(I write pep talks to myself sometimes. This one wanted to be shared.)
Too often, you eat the wrong side of the mushroom. One side makes you grow smaller, the other makes you grow taller. But it’s a big scary world full of Cheshire Cats whose smiles disappear and Queens of Hearts who do not need a trial by jury to sentence you to a beheading. And so you swallow the mushroom that shrinks you, because it seems easier and safer.
Other times, that bite of mushroom is shoved down your throat. The glove that does it is usually labeled “comparison.” There always seems to be someone funnier, prettier, smarter, or more talented than you. It’s so tempting to be the stagehand fervently applauding that show than to step out in the spotlight yourself. Where did the little girl who performed ridiculous dance moves for the camera go? Where’s the you that pushed the sweaty hair out of her face and sang because she wanted to?
The world tries to make you small. You try to make you small.
But you’re worth better.
Your light is freaking bright. It is important. This world full of seven billion people needs you to play your guitar and not be able to cook and tweet about the How To Train Your Dragon soundtrack. It needs your letters. It needs your blog posts. It needs your hugs, prayers, and curly hair.
Do not hide. Do not apologize for your laugh or belittle your dreams because you think others could achieve them better. You own your space, because it’s yours and you’re worth it. You have a calling, and that calling is not to say “sorry” about everything and shrink into the shadows. It’s scary to step out on a shaking limb and try when there’s no guarantee of success. But there will always be a risk, and it takes a big woman to take them.
So never be afraid to grow. What do you really have to lose if you’re in such good hands and loved in such a powerful way? Go for the thing that’s terrifying but worth it. Refuse to run from the world and from the fight that’s just waiting to burst from your soul. You have a place here, and you are irreplaceable. You have a purpose that will only get cooler as you battle for it, because it may be a battle against card soldiers, circumstance, or insecurity. It may be hard. But you are worth every inch and the world needs every inch, so try the side of the mushroom that will make you grow. Reach for the heaven you dream of. There’s too much to see and do for any time to be wasted on shrinking.