Before Julia headed off to college, she and I took a late summer father-daughter trip to Colorado to see The Dave Matthews Band at the Red Rocks Amphitheater.
The show was fantastic!
If you haven’t been to Red Rocks, you’re really missing something! The setting is stunning, and the acoustics are incredible.
There was more to the trip, however than a great show. Julia is our youngest. Her departure for college effectively marked a transition for her and us, as she set out to begin an independent life of her own.
The morning following the concert, I sat in warm sunshine on a bench outside the Holiday Inn Express in Littleton, Colorado, jotting down some thoughts for a letter I planned to slip into Julia’s suitcase. Fathers rarely refrain from offering advice, as daughters know all too well!
Recently, I found my notes from that day while cleaning out some files.
I thought I might share them to remind myself to live up to my own advice.
A Father’s Advice, September 15, 2005
1. Be conscious, but not self-conscious. Be concerned for others but true to yourself.
2. Accept sorrows that always come. The reservoir that holds your tears was carved by gifts previously received.
3. There is good in everything bad, and bad in everything good. Recognize this, and understand you are free to choose your direction, but know there are consequences to what you choose.
4. Lean into discomfort. Growth requires that you break out of your shell.
5. Never worry. If an action can be taken, take it. If not, let it go.
6. Learn to be present. Emotional pain arises from re-opening past troubles or worrying about the future. Peace is found in the present moment.
7. Practice being the most positive and enthusiastic person you know. Good results always follow.
8. When under stress, no matter how busy you think you are, set time aside for strenuous exercise and inspirational reading. This is essential for life balance.
9. Seek out connections to positive, nourishing people. The best friends are those involved in causes greater than themselves.
10. Have fun. The next five years have the potential of being the best years of your life. (This is always true!)
That was my fatherly advice to Julia seventeen years ago.
What advice would you offer to a young adult today?
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