This past week I've realized again and again the impact we all have on one another, and the power that comes with simple interaction every single day. We can be the best of a bad situation simply through how we act , speak, and gesture towards the people we come in contact with day in and day out. Caught in such busy schedules we often forget that just a simple smile to a stranger could make that individual's day- isn't that powerful? A funny note left on a whiteboard, a couple minutes of pure listening to what a friend has to say, a simple hug or laugh- all small gestures that could remind the person next to you that they mean something. So often we take the little things for granted, we either don't notice them, ignore them, or stop doing them all together - why? With the power we have to make a positive impact on somebody's day, week, life- why wouldn't we take the opportunity? There is nothing worse than feeling like you mean nothing- we have the influence necessary to stop that nonsense! So before you avoid contact with that stranger you're passing, ignore a text from a friend because "you're in the middle of something", or forget to call your mom for the third time this week - remember that you could be the best of a bad situation, that you could put the smile on their face that they haven't had for a week, or release the laugh they've been holding in for much too long.
Now, think of who those people in your life, the people who bring you the most happiness, who do those little things that make you laugh, the things that could make you smile through your worst day (you know, those days where you refuse to smile, that friend who'll get in your face and do the most ridiculous things you've ever seen just to see that frown disappear for even a second. That friend you almost resent for making you smile when you don't want to, but you love too much to be mad at?). Keep those people in your life, they probably look to you for the same- life is too short to please people who simply don't give a shit about you. That's not to say that you should be rude- still smile at strangers (in a less creepy way than that sounded), just stop bending over backwards for people who would take a step out of their way for you! It' s simply not worth the frustration, again, make the kind gestures, but when it comes down to it- you cannot be responsible for an individual's happiness when they don't give your own happiness a second thought.
My last point is probably going to be the most hypocritical of all and that it- stop being so damn hard on yourself. All of us have our strengths and weaknesses, we all see ourselves in a different light, with a different worth- but realize you aren't some wrong-doing beast. Take positives out of every situation, no matter how small, and work with them. For example, this weekend we competed our first full pentathlon of the season and out of three Springfield athletes that participated I was the only one of us that didn't qualify for championships. After all of our double practices, frustration, and work- I came up short. I was devastated, I didn't want to hear my teammates tell me I did a "good job" let alone look them in the eye, I saw myself as a disappointment, failing at the only thing I truly work my ass off for. I see my personal loss as a disappointment to the team I care about, to the coaches that put everything they have into our training, even to everyone back home. Do they look at me as a failure? Of course not. They see an 80 point improvement from last year, they see a dedicated teammate, a stubborn athlete, and a girl who cares just a little too much. Were they disappointed I didn't qualify? Well I hope so! They care about my success, they know how much it all means to me - those are the people we need in our lives. The people who are disappointed for us rather than in us, the people who will sit in an empty hallway and watch you cry for fifteen minutes while you tell them you aren't good enough (until they want to slap you in the face but don't because they know they've been there before), the people who remind you of even the smallest victories (even if you're too stubborn to hear it), the people who remind you what you mean to them- the people who make the best of a bad situation.
~ A Hypocritical Duck who just wants to see y'all smile