Are you worthy?

Over the holiday, and during my long vacation from public writing, I received the following message.

Anonymous asked: I miss you. I’m happy your life is going awesome sauce, but I wish you’d come back. I miss my internet big sister. I miss reading your sassy Q&As. I miss having you be the trailblazer for life… you’re just a touch older than me. I want you to come back and tell me I’m better off without the dude. That I’m worthy of everything. To quit the job. To follow my dream.

This is what I shared with them, and what I’ll share with you:

Last week, my passion for writing finally became my career. I moved from the project management department to the editorial team, being promoted to Managing Editor. And in the midst of my joy, I thought to myself, am I worthy of this?

I was lucky in the timing, grateful for the opportunity, and excited for what it meant for my career, but was I worthy?

We too often question how deserving we are, if we can do it, if the timing is right, but the question isn’t if we deserve it, it’s if we’re trying to earn it.

My sweet, are you worthy?

Have you done the work? Have you blistered your hands and forgone the hours of leisure to call yourself worthy? Have you the bags under your eyes? The sweat? Do you feel the insatiable energy only earned through toil? The resiliency only garnered through failure? Are you ready for your dreams to be the only things keeping you warm at night?

All of this, all of your wants, all of the pain of lying on the couch of life wishing there was something more, wishing things were better than leftovers and the same bar every night, wishing the arms around you didn’t leave you feeling cold, all of this wishing is wasting. It’s wasting your time, it’s wasting your opportunities, it’s wasting life.

You want to be worthy? You need to stop missing and start taking action.

Life doesn’t get better because some angry woman on the internet tells you to make it better. It gets better when you get fed up. It gets better when you make a decision to change things, when you schedule a meeting with your boss to say, “this is what I want and why I think it will work.” It gets better when you clean your face, when you use your body, when you understand that loneliness is not a lifetime sentence for misery but a chance to work hard and furiously and without rest.

Every time you think, “why wasn’t that me,” also think, “did I ask for it? Did I work for it? Did I focus and fight for it?” Because if you didn’t, that’s why it wasn’t you. No one is out there handing out good graces and great jobs. They’re out there hustling for their own.

If you want to follow your dream, you need to follow it closely and with vengeance every day of your life, lest it get away from you and you find yourself lost amongst the woods of “this’ll do” and “maybe one day.” You’re about to get older. You’re about to feel time change. You’re about to wonder where the year went. You’re about to go to bed before 10pm every night and not have the energy to hustle. And what will you have shown?

You want to be worthy? You really want to be worthy? Because you’re gonna have to sweat for it. You’re gonna have to embarrass yourself with effort over and over again. You’re gonna need to get shot down and have your feelings hurt and be honest about what you want. And most importantly, you’re gonna need to learn to do it on your own. The right essay, the right song, the right pick-you-up companion won’t always be there. You won’t always have time for the pep talk. The only way to be better off, to be worthy, to follow your dream is to make the decision to do it and to do it every day.

Go to a mirror. Go to a mirror in your room, in the bathroom, in your car, go to a mirror where the only judge and jury is you, and tell yourself what you want. Look yourself in the eye and talk to yourself about what you want until make a decision. Maybe you won’t know what’s right for this year, or even tomorrow, but decide what you want today and then do something to earn it.

That’s what makes you worthy. That’s what makes you better.