I believe in intentional living. I’m not opposed to or incapable of spontaneity, but I have discovered that the best way—for me—to cultivate a life in which surprises more often joyous than disastrous is to generally be very thoughtful about what I say and do. Stumbling across this letter (you can find a larger image here) from Amelia Earhart to George Putnam—the man she married—was just the kind of magical surprise I love. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t admire her for her professional daring, but, as I’ve grown older and learned more about both the world in general and her in particular, I have grown to appreciate her sense of self. She knew what she wanted, and she was brave enough to be honest about that, even if it meant bucking convention or ending a relationship. What a remarkable individual.