I see you working through some shit. Throughout this whole process, you still manage to extend grace and kindness to others. I am proud of you. You must start extending some of that grace and kindness to yourself. I promised never to lie to you. As your oldest friend I say these things out of my deep well of love for you. It is time for some things to change.

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Stop with the self-imposed restrictions on what you can and cannot accomplish.

It is bullshit and you are lying to yourself. Doing so allows your anxiety to rule the roost.

Your anxiety is a dirty liar, and a narcissistic asshole. Knock it off.

You don’t have to know what you are going to be when you grow up.

The concept of one profession, one pursuit, one location, one passion is outdated.

It fails to reflect the majesty that is your brain and spirit. You don’t have to be anything/anyone/anywhere but right now, in this moment, and breathing. Be a full participant in the choose your own adventure story.

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Stop telling yourself that your broken smile makes you unworthy of love.

Stop allowing the pain that you carry to be the thing that keeps your light contained.

Your words are sacred. Hold them in your mouth for safekeeping or release them into the ether. Both are valid and needed.

You are not the sum of your parts. Your self-worth is not equivalent to your net worth. You are not measured by the things you can or cannot accomplish in your day. You are not required even to get out of bed if life feels too big. Your waistline or that deadline are not the thing that measures your spirit or your capacity to give.

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Your scars are beautiful.

Your bumps and lumps are beautiful.

Your cellulite is beautiful.

You are God. Damned. Beautiful.

Fight the urge to numb out.

Stay Awake and Engaged.

Keep Breathing

Keep Loving

Keep Going.

It is okay to be scared.

It is okay to be angry.

It is okay to be overwhelmed.

It is okay to let go.

It is okay to hide if that is what you need.

It is okay to come out of hiding, if that is what you need.

It is okay to delete that other profile.

It is okay to start that other profile.

It is okay to lose that friend’s number.

It is okay to say hello or keep walking.

It is okay to call out from work today, or quit that job, or even stay because you need the money.

It is okay to not know why, or how, or for whom.

Your family will fail you.

Your intellect will fail you.

Your resilience will fail you.

Your body will fail you.

You will phone a friend and it will roll to their damn voicemail.

All of these things do not define you.

You. Define. You.

Your voice is important.

You. Are. Enough.

I need you.

all my love,



Jerusha Gray

Jerusha Gray is insatiably curious. This curiosity, coupled with a brain that never shuts up, drives her to paint and draw, read prodigiously, make music, write, and sing in grocery stores.


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