Do something you believe in.
Not fully qualified to give lessons in success, particularly because I randomly text the wrong person with the wrong response and also because the earth is not quite round and I tend to trip over it, I will not claim that I have all this down.
However, in the last year and a half, I have discovered one Answer to many questions that have been such a plague in the past. I don’t know where you are coming from when you read these words, but if you are looking for answers, let’s chat for a few, okay?
I found myself at the grocery store the other day, picking out packages of meat, smiling at strangers and ducking my head in passing. One lady from the gym happened to be there, and I smiled, offering a quiet, “Hi,” and quickly studied my shoes. The thought immediately drifted into my head whispering, “She probably doesn’t even remember you.”
I don’t always believe in myself. But I deserve more than that.
The last few months I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself, changing my mindset about life in general, and learning as much as I can about a lot of things –nutrition, exercise, fitness, making goals, life changes, writing, the list goes on. As I heard myself whisper that sentence, I gave her a sharp look and snapped my fingers at her, pointing to that thin nose. “You stop that,” I ordered. I wasn’t sure what to make of what she’d said to me. Why would the lady that I remembered not remember me? Why would someone not want a hello and a smile?
You know, I’ve had a lot of hard, heavy thoughts in my life. I’ve seen some very dark days and low, low points filled with tears, writhing anger, and silent loneliness like ash floating toward a pile of dry leaves. Have you ever had thoughts like that? That you weren’t memorable enough, that you didn’t have enough talent, or that all the good days were past?
Perhaps it’s time to be memorable. Perhaps you just need a little more grit, experience, and to seek your project.
I don’t always think about my children being a project, but they are. They are a lifelong Something and I want to invest. I believe in them. I believe in them because they are beautiful, inspired, innocent, lavish in love and hugs and giggles, and want to fly. I believe in them, because. They deserve a cheerleader. That’s me.
I also need, all people need, as I’ve decided, to create. You need to be the founder of some great creation. You owe that to yourself, and you deserve it. You deserve to hunker down over that Project for hours upon hours, days upon days, possibly years upon years, and make something amazing. Only you can make it. It may be buried deep down, under layers of clothing and wrapped in duct tape, but oh my, please unearth it.
Your children may be your project. Your house and homemaking skills may be your project. Sewing, skating, running marathons, playing an instrument, singing, dancing, painting, scrapbooking, graphic design, putting together robots or refrigerators, folding paper, shucking corn, editing essays, and all of those things that have not yet been created, may be It. Making a guitar from a block of ice and the hair from a llama may be your project. I don’t know. People do weird stuff, man. Just look at most of YouTube.
But the point is, you will realize so much more of the unique, crucial character you are when you create. Intentional creation offers life. Intentional creation spurs light, life, waves of hope, and that deep stirring within the heart. Not only will it draw out these elements in yourself, but others as well. Only you can create and share that project, unlike anyone else.
Maybe you used to think you were supposed to Be Something In Particular and it hasn’t worked out. Maybe you need to explore other options, maybe you need to keep learning more about that interest, or maybe you need to adapt and look at other aspects of that Something. For example, what if when you were eight you wanted to be the first professional female baseball player? Well, maybe you can coach. You may be one of the best coaches who ever played first base. What if you wanted to be a writer, but you just can’t find a good story. Maybe you’d be great at editing and finding writers, and reading their good works, and helping to revise that project to greatness. Maybe you wanted to finish high school but you are fifty eight. Maybe you want to be an actress but have a knack for knowing just what right sound goes with an action. Be a foley artist. Not all memorable people are famous. Every part of the puzzle is crucial, even that patch of blue sky.
Try. Act. Practice. Start. Move.
Be willing to adapt, and you’ll be amazed at what colors the journey will become.
Along the way, you will face challenge and failure, as all projects (especially the worthy ones) do. This is where focus comes into play. Do this project for yourself. Enjoy it immensely yourself. Who cares if nobody else likes it. But, I am willing to bet some money, or pancakes or something, on this, that others will like it too.
So if you feel as shredded as a block of cheddar cheese inside, if you feel lost and weighted down and hurt, write it down, and make a plan to fight it. Pick up the sword and let it fly. Swing away.
Don’t be a quesadilla. Quesadillas get eaten. You are the chef.
If you can hardly breathe from the crushing silence, create a new song to sing. Create the world in which you want to exist.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:4-8).
We have loved and lost. We have buried dreams, goals, and stepped on chewed gum in the dirt. We have seen nights so hazy that the morning shines even brighter because of it. So take that magnificent story line that you are on, and shine it up, build it out, and add on a room. Think about those times when you felt successful, pleased with yourself, excited, and others recognized, confirming it. What were you doing? Why were you doing it? Did it add joy to others?
Revisit that, and see how you can create. God has called you here, down below, for this time, in this place, in your space. Make it shine. Make it so.
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