I’ve been told that my standards are too high. I’ve been told that I take on too much. I’ve been told that I should take an easier route. I’ve been told that I should move slower. I’ve been told a lot of things….however I stopped listening. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that, sometimes just STOP LISTENING.
Because here’s what I realized, whether or not the above is true doesn’t really matters. Maybe I could take an easier route, but it’s not as fun. Maybe I could do life at a slower pace, but right now I don’t want to. Maybe I could take on less, but there’s no challenge in that. Maybe I could lower my standards, but I can always meet them so why? Maybe I could do it differently, but I’m not going to. So then the next question that begs to be answered is….Why? Why choose hard? Why want a challenge? Why do it as fast as possible? Why take the difficult route? Why? WHY? WHY?!?!?!?
We live in a world where we often try to paint life in this box where we know we will win. We are told to do X, Y and Z and boom there’s your white picket fence and there’s that cute home, and there’s your career and there’s the family you wanted, and there’s the cold beer in the fridge and the loving arms to come home to. There’s your whole life….at the end of X, Y and Z. There’s only one problem with this picture and it kinda screws the whole thing up for me.
I can see my life with a white picket fence, a cute home, in a career, raising a family, marrying the man of my dreams and maybe an evening run or dusk walks while the stars come out (let’s be real I will not drink beer every night…EVER). I can see all of that. And that’s great. Just great. Fantastic in fact, there is NOTHING wrong with that picture. It’s actually pretty perfect. It’s almost unreal perfect, but possible so we will stick with perfect. It’s perfect except for one thing…
The girl with that white picket fence who is she? Because until she knows that everything else is just a perfect little picture. JUST a picture. JUST an idea. JUST a theory. It’s JUST a white fence, it’s JUST a cute house, it’s JUST a dream, she has a family but they are JUST people she loves, and him, he is JUST a really good looking man who maybe smells like Calvin Klein and hopefully wears a baseball cap backwards with a white T-shirt… You see we paint these pictures of our lives and in their perfection we forget that it’s JUST a picture. The biggest component, the core, the one source that draws that picture into reality is the artist.
I love the picture, but I also know that the picture is only as powerful as the artist. So, why? Why do I push myself? Why do I choose the hard way? Why do I strive for more then yesterday? Why do I not move slowly? WHY?
Because I am determined to find the capacity of the artist of my picture. I want to know what she’s capable of. Is she a 4-year old color page or is she a Van Gogh? Is she a Wal-Mart $5.00 sale or is she the Sistine Chapel? And with every challenge, I find more of her, and she, she get’s better.
I think sometimes X, Y and Z just look too easy. So we start to walk this story of life and we start painting, before we understand technique or brushstrokes. We start plugging and playing and using trial and error hoping we get it right. And when we don’t, dreams shatter, families break and love starts to fade. My life is far too valuable for that and so is yours. We only get one shot, and it will be epic if we do it right and take time to build the core. Every great masterpiece starts with the artist. Build there first.
So while I’ve been told a lot about my choices, I quit listening. Here’s my why: I have my life’s picture to paint, and I intent to be a massively talented artist, so I will test myself, I will grow myself and I will expand in my capacity daily. While it may look like a vain effort to choose this route, it’s not.
My picture will be built from the artist out. I will be great enough, I will be more then strong enough and I will set a standard. Because this isn’t about today, this is about tomorrow. This is about that white picket fence, this is about a cute house that became a home, this is about raising a family that has character, integrity and will positively impact the world ahead, this is about having kids who understand that respect matters, morals are to be obeyed and champions still win. This is about coming home everyday to go on a late night walks with the man of my dreams because I waited for him and didn’t settle. This is about him, because he is stronger then any man I’ve ever met, with more drive and passion then I thought possible. This is about us, because together we will conquer the world. This is about the people our lives will touch. This is about the generation my family will be a part of. This is about the impact my picture will create.
So why have I made the choices I have? Because I’m not building a perfect life with my daily choices. I’m building an amazing artist. Because a picture is only as beautiful as its artist is talented.
I’m building me, so I can better build my life. That’s why.