"Be honest. Be raw, be fierce, and be brave."
Everyday of my life, I have had to choose who I will be: the publicly understandable, watered-down version of myself or the wildly nuclear Amanda that's difficult to understand, impossible to relate to and never quite predictable? My path is clear: Stop Hiding.
The last little while has been deeply revelatory for me as I spend more time doing what's truly right for me and, unsurprisingly, the universe has responded. Random patterns (oxymoron, I know) and pieces to an incomplete puzzle have emerged in a quiet cloud of calm, simultaneously soothing my soul and stoking my fire. Small steps, like stopping to smile into the sunshine on a spring day, washing the trail grime from my face or dancing in the kitchen to my favorite songs, have all helped me remember that life is supposed to be fun; it's supposed to be joyous, and that it's too short.
Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans and oh god, it's so true. All of my ideas, my goals, my wants, my 'have tos' float away while this beautiful life takes shape, and it's hard to keep perspective; a good friend and I spoke of 'perpetual perfection' this week and how right now, we are who we need to be. Right now, in the moment, we are perfect. In our struggle, our power, our sadness and joy and life, we are perfect. We are perfectly imperfect, and embracing that is key to happiness.
For a perfectionist, that imperfection drives me to change, to grow, to somehow be different than I am; as a human, I need to stop and simply appreciate both my ambition and imperfection as part of the frenetic ball of nuclear energy that is me. It's not about what's fit for public consumption, but about being who and what my soul needs to be; I'm raw and kind and strong and soft and optimistic and critical and sharp and wise and naïve. I'm whole and incomplete and so terrified that I'm not enough while knowing that I'm more than enough.
As it just so happens, this world needs what I am -- it needs the audacious, the bold, the confident. It needs us jumpers without sight, us dreamers without end. It needs starters and passion and fire and heat. The world needs a hand held out, both in strength and generosity, and our world, our cultures, our communities... We need truth. Raw, unvarnished, unedited truth. We need curse words and poetry, love and resolve, and we need solace.
And that is who I am, in my imperfect perfection and in perpetuity. I am not one thing, or the usual cast of characters. I am Amanda. And this is simply the dawn of that realization.