Last summer I attended a poetry workshop. Over the course of two hours I learned about alliterations and assonance and couplets, and I wrote three very different poems.
I loved it not only for what I learned and produced, but because despite being the only person who turned up, the instructor held the workshop with so much enthusiasm. There were no apologies for the absence of others, no excuses for not having more people in attendance, and I really admire that.
We live in a world that glorifies big achievements; best-selling authors, famous artists, singers and speakers who pack stadiums with their adoring fans, the record-breakers and anyone who has shed blood, sweat and tears to achieve something significant.
Do I feel I inspired by these people? Of course I do. I love these stories of success and Big Life Moments as much as the next person. However, I also believe we’ve lost sight of the fact that small acts of creativity, love and support hold incredible meaning and value too.
A best-selling book may make someone feel differently about who they are, but so can a thoughtful note received out of the blue. A famous painting can move someone to tears, but so can a messy finger painting done by a child. An incredible speaker can help someone overcome a personal challenge, but so can making time for a friend when he or she needs you the most.
It’s not the number of books you sell, or the art you create, or the size of the contribution you make that will deem your life as being ‘successful’.
It’s whether or not you’re willing to put your whole heart into the things you feel called to do. Even during those moments and chapters in life when it feels like what you’re doing is making such a small difference…that it’s barely being noticed at all.
*This post was originally published on 1010ParkPlace.com where I’ve been a ‘Voice’ for almost two years. Since November 2016 I’ve been writing a fortnightly series, The Pro-Body Project, about my journey with my body image and disordered eating.
© 2017 Esther Zimmer