My Dearest Maddy,

As you head out into the big big world, I wanted to extend some personal life advice for you that may help you on your way.

Don’t CHOOSE failure, but don’t be afraid to experience it. The fear of failure is what keeps us from attempting to achieve our goals. But what people don’t understand is that failure teaches us how we can adapt and grow as individuals. Your failures are your teachable moments. You’ve heard me say that before but I’ll say it again. YOUR FAILURES ARE YOUR TEACHABLE MOMENTS.The iPhone wasn’t created in one prototype, and neither will you be so utilize life to take chances, make mistakes, and learn from them on how to improve.

Experience heartbreak at least once in your life. At some point in your life, you’ll hear the phrase, “There’s other fish in the sea.” What this means is there are other people out there if a relationship ends. Although moving on after a break up can be difficult, and in some situations it may seem like the world is ending…it’s not. Yes, mourn it, but also work to move on. There will never be a person in your life that makes life not worth living if they aren’t in it. And whatever you do…don’t do a rebound relationship. That will only end in a negative way.
Changing your course is OK. If you are going through a program, or working in a particular job, and you are having feelings that you don’t want to do that line of work anymore…then change. Statistically speaking, we change our careers an average of three times in our lives. Now, I said careers not jobs so you may change jobs several times in your life. If you are ever in a workplace that undervalues you, or is toxic in any way, then do not hesitate to leave. You should never have to put up with horrible and toxic bosses. NEVER!
Speaking of toxic…let’s talk about relationships. Now, I already mentioned moving on from heartbreak, but this piece of advice is about leaving a toxic relationship. Abuse, whether it be emotional, psychological, or physical, should never be tolerated on your end. If you feel you are in a relationship that is not satisfying you, do know that you have a choice to leave. If you tell your significant other that you will be leaving and they tell you that is not an option, then you need to contact your father and myself and we will help you handle it. We will get you safe and do what will be necessary to keep you that way. Love can be so tricky. You can be in the utter throes of it and not be aware of behaviors being done to you…but others may notice what you are not seeing. Listen. Just listen. If we see suspicious behavior happening, and we bring it up to you, please don’t ignore it. And don’t let pride get in your way of having a happy life. Don’t stay if the relationship doesn’t fit your needs. You will always have us as a support.
Your skin will be with you your whole life. Work to stay happy in it. You already give off a good body positive vibe, and I absolutely love that. Just keep that up no matter what you go through in life.
Success isn’t always about money. This is the big one people tend to focus on. Too many people in this world focus success on how much you make. I’m here to say that isn’t true. When you hear and watch people talk about the most influential people in their lives…the ones who believed in their abilities and supported them becoming who they are…it’s usually a teacher or social worker or volunteer they reference. Do you know what all of those influences have in common? They don’t make a shit ton of money. I measure success as the difference you can make in the lives of others. That’s free. Success can also mean that you are just surviving life because damn, life is pretty fucking hard. If you wake up every day and make it to sunset, you’ve been successful for another day and that’s pretty special. So when you’re looking to make a living and want to be seen as “successful”, try to be a success with what you’re doing rather than how much you’re making.
Your struggles have a purpose. Value them. Your life will need its measuring points. What we call our “lowest points”. Not to be seen as cringed memories, but moments where life didn’t actually work out how you planned. And most of the time it won’t go as you planned. But look back on the times that didn’t work to help support your love for the moments that do work out. With no appreciation for the lows, there can be no love for the highs.
Life really is like a roller coaster. Make sure your safety bar is secure. There will be drops, loops, screams, speed, and the short pauses for you to catch whatever breath you can before ascending up for another drop, loop, whirl moment. You won’t always get to control the ride you’re on, but you can control how the ride makes you react.
Don’t feel like you HAVE to have children. I’m giving this piece of advice based solely on society’s perception that women need to have children. If you want to have them, that’s your choice. If you don’t want to have children, I support your decision 100%. Women shouldn’t feel like becoming a mom is something they have to do. Although…it is pretty fucking amazing. And stressful, but more amazing lol. It’s your choice. Remember that!
Your parents will always love you unconditionally. Unless you try to kill us. Then I’d have to re-examine this. Just saying.
And lastly…don’t ever date/marry a Cowboys, Raiders, or Dodgers fan. Just don’t. 😉
Before I officially sign off, I want to leave you the graduation video we put together for you.
Maddy’s Graduation Video class of 2021
I love you bunches and am so proud of you. May you enter this next chapter in your life knowing you have the support and a village behind you.