From a young age, we are all taught to sit down, shut up, and do as we’re told. As we get older, the language changes but the sentiment remains.

Lose weight.

Don’t wear that.

Don’t say that.

Be happy with what you’re given.

Sit down.

Shut up.

The trees and sky and whales and elephants are not asked to stunt their growth. Why are humans?

Instead of shrinking away, may you expand. May you grow roots, dig deep, connect, sing at the top of your lungs, wear the most outrageous outfit you can find, do the things that bring you the most joy.

May you be loud.

May you be uppity.

May you be you, in all of your grandiose glory.