Dear Ones —

I've always loved this line ("If you run, you're a runner") which brings me a particular encouragement because I am a person who "runs". Which is to say — I always put it in air quotes. I tend to talk down my "running" because I don't run very far, or very fast, or very often, or very gracefully…but I do run, dammit. I have for years. And this quote has given me permission to hold up my head and just say it: I'm a runner. Doesn't matter that I'm not an Olympian. I'm doing it, period. And that counts for MUCH.

This line of thinking works for other things, too. Other things in which it does not matter how far, how fast, how big. Let's try a few:

If you write, you're a writer.

If travel (even close distances), you're a traveler.

If you read, you're a reader.

If you're showing someone how to do something, you're a teacher.

If you plant stuff, you're a gardener.

If you're making art, you're an artist.

If you dance, you're a dancer.

If you sing, you're a singer.

If you're doing amateur exploratory surgery on your friend's cranium, you're a brain surgeon. (OK, so maybe it doesn't work for EVERYTHING…)

But still, basically, whatever you're doing, that's where it's at.

So do it proudly, whatever it is. Remove the air quotes and the self-effacing tone. Use the noun. Own it. Call yourself what you are. Doesn't matter the result. Don't let anyone bully or shame you out of using these big brave words — runner, writer, artist, cook, teacher, gardener, singer, dancer — least of all yourself.

Now this runner is going outside to RUN. It's a beautiful morning for it…



via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall