As I’m interested in trying new things, and launching ideas, inevitably I read other people’s stories.
“Lots of blood, sweat and tears went into making this.” “This is by far the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve done.” “Learning that was hard, and I came home feeling demoralized, but after a while I pushed through and go to where I am.”
These kinds of sentiments generally inspire me to curl up on the couch and not do anything. If it’s going to be the hardest thing, I think, then why even start?
As I was finishing work today, it occurred to me my paradigm on this subject may not be where others are at.
Heh, when is it ever?
Someone says, “Don’t expect it to be easy. Go into it realizing it will be the toughest thing you’ve ever had to do.”, I think okay. It will be harder than:
- Staying up for 52 hours during moving and literally falling asleep while holding a printer; being so scarred by the experience that I couldn’t listen to the songs I listened to during it because I got flashbacks to the feel of desperately staying awake
- Standing in an 85º room, pulling the first of 6 lower bedsheets onto the queen bed and telling myself, “If I can do this, I can get through the other 5 beds I have to make. Just take it one second at a time, and you might survive.” It was hot in the upper floor, and hard work to flip the 4 rooms, made harder by the fact I hadn’t eaten anything of substance, and wouldn’t for the rest of the day.
- Living my life by judgmental rules I believed in logically but not in my heart; systematically alienating everyone I had dealings with. Because that “was only right” apparently and if I didn’t tell them “what was right” who would?
- Getting a hug from someone who’d just cursed out my Mom (I actually found the yelling that preceeded this and my standing up and stating the truth much much easier than the forced hug of pretend-reconciliation)
- Leaving all my friends. Multiple times.
Those are some of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I have absolutely no desire to repeat the experience, and definitely not to do something even harder, you know?
Well, those are my hardest things, but taking a step back for a moment, I generally hear “Hardest thing I had to do, but worth it”, also applying to happy things like childbirth. Raising children.
So let’s apply that filter to my life:
- Coaching Rimfire through his first year of life. He wouldn’t stop barking the night we brought him home. We slept with our hand in his cage and I carried him around for much of his first year. (It was a solution. Definitely not the best one, but the best one I could come up with under the circumstances!)
- Leaving an abusive situation. I guess most people would call having the rug yanked out from under you, moving from your house because they got it, hiding from a stalker, having no money, and other things as difficult. But I was the happiest person in the world when I held my card that said he couldn’t come within 50 feet. It was my most prized possession – because it meant someone believed me. And it didn’t matter whatever was said. It was a factual, contractual, obligation between the rest of the world and me that the torment of all my years could not come close enough to harm any more.
- Having 2 pets die
- Travelling on your own for the first time
I think these are more of the things people would say “hardest thing ever”. But to me they are bright spots in my life.
Because Rimfire had so much separation anxiety and so much to learn, but we went through it together and we’re still together. Having no money is one thing, but it can’t even compare to having no fear. It’s not easy to not know if the next day will be dire, but it never was, we always had enough, and it was more than an equal trade for receiving a brand new way of life. Leonna and Fluffy dying was sad, very very sad. But there was hope in it, too. Fluffy had had a life-saving operation from a very kindly vet. Leonna lived longer than she should have with Feline leukemia, and we buried her in our friend’s yard. Travelling on my own was the scariest thing I faced, but I got to visit my friends, do amazing things, and hear about the adventures of my family when I got back.
I would nay repeat the actually hardest things I’ve done. And I don’t think I should. If starting my business will be hardest along those lines, I hesitate to do so.
But if it’s hardest along the lines of starting a new life, learning a new skill, and doing something you’ve never done before – bring. it. on. I am more than ready, and I’m okay with giving something up for that.
Because I’ve seen that. I’ve seen what they mean by “it’s worth it”. It really is. 🙂