I had a rough week this week, guys. Between work just being work, and having obligations every night (which I’m not used to), and feeling generally smothered by requests for my time – I couldn’t handle it. Friday rolled around and I ran into a bit of trouble on my way home from work and I’d had enough. I was overwhelmed.
I was embarrassed, frustrated, angry, sad – if you could name a negative emotion, I was probably feeling some shade of it. I was in a dark, dark mood. So dark in fact, that I was supposed to go celebrate National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day with some friends and bake cookies, but I had to cancel. (I’m really sorry friends…) I couldn’t bring myself to get in my car and be with people. So, I mourned. I laid on my floor and was an absolute disgusting mess. I mourned how unhappy I was. I mourned people I’m missing, dreams I feel like keep getting farther and farther away, ideals that were quickly proving to be unrealistic. I mourned for the young woman I thought I would be at 23 (trust me, she isn’t me).
Feeling exceptionally heartbroken about everything, I texted a friend, a young woman who I’ve looked up to for a long time. She used to proclaim “Love isn’t real” (although, I’m not sure she really believed that herself) and I hoped she would have similar words of (perhaps cynical) wisdom. She outdid herself this time: “Make lists.” She told me to list out everything I’m grateful for, everything I dream about, my deepest desires – lists help you focus on goals.
I took her advice and wrote. And wrote and wrote. Once I had written out my sadness, I could still feel this pent-up energy burning inside me. So, I did what I usually do to feel better – I ran. I ran out the rest of my feelings. I thought about them and let them fall behind me. I made lists in my head as I ran; I wrote poetry, told myself stories. I bet if I ran long enough, I could find a solution toward world peace. With every drop of sweat that coated my skin, I felt better; I was less sad but still tired. I had goals but felt no closer to accomplishing them. When I got home from my run, I picked something I’ve been wanting to do and set to work.
When I was a smaller human, I took gymnastics with my younger brother. The oddball (I say that lovingly) is bizarrely jointed and was flexible beyond belief, making him an excellent gymnast (he still likes to freak me out with his weird elbows). I was never a very good gymnast, mediocre at best. I could never get up on the bars, I was generally wobbly on the beam, and any sort of flip was out of the question. Perhaps this goes without saying, but I couldn’t ever do a headstand.
What makes you think you can do one now, Bex?
Now, I’m stubborn and determined and I really wanted to do it.
It took me an hour and change to master the headstand. Granted, most of that hour was spent on the floor after having toppled over. Some of the videos I took of myself to analyze my [poor] form would make quite the blooper reel.
Here are some highlights from those videos:
They say you’re supposed to start learning to do a headstand against a wall so that you don’t run the risk of toppling over as far (like I kept doing…) but I figured- Go big or go home. And I was already at home, so that left “Go big.” If you don’t trust yourself, and you don’t let go of your fear of failing (or falling)- you won’t learn. You won’t succeed.
Despite all my falls and the slight rug burns on my elbows, I did it. A headstand. And it felt good. I was suddenly in a different headspace (literally and figuratively). I have goals, big and small, and I can reach them as long as I try and try and try. No matter how many times I toppled over, I got back up and tried again.
As a brief headstand tutorial: (I also wanted to be sure I could still do it today)
I challenge you to take my friend’s advice – Make lists, set goals. Long lists, short lists, big goals, small goals. Anything to motivate you to be better, get better, move forward. And when the world gets too heavy on your shoulders, don’t be afraid to turn it all upside down.
Flip life on its head, the new perspective is enlightening.
PS – I thought about posting this whole post upside down. Clearly, I didn’t. You’re welcome.