I remember being 13 at my first summer ballet camp in the great big city of New York. As part of my rebellion against authority and embracement of Greenwich Village, I contemplated getting a tattoo illegally.
I tossed around ideas, mostly involving butterflies, but felt really indecisive about what to get. Finally, I decided that I would wait until I was 18. THEN I would really know who I was, have my life figured out! THEN I could get the tattoo that symbolized it all.
Well, my 18th birthday came and went and - as you might imagine - I found myself probably more confused and in search of myself than ever before. No tattoo for Jessie.
When I officially moved to NYC soon after my 18th birthday, I looked up to my 26 year old roommate who in my mind was the coolest and totally had it together: She was a professional ballet dancer, a bartender, had a boyfriend, AND she had tattoos. Lots of them. I longed for the day when I would be 26 and just like her.
My 26 was much different - not dancing, not bartending, not boyfriending, and still no tattoos - but I for sure was still searching and found new role models and new dreams to look forward to.
The point of these stories is to say that at every level you achieve in life, there will be something beyond you that looks even better - the stuff you aspire to do and be.
You might never feel like you “have it together,” and maybe you never should.
Once we reach our milestones, new ones take shape.
If we didn’t create new dreams, we wouldn’t be fully alive.
So if you look to the next person or the next milestone thinking “That’s when I’ll have it together, that’s when my dream life can start,” remember that once you get there, a new set of aspirations will appeal to you.
My recommendation to you this Creative Friday is to embrace where you are right now.
Try writing a letter from your future self to your current self, letting her know the wisdom and love that’s already there.
Here are some prompts to get you started:
Dear 2015 Me,
I want you to know that….
You already have…
Because chances are, when you get to the next level you’ll look back and think about how cool you once were when you danced in the uncertainty - tattooed or not.
There’s more out there for you, just let yourself be and allow it to unfold.
[box style="rounded" border="full"]
Do you have a tattoo?
What’s your idea of “having it together?”
Share with us below and let the conversation continue.
still untattooed, still aspiring,