Have late night dance parties, iPod in pocket and dog under foot. Send love notes. Wear panda ears for the hell of it. Cultivate joy, the way you’d cultivate a tomato plant or a caffeine habit.
People are doing amazing things in the world, but no good comes from comparing yourself. They have their contribution, you have yours. Focus on yours. Allow yourself to do that thing however you feel it needs to be done. Trust yourself to know the right way.
Love yourself. Every last piece of yourself, even the bits you desperately want to lock away or hurl into the nearest smoking volcano.
Loving yourself doesn’t have to be the warm, fuzzy glow of some mysterious and elusive feeling. It can be as simple as doing the things you know make you healthy - mentally, emotionally, physically. Even if you don’t want to. Especially if you don’t want to. Because caring for yourself in a deep, true way can open up the world in a way you never imagined.
Take care of yourself the way you would a toddler. With naps, fresh fruit, an hour with a purple crayon, and time in the trees to marvel at their height. Marveling at the trees reminds you that the world is magic. It’s your attention that makes it so. Your focus is valuable and downright spellbinding. Send it where you want it.
See other parts of the world. See other parts of your world - a corner store you’ve never stepped into or a small street you've never visited.
See the best in people. This brings out their best. Believe someone is amazing and they become amazing.
If that amazing eludes you, no matter how hard you try, remember that life always works out. With enough time, even the most devastating event can become the best thing that ever happened to you. If you keep moving, things get better.
But it's okay to be lost.
Whirling with the grief and anger for awhile paves the way for peace. Holding love in the midst of pain gives you just enough space to breathe again. When you crawl through the layers of hurt, that’s when you find the sweet stuff.
Do what you love, every day.
Here’s What I Believe, Deep In The Depths of My Panda-Affiliated Soul
I believe that we are all bright pieces of a big, bright whole. We are all connected in some inexplicable but crucial way. I believe that when we start to feel connected, like our own bright piece of that glowing whole, that’s when we can love the best and do our best work.
I believe that I sound like a glitter-dust-sprinkling, tofu-chomping flower child when I say that, but I also know that I am the most responsible adult and best human I can be when I’m thinking that way. Feet on the ground, meet airy-fucking-fairy.
I believe that music sinks deep down into my gut and transports me somewhere better, happier, somewhere my brain can unhook from reality and fly.
I believe life really is a playground.
I believe in looking stupid, especially when it comes to laying your feelings on the table or jumping up and down like cocaine-addled kangaroo on the dance floor.
I believe we have all the answers we need inside of us, we just have to learn how to hear them.
I believe, finally, that it’s okay if I’m not funny every single minute of every single day. Relax. It’s okay to sit back and enjoy everyone else’s funny.
I believe, finally, that I am enough.
I believe in leprechauns and lap giraffes and that one day a unicorn really will pull me around in a red Radio Flyer wagon.
I believe we all have an astonishing capacity for love and joy and greatness.
I believe that if you can be the person who reaches out with love, even when it’s hard, even when you don’t know if it will be reciprocated, you have succeeded. Always. And that love will flow back to you in ways you never could have imagined.
I believe that love is everywhere. You just have to tilt yourself toward it.
I believe that the best is yet to come.