I'm here to let you in on a secret:
I've learned it over the years, with my wind-battered face towards the wind.
Your shell is not meant to shield you
from the world's hardships and tribulations.
My darling, you were meant to break out of it.
There's a world outside of that exoskeleton,
full of beautiful new experiences,
people to hurt you.
Moments to cradle in your heart when the fire inside extinguishes.
Abandoning the safety and warmth of everything you've known, you'll feel your wings emerge. Slowly at first. And then at once, you'll know.
It is only with wings that one can fly.
And so, my dear, as you venture out into the world, another day older and so much wiser, remember this:
Love with reckless abandon.
Learn to crave the way an unsatisfied heart aches, and embrace the relative comfort of being uncomfortable.
Grow so tall and brave that your wings touch the sky before your ego ever will.
Continue to amaze me and everyone blessed with watching you learn to fly since you took your first breath.
Shells are not a safety device. They're a grand curtain to reveal the magic yet to come.
Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.