Writing this, one memory comes to mind… A few years ago, I was in New York, it was a lovely day, in fact the FIRST day of constant sunshine and warmth after some (ridiculously and completely unnecessary) late spring snow. You could just see the cabin fever slowly melting off all of our personas, being replaced by the unusually cheerful New Yorker vibe almost like when grouchy, hungry, miserable bears finish hibernation and awake to fields of berries and honey all laid out feast -like. That was us, and you could feel that in the air, it was filling up more and more as each person packed into the elevator. One person, stuck out with even more joy, it was like not only did this woman “bear”, put in extra effort getting dressed, prepped (clearly had her power skirt suit on), and not only had berries, honey, but some grade A salmon too! Anyways, she struts off the elevator and as she stops to chit-chat with the doorman, I pass by and think to myself, dang I need to get me a pair of those shoes they have to come with an extra little bounce to them. Then I focus on remembering my task, what did I need to do before I headed into the office today again? Oh right, put that letter in the mailbox!
As I close the little red door to the mailbox right in front of my apartment, I turn to see the Ms. Power Skirt Suit, and based on her trajectory, I assume she is on the way to catch a cab, I snicker I better get in that cab line before her, noting my distance to the cab stand was much closer (yes, getting cabs is cut throat, don’t judge me!). As I am turning to begin a quick pace to the cabs, she does that unsteady step, and her eyes immediately fill with confusion as she tries to get her footing, but then her face changes to fear as her legs are confirming her worst nightmare… stubborn black ice!! Unable to stop the speedy pep in her step that propelled her to her demise, she fell (more like catapulted) forward, landing on the cement right where the ice ended. The collateral damage was extensive, coffee spilled, files in hand scattered, bloody knees (literally) and to top it all off, she ripped her stockings (I mean literally how many of these things do we have to ruin until the manufacturing gods decided we have suffered enough and actually deserve ones that last?!?).
Taxi’s may be a cut throat competition in NY, but when you really need help, there is no body more helpful than New Yorkers. We had her picked up, standing, brushed off, files picked up, coffee cup gathered, and assisting her back to the apartment in as little time as it takes a person to honk at you when you haven’t accelerated even though the light turned green. Why am I telling you this story? Because this is real life, having the best intentions, and all the pep in your step, still doesn’t stop you from falling on your face. It’s never pretty, the fall, the aftermath but I think there is such beauty in the realization of the mistake (in this case not looking where you’re going), there is class in rising back to your own two feet, and courage to continue walking. I also want to say, how easy it is to talk about the beautiful aftermath, but it’s so hard to fall, especially publicly!
So today, I am going to fall (figuratively, I hope this isn’t jinxing myself) in front of those who have read this far and take that mask of perfection and wipe the “I have all my shit together” look off my face really quickly to give you a little peek into some of my darker days. I would like to say, “oh I got this” and yes, usually I do, I can kick ass and take names with the best of them… but there are some days, weeks….shit even just life phases that are marked with all sorts of bruises, scrapes, dried up blood from the times I just kept falling.
So what is my black ice? The reasons I trip and fall?
- Letting the petty distract me
- Putting others in front of my priorities
- Permitting nonsense in the name of love
These are some of my personal pitfalls, sometimes they are kept at bay, sometimes I feel like I am battling all 7 at once, and other times it’s just one that won’t give me a break. But, have no fear, not only do I know that they exist and can spot them a mile away, I have learned many ways to keep them in check!
Stay tuned for my next article on how NOT to get tripped up on these and comment below on what trips you up!
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