Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was awesome - but more on that later this week. I wanted to do one last post on some of the wisdom gleaned from Cheryl Strayed book, "Tiny Beautiful Things." If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend it!
In the final column in Strayed's book, at the prompting of a reader, she shares a letter she would have written to her 20-something self. Here are a couple of exerpts that really hit home with me:
Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be.
Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on
really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a
small, quiet room.
There she goes, talking about acceptance again, which is clearly something I really need to continue to ruminate upon. I struggle the most with the concept of letting go, meaning letting go of the fact that my life right now is so not what I have ever pictured. I never pictured that running wouldn't be part of my life. I never pictured that I'd be taking a chemotherapy drug to treat a chronic illness. I never pictured I'd live in Charlotte, NC. As Strayed says, most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be - and that is ok.
Don’t lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You
don’t have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be
Yes to all of this. I love my job. I worked VERY hard to earn the CFA designation, but my career is not my life. This is something I had to learn in my 20s. My career is great, but it is not the main source of fulfillment in my life, nor will it ever be.
Your assumptions about the lives of others are in direct relation to
your naïve pomposity. Many people you believe to be rich are not rich.
Many people you think have it easy worked hard for what they got. Many
people who seem to be gliding right along have suffered and are
suffering. Many people who appear to you to be old and stupidly saddled
down with kids and cars and houses were once every bit as hip and
pompous as you.
This last section is one of my favorites from the entire book. I think we are all guilty of drawing assumptions about other's lives based on what we see or on how we perceive what we see. But we really don't know what people's lives are really like. I try not to assume that I know how easy others' lives are, and I ask the same of them, because what we show or say or write is only the tip of the iceberg of life. When I am tempted to think someone else has it easy or lives an effortless life, I remind myself of this quote: "Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
What would you tell your 20-something self? I would tell her to embrace her nerdy, number-loving nature. I'd tell her that she would find the right field of work. I'd tell her that she is entirely too hard on herself but that will probably take a lifetime to work on that tendency. I'd tell her how much she is going to fall in love with Paris.