Subconscious belief that there is a line you cannot cross -a line that separates the realistic from the impossible- is what keeps talented people from achieving success. If you want to write the great American novel, star in a Tom Stoppard play, or be point guard for the Sparks, just research the usual steps needed to do those things, then embark upon the journey. Whether you succeed or not will be based on your talent, not your drive; that’s respectable.
You will have many opportunities to savor these experiences at the family farm.
Dances, campfires, and archery: It’s independence without responsibility.
Get off your butt and lend a hand. Providing active service helps others and makes your life richer. Clear the table, water the plants, cook dinner, babysit: I can’t explain exactly why, but I promise that you will feel incrementally better about yourself and your life every single time you get up and do something for someone else.
You are luminous and resplendent. You are rapturous and incandescent.
Yet death is inevitable. Mourning invites magical thinking; you may wonder what you might have done differently to alter what has happened, whether a person would still be alive if you had only loved better or more. Your love can’t keep death at bay, my daughter. But it can comfort you. There is nothing more I can say about grieving; you just grieve.
Just go! Go visit your Peace Corps friend volunteering in Guatemala; go wear a fancy dress to the Daytime Emmys; go chat with the boys at the Ghanaian Soccer Academy benefit. When you get an invitation to do something out of the ordinary see it as a little microcosm of life’s possibilities and say “yes,” even if you’re tired, nervous, or uncertain. At least when you’re older, you’ll be able to reflect on your adventures, instead of regretting shiny bubbles of opportunity that floated away while you were moored to the couch.