This is usually the point where I give up. I rarely call it giving up, though. Nope. I dress it up as an epiphany about pursuing what I really want in life. Which, in a way, is true because I really want to stop feeling so darn uncomfortable. Disguising chickening out as an awakening makes my cowardice more palatable, which is why I’ve been able to stomach giving in to it for so many years in so many ways.
Stupid genuine epiphanies revealing the falseness of those bail-out excuses…
…and making me not only sit with discomfort, but continue to walk on hunched over under the weight of
This is not fun at all.
I’m so freakin’ tired.
I’m pretty sure I’m failing.
I bet other people think I’m stupid for doing this.
When does this get easy?
Shouldn’t this be easier?
If it doesn’t stop being so uncomfortable soon, I’m quitting.
That’s it. I’m quitting.
Feel sorry for current self.
Contemplate what quitter’s life looks like.
Feel even sorrier for quitter self.
Okay, I’m not quitting.
Well, if I’m not quitting, what now?
One of my dearest friends spoke a couple weeks ago about trudging through drudgery. Trudging is not an enthusiastic dance with my dream life. It is difficult, uncomfortable, sometimes downright unpleasant. I like it not a whit. But here’s what I’ve been asking myself again and again:
What if the trudge is normal? What if trudging is how nearly everyone gets to the life they find worthwhile? What if it is the price we pay for a fulfilling life by design rather than simply passing time along the path of least resistance? What if I make peace with the trudge, savoring the thrilling moments of joy and satisfaction I meet with occasionally without the expectation that I am owed significance without endeavor? What if a life of joy is also (gasp!) a life of work? Hard, tedious, scary work?
Of course, the people I most admire have already figured this out. They’re tenacious trudgers. They don’t lie about the drudgery involved in creating a meaningful life. They probably even tried to warn me. I just thought I might be the exception to the rule. I’m not. So I must trudge towards the goodness I know can be mine if I just don’t give up.
This is usually the point where I give up. But I think I’d like keep trying this time.