The Cutting Room Floor

For no particular reason today I took a hard look at the people around me.


I woke up earlier this morning so I could walk three-quarters of a mile to a spot that I’ve decided makes the best soy chai and caramel lattes I have ever tasted this side of the Atlantic before practice. 


I looked around at the fellow patrons…


An elderly man reading a newspaper…barely able to hold his espresso because of the shakes that often accompany old age.


A few colleagues doing a pre-business meeting rundown before show time.


An old couple that I saw walking hand in hand having their traditional morning coffee together.


And I thought…


I too am here.


A lone black girl.


In Barcelona


With a book, and a coffee


intercepting the orbits of all of these people.


Do you believe that that is without reason?


I don’t.


So I smile at people.


I greet them in their language, sometimes ask them how they’re doing…


Excitedly, they start speaking too fast and I have to explain that my Spanish is toddler level, that we can keep speaking if they could slow down…just a little.


They smile.


I smile.


And there it is...value added.


I’ve been thinking of people in those terms lately. 


Have they…


Do they…


Will they…


Add value to my life.


I think I know why I’ve made this cognitive shift, understanding has started to clarify like a picture being slowly brought into focus.


When I was in my marriage I was always acutely aware of my value. Conversations about how much money I was making, or discussions about at what point I needed to break out the gold medal during a cocktail party screamed louder than any other declaration made as to what my value was.


And then of course it’s shoe contract negotiation time…


And you don’t want to


but


you see the number offered and you ask yourself, “is this what I’m worth?”


The answer of course is no.


BUT


all of these things as of late have made me consider my value and the value of others around me, and I thought, “how many of us are literally just taking up space in peoples’ lives”


Not adding a single thing of value to anyone.


Dead space


Dead weight


A void.


A black hole.


A strain.


Are you forgettable because you neither go out of your way to make someone’s day, or to make an impression at all?


Are you forgettable because people can’t wait to reclaim their time and their memories?


Are you worth knowing?


Training with?


Sponsoring?


Being around?


Investing in?


Look, we all have value, we all have intrinsic self-worth


BUT…


No man is an island, right?


There’s a reason it’s usually better to train in a group than alone.


There’s a reason humans are pack animals, and extremely social creatures.


And it’s not to bombard each other with selfies, puckered lips, and endless look what I have, look what I can do, look at me social media posts.


You have value. 


Find a way to share THAT.


Because if you don’t…


Or if you can't...


You may just find yourself on the cutting-room floor.
 

nick steadman