is expensive so make sure your path includes a budget. Money does not equal happiness but not having enough money can lead to plenty of unhappiness. And no credit, ever! Afford your life.

Find your people. Get married and have kids or don’t but surround yourself with people who love you. Stay active and happy and engaged in life and your people will find you. If you do get married, do it once to the right person and take your commitment seriously. Marriage is not all rainbows and flowers, it can be tough and it is work but the rewards are worth it.

Don’t be a phony. Remember how Holden qualified people in The Catcher in the Rye? That was 1951. It’s even more true today, fake is bad, real is good. Sadly, fake is also very popular on social media. Remember that you will die one day and you will want to have made a positive impact on the world. Having a million followers on Twitter will not accomplish this.

Take chances, try new things, develop a growth mindset. Not happy with how life is going? Change it up, new hobby, new job, new hairdo, new boyfriend, whatever. Think about the therapy miracle where you wake up in the morning and all your troubles have been solved overnight then live the perfect life you envision.

Do instead of watch. Learn to surf, get lost in nature, explore, ride , roll or walk, keep your body and mind functioning in top condition. Your path through life will be much easier and more interesting if you are in shape. Also, treat yourself when you deserve it, celebrate accomplishments, birthdays and other milestones. Try to attend every party you are invited to. Never live in your screen, live in the world.

Believe in yourself. Life already has plenty of roadblocks, don’t build more. And always F the haters, you will meet negative people who want you to jump into the excrement pool with them. Don’t try to change them as they can only change themselves. Politely run screaming.

Above all, have fun and don’t take life too seriously. You were created by a miracle and grew from two cells into what you are today. You have worked hard, made good choices and cemented an awesome foundation for the next stage of your life. I could not be prouder of you. Shine on my princess.

All my love,

-Dad

 

Captain Jack