Tuesday, June 4, 2013

6/4/13 the Sammi send-off

Ah, the time has come. My Sammi has departed for adventures across the Atlantic today. 

For her:
I had grand delusions of being able to say something profound as you headed out, but I've never been as good at extemporaneous speaking as reflective writing. So, now, as you are winging your way on the start of a trip that you will never, ever forget, here is what I wished I had said to you.

If you will think of yourself as a puzzle piece, with all kinds of interesting curves and angles, it will make more sense when you realize how many different people you fit with, as well as accepting that some people just weren't made to be near you.

Never, ever fall into the trap of saying you loved someone less because you aren't with them now. Just roll your eyes when you hear, "I didn't know what love was until I met X".  When you love, you love with everything that you are in that moment. That never diminishes.

Words matter. They aren't the power, but they are the wand. Never take your ability to wield that energy lightly, but don't withhold it, either. Your words can change the world for the better. 

That Forrest Gump thing at the end, where he's trying to reconcile two different philosophies about life and comes up with "I think it's both at the same time"? Yeah. That. Times five million. Never let the ones who seem so sure about the one "right" answer hoodwink you into thinking it's not.

Fear is the great equal opportunity crippler. Fear of saying the wrong thing, or being rejected, or of not standing up for yourself will be the fundamental stumbling block of at least half your battles. The most dangerous of these are the moments when wanting to be liked overrides your gut instinct to get out of a situation. You have my permission and encouragement to be bitchy or rude, or whatever people tend to call women when they assert themselves, whenever your gut tells you something is wrong. Trust it.

Do you know that, as often as we hear, "You two are unmistakably mother and daughter," it always fills my heart with such pride, which probably qualifies me as a narcissist. When I look at you, how beautiful you are inside and out, and think that I bear some resemblance to it, I am humbled.

Think of the next few years as the gathering. You get a very limited time to "find yourself" freely and without the constraints or expectations or responsibilities that creep in (your own and others). Use up every minute of it discovering new and wonderful things about yourself and the world around you before deciding what you've found is enough discovery to feed on for the rest of your life.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. 
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. 
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
~"Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann

(As I was driving away, the Andy clouds were all around us, waiting for you to take off into them. And that made me smile.)


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