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#1864: Willa Cather to Elsie Cather, September 4 [1941]

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My Dear Elsie1;

I am leaving for New York3 in a few days, and when I get back to my typewriter I shall try to answer your long letter. But no one can help you make your choice in the matter of your future residence, because it is entirely a matter of personal feeling and not of material advantage. No one can tell what you really want to do—except yourself! Meanwhile, there is no need for you to act hastily. You are confronted by two alternatives, and neither is very dreadful or very final. Indeed, both have their advantages, you say. You have been wise enough to take a year's vacation, and in that time you will probably see more clearly what you really wish to do.

People are always a little frightened when they drop step out of the routine and contemplate change. I was very n nervous when I left the Allegheny High School4 for New York, and again when I left5 McClures magazine6 to write "Alexander's Bridge."7 If one wants to try a new a way of life, one can try it without burning all the bridges behind.

Meanwhile, get all you can out of your vacation and live life from day to day. Plans seldom work out as well as one expects—at least I have found that the case. I hope the Nebraska8 autumn has begun, and that you are getting rest and pleasure from it.

Lovingly W.