The black and faded grey asphalt of I-95 southbound leads straight into the sunset. Trees on the interstate edges cascade from bare brown to hunter green with the passing of each new state. A free, soothing feeling comes back to me, … Continue reading
Beautiful new year’s mercies from my writer friend Majo Aldana. She writes at Quedamos los que puedan sonreir. Her original post “Let’s Have More/Tengamos Mas” can be found here.
Let’s have more / Tengamos más
Have you looked at the stars lately? A sunset, a sunrise? Maybe at some kids playing at a fountain or a field? Have you looked at your hands, your eyes? Have you felt your heartbeat?
This 2015, instead of or in addition to (whatever your preferences) the new year’s promises and resolutions, simply decide to have more.
for others and yourself.
be it in tears, dances in the rain or snow fights.
to savor in your mouth, to share with others and realize where it came from.
in the form of sunshine, knowledge
or simply in the company of others that share theirs.
from hugging a tree, talking to your grandparent about life
or enjoying a kiss or a hug.
to live well and more presently,
making sure you are contributing to others’ well being in some way.
from flowers, music or travel.
More smiles, more questions, more… Let’s have more.
Looking forward to “more” with you this 2015.
Thanks for reading.
It started with friends coming over for a post-New Year’s party featuring a dream wall that everybody signed with goals, hopes, and dreams for 2014 and beyond. We each happily began our year, friends coming back throughout the months that ensued to check off items, scratching out a few that didn’t stir our hearts anymore, and adding new ones along the way, because we are ever changing, and true dreams recognize the wind and waves to move with you, not against you.
Right now, I can only tell you my journey of those winds and waves this year.
It went a little something like this:
I found my people.
Together we biked down city streets at night cheering at the top of our lungs so free. We climbed trees, played ukuleles in each other’s backyards, square danced, and laid under stars together. We told stories, shared struggles, asked bigger questions, stepping away from black and white into grey, yellow, neon green, and those hues Crayola has yet to codify.
I celebrated firsts.
My first jellyfish sting.
My first skinnydipping on Playa Flamenco, a beach on the island of Culebra. And it was everything I thought it would be until a second jellyfish stung me and I ran out of the late night water screaming, forgetting to cover my parts.
I fell in love.
Not in the traditional romantic sense.
But with the Earth, animals, and humanity.
I fell in love with chickens, experiencing the joy of chicken farming and that tingly happy feeling you get when you cuddle a chicken.
I fell in love with the night sounds and the warm breeze that wafts into your tent as you fall asleep with the window unzipped.
I fell in love with a city that grew me up into maturity.
Then I moved cities, far away enough to seize an irresistible new opportunity for growth, but close enough to come back and sit on its docks in total silence feeling like I just had the best conversation in the world.
I settled into a new house with roommates from India and Canada.
I left a job and began a new one.
I changed perspectives.
I judged certain people and realized the ways in which I am every bit as much of a contributor to the problem as part of the solution.
I defended myself silly until I learned to stop pining for my opinion to receive external validation.
I went pescatarian, and at the end of this year, watched a man reel in a fish that bled profusely as he removed the hook, making full-on vegetarian one of my 2015 goals.
I ditched make up. For good. And don’t feel guilty about the times I whip out tinted sunscreen under my eyes after late night writing binges.
There were tough calls, hard breaks
An ended relationship like a fissure with jagged edges
That ended more beautifully than I could have ever imagined.
I developed confidence. Developed it by forcing myself to tell others about my book idea-turned-into-action. And I kept telling others even after I received discouraging feedback in an encounter that left me so embarrassed, I ran out of a conference room and cried in the bathroom. Then I gave myself a pep talk, walked out the bathroom door, and the next day, told triple the amount of people I’ve ever told in a single day.
I developed it by openly disagreeing with others, stating my opinion, and making my voice heard. There was that work meeting where a man interrupted me and I said flatly, “I wasn’t done speaking yet,” without even a second thought about holding back.
Felt afraid of riding my bike for the first time as I rode in an ambulance to the ER with a friend who got hit on a training ride. I felt afraid after getting hit by a car on my morning commute, grateful for how minor it was. I felt afraid of training rides with a new team after there were three weeks in a row of accidents. I felt resilience as I rode and trained anyway. I felt freed after I reached out to female cycling friends once I realized just how afraid I became, and was met with encouragement and understanding. I felt joy as I had more and more God-its-good-to-be-alive mornings on my bike, my freedom machine, my Big Blue. The kind of mornings that make you stand up on both pedals and say, “Weeeeeee,” biking fears replaced by biking bliss.
I gave myself the permission I never needed.
Permission to not have kids. Permission to reduce my triathlon training in exchange for pursuing creative endeavors. Permission to not have to feel productive all the time, instead spending an hour capturing the sunset through my camera lens from a third story window.
I wrestled. With seemingly everything.
Marriage. God. Myself. Gender. Anything with one too many question marks. Privilege. Food justice. Bike parts. The back door lock. Academia. The front door lock. The US political party system. Women- only spaces. Mouse traps. Death. The future. The past. And the length of this paragraph.
Learned from friends who live in Rwanda what it was like to grow up during the genocide. And then, I learned about the peace and reconciliation process of Gacaca, moved as my friend told me, “People think Rwanda’s story is about genocide. But what they don’t know is ours is a story of forgiveness.”
I learned that perhaps if we aren’t experiencing joy in our lives, it’s because we’re not creating it. And with that, I stopped at a waterfall that I used to zoom past every day on my way to work. Stopped to take pictures. Stopped to close my eyes so that I could solely focus on my sense of hearing- hearing that thundering waterfall sound with a few birds chirping in the background. And I would make sure to do this again when it snowed and again when it thawed until the only thing that stopped this newly adopted morning routine was moving away.
I spent money.
On a new racing bike, a Specialized Alias, feeling only one twinge of guilt over the cost before smashing it to the grindstone, remembering that privilege guilt doesn’t actually create systemic change, and that part of my triathlon passion is not just the joy of the sport, but in challenging gender norms.
I spent it on airfare to Puerto Rico, where I timbered trees with a WOOFer from Czech Republic who’d sing the words of Ke$ha everytime the tree fell: “It’s going down, I’m yelling timber…”
I interviewed people. Interviewed women in their 80s, 90s (including my 93 year old grandmother) and even 100s, on their lives, asking hard questions, receiving even harder answers. I interviewed men regarding gender dynamics, and walked away with full reality of male privilege but completely excited about allyship and creating spaces for women and men to talk about the messages we face daily but often don’t bring up.
I let go.
Let go enough to be silly and join strangers-turned-friends in giving out free hugs at the Farmers Market.
Let go enough to dance on a street corner to “Jump on it” with a woman who was homeless.
Let go of the cradle-to-grave life itinerary I used to demand and took on a one year global health fellowship. I have no idea what I’ll do when it’s over in 7 months. But never the matter. I’ve let go. And choose to believe it will all work out.
Laughed as friends and I sledded, saucer-ed and snowtubed down a staircase-turned-snow ramp during the polar vortex, bombogenesis, snowmageddon that was winter 2014.
Laughed as my dad told me stories about his life “BC” (before children)
Laughed at myself as I mispronounced bike parts and for the first time, it didn’t sting; the need to prove myself as a competent women replaced by need for humor and grace.
Stopped going to Church.
At least the one that meets on Sunday mornings in pews, instead experiencing the kind of Church that happens when you’re about to go into your house but something catches you outside, urging you to sit on the porch ledge and ponder the Pleiades until your gaze becomes a wordless prayer as you experience the intimacy of God like one thousand choirs filled with sacred song.
I stopped filling journals with worries and instead, created “memories I don’t want to forget” pages, trying to capture experiences that leave my mind all too quickly.
And as quickly as it started, so quickly it’s ending.
Benjamin Franklin, looking at a painting of a sun that artists found difficult to decipher as a rising or setting sun, once said, “But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is indeed a rising and not a setting sun.” The coda to this year may end with 11:59:59 on the clock, a few dim stars in the winter air, about to be blasted with fireworks. But in my heart is tomorrow’s sunrise, an invitation to not just a new day, but a new year. I can already peer into its apertures, knowing 2015 will bring another move, some wanderlust in Africa, my 10 year high school reunion, and lots of humble embraces with old and new friends. The dot-dot-dot ellipses of these 365 days ahead remain a mystery, but we’re about to fill pages with color, question marks and exclamation points.
Two thousand fifteen.
Let’s write the next first sentence in our stories that are ever changing, ever evolving,
forever living onward into a beautiful infinity.
So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification…. -Donald Miller
“And next month will be December!” I realized as the final minute of October 31st decrescendoed. I let the words hang in the air, a soft hug over the hundreds of still shot images of the beautiful and broken from the past 10 months flashing through my mind. Warm nostalgia crept over, soothing like a cup of chamomile tea easing me into slumber. It’s taken me a while to get to a place where I confidently say this, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m finally living the life I always imagined, and yet there’s a constant tug in my heart to keep letting go and re-creating, giving into fear just a few times less. Beginning the second to last month of the year brings me in touch with reality: that this year’s impending end is ever closer, and I flop on my bed with a journal to begin the treasured process of evaluating my year, knowing there’s still time to tick off my 14 for ’14 goals.
What is it about a waning year that causes us to both reach out and within? To become introspective, reaching deep inside the storehouses in our hearts that house love, joy, and possibly even regret, while in the very same breath, reaching out to friends and family in a spirit of giving more than any other time of year? Why do some months naturally evoke reflection or goal setting?
Flipping through my calendar tonight, the place I scribble quotes and song lyrics that stand out to me on particular days, the bulk of pages lie crinkled on the left, just a few thinning pages on the right. It’s here I realize the answer to my question lies in the provocative thinning page. If these pages could talk, they’d ask incitingly, “Will will you do while there’s still sand to run through the 2014 hourglass? What will you do while there’s still leaves available to fall freefall down from fading branches onto cool ground? What do you want to say on these last few pages?”
Because there’s something about this thinning page that dares us to go all out.
I’m sitting at the edge of my seat.
I feel like I’ve written that vulnerable message to someone near to me, cursor hovering over “send,” one click away from initiating that scary, deep, beautiful, unguarded conversation.
I feel like I’m back on the bridge I jumped off college graduation night in celebration, standing on the ledge, beginning to swing my hips forward into the direction of the dark nighttime water, half thinking, “Should I do this?” Half thinking, “Yessssssssssssss.”
I feel like I’m back on the airplane at 16,500 feet, the only thing moving me closer to the exit door being the instructor strapped tandem to my back.
I feel it.
I feel it.
And all that’s left to do is to to take that dreaded proverbial leap.
To follow through on the impetus to drive West until I reach some state sign I’ve never seen before.
To follow through on that impulse to message the people who cross my mind, without rationalizing how long it’s been since we last talked.
To sing aloud on my bike and around the house and out in public replacing fear of how I’ll sound with fear of missing out on joy.
To confidently call myself an author and move forward in creating my first book.
And so maybe you’re discovering the thinning page of your year, your decade (as I watch friends lament over turning 30, which I know we’ll look back on with laughter), or maybe even your life, as you reach ages you weren’t sure you’d ever see. But no matter what stage, your pages are thinning. All that’s left to do is to make the last few read a tale that’s got you hooked. And when we finish that last sentence to close the book on December 31st, I hope you’ll find yourself glancing upward at the fireworks with the friends and family you love, arms outstretched, blessed and strengthened by the richness of your last few pages, ready to write the next first sentence in your story that’s ever changing, ever evolving, forever living onward into a beautiful infinity.
1. Go pescatarian/flexitarian. Time to ditch the meat, save the chickens, eat more veggies, and ensure environmental sustainability. But if you invite me over for dinner, and you’ve already made a dish containing meat, I won’t turn it down. 🙂
2. Submit one piece of writing per month for publication.
3. Begin backyard chicken farming.
4. Get back into composting regularly.
5. Learn how to do three more bike skills (like replacing parts, etc.) A big thanks to Bearings Bike Project for helping me learn how to replace cantilever brakes last fall!
6. Do another Ironman 70.3 (come on Eagleman waiting list…)
7. Ditch make up… for good.
Last year I came close- 360/365- and now it’s time to amp up. Make up is a choice and there is no right or wrong, just a personal decision about what’s best for you. I decided not to because I’d rather spend my time and money on things that mean more to me, and I believe it can perpetuate the notion that women need to look beautiful in ways other than what’s inside.
8. Do mindfulness meditation for 2 minutes at least 4x/week
9. Visit my 93-year-old Grammie and interview her about her life.
10. Begin collecting letters for my first book project: Letters to Future Sisters of the World
11. Focus on reducing the amount of anxiety medication I take.
12. Go backpacking.
13. Visit at least two new states/countries.
14. Love Life. Be Brave. Play often. Forever and ever, Amen.
I have a fascination with New Years, which is one of the reasons why I mention it in posts during random months of the year. What I love about it most is the opportunity to both look back and look forward, as dichotomous … Continue reading
It’s been a shitty day, a shitty week… Hell, it’s been a shitty year,” a friend shared with me recently. “I’m just ready for a new year, a fresh start,” a patient solemnly disclosed to me. Isn’t it easy to … Continue reading
“It’s like those streams in the sky that airplanes leave when they fly,” I told him.
“What do you mean?” He asked.
I told him about a quiet summer day back when I was 17, lifeguarding at a mostly empty pool, deeming it safe enough to take a few moments to stare up at the sunny, blue sky instead of the one adult floating steadily on his back in a shallow pool. Growing up not too far from the Philadelphia International Airport, it was always easy to find a couple airplanes in the sky at any given moment. I counted all that I could see from my two little eyes- from the innermost tear duct, to the outermost corner of my eye just before sclera meets skin fold. There’s three; There’s four, I noted, continuing to count, only halfway through my inventory of the azure sky. But rather than counting, I found something else that caught my attention: the evaporation of those white, jagged, cloud-like lines that the planes leave behind. Turns out they’re called “contrails,” short for condensation trails. Contrails are formed when the water in jet exhaust meets the wet, cold air of the atmosphere at 30-some-thousand feet. Upon this collision of jet exhaust and moist air, the contrail condenses and freezes into ice crystals, making a thin cirrus cloud. How long these vapor trails remain in the sky depends on the temperature and humidity at the altitude of the contrail’s formation.* Regardless, whether seconds or minutes, slowly, the end tail will dissipate, showing no evidence that the plane was once hundreds of feet behind, in another position of the sky. Gone. Nothing you can do can bring those jet lines back.
It’s a lot like life, I realized that summer day on the lifeguard stand.
Now, I walk around each day with this strange, sickening sense that whatever I’m doing right now with my fingers, or whatever conversation I’m having with the person next to me, is just like those contrails, never able to be repeated in that specific place, time, and date. I go to bed each night, thinking about what happened since I left it this morning. I can’t remember half of it. What did I eat for breakfast, anyway? Did I tell my parents I loved them today? Yikes, did I really gripe in my head over who was the last one to discard the free newspaper full of ads that unwantedly finds itself on our sidewalk each week?
I feel like I walk around, and each moment is slowly evaporating, never to be tasted, touched, patted, embraced, changed, re-shapened, molded, or experienced, ever again, at least not in real time. There’s nothing I can do to bring back what happened 15 seconds ago. Whatever you’re doing, and I’m doing, right now, will change, in just a few short inhales, exhales, and blinks, almost imperceptibly, perhaps. But change it will. This hour will not last. This day will not last. This year will not last. And you too, no matter your age, will become old one day, perhaps if we’re lucky enough to see the rising sun on our one hundredth birthday.
We live life forward.
We look back on old pictures.
We try to remember.
Often, we forget.
That is, until Aunt Lou, or your college roommate, or your dear parents remind you of something. The still frame that they remember in their head.
Some funny thing you said.
Some detail you couldn’t recall.
Some bit of the scene that you didn’t quite remember, but now, upon provocation, comes forth, memory jogged by this person’s memories. This causes your heart to quicken and a smile to slide up your face, as though you were wearing lose suspenders, and now tightened them for a satisfying fit. You then chime in your memories of the new scene you now remember, your contribution to this mutual, shared memory.
But that’s it; that’s all they are now. These still photos.
We look at the past, and no matter what shade of awful we went through, we can now talk about the hard practice we survived as a high school varsity football player, singing about our glory days. Or that immensely intense triathlon race, that in the present moment, leaves you half miserable, in fervent longing for it all to be over, and yet, you keep running, half flooded with a bizarre energy that sustains your movement until a finish line tells you to stop, tells your endorphins to surge, and your heart rate to decelerate. Now that it’s over, and you’re re-visiting the experience as a memory, we’re glad these kinds of experiences were so hard. It makes us look like champions, looking at these still photos of our hard work in the comfort of our own home, heart rate relaxed.
We smile at the graduation pictures. Smile at the pictures of our parents, before they were our parents. We laugh at how silly we looked in our teddy bear vest on 5th grade picture day.
All of this leads me to wonder, awe, and melancholy over the mystery that is the passage of time.
I mourn it.
For all intents and purposes, that time is gone.
How is it that our minutes evaporate?
How is it that we can’t go back?
It’s like a locked door, with no key to open it.
We scratch our head, looking up for answers. Did it even happen? Did all of this even happen?
I yearn for yesterday’s moments all over again, from my morning bike ride commute, to the belly laugh that my roommate and I shared, as if to have one extra day of life. I want to re-experience the morning of April 4th, as I was about to embark on my flight to Portland for four days, a sojourner excited to interact with west coast folk. I want today, and I want the future, to enter in and out of each of these scenes with ease and possibility. No locked doors, just tall, open bay view windows, and a warm breeze to lull you in and out of the past and present, forward and back, back and forward. Any direction you chose, any moment you wish to re-experience again.
This lament over the passage of time is the same reason why I both weep a little each New Year’s Eve, recounting all of the events, new people and travel that took place over the course of these past 365 days; and in the same breath, the very same reason why just moments later, I beam my face into the moonlight of the dark January 1st sky at 12 AM, bright, optimistic, satisfied, hopeful. The people of the 1800s are dead now. They don’t get to have this moment, not here on Earth at least. The people who will one day be born in 2100 are just future zygotes, not here on Earth right now either. But you and me, we’re here right now. On the verge of something great, unprecedented and un-experienced. I stand hilltop, watching New Year’s early morning fireworks, just for one moment, wanting to cup the year securely and lovingly in my two hands, gently whispering to it: “It’s ok. Let go. You’re in a new year. You take with you all you learned last year, and years’ past. You’re lucky enough to see the aurora of a new year, a fresh calendar. It’s all there, right in front of you, untouched, like early dawn snow free of any human footprints. Yes, something wonderful is going to happen this year. Something hard will happen. Something unexpected will happen. But, perhaps, if you’re lucky enough, you’ll be here again in 365 days wondering where all this time has gone, each turning of the monthly calendar a mere contrail into the vast, bottomless vat known as the passage of time. So enjoy this moment of newness.” I un-cup my hands and spread them high over my head, a “namaste” to the night sky on the first of the year. Free, outstretched, fingers loose, winter air flowing in between each finger, I clamor for the power to hold onto every ephemeral moment.
It reminds me of family vacations at Rehoboth Beach as a kid. When I needed some solitude, perhaps after too much teasing from my older brother, or after I had enough of my sister’s wails as seagull after seagull snatched her Cheetos from her beach towel, I would plop myself on the shoreline, digging my feet into the cool, mushy sand. As waves pushed and pulled around me, my feet sunk deeper into the wet sand. Eventually, once satisfied with the proper dosage of introverted loneness, I’d step out of my footprint and watch the next wave take away a bit of it, footprint still mostly visible. And then another wave would come forth and retreat, taking away a pinky toe imprint along with it. And another wave followed, erasing another toe, and another, and so on, until that footprint was no more, washed away. Dissolved. Recycled by the ever constant flow of ocean wave. I’d then walk back to my sister’s towel, seagulls having moved on to some other child’s unattended snack, my brother now gone, having left the ocean for the pool, sick of the sand. Most of this afternoon was now gone. Soon, we’d seeing the last hours of our vacation, and head northbound up 95 back to PA, codifying each day’s activities, the highs and lows, so that one day we can look back on Family Vacation 1995 and actually have something to say.
And so the continuum of time proceeds, right off the reel.
Back to remembering and forgetting, lamenting, and praising our time on this planet.
I guess the good thing about getting older is you get to keep experiencing time, making new memories, printing out more pictures for your frames and refrigerator magnets. And maybe, just maybe, if all I’ve been taught about what happens when you die is true, I’ll realize that we never even had the proverbial hourglass of time. Or perhaps we did, but once all the grains reached the bottom, the hourglass automatically flipped itself to begin the release of sand grains all over again. It will keep on going infinitely, whether stored in my cognition, or flat out in front of me like a red carpet.
Time’s gone by. 26.5 years for me, in fact. The passage of time will never stop. But like contrails in the sky, I’ll keep on flying this girl high on an airplane into the unknown freedom of a blue sky, gripping every minute in gratitude, lament, joy, life transcendent, documenting my flight, and yours too, for some other kid to look up into the sky and trace the contrails with her or his fingers. Together, we’ll dizzy up the sky with our vapor trails until we’ve lost track of time. Until we learned to live outside of it, freed of the obsession of time. Out of time, in one sense, and in another, having all the time we’ll ever need.
The saddest thing about life is you don’t remember half of it.
You don’t even remember half of half of it.
Capture memories, because if you forget them, it’s as though they didn’t happen;
it’s as though you hadn’t lived the parts you don’t remember.
~ Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Opportunities in life don’t always come for the swift, the fastest. Sometimes opportunities come for those who are willing, who are looking, who are ready. And so, sitting here in this plane listening to the songs that guided me through … Continue reading
Fast forward to December 31, 2013.
What will you have said or done this year?
What stories will you be telling New Year’s Eve, gathered ’round the table of your friends or family, laughing about the year and where it’s taken you? Stories of hope, fearlessness, and exploration? Or stories of repetition, redundancy, and minimal risk?
We get one 2013. What will you do this year?
Here’s 13 goals I have for the year as well as mantras to shape my attitude, perspective, and behaviors:
1) Roadtrip out to Colorado with family (friends welcome too!) and experience the power and freedom of the open road.
2) After road tripping, compete in the Boulder 70.3 half ironman. But don’t just swim, pedal and run. Make those 70.3 mile of pain cathartic. Throughout the race, relinquish your people-pleasing ways of stale Christianity and religious dogma. With each stroke, pedal, and stride, eagerly welcome in the spirit of God… the one that casts out fear… the one that offers freedom… that speaks of a bigger world with a place at the table for everyone…
3. Develop my sense of humor. Make jokes even if they don’t end up being funny. Laugh at other people’s jokes, even if they aren’t funny.
“The best thing you ever did for me was to help me take my life less seriously…. it’s only life after all…. “
4. Regularly look up at the sky… while walking, while running, while on the front porch sipping green tea… and marvel at the beauty we are surrounded with each day.
5. Surrender my “need” for “why.” Surrender the desire to know how everything will turn out, as if to dismiss the bigness of God’s ability to use all things for good. Demanding a “why” for the happenings of life takes away from the adventure. Because Helen Keller was right. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
6. Go to the river with some friends on your 26th birthday. Find some rocks and write your regrets on the rocks with a Sharpie— the things you thought you would have done by now (Peace Corps, grad school….)- the way it was “supposed” to turn out– and toss ’em in the water. Sink them. Skip them. Throw them like a shotput. But however you choose to do it, let the shame, disappointment, and fear of the future go with the rocks you’ve now let go of. Now take some rocks, write all the things you’re grateful for having done these past few years, your hopes, your dreams, and let them go too. Because you’ll find them. Out there. In the open road. Just waiting for you again. You need only to go…
7. Take (at least) one vocational risk: apply for grad school, reach out to a publisher, connect with Sports for Development and Peace organizations.
8. Plant strawberries in the backyard this spring and water my tomato plant every day in effort to grow more than the 5 dinky cherry tomatoes I grew last year.
9. “This too will shape me.”
In Drops Like Stars, Rob Bell challenges readers with the following charge:
“We will become bitter or better,
closed or open,
more ignorant or more aware.
We will become more or less tuned in to the thousands upon thousands of gifts
we are surrounded with every single moment of every single day. This too will shape me.
The only question left is, how?”
10. “Create.” Create things regularly. Art. Beauty. Laughter. Photography. Peace. Create things that once didn’t exist and are now better for having experienced or shared them.
11. “Just say yes.” When my anxiety tries to get me to say “no” out of fear—– “Just say yes.”
12. “Just begin.” You have ideas in your head. Don’t get too caught up in how to get to the final picture. Just. Begin.
13. Love life. Be brave. Play harder. Forever and ever. Amen.