November 19th, 2012
As many of you know, I just moved into a new apartment in Bozeman, MT. And since this is the first place I’ve had in almost two years since I started traveling for a living, I have been very excited to make it my “home.” The apartment itself is a beautiful three room place right on Main Street with tall ceilings and almost floor to ceiling windows in all three rooms. It’s light, it’s big, and it’s exactly what I envisioned. I love pretty much everything about it, except one room, which had this awful brown trim. It was so bad that I hardly even wanted to go into that room. It became the place where all my semi-unpacked boxes lived, and receipts were just strewn about. I would have avoided the whole room all together, had the bathroom not been located in it.
And so I decided to paint. I figured that THAT was the problem, and if only that trim wasn’t this ugly ass brown, then I’d want to spend time in that room. So I went to the paint store, (basically) closed my eyes, pointed to an off white-ish crème color and said “that’ll do!” I only grabbed one quart, figuring that it was just trim, a couple doors, and a window-sill, and marched home to begin painting. And within one minute remembered that I hated painting. Remembered that I’m not a perfectionist, which isn’t a good quality when painting the walls of a room. That I didn’t know which kind of brush strokes were appropriate for which kind of surface and so on. So after doing one door, and the base trim, I called it quits for the night. And the room remained the one I didn’t really want to go into for three days. Until my friend came over to help.
“Ok” I thought “this is going to be better. I’ll have a friend, some conversation, and an extra set of hands so it’ll go twice as fast.” Which is exactly what happened. Until we ran out of paint. With a half hour to go before the hardware store down the street closed, I threw on a coat and a hat and ran down to the store to grab an extra quart of paint.
All was merry until we were only about halfway done and we were running out of paint, fast. I only had one solid scoop left in my tin and my friend was out in his. I imagined how disappointed I would be that the job wouldn’t be finished that night and how frustrated at myself I would have been not having bought the gallon instead of two quarts (and thus costing me over twice as much). I imagined being frustrated that I would have to finish the job all by myself, knowing what was at stake being left to my own devices (half finished jobs, etc). And so in that moment I made a decision. A definitive one. That this job would be finished TONIGHT and that we’d have enough paint. That was it. I had decided.
And so I continued painting, being very aware of not overusing any paint. I scraped underneath the rim to get the globs that had landed there from so many brush scrapes. And by the time we were done with the last of the top trim, we had enough paint to go over both doors with one more coat. Done and done. Neither of us thought it was possible, but we did it. With sheer determination and will.
And in this moment, I realized that solid decisions create results. Belief causes miracles. Anything is possible when you commit to it. As it is with paint, so it is with life.
What in your life do you need to commit to? What solid decisions do you need to make? Have you ever made the impossible possible? Share in the comments below.