Put Your Heart In It: When It’s Okay to Be Stubborn
Today has been a weird day. It’s raining. My dog is laying on his back, with all four legs in the air. I’m drinking Tazo‘s Passion tea. Like I said, it’s been a weird day.
After a series of events and oddities, I started thinking about my life. Specifically, I’ve been considering the decisions I’ve made and how I’ve made them.
The last bit’s important. I realized that I cannot do something if my heart’s not in it. I cannot say yes if I mean no. So much boils down to knowing myself, I suppose. Knowing my heart and my limits. Knowing when something feels right — or when it doesn’t.
It’s taken me a long time to uderstand that little voice that squeaks, NO! or YES! That’s what I follow. Sometimes, it’s difficult to explain why something isn’t right. Or why it is, even when it sounds crazy. To borrow from Playing by Heart, it’s like dancing about architecture. That isn’t going to stop me from trying.
This morning, I passed on an opportunity. My heart wasn’t in it. It wasn’t something I could get behind. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense. To a lot of people, it might appear to be a chump move. It might seem stupid. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt it was wrong. So, to me and for me, it was.
Then again, other things in my life that seem wrong…aren’t. What’s right for me isn’t what’s right for you. There’s no one size fits all approach to existing in this world. That would be, among other things, boring. So, I do things a little bit sideways. I’m okay with that. It’s part of what makes me ME.
Every thing I’ve ever done, my heart’s been in it. Work, friends, relationships, writing. All there. All heart. The thing is, I don’t think I realized that until just now.
I dive in. Sometimes, it’s like jumping into a volcano with my eyes closed. Sometimes, it’s one of those bouncy castles. (Why don’t they make those for adults!??!) You don’t know, until you do.
I’ve seen so many people get into situations (bad ones) because they felt it was something they HAD to do. Now, I’m not talking about the everyday stuff — like taking out the garbage or doing the dishes. Or cleaning the bathroom. I mean marriages, career choices, and friendships.
Too many people settle — and then settle in. Sometimes, I think it’s routine that kills us. The inability to fight for something more, the tendency to just accept things as they are. I’m not speaking as a writer (although, that’s applicable, too); I’m speaking as a person. You know the people who are most apt to succeed? Those who don’t give up. Who fall off the bucking bronco, break a rib or two, and try it again.
Sure, broken ribs (metaphorical and real) hurt like a bitch. There’s only so much you can do to help them heal, too. A little tape. Some tequila. And…time. That’s it. But time’s the easy part. The hard part’s not letting the fear eat you alive. It’s not letting the memory of what happened get the best of you. It’s not giving up.
I’m stubborn. It’s genetic. Really. My family (on both sides) boasts a lot of stubborn. Especially the women. For good or ill, I’m also all heart. I think that there are worse things for a person to be.