“Why don’t you do something with your life?”
Such an awful question.
So packed with disdain and condescension.
You can hear the curled lip in the words.
You can taste the bile.
“You had such potential.”
Words designed to hurt, flay, maim.
Words heated in a smith’s forge, hammered into blades, honed to an edge, and thrown with piercing accuracy.
Useless words. Utterly useless.
Useless, because one person’s passion is another’s hell.
Because what I find of value may be worthless to you.
Because we all want to do something with our lives.
Because we all are doing something with our lives.
You don’t have to write a bestseller.
You don’t have to hold high office.
You don’t have to find a cure for cancer.
You don’t have to build an empire of money and power that spans the globe.
Unless that is what you want to do with your life.
You don’t have to be the best parent.
You don’t have to be the best spouse.
You don’t have to go to work every day.
You don’t have to lose that weight.
Unless you want to.
Unless you want to.
There is purpose in a happy child.
There is purpose in the perfect lasagna.
There is purpose in pruning a rose, in fixing a chair, in helping a stranger.
“You’ll never amount to anything.”
Except, you already have.
Already, you have affected those around you.
Already, you have bent the curve of history, changed the trajectories of lives, just by being you.
Perhaps you’re not happy with the changes you’ve made.
Fine. Make more changes.
Perhaps you’re not fulfilled by your life’s choices.
OK. Make other choices.
Raise a happier kid.
Be a better spouse.
Teach someone to read.
Write a poem.
Learn to paint.
Drive out into the darkness beyond the city lights and stop by the roadside and walk out into a field and lie down and look up and just … marvel at it all.
It doesn’t have to be a miracle.
It doesn’t have to make the earth tremble.
It doesn’t have to impress a single, solitary soul.
It just has to make you proud to be yourself.
Time is our currency.
The future is our gift.
The past is our receipt for purchases made.