Do not stop. That is something I would have told myself as a younger girl if I were face to face with her again. When I was looking at all the green lights I decided to listen to the outside voices that told me to stop. “Be real Marifer,” and “don’t hold such high standards,” were words I often heard when I shared my hopes and dreams. For a while I gave in to the voices because I was afraid. I was not afraid for people to see me fail, but that they might be right. The thing was that by surrendering to the voices, I was letting them win without a fight. I kept writing but it was work hidden in the shadows with only myself as the witness. As I grew older and phone applications became more popular (yes apps are relatively a new thing), I wanted a cute app to use as an app for my written work. I wrote on the app and thinking nothing of it, I tapped published, and unknowingly started the launch of what is now my blog. People came to find my written work online and I got some positive feedback; a very humbling experience. I realized I was only listening to the voices in front of me when the rest of the world was saying otherwise. I wish little Marifer knew that, and I wish I kept racing after my dreams. However, I cannot take back time but I can try to make up for it. I am going to go, full speed ahead, even if all the obstacles try to get in the way I will keep writing, dancing, creating, and whatever else I want to do. I will transform all everyone deemed useless into something beautiful. I have always been one to seek after the beauty in the ruin, except it was so hard to see through that same scope when I looked in the mirror. Now, I will go and search for the beauty within all the mess, including my own. I will keep believing when all the odds beg me to quit, I will continue to dream even when the screams tell me to wake up, and I will keep smiling when they want to see me cry. I will keep writing even when the tears blind my eyes, I will keep dancing when they all laugh, and I will still be ME even when they don’t understand. Not enough people get to live life to the fullest, and I do not want to get trapped inside that number. I want to grow tired and weary, I want to try and succeed-fail even, I want to break and find redemption again and again. I want all that life has for me, good and bad. I want the full experience. In the end, I will say I lived and I never cheated life. Life is a gift, and a beautiful one indeed. One too beautiful to overlook and I refuse to merely exist even if it is the safest bet. I will be bold and bold is never safe but it is me and I am not stopping for anyone this time. Little Marifer, I will make it up to you. I will catch up to where we need to be, wherever that may be. I owe you that much.