You don’t know anyone at the party, so you don’t want to go. You don’t like cottage cheese, so you haven’t eaten it in years. This is your choice, of course, but don’t kid yourself: it’s also the flinch. Your personality is not set in stone. You may think a morning coffee is the most enjoyable thing in the world, but it’s really just a habit. Thirty days without it, and you would be fine. You think you have a soul mate, but in fact you could have had any number of spouses. You would have evolved differently, but been just as happy.
You can change what you want about yourself at any time. You see yourself as someone who can’t write or play an instrument, who gives in to temptation or makes bad decisions, but that’s really not you. It’s not ingrained. It’s not your personality. Your personality is something else, something deeper than just preferences, and these details on the surface, you can change anytime you like.
If it is useful to do so, you must abandon your identity and start again. Sometimes, it’s the only way.
Set fire to your old self. It’s not needed here. It’s too busy shopping, gossiping about others, and watching days go by and asking why you haven’t gotten as far as you’d like. This old self will die and be forgotten by all but family, and replaced by someone who makes a difference.
Your new self is not like that. Your new self is the Great Chicago Fire—overwhelming, overpowering, and destroying everything that isn’t necessary.
By Chelsea Fagan
1. The “Doesn’t Know She’s Beautiful” Girlfriend
The theory behind this girl, immortalized in the One Direction song, is that she is absolutely gorgeous (makeup and hair styling-free, of course, because she is also the epitome of…
all or none? hmmm…
Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn Personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of… messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.
—Courtney A. Walsh (via arpeggia)
I saw a couple the other day when I was walking down the street. They were old, wrinkled, and tiny. If you saw a photo of them, you’d imagine that someone had found them in an attic somewhere and dusted them off to place them in Paris for a day — they seemed almost…
I want this #truelove
Laura looked up at him with dead blue eyes.
“I want to be alive again,” she said. “Not in this half-life. I want to be really alive. I want to feel my heart pumping in my chest again. I want to feel blood moving through me — hot, and salty, and real. It’s weird, you don’t think you can feel it, the blood, but believe me, when it stops flowing, you’ll know.”
She rubbed her eyes, smudging her face with red from the mess on her hands.
“Look, it’s hard. You know why dead people only go out at night, puppy? Because it’s easier to pass for real, in the dark. And I don’t want to have to pass. I want to be alive.”
—Neil Gaiman, American Gods (via arpeggia)