Showing Up Is A Triumph
And the failure to do so is a tragedy.
This summer I told my partner I wanted to share my words. I had this self-righteous thought that people would want to read them. I no longer wanted to be a person who writes, I wanted to be a writer.
My larger thought was that I could become this new trusted voice, a peer delivering words with the spirit of alliance.
I listen to podcasts, read books, watch interviews of the greats: Tony Robbins, Gary Vee, Michelle Obama, Jada Pinkett Smith, Rich Roll, Russell Brand, and so many more. All of whom are older, they’ve been here, but none are currently speaking or writing from here.
Here, being the mud.
The tall grass, the early stages of journey. Here, has become this badge of honor. I’m proud of the fact that I’ve not yet figured out how to start a million-dollar business, buy a home, or really attain any true stability. I’m ok with it. It’s through this recognition and ownership that allows me to write with authenticity. As you read in The Pace of Life and The Taboo of Discussing Failure, I’m truly a peer wanting to ignite conversations, form a community that embraces and supports each other. Shows up for one another.
So, having spoken my ambitions, I needed to begin.
I posted an Instagram story asking those who would be interested in reading my words to select YES in the poll.
150 people did. Not bad.
I then messaged all 150 asking for their emails and started writing to them. A few weeks in I asked for help again. This time, for each recipient to reply with names and emails of those who they thought, may enjoy these letters. They, you, showed up.
And three weeks ago I went through a similar process. I launched a collection focused on the controversial and polarizing topic of Sex Positivity, and for the launch, I asked for support from friends and family. This time my ask included them purchasing a product. Again, they, you, showed up.
It is an uncomfortable feeling to ask those closest to you to show up time and time again. Especially when you’re asking for their support to be shown through a purchase. But that’s exactly what I have been doing for months now. From a newsletter to a brand and now life in Los Angeles where friends have opened their homes to me, with no expiration date. I am recognizing that some people will continue to show up for you. But you need to ask.
The harder part has been understanding why others won’t. The friends and family that don’t support my ambitions, respond to an ask, or simply ignore me leave me frustrated and critical of their behaviors. But this isn’t fair. Showing up for one another is not a currency. The energy spent on remembering who wasn’t able to show up should not shadow those who are. When we are in a position to have a community that will support our ambitions, we need to focus on celebrating this.
As I worked through the honest effort to understand why someone wouldn’t show up, I turned the evaluation on myself, both in an effort to curb my greed and police myself. I asked: Do I always show up?
I want to be known as someone who shows up.
In a recent podcast, the host asked me what was the most important thing in my life. My response was, my relationships.
How I interact with people is how I am defining relationships. Family, friends, romance, strangers, all included. And having this as the most important aspect of life is dangerous for me.
I carry romantic views of our world. I love deeply. Madly. I am affected by the emotions of my friends, overdose on empathy and would pause my ambitions to help a friend chase their goal. This admission is not meant to declare that I desire to be any different. I am proud of this. I am the person who answers the phone, texts back, donates, RSVPs. The person who shows up.
I haven’t always been though.
Earlier this year, I wasn’t showing up. I missed a wedding, missed bachelor parties, missed a funeral. I chose travel over the wedding, cited my recent sobriety as a reason to miss the bachelor parties, and a busy work schedule to miss the celebration of one’s life. Pretty shitty huh?
To some, these may be legitimate reasons, but I am no longer accepting them. In these recent months, I have relied on the support of those closest to me to amplify my efforts in achieving my dreams. I’ve relied on my community to show up for me. I need to now show up for these same people in return.
Showing up is an indicator of another’s value to you. As harsh as that sounds, I believe it to be true. Think of who you continue to show up for, and who you don’t. Are you being fair? For if we do not have each other, who then, do we have?
And with that, have the courage to respond to those asking for you to show up. We may not always be able to donate to a fundraiser, purchase a product, or join for a dinner, but we forever have the ability to respond. Dare to do so.
This conversation began with my first real experience in humility: asking others to show up for me, without an expectation of something in return. A narrative reliant on a supporting cast. But we also have access to a more controlled method of showing up.
Showing up for yourself.
We are responsible for more than we would prefer to take ownership of. The simple act of showing up for yourself is an act of self-love. We each have goals that we are working towards. Personal, professional, shared, and by compounding actions where we show up for ourselves, we move closer to achieving them.
The difficulty lies within embracing an attitude of longevity towards our success as our inconsistency to show up for ourselves in a tragedy. We romanticize and celebrate the long hours and binge efforts of production without creating frameworks that will allow us to move closer, each day. Why not create repeatable steps towards our success that we can achieve daily, as opposed to relying on intense bursts?
Working towards goals does not always require difficult work, it does, however, have an expectation that we will be showing up for ourselves daily. We must begin to measure success in the resilience of our actions over time, as opposed to near-sighted achievements.
Each day we have the opportunity to show up for ourselves, in undefined capacities. Each movement forward is growth, irrelevant to size. Whether the contribution is an inch or a leap, it’s a check in the box asking you: Did you show up today?
Why I am able to write with such conviction is because I struggle with it. I find myself “ON” for days or weeks at a time, only to fall all the way off. It’s important for me to value consistent growth, over a sole outcome. I need to water the seed, the cotyledons, the bud, not just the flower. I need to respect the journey. And to do so, I’ve worked to create my minimum daily requirements that allow me to show up for myself each day.
I no longer want to feel the depths of inconsistent action. I want to show up for myself.
Showing up for others is a demonstration that defines who we want to be. Showing up for ourselves is a more private intimate experience. We must do it for ourselves, without seeking external applause. This self-generating act is sacred and of the utmost importance to our health.
With this, I challenge you to evaluate if you are someone who shows up for others, and if not, if you want to be. The more personal challenge is to no longer negotiate with yourself.
As always thank you for reading.
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