I Don’t Want to Forget

There is a foundation being laid right now in the person I am and who I will become, and I don’t want to miss this breaking of new ground.

For many years, the loudest voice in my mind spoke with hate. I thought everyone else was wired the same way—driven by such a profound dissatisfaction for who you are, that it drives you to pursue a kind of perfection that always just manages to slip through your fingers.

I only went after things that I knew I could shape to close flawlessness and shunned anything I was not good at, even if I enjoyed them. I refused to fail big, and I never did, but only because I hardly put myself in tight spots where I could risk making a mistake.

My days began and ended in contradiction: waking up eager to portray a life worth admiring, riding on a temporal bliss of having done just that, but still going to bed feeling like there was still so much I could do better and drilling in my head everything that I needed to make up for the next day.

I wonder if, back then, I chose to listen to my loud self-critic, because it was easier than listening to the truth slowly forming at the back of my mind: that self-improvement was not going to answer what my heart really needed.

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The Declaration of “Yet”

My skin reflects the state of my season. I scratch it with a fingernail and out comes a thin line, white and flaky from being so parched. It feels like the intensity of summer is conspiring with the desert in my spirit—the surface climate keeping in step with the deep condition of my own heart.

There is dryness, in the air I breathe, in the heat that hits my skin, in the wilting of prospects and provision. There is a sense of feeling stuck in a valley, where both the soil and soul feel an unquenchable thirst. In this desert, there is no thriving, just surviving; no lushness, just loss; no blooms, just banes; no pleasure, just pain.

When life brings you to walk in a wilderness, there are but a few words you can manage to say—Why… is this happening to me? How… will I get past this? Where… do I draw my strength from? When… will this end? What… do I do? Who… are You at this time?

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What Are You Doing In Your In-Between?

On a tombstone, you will find three prominent things: the date of birth of the one who was laid to rest, the date of his or her passing, and a few words that encapsulate the life that was left behind. But when you think about it, it’s actually neither of the two dates that contribute the most to anyone’s personhood. It’s the much-overlooked punctuation that, in spite of its negligible size, holds the biggest story and dictates so much of who the individual was.

It’s the (and it’s so small that, just to be sure, I need to articulate that I’m talking about the hyphen).

Maybe it looks that way, small and barely noticeable, because we are creatures endlessly fascinated with beginnings and endings. We celebrate the 31st of December and the 1st of January with literal bangs, but no one greets, say, the 27th of May with collective revelry. We document sunrises, wax poetic about sunsets, but no one heads out in the middle of the day and says, “Wow! Look at this 2pm sky!” We greet, celebrate, mourn, or grieve starts and finishes. However way we meet them and acknowledge them, the point is, we do. But do we do the same for the middles that make up our lives?

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Will Your Success Outlast You?

Just this weekend, I went on a content trip with my dream team. They’re this amazing trio—each one I met differently, separately—but we all came together to help share a very important story, and the past couple of days were dedicated to creatively mining what we could to best tell that story.

Excluding me, the average age of this team is 22. I’m only turning 27 this year (in spite of what my bedtime and my overall habits imply, I am not a lola), but even with just a five-year age gap, the lens, the perspective that the three of them use to look at life is already so different from mine. Not just different, actually, but much, much better. They see things I could never, unless pointed out. They act without considering confines. They creatively think and express themselves in a way that suggests that they didn’t have to study what they know—it’s coming from a place of pure instinct.

So here’s what that taught me: As much as I deeply value the thoughts and opinions of those who have come before me, I am also so, so inspired by those who will inevitably succeed me in every sense of the word—those who will come after me and also be better than I ever will be.

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