Choose Your Own Adventure.

Via Kate Bartolotta
on Jan 7, 2012
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 {A letter to myself that you might need to read too}

I went to my favorite used bookstore this morning and bought my daughter myself an old “choose your own adventure” book. Yeah, it was for me. I will give it to my daughter eventually, but today, it’s for me.

I was talking with a friend last night about how I wished I had one of those for life and could flip a few pages ahead and go…whoops, don’t go that way…or yeah, pick that one, that’s the way to go! But it doesn’t work that way, does it?

This is how it is:

You turn the page. Things fall apart, and come together, and fall apart again. It’s scary. There might be dragons. You might fall down a hole. You might discover treasure. You might fall in love. Sometimes, you’ll wish it was all written out and you didn’t have to choose. But as hard as it is, choosing is the best part.

You are the hero of your own story.

This next page might mean letting go of things that make you feel safe in order to follow your heart. Choose again and you might end up with a few scrapes and bruises, but they’ll be worth it. The page after that, well, I don’t mean to scare you, but whew! Buckle up! And then maybe calm for awhile. The bliss of ordinary everyday calm. But don’t mistake complacency for calm. Don’t trade real for safe. Be willing to go through the fire to get there.


You can’t peek ahead a few pages; they aren’t written yet.

I don’t have your answers. I don’t even have my answers.

But what I can tell you is this:

Spend time with people who tell you the truth–even when it hurts–and who love you for you.

Be fierce in your integrity; never relax into someone else’s idea of “good enough.”

Don’t listen to people who tell you to dream smaller; big or small–this is your adventure.

Being afraid doesn’t mean you don’t have courage. Courage means you do it anyway.


What I’m saying is don’t waste anymore time living someone else’s story.

Don’t get to the end unscathed.

Don’t drift through it skimming everything and making safe choices.

Don’t live that life of “quiet desperation” Thoreau talked about.

Every new page, every new day you get to choose all over again. There will be failures. You will fall. And you will get back up. Again and again and again. Because this is your story; you are the hero. Choose your own adventure.





About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is a wellness cheerleader, yogini storyteller, and self-care maven. She also writes for Huffington Post, Yoga International, Mantra Yoga+ Health, a beauty full mind, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. Kate's books are now available on and Barnes & She is passionate about helping people fall in love with their lives. You can connect with Kate on Facebook and Instagram.


30 Responses to “Choose Your Own Adventure.”

  1. Andréa Balt says:

    "There might be dragons. [There will be dragons!!!] You might fall down a hole. You might discover a treasure. You might fall in love. Sometimes, you’ll wish it was all written out and you didn’t have to choose. But as hard as it is, choosing is the best part."

    Loved every word of this post. Funny, I didn't use to like the "choose your own adventure" books as a child. Maybe I should have read more. Now I'm that exact kind of book.

  2. Oh, those dragons…but then the very next page–treasure!

  3. Carina Lyall says:

    I loved those kind of books… somewhere down the line I forgot that choice. Thank you for the inspiration!

  4. I'll be your Hardy Boy if you'll be my Nancy Drew 🙂

  5. Suri says:

    The mystery of chimney rock was by far my favorite!

  6. I think I'm more half-Encyclopedia Brown/half-Pippi Longstocking.

  7. You're welcome–glad you enjoyed!

  8. ErinJ says:

    What I love most is that the pictured ''Chimeney Rock' book was the only one of the Choose Your own Adventure series I ever owned. That picture has a strong connection for me! Cheers.

  9. Also, a good many of those choose your own adventure books had more ways to kill you then for you to make it out safe, thus, not a good analogy, really.

  10. Yay! Glad to hear it!

  11. katharine says:

    Love your post, Kate, AND love your bio write up as well. Both made me feel lighter about the world and my life which in turn makes me want to be my brighter self. Sometimes – no, a lot of times – I forget that it's really all about that – being the brightest me I can be, for me and for the world. Finding posts on Elephant or elsewhere like yours is imperative to helping balance out the contrast of the critical Harleigh's of the world. Thank you.

  12. Thanks Natasha! xoxo

  13. Thanks Katherine! Criticism is needed, but good to keep our balance. xoxo

  14. ValCarruthers says:

    Nothing wrong with playing out the chills and thrills and—miraculously—landing safely on both feet. Then bouncing off again. JFK once spoke of New Frontiers and zingo—man on the moon! Peace Corps!

    When we choose our own adventures we'll find ourselves on the New Frontiers that lie deeply within our hearts and wildest dreams.

    Delightful post (and bio) Kate! (!!!). So glad that you're also a Pippi Longstocking fan. xo

  15. Yes! Cheers to new frontiers, Valerie!

  16. Jessie says:

    This applys to what I am going through right now. Thank you for yet another wonderful artical. Love you!

  17. You & me both sweetie! Love you, Jess. xoxox

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  24. kmacku says:

    I always died in them. I made unhealthy choices. 🙁

  25. I feel terrible saying this, but that made me laugh out loud! Aww, better luck in your real life adventures. 🙂