Posted on | May 23, 2012 | 18 Comments
When I was a little girl, I dreamed of changing the world.
I thought that to really change the world, I had to be really big, really effing important… a politician, a famous actress, a television personality. I looked at the people around me who were content to be “small” and I wondered what was wrong with them. I wondered how they could be so content with having low key lives of seemingly little importance, wondered why they seemed to be pleased with small accomplishments and tiny achievements.
I used to look at my grandfather as a small town man who never branched out farther than the reach of his arms, my granny was “just a housewife.” I used to see my parents as contentedly minor, moving through their lives at a snails pace, leaving no permanent trail behind them.
And then I became a grown up of seemingly little importance and my view of all those before me changed drastically.
My small town grandfather fought for his country in France and went to cooking school on a faraway island. My housewife granny spent years working in mills after growing up working on a farm. She raised two children who raised six children who are now raising ten children of their own. And my contentedly minor parents have happy lives and three pretty kick ass children, all successful in our chosen paths, all different in our own ways.
The differences they make, the differences they’ve made might not make it into a history book, but they’ve made historic differences. Without my grandfather, there would not be my mother. Without my granny, there would not be my father. Without my parents, there would be no me, and without me, there would be no J. Tiny miracles, historic changes.
I look at my life thus far and I realize that I’m just a speck on a wide and vast landscape of a planet. I realize that my tiny miracles are just that… tiny. I realize that though I live and breathe and work and play, my day to day achievements aren’t all that significant. At least not to the planet, not to the world as a whole.
So the secret then, is to tighten your perspective and shrink your world. To the planet, I am a speck but to my speck of a child, I am the planet. My parents might not have cured cancer, but they created life. They created lives who will create lives, who will one day, just maybe, do something epic.
There are moments when I look at this blog and wonder what I should be doing to be bigger or better or more important. I wonder how to get more comments or more page views or “go viral” and all that jazz. I think that I’m failing at blogging because I’m not somehow making a significant difference to people’s lives.
And then I remember the emails I get, the ones from men and women struggling through divorce, struggling through single parenting. I remember the one or two people out there who maybe feel less alone when they come here, who maybe feel like someone else gets it. And I realize that I’m making a difference every day, even if it’s just to myself and my child… and maybe, just maybe, one of you.
I am a woman of little global significance.
But I am a woman of great individual importance.
And so are you.