The American culture is one of grit. Endurance. Determination. Pushing through pain when you’d love to stop.
And when you get through all that? Hallelujah! You’re an American! You’ve overcome! Welcome to the rest of your life!
But what happens when you can’t —
No such thing!
Uhm, okay. But what happens if you–
NO! Everyone always pushes through and gets it done.
NO! They don’t! Sometimes you just can’t take it anymore. You have to stop. You have to take a minute and lie down. You have to start over. You have to try again tomorrow.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. What’s wrong with that kind of determination? The kind that whispers, “good try. We’re gonna finish this, just not right now.” Isn’t that a beautiful kind of spirit too? Not just slogging through to finish, but to keep going, a little at a time?
Sometimes, I’ll admit it, I just can’t. And so I stop. And I’m ashamed. But I shouldn’t be. Because I’m not being fair to my best self when I keep going. I may win the day when I push through, but at what cost?
So, I’m not going to be afraid when I take a break. And even more so, I’m going to admit that I actually need one.
Today, I was trapped in an airport for 6 hours while my plane got more and more delayed for hours upon hours.
With nothing to do but alternate between listening to music, reading books, and eating burritos, I had a think about what is actually true about travel and why people always want to do it, when usually, the journey stinks and your destination is really where you want to be.
What I found out:
- I was not a bird in another life. I hate flying. I don’t want the wing beneath my wings; I want the ground beneath my feet. (I would make the worst Disney princess — I’m completely unadventurous.)
- A crappy situation can bring strangers together and can make you feel united.
- Starting a conversation with a complete stranger is way easier than you think. (But don’t talk their ear off if they’re just trying to mind their own business.)
- Flight attendants are super cool about you throwing up in a bag.
- And even sometimes, the passengers next to you are super cool about you throwing up in a bag, which I’m so grateful for.
- TSA agents sometimes have a sense of humor. (You have to in that job, right? Corralling nervous fliers all day is tough!)
- Suitcases are wayyyy heavier than you thought they were when you packed them.
- No matter how well you pack, I promise, you’ll forget something.
- Hotels are magic. Period. The staff, the food, the rooms. All of it. I don’t care if it’s a Super 8. Someone is working their butt off for you to feel like you’re in a home away from home.
- But, in the end, home is really the only place you want to be when traveling.
And that’s it! Even though it was a super long day, I am happy to snuggle up and fall asleep, knowing full well that I don’t need to be on a plane tomorrow. Ahhhh.
Have you ever had this experience?
You’re sitting at your desk at the office at lunchtime. You aren’t eating, but your coworker is. You can’t see what he’s/she’s devouring, but it sounds like the most delicious thing in the world because they’re chewing it like it’s their last meal. You can almost hear every tooth grind, every tongue twist. A crunch and then they smack their lips and crunch, crunch, crunch. Slurp. Gulp. LOUD CHEWING.
Okay, you get it. Now imagine your reaction. What are you feeling? Intense rage? Or just seething annoyance? Or like you’re going to murder that person’s whole family if they don’t put that apple down?
Well, I know how you feel. I’ve experienced loud chewing before. And it’s annoying, definitely. (I’m not sure how you softly chew, but I guess you can work on it.)
But have you ever thought about how that person feels? They’re just enjoying their lunch, and you’re not only judging them, you’re basically plotting their death. For eating their lunch.
Maybe it’s time to look at yourself and ask why you’re so bitter. No, seriously. Why are you letting someone, who is enjoying whatever they’re doing, get in your way? Why is it their problem, and not yours? Why are you letting someone else’s life affect you at all?
Look, I don’t know you. You’re probably a reasonable person. But you need to ask yourself if it’s really worth getting fired up over. As long as it’s not hurting you physically, what’s the problem?
You need to ask yourself: Are they being inconsiderate of others, or are you being overly sensitive? Go on. Chew on that for awhile.
I’ve written the story of how my fiance and I met, so I thought I would share it with you.
Once upon a time, a shining knight heard a fair maiden’s call from across the glen, from her ivory tower. He rode as fast as his white horse could take him so that they could meet. (It took him awhile because he had to stop and get beer, and they were out of what he wanted so he had to go to a few markets before finally buying an entire keg.)
When he finally found her, he saw that she was practicing archery by shooting arrows at hay bales shaped like the patriarchy. He was in love , and so was she. She turned around from her targets, her eyes sparkling in the sunlight, and his first words to her were “Are we really doing this? This is completely made up.” And she put her fingers to his lips and shushed him because this is how everyone meets their future husband, duh.
He took her by the hand and carefully set her bow down for her in case he said something kind of dumb that would anger her, and told her to go wait by the horse. Unfortunately, she loved horses, and after a completely unnecessary joyride through the magic forest, she came back and was ready to ride off into the sunset. But she couldn’t find him. She looked through the entire tower and found him in the library. The knight had become so enthralled by the walls of books that she had accumulated that he refused to leave until he read one last chapter. She shrugged and plunked down on the love seat to finish her own book and the keg. And they lived happily ever after.
(Just kidding. We met in high school, and we’ve never left each other’s side.)