You’ve felt it, I’ve felt it, and so has that girl that everyone is absolutely in love with for no apparent reason. I mean, I guess she’s sort of pretty. And smart. And totally incredible or something… #growinggirlcrush
We’re squares trying to fit in circle-shaped spaces. We’re a pair of sneakers surrounded by Louboutins (those red soles, though). And sometimes (if we’re just ever so (un)lucky) we’re Cady Heron showing up to a Halloween party looking like a Grade-A monster when everyone else is basically Gisele. It’s uncomfortable, and everyone seems to be in the know and have their “ish” together (and not mention, they look incredible doing it). And then there’s you (and me): just barely on the outs of what seems to be in.
I’ve learned how to be compassionate because I know what it feels like to be lonely (and, no, not just rowing by myself kind of lonely). I make efforts to include others because I know what it feels like to be excluded. And I try my damnedest every, single day to live with love and purpose and to exude positivity and passion for life. Because if I don’t, who’s to say that someone else is going to show me kindness and acceptance? It starts with me, and it starts with you.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that I’m not an incredible rower. A year ago, it would have torn me apart to know that I was continually working for something that was never going to come to fruition (aka I’m not on the #RoadtoRio2016). And a year ago I would have told you that I didn’t fit in, and that I was just showing up everyday pretending like I mattered to this team and to these girls. But I didn’t know then what I know now. I didn’t know that: I do matter. I do make a difference in this program. And although I might not pull the fastest erg times or have the most impeccable technique (or anything close to it), I matter.
I matter because I’m me. I matter because these girls have become some of my closest friends. I matter because we’re a family, and family always matters. And everyday that I get out of bed at 5:30am, I give a little more of myself to this team and to this program, and it gives me a little more in return: love, fulfillment and immeasurable growth.
Sometimes, all it takes is a simple smile to know that you belong–to know that you’re loved, just for being you.
So why not be that smile for someone else? Be the reason they know they’re loved. Because they are. And so are you.
When you long to belong, put a smile on your face and turn on that neon sign in the window of your heart; be OPEN. You already belong, but it won’t be long before you feel like you belong. And if you ever need a little extra reinforcement, I’m all ears and ready to dry those tears.
Keep doing you: kicking a$$, taking names and throwing up a smile like it’s your job.