For when you’re Both / And

Oct 9, 2018


My friend**,


You are allowed.


You are allowed to be both full of rage and delight

at the same time

You are allowed to love your body one day

and spend a hundred sad minutes in front of the mirror the next.

You are allowed.

To both love and hate being alone

and in the company of others

at the same time.


You can be rebellious

and also want desperately to belong.


My friend,

you are allowed

to wear lipstick one day

and burn your bra the next.


Allowed to be

both fearful and courageous

both unspeakably sad

and yet full of gratitude.

both full of joy

and aching with longing.

both determined and strong

and in need of support.


You are allowed to change your mind.

You are allowed to be confusing to those around you –


You are, after all

a human

not a brand.





May I?  

May I jolt you out of your right brain for a minute to tell you why?


An oft-overlooked hallmark of adult development is our ability to grasp complexity.


Truthfully, not every adult reaches this hallmark:  developmental psychologists posit that it is only a small percentage of adults that transition from having a “socialized mind” (aka: caring a lot about how we appear to the world and less about who we most authentically are) to being “self-authoring” – that milestone during which, as Robert Kegan, the guy who came up with this stuff probably did not say, 1) we Give Fewer Fucks, and 2) can hold two opposing thoughts or concepts as both being equally true at the same time.

Which is to say

your complexity is a sign of your growth

and the richness of your character

not a sign that you are inauthentic or confused.


We live in a world that deifies authenticity 

but disallows complexity.

A conundrum, to be sure

for those of us who are Both / And

(that is to say, a great many of us, a great deal of the time)


But may I say?



When you can hold both your joy and your pain

your anger and your gratitude

both your positive attitude and your fear


It is because,

my friend,

you are all that


and you’ve found the grace to allow yourself to expand 

outside the confines of what makes others comfortable

(outside what looks good on Instagram)

outside what makes sense

outside the idealized projection of who you wish you were

and fully into yourself.

The fullness of yourself.


And so


Welcome to yourself

beautiful Both / Ands and all.


**and if I am honest

Dear Me.