"Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself." George Bernard Shaw

This is my 800th blog post. I cannot believe I just typed those words. I never would have thought that I would still be writing but in all honesty I cannot imagine my life without this blog. Who would I be if I didn't have this space to write, reflect, and just be. I have learned a great deal, grown an immense amount, and most of all become someone I truly love being since I started way back in 2010. I was a second semester senior in high school and had no clue what journey lied ahead for me. I've been through experiences seemingly running the full gamut of what life has to offer, and yet still I have more life to live. What an immense gift it has been to have this place to be free, to be myself, and to be lost. It is here that I was found. It was here that I found me. It was here that I found myself. What follows is my biggest takeaways from my time existing since I last one of these commemorative posts. Enjoy, and thank you with all that I am for being part of my life story.

I can confidently say that I have found myself, and just as boldly declare that there is still more me out there to discover. That is what life is - exploration. It is an adventure. It is a search. It is a process. My biggest wish for anyone and everyone is for you to find yourself. I think life's greatest pitfall is  all the time spent striving to be someone else when who we are and how we are is exactly who we're supposed to be. Finding myself has been about choosing me. I mean you cannot find someone or let anyone find you if you have yet to find yourself. It's about being selfish, prioritizing your self-care, and being unapologetically in love with you. It's when you have spent ample time getting to know you, what you want out of life, and who you need around you that you are able to open yourself up to let all those things in. That time that you take to commune with yourself is of the utmost importance, and it's something that I continue to do. It keeps me centered, keeps me grounded, and keeps me feeling whole. It helps me make decisions, get what I need, and be my best self. Who else has your best interests in mind if not you? How can you advocate for yourself if you don't know who you are? Our self-determination has to come from us - no one us can tell us who we are or who we should be. When you take ownership of you and put yourself first, things impact you differently. Choose you. Choose you. Choose you. I mean it. Choose you at every opportunity you can. I promise you that is the key to finding who you are and ensuring you get to be who you want to be. 

I cannot stress enough how much choosing yourself matters. In a time, space, place, and age where people are disregarded, disconnected, and discontent, choosing yourself - that is dictating the the prose of your own autobiography is a revolutionary act of affirmation, resistance, and self-love. To be defined by on your own terms, to be cognizant of the phenomenal person you are, and to be in control of a self-image that is perpetually under attack in all iterations is indescribable. Choose you takes back power. It lets you reclaim yourself. It gives you the agency to decide - anything and everything, with you in mind. Choose you because when no one else does, you still have done so. Choose you because your choice has to be always be the one you value most. Choose because you deserve to be chosen ... then choose others. Choose others who love you without conditions, who value being connected to you, and who challenge you to be a better you. Choose others who choose you back, put effort into your relationship, and energize you. Choose others who you grow with, who are invested in seeing you succeed and even more so be happy. Choose wisely, and never be sorry for wanting to change your up choices.

There is nothing more freeing that when I consciously decided to start giving myself permission to be a work in progress. It has an active choice to not just appreciate what I am doing well but also a grace giving to myself to be under construction. Both of those things in tandem have been revolutionary for me. That self-awareness that I am in fact good enough inherently and simultaneously always on a journey to self-improvement has been truly liberating. It means that I get to appreciate all that I am and what I'm capable of, while also crafting a narrative that is permissive of open-endedness. It means I am not just looking back and critiquing the story I've written so far, but it is also being present and being okay with the ambiguity of living in the moment. It's an acceptance of where I am in life - hell it's a gratitude for it - in combination with leeway to take risks, to be spontaneous, and to live life without self-improved restrictions or self-deprecation. I'm making the most of what I have been granted, and figuring out what to do with it all and myself is life's biggest enigma that I get to solve daily. Spoiler alert - this enigma might just very well be an unsolvable one, but the process of trying to decipher is more than worth it. 

When I came to the realization that adults are truly just children who have learned to "behave" in  increasingly socialized settings  my perspective on life changed. I started paying attention more closely and asking questions without this crippling sense of stigmatization. Other people, and I mean absolutely everyone who claims the life cycle stage, adulthood, is winging it. Anyone who says they have it all together - they do not. People are better at keeping up appearances than being authentic in their truth. We're all figuring it out. Nobody really knows what  they're doing, and you know what, that is more than okay - that is perfect. It is in that discombobulated state of underpreparedness that clarity breaks through. You figure out what means the most to you and you chase it down until you cannot anymore. That chat through the haphazardness of lfe is what makes this space. There's nothing more reassuring than others letting you that they are struggling too. There is community around the messiness. Find it and don't even let that, or those who have impacted you go. X


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