Saturday, November 29, 2014

Have you ever?

If you like this post, share it. If you share it, tell me, I'll send you a thank you via snail mail. Let's make more mail, people!
Have you ever run 62 miles in one straight shot after giving birth to twins? Have you ever quit the job that was making you miserable, with no money in the bank, because you knew your happiness was more important than anything else? Have you ever defeated an injury and reached the top of the mountain- red faced and sweating but still, there you are, or signed up for a race while holding your breath because you're not sure you can do it but you know you have to start somewhere?

Have you ever set down your pen after finishing the 321st and final page of your novel, or accepted your PhD after years of budgeting and criticism and self doubt? Have you ever stopped to take a breath, to treat yourself kindly and deny the inner demon that always speaks up? Have you ever been completely honest with your child when they ask something hard? Have you ever given birth and then lay in bed with your infant, thanking your body and your mind for this impossible feat they just accomplished? 

Have you ever taught yourself to cook, one recipe after the next, and delighted in the disasters because of what a good story they will make? Have you ever refused to apologize, or rang that fucking bell after the chemo is over, and maybe one small cell of you started to believe that you actually are a warrior and a survivor and maybe that mess is all behind you? 

Have you ever caught a 4 am flight with three little kids? Or raised two babies in a city far away from your family with no car and endless errands? 

Have you ever held back a panic attack while 70 feet underwater? Or you couldn't hold it back but you got on the plane anyway?

Have you ever bought the house, read the book in French, word by word with the dictionary next to you in bed? Have you ever held onto the A in your class till the bitter end, or painted your nails just for fun for the first time and they actually looked okay? 

Have you ever had to say you're sorry and you said it, even though it's uncomfortable and squirmy and you'd rather be talking about anything else? Have you ever chosen exercise over anger, or put the bike away because you're pregnant and you have to take it down a few notches or so they tell you, or rid your life of the toxic people and the unnecessary things in one satisfying rip?  

Have you ever painted your way through the loss of a parent, or put yourself to bed before 2am even though you could stay out in the garden forever if people didn't need you so much, or fought the road rage or quit cigarettes or kept very calm when the spouse beside you is having a stroke in bed, and you saved his life by doing everything right? 

Have you ever entertained a ten year old with a broken femur, in a body cast, for weeks on end?

Have you ever kept yourself in check when you know your anger is misdirected? It's harder then it sounds. Have you ever sat with a client for months without her saying a word, and finally you figure her out and she starts talking and you can finally get to helping her, which is what you wanted to do the whole time? Or gone to the gym even though if sucks after so long, or been stripped down to the bones and found, at the last minute, the courage and resilience you never even knew where there? 

Have you ever killed it at a job interview while holding your two week old son? 

Have you ever let yourself be a normal, messy, flawed human in front of your partner, or celebrated 18 years without cancer with the three children who watched you fight it? Have you ever been pregnant? Have you ever packed your damn lunch to save your damn money even though packing lunches is the worst? Have you ever shown patience with an animal or done yoga every day even though you're new and the postures are terrifying? Have you ever joined a ballet class, as an adult, because damn it you want to do something for yourself alone?  

Have you ever stopped running and stayed put, and now you're in Colorado and it's going to work out, even if you don't know how? Have you ever helped out when you didn't have to, even though it's 20 degrees and you're freezing but you know you're capable? Have you ever picked up the luggage of a perfect stranger and walked them to their gate, because you see they're wrestling two little kids and they're alone? 

Have you ever stayed in school, even when you have a husband and pets and a house and a job that all need you at once? Have you ever changed the oil in your car, or survived four days alone with a crying newborn and no sleep? Have you ever been in your first bewildering and chaotic year of med school or done 80 push ups in one set? 

Have you ever taken an exam and got a 4.0, after a 12 hour shift? Have you ever delivered the speech without tears, or quit the xanax and faced the cross-country move with an optimism you've never felt before, or cut out the sugar because it's the first step? Have you ever said 'no' to a second date because you're done wasting your time? 

Have you ever finished school and got your degree, and thank god because the husband left, and there you are with your two year old son, not looking back, equipped to work and support and love and nourish all by yourself and damn it, you're doing it? 

You have. 

Just in the past few weeks. 

And I'm keeping those comments forever as a source of strength and inspiration and pure delight for when I need a reason to keep swimming, as they say. You can use them, too. You know where to find them.

I had no idea what sort of experience we were all in for when I wrote that prompt. I am so proud of you. Thank you for sharing that tiny, huge part of yourself. 

We'll be back this Monday with another giveaway, one I'm very very excited about. And until then, the winner of the 50 dollar Holdfast Giveaway:

"I'm proud of myself for taking the bus everywhere. I mean, EVERYWHERE, with two kids in tow. We go to the grocery store with one strapped to my front and one holding my hand and somehow I manage to carry groceries on my shoulders. We take an 85 minute ride to doctors appointments. It's hard not having a car but we're making it work. I'm a tough Mama and I'm proud of that."

Congrats Jessica! Email and we'll get you all set up. I hope you get your babies all suited up....but you also get something for yourself! 


Amanda said...

So, I was reading this in bed on my computer, and my husband walked in and asked what I was doing. So I read it out loud to my husband. We both agreed that we had to hear it again, so I read it out loud for a second time. I'd print this out if I could. (I'll buy the book when it comes out.)

Thank you to all the amazing people who shared their inspiring moments! Thank you thank you thank you!!

Jessica said...

This is just awesome.

Elisa said...

I am so encouraged by this. It is like a hug to my weary heart. Seriously.

Jessica said...

Yay! I never win ANYTHING. You guys are so awesome.

Mandy Weston said...

THANK YOU for doing this! The responses are nothing short of inspirational, and reading them benefits us all.

Alice said...

Awesome post- thanks for sharing!

Momma Bee said...

I'm sure you've got a lot more exciting and inspiring ideas coming up, but damn this was amazing and INSPIRING! You all are fantastic and strong!

jennlin said...

This is great! I read the comments to your prompt, but the way you compiled them in this post is just great! Thank you

Whitney said...

I teared up reading this post. I'm so proud of all those strangers out there in the universe.

Sarah said...

Incredibly strong women are out there... And it takes strength to see that we are all one of them!! Amazing and inspiring post!!

Sri said...

Love what you did with the comments! I read them on the last post, and they continue to amaze me everytime.

Rhett said...

Yes! This. So uplifting and amazing. Thank you for putting all the great comments together.

Beth said...

Thank you, You are one hell of a writer!! xo

Jes said...


I just got chills reading what everyone's done. And now I have a whole lotta love for people I've never met.

Seeing Each Day said...

Thank you for the time you took to put this all together - you are such a clever thoughtful writer. Renee

marinj said...

I read and re-read this post. I got teary eyed, chills and was so proud of all the strength and willpower that came across so strong from these comments. Thanks for a beautiful post.

Destiny said...

This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing such an amazing and beautiful list.

Sara, Plain and Tall said...

I keep reading and rereading this post. Returning every couple of days. I think it's how you compiled it, but I truly just am in awe. My sister's motto has always been "we can do anything!" and it is so fun to watch her fix something for my nephew and have her say, "who can do anything??" and hear his reply..."mom can do anything."

We can do anything. Thanks for remind us. xo

Sara, Plain and Tall said...

P.S. I read it while listening to Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay. Unreal combination, IMO. ;)

dig this chick said...

So good. Love how your lapsing this space of yours. xo

dig this chick said...

So good. Live how you're lassoing this space of yours. xo

Sally said...

Do I spy a DIG shirt??

Michelle said...

People are freaking AMAZING. I love this compilation and all of the individual souls and YOU.


OhGreenTherapy said...

Just amazing. Thank you for championing us all... so inspiring.