5 lessons learned along the way
It has been a long journey to getting CityCalledBeautiful started. After countless hours, days, weeks, months, years even of mulling it over and over and over and over and over and over again I exhausted myself trying to make it perfect–trying to write all the right words in my voice with my style and in such a way that would bring tears to my primary school English teacher’s eyes, of course all while adding the perfect images as I see them on the overhead projector in my head. It’s really my dream to tell the story of what it means to be beautiful–through literal illustrations, photographs, moving image, of flowers, of people, of places, things, of butterflies escaping out of my heart. But mostly–mostly I long to tell you of the beauty that can come from brokenness, from dark places, untold stories which at one time or another find their way into the human experience called life.
Back to what I was originally saying>>> Because it’s so important to me I spent too much time over-thinking ideas and perfecting concepts in my head–wrestling difficult topics in life I’d like to talk about– what it should be, could be and waiting for that perfect time. Only to realize, what I’ve known all along: there isn’t a perfect time. Sometimes you really have to just throw it on the wall and see what sticks, and wait for process to actualize the dream. So this… this is me throwing it on the wall and seeing what sticks. It’s a process. Process is the journey. And process can be hard, actually not “can be”…it is. It’s filled with highs and lows, with unexpected turns, disappointments, and victories with shortfalls and moments of defeat that turn out triumphant. Yes yes, but it’s that very process that we (you’re in this with me!) should search for the lessons. Those are the very moments that make the destination beautiful. Here’s what I’ve learned…
START WHERE YOU ARE and start with what you have, but whatever you do– start. The opposite of this would be procrastination, the first cousin of perfection. Both of which can be crippling at best, and at worst they can stifle a dream. So start right where you are with whatever resources you have available. You don’t need the best anything–let the best be in your heart. Put your best foot forward, give it your best and do your best.
PREPARE as much as you can to get as ready as possible. The process of preparation can look slow and feel a little insignificant at times– “too small,” “not big enough,” “daunting”—and that’s ok— Tell that feeling to be quiet and go sit in a corner somewhere while you prepare. In spite of, even though and while you’re going through. Prepare so that you are ready for those opportunities when they appear. Because believe me, if you’re leading with your heart those opportunities will show up and you’ll want to and need to be ready. You want to receive the opportunity in its fullness, in its entirety rather than getting some of it or missing it altogether. Prepare. Make lists, create action steps and get to work.
KEEP GOING no matter what. Promise me that if when you get stuck, feel lost, forget why you started and want to give up…that you’ll keep going. Find your way of empowering those inevitable lulls–sometimes that means a good night’s rest, a run through Griffith Park, a visit to a museum, dinner with your best business friend, a 15minute ugly cry, a phone call to your mentor. Pray! I like to pray. Works every time. Whatever you do, just don’t give up. Don’t quit. Dust yourself off, wipe the tears, get up and take another step.
CELEBRATE the little victories. Small progressions are really little big deals on your journey. Even if it’s just a happy dance, a cup of hot chocolate, a pat on the back or a new pair of Lululemon pants– take the moment to acknowledge how far you’ve come by remembering where you once were. Remember all the hurdles and the lessons that you’ve picked up along the way.
YOU ARE ENOUGH, in fact—you’re more than enough. In fact, the world might have to fall back and get ready for you and all your levels of awesomeness. You really can do it. Let that thought be at the front of your thoughts—no matter what you might feel and louder than what others might say. Be aware of what you believe about yourself. Repeat 500 times: “I am more than enough and I will do it.”
It’s going to be beautiful.