Lately, as I watch you take these steps into independence I’m struck by everything I feel I’m failing at. Everything I am not preparing you adequately for when you reach adulthood. I ask myself why cant I stop all the pain and yes, failure you will walk through?
It’s my fault.
Yes, according to all the books and all the speakers who tell me to do this and that. Who tell me if I make all the right choices now you will make all the “right” choices later.
No, you will instead enter adult hood flawed and unprepared for perfection. But if I could I would walk with you all the paths that are coming. I would shield you from all the pain that has ever been and ever will be. I would build a time machine and save you from all the pain that happened back then. Even the pain I caused.
Because the truth of it is that no one enters adulthood prepared for it. You will make mistakes. Bad ones. You will have your heart broken, by people you believed in just a little too much. You will fail.
But here’s what I’ve come to know: that journey IS life. That struggle for adulthood is what blooms into humanity. Finding yourself is a mystery novel whose ending you get to write. A play whose second act you get to produce and turn into whatever you would like it to be. The first act is one I’m directing for you. The next? That’s up to you.
It will be the first and final great adventure you will undertake yourself. And it will be glorious.
I cannot tell you it will be easy. I cannot tell you that you will not cry. I can’t even tell you there won’t be days when it seems easier to just not do it anymore. I can’t even tell you what it will be like because I’m still writing my own second act.
But here’s what I can tell you:
You were born with a spark of divine fire inside your soul. And that fire cannot be extinguished. Everything thats coming: Hurt and healing. Love and betrayal. Struggle, failure and success. It’s all oxygen to that fire. It makes it burn hotter, brighter, shooting into the sky in a blistering burst of light
Do you know I never succeeded at teaching you to smile at the camera? To stop, and pose, and say cheese? I don’t know why. I don’t know quite how I failed you there. But I have a thousand pictures of you smiling, simple moments captured when you were playing, or looking at me, or laughing at some internal joke.
But babies of mine for all of time: you’ll come to know, as all humans do, that life isn’t just how to pose and smile. It is complex and broken and beautiful. It is a contradiction and a masterpiece.
And as unprepared as I will send you into adulthood I promise you, stumbling through that mystery is the only way to live at all.
Because people email me asking, please know that sharing my posts on your social media or with your friends is always an honor so please feel free to do so. I don’t advertise my blog (hey I barely blog!) but with every person who shares my heart does skip a little beat because it tells me I’m not alone. There are other people out there who get me, who get YOU. All the best – w