I don’t want to be coddled, or mollified, or tolerated. We use the word “toleration” in our society like it’s an achievement. It’s not. If you’re only tolerated where you are, then go somewhere else. Find the place where you are celebrated. Tolerate those who would only tolerate you; they’re not worthy of more of your time.
Search until you find the place where you belong. It will take more time than you realize, but your journey will be worth it — because those steps will reveal who you really were all along, before you hid yourself beneath those layers.
Now, I don’t mean for you to go where people blow smoke up your ass. That’s just dumb. You shouldn’t seek out sycophants; there’s nothing to be gained from false praise. A million fools high-fiving you are still a million fools.
Find your tribe: the people who speak the language you spoke before even you recognized the sounds you were uttering. The place where you feel at home, even though you’ve arrived for the very first time. The community that will push you and challenge you and make you freaking crazy sometimes. But you’ll care — and you’ll feel alive.
There are way too many people walking around already dead in this world: don’t be one of them. Fight. Stay vibrant. Stay connected. Refuse to anesthetize yourself.
Find that place where you do not just breathe, but where you can suck the air into your lungs, full and desperate and hungry for more. Walk away from the beatdowns, the smug silences, and the glances over the glasses and down the nose. You don’t need that. Find what really makes your heart beat faster and go there. Don’t walk. Run. Find the celebration.
(Image courtesy of Nicole Bedard Photography.)