The hardest thing about saying a lot is accomplishing it with brevity.
Especially when you will be saying it to a complete stranger. One whose face you will never see, one whose hand you will never shake.
What would you tell a complete stranger? She might be 10 years old. She might be 95. Most likely, she will be in the huge gauntlet in between. She may be single, or she may be celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary. She may be having the worst day of their life. Or maybe the best. Unemployed. Or working doubles. A local. Or just passing through. The more that you think, actually, the more that you realize you know more than nothing about her, as if that is possible.
All that I knew was that I would be addressing a woman, and that, on this day, she had stopped in for a coffee, or tea, or a quick weekday lunch.
What is one common thing that any of these women could benefit from hearing?
It took me a roughly a week about thinking over what I would want to say. It was posted, anonymously, as part of my Day Zero Project, in a coffee shop bathroom.
I am hoping that the person who finds it reads it. And I hope that the person that reads it takes it to heart. And maybe they will tell someone about it. Maybe they will take it down and carry it with them. (I know I probably would. Clearly, I love shit like this.) Maybe they will read it and leave it up to be taken down by someone else, because they know that people exist who need to see this more than they do.
And maybe this is ambitious. Maybe Post-it glue, with the economy shot to hell like it is, is not as strong as I remember it to be. And maybe said note will fall off the mirror, and under the sink, only to be stepped on, and crumpled, and blindly swept up by an exhausted barista 8 hours later.
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make someone’s day better, and narrow the arm’s length we tend to keep strangers at.
And, oh yeah. The note? Here’s what I came up with.
Since it was left in a bathroom and all.
Spend less time angry at the mirror.
The fatality of perfection is that you will never appreciate uniqueness.
It is not your strengths that make you strong. It’s your weaknesses that make you real.
Your flaws are the best part of you.