You know that person who is always in your corner no matter what?
Today’s post goes out to them.
I’ve been thinking about followers and likes and friends and adds and everything that people base their worth off of these days.
And I’ve realized this: if you have even one person following you, think of that person clapping at what you do. They liked what you were doing so much they decided they wanted to see you do it all the time.
So even if you have one person who is clapping, who is following your work, and I don’t mean just on social media. I mean, in life. If there is even one person that says you are doing a good job, then that’s all you need to keep going.
Even if that first person is your mom. Like mine.
Besides, one person clapping is still applause.
This week, instead of posting new things I want to stay silent and instead allow other POC voices to come through. This is a particularly moving piece about one woman’s journey with her hair. I loved this post and I hope you do too.
Let me just say, this is the longest amount of time I have ever spent on a blog post. It is a wide open door into a hidden part of me that I never …
A Love Letter to My Hair
Do you know what real irony is?
When you grow up as a budding theater major, who had little to no problem getting up in front of her closest peers and reciting Shakespeare, and winning competitions, no less…
And then having to get up in front of a small group of people to give a work presentation and basically going out wicked witch of the west style into a melted puddle of embarrassment…
What is the deal? Where do I get my adult card punched so that I can get up in front of people and speak? Why is it so different from making a PowerPoint to baring my soul through literature?
I wish this was easier and I didn’t care so much. But if I didn’t care, what would be the point at all?
My definition of irony is acting apathetic when it actually means the world to you. So don’t be afraid to go down swinging. Just giving it everything you have will yield your best results, even if you could care less.
We’ve all been told no before. And undoubtedly, we’ve been told not to take no for an answer (right after).
But what kind of psychopath knocks on the door that slams in your face, five seconds later? Isn’t insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the different results?
I get it, now in my old age, more than ever. If you want something done or want something at all, you have to be persistent. You have to keep going, and following up, and reminding, and asking, and checking boxes. And that can be really hard when you’re a timid shy woman who would rather die from starvation than place an order for food on the phone.
But it’s worth it. I promise. You should learn how to persist. It’s the hardest thing you may learn, but it’s the only way to keep going in life.
So practice persistence everyday. And speak up when you can. Even if your voice shakes and you want the floor to swallow you up directly after.
If you ask a math teacher, they will most assuredly tell you that there is more than way to go about doing something. Sure, it may not be the easiest or the best way to do something, but if you get there in the end, then you should be okay. (At least, this is what I️ hoped my math teacher would say to me.)
So in that vein, stop comparing yourself to everyone around you.
Sure, another person’s way may look better or get quicker results, but at the end of the day, if you got the job done, then you’re not wrong. There’s no being wrong in life – only in math. There’s a million ways to go about doing something, and the way you see the world is unique to you.
So you’re not wrong. You may be on the wrong path or walking in the wrong direction for awhile, but what you do can’t be wrong when it comes to living your life. Mistakes can only lead you to a better place and time, even if it takes awhile to get there. But you have to let yourself be human and be able to make mistakes before you can live unwrongly.
They say that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you get the gift of gab – you can talk to anyone about anything.
But what no one tells you about the Blarney Stone is that it is on a ledge on the outside of a castle wall. So if you want to smooch it, you need to have the gift of courage too.
Why? Because in order to kiss it, you have to lay down and thrust yourself out into the open air. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll get so much momentum from the slick conditions that you’ll smash your lips and almost knock out your teeth – which has the added irony that you won’t be able to speak and have the gift of gab if you lose all your teeth.
But in the end, I️ didn’t have to worry. Because I️ never got the gift of gab. I️ have a terrible time taking to people. It takes everything in me to marshal my thoughts and to get out the word, “hi.” But other people don’t have this problem! They talk about anything they feel like. They talk to fill the silence. They talk whether you’re listening or not.
And maybe that’s why the world always has two people – talkers and listeners. But I️ can’t stop feeling like I️ got a raw deal. I️ still wish that I️ could have received the gift of gab that day – instead of a sore lip. But no one tells you that getting the gift of gab is about as hard as using it.
If you’re like me, there are just some days you feel like a cosmic joke. Take this, for example: I was a double major in English/Communications. During my college career, I did nothing but write and talk and explain and yup, you guessed it, communicate.
But there’s this great irony to me. Because I don’t like to talk. About myself, about the weather, about anything. I love a good conversation, as long as I can be the listening piece.
So, I have this weird dilemma that I’ve studied and practiced and worked on communicating with other people, but I never really got good at it. (At least to my own ears.)
Ordering off a menu makes me sweat into a puddle. Getting a phone call I wasn’t expecting is pure torture. Small talk makes me cringe all over.
But I think that’s a good lesson. Even if something is very hard for you, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. It just takes extra practice, extra concentration. And one day, it’ll come naturally.
So, let’s practice. How are you?
Have you ever tried to start a new habit or routine? To get healthier? Did it sound like this?
Okay, Debra, this is your last donut for awhile. You’re getting mighty pudgy and you could go for a walk every night instead of eating donuts in the middle of the afternoon. So, this is it. This is where we draw the line.
And how’d it go? Did you stick with that habit? Did you stop eating donuts? Did you go for more walks?
Probably not. Do you know why?
Because when you do something out of hate, it doesn’t work as well. If you’re trying to punish yourself by not eating donuts, you’re going to eventually rebel and give yourself a “treat.” (Which, folks, you won’t be surprised to know, is another donut.)
So, what should you do? You should start doing something out of a place of love. Like this:
Okay, Debra, you feel so much better when you don’t eat donuts in the afternoon. You’ve been looking great too so let’s keep it up. I just want you to feel good.
And I bet you won’t eat as many donuts, Debra. Because you’ll feel like you’re being kind to yourself. I promise – you’ll be so much more successful when what you do is out of love for yourself, not hate.
Treating yourself is really tempting.
After all, you do a lot of stuff during the day that needs rewarding.
I had a phone call today and my voice didn't crack!
I ordered salad instead of a donut!
I made it through the day without yelling at anyone!
And it's really nice to take yourself out to eat. Or buy yourself something. Or just run a bubble bath. Treat yourself.
But this can turn into a vicious cycle. You have to go out to eat to make up for the day you had. You have to treat yourself, because you've been good all week.
The problem stems from not taking care of yourself well. If you just took the time in small moments to take care of yourself, you wouldn't have to treat yourself in such a big way.
So treat yourself well, and you won't have to treat yourself as often.
Sometimes being kind to yourself isn't all that kind.
Exercising is hard.
Your brain says, "what are you doing to me? My body is out of breath, my muscles are sore, and you just keep…going? Are you trying to kill us?"
And you would love to just stop. Because why torture yourself like this?
But you don't. You take another step. And another and another. And suddenly, you're at the finish line. Even when you thought you couldn't, you still can.
Repeat as necessary with any obstacle in your path or your life.
The brain is a difficult muscle. It's difficult to convince, but if you don't stop, you may just find that you'll succeed. As log as you ignore that little voice that says "not right now" or "I can't."
Even when you think you didn't have any more to give, you do. Wring out every last drop, and you'll do amazing things.