A few days ago, the wonderful Jennifer Garam tweeted this quote from Isadora Duncan: “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.”

It spurred some fun conversation about our wilder selves, and inspired Jennifer to write a great post about hers. You should visit her blog and maybe post some of your own wild times. (Then tell me you did, so I can go read them.)

Meanwhile, the Isadora Duncan quote has been rolling around inside me like something popped loose ever since I read it. It’s a voice whispering in my ear… “How alive are you willing to be?”

There is another part of me that rears back from my lists and maps and plans. “What about the surprises?” it asks. “What about the cool things you never thought you’d do because they never crossed your mind until the moment they fell into your path? What about being open to the unexpected, the ill-advised, the daring… the wild?”

It’s the same voice that told me the summer before last that I was way too old to never have been skinny dipping. It’s the voice that told me at 31 I should quit my job and go back to school, learn how to be a programmer; the same voice that totally ditched that programming plan about half way through my first creative writing class. It’s the voice that told me I should get out of the cave, start a blog, write a book, attempt scuba, make a life list, beckon the lovely, jump off a cliff, collaborate, teach a class, adopt an 8-year-old Ash… all unmarked territory, without a map, without a real plan.

I’ll still finish this process, this mapping. In setting goals and making plans, I’m figuring out what makes me tick, pinpointing that place where my heart and my work connect. That’s good. Necessary.

But so are the spaces… the unplanned hours and days, the sun-drenched rides on winding roads, the fields, the shores, the words and pages and stories and worlds I didn’t know I’d write… didn’t know I’d live.

This is my one precious life, and I will be wild here. Will you?

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