I think we forget that it’s okay that life is hard.
I think we forget that suffering is certain and that shit happens and sometimes bad things find us.
I think we forget that we can do big things and I think we forget to give ourselves credit for it.
I think we forget that we survived every heartache and bullshit battle that life has thrown our way and we still live even though we might feel dead inside at times.
We walk onward.
We are still here.
I think we think that life is meant to be easy and pain-free, something carefree and comfortable, and I think we don’t think that conflict is a gift pushing us to see more of the person that we truly need to be. I think we forget that strife is an opportunity for growth and struggle is an invitation to learn.
I think we forget that pain is a catalyst and that greatness is earned, not born.
For the last six months, I’ve been working for myself full-time. After a decade in conservation and sustainability studying coral reefs, after years of effort and annoyance completing a PhD, I chose the hard road. I chose the fresh start, to embrace the unknown.
And it’s been brutal at times.
I started coaching clients and realized I had no idea how to get paid. Seriously. I literally had to learn how to send invoices and what systems to put in place.
I launched a private Facebook page and people signed up but then I realized I didn’t have any idea what to do or how to do it, but I did it anyway and it’s been great.
I don’t know how much I’ll earn this week and I don’t know where I’ll live next month. I don’t know what happens next or how it will feel. I don’t know so many things that my heart races as I write this scribbled reminder of all that is unknown.
But instead of focusing on the fear, I focus on flexibility, and I choose to see uncertainty as simply something freeing.
I exercise calmness while out of control and I practice being comfortably uncomfortable.
It’s a process.
But so is patience.
So is anything…
When we encounter conflict or chaos, we can flee or we can face it. Our problems never go away, and the idea that they will or might or should is actually a bigger problem than the problems themselves.
Our problems aren’t our problems. Our expectations are our problems.
Read that again.
Learn, understand and accept that problems never go away, and the idea that one day we’ll wake up and ride a unicorn to work at a desk of butterflies and fairy dust is socially-approved and widely accepted bullshit. Perfection is a fiction propagated by media, culture, and marketing professionals, but that doesn’t make it real.
I hate to burst your bubble, but that’s why you read my shit. Because I’m authentic and I tell it like it is. Or at least how I think it is.
Life involves conflict. Life involves uncertainty. Life involves growth and change and problems and pain, and while there’s no getting away from that, the wonderful thing is we get to choose how to act. We decide the next step. And maybe that’s all we really need to know and practice.
So, if you take one thing away from this rambling rant, make it this: Do the hard thing.
Have the scary conversation. Choose the uncertain future. Take a risk. Be yourself. Speak your mind and share your soul.
Because when you do the hard thing, when you are able to stand up and count on yourself even when you don’t want to and don’t feel like it, when you are able to know who you truly are in the trying times, something magical happens.
And that magical thing is real life.
Give it time, but give it a chance.