I’m ashamed to say this was my response to my youngest daughter when she informed me last October that she wanted to pursue a career of study in “Communications.” She insisted: “Writing is my thing, Mom—you know that—I thought you would be happy.”
Initially, I was supportive, though not overjoyed. Was writing just a hobby for her or a true passion she could hang a career on? My child, my legacy, wanted to follow in my footsteps; she wanted to pursue what is clearly in her genetics and become a writer. Over the next six months, the idea slowly grew on me. I remembered the passion I felt in 10th grade (the same age as my daughter is now) when I realized it was writing that inspired me.
But questions remained: What do I tell my daughter about this incredibly complex, exciting, creative, rewarding profession that I chose? How do I tell her that she will have to “pay her dues” … that she may need to take that lateral move now to move up later, that she will need mentors along the way to guide her, that learning from those that report to her is as important as learning from those that she’ll report to? How do you make a 16-year-old understand that it is in the “doing” that you learn, fail, and succeed? Then, finally, how do I ready her for the inevitable: that change is as constant as the rising and setting of the sun and, as a communicator, she’ll be asked to face it over and over again and help those around her excel when confronted with it.
So, as I lingered somewhere between pride (in my daughter) and procrastination (what advice could I impart just now?), I thought about the simple things … the foundation, the things that remain true even after 28 years as a communicator:
I remember now … the signs were there all these years. You wrote plays at the age of five. Made your cousins and sister read from your scripts at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Wrote letters to me. Am I happy about your career announcement? Darn right, and proud, too. I get to share my greatest passion with you, my youngest daughter. I consider that a gift. Nothing left now but to watch your talents and passion unfold, daughter. Go do it!
Author: Danielle MacDonald