It Rained Today

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Today it rained. A lot. And like most Cincinnati days of torrential down pour, weather men and women everywhere were 100% sure it was going to be nothing but sunshine. This pop up weather really put people off. As in it absolutely ruined everyone’s week as I watched them trounce in dripping while at work.Want to know how I know it ruined their week? Because of the near tantrums that I witnessed as they demanded an umbrella. You could see it in their eyes, dripping wet, arms out starfish style whirling around disoriented like they hadn’t had food or water in 30 days.

That “OMG I must be dry this instant or I am going to lose it” look.

They stomp-sloshed (when a wet person angrily moves in your direction) into the office ready to tackle the next person they saw for an umbrella…

Wet person: Tell me you sell umbrellas here?! Don’t you know it’s pouring out there?!
Me: *Rain continues pounding roof as it has the past 2 hours* So sorry no umbrellas
Wet person: What am I supposed to do!!!? I am soaked!!
Me:…

Every single melt down I participated in I kept thinking, 1: these grown adults need to suck it up and 2: oh my gosh I am the soaking wet umbrella-less grouch too. Type A people just can’t resist a moment to control…just my opinion…coming from the girl brought two umbrellas today…just in case. It is such a blessing and a curse, and in the case of the distraught wet person, mostly a curse.

No I don’t think I would ever throw a tantrum at someone else because I got rained on, but I totally freak about similar moments on a daily basis. Those moments when even the most excessive effort to control everything wind up being out of your control. Things that you couldn’t have prevented no matter how hard you tried. Computer crashes. Recession. Money. Traffic. Car crashes. Layoffs. Other people. Sickness. Breakdowns. You name it.

So many of these little moments are 110% out our control and you have two choices. Cry about being soaking wet from a pop up shower, or do your darndest to find an umbrella, change into dry clothes, or whatever it takes to make your situation better. No one wants to pat the person who forgot their umbrella on the back.

These things happen, and you control the outcome not the event.

It rained a lot today and you are going to be okay.

 

 

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Crashes and Burns

bike

Learning how to ride a bike was a life changing experience for me, probably in the same way it is for most buck toothed little kids just trying to shed those burdensome training wheels. I would get so frustrated with them, knowing they were just getting in the way, totally slowing my roll (Ha!). They would cause you to teeter back and forth eventually hurdling you against every effort into the inevitable ditch filled with jagged rocks and mystery road sludge. The calamity dust would clear and the toppled bike wheels were left awkwardly rotating in the breeze, it was a daunting site for someone who just smashed their face in a pile of abandoned road garbage.

I learned how to ride on the side of a mountain by the way. When one small mistake would send the awkward bike and I over the edge like a projectile missile over a creek and into vicious two-way traffic. This was a lot of pressure for someone who was still nursing head to toe wounds after days of wallowing in the ditches. Looking back I think the pressure was a good thing, a heavy reminder to think before you act; how to not be an idiot during risky times.

Eventually the feeling was less scary, you learn to balance through the teetering and suddenly it all feels normal. Soon I was buzzing around, ready to hit the open road. The freedom to just go was enough to overcome scary hills and new pavement, the kind of anticipation that keeps you up at night.

Question: Where will you ride tomorrow? Answer: wherever I darn well please!

One day I was feeling exceptionally professional as any new bike rider with a perfect two wheeling record would, zipping around sharp corners only using the back breaks, visualizing Harrison Ford escaping the collapse of the Temple of Doom, or in this case carbon copy houses and slap happy Labrador Retrievers bouncing in the yard.

I had just made it to the bottom of a mountainous hill when a cul-de-sac out of nowhere appeared summoning the ditch diving past as the entire bike spun out in a violent combination of skin grating impact and aqua blue plastic grinding on asphalt.

I laid there sure I was dead, or at least missing a limb. The world came back into focus and there they were, the awkward tires creaking in the wind a reminder of the not so distant past. Just as quickly as it came, my confidence evaporated into thin air. All sense of feeling came flooding back at once as the sting set in, the crumpled bike, my exposed knee caps. This was one of those mistakes during risky times, the ‘omg that just happened’ gulp.

I’m not trying to make this a “get back on the bike tale” because I hate those, obviously I had to get back on the bike I was miles from home. It’s more of a, “it’s absolutely terrifying to get back on the bike, and for good reason” story. This is exactly how transitioning out of school world and into the working world has felt. Endless situations of trying not to be an idiot during risky times.

For a split second all of the freedom in the world is at your finger tips (excessive do life your own way blog posts). A bad day at work, or slight mistake during an interview, and the freedom starts to pull away.

Confidence slowly grows with practice and one small incident causes it to come crashing down challenging you to try it again. Those little moments of failure have a way of building the confidence back up into something stronger than it was before. Next time you avoid the cul-de-sac or take it slow, adjust and make better decisions, get a clearer vision. Rounding the bottom of the hill at full speed will always be nerve-wracking, a reminder that you are trying and attempting a challenge, but mostly it is a sign that you are learning.