My daughter turns 17 today.
I can’t give you any advice.
At 17 I knew nothing. At 21 I knew a tiny bit more. At 25 I knew less. At 40 I disappointed everyone. At 47 I was shattered. At 48 I am happy again.
What have I learned from it all? Nothing, Nothing at all.
I remember one time a company I started was presenting at a booth in Cannes. I got there early before the conference opened that day.
I decided to grab a coffee and some of those pastries that the euros are known for. Those little sandwiches everyone eats while standing up.
Walking out of the conference hall I was struck like a clock. The sun rising in Cannes. The boats locked right off shore.
I couldn’t believe the beauty. Like a postcard that god sent to me.
I sat there and sipped my coffee and couldn’t believe what story had drifted me to this shore. What a miracle.
When I got back to the booth, all of our equipment had been stolen. Computers, books, demos. I felt really bad. It was my fault. My sister and brother in law blamed me. It was awful.
Miracles turn into awful very quickly in our world, my sweet one. And, with effort, the reverse applies also.
There’s no advice. One friend of mine, says “read a lot of books”. Another friend of mine says, “travel”. Another friend of mine says, “take care of your body so you can live a long time.” Another friend says, “family first”.
Let me say, this is all good advice.
But every day you will find forks in the road. Take whatever you want. Be whoever you want.Change every day. Don’t find purpose. Don’t find a goal.
It will find you.l It will grasp you and kiss you. And sweep you in it’s arms and throw you into the air and catch you and you will smile and laugh and feel love.
It doesn’t matter what tomorrow brings. Just explore.
Always remember that in order to find yourself, first you have to get a little bit lost.
Get lost, my little 17 year old. And when I’m dead and when you’re old and sick and your grandchildren are holding your hands and crying, please tell them this message from me: get lost fast, get lost often, get lost and scared.
Get lost every single day. Lose yourself. Disappear.
Only when you are lost, can you find things; And one day you too will be old and your ancestors wil be memories. Just like you, my sweetest love.
The one person who caused me to be so lost I never found myself ever again And I hope I never will.