How Brenè Brown and a bike accident are teaching me what I have always known
You know that feeling when you wake up one morning and you are like: “Today is the day ! Today is the day when 1 good thing is finally gonna happen to me” - because you really need that ONE GOOD THING, that’s ALL you really need…
Of course that is the day when your phone completely shuts down, and after two hours at the Apple store where nobody seams to be able to solve your problem you find out your earliest backup was… December 27th, 2017.
Now I don’t know about you, but this is what I call a “face down in the arena” moment.
And take it from someone who has had a few of those in the past months.
Let me take you a step back.
Almost two months ago I proudly came to LA. Finally making THE MOVE - or at least, you know, testing the ground. And I was SO convinced, I mean scared as hell, as I should have been, but so convinced this was going to be it, it was gonna work, there really wasn’t another way.
Then I got here.
Things started GREAT - in the first two weeks I had two jobs and I was happy… then everything slowed down. It’s okay, 4th of July and stuff… it’s okay.
Then the earthquake came, we got rats in our first apartment and we run away. All cool all cool, the second apartment will be so much better - “oh guys I forgot, no wi-fi in the house!” - great.
Things were starting to get weird, me and my boyfriend were fighting, I was so nervous and worried. But how could I be, I am in LA for god’s sake, this is what I have always wanted.
One thing led to another, I am not going to go too into details, it was kind of shitty tho and… that’s when I fell. I do not mean it metaphorically this time. I literally fell facedown biking downhill.
“ I am suck a failure. “ - That’s all I could think in that moment - “ I am such a failure, I came all the way to LA to do two stupid jobs, share a house with rats and I cannot even ride a fucking bike… I am such a ridiculous failure. All these money and energies to come on the other side of the fucking world, to end up flying from a bike face down on the street. WOW ! “
This is when the divine intervention came in and I came across Brenè Brown’s book.
Now, I have loved Brenè Brown’s talks ever since her first TED talk and I could not get enough of them. But as far as book goes I only had one, it wasn’t the one I wanted when I went to buy it was the only one they had, and I have had it for a while and never actually brought myself to read… I got thought the first pages on the plane on my way here but nothing more.
But thank god I got to this quote:
“… The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face in marred by dust and sweat and blood; who thrives valiantly […] and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly”
While I was there: laying on the ground with a white shirt pressed on my bleeding open chin, surrounded by people discussing how many stitches I was going to get and compulsively asking me question I could not really hear or focus on… that’s when Churchill’s world came to me, that’s when it hit me:
“There is blood, there is sweat and quite a bit of dust… HOLY SHIT ! - This is my facedown in the arena moment. This is it, and I think I have been here for a while.“
You know that moment when, like in a spy movie, you have a fast montage going on in your head where you just connect everything and everything makes sense and falls into place… well this was mine.
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The biggest realisation this brought to me is this:
All my life I have been really afraid of doing "big" things, as most people are, but I decided when I was 14 years old that I was not going to get that stop me - and I really have to thank my parents for this huge realisation at that time. I just could afford that. I had things way too important to do with my life... so I have always been pretty good, I mean something I still had and have to this day pinch myself and hold myself accountable, but I have been pretty damn good at doing things not without fear, but acknowledging it and going forward anyways.
This is how I was able to leave at 16 for a year in Arkansas, which let's face it it's fucking scarring. This is how I was able to come study in LA completely alone in the summer of 2015.
This is (partially - some luck here too) how I was able to get my green card in 2017.
This is how I was able to do the things that really shaped my life in the last 10 years.
But every time back at this things I always see how great they have turned out, how I was always SO lucky - that's what everyone tells me - because not for everyone that tries this things they turn out so great...
This way of thinking in the last years triggered a weird growing fear.
I have always been well aware that if you do put yourself out there eventually you'll fall, I mean all my experience have been so great: "I will HAVE TO fall at some points and if it hasn't happened for so long it's going to be a bad one..."
It was that literal fall from the bike that made me realise that I fall, I have been falling all the time.
"Follow your Fears" was the title of a blog post a wrote a few years ago - What I really have learned in these years of doing things besides my fear is to fall BIG, but - I was about to find this out - I have also learned how the key of "succeeding" was to learn to fall greatly and make it part of your process.
Most importantly I now know that falling doesn't mean you won't suceeding.
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That night after going to the hospital, getting my chin stitched up and getting into bed trying to find one spot in my body that was not hurting from the fall, I grabbed Brené's book back up and I started my journey.
Things are never easy in my life, I make them this way.
But at least now I have one less thing to worry about. I know I can fall, I am not perfect, I am far from it, but I am learning to practice "rising strong" step by step...