I have a deep set of obscure beliefs that I cling to with relentless conviction.
I believe blasting punk rock music and putting on red lipstick is the best medicine for just about all of life’s daily ailments.
I believe coffee should be scolding hot. Whiskey should be straight. Wine should be dry. Flights should be long. Hugs should be strong. Books should be thick. And people should be honest.
But more than anything, I believe life should be freaking spectacular.
Life should be led by BIG, nearly unattainable dreams that you chase until your knees are bloodied from all the falling and you’re so out of breath that you may damn well keel over.
Life should be filled with the kind of love that consumes you. Love that’s challenging, tender, and exciting. Love that kicks you in the gut and wraps you up in the world’s safest embrace all at once. Love that whispers into the deep abyss of your very existence, and awakens the most vulnerable, beautiful parts of your soul.
Life should be weird and wild. Electric and exhilarating. It should scare the shit out of you and then take you to places you’ve only dreamed of.
We are meant to get lost in the enormity of the lives we have the unbelievable opportunity to lead.
That’s the kind of life I want. I’m tired of apologizing for it and downplaying my desires. I’m fed up with feeling guilty for the aggressive, passionate way I forge forward towards the person and place I want to be in this world.
I despise the pressure we all feel to set the bar lower so it’s more attainable in a worthless attempt to avoid disappointment, rejection, or failure.
I say bring it on; all the disappointment, rejection and failure. We need those things too. And god only knows I’ve had my share of them living by this mantra.
I’ve messed up in front of hundreds of people. I’ve sung the wrong note or said the wrong thing. I’ve written articles that I’ve later deeply regretted. I’ve made mistakes in big interviews and meetings. I’ve gone on cringy, climb-out-the-window level bad dates. I’ve missed flights, trains, and busses. I’ve lost everything from my wallet and keys to my damn mind while traveling on my own. I’ve cracked jokes that had no shot at landing. I’ve physically fallen off a stage.
I FELL OFF THE STAGE, GUYS. TRUE STORY.
I’ve been rejected and heartbroken. I’ve had jobs I wanted more than anything decide I wasn’t who they wanted for the role. I’ve invested my entire heart and soul in relationships that blew up in my face. I’ve thrown myself into paths and pursuits I wasn’t meant for. I’ve moved from one city to another, packing up my lessons, heartache and memories into cardboard boxes each time. I’ve fallen down and I’ve been kicked when I was down, sometimes even with me doing the kicking.
But you know what? I don’t regret any of it. Not one embarrassing mistake or discouraging failure. Not one tear that’s fallen onto my guitar, laptop, or notebook to the tune of a Taylor Swift breakup song.
Because to me, it’s all SO much better than not trying. It’s so much more satisfying than hiding in a corner, pretending that’s where I believe I belong.
Even though things haven’t always worked out the way I’d hoped, wanting everything from life has also gifted me the experiences, accomplishments and genuine connections I’m most grateful for. This crazy mantra is the reason for every chance I’ve taken and for every moment I’ve truly lived.
It’s the reason I’ve cliff-jumped in St. Thomas and paraglided over the Italian Riviera. It’s the reason I’ve been kissed in Paris at the moment the Eiffel Tower started to glitter. It’s the reason I’ve danced on tables with my best friend in London, climbed snowy mountains in Washington, and lost every ounce of air in my chest marveling at the coast of Ireland.
It’s the reason I am where I am in my career and why I’ve encountered the uncomfortable and impossible opportunities I have.
It’s the reason I have known deep, earth-shattering love. The love that makes you weak in knees. The love that rids you of your sanity. The love they write about in books and ballads. The love powerful enough to hurt like hell when you lose it.
And that’s all I want. I don’t want lukewarm love or lukewarm life. I don’t want just okay. I don’t want the slimy comfort of complacency that makes us accepting of mediocrity. I don’t want good enough.
I want nothing less than everything from this life.
Here is where I scream a virtual “WHO’S WITH ME?!” into the blogosphere.
Because don’t you want that too?
Don’t you also believe that we, as human beings, are meant for more than nine-to-five jobs we can semi-tolerate, meal-prep dinners, and Netflix binges with a dude we’ve deemed attractive enough to post photos with on Instagram?
Because we ARE meant for more.
We are meant to be courageous and bold. We are meant to love and lose and fail. We are meant to follow our own wild, messy paths and leave the world’s most unique handprints on this planet.
But we have to be willing to risk it for the damn biscuit when it comes to what we want most in this life. We have to choose to want more.
I’m talking actively resisting the urge to settle. Because it’s what we, especially as women, are so often taught to do from a young age.
With our careers. With our passions. With our friendships. With our locations. DEFINITELY with dating and marriage.
They tell us that being dissatisfied is ungrateful. Being a dreamer is unrealistic. Being picky is unwise.
Those are just crafty lies used to make women (and people) feel smaller than they really are. You get to be as big as you want to be. And you get to choose what it is you want.
Random person: “You know, Lexi, if you keep your standards so high, you may never get married. THEN what will you do?!”
Me: “Not get married, I guess?”
And I mean that.
Of course, no one is perfect. Expecting perfection from a romantic partner is both unfair and downright delusional. We are all just fragmented humans doing our best to grow and support one another. Everyone deserves respect and patience in relationships.
That said, there is no shame in wanting what you want and not being afraid to set the bar where you want to place it.
If you’re unhappy in a long-term relationship, don’t stay out of fear of the unknown. Don’t convince yourself it’s ok when you know it isn’t. And if you’re dating someone who treats you poorly or makes you feel like a neglected piece of garbage, don’t stick around just because you think it’s the best you can do.
IT ISN’T. There is better. I promise. Move on. Get what you actually want.
In the holy words of Lizzo:
“Woo, child, tired of the bullshit
Go on, dust your shoulders off, keep it moving
Yes, Lord, tryna get some new shit”
That is some profound freaking wisdom right there. You can always be “tryna get some new shit” in life if you know, deep down, that’s what you really want.
A new job. A new city or town. A new significant other. New friends. New hobbies. New habits. New perspectives. New dreams.
WANT. IT. ALL.
And fight for it, because ‘wanting’ isn’t enough.
It takes red eyes and all-nighters. Rejected job applications and unanswered emails. Difficult conversations and lonely months. Long drives and scary moments.
It’s not always easy to want more.
Some days you miss the things that once satisfied you. You miss your quirky little hometown. You miss your family. You miss the smell of your ex’s sweatshirts and the way his arms felt wrapped around you on the couch. You miss the quiet comfort of what you once compromised on.
It takes uncomfortable, muscle-stretching growth to get what you actually want in life. But you DO get there, little by little. And you get there knowing that you fought like hell for what you really desired and needed to be happy.
You look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m going for what I want in this life. I don’t feel guilty about it. I don’t feel ashamed. Instead, I feel powerful and authentic. I feel brave. I feel overcome by gratitude for this chance to be who I know I can be.”
Because “you know you a star, you can touch the sky.”
Lizzo says it, and so do I.
I’m right here with you, rising and falling, pushing towards my goals like the highly caffeinated lunatic I know I am. We are all out here with you, fighting for our craziest dreams and for the future versions of ourselves we know we are capable of becoming.
Because not only can you want everything, you can get it too. And you should.
You’re only given one chance at this life.
So LIVE it, girl.
And never, ever apologize for that.