“Because if there’s one thing I learned from remaking my entire life, it’s this: we are strong as fuck, we can change our stories, and we can do hard things.”
So. When I first started writing my blog in 2009 I read a variety of other blogs just to get a sense of what is good writing, good storytelling and, well, what was good. In my heart of hearts I knew what I wanted to write and how I wanted to write, but over the years I had so much of the “here is what you need to do & how to do it” shit pounded into my head that I was second guessing myself.
Time and time again I kept finding myself reading blogs that were unfiltered well written thoughts and Life episodes. They tended to be stream of consciousness and tended to make you laugh, cry, shake your head, sigh and, most importantly, think.
They were real, not ‘authentic’, just real. Real glimpses of how real people think about shit (whether it be Life or business).
Interestingly, two roommates in the same city I lived in at that time <although I never met either of them> wrote separate outstanding blogs – Jamie Varon with A Life in Translation and Nicole Antoinette with Nicole is Better – which set me on the path of how I write enlightened conflict.
Be Real. Tell the Truth <as it is really seen>.
Share it all with thoughtfulness and with some real-life attitude.
I say all that because I opened with a slightly edited quote from Nicole to say: Life rarely goes the way we plan it.
Shit. Life rarely goes exactly the way we want it <even without specific plans>.
That is neither good nor bad; it just is. Yet, in its neither goodness, nor badness, it is unsettling. Sometimes uncomfortable. Like squirming in a hard plastic chair waiting to hear what the test results are uncomfortable.
Whether you take life by the horns and run with it or wait and seek specific opportunities at some point you will find yourself on that uncomfortable chair. And on that chair you will assess who you are, where you are and what you are.
Uh oh. And then, sometimes, that chair seems even more uncomfortable.
You sit there and think: “WTF. How did I get in this chair?” And not only do you want to get up off that chair, but you want to get out of the fucking room. Shit. You may even want to remake the entire house you live in.
And you think:
I am not a builder … how do I build a new home?
I am not an adventurer … how do I go somewhere I haven’t seen before?
I am not sure where I want to go just that I don’t want to be here … how do I choose a direction?
We are strong as fuck.
We can change our stories.
We can do hard things.
Every one of us gets to a place in Life where we look around and go WTF.
What happened? How the hell do I get out of here?
Now. Some of these places are a little deeper in hell than others, but, suffice it to say, they all reside in hell. And you want to get out.
So, not to be flippant: you move. You get up & go. You get up & do.
You are strong as fuck.
You can change your story.
You can do hard things.
The truth is we face Life with strength or, well, you lose in Life. Most of us decide to face the hard shit because we have this inner true strength as described by philosopher Immanuel Kant: “that even small decisions should be made as though we were deciding for all humanity, not just for our paltry selves.”
In other words we realize we can change our story because the bigger story is Life and not our ‘paltry self’ (which is actually just representative of some words on the larger pages of Life). That doesn’t mean you feel any less lost or any more sure of where to go or what exactly to do next; it just means you have the strength to get up & go and do the hard things.
“To feel lost is an indication that you want more out of your life.”
Now (part 1). Part of what I am discussing is not really change, in my mind it is ’emergence’ or simply ‘becoming.’ What I mean by this is that you aren’t really changing at all but rather digging deep within and just uncovering & discovering what has been there all the time.
Now (part 2). Now part 1 is important because part of what I am discussing about this WTF moment is a warped version of existentialism. It is the moment you face up to where you are in Life and make a decision: a decision to be less self-deceiving, more decisive, more committed, and more willing to take on responsibility for the world you exist within.
A philosopher named Martin Heidegger suggested the reason why it takes “the moment in which you make that decision” to make this personal decision to “do what needs to be done to address where we are in Life”, rather than just doing it pretty much all the time, is because we have a nasty habit of mentally creating this obstacle called das Man <translated as “the they”>. Some nebulous “they” who suggests “they say it is a waste of time” or “they say it is impractical” or “they say the opportunity has passed by.” When pressed we cannot really exactly identify who this “they” is but we know “they” is everywhere and circumvents our personal decision making power. What ‘das man’ suggests is that we convince ourselves we are not actually free to make the decision and do what needs to be done.
“They” constrict the likelihood of success.
“They” gives us the excuse to not admit we are actually free to do something.
“They” will obstruct our change and edit our story.
“They” suggest this is chnage, and change is bad, because “they” can’t see what already resides within you.
To be clear.
We all indulge in this thought process.
In fact. We indulge in this thought process the majority of the time in our lives.
That is, of course, until you reach a moment. A WTF clarity moment. And in that moment you have a choice:
free to believe you are not strong enough, you cannot change your story, you cannot do the hard, or
free to believe you are strong as fuck, you can change your story and you can do the hard things.
That is the choice.
Let me end where I began. With Nicole’s quote.
You are strong as fuck.
You can change your story.
You can do the hard shit.
Life rarely goes the way we want it to go, let alone goes the way we plan it, but we are more than capable enough of dealing with all the twists & turns. In fact. When faced with the WTF moment, we have enough to do the hard stuff to change our story, discover what is actually within that “they” may have suggested we didn’t really have and, well, we are strong as fuck and can do the hard shit. So we just do it.
originally posted March 2016