“I just want to be enough for you, but I never can be. This can never be enough for you.”
This is a quote from John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars. In the book, one character has a fascination with leaving a legacy, making a mark on the world and being remembered.
And, his girlfriend in this case, wonders why she will never be enough. Why he has to be special to a million people and not simply special to a few.
This quote and underlying idea throughout the book has stayed with me long after I closed the final chapter (there are A LOT more lessons, themes and beauty in the book, but I won’t spoil it because if you haven’t already, you should read it yourself).
Because, for some reason, I have always felt the need to do something big. To make headlines and to be able to look prestigious on my resume.
And that’s okay.
It’s okay to dream big, be ambitious—work hard. It’s okay to want your name in the books, to do great things and to be remembered.
But, as with anything in life, there needs to be a balance.
There needs to be peace within yourself that, if you aren’t published in the most read magazine in the world, if you aren’t the founder of the next Google, well then that’s okay.
That if you don’t reach every single goal you set and reach thousands of people with your work—then that’s okay.
It’s finding a balance between dreaming big and going after what you want, but realizing that every step of the way is what counts.
It’s finding a balance between setting yourself up for success and planning, and being open to change and adjustment along the way. Realizing that your plan might not go in the right order, that your plan might not happen at all.
It’s remembering what matters.
Every encounter you have, every person you meet along the way, every action you take to better yourself. That’s it. That’s what matters.
And so, if I don’t accomplish every single goal (that I have written in like 10 places), or my book never sees paperback, well then that’s okay.
Because I know that I will do everything I can to make that happen, and so if it doesn’t, then it wasn’t meant to—then something else was more important.
Maybe it will be family, maybe it will be a different career path.
But it’s okay, because I realize now that what is important isn’t necessarily being the world to everyone, it’s being the world to one.
It’s practicing kindness and mentorship with every encounter, every relationship. It’s waking up each day and working toward what I want. It’s laughing with friends over too much wine (okay, tequila shots). It’s living and breathing in life each day—it’s not regretting a single moment.
It might not mean helping millions and bragging at my ten year reunion, but it might mean changing a few perspectives, gaining a few friends.
And that, to me, matters more than any title, resume builder or accomplishment.
And I know this will be something I struggle with for a long time, if not forever. Because I am a big dreamer and a goal-setter (and don’t worry—I still plan on accomplishing a lot).
But what matters, is the every day. What matters, is being here to help others when I can. Being vulnerable to my wants and dreams. Taking each step with gratitude.
What matters is remaining true to my goals, while remembering what’s important each day—who is important each day (everyone).
If I can do that every day (or at least as much as possible, we’re all human here), then that will be enough. It will always be enough.