I am a small woman (58″ ~ 1.47m), who looks younger than my years, hence the little one reference. It’s partially the same reason I am called Littlefoot. Living here in Barcelona I am not that small. In heels I sometimes stand eye to eye with men, something which is very disconcerting to me. I am accustomed to being towered over, even by short American men. But being called little one isn’t really what this post is about. It’s more of a reminder to myself to not complain about where my life is and when I feel like chucking it to look around and see who is watching, you might be surprised.
When I was in Recruit Training colloquially known as boot camp I had my first experience with be careful what you do. I was the smallest woman in the two female platoons on the same training cycle. In general being a small woman can be trying. In boot camp it was horrible. I never realized just how short I was until I couldn’t reach a bar that a girl just two inches taller could. It was frustrating and exhausting to constantly keep trying and failing. To make matters worse, I was not an athlete so I was in the turtle running group with all the slow pokes. Parris Island, South Carolina in the fall and winter has mercurial weather. One day nice the next freezing. On those cold days the slow pokes, ran even slower inhaling the freezing air. Many days I wanted to stop and walk, but the thing is, if you stopped the rest the your group has to run around and come get you. I hated having to do that because it meant more time in the cold (if you haven’t figured it out by now, I really, really don’t like the cold). So when I felt like stopping or slowing down I kept it in mind that I would be making my sisters suffer. I also reminded myself I was there to leave a Marine and I was not staying longer that the 3 months it takes to make a Marine, so I did not want to give my Drill Instructors a reason to send me back.
Unbeknownst to me another recruit was watching me. The girl, whose names is lost to time, suffered an injury and had to go back in training. Before she left she told me that I inspired her. She was just an inch or two taller than me and another slow runner. She said every time she wanted to quit she looked and me and saw me going and so she didn’t stop. If I could do it so could she who was just a little bit bigger. I was struck that I said nothing to her but she watched what I did and was inspired.
Be careful what you do little one.
More recently I had one cousin, BajanGal leave message on my Facebook page saying that I inspire her and she wanted to be like me. I was floored by this simple statement as I didn’t realize she was paying that much attention, especially since she lived in another country. When I wasn’t looking and just living my life, she was watching.
Be careful what you do little one.
This last year another of my younger female cousin, FriendofPooh expressed her regard for me. I was talking,
more like complaining to one of my girlfriends, that I feel like I haven’t accomplished much in my life and I was feeling a bit directionless and at a loss of what to do and where to go. After I got off the phone, my cousin said to me that she didn’t understand what I was talking about as I had done so much. I finished my college degree, returning to school when more people wouldn’t have. I did something outside the expected and joined to military and was successful at that and now was embarking on a new journey to live in a foreign country. To her I had accomplished so much and I needed to stop saying that I hadn’t. It was a wake-up call, almost a slap in the face to say “SNAP OUT OF IT!”
Be careful what you say little one.
I am glad for these ladies, for reminding me that life is to be lived. That when I am tired and frustrated and I want to quit because I am tired and frustrated, that I should take time to reevaluate but be aware that there is someone watching me. Not is a predatory or judgmental way but, someone looking for an example or a way and they are looking at me to light to way so to speak, or to provide encouragement. Also, I don’t need to go around boasting about my accomplishments but I should not negate or downplay the things I have done in my life. There are many people who get comfortable where they are and never try something new, or push themselves beyond their comfort zone. Pushing past my comfort zone does not scare me, not living my best life and accomplishing my purpose terrifies me so I will always keep pushing.
The journey continues. I just know that on this journey sometimes I need to stop and consider who is watching what I do and listening to what I say. I cannot live my life by others but I must consider the example I set, especially for the young women in my life. I am proud of my cousins BajanGal and FriendofPooh, they are young women who’ve made mistakes, moved past the mistakes and are on their way to living their best life. Now if I could just get them to visit me in Barçelona that would be awesome.
Do you have an example of when something you did or said inspired another person?