Well shoot. Today is one of those big setback, what is going on?!, frustrating, overwhelming days. I cannot seem to catch much of a break lately, and admittedly I seem to be mentally revolving around what isn’t working rather than able to focus on what is. And while some amazing things, I’d even call them blessings, have been drifting my way, I’m sitting with a feeling of defeat and frustration over the things I cannot change.
Mostly I’m focused on my practice. I’m angry that the kinks keep bunching up on me. There are about one hundred ways this could have gone easier: an easier departure from my last firm, easier time getting the financing we so desperately need to survive the short term, easier timing in being diagnosed with cancer for heaven’s sake. Inside, I’m railing against the fact that I am stripped of the normal skills I usually lean into to solve problems. I cannot simply work harder or throw a bunch of waking hours plowing away at the problem. I’m hamstrung and it just makes me boil over with frustration, impatience, and fear.
I’m angry because I feel like things are beyond my control. There is no immediate solution to the enormous and terrifying financial issues that plague me as a start-up entrepreneur with a debilitating disease. I cannot jump in and save my associates from the crazy hours and crazy stress they have to endure. I can’t make buildings rise and time fast forward to a place where we are safe and sound on the other side. I feel completely responsible for creating some parts of this mess, and completely powerless to fix other parts of it.
Mostly, I worry about the people I have brought here with me. I worry about providing for my family, for my girls. I worry about making sure my amazing employees have everything they need to stay happy and healthy.
I worry about the eyes that are turned toward me for guidance and protection, and about coming up short.
And it all comes after this amazingly restorative trip to visit with my own beloved mentors and friends over the weekend. I left some of my conversations feeling so encouraged about my future. It was a happy, glowing, sunny moment in my life. But it didn’t last. Since returning, my optimism and the weather have shifted. The beautiful spring blossoms and budding trees are covered in wet, heavy snow today. Trees have snapped their branches under the weight of the unseasonable snow. Mother Nature seems in on the joke and everywhere I look is a reminder of what happens when timing is off.
But this is the thing we don’t talk about. We don’t talk about the fear. We don’t often say out loud that we are terrified of failure. To say it almost seems to invite it in. Best protect against it at all costs, shut it down, not expose ourselves- we reason. But I’ll say it. I’m terrified that I will fail. I’m sad and scared about what twists there will be in the road ahead, and I somehow have to make peace with the unknown.
But what cannot be taken away from me, and what I refuse to give up, is hope.
I believe in the vision I have for my career and in the intention I have set for my life. When I calm myself and focus inward, there is still a deep pool of calm and resolve to draw from. It exists in the quite spaces in my mind, even when things on the surface are bubbling over. And even though today feels a lot like climbing up a mud mountain in the pouring rain, that’s okay. It’s messy, I keep loosing my footing and sliding backward, and I keep cursing the downpour. But I will be patient, put my head down, and keep moving upward. Praying for some sunlight and a break in the storm.
I want to be honest about how hard this is sometimes so that I will remember what is possible latter on. Everything cycles through, the good the bad, the tough storms and the gentle breezes. I want to memorialize a stormy moment, set a touchstone, so I can come back and remember that I survived it. I overcame it. I won. Because I will. In a game of inches I will keep crawling forward with a lot of determination, some faith, and maybe even a little grace. One day at a time.
Give em’ hell.