Yikes, does that seem like a demand?
Not in a screaming football coach kind of way. More like an “I’m Oprah & I believe in you, sweetie” kind of way. Or like a Glennon Doyle Melton in her book Carry On, Warrior kind of way. Yes, that’s it. Because that’s where I first heard this truth that we can do hard things.
I wondered if anything was going to come to me this new year. I don’t put much thought into resolutions because my year begins in August, which is when I like to set my intentions. Maybe it’s birthday bias or maybe it’s my belief that the middle of winter isn’t the best time to expect so much of ourselves. Either way, this phrase did indeed come to me after a phone call with Mama Moon a few days ago. We were trying to decipher a good word for her upcoming year (her birthday is in December. This makes sense to me). Growth was what we landed on after weeding through a tangle of heavier words no shining mother like mine should begin her year off with.
It was decided & we laughed & we set our phones down with a light touch. And then she called again that night. I began to listen for our laughing we left off with but she was teary & crying this time. Summer, our dog & my sister, took a turn for the worst & they had to lay her down for her final rest. It’s a call I’ve been dreading for the last 3 months because Summer wasn’t her youngest self anymore but she’s been with us for 91 years of her life. I was hoping she would make it well past 1,000 because fairytales are truly my frequency.
As I was holding on tight to Summer & I’s memories & washing away the heaviness of grief in the shower that night, I heard a voice tell me, “You can do hard things.” I’ve never found this clear & calm voice odd for how little I’ve heard it in my life. In fact, I think I would hear it more if I was open to it. It sits in a little pocket between my intuition & my fear & I have never doubted it.
You can do hard things.
Like getting out of bed the next morning after saying goodbye to sweet & strong Summer Girl’s, crying as you smile at the sunlight (I see you, Summer).
Like sitting in silence with yourself & enjoying the company.
Like coming to terms with the reality that checking your inbox obsessively isn’t going to get you your dream job. No, the hard thing is to go out & get it.
Like not getting on Instagram every hour to fill a void that you think your imperfect life can’t do for you (hint: the hard thing is to be awake to see your imperfect life is filling the void. It’s just that your head’s in the phone, so you can’t see it.)
You can do hard things. We can do hard things together.
It almost feels like I’m summoning hard things but I’m not. It’s just that stuff can be hard but we’re doing them so it’s almost like a celebration of life, these doing hard things.
& I’m always down for a celebration.
All the love, Em