A few weeks ago I told you about
Cadence, a little girl of maybe three or four who confidently introduced
herself outside of a mall bathroom, “Hi, I’m Cadence, and I can do anything.”
In ways she could never imagine, this child and her gotcha-world stance stuck
in my head.
I aspire to adopt Cadence’s attitude
toward life every day.
Then there are days I end up sending my
daughter texts suggesting the life of a prairie dog could suit me just fine. Whenever
the world starts to royally freak me out (I get flipped off by a road ragey
driver, or I make the mistake of watching the news for too long) I begin to fall
seriously in love with the idea of never stepping foot outside my home again.
Prairie dog living sounds ideal. Hide out, then pop up from time to time just
so everyone knows I still exist. That pretty much defines how I’ve handled
social media lately. After my confessional text to my kid about wanting to be a
prairie dog, within seconds we both shot each other an identical GIFs. #wildfun
Here’s the truth: I’m not merely an
Anything Girl wannabe. She’s inside me, and like the prairie dog analogy, how I
remind the world I haven’t petered out in some hole somewhere, the Anything
Girl pops her head up from time to time. It’s a welcome surprise. I like her.
She’s ballsy, uninhibited, and
her voice matters. (I’m enjoying addressing
myself in 3rd person a little too much. Stopping now.) In time I’ve
learned how to coax the Anything Girl out of me on a whim. If you’re intrigued
and tempted to show the world the Anything Girl in you—pay attention.
The following are all things I’ve
learned to create the best environment for the Anything Girl in me to thrive—
- The sooner you embrace life is a tangled
knot of pain and joy, the better off
- Learn how to not take rejection too
- Establish a circle of trust (nod to
Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents). Stick close with the people who encourage
you through hard times, celebrate your accomplishments, and those who’ll remain
loyal to you through all things. At all times.
- Laugh at yourself as frequently as
- Don’t stuff your emotions.
- Don’t embarrass easily.
- Be willing to try new things and
adventures even when they (not if because they will) scare you or you’re
- Do not—by any means—ever—compare your
life and losses and insecurities and dreams and wants and hurts and chin hair
or knobby knees or cellulite to anyone else. We are all supposed to be
different. And only you can do you (feel free to make a T-shirt with that on
it…giving you full permission here).
- Try hard not to control or judge others.
Reflect upon and seek to improve your own sloppy ass life first before you
rattle on about someone else’s mess. Even better, don’t entertain yourself with
rumors or gossip at all.
- Swear occasionally. (See don’t stuff
- Get with your spouse often (you’re
- Don’t let the past or your idea of what
the future is supposed to look like have more power than your present.
- Find something to be grateful for every
day, even if it’s just that you didn’t have to clean toothpaste art off the
granite countertop in the kids’ bathroom for once.
- Practice kindness with strangers. And
- Seek to understand. All people. All
things. And consider staying quiet until you reach a point of deeper
- Do not consider anyone of a higher or
lower worth. Treat everyone with an equal measure of compassion and love.
- Admit faults readily, but use discretion
online. Trolls will slay you. Even people who are otherwise reasonably cordial
have a tendency to grow claws when their fingers reach the keyboard. Guard your
heart. And your head space.
- When your thought life gets exceptionally
ugly remind yourself of the limited time you have on earth. I often hear Tim
Robbins and Morgan Freeman in my head telling me it comes down to a simple
choice. Get busy living or get busy dying.
- Don’t be content with who you were
yesterday. Every day strive to improve.
- Understand—I mean really understand that
your worth does not come from others’ impressions of you or how tidy or messy
your life is.
- Know you will be tempted more times than
you could possibly conceive to give up on a dream—that thing inside you sense
you’re on earth for. Don’t give up.
I’m sure I’ll be writing more posts like
this one. I hope the list above inspires you to be an Anything Girl (or Guy).
The world needs more thoughtful and purpose-focused people leading others toward
effective and healing change.
*My prairie dog kid ready to hit the
dance floor at prom this past weekend—an Anything Girl in training. And if you
look closely, you might spot the shadow of a rare enormous prairie dog on the