Dear Steinbeck

“If you are in love, that’s a good thing – that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.”

-John Steinbeck

In 1958, author John Steinbeck wrote a letter to his teenage son on how to navigate falling in love for the first time. In a nutshell, he told his son to go for it.

People don’t write letters anymore, and that’s a shame. I would have loved some guidance when I was young and falling in and out of love, many times over. I don’t have a child, but I love to give advice. So humor me, and accept my letter to all you young lovers out there.

Dear lovers,

Spring has arrived, and can’t you just smell the salty sweetness of love in the air? You may be young, but your heart is ready for this. There will only be one first love, so don’t hold back.

Surrender to it, and let it wash over you like a wave. At first it may knock you over, exciting your skin with a shocking chill. But you will acclimate to it, and it will feel warmer with each passing day.

There will be ups and downs, twist and turns, but that’s all part of the fun. If you ride it out, there may be a profound, albeit fleeting, moment of awe when you realize that life is breathtakingly beautiful and you are part of something greater than you ever imagined.

And then, things may get rough. You may get tossed around, or held down, or lost. The key is not to resist. Keep moving forward and you will find your way out.

And eventually, you may find yourself washed up; shivering alone and exposed. Now is the time to pick yourself up and stand on your own, until you are ready to dive back in. When that day comes, race in with open arms. Love has been waiting for you all along.

Enjoy the ride.


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