last month, something exquisitely beautiful entered my world. something thoroughly good, honest, and open. something better and easier than anything i’ve experienced in my entire life.

this tender, broken part of my heart wants to laugh it off. i want to protect myself from the vulnerability of being hurt again. i want to say, “you’ve heard this all before. you know exactly what stage i’m at and how long this will last before i need to extricate myself.”

well, i have been saying that. i have been minimizing my own feelings because the backpedaling that has happened in the past as i learn more about what i want and need in my life is humiliating. to admit that what i thought was an exact fit, is in fact, a drain on my energy and drive for life.

i can’t predict the future. i can recognize as my life becomes more or less of what i want it to be, but it’s impossible to anticipate exactly how various elements will interact, evolve, or weigh over time. maybe this will be a season of light and hope that fades quickly. that prospect is terrifying, because the goodness is life-giving in ways i never experienced before.

but i’m not responsible for that. all i can do is to be present in the moment, be honest with myself and others about what i want, how i feel, and what i need. i hold within myself the power to shape my life to be what i want it to be, and i am the one who needs to now wholeheartedly embrace the risk, reckless hopefulness, and beauty this season brings. i am the one who needs to vulnerably and wholeheartedly share myself—the fragile hopes, the shameful pain, the light whimsy, the vibrant joys—to generously and freely open up. this all while being grounded in reality, listening to myself, and pursuing the life that will reflect the values i hold dear and the trajectory i want for my own growth.

the past three years have seen change i never could have anticipated in my life. at each juncture, i’ve taken responsibility for pursuing the work, education, and life i want. in so many ways, i am getting closer to the reality of that every day. but unless i want to stagnate, i’ll never truly be finished aiming for higher and better. and i’ll never grow if i don’t intentionally and meaningfully open myself and embrace the goodness i am given in this moment.

this is me, aiming to be open, wholehearted, and trusting.

i am frightened. i am hopeful. i am grateful.