living my best life | an open letter to myself

 

do not choose the lesser life.

do you hear me.

do you hear me. 

choose the life that is. yours.

the life that is seducing your lungs.

that is dripping down your chin.

–nayyirah waheed

Dear Abbey,

Don’t let anything hold you back. In you, I see the dancing flames of a burning fire. I see a woman who still has a bit of “girl” left in her. Who still has that run-around-the-yard-barefoot-and-play-tag kind of heart. Who still wants to stay outside until her mom says it’s time to come in. Who wants to sweat off all her makeup dancing in the bar. Who wants to pick up and go and sleep in tents and hotels and anywhere other than home because for you, home is anywhere the adventure is so long as the person you love is next to you.

But Abbey, don’t let money control the outcomes of your dreams. People experience the world in all sorts of ways. Not everyone with a story got it because they had money. Not everyone who saw the world did so because of a thick wallet. But Abbey, in you I see gratitude. Someone who wants to see the world, who dreams of mountains and foreign lands and big cities and skydiving and backpacking and flying but someone who admires the beauty around her and soaks in every mini adventure she finds. Someone who lights up just driving to Cleveland, Ohio or finding a new trail to hike or somewhere abandoned because it means wandering away from home. Someone who will create an adventure if the moment does not do it for her. I see a girl who skinny dips in the pool with her friends and goes off the path to kiss her boyfriend behind a tree and camps in her backyard while making up silly songs on the guitar and plays made up games in the car and takes advantage of quality backdrops and picks up every leaf and wildflower that speaks to her. I see someone who is grateful every time she crosses city and state lines let alone leaves the American border.

But Abbey, don’t let fear keep you from living the life that liberates you. Don’t be so afraid of danger that you don’t move to the cities you dreamed of. Don’t be so afraid of death that you don’t jump out of the plane. Don’t be so afraid of divorce that you don’t get married. Don’t be so afraid of how it sounds that you don’t sing out loud every chance you get. Don’t be so afraid saying the wrong thing that you don’t let your tongue speak for your mind. Don’t be so afraid of not conforming that you don’t let your natural hair fly wild, listen to your indie music, and wear the clothes that express your true colors. Because Abbey, you don’t conform, and you have never perfectly fit into a box. Liberate yourself. Liberate your soul. Liberate every part of you that’s unconventional and non-practical and childlike and freeing because if it makes you happy, it’s worth it because you are worth it. Don’t put a tag or a ‘what-if’ or a ‘but’ on your liberation. Don’t compromise your youth and your authenticity for a life that doesn’t satisfy you. For a life that pays the bills but puts your soul in debt.

Live the life that is yours. The one that swells your heart. The one that challenges you, drives you, and embraces you even if not at first. You may have regrets but that’s okay because that at least means you went for something. You did something without thinking and sometimes that’s okay. It’s okay to have regrets because they’ll steer you in the direction of better adventures. But if there is one regret you can avoid, it’s not living your best life. Kiss him if you want to kiss him even if not doing so would prove a point. Spend the money if it’ll provide you with experience, you’ll sort the logistics out later. Take a walk if you want to, you can stay up late to finish your homework. Drive even if you don’t know where you’re going. Don’t let yourself be stuck. Live many lives in one.

Cry. Laugh. Scream. Smile. Spin. Dance. Fall. Nap. Run. Twirl. Drive. Have sass. Make art. Learn. Create. Take risks. Climb trees. Hug. Kiss. Vent. Flaunt your style. Sing out loud. Be.

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