I Know

Freedom…

There is no such thing as ‘getting over it’ in life.

You don’t get to go back.

Trauma changes us and tragedy disrupts us.

And that’s ok.

Maybe you lost someone.

Maybe you lost yourself.

Maybe you’ve had more bad days than good ones.

Maybe you’ve made a mistake.

Or ten thousand.

You are not defined by them.

What you’ve done is not who you are.

You aren’t damaged.

Don’t get bogged down by your ‘failures’.

You aren’t the opinion of someone who doesn’t know you, or even someone that does but doesn’t know what wakes you up in the middle of the night.

You are better for going through – and not around – something terrible.

The best people I know have depth, and parts of their story that don’t shine.

Don’t dull the muddy bits.

I’ll never stop falling in love with people who have scars but can still sustain the courage to dream. And the courage to re-write their story. Sometimes over and over.

That’s what freedom is.

That’s what rising up means.

To write the story of “this is what tried to keep me from stepping into the best version of myself, and this is how I told it to ‘sit down’”.

Maybe you’ve survived a bunch of thunderstorms and continued walking.

Maybe you got back up.

Multiple times.

You are wiser for it.

You are better for it.

Don’t ever let anyone, or any one experience, stop you from living and doing the things you love.

Society doesn’t get to tell you how to live your life.

It’s your life.

You get to decide how it goes.

There’s no trophy for having it all figured out by 30, or 40, or 50.

Life is about creating as many genuinely happy, passionate moments as possible – for you, and others.

That’s it.

Chase your dreams. Fall in love. Travel. Take detours. Study. Fall out of love. Switch jobs. Move. Stay. Fight. Give up. Go. Learn. Swerve. Grow.

There is more to you than yesterday.

Freedom is knowing that, at the dawn of a new tomorrow.

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I Know

Mistakes.

At the very end of last year, on the final day of December, I was lying on a futon, in a charming apartment four storeys up in Bronte, NSW, the waft of hot chips from the fish shop below seeping through the open windows, the waves from the beach crashing in the background, and I was reading this quote:

Neil Gaiman - Make Mistakes

I love Neil Gaiman. I love his attitude. I love his wise words. And I love this quote.

So I posted it. I posted it online because it seemed fitting. It seemed like a gentle reminder to not strive for perfection, but rather to strive for evolution.

I stumbled upon it again tonight. Lying in my bed, with the sounds of spring outside my door.

It’s almost October. That’s quite a few months since the last time I read this quote. Heck, it’s almost a year. If I close my eyes, I’m right back there, on that futon, in Bronte, with the strange taste of hot oil and the sea in my mouth.

The days have hurtled into months and this quote found me again, tonight, of all nights, after a weekend spent drawing metaphorical lines in the sand.

I don’t reflect a lot but when I do, I reflect with gusto. Looking back over the year so far, I can confidently say this:

“Neil, I’ve nailed it.”

I’ve made some good mistakes this year. I’ve made a few bad ones. I’ve made things and broken things and mended things. I’ve kept moving, mostly forward, occasionally sideways, without ever freezing.

I’ve learned. Goodness, the things I’ve learned. And I’ve lived. I’ve lived boldly and passionately and without any reservations. I’ve changed. I am not the exact same person as I was on that last night in December, lying on that futon.

I think that’s a good thing.

I think mistakes are good things.

Despite the overwhelming bad wrap they get, mistakes, messy though they sometimes may be, make you grow. They force you to grow.

Some of my mistakes have been insignificant, some have been diabolical, but they’ve all helped me evolve into who I am, right now, right here, lying on my bed.

I feel fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to even make the mistakes I have this year.

And that’s the thing about mistakes; people try to avoid them. They try to excuse them. But the very best thing you can do is embrace them. Own them.

Mistakes make you.

They don’t define you.

They make you.

Who you choose to be, who you get to be, after them, well, that’s yours for the taking.

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