It’s okay that I’m a paradox. It’s okay that I don’t fit inside a box. It’s okay that the beginning of this post rhymes, and the rest isn’t going to. For most of my life, I thought it was about the box. The labels. I gave them to myself and to other people in order to make the world feel safer. But it didn’t work…you see, it wasn’t authentic. Because humans aren’t robots. We are ever-changing, aging, growing, evolving beings that are all too complex for the nonsense we were brainwashed to believe. That somehow there was an “American dream”…a “one size fits all”…one path…one journey…one staircase we would all climb that would lead each and every one of us to a sure destination.
I am not suggesting that we be flaky. That is actually one of my biggest pet peeves. Being out of the box doesn’t mean we leave standards behind…I hold those close. No, we cannot just have our cake and eat it to. Yes, our choices matter. They carry weight. And they will be weighed whether you like it or not, so choose wisely and use discernment prior to stepping onto that scale. But our cake doesn’t have to be flavorless. Life is about zest. Beautiful, chaotic, boring, joyful, exciting, messy, magical, surprises. Our fragile bodies recreate themselves every six months. Things die, cells leave and new ones enter. The person you were in October 2015 is not the person you are today. Don’t freak out. Rest in that for a moment.
I’m not type-A. I’m also not all over the place. I want love. I want adventure. I want the city. I want nature. I want silence. I want to be alone. I want company. It’s okay that I want to make music and sing but don’t want people to look at me while I do it. I want the moon AND the sun. Because they are both light. If we are chasing light, we are still seeking authenticity, friends.
I know who I am, and I know who I am not. It’s just not a puzzle that always fits perfectly. It isn’t a grid. My spirit is more of a river, I think. It changes pace at times, but always knows where it’s going. Flowing. Pure. Cleansing.
Make space for all these paradoxes to be equally true inside your soul, and I promise, you can make anything. Calm down now and get back to work, okay? The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.
It’s okay if it doesn’t all add up and make perfect sense in your head right now. Furthermore, it’s okay if it doesn’t make sense to those looking inward at the life you are so freely cultivating.
As Elizabeth Gilbert says, “Be the weirdo who dares to enjoy.”
Breath and enjoy the process today, sweet human. Your art is hungry for it. Your heart is beating for it. Each and every facet of your being is there for a reason, and it’s your perfect and unique balance of contradictions and imperfections that will create the masterpiece no one else is capable of. It’s your life.
“Recognizing that people’s reactions don’t belong to you is the only sane way to create. If people enjoy what you’ve created, terrific. If people ignore what you’ve created, too bad. If people misunderstand what you’ve created, don’t sweat it. And what if people absolutely hate what you’ve created? What if people attack you with savage vitriol, and insult your intelligence, and malign your motives, and drag your good name through the mud? Just smile sweetly and suggest – as politely as you possibly can – that they go make their own fucking art. Then stubbornly continue making yours.” -Elizabeth Gilbert