The Truth About Your Boring Life

"Do it:" two words loaded with implication. It’s almost thoughtless in its own way, a throwaway answer to many of our problems: we wish we were thinner, to move to another country, learn how to cook, and the most obvious answer to this is,

"Well, go do it."

But you can't say such a phrase without an air of elitism or totally missing the personal context: what about all the things standing in my way?

I'm here to tell you that the only thing standing in your way is you. Thank you for coming to my TED talk.

I'm also at peace telling you that you don't want those things anyway, so why stress over them? Why waste the emotional void of yearning when you could fill it with action?

Cliche incoming, but be patient with me: if you wanted something bad enough, you would work for it. If you were actually bored with Netflix on the couch every day after work, you’d find something else. Wishing something would happen has context just as much as the response; the yearning for instant gratification (“I wish”) becomes dismissed through excuses: I don't have enough money, work takes too much of my time... you've heard and probably made all of these excuses, as I have.

You want the rewards without the work, and the reality of earning what you think you want isn't sexy. Saving money isn't sexy. Burning your third attempt at ragu smells weird. A slow, steady climb to success is less appealing than the dream, so you cling to dreaming because reality, my friend, is hard work.

Progress is slow and agonizing and hard.

But, do you know what I think is sexy as heck? Commitment. Progress. The ability to analyze a situation and change. I spent most of my life dreaming, and, no, I didn't fly off on a jet plane one day on a wild whim after saving thousands of motivational travel photography quotes. It took me three years to get rid of the crap I spent money on, two years to commit to the idea of leaving, one year of research, months of finding work and a place to stay. Photography? Knowing the language? Forget it, I winged that shit.

What people see, though, is the dream: a girl flies off into the wilderness alone in search of herself.

Please.

I am you. I was made with the same stuff you are.
I put my pants on the same way and faced many of the same choices you have.

Don’t seek to dismiss progress as luck or sudden achievement.

Comparison is the art of joy, but the difference between you and me is: I stopped collecting rain in small buckets outside of my window and decided to go stand in the rain. The occasional happiness wasn’t enough, and I became disillusioned, uncomfortable, like I was wearing someone else’s shoes the whole time. I became an inevitability: I started to believe in myself, and as terrifying as tearing away my comforts were, the thought of remaining in the same spot sent a desperate, petrified scream clawing up my spine.

I went to work on the future I wanted. It was slow. It was hard, and I failed more times than I ever succeeded, but I've found that if you send 100 emails, one will always respond.

I am willing to accept failure, but not be defeated by it. If you want to change your life, change what’s important to you, and that’s a scary thing to do: comfort, the absence of fear, keeps your feet nailed to the ground.

Know fear, then roundhouse kick it in the face.


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