This is the Hard Part.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lately, I have to keep reminding myself, "Kathleen, this is the hard part."

In life, there are plenty of these hard parts. The times we look back on later and think, "I can't believe I got through that." The hard part paves the way to the good stuff and that, that little reminder right there, is what I repeat to myself 72 times a day.

Both my sister and my best friend recently said to me, "You know, you've really had a hard couple of months." It's funny because I thought I knew that, thought that was a given, but when they acknowledged it to me, it seemed to almost give me permission to acknowledge it to myself.

You see, like everyone, I get down in the dumps and throw myself a little pity party for one every now and again, but I never lose sight of how lucky I am. Some of my world travels have left a permanent tattoo on my heart and this tattoo never lets me forget how incredibly fortunate I am. That said, sometimes a gal just needs to be able to say, "Wow, this has been tough."

And it has.

Between the knee injury (and surgery, physical therapy, crutches, a hideous brace, immobility and pain) and finding out I had to go back to graduate school for a quarter rather than accepting two dream jobs that were offered to me, my late summer and fall have had more than their fare share of setbacks.

The latest chapter in the book I'm writing - tentatively titled "This is Really Freaking Hard" - details my new job. You see, about two weeks ago, I started a job as an intake counselor at a psychiatric hospital. (Working the graveyard shift, no less.) While this has been an amazing opportunity and I am exceptionally grateful for the chance to get my foot in the door with a great company, this position is really challenging for me. I am entirely out of my element and doing things I've never done before and, to be perfectly frank, am not terribly gifted at. Although I know I'll look back at this time and appreciate being pushed out of my comfort zone, I am filled with anxiety right now. You know the feeling when you think you'll never, ever get it? That feeling describes how I feel pretty much 99 % of the time lately.

One of the things that has been getting me through this rough spot is knowing I can soon go home for the holidays to see my family... Well, unfortunately, this is the part in the post where the violin music needs to be cued. (Do you hear it? You do? Great.) Yep, I just found out I have to work Christmas Eve, Christmas day, New Year's Eve and New Year's day... and I am heartbroken.

My point in all of this isn't just to whine. My point is that this, this right here is the hard part. I was reminded of this when my tire blew out on the freeway earlier today and I was just sitting there, waiting. Waiting to get through the hard part. The good news? When you're knee high in the hard part's mud, it just means the good stuff is on its way. I just have to wash off my feet and wait it out.


  1. Hey hon - I feel your pain, though probably not as badly. You'll get through it! And you know why? Because you want to! Keep as positive as you can and the good times will come eventually.

    I've had a tough time this year too. The usual work dramas that affect everyone (I admire you for doing your graveyard shifts!!) But my really hard time has been going for 4 months now (at least) - I finally met a gorgeous man this year and we started dating, then he left for a job in NYC (I live in New Zealand) and has been gone now for 4 months. He'll be back with me in 19 days for the summer. (!!!) Throughout this time, I've had so many things go through my head - so many worries and insecurities - and realising that this is THE hardest thing I've ever had to get through. Distance sucks - especially when it's NZ to NYC - that a Looooong way... At least I have a NZ summer with him to look forward to and that's what's been keeping me going. I also will have Christmas in Australia with my family. And I can tell you now that being told I have to work Christmas/NYE would knock the wind out of me too. I feel your pain - but perhaps tell yourself that Christmas comes every year, and there must be some divine reason why you have to work those special dates..

    Just stay strong and keep smiling and remember that life comes in waves like this. Just keep riding the waves.


  2. You deserve a pity party... and it's completely understandable that you are so upset about having to work over the holidays. I had to do that last year, and man oh man it made me so upset for the weeks around the holidays.

    You are exactly right about the good part - it's gotta be coming for you soon. And in the mean time, keep letting yourself focus on how much you're testing your own faith and strength. You will get through the hard times - and you'll look back and be shocked at everything you made it through!

  3. you seriously have had a tough year! you totally deserve to take a moment out of being brave to lie face down in the middle of the floor, kicking your feet, pounding your fists, and screaming at the world to go eff itself. i mean, the world really is asking for it. but i am also struck by how, of all the people to have horrible things happen to them, you are one of the few who can handle it. you are so strong, so balanced and healthy. you know how to take care of yourself, you have a good support group, and you don't let anything keep you down. you also don't let yourself get bitter. you still hold on to love and hope and joy! and that's a miracle right there!!

    so in some ways, you have been through shit you don't deserve and have every right to be frustrated with this year. but in other ways, i see you experiencing beautiful transitions that i am absolutely sure will lead to great things. not to mention all the inspiration you are dishing out by the heapfulls to everyone who knows you/reads your blog. thank you for managing your tough times so well!

    i've spent christmas all by myself before and it sucks. i know adding work to that makes it suck even more. but i'll wish for you a christmas miracle - that something wonderful and amazing will happen in some way! :)

  4. kathleen, i so appreciate your words. there is so much wisdom in your posts, sometimes i wish i could just sit and talk with you. this post in particular is really relatable for me, and i'm inspired by your outlook on it (which is much wiser and humbler than mine has been). i know you will get through this really, really hard part and find even more happiness than before on the other side.

  5. Hope everything works out ! xoxo

  6. girl. this is exactly how i feel so much of the time. life is hard you are right, and you will get through this, because you are super wonderful, strong and talented. Remember to keep your chin up girl. Things do get better. they do!

    P.s "When you're knee high in the hard part's mud, it just means that the good part is on its way" THIS! Is exactly what I needed to hear.

  7. Despite all of the madness, I think you're kicking ass and taking names without even knowing it! I admire your determination and I just know the "good stuff" is heading your way!

  8. from reading your blog, it really does sound like you've had a hard year, but you always keep such a positive attitude about it and that's what matters! i hope you get through the hard part rally soon and things calm down a bit. don't forget to treat yourself in whatever free time you can find! take care of yourself!