“Write clear and hard about what hurts. Don’t avoid it. It has all the energy. Don’t worry, no one ever died of it. You might cry or laugh, but not die.” —Ernest Hemingway
So the below is from a post I put up on Instagram this week. Typically I don’t post on social media about what’s happening in my “real life,” but I figured someone in a similar position might appreciate the solidarity.
I’ve experienced some pretty significant events this month (heck, even just this past WEEK), including one potentially life-changing leap of faith in my work and a couple decisions that may end up relegated to the “L” column when all is said and done. I’m not quite yet to the point of writing clearest about what hurts most or hits closest to home, but that’s something I’m working on. If I’ve suddenly disappeared and upped my workaholic (and workout-aholic) tendencies, I’ve found that’s usually a good indicator that life hurts…and that I may need to build the courage to authentically acknowledge and sit with that hurt.
If you know me well, you know I’m typically very risk-averse, very deliberate, and very much a “look before you leap” kind of gal. It’s one of my best—and worst—qualities. I have a history of shying away from potentially wonderful things and people that scare me (because what if I fail or get hurt or have to relinquish some semblance of control?), or self-sabotaging by not preparing to the absolute best of my ability. I’ve always been very driven, yet I also have spent some time living within the confines of my comfort zone or skating by on natural talent and bursts of exceptionally hard work. (Note: even when you always come away with 1st place, you still lose if that’s your modus operandi. As a coach, I consistently combat that all-too-familiar fear of failure in even the youngest of my athletes—I hope that’s something that serves each well for a lifetime.)
When I have made mistakes in the past though, especially when they concerned school, my music, sports, or my relationship with people close to me, I haven’t always been very kind to myself. At this stage of my life, I’m working really hard on taking (reasonable) risks, admitting to errors when they occur (even the egregious ones), and then making peace and seeking forgiveness as necessary, both from others and from myself. It isn’t always an easy pill to swallow, but despite our best intentions, we *will* screw up, sometimes uncharacteristically and in a big way, and we may not always get another chance to make things right. I suppose that’s when it’s time to learn and strategically implement whatever lesson life is trying to teach. Even if it sucks—and even when you kinda do, too.