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Choose You

January 1, 2011

I read this post of Libba Bray’s tonight, recommended by my friend, Audrey. It’s past midnight, and my parents are telling me to go to sleep. I replied with a sincere, “I will when my brain stops clinking around.”

While reading, I tweeted this:

MadeleineRex I am so grateful for parents & counselors & church leaders that believe I can do anything, that hand me the tools to paint whatever I want.

And I am so very grateful. You see, despite the fact that I’m throwing “I love you”s left and right and do try to smile a majority of the time, I’m a tough person to live with. I know this. It’s one of those things that is strictly undeniable. I cry – a lot. I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m sad. I cry at least once a day. Quite honestly, it’s a crucial part of my healing process.

I’m easily afraid that someone’s disappointed in me. I’m defensive and indignant. I always, and I mean always, have something to say. I’m overly anxious, and some little bird told me that I tend to push myself too hard.

And, yet, miraculously, there are all these people who stick around. These people who support me, believe in me, flatter me just enough but aren’t afraid to give advice. They know that I have potential for a lot of things – mistakes included. These people – my family, school counselors, church leaders, and other friends – happen to be my nourishment. They supply me with my Daily Values (based on a 2,000 calorie diet) of cheer, love, advice, support, and painful-but-necessary-growth. The arguments I get in – particularly those I am the cause of – are crucial. Every time I say sorry and every time I don’t serves as a life lesson.

I’m grateful for the people who shove me into a pool of ice water (even if I might yell at them). I’m grateful for the people that pull me out. I am grateful for the people who hand me a towel and say, “Next time, maybe the water will be a little bit warmer.”

I’m sorry for those teens around the world who aren’t as fortunate as I, that are seriously lacking in their Daily Values. Those kids who have people shoving them into ice water for all the wrong reasons. Whose water never gets warmer, and who are forced to claw their own way out and wipe themselves down with a washcloth. I hope for their sakes that someone will come into their life who will drastically alter it for the better. I hope for their sake that even if no one comes for a really long time, they’ll have the inner strength and resilience to keep moving on anyway – that their love for themselves will be sufficient.

I have so many dreams. I am ambitions. I want to be a stay-at-home-mom-editor-of-books-who-writes-on-the-side, even if that might be as impossible as a singer-rock-star-guitar player-who-also-juggles-and-flies-airplanes. I want to get an MFA. I want to exceed my own expectations and push myself harder. I know for a fact that I can only get so far – that I am, in fact, not invincible and am not talented in all areas (Goodness, no). But though I am wholeheartedly in love with literature, writing, writers – this fantastic world that is most certainly the one I belong in, I don’t want to confine myself. I don’t want to limit my potential or my knowledge-base. It’s not right to underestimate ourselves, our value to the world, or the affect we can have. It’s so very wrong to say “when” even though the glass is only two-thirds full simply because you’re afraid that someone will knock it over.

I hope that teens will aspire, dream, work hard, find their niche, and encounter people along the way who will prove to be invaluable and incredible. I want no one to live life contently in a 4×4 box. There are so many possibilities, so many holes in this world that need to be filled – wholes shaped just like you. Somewhere in the future there is a happy, smarter, vivacious you – a you who will face troubles and loads of crap, but will always bounce back, whether because you’ve clawed yourself out or someone gave you a hand. There’s also a you who has limited his or herself, who has accepted a less satisfactory condition, and that you is the one you want to avoid.

So, while I’m out-of-this-world lucky to have people who love me and want to see me succeed – who say “if” and not “when,” but also manage to keep my head from entirely losing itself in the clouds, who are always there to say what needs to be said or not (both teach equally important lessons) – and I might seem like the most ridiculous person to try to give advice, I have to sum this up and say one thing:

Chose the truest version of you. Always chose the path that leads to a better you, the you that is kinder, wiser, remarkable, beyond all comparison. This you will influence the world for good and stretch the boundaries of This Cannot Be Done. This you will inspire, and this you will be happier. This, despite the corny, sappy-movie-ness of it, is the you that you are meant to be. You were born with a potential to wreak havoc on people’s expectations, to wow and to uplift, and you were given the means (though it might be deep inside) to meet that potential.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2011 1:34 PM

    This is beautiful. I have a feeling you are going to reach those goals and MORE.

  2. January 1, 2011 1:42 PM

    This is such a beautiful and inspiring post, I especially love the last paragraph. I’m still looking for ‘me’, still trying to get those full servings of Daily Values, and hopefully in 2011 i’ll just be that much closer to a more me version of me. love the post 🙂 and i’m sure i said this before, but You are going places.

    • January 1, 2011 1:50 PM

      Auuuuuuudrey! You always make me smile. Thanks so much for your support! I’m so happy to be your friend. 😀

      And I’m sure you will get closer. You have an incredible, unique personality, you’re smart, and you’re the type of person who I think will keep on moving no matter what. 😀

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