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“I guess sometimes you publish things. And sometimes you just live. You break all the little rules you've made for yourself and you just live.”

She wrote those words for me. I sat there; nursing my half finished Starbucks between my hands which, in hindsight, were completely overloaded with midi rings. I’m such an extremist.

A moment before, I felt all Monday-ish. Sombre and silent. That’s what I call Monday-ish. You should totally use it in a sentence today, especially if it's not Monday. But now? Now that I had disappeared into Hannah’s blog, which I am convinced she wrote just for me… I just wanted to cry. Her words found home in my heart.

Because in those 25 words were everything I needed to hear. In those three sentences, was the permission I had been seeking.

Permission to make mistakes. Permission to experience. Permission to live.

In the last seven months I have lived. I have made memories that I will laugh about until I’m one hundred and five, because I definitely plan on getting a letter from the Queen. I have found friends that became sisters. I have seen glimpses of the dream God gave me when I was seven-years old. I have been to Disneyland more than I ever thought possible. I have picked pumpkins with J-Lo, sat next to Stevie Wonder in church and am closer than ever before to becoming Taylor’s BFF. I have been angry and grateful and excited and scared and confused at God, often at the same time. Life is full.

And in the quiet moments, when I’m reflecting and dreaming and laughing at myself, I have thought of you. I have wanted to tell you. But as days stretched out into weeks, I didn’t want to be the friend that calls you randomly after six months of silence, as if no time has passed. And while the response to “what’s new with you” should be “EVERYTHING,” you don’t really know where to start so you respond with, “oh you know, just chillin like a villain.”

Somewhere along the way we learned that living wasn't really living if we weren’t telling everyone about it. But I think we need to burn whatever book we read that in because it's kind of stupid. 

Honestly? I think we need to get better at celebrating the things that can’t be found on a smart phone.

We need to champion memory making over Instagram taking, adventure dates over Tinder and midnight kitchen conversations over text messages.

And when we can, when we pause to catch our breath, let’s let people in on the journey. That’s the time to share the memories and the lessons, and by all means, use your trusty-but-sometimes-not-so-trusty-thanks-to-the-newest-iphone-update smart phone to do it!

So tomorrow, that’s what I want to do. I want to let you in. Because I have missed you. I want to take you on a lap of this unpredictable, fast rollercoaster I’m on. Sometimes California Screamin’ (which is what I’ve named this chapter of my life) makes me want to be vomit, close my eyes and scream, but mostly I’m learning to open my eyes, let them well up with tears, throw my hands in the air and enjoy the ride, grateful that I’m not the one in control.

So tomorrow, when I write to you, because I will, pretend I’m writing you a postcard, from Paris. Except that I’m not in Paris. I’m in LA. But “from Paris, with love” is much more endearing than “from the valley, like totally with kisses and kale.”

{Note: Go to Paris. Write blog. Picnic under Eiffel Tower. Take in the moment. Then take photo.}

So, I’ll see you tomorrow then? Because I really have missed you. A lot. And that’s the truth.

 

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