there are no rules

excerpt from “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed


The greatest gift you could give yourself

is to remember, each day, that there are no rules

when it comes to how you live your life.

Remind yourself of this.

So many people forget.

There is no one person dictating who you can or cannot become

there are only the limitations you set upon yourself

the random standards set in place by the society you live in.

Break free.

Who says you can’t live out that

wild and crazy dream of yours? Who decided it was too hard, too out of reach,

too much?

Who says you can’t build a career you actually enjoy

without a bit of dedication,

who says you can’t find real love these days,

that you have to settle for someone who is equally tired of searching?

Who says you can’t

make it through life without a college degree,  a certain type of car or

x amount of money?

Why do we bother with the accumulation of things

certifications, labels

arbitrary measurements of success we never asked ourselves if 

we even wanted?


What do you really crave?


Life is a series of choices

it is these choices

YOUR choices

that direct your life

own them

don’t let your choices be made for you.


What is your craft?

Mine is the written word.

When you are working with your craft

there are no rules

you are allowed to write over the margins or

in between the lines

you are allowed to transform the thoughts in your head that you hope will

inspire people to live a little bit louder into something that is not quite

prose and not quite poetry because

there are no rules.

Write differently than people expect you to.

Write something other than what is accepted, what’s


just to see what happens.  Play.


When you are growing 

when you are learning you,

do not be afraid to explore every aspect of the extraordinary unique creature

that is your self

you won’t like everything you find

and that’s okay

you have to know yourself in order to grow

you have to know yourself to stand strong against the rough bits in life that

like ocean waves will try to drag your

you-ness down with a roar

fight it.

Lose only your sense of self consciousness.

You have one life.

Don’t waste your precious time thinking something is impossible.

For you to give up on the possibility of

achieving your dreams is a loss for you

and a loss for the world.


What is your passion?

Running is mine.

Don’t place limits on yourself

shatter expectations.

Run on trails to get faster on the road because a run through the mountains

does something for your soul

and when your soul is on fire you will grow faster.

Run for the love of the wind on your skin

and let the joy in it carry you to success

instead of the pressure.


once there were others who broke the rules like this

there are always more to be broken

become one of the rule-breakers

the worst that can happen is you might


you might be

wrong or

make a mistake

which means only that you will have to stand up

and try again

you are strong enough for this.

There are no rules.

Say it to yourself

look into the eyes of your reflection 

every day, and in all that you do aim to be fully


Not just the you that others see or the

version of you in the mirror on this morning

but the you that exists in your core and has so very much to offer, 

so much passion and fire and life.

Don’t apologize for being brave

or doing things differently.

Don’t apologize for taking risks

for going places others won’t follow

because people who are not as 

open-minded, who are not willing to

admit they’re letting themselves down by staying 

settled in the choices they have let others make for them

will try to discourage you.

Their discouragement is only a 

reflection of the fears they believe in

you are not chained to their fears.


Just because it hasn’t been done

ever or

this way or


doesn’t mean you can’t try



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s