I’m going to take a stab in the dark and guess that most of the women reading this are go-getters. Each of you has a list of accomplishments, both personal and professional, and is committed to working your way to their achievement. My hand held high, I am one of these women. If we were to sit down and talk about all the things I want to do and be, I’d probably start talking very fast and slightly hyperventilate – kind of like kids (or adults!) do when they get to a theme park, are overwhelmed by all the exciting things to do, and can’t handle themselves. Honestly, I think it’s great to be goal-oriented. Hearing about other women’s aspirations inspires me. But the question I’m asking lately is; what about failure? What about when I don’t know what’s next or how to get there?
Currently I’ve been going through a break-up that has me feeling like I’ve failed in the area of having a successful relationship. I just turned thirty and I mean, with all the cultural pressures of being thirty, it has got to be the worst year to have a relationship end. The other week I literally wrote on a 3 x 5 card “Take Your Time”. I had to do this because post-breakup, my instinct is to fill every waking minute with work, or get-togethers, or fun activities that will remind me I am an interesting person. This time, this go-round, I am trying to be okay with being an uncertain person. And even a scared person. I am trying to remind myself that I do not always have to feel strong, or smart, or certain. I do not always have to know just where I stand, or what my current projects are. I do not always need to know where my story is going.
And so my charge to you is this: if you are experiencing a season of defeat or sorrow or uncertainty, give yourself time. We already know you are strong. Listen to yourself and allow the process to change you. Soon enough, you’ll be ready to charge after the mark again. But instead of working towards your goals as a cover-up for defeat or sadness, do it with a heart taken care of. With a mind or a soul that has been given the time to recharge its batteries. I am in the process of learning to open up to my weaknesses and defeats because they are my invitation to being totally human. And that is exactly what the world needs.
By Dana Ingebretson