You can wear red lipstick and still be feminist as fuck.
You can fall madly in love with your whole entire being, body and soul and still search for magical solutions for your undereye circles or your muffin top or your adult acne.
You can be so solidly grounded in the grace of growing older without having to give yourself over fully to the passage of time. You can dye your gray hair away or get treatment for your wrinkles and still know that being over forty (or fifty or sixty) is fucking fine.
You can long for love and partnership and still fiercely protect your solitude and sovereignty. You can be sex-positive and have a libido-like-woah and still not date, choose to love yourself and go it alone, for now, or forever or until it all changes yet again.
You can be broken-hearted and angry about our current political climate or the struggles of those you love. You can ache and cry. You can read and research and donate and do direct action. And you are still allowed to laugh and dance. To celebrate the wonder of being alive in this world and fiercely protect your hard-won joy.
It is possible to like fluffy pop music or trashy novels and still possess a fierce intellected and move through the world knowing you are a force to be reckoned with.
You can adore fashion and makeup and post all the selfies you want without it being a means of validating your insecurity or low self-esteem. It doesn’t need to mean that you’re surrendering to a patriarchal misogynistic culture or are hiding or camouflaging your true self in the name of external approval. It can for fun, or celebration of the way it makes you feel more like you, deep in your bones.
It is possible to have a public self and a private self and countless selves in between and for this to not be insincere or inauthentic, simply a choice to share different parts of you with different people or circles or spheres of influence. We don’t have to be the same everywhere and to everyone, granting access to part of your life does not mean you owe the entirety of it to everyone.
It is possible to care deeply about being smart and kind and beautiful, and it is also possible to create and recreate the definitions of those words, all words, only for yourself.
You can love him and love her and love them both. In past and present and some imaginary future, and not need to take on any of the labels the world pushes on you for doing so. Your love doesn’t require you to fit inside a box of anyone’s design.
If you want those labels, if they fit like your favorite jeans and you bloom inside of them and somehow expand inside of you into something that feels like home and wholeness and belonging, then you can grab them and paint them large on a marquee and add lights so that everyone can see the list of names you have chosen for yourself.
You can hold your family of origin or choice in deep compassion and love and still choose to extricate you from their reach, from the spaces and places that desire to hold you to a past version of self that is no longer true.
You can be free and deeply honest in some spaces and on some topics and still have locked closets and buried secrets and undiscovered layers, without it making you any less true. You and only you get to decide what to offer and what to keep.
It is possible to accept a thing as truth today and reject it tomorrow. To write things you will one day no longer believe, to change your world to suit your new views. To learn and unlearn over and over and over again without it making you inconsistent or hypocritical. It simply means you are here and human and willing to own your process of continuous evolution.
It is possible to outgrow and evolve or discard your own myth and to untangle yourself from your own metaphor.
It is possible to be a walking contradiction, to honor and insist on your own multitudes, to luxuriate in the paradox of being. To take the words that feel right for you and discard the rest. To create your own guidebook with the things that resonate and ignore everything else.
Nothing in this may ring true for you, and that is just as it should be.
The whole point, the only one that matters is this: this is your life. You get to be filled with beautiful contradictions. To embrace your multitudes. To be unapologetic about all the parts of you that don’t make sense to anyone else, and even the ones that don’t always make sense to you.
This is your life.
Write your own story, every chance you get.
PS: Want to embrace your own beautiful paradox? Download my free pdf writing prompt to help you explore your own beautiful contradictions.