Monday Motivation: Why Is Facing Our Truth So Damn Hard…
I remember when I put in my two week notice to leave BuzzFeed.
It was about a week before Thanksgiving. And while my tummy rumbled with nervousness about the future, I can't lie-- a very big part of my tummy was also bubbling with excitement at the the possibilities of grad school, and building Yes Queen.
By the time I got to Thanksgiving, I truly felt like I had made the right decision. It was also nice to have my high school best friend in town to celebrate the holidays, and this huge milestone in my life.
One night while she was visiting, and the toilet paper had run out in the bathroom, I climbed up to my storage cabinets to pull out a few rolls. When I went to shut the cabinet behind me, my wrist crumpled over as a huge nerve-tingling wave of pain shot throughout my hand. If my wrists were made of glass, in that moment, it truly felt like my hand had shattered.
Terrified on Thanksgiving Day of all days, I zipped over to urgent care to see what was the matter.
“Your hand is very swollen,” the doctor said. “Did you go see that physical therapist I told you to see a couple months ago?”
“Well I always meant to, but the pain eventually went away so I didn't bother,” I replied.
“Your hand really doesn't look that great, and I wish that you had gone to see the physical therapist,” he said. “You might need to have surgery, but I don't want to say anything for sure. I just know that your hand is swollen right here.”
And as he pressed down on the tender part of my wrist, I could feel myself involuntarily wiggle.
He recommended that I started wearing a hand splint until I could book the earliest appointment with a hand doctor, and prescribed me some pain medication. The entire bus ride over to the pharmacy, I'm sure if you were sitting close enough to me you would have saw smoke coming out of my ears. I was fuming-- but not at the doctor, at myself. And it certainly didn't help that I also forgot it was Thanksgiving. So when I arrived at the pharmacy, I, of course, found a big bold closed sign plastered over the door.
So I called my mom in a desperate state of pity. I had already put in my two weeks, my hand was in unbelievable pain and I couldn't pick up any drugs for it, I didn't know if I was going to need hand surgery, and I wasted an entire trip to the pharmacy. Then to top it all off, this all happened before 12 p.m.
So I'm running through LA, on the bus with my woes (cuz you know how that shit goes -- shout out to all my Drake fans that got that lol), unpacking all of my problems with my mom, and at the end of it all she says, “well you'll figure it out.”
Beyond frustrated with her response, she elaborated by saying, “Well it doesn't help you to just complain. Right now you need to focus on what you can do, and what the doctor told you to do.”
I could feel my pursed lips starting to relax, as she kept speaking.
“You still have health insurance,” she said, “and you're covered for the next 8 months when you turn 26. Just go to the hand doctor, and see what he says. I know it's not the response you wanted, but there's no use getting all worked up about a surgery that you might not need to have. Focus on what you know right now.”
I could feel myself getting mad all over, but it was more so because she was right, and I couldn't handle taking this many L's on Thanksgiving.
In this moment, my mom had a very tough choice -- to give me the response she knew I was looking for, which was pity and comfort, or to give me the response that she knew that I needed, which was to stay focused, and be present.
I also had a choice -- to continue to be mad, and tell her that I deserved to be comforted in my tough time, or to listen to what she said, and do everything I could to get better. While in the moment I was frustrated, and had a hard time finding value in what she was saying. When I eventually calmed down, I realized that she was right, and that I was really glad to have her honesty.
It's not always easy to face our truth, but through dealing with more and more experiences such as this one, I'm realizing that it is the only way I'll ever be able to make the necessary changes to become the person that I want to be.
So I allow myself the ability to sulk for a moment, but I always remember that I have to focus on what I can do -- not what has happened to me. We are all so much more than our past difficulties.
So as we go forth to reimagine our Monday, and think about the ways in which we can make better choices for ourselves I want you to think about a time in which someone tried to share a truth about yourself that was hard for you to take. Assuming that the person didn't do it in a way that was disrespectful, what do you think might have been the better way for you to have responded? How can you choose to act differently next time?