Everything is replaceable in life in some way. People. Friends. Homes. Jobs. Conversations. Entertainment. Pets. Cars. On some level, if you really think about it, everything is in some way replaceable. Perhaps not exactly so, but on some level when life leaves us with spaces to fill, we find ways to fill them in whatever way makes sense for us at the time. We can fill silence with laughter, loneliness with distractions, things with other things, stuff with more stuff, and at the end of the day even if something or someone feels irreplaceable, if they leave, we find ways to replace them.

I am replaceable. I make no mistake and tell myself no lies. We all are. That’s why when you find those very few people in life that are truly irreplaceable, you do everything you can to hold onto them. Wraparound hugs. All night laughter. Porch swing whiskey. Camping in the mountains. Family dinners. Hikes to nowhere. Old friends. New friends. Family made and found.

Hold on to those things because those are the things that are truly irreplaceable.

Life is what you make of it, and I choose to make the best every day that I can. Every day that I am here. And I am grateful for all of them.

I’ve been talking about running away for a long time now. Going somewhere different, over 5 years in this place and I’m itching to move. But I have roots here and that makes me happy. Friends and family are different here. Not the kind that say will stick around but don’t, no. These are friends for a lifetime. Lifetimes, really if we’re being honest, because that’s the truth. I’ve been happier these past few weeks than I’ve been in a long time – certainly more so than I was last summer, or even last fall. I spent my birthday mostly alone, by choice, promising myself it would be the start of change and the beginning of a new year and it was and has been in every sense you can imagine.

Work is getting better, busier. Family is closer (sometimes figuratively rather than literally because the world is a thing and we live all over it, but that’s not the point). Friends abound. We laugh so hard our abs hurt, watching videos of ourselves from the night/week/month/years before and laugh all over again. There’s magic there in that. There’s magic everywhere if you just stop long enough to see it and believe. Always believe.

Things are bubbling just beneath the surface, I can feel it. I’ve said that before but it’s different this time. I’ve said that before too, but it is. I don’t know how to describe it, but each time I feel this, it’s as if things are getting stronger, closer, one moment closer to the next and the next and whatever is just over the horizon promising to be everything I ever hoped for.

I’m too much for most people. I’ve been told that all my life. It doesn’t bother me anymore. I used to falter between being too much and not enough all at the same time, trying ever so hard to just become nothing (and for a long time I succeeded), only to realize that I was more than that. So much more. I wasn’t too much, nor not enough. I wasn’t nothing either. I was everything else. I was, simply put, everything. I just haven’t met the person who I am everything to quite yet.

And that’s okay. Sometimes you have to try different things on for size. Test drive the car. Go somewhere different. Step outside of your comfort zone and see how things are from a different point of view, Captain.

I will always push my comfort zone. Life is pretty boring when you live in complacency. It’s an awful lot like commonplace or mundane, and far too close for comfort to be anything close to comfortable for me. We grow through change, different perspectives, new experiences, unexpected turns of events, and well, wishing on stars.

Yeah, things are different now. They’ll be different tomorrow, and the day after that. They’ll be different the day after that, too. That’s what makes life so amazing – all the differences and how every day is a new beginning to whatever story we’re writing where the ending isn’t written yet. Each day is a blank slate to write into your story whatever it is that you believe you deserve and all the things you expect to happen. Us humans have so much more control over our own destiny and decisions than we give ourselves credit for. We have the ability to write our own futures, yet so many of us go through life expecting the worst and then being semi-surprised when that is what ends up happening. I mean, really, what else did we expect when the narrative we tell ourselves is worry and anxiousness and challenges and strife? Here’s a thought – think positive and start each day writing your story to be better and you know what? It will be. Ask me how I know.

I’m doing that every day. I’m working on my book – though to be fair I haven’t in the past few weeks I had a bit of a writer’s block while sorting through things in my head. But now finally after a few weeks of that, I’m back to being me again. Going to Florida helped. Coming home helped even more. And the past two weeks brought me back to being me in a way I didn’t realize I had missed. Don’t turn your volume down to fit in – ever. Stop quieting your voice, playing up your style while downplaying your passion to be what people look for you to be. No. Stop that. I did that and I didn’t realize just how much I missed me until this past week.

Man, I really missed me. A lot.

I want to be surrounded by people who laugh like I do. Love like I do. Suck the marrow out of life and live with passion and wild abandon the way I do. Yes, life has its stressors and we all have “adulting” to do to make our way with the comforts life tells us are good and necessary. But none of that requires taking the safe option or the quiet backroads instead of flying on a jet plane to the farthest reaches of your imagination where dreams come true.

Dreams come true, you know, you just have to keep dreaming them. Even when other people tell you you’re too crazy, too wild, too different…too much.

If you’re too much for them, tell them to go find less. Those are not your people. 

Don’t shrink yourself to fit in other people’s spaces. If you give them priority, and they still push you off to make plans last minute or assume you’ll still be standing there waiting for them, stop justifying their intentions and remember that their actions show you everything you need to know. Because intentions won’t hug you when you don’t believe you’re good enough. Intentions won’t tell you everything will be okay. Intentions won’t kiss you on the forehead and cherish the way when you cry, your right eye always tears more than your left. Intentions won’t do that. Intentions are the best excuses for seeing the best in someone when their actions show you otherwise.

Don’t shrink yourself, but also be willing to grow. Look at things from all sides. Take responsibility and ownership for your own actions and faults, and learn how to get better through them. Learn from them. See the beauty in people and places and things even when they’re not the one you call home, for they have beauty in them too even when it’s not meant for you. Be something to everyone and everything to someone and when you find that someone, let yourself fall totally completely madly in love with them like you never have before and that will make all the difference.

I’m something, that’s for damn sure. Something else. Something different. Something bigger. Something louder. And of all of those things, I am so much more, too. I love 1923, it has to be my favorite show of the Yellowstone universe, and quite possibly my favorite show ever. Alex and Spencer are my all time favorite fictional couple, and the relationship they have is what I crave. Not necessarily the instant flare like they did because I am not quite sure that’s realistic (though on some level I do believe it is and I always will believe so), but also because I am so much more aware now. Every relationship I’ve ever been in has taught me something about myself and who I am, and how I can grow. And I don’t just mean romantic relationships – everyone we meet in life is a relationship in some sort and how we relate to them will always teach us things if we listen. I try to always listen. I haven’t been as good about it in the past, and the past year was rough, but I am listening again and learning so much along the way.

I am so ridiculously happy for so many people around me right now. I won’t share details, because they are not my stories to tell, but seeing so many of my close friends thriving makes me happy, too. And we’re all growing too in all the best ways. It’s kinda incredible really. My kids are fucking awesome (they are!), and so are my friends and while I say any time we’re all hanging out I can’t remember ever laughing this much, we hang out again and do it again, and we all keep laughing and smiling and life is honestly good. Really good. Amazing, really.

Always believe. Always know that every moment is an opportunity to learn something, expand your mind, grow your soul. Stretch your life and your wings and see what it’s like to learn to fly. No one says you have to be good at it. Life is all about learning, after all. So go take that leap. Try to fly. Jump off that cliff. If you don’t, all you’re ever going to experience is the same old thing over and over again and hey, if that’s how you want to live your life, it’s not my place to stop you. Just know that’s not for me.

I won’t ask you to wait for me. I don’t ask that of anyone. Just like I won’t hold your hand to catch you up. I’ll inspire you (I hope I do!). I want you to slightly terrify me in all the best ways. Make me think about things differently, see things from different perspectives, stretch realities and comfort zones, and question all the things with all the wonder of a child in amazement and interest. Yes, let’s do that.

Alex and Spencer are my favorite fictional couple because above all things, her response when he told her where he was going was dangerous, was, “let’s look death in the eye together then, shall we?” as she laughs and it is one thousand percent me. In a later episode when they’re walking along a dock to board a boat for passage back home, she’s chattering away rambling off about nothing nonstop in that chirpy upbeat way I do when I’m nervous. Spencer turns and looks at her and asks, “you’re not going to do that the whole trip, are you?” referring to her talking. To which she explains that when he is concerned or afraid, he talks less, and when she is nervous, she jammers on even more. And in response he gets annoyed and talks less and less and in turn she has to talk four times as much just to fill the empty space of his silent brooding to cover her own fear and he looks at her and smiles. He understands her. And she understands him, too. She isn’t afraid to push his comfort zone, and he isn’t afraid to let her, and open up to her in return.

Isn’t it amazing when you realize how well you really know someone is not defined by the things they like or make them happy, but by how well you know their fears and secrets? That’s the true measure right there. It’s easy to tell others about our goals, what we want to do or be or become. But talking about the stuff that scares us? The stuff that challenges our souls and makes us question what really matters. Truly opening up to someone – now THAT is something. That is really something, and it forms a bond stronger than most people can ever know unless they experience it for themselves. It’s more than that, too because opening up to someone like that means you have to first be that truthfully starkly boldly honest with yourself…about everything.

Now that’s scary. It’s also liberating and empowering.

I’ve done it, and I’ll keep doing it and I’ll learn more of it along the way. I speak the truth even when it’s hard to hear or say because I know it will keep me honest and not just with others but with myself, too. That’s important, you know. Being honest with yourself. Probably the most important and the first place you have to start because if you’re not honest with yourself, there’s no way you can be honest with anyone else, that’s for sure.

I mean are you really happy? What are you most afraid of? Are you able to look yourself in the mirror and like what you see but not just on the outside, on the inside too? Did you learn anything new today? Do something that interested you? Listen to what someone had to say with your whole being – when you see, hear and feel them? There’s so much more to life than what you see on the surface. Are you listening? What do you hear when you have the world to yourself for a moment and no one else is around to hear? Is silence deafening or inspiring to you?

You don’t have to answer any of these questions out loud, or even at all. I ask them to myself to get to know myself better, so I can keep growing and learning to be a better person. You see for all that I’m replaceable – we all are – the one thing we can’t replace in our own life is ourselves. So be good to yourself. Treat yourself right. Be honest and truthful always, because when you lie to yourself you actually teach yourself that you’re not trustworthy and pretty soon you’ll be second-guessing everything and that’s a horrible place to be. Trust me, I know. Appreciate honesty even when it’s grossly uncomfortable or absolutely not at all what you want to hear. Trust your heart and your gut and your mind – together they are more powerful than any of them can be apart. And live for yourself – don’t let anyone else tell you what your life should look like. No one has the power to make that decision but you. Take it seriously, but keep laughing along the way too.

I have the absolute most amazing friends. It is so damn good to be back, even though I never really left though I talked about it. Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’m just going to keep working hard and smiling and laughing and finding ways to weave all the magic and hopes and dreams I have together for all of us.

Remember this: “Being scared just means you’re about to grow. And that frequent discomfort is the price of accelerated progress.” Also remember that who you are on the inside doesn’t matter if what you do doesn’t reflect that. Be true to yourself, always. Even when it’s hard or uncomfortable because that’s when it matters most.

I look forward to finding someone who will kiss me on the forehead because they mean it and know that they will stay. Someone I am never too much for. Someone who will look fear in the face with me, and keep on going. And you know what the best part is? Every day is one day closer to finding that person – to that person finding me – and in the meantime I get to enjoy life along the way with the most amazing people.