Work and the Pendulum of Man
Dearest Daughter -
Aside from the fact that you are almost not a full fledged human being with emotion, response, joy, love, sadness, crocodile tears, and anger - you are also one day going to ask yourself, "What should I do for a living?"
Well - in your teens - when you're probably realizing this for the first time - you'll think... I'm good at X - I guess I'll do X. I used to think I was a good baseball player and a good writer. In actuality I was mediocre at best. The baseball part I actually worked at but the writing part - I thought that since my Dad was some sort of writer that I could be one too. Wrong. Writing is hard... and I didn't school myself enough to do it professionally... and thank God - writers don't make any money.
But - if you say to yourself I want to do X. Then that's what you do - but don't half ass it. Don't mess around. Do it. Do it as hard and as far and as passionately as you can because that's the only way you'll ever find out if it's real. That's the only way you'll ever say, "Yes! This has legs. This is something I can do." If you don't do that - if you don't work hard at your passions you are going to find yourself in a world of excuses and be at the will and whims of others. Much like your father is now.
I love my job. I love the people I work with. But that's mostly due to conformity and responsibility and some strange Quaker work ethic that I've managed to foster over the years. In actuality - I should be working for myself. I should be making something with a team of people that will last the ages. I should be improving people's lives. I should be creating wealth for our family. Instead - I'm at the whim and effort of others to do those things - and that is a precarious situation to be in.
Don't get me wrong. I am moderately successful. I can say that with full grace. Your father is relatively self-made. I was afforded some advantages and your Grandmother sacrificed to give me an education and socail background that resulted in stability and good examples but for the most part - I had no leg up. I had my brain. I had some courage. And I had the desire to say, "I can do that." Most of the time I was lying - but one way or another I figured it out.
However, I never really found my passion - well not yet. I'm only 33. But... at 33 you seem to realize that life may be getting away with you and your margin for error has shrunk to the point where there can be almost no risk. Your energy is depleting. Your ideas are formed archaically instead of in a reactionary way and there you sit like a wash cloth hoping someone doesn't throw you away.
Your life - your early life. The life you will probably have if you ever get to reading these and understanding them should be built around your passions. Take them as high and as far as you can. Be an expert in your passions. Be the best that you can be.
And just to let you know - my job is to support you. My job is to make sure you never have to say, "Well - I mean... I would have but my parents didn't have enough money... or they couldn't figure it out with me." My job is to eliminate those obstacles for you - the same way your Grandmother tried to do that for me.
All my love,