“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

I was running late for my flight home to Chicago, but I was frozen in front of a small glass case in a museum in Tokyo. There was only one word on the sign using letters I knew– kintsugi.

When a piece of pottery breaks, it is repaired with a mixture of gold that highlights the crack rather than hiding it. The art of kintsugi is underpinned by the belief that the cracks and imperfections make something more beautiful, for they are part of the story of that object.

I realized in that moment, standing on the other side of the world, that my life had become far more than I ever expected possible. All of the things that I love about myself and my life are because of my cracks, not in spite of them.

My cracks are not a reflection of personal failure or defect, just an unavoidable reality of life. As painful as it is to break, a life without cracks is a life on the sidelines.

I will live a life where I break many more times. Each time, I will repair myself with gold.

— Chris LaColla