With Soft Strokes and a Small Voice
A lot happened the year I turned 19. I dropped out of college and bought a brand new car. I got a tattoo and learned what it was like to swing all three shifts as a diner waitress. I got my first apartment, where a mean iguana liked to steal my bed at the worst possible times. I ate a lot of sandwiches and learned to cook aglio e olio.
But what I remember the most (despite the sandwiches) was what I liked to call my “magic (or lost) summer”, where I spent my time hanging out with a group of hippies and misfits – playing guitar and writing bad music, singing in ridiculous six-part harmonies, sleeping under black lights and spending nights under moonlight, looking out into the darkness of a quarry or a suburban back yard.
I haven’t talked to any of those people in years – probably since that summer. Hell, I don’t remember any of their last names.
But they are remarkable, and remain with me, not just for the memories, but for the small ways they changed my path, the new experiences they gave me.
These are the small ways we change each other’s lives.
You don’t have to make big waves to have an impact. All it takes is one thing, and sometimes the smallest ripples are the most memorable. It’s the little things, the tiny gestures, the smallest of kindnesses, that are the most remarkable.
The art of rocking small
There’s a lot of push to play big, to have big dreams, to grow grow grow, to make a deep and lasting mark on the world around you with a grand and sweeping gesture. And that’s fine if that’s your thing.
But if it’s not?
Celebrate your smallness.
Paint not with broad gestures and a forced hand, but with soft strokes and your own voice.
Dance on the inside.
Be kind in small ways.
Revel in the small successes.
You’re changing the world in beautiful ways with your smallness. And in the name of lost summers, and beautiful experiences, and long-ago friends, I salute you.
What small things have made their marks on you?