This was written following my first unsuccessful medicated IUI cycle:
Sometimes I find myself being consciously caught in a lesson. This time it happened in the Whole Foods checkout line, while attempting to soothe myself through purchasing a majorly big bag of Jane’s popcorn (the best popcorn ever – like ever!) The theme of this lesson? Complete failure. Below average results. Hard work and heartache followed by additional bad news. As the many Jewish Mama’s in my life would say (with my own special spelling) OY VEY SCHMEAR!!!!! I spell it like that based on the fact that it felt like the failure had been “schmeared” all over me…..
My realization came about because of that horrible question – “How are you doing today?” At this point in the week, I’d resigned to answering that question with some nonsensical word like “Pineapple.” This way, I wouldn’t have to lie and I could maybe even giggle at the ridiculousness of it all. After exchanging the “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” sentiments, the clerk said to me “he puts us on this world not for ourselves, but for each other.”
I gained a little perspective in that moment as I am used to being in the roll of helper and/or friend. Here was this stranger who was teaching me a life lesson that dwarfed the enormous bag of popcorn that I had planned to devour and she was helping me. And I could be vulnerable and accept the help.
Sometimes all we need is to be seen, listened to and heard. Sometimes when someone listens, really listens and acknowledges that your fear is real, and that they understand that you find comfort in asking questions, everything seems to deflate a little bit and you can breathe again…..
I realized that my failure was not the definition of me. It was not a reflection of who I am, who I was or who I was trying to be. It was simply a form of gathering information. A form of feedback. Trusting my gut, I recognized that this particular ambition was not on my path. I realized that I was chasing something that would not ultimately serve me. And I let it go. With a handful of Jane’s popcorn (and a glass of pinot noir) I let that sucker go.
We must remember that everything is simply information gathering. Everything is valuable and if we can navigate through the feelings of a perceived failure, we can begin to find the feedback that will allow us to make our next move. There are no guarantees and we can’t change the circumstances, but we do have the ability to change the experience that we have with those circumstances.
And by the way…… I ate the whole bag :).