Saturday, January 9, 2010

To My Twenty Year Old

When I was twenty, the world was quite a different place.  No cellphones, no Internet, no twitter or Facebook or texting.  That was only twenty-seven years ago.  Twenty-seven short years.  Yet I can remember what it was like...The world was quieter then.  Much quieter.

You, my sweet Angel Daughter Number Two, you have grown up with the world and in doing so, you have been enabled with so many new advantages.  You live on your own in one of the nation's most beautiful cities.(although we still pay your bills:))  You attend an art school which is respected throughout the world as the best.  You have a clue, at the very young age of twenty, as to what you are going to be when you "grow-up".   You have familial support, friends, and a huge social network to cheer you on as you go.

But in addition to all of the advantages which you have grown up with, you also have lots of added stresses.  The world is so noisy, these days.  Over-stimulation is everywhere.  There is more pressure to perform and to perform at a level which at one time, in my time, was unheard of.  I mean, who knew that having a 4.0 GPA would no longer place someone at the top of their class in 2010?   Or that it would be necessary to be constantly in-touch, reachable, and available in order to succeed in business?  Or that if your life did not seem busier or more chaotic than someone else's, that you just are not working hard enough?

Oh my dear child, Daddy and I did not choose to raise you this way.  We did our best to instill the values of God, family and friendship into your life.  We fought hard against the pressures of peer pressure.(Yes, adults must deal with that, too.)  There were no team sports for you until high school, so that we would have weekends to spend together as a family.  There was no pressure to work up to somebody else's potential, only your own personal best.  We allowed you to run and play and laugh.  And yet the world, oh how the world has changed...

So as you enter another decade of your life, here is a list of things that I pray you will keep tucked away inside of your heart:

-Love always wins.

-Be courageous and always stand up to evil.

-Turn off the electronic devices when the ringing makes you crazy.  If people cannot get in touch with you in this exact moment, they will try again later.(I promise.)

-Exercise.  This is something that got you through your very active childhood.  You always had the need to move.  So start moving again.  Stretch, run, dance.  The natural release of endorphins will be the gift you receive.

-Let go.  Past relationships are just that.  History.  Don't feel that they must continue to be a part of your story.

-Listen to that small, still, inner-voice that tells you what to do, caution, or be.  It can be one of your truest allies.

-Listen to God, your angels, Uncle Robbie.  They will always be there to guide you if you allow them to.

-Stay creative.  There will be times when it will save your sanity.

-Understand that there are only about eight to ten people in this world who truly have your best interests at heart and treasure them.(Mom, Dad, your sisters, Pop-pop and Rita...)

-Remind yourself on a daily basis how lucky you are to have parents, a grandfather and sisters who take an interest in your life.

-Remain loyal to those few individuals forever.

-Be grateful that you were given a gift.  Never squander it or take it for granted.  Treat it with respect.

-Eat some vegetables:)

-Trust your own intuition.

-Take compliments.

-Don't take life so seriously.  There is plenty of time for that.

-Keep noticing the colors.

-Do not pollute your body with toxins.  Seriously.(see exercise.)

-Respect yourself.

And so my child, as I reflect upon your beautiful soul on your twentieth birthday, I must remind you of how incredibly special you are.  There is a light inside of you which makes others feel good about themselves.  You have the gift of being exceptionally lovely, while also being approachable and warm.  You make others want to know you, and in knowing you, they feel lucky.  That is a gift, sweet girl.  My Father(your Pop-Pop) once told me that I came across as the type of person who "people would always want to carry bags" for.  That is you, too.  Use it for good.  You have so much to look forward to, so much to achieve.

And whatever road you choose to take on this journey, you will always have a little team(and I do mean little, as we are mostly short people:)) to cover your back and lift you up.  Keep your inner light lit.

Happy birthday, Angel Daughter Number Two!!!  I love you.  Dad loves you.  Your sisters love you.  Life is good.


Laura ~Peach~ said...

Happy 20th Birthday AD2!~

jojo said...

Happy Birthday sweet Angel!! May your year be Blessed with much love and happiness...jj

Blue said...

was ever a lovelier tribute to a daughter penned? this was beautiful and vivid. HB2UAD2!

jen said...

that is so beautiful. i love the one about only 8 to 10 people. some of us are still looking for half that number! she is truly blessed to have you for a mother. i needed to hear these things at 20. it still helps to hear them now - all grown up as i am!

Debbie said...

This list could get anyone through life! And a very happy birthday to your beautiful daughter.

Nina P. said...

Happy Birthday!! Angel Daughter 2. Your Mom has given some wonderful advice. Faith and Family are the foundation with Compassion and Love, sprinkled with Gratitude and forgiveness make a recipe for a full fun adventurous life. may your Birthday be filled with all the Love, Joy and Laughter Life has to offer. Blessings to you and yours. Love and Light, Nina P.

Irene Latham said...

Wishing AD2 a happy happy birthday, and to you, dear Deb: love as you go through all this court and related madness! Sending you all the loving vibes I can muster. xxoo

Laura Hegfield said...

Debbie, This is such a beautiful blessing for AD2...

Happy Birthday Sweet Angel...listen to your wise mother...she speaks deep truths...and as your Mother told you, LISTEN to your own intuition (aka the still small voice within)

gentle steps,

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

What a lovely post. Happy Birthday to your daughter.
I was just working on a post surrounding my daughters journey up toward her 13th.
I was happy to hear from you (twice), but I am doing alright. Rough days lately, but I will weather the storm.
Peace to you and all those in your family.

rivergardenstudio said...

What beautiful prayers and thoughts for your daughter. What a wonderful age 20 is. Anything is possible! roxanne

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

...sweet post straight from a mothers loving heart. thank you so much for sharing and happy birthday! xo, mickey

jen said...

Hi Debbie,
If you'd like to have a look, I've written a blog post about The Garden of the Finzi-Continis. This story about an Italian Jewish family is so special to me.
Love, jen

miruspeg said...

Deb how did you become soooo wise!
You really rock sweet angel.

I wish I was given a list like this when I was 20. Still it is never too late. I am going to print them out and read them regularly.

Today I am going to practise these two:

-Let go. Past relationships are just that. History. Don't feel that they must continue to be a part of your story.

-Listen to that small, still, inner-voice that tells you what to do, caution, or be. It can be one of your truest allies.

Take care and may you always be surrounded by love and light and if you aren't just ask and I will send extra over to you.

Big hugs
Peggy xxxx

kim-d said...

Happy, Happy 20th Birthday, belatedly, Angel Daughter Two!

Like the rest of your family, you sound like you are a delightful, warm, lovely person. I think it would be an honor to know you. You certainly do not need me, a person that you don't know, to tell you this...but I'm going to anyway. Always, always listen to your Mom. She will always have your best interests in her heart, and she will never steer you wrong.

It is so true about the world you live in today. To be completely honest with you, I don't know how I would handle today's world if I was 20 years old. You have pressures that your Mom and I did not have. Especially me. I am 53 years old; not that much older than your Mom, but just enough that "my time" was even more laid-back than hers! All of the things your Mom said to you will serve you well not just now, but throughout your whole life!

Happy Birthday, belatedly, AD2. You have an amazing life ahead of you!

From one of your Mom's biggest fans, Kim :)

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