Dear Isabella, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
One day you’re going to look back at this letter and think, “Wow, dad, you wrote that in 2023! That was so long ago!” But I hope the words I wrote you in this letter are just as true 30 years from now as they are when I wrote them. I want to share with you a few “secrets” to life that I hope to teach you as you grow.
First, let me start this letter by telling you how excited I am to be diving into a new year with you. For my entire life people have told me how quickly time passes you by but I never appreciated how true that was until I started to watch you grow.
In three short months you will be two years old and it feels like yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time. I still get chills thinking back to that day. I still get chills every time I look at you. You and your mother took my breathe away the day you were born and the truth is, you both continue to take my breathe away every single day.
Every memory we make together becomes my most prized possession.
The truth is, as you grow older you too will realize how quickly time passes you by and that is why I wanted to start writing you these letters so early in life. If time passes us by so quickly, why wait teach you some of life’s most valuable lessons?
So here we go. Here are four of your daddy’s secrets to life that I hope you’ll carry with you forever…
Number 1: Happiness is a choice.
Some people make finding happiness in life harder than it needs to be. Sure, as you grow, life gets harder. There will be points in your life where you experience hardship or you will have responsibilities that require some of your time and focus, but that should never force you to give up making the choice to be happy and to live a life that brings you true happiness.
As a young girl not even two yet, all you know is how to do what makes you happy and that fills my heart with joy seeing you do what makes you smile. I will do everything in my power to make sure that smile never goes away but you’ll need to fight to keep that smile too princess.
Making the choice to be happy might get harder as you grow older but it will always be a choice. YOUR choice.
Number 2: If you have a dream, chase it. Don’t wait.
Don’t fall into the trap of waiting until January 1st each year to make a resolution or to set goals for your life. If you want something, start chasing it today. We don’t always have the same opportunities tomorrow that we have today so take advantage of the chances you have today.
Your papi used to tell your uncles and I growing up that, “Opportunity is like a sunrise, if you wait too long, you’ll miss it.”
Don’t miss your sunrise princess. Mommy and I will bring you as many opportunities as we can but it’s up to you to seize those that lead you through the life you want to live.
Take risks. Chase dreams. Set goals. Live life. And always know that mommy and daddy will forever be your biggest fans cheering you on as you go!
Number 3: Live your life to make memories, not money.
Memories last a life-time. Money will come and go. When I leave this earth, I hope people remember me for the memories I’ve made with them, not the money I left behind.
I urge you to focus on making memories as you grow up and to not spend your entire life chasing a dollar. Sure, you will have bills to pay one day and your mommy and I will teach you the value of money but mark my words princess, money will never be more valuable than the time you have on this earth. Use the time you have to make memories with those you love while living a life that makes you happy and the rest will figure itself out.
Finally, Number 4: What matters most is that YOU are proud of YOU.
Of course I will always be proud of you and proud to be your dad but what matters most is that you grow up learning how to be proud of yourself. I want to encourage you to grow up to be happy with who you see in the mirror. That’s the key to happiness in life – being proud of who you are and how you live.
I don’t want you to live your life trying to make me and mommy proud. I want you to live a life that makes you proud.
If you’re happy with who you see in the mirror, I’m happy.
I love you princess and I hope this letter proves valuable to you down the road in life. For now, I’ll read it to you like all of the others and keep it safe for you until you’re ready to read it on your own one day.
Happy New Year, Isabella Rose!