A week ago, you and I went for a hike that I still think about. Spring Break had just started, and it was a perfect day to be outdoors. At one point, we stopped to look out over a stunning vista – just clear skies and the Sea of Cortez all the way to the horizon. In that moment, I looked around and – as is so often the case – I thought of you.
This is a big summer for you. You’re about to graduate college, about to take yet another huge step forward in your life. As you might imagine, this fills me with quite a few emotions. But the biggest one I’m feeling right now is simple: total excitement for you. All I’ve ever wanted for you was a life where you felt complete and fulfilled, where you get to live the life you want. There’s such vast possibility in front of you right now, and the exciting thing is it’s all at your fingertips.
This is what I thought of when we saw that panorama on our hike. You’re about to step into a brand-new journey, one only colored by potential. You could do anything and everything, because that’s the sort of person you are. The possibilities, like our view that day, are endless.
I know you could have moved anywhere you wanted after graduation. You are brave and courageous and there’s no experience that would’ve been outside your grasp. You chose to move to Austin, Texas – a place of youth and vitality, not to mention some pretty great food and live music, but also a couple thousand miles away. And that’s OK, it’s more than OK. Getting to inhabit a new culture, with all the experimentation and discovery that comes with it, will help you not just grow but flourish.
This might be the hardest part of being a parent, when the best thing for your daughter is moving somewhere far away. Raising you and your brother into the incredible people you are is the greatest thing your mom and I will ever do. But I know it’s time for you to build your own foundation, to put down your own roots and assert your own independence as you define your future for yourself.
Only you get to decide what makes you happy. Only you get to determine how to shape your life. It’s that freedom to explore and self-create that’s at the core of anyone being happy. So, before you move away, let me give you some last Dad advice: work hard, stand up for what you believe in and live life on your own terms.
I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way.