The Story of Go Now and Live

Go Now and Live by Jeanette LeBlanc

Go Now And Live Fine Art Print

{The Story of Go Now and Live}

These words were first written in the fall of 2008; scrawled in my journal one late night after hours of crying.

I had just come out of the closet.  My marriage was ending.  I felt like life as I knew it was over and I had no idea what it was about to become.

I thought about what I would tell my 21 year old self if I had a chance to go back in time and whisper in her ear as she slept.  What knowledge would I want to impart to that idealistic young woman with the whole world at her feet?


As I thought, these words flowed from me and something inside me was healed.

Some time later I was getting ready for a friends birthday, and I decided that these words would make a good gift.  I played around in Photoshop with a typewriter font and textures I created myself from old photographs.  I printed the file onto the back of a Trader Joes grocery bag and was pretty pleased with the whole thing.  Just before I was about to slip it into the plain black frame my girlfriend urged me to sign the back.

“Why would I do that?”, I scoffed.

“Because this is the original”, she replied

I rolled my eyes at her, always my biggest cheerleader, but did as she suggested; never imagining there would be any more prints of my  last minute brown paper bag printed birthday gift.

I decided to post the file on flickr to share with my friends, family and photography community and it got some lovely comments, and then I promptly forgot about it.  I included my name and a copyright mark, again only at the urging of my girlfriend.

A year or so later an email appeared in my inbox from a woman who wanted permission to tattoo the words from “Go Now and Live” on her body.  I was so shocked that I think I laughed out loud.  I responded and said of course, but could she please tell me where on earth she had found it.  “You don’t know?  Just go Google it”.

And so I did.  Unbeknownst to me my humble words had been traveling cyberspace, shared on Tumblr and blogs and websites from all over the world.    Since then I have received emails from people from all walks of life who have connected with the words.  People battling cancer, parents who want to gift the words to their children, a company in the UK who wanted to make a poster for college kids to post on their doors of their dormitories.  It’s been featured in presentations by Falling Whistles, turned into three tattoos (that I know of) and included in a book by the amazing Patti Digh.   What I love the most is that this occurred organically – without any intention on my part to make it so.

I think it would make my 21 year old self pretty happy too.

Full Text:

Go Now and Live.
Experience. Dream. Risk. Close your eyes and jump. Enjoy the freefall. Choose exhilaration over comfort. Choose magic over predictability. Choose potential over safety. Wake up to the magic of everyday life. Make friends with your intuition. Trust your gut. Discover the beauty of uncertainty. Know yourself fully before you make promises to another. Make millions of mistakes so that you will know how to choose what you really need. Know when to hold on and when to let go. Love hard and often and without reservation. Seek knowledge. Open yourself to possibility. Keep your heart open, your head high and your spirit free. Embrace your darkness along with your light. Be wrong every once in a while, and don’t be afraid to admit it. Awaken to the brilliance in ordinary moments. Tell the truth about yourself no matter what the cost. Own your reality without apology. See goodness in the world. Be Bold. Be Fierce. Be Grateful. Be Wild,Crazy and Gloriously Free. Be You.
Go now, and live.  

Copyright: Jeanette LeBlanc

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