Once upon a time, I envied you.

There isn’t just one “you” in this story; it’s a group of “yous” who all fought to reach the top of perfection mountain. you ladies almost ruined me. i pined away for things i didn’t yet have. things i couldn’t yet have. things i wasn’t.

I will never be small framed. I’m a tall girl with pacific islander heritage; it’s just never going to happen. I will never be the kind of girl who rolls out of bed every day and puts on a face of makeup. I can do that sometimes, but it sure as hell isn’t going to be everyday.

since we departed, and i found new friends, let me tell you what i’ve realized.

1. Going to church and singing praises does not make me a good person, just like not going to church does not make me a bad person.

2. I don’t have to hate myself even if I want to change myself. I don’t have to take the bad and pretend it never existed. I’m a beautiful work in progress, and that’s fine.

3. Yoga pants and no mascara are perfectly acceptable when it comes to being a stay at home mom. Hey, let’s expound on that. I’m a SAHM but I’m also very sick at least once a month. That means it’s okay that I don’t make everything from scratch and it’s okay that there are sometimes dirty dishes next to my sink and it’s okay that there are blocks in the basket meant for musical instruments, that’s all okay. it’s okay if I don’t want to get up off the couch because my body is aching and i just cannot push that fucking vacuum across the floor today. That’s okay.

4. Children are not the end-all of your existence. I love my kid. If you look to the left, you probably see a shit ton of photos of her. But as much as she is my child, she is not who I am and I am not who she is. We are not tied up in the existence of the other because we are each our own awesome people, and fuck if I’m going lose who I am. I pretty much believe she feels the same, judging by how many times she tells me no about things.

5. You never deserved whatever hate you were throwing around about yourself. So what if you fucking hate your hair and your height and your dress size? So fucking what? Sit on the couch, eat some oreos with me and drink wine. Don’t be something you aren’t.

6. Politics need to be discussed because shit needs to change, fast, in the deep south. It’s cool to talk about it, you know.

This is from every “you” I’ve met, from middle school to college to various moves. If you fit one of these, THAT’S OKAY. Do what works for you. Do you. I’ll do me.

I have never felt more fearless than when I figured out my life was way cooler doing the things I wanted to do for me, as compared to the before, when I was always wondering what was cool enough to post, to share. Remember that christmas in Athens that I sewed tiny felt owls and made book garland and cut snowflakes from origami paper? I loved that Christmas. It was one of my favorites on record. It was real because it was things that felt like me.

I am me, and the thing is, I think you’ll love me anyway. You always have, really, my lovely friends. The thing you should know is — I love you for you, too, even if you do crazy and unexpected things like me. You don’t have to pretend that we’re all in some race to do better than the next person, just fucking live. Not just live. Fucking live. Do it with passion if you’re going to do it. You know, because.. uh, yolo? 😉