I'm intense. I'm stubborn. When I do something, I do it 100% or not at all. When I'm passionate, I do it now or never. It's black or white for me. If we're gonna talk about it, we're gonna be about it. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Do it or don't-- but you probably should do it.
I've never been one for excuses. I've never accepted, "I don't have time", "It's too difficult", "I can't do this right now" from myself- and I often don't accept that from other people. If you know the right thing to do, do it. Why not?
I've always been one to push through the pain. Does it suck to do the right thing? Sometimes. But do it anyways. There's a part of me that wants everyone to just push through, to toughen up, to stop whining and just DO IT. The drill sergeant part of me wants everyone to just ignore the excuses, ignore the pain and push and challenge yourself. Don't slow down, don't wait, don't think it through-- just push, push, push. Live your best life and DO IT NOWWWWWWW!!
The drill sergeant part of me has always yelled at the more sensitive side of myself-- telling me to suck it up, no time like the present. Whatever you do, do it well and intensely. That's how I live life. Boldly, quickly and 110%.
This has come in handy more times than not. When I feel something is wrong in my core, I make the change over night. When I know the right thing to do, I have a compulsion to do and I can't sleep until I do it. It helps me solve problems, get things done, have healthy boundaries in my life, and be the leader in situations that need one.
There's a stubborn part of me that wants to hold fast the idea that this is the RIGHT way to live. Fight for what's right, face the challenge and get over it. So for years, I have forced myself to do things based on principle alone. It's black and white, remember?
I have gotten up early to work out in the morning light when my body ached for more rest. I have opened my Bible to read words that lost meaning for me through the motions. I have ignored the wildflowers and the laughter of my niece and nephew and the beautiful sunset yesterday and the grin on my student's face during our math lesson and the smell of brownies in my mom's kitchen because life is about schedules and following rules and obsessing over right and wrong ways to live.
Anxiety rises in my chest as I think about laying down my armor of right and wrong, of accepting there is no one right way to live life. I am learning an important lesson and it's this:
Do your best.
For me and for you, do your best. When you know what's right, do your best. When you know what's wrong, do your best. When faced with a gray area and you crave that black and white, do your best.
You know that quote, "Whatever you are, be a good one"? Yeah, that. Do your best.
I'm learning that in a world of Democrats and Republicans, you can be both and either way, just do your best.
I'm learning that in a world of cruelty and waste-- something I've worked tirelessly to rid my life of-- do your best. If your best is going vegan over night, do your best. If your best is eating one intentional meatless meal a month, do your best.
If your best is sleeping in today or waking up at 5 AM to run a marathon, do your best. If your best is a sink full of dirty dishes or a flawless home, do your best today. If your best is just getting through this day without a panic attack or facing your demons head on, do your best. If your best is making it through the day just to get home to a glass of wine or biking 140 miles for a charity, do your best today.
Today, in this moment, what is your best? Not what is tomorrow's best, or this month's best. But today, what is your best life, your best you?