Growing up, my mom would always be hard on my sister and I. It wasn’t always easy to hear what she had to say, but through the years I came to understand her message loud and clear: Always try your best.
When we would come home with report cards, she would say “A-? Why not A+?.” It wasn’t about an A- not being good enough; it was her way of saying well did you try your best? We had a conversation about this recently and I can laugh now looking back at it. I said, “Hey Ma, remember when…?.” She said she would make comments like that because she didn’t see us study much, at least not like her generation studied when they grew up.
Here she is lecturing me on something.
She was right. Although an A- isn’t a bad grade by any means, I honestly didn’t try my best. I could have gotten an A or A+ if I really wanted to (with some classes . . . classes like Physics are a whole ‘nother story).
I have learned that if I try my best, I’ll have self respect and no regrets. If I put 100% into a relationship and it didn’t work out, I’ll be at peace knowing I did everything I could. That person wasn’t right for me but there is comfort in knowing that in order to make possible the relationship of my dreams, I have to show up the best I know how.
Also, when you try your best, people take notice. When I was 15 I worked at Macy’s in the gift wrap department (brace yourselves – I’m about to humble brag). Sometimes I would hear people in line whisper, “I want her to do the wrapping,” and point to me. I don’t think I’m the best gift wrapper but what I think they saw, was that compared to others working next to me, I tried to be efficient and do a good job. Nowadays I continue that same work ethic. What makes it even easier is that photography is something I am truly passionate about. I care a lot about my art and spend an absurd amount of hours editing photos to make sure they are perfect (in my eyes). I can be OCD but it seems to be doing me some sort of good. People are hiring me. Lol.
You can’t always control the outcome of situations, but the things you choose to do and how you do them will ultimately define you. Always try your best.