©2020 THE SMILE PROJECT

Start Where You Are

October 7, 2015

Do you ever have those moments where you honestly feel like you can’t do anything? In a mix of exhaustion and chaos, you kind of find yourself sinking against the wall until you’re sitting in your professor’s office for your independent study course trying not to slide out of the chair from exhaustion.

 

And she notices.

 

And she tells you not to slide out of said chair.

 

And you feel bad.

 

But sometimes, that’s just the way life goes.

 

At the end of my sophomore year of college, I ran into some health issues. I went home for the summer and couldn’t figure out why I had gone from running miles no problem to not being able to walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breathe.

 

I remember lying on the sofa in my family room wondering why I was so useless…wondering why I had gone from being a perfectly fit and healthy kid to being continually fatigued.

 

I couldn’t run. But I could pet my dog.

 

That’s a silly, but accurate statement. When everything seemed to be crumbling around about me, I had to constantly remind myself of the little things I could do. And I could pet my dog.

 

It’s a fun concept—the idea of “start where you are.” And I think it applies to more than just a golden retriever who likes tummy rubs.

 

Ever since middle school, I’ve had this burning desire to make a difference in the world. The problem was, I was just a pre-teen in suburbia. What could I do? I would always find an excuse that would justify the fact that I wasn’t living up to my potential.

 

A lot of that came down to fear. What could I do that I wouldn’t mess up? I would always find an excuse as to why I wasn’t good enough. If I wasn’t good at it, why should I even try. It’s not like practicing it would make me better or anything…

 

Then one day I read a quote:

 

“Look at you. You’re young. And you’re scared. Why are you so scared? Stop being paralyzed. Stop swallowing your words. Stop caring what other people think. Wear what you want. Say what you want. Listen to the music you want to listen to. Play it loud as hell and dance to it. Go out for a drive at midnight and forget that you have school the next day. Stop waiting for Friday. Live now. Do it now. Take risks. Live boldly. This life is yours. When are you going to realize that you can do whatever you want?”

 

I taped this wall, between my light switch and my door to remind myself that I was in control of every single day of my life…to remind myself to act like it.

 

There’s no reason to sell yourself short or to compare your own journey or your own goal to that of another. You have within you the ability to completely transform the world you are living in. At what point in time are you going to realize that comparing yourself to someone else does nothing but allow you to live a diluted world. You are not someone else. You are you. And you have just this one life. Go live it.

 

Start where you are. Do what you can. Soon? You’ll be doing the impossible.

 

 

 

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