A pink and perfectly designed baby shower invitation I recently received included a special request. Instead of a card, we were asked to bring a book and write a special message to the little one on the way.
First of all, this is right up my alley. I have saved my favorite childhood books from many a closet purge and cannot wait to share them with kids who will never know a world without the internet. Knowledge is power and reading is fun. Remember that, kids.
So, Russ and I went straight to Ana Apple, our favorite youngster supply store, and picked a quirky book about an adventurous lemon with desires to explore the world (would you expect any other theme from us?). Now, we just needed to write an inscription.
But, how do you write to a baby? To a person you've never met? To someone whose personality has yet to be revealed? I wanted to tell the truth. To be inspiring and impactful. But, I couldn't form the right sentence that didn't include "should."
I have lived a life full of shoulds. I've done everything expected of me and followed all the rules. And honestly, I regret it. Of course, it made life a lot easier at times and brought about some wonderful experiences but now, at almost 30, I'm trying desperately to uncover my real self buried under the pile of shoulds and I don't want to set that precedent for anyone else.
I don't want to tell you how to live or who to be. I don't want to explain the world to you or set unfair expectations for achievements or experiences. I want you to be you and bring your unique gifts, which are currently undefined and yours to select, to the world in whichever way you decide.
Discover yourself. Defend the person you truly are. And share her widely.
Be you, Boo.