Somebody once told me that I might as well quit at doing something if I was just “trying.”
When I first heard that, I disagreed. In fact, I even got defensive about it. Because there are a million things that I try hard at, and it wasn’t my fault that some of them didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t my fault that I didn’t have enough hours for it during the day. It wasn’t my fault that things didn’t work out.
Until I realized that it was.
Not only did this person tell me that I might as well just quit, they told me that they’d much rather hear me say that I don’t want things rather than “I’m just trying.” They told me that it was because if I truly wanted things, I would do more than just try, because “tryingis just a sorry excuse we make for ourselves for not getting our shit together…
Let me tell you the story about my parents.
Both of my parents grew up in the gloriousness that is Mexico City. A city they shared with 22 million other people, making it the most populated city in the world (Ha, suck on that New York). Mexico City, despite the many stereotypes that Mexico carries, has always been a glamorous metropolitan area where the best of Mexican culture merges together (and that’s a lot). This is the city where millions from the outside travel to to find job opportunity, many actresses and actors from the rest of Latin America travel to Mexico hoping to land a starring role on a telenovela, hoping to launch their career.
Despite the glamour and the vastness of this beautiful city that I myself grew up in, my parents grew up in the not-so-pretty parts of Mexico. As my dad recalls, he says that where he grew up in is an area where “even dogs carry pocket knives” (according to him, and his amazing storytelling, that’s how unsafe it was). My mom grew up in a different town, but in the same circumstances.
Neither of them could afford going to private schools, or had enough money to buy super expensive clothes, or were considered to be part of a “high society.” Which is an issue that is ever present in Mexican society: social class.
Whether you have a lot of money, or your family owns a lot of houses, or you have a nice car, or you get to travel to the magical land that is America, to so many people social status can be a deal breaker on wether they decide to be your friends or not.
However, despite this issue, my parents never felt poor. Neither of them had a lot, but they had everything they needed to be happy. Not only that, both of my parents had ambition, and while neither of them resented their lifestyle, they worked their whole life to change it.
My mom went on to finish college, and graduated with an engineering degree from a school where she was one out of 150 women in a class of 500 people. With not a lot of resources, she knew that studying was the only way to get the lifestyle she wanted.
As for my dad, he payed for his own college education, he did this by working for a company in the morning and then at night he went to school (I honestly admire anyone who works while studying, I would die)
As both of my parents grew older and took on more jobs and opportunities, they were able to move the nice side of Mexico. Yes, the metropolitan dreamy part of Mexico that I was blessed enough to grow up in.
But neither of them stopped there, because now we live in the U.S.
Some people only get to see the end result. People only see your nice house, nice cars, and pretty clothes without imagining the fact that it took you years of hard work to be able to afford it.
No not days, years. And no not two or three years, 30+ years to get there.
So now I understand.
That is nothing but a dumb excuse for not getting things done. If you’re not willing to stick through it for years, then you don’t want it. If you’re not patient enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel and you stop giving as soon as something goes wrong, then you don’t want it. If you sit there feeling sorry for yourself for circumstances that you have the power to change, then you don’t want it.
I learned this when I decided I wanted a fit body. I was tired of feeling bad about myself and I made a promise to myself that I was going to work hard because I loved myself. Now, if you’ve ever met a fitness trainer, you know that they kick your ass and don’t appreciate any excuses you make for yourself. They don’t care if you’re tired, or if you had a bad day, or if someone made you cry, you made a commitment to better yourself and they will make sure you finish it.
Trainers literally push your body to the max in order to show you the strength hidden underneath your own excuses.
My old kickboxing teacher told me rep after rep, “If it’s not challenging you, then it’s not changing you.”
And that’s the beauty of hard work, it changes you forever.
Another one of my teachers (now that think about it, my life is just filled with wise mentors who just happen to tell me really cool quotes), she told me: “Practice makes permanent, not perfect.”
No one is ever going to do the work for you, only you can give yourself the motivation you need to change whatever area in your life that you want to change.
It’s never going to be perfect. If you’re always unhappy about it, then your expectations are way too high. It will never be perfect, but it will always, always, gets better. Every single time.
So to you, stop “trying.” Because if you’re just “trying” then you don’t want it enough.
Rise above your own flaws, and start doing.
Photography by: Kristina Pinero
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