I just heard that you are about to graduate ninth grade and I thought I’d take a moment to write you a letter to let you know some of the lessons I learned along the way. Life is full of many things, happiness, sadness, friends, enemies, successes, failures, loves, loves lost, and much more that comes in between. You will learn to take the good with the bad. You will learn to love. You will learn to laugh. Most importantly, you will learn that the single most important thing in your life will be for you to find happiness. Sit back and enjoy the ride, it keeps getting better.
In a few months you will go to high school. In many ways it will, well, lets just say it, it will suck. You feel awkward in every outfit you put on, you will never know what the right thing to do or so will be, you will fight with your sisters everyday. You will throw parties and go to parties and you will test every limit you possibly can. You will fall in love and then fall right out of it. You will get your heart broken. You will find lifelong friends you will never know how you lived without. You will lose friends. You will love your parents, you will hate your parents, you will need your parents. You will understand life and death and how quickly things can change. Relish in it. Take your time. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Hug your family. Study for your tests.
College will be a bit of a blur. For many reasons. It goes so fast. One minute you are walking into a dorm and setting up your matching bed comforter with your new roommate and then next minute you will be turning your tassel and tossing your cap. You will learn responsibility. You will lean on your sisters. You will become your own person right before your eyes. You will know what it means to be proud of yourself. You will cry your eyes out the day you leave college and head back to your home town because you have no idea what you are going to do next. You will have no idea when you will find a job or even what job you want to have. You will realize it all really does matter. Take your time. No, he really isn’t worth it. Yes, she really is just trying to look after you. Yes, they really are going to miss you when you move out. No, you really aren’t ready to do it on your own but do it, jump in with two feet and don’t look back because yes, it will make your stronger.
You will find your favorite quote becomes, “Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much.” Keep it in your heart, one will follow the other. Life is all about second chances. You need a rehearsal to know whats going to work, what won’t, the exact place you should stand, and the parts to leave out. Trust yourself. Believe in yourself. Listen to your gut. Take chances. Dance. Most of all find your happiness.