You are allowed to backtrack. You are allowed to figure out what inspires you. You are allowed time.
Your growth is never going to be linear, and life is not a set timeline of milestones that you have to check off as quickly, or in the same way, those around you do. it is okay if you don't finish school, get married, find a job that supports you, have a family, make money, and live comfortably all by this age, or that age. it's okay if you do, as long as you understand that if you're not married by 25, or a vice president by 30 or even happy, for that matter the world isn't going to condemn you. you are allowed to backtrack. you are allowed to figure out what inspires you. you are allowed time.
Do not let society convince you that you have to take the next step, and the next step, and the next step towards a future you don't genuinely believe in. give yourself permission to breathe. give yourself permission to have patience within your timing to take inventory of the things that ignite you, to dive into the heart of who you are and take the steps towards a future that is yours, and yours alone. give yourself permission to do things differently. give yourself permission to truly figure out what you desire from life, and when you do connect with that, never give up on it. pursue it with ruthless conviction.
Know when to walk away from the people who cannot love you the way you deserve to be loved. learn how to be on your own, how to be honest with your heart even when it hurts.
Trust me when i say that a love bred out of convenience, a love that blossoms from the need to sleep beside someone, a love that caters to our need for attention rather than passion, is a love that will not inspire you at 6am when you roll over and embrace it. strive to discover foundational love, the kind of relationship that motivates you to be a better man or woman, the kind of intimacy that is rare rather than right there.
So.. be alone. eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. in the midst of this you will learn about yourself. you will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself. wait for it. please, i urge you to wait for it, to fight for it, to make an effort for it if you have already found it, because it is the most beautiful thing your heart will experience.
Please, whatever you do.. just leap towards tenderness. leap towards connection. we are all afraid to say too much, to feel too deeply, to let people know what they mean to us. but caring is not synonymous with crazy. expressing to someone how special they are to you will make you vulnerable. there is no denying that. however, that is nothing to be ashamed of. there is something breathtakingly beautiful in the moments of smaller magic that occur when you strip down and are honest with those who are important to you, when you choose to slam your heart into those who ignite something within it, when you express. so, express. express, express, express. open yourself up, do not harden yourself to the world, and be bold in who, and how, you love. there is courage in that.