Nothing lasts forever. Not the pain nor the triumph—the good news is that eventually instead of despairing at these fleeting moments of life, you will learn to lean into and release. In doing so, I promise you will find part of the lightness you’re so desperately searching for.
Learn not to let your anger consume you and confront it instead. Reach into yourself and find the courage I know you have to ask yourself what this anger is trying to tell you. Explore the why of it all to finally release that pain and live freely from it.
Don’t give your power away to others. Don’t give others the power to decide where you fit in and who you are—only you can decide that for yourself. And in the end, you’ll find there is no need to fit into any other world because the one you will eventually build for yourself will become home. Once you are at peace with yourself and even love yourself, then you are home. P.S. Finding peace with yourself is sort of a longer journey but you can just make peace with not really being at peace in the meantime.
Let words be words. When people say things about you, the only weight those words have is the weight you give them. Choose which words you can learn from and which words you can dismiss. And be proud of yourself for the energy you are constantly pouring into learning and doing better. No one has all the answers and learning is a lifelong journey—but you have the heart to always ask yourself what you might not know and do your best to seek that knowledge and even adjust your course of action accordingly!! Take a moment to acknowledge just how bad-ass that is.
Eventually you will learn that love is not exclusively romantic love. Love is in community, in healing, in friendship, in yourself. Focus on fostering love in these ways and you will find that all of the undeserving boys you thought loved you should have never had a chance in the first place. You will learn that in order to love others, friends and all, you will have to love yourself first—and that love is accepting and even celebratory of the imperfect and messy. Life will change indescribably once you start allowing yourself to simply be human.
Document everything but don’t forget to live it all. Taste the mangos, swim in the springs, climb the trees, trek the hills, hug your people, and get out of your own head. Being behind the camera, it turns out, can be a way to keep distance and even a certain degree of control over yourself. Once you put the camera down, this barrier, then you have no choice but to immerse yourself and let loose. And when you do, well, everything will change.
Portrait shot by: Greg C. Holland