Tiny Beautiful Things

We live in an oddly connected world.

The image above inspired me earlier this year, surfing Pinterest for some little piece of motivation to put on my blog.  I didn’t know where it came from, but I liked it, so I included it in an entry.

Then, this weekend, a friend gave me Tiny Beautiful Things, promising I would relate, telling me how it moved her soul one little story at a time. Intrigued, I began reading the second I got home. The author, Cheryl Strayed, also wrote a book my stepmom has been devouring, Wild, a personal account of traversing the Pacific Crest Trail, alone, female.

Making the connection, I was even more compelled to read, so I started from the beginning, savoring each and every word, even though my friend told me she jumped around as she went. The book is laid out as advice column entries from Dear Sugar, an online advice forum, and I was quickly sucked in by her honest, deeply emotional, unafraid words.  The first entry that really got me was about when Cheryl, or Sugar, worked with high-risk youth.  I felt like she was one of few people that could truly understand my job, my exact feelings, my own journey, I was sold.

Then I got to a letter she wrote in reply to a young author.  While the young woman who wrote to Sugar/Cheryl was a bit more dramatic than I consider myself, she touched on the same feelings of disappointment in not instantly becoming this amazingly, out-of-this-world, spectacularly accomplished writer. Sugar’s advice made me want to cry because it felt so true and gave me so much hope.

She told the girl, “The most fascinating thing to me about your letter is that buried beneath all the anxiety and sorrow and fear and self-loathing, there’s arrogance at its core. It presumes you should be successful at 26, when really it takes most writers so much longer to get there… And the kindest thing I can do for you is to tell you to get your ass on the floor. I know it’s hard to write, darling. But it’s harder not to. The only way you’ll find out if you “have it in you” is to get to work and see if you do. The only way to override your ‘limitations, insecurities, jealousies, and ineptitude’ is to produce… Write like a motherfucker.”

And, there it is.  That little quote I liked so much a few months ago but had no idea of its origin. The universe brought me the answer, because truly, everything is connected.

Cheryl Strayed has a voice much like Anne Lamott, raw, human, accessible.

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4 thoughts on “Tiny Beautiful Things

  1. Tanya says:

    I knew you had to own this. “I was quickly sucked in by her honest, deeply emotional, unafraid words.” Well said, my amazingly talented author friend!

  2. Very cool. I love it when things come round full circle…

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