Dear Baby Sister-
How is it that it’s already been 18 years since I saw you for the first time?? Which means, by default, that 18 years of MY life is already gone in the blink of an eye *panicked look* But I digress.
Graduating is an awesome yet 100% terrifying time of your life. You are SO SO SO ready to leave home, yet since home is the only place you’ve truly belonged for 18 years, it’s completely terrifying to totally let go.
When you go to a rock climbing gym for the first time, you inch your way to the top, finding handholds and slipping occasionally but slowly, surely, you inch your way to the top. Which feels completely satisfying and there is a huge sense of relief and pride. BUT THEN, you realize that the climb was actually the easy part—now, you have to LET GO OF THE WALL and TRUST that the rope is going to catch you.
Let go. When you are 40-odd feet in the air. Dangling. Swaying. Blue mats faaar below.
Let me tell you…this is TERRIFYING. And if you don’t push away from the wall fully, you might end up with a giant knee bruise from whacking into the nobs (not speaking from personal experience here at all…).
But the beauty of it is, when you finally work up the courage and the trust in what’s holding you, you push away, swing into the air, scream, and then float magically down to the ground and…you’re fine.
No heart attacks.
No broken bones.
And then you go find another wall to climb. And another. And another. And each time it gets a little bit easier, and (dare I say), a little more fun.
And so, baby sister, this is the best advice I can give you: trust your rope. Trust it enough to fully push away from this first wall that you have been climbing and clinging to for the past 18 years. Trust it enough to know that no matter how hard or strong you push the wall away, the rope is always attached at the top, and it will always bring you back safely to the things that matter most.
There will be times when the next wall seems way too hard. Too steep. Too spread out. Too tall. And maybe sometimes you will fall halfway up the wall and have to start over. But you will never fall hard enough to break your spirit because your rope is strong enough to catch you every. single. time.
Sometimes you might think that the rope is an inconvenience. It gets in the way of the handholds, or chafes a bit on your arms or legs. But those minor inconveniences are a small price to pay for the pure knowing that no harm will come to you if you are strapped in.
You see, the rope should give you the courage to explore the furthest reaches, smallest nooks, and darkest crannies. You should relish taking risks because at your starting point, you have a safety net that comes from the highest quality love can buy.
So please, baby sister, push away from the wall. Shove it as hard as you can and embrace the fall that will take you to your next vertical challenge. Don’t cling to the top. Don’t sit out on the side. Love every single second of this amazing, crazy thing called life, and don’t be afraid to explore far away from where you started. Not all those who wander are lost, and not all those who push off are pushing away. You know in your heart you will always be connected, so be brave: push boundaries and leave the safety of the ground.
Trust your rope, baby sister…and dare to love the climb.