I know all about making excuses. To myself, when I’m in bed at night. To others, when they ask questions I don’t want to face the answers to. I don’t like lying to myself.
But the truth makes me feel small and pathetic and lonely.
Here’s the truth:
Afraid to tell my stories wrong. Afraid to portray the wrong thing online. Afraid to put down the wrong answers at school.
I’m afraid to fail.
I hate being so black and white about it all. Because, what is the wrong thing?
Not everything is an unforgiving fact. Not everything has an exact opposite. A failure today could be a success tomorrow.
What’s really important here? I must ask myself this. Remind myself of this.
Because, the most important thing I can do every single day of my life is try. Bear the burden. Smile with the good. Thank my family. Honor my friends. Write my stories. Face the world with all my might.
I am a powerful force in my own right. I can create. I can laugh and cry. I can move one person with just one thing at the right moment. I can be a light in those dark moments that come.
Because they always, inevitably come. I am human. We are human.
And that is right. That is good. No matter what bad the other folks might do.
But, remember, nothing is ever black and white. Everything lives in that gray area we’re all afraid of.
Don’t make excuses. Don’t be afraid. Be one of the strong ones.
Be like the 12-year-old taxi driver’s son from Oregon Alexandra Franzen wrote about here.
Work doggedly, live memorably, as he does, every single day.
Don’t let anything or anyone stop you from shining your light.
You never know when your story might be retold. You never know when the force of You might move someone to reshape their mountains into molehills.
Thanks, Oregon Boy, wherever you are, for showing us all how to do just that.
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Take his story, take my story, and share it with the world. We don’t mind.