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Into the Unknown

A letter to my daughter about the future as we celebrate the start of a new year and new decade.

Dear Elida,

Today is the first day of a new decade. A decade where you will go from bicycling age to driving age. You will grow and learn so much, and I can’t wait to be a part of it. By 2030, you won’t be done growing, either. You’ll just be beginning, if my experience is anything like yours. Like Elsa in Frozen 2, we are taking our own journey into the unknown.

One of my favorite things to do with you is to go on adventures. We have done all kinds of fun trips, from climbing Beacon Rock to hiking at Latourell Falls. Remember seeing all the dogs on the trail? I think you took a picture of every single one.

We went to the Ape Caves in October of last year. Maybe you’ll remember but it was dark and kind of spooky. We had lights but we couldn’t see everything. After getting used to the dark and the limits of our lanterns and flashlights, we were able to get along just fine. We spent an hour and a half underground and explored 1.5 miles of cave. 

You told me you were a little scared but that you wanted to keep going. That’s definitely your approach to life at five and three-quarters years of age. 

There are a lot of similarities between our experience spelunking and looking ahead a full decade. It’s easy to be overwhelmed or to be unsure. Like I told you that day, it’s okay to be scared. 

What we can see ahead of us is very limited. I know we’ll have some laughs and some tears. I know we’ll have some hard times. I know some days will feel easy. But, I can’t predict what will come around the next bend. Sometimes, that would be a pretty nice skill to have. 

What I can tell you is that if you give the next ten years what you gave the last five, you’ll be better than good. You’ve grown into an amazing little girl. You give me courage to step into the unknown like you do: Forging ahead, full of energy, even if I don’t always audibly share my self-doubts and fears like you so transparently do. 

2020 is going to be a great year and you’re a big reason why. Let’s take on this year like we did the last. 

Love,

Dad

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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