Them. It’s them that shapes and makes the world. The future. Not just our them, or your them. All of them youngsters. I once read that the moment you have children, your life begins to die away, and their world beckons and becomes the new. Recently, one of my children commented how long a year seems. I commented that it kind of depends, it’s different for everyone. That got a puzzled look. I remarked, “It’s just life-math. It’s the one/over phenomenon, silly”.
It’s the reason summer seemingly lasts forever for an 11 year old kid, and likewise flashes in minutes when you’re 58.
It’s the reason each new back to school year for a parent is both a rush of joy and possibility, bathed in sudden overwhelming sadness for that next notch in time. For some it’s New Years. For me, it’s September.
1/11 vs. 1/58. “One/over.” It accelerates, it never slows, and it’s the same for everyone, no exceptions..
My best advice to any youngster, is to realize time is the best resource you have. Use it to gather that band of figurative wealth, that store of knowledge. Be curious, gain strength from knowing stuff and allow your own character to guide your compass heading. The tea leaves which swirl in your own cup might appear chaotic and senseless. Yet as surely as you sit reading this missive, your tempest will calm, and your own clarity will summon when you least expect it. It will excite, confuse, sadden, frustrate, rejuvenate, despair and elate. Try to be alert to your personal message, for it is often not easily deciphered. It might come in odd forms, different languages, from unusual places. And your personal message perhaps might not even be apparent to you, but others about you, from someone, or ones that adore you (nearly as much) as I do. Know that your direction is yours and yours alone. Your path. Your light. Your calling. To you I say, “Your only risk, is in doing nothing.”
Gain control of your steerage, and confidence will come from the plethora of experiences that have shaped you. From the timely whispers, the considered glances, our love letters, and the guidance at which you eye-roll now. You are the sum total of all of that knowledge, with your very own unique rhythm, thankfully played distinctly to your own music. And that is great, not good. For in truth parents are only shade that blocks your sun, which will ultimately allow your growth beyond any pathetic limited dreams we might harbor. Because what will be possible going forward from this place, resembles nothing that we can know or even fathom.
Smile much. Laugh often. Trust your instincts.
And I will love you forever, throughout all space and time. May the Gods and the Universe bless you with all the beauty and happiness any single person can endure.
[As a parent, I have found only one way to slow, not stop, but slow this inevitable aging process. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep going.]