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That Beautiful Mess


For a long time now, I’ve looked at others and come to the conclusion that having your life
together means being beautiful, means having a daily planner updated down to the hour, means
having a pretty notebook and dope fashion at all times, means having time to sit down with
coffee in the morning and plan all the awesomely productive stuff you’re going to do that day.

Can you blame me? When you’re plugged into the age of Instagram and the never-ending roll of
gorgeous Tumblr feeds, that’s a very natural conclusion.

We like to think that success is beautiful.

We like to think that productivity is sleek and has winged eyeliner.

We have no way of knowing that keeping your crap together and living a worthwhile, busy life is
anything but picture-perfect. And how are you going to keep it together if you don’t have all the
tools you need, if you’re a mess, if you don’t have a collection of pretty coffee mugs? (or,
heaven forbid, you don’t even like coffee in the first place?)

It’s taken me time to realize that the usual mess of me has turned into something that’s getting
things done. I’m busy, I’m on track with my schedule, I’m creating. For the first time in my life,
I feel like I’m working toward success.

And friends, it’s anything but beautiful.

I get eight hours of sleep and wake up at a decent time, and most of the time I do everything in
sweatpants. Makeup is a foreign concept to me unless there’s a special occasion.

Today I did all my schoolwork, wrote words upon words upon words in my novel, and I’m
finishing up this blog post. I’m wearing wrist braces and guzzling Mountain Dew like there’s no
tomorrow.

Some of us know how to act the part and look it, too. Some of us rock fashionable outfits on a
daily basis and you know what? More power to those people. I admire them more than I know
how to say. But that’s not the only way. That is not success, or happiness, or having it together.
As with most things, outward appearances do not always equal value.

You don’t have to have it together.

You don’t have to know what you’re doing. You don’t have to run a flawless Instagram and own
every color highlighter known to man. You don’t have to take elaborate notes when you study.
Life is beautiful, yes. And we have access to beautiful things. But life is also wild and messy and
not always healthy or aesthetically pleasing. Life is tiring, and stressful, and that, in itself, that
wild ride you navigate every day, is the important thing.

You don’t have to have everything together.

You don’t have to hold your tears back and drink tea out of vintage mugs.

You don’t have to do everything “right”.

You have to be you. And sometimes, you is a mess. (I should know. I’m the greatest mess of all.)

I think it’s high time we embrace that mess and who we are, and learn to roll with it.

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