What would you tell your twenty-year-old self?
To eat more kale? To never ever skip Pilates? To make sure "thank you" cards go out exactly on time? Highly unlikely, unless you are a young Martha Stewart or some sort of alien.
When I was twenty-two I took a job that I knew I'd be miserable in. But it was at a "prestigious" magazine and according to the talking heads of the world I really needed a 401K and health insurance. About a month into the job I started a two year countdown in my notebook and I quit right around the day. When I told people I was quitting my job to be a yoga teacher and a freelance writer I got a lot of bewildered looks and a whole lot of "But are you sure?"
Well, not feeling too sure when you are looking at me like I told you I wanted be a Unicorn.
And I made a lot of mistakes in the seven years since - like getting into to debt then getting out then getting back in again, sleeping through a couple of 7 am classes I was supposed to teach, telling my students to pull their shoulder blades in toward their farts (yes, seriously) - but man, I am inspired by what I do. Like every damn day. What a gift. Now when I make a mistake or do something seriously strange (I opened my mouth to exhale while teaching 50 students and a strange Teradactyl-sounding noise came out of my mouth) I just laugh. Like truly, truly laugh until my belly hurts and theirs do too.
As I reflected on the past year there were so many things to celebrate - leaps in my career and personal growth, getting married to a very rad man, traveling all over the world - and those things didn't happen because of a diligently planned schedule. And all of those things weren't easy either. Matt and I've had some epic blow outs. I've had moments when I felt like an imposter while teaching or coaching. And I was slightly hungover the morning of my wedding. And I wouldn't change a damn thing.
Matt and I fight because we're still learning how to create a partnership and a home. I was nervous while teaching and coaching because I wanted to deliver something perfect, and that's a joke. And I was hungover because I had 175 of my favorite people ever in the same room and we were serving the best wine ever. Obviously.
My twenty-year old self would likely high-five my thirty-year-old self. Because I'm comfortable in my own skin, doing what I love and still a whole lotta fucking fun.
No need for the word "mistake." How about experience? Learning? Moment in time? A truly funny sounding noise?
I want to move forward with grace, playfulness and a great sense of humor. I want to laugh til I cry when I do something weird. Which is likely to be often. And when I make mistakes, I want to bear hug anyone I've hurt, and if it's just me, I'm gonna wrap my arms tight right around myself.
Looking cool is boring. Go out and make some mistakes. Then own them. And grow. And above all, be sure to laugh (a whole lot).