The Soul of the Matter: Suck it up. This is life. Live it out loud!

“You’ve got to be kidding me!” we want to say some days. A lot of days lately. For so many people I know, this is a year of volatile change and redirection. “Enough is enough,” a lot of us have insisted, bending beneath the pressure but refusing to break. “I just want a little peace…” Understandable, unless what you’re saying is that you’d rather go back than forward. Reasonable, unless what you’re thinking is that the change is what’s crushing your sense of stability. It’s not. Life has gotten very real for a whole lot of my friends and family. It’s not at the moment something we can sit back and appreciate as we sip our coffee or toast with a glass of wine. It’s in our faces and demanding our attention and dragging us into its momentum as it shouts for us to wake up and LIVE!

you've got to be kidding me

Oh, come on. This is what we’re here for, right? To learn and grow and change and see what we’re meant to become next. It’s easy. To change jobs (or publishers) over and over until you find the right fit (hopefully…this time…), and somehow find a way to feel grateful that you have a job/publisher when so many others don’t. To pay all your bills as the teenager grows ever older and more of a money pit and to see your savings and retirement shrink because of the rising cost of living and the dwindling interest rates and volatile returns on stock market investments. To accept that retirement might be as far away a date for you now as it was when you first entered the workforce, but again, you’re working so keep you mind on the present and celebrate that joyous fact that the dollar you earn today is worth about a third of that first dollar you brought home straight out of college.

It’s easy to face all that and feel warm and fuzzy about your crumbling spot on the ledge overlooking the abyss, right? RIGHT?!

Josy and Pussycats

Yeah, I feel it too. That pinch. That pressure. That sense that everything’s spinning and spiralling and I’m clinging to my balance and putting everything I have into merely staying on my feet. But that’s reality, my friends. That’s what being alive feels like right now. That’s the world we’re living in, and we ARE lucky to be living it. To have choices and to have jobs and publishers and financial resources to compete for. 

The world can look grim all it wants to, but I tell myself every morning that I don’t have to see things that way. Every time I think I’ve reached my ledge, my final straw, I make myself step back and get a grip. This is just another challenge in a long line of expectations and set backs and opportunities to overcome that will come for me from now on. I’ve handled all the rest. I’ve handled much worse. So why get my knickers in a twist about this?

Move on. Suck it up. Kick this moment’s ass without letting it mess with your mind. We can inhale and then go on the offensive, or we can let change knock us for a loop. Sometimes we don’t have that choice. Some messes are too overwhelming to deal with rationally. But ones that aren’t are gifts. They’re moments to seize. They’re opportunities to prove to ourselves how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown and how strong we are as we conquer and excel beyond our own expectations.

go fight win

Yeah, this is a pep talk for me more than anyone else. So much going on. So many twists and turns and unexpected life changes to deal with. Yada yada yada…

But when you think of what today and every 9.11 we will ever see again stands for, one truth screams over the doubt and static and confusion of wherever we find ourselves. We CAN handle anything we set our minds to. We can not only overcome and endure, we can succeed and thrive and LIVE on, fearless and without doubt. There’s nothing we can’t face head on and drive through and fight until we’re in a better place, and then an even better one.

From all the heroes of this day, I choose to learn that anything is possible. I choose to believe that I’m capable of so much more than I ever imagined. I choose to live out loud with abandon and without fear.

I hope you do, too.

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