To the little girl in a tutu

To the little girl who once danced like no one was watching, with a fabulous tutu and a real sequin wand:

As it turned out, you had every reason to dance.

You didn't become a professional flutist. You are not a pediatrician or an astronaut.

You don't write for a living, but you still do it. You still love it.

You'll never guess what you are going to be when you grow up. 

Your job sounds boring, but - pinky swear - insurance is cooler than you think. And - shocker - you will learn to love dresses and skirts and tights, even if your hair and makeup skills are still a bit lagging.

The world is secretly grateful that you didn't pursue singing, acting, or a PhD in math (and you are too).

You will laugh at how your life is way more business Barbie than teacher Barbie. That wasn't planned. Nothing in life, as you will see, usually is.

You are still pretty concerned about Barbie as a role model, but nonetheless...

The dream house has less square footage, but it has a great view.  You met your real-deal Ken at age 17.

He loves you.
He always did. He always will. 

Your parents love you.
They always did. They always will.

You are going to move 3,000 miles away from home and you will feel the pull of it every single day. But you are going to be so happy - and so warm. The people that really love you will help bridge those miles.

As you get older, you will remember all those Bible songs. The messages will stay close, but your relationship with the universe will be different. This will be okay. Above all, you will always try to remember to be kind and do what is right.

You are going to be a cat person. Really, you are.

You don't have kids yet. It is 100% okay. If life has that in store, you will embrace it with gusto.

Warning: there will be some really awkward years.  It might be more like a decade. You will learn to use those glasses as an accessory. And five years of braces later, you will appreciate those teeth.

They will call you a nerd. Shake it off. It won't last forever.

You will fear the world for a great many years, and then you will find - almost unbelievably - that there really is nothing to fear but fear itself. This will set you free. It will be the beginning of a new life. 

Decades after you couldn't do a cartwheel, you will do a handstand.

And someday, around age 31, you will want to wear a tutu again. 

Because you will look at your crazy life, amidst the woulds and shoulds and can'ts, and you will still be your own spirit. No matter what seems broken. No matter what you left behind. No matter your failures or your falls. Or your fears. You might not love it all at once, but your heart will find a way to love the good and the bad.

You will know that a tutu always makes an awesome outfit, but it isn't what made the magic.

It was you all along.

And now every day is a journey to dance like nobody's watching.