Maddie & Gracie,
As we discussed recently, do not be pressured into knowing exactly what you will do in the next few years, what college you want to attend, which profession you will aspire to, or how you want your life to exactly unfurl. Enjoy being a young person. Life moves so fast and we spend so much of our time worrying about the future that we do not take the time to enjoy where we are now and what is truly meaningful.
So what do I think is truly meaningful? People and the experiences enjoyed with people is what I think is truly meaningful. Friends, relatives, acquaintances - people whom you love, people that you want to build a friendship with, people who introduce you to new things and interesting experiences. Spend time building memories with people that help bring joy into your life, grant you perspective, help you grow personally, and teach you things about the world that you didn't know. Living in the present while looking periodically to the future allows you to take a step back every once in a while, when times are really very good, and mark the moment in your memory as a blessed time in your life.
Goals are important to have but, realize they are destinations to future places and being present in the “now” allows you to savor the journey. For now, your goals should be simple and somewhat vague – go to a college one day, find something that interests you with which you can support yourself, and have a lifestyle you enjoy. Kind of basic but, other than that, focus on making new friends, trying different hobbies, joining local interest groups, or participating in various sporting activities. Explore the world around you and enjoy these days as a young person because they only come around once in our life times.
Love you both always,