“All things are difficult before they are easy.”
April was hands down the most challenging month I’ve experienced in recent memory (and that includes the craycray of this past holiday season). There were days that I refused to go to sleep because that meant that Today had ended, and Tomorrow would come. I did not want Tomorrow to come. Tomorrow meant yet another Obligation to face down, another Necessary Evil to endure, another Reality Check that I needed to accept. Tomorrow was heavy, and I was tired of shouldering that burden day after day.
On top of that, there was the never ending winter weather that melted into apocalyptic April showers, and pretty soon, I believed that this heaviness was my new normal, with no end in sight. It’s like every facet of my life decided to challenge me at the same time. To quote dear Bilbo Baggins, I felt “stretched…like butter scraped over too much bread.” I seriously considered just withdrawing from the world, and living on my own little island.
That is, until the internal and external challenges I faced came to a head and I was more or less forced to stop All The Doing and Busyness, take a step back, and evaluate my situation from a more objective place.
What did I find? I found that I had a problem with perfection that I NEVER thought I had inside me. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the heaviness I experienced was the constant disappointment I felt against myself because I didn’t know All The Things and I didn’t execute Things perfectly on my first try. I mean, that need for perfection tainted my view on everything recently, including feeling betrayed by my body when I caught my first cold in seven years.
Once I did recognize it, I was able to correct my mindset and began to find peace. I allowed myself to accept my fumbles and missteps. I let myself be OK with uncertainty. And, I found myself being grateful for this much needed experience just so I can look back and remember how I can be better next time. More importantly, I now have this reminder that I faced seemingly big challenges, and I was able to stretch, scrape, and push myself past them. If I could do it once, I can surely do it again.
I’m not going to lie: it’s hard to face your own incompetence day after day. I know. I live it. But man, when that moment of clarity dawns on you, when the fog in your mind disappears and you suddenly see the solution to the problem you’ve been staring at for-freaking-ever, you almost feel like the god of your own universe. That moment, in and of itself, far outweighs the price of all the struggle.