“Rise and Shine”: A Reflection on Confidence and Looking Up

For ten seconds, I found myself face down in the street wondering only one thing. How did I get down here?

May was the month and the mission was getting to work. A new job, in fact, and I was headed in for the first day. No stranger to this place, I was headed to my high school alma mater where I accepted a new position. Excited to return, nervous about meeting new expectations, and wary of the unknown, I trekked down a grassy hill (no sidewalk in sight) towards the first page of a new story. A dip in the grass offered a mild excitement in my walk but was no match for what was to come. Not quite sure how it all unfolded, I will tell you what I know. I was walking. I made it past the dip in the grass. I came upon the curb. I looked both ways. I went to cross the street. I fell on my face. Technically, I fell on my hand that braced my face for the cement, but minus the minor details … I fell on my face. It took about ten seconds to realize: a.) what happened. b.) my head lay in the middle of the street like a thief on a chopping block and c.) cars were coming and I needed to rise quickly or my fall would be the least of my worries. Expecting rain that day, I was carrying a large umbrella and it served as a mighty cane for the quarter of a mile hobble to the front door. I thought about crying. I thought about taking it as a sign that I was not on the right path with my life. I even thought about just sitting in the grass and throwing a tantrum with hopes someone cared. Alas, there was little time to do anything but keep going. I began to chuckle to myself. Hobble. Chuckle. Hobble. Wince. Chuckle. Hobble.

To this day, I don’t know how I fell in the street. I entered in a stagger with a bloody knee and ripped new pants. I put a hole in my left hand. I continued to limp for over a month. And I even went back to the spot where I fell in search of a culprit to blame for my tripping. Nothing. I found nothing but the reality that in life we occasionally fall down. Even a plan and a destination cannot prevent a minor trip or a major fall but the one fact that remains is the ability, no, the requirement to get up. What I carry with me now is a dark bruise and life long story and scar to remind me that once I fell but that I also got up. As a young adult, I find this is a pattern in not only my own life, but also the lives of my peers. This is the time to experiment, to investigate, and to discover. But growth from this process would not come if we only reached success. We would only know how to succeed. Though a valuable skill, it is the strength, ability and confidence to fall and rise again that truly validates success.

I consistently witness the development of downtrodden attitudes as some of us reach for goals we don’t quite make on the first try. But who deemed that as failure? Who determined that we were inadequate based on the results of one or maybe two trials? As an artist, one must prepare to receive rejection on various works. As a scientist, one must execute consecutive trials to obtain solid results. As a basketball player, one must attempt multiple baskets to accumulate a number of points. In no way is talent or skill able to stand without the confidence to proceed despite a rough patch. I charge my friends daily to look up. I say, “Look up.” It is like me falling in the street. My distracting thoughts of worry at a new job kept me from looking up and forward. Falling is a constant reminder that we can hit and then rise from the bottom. Many of us struggle with a disease I call “ole overachieving ass.” I suffer greatly. While it provides a constant running list of goals and new sights to see, it also offers darker days of damped esteem and hopeless visions. There are days when enough is not quite enough, yet reaching any further than your nose is daunting and seemingly impossible. For most women, this inexplicable self-projection comes at least once a month and leaves a bad taste in our mouths. Perhaps a wave of bad days or weeks unrelated to hormones crashes over everything and leaves a dark cloud in the dust of your ship. The key is not focusing on the damage done but more the path or solution to sunshine. Whether I tripped or my legs gave out or if even God blew past me and knocked me down, the message is loud and clear always LOOK UP!

- Fi.

Related posts:

  1. “I can’t believe that’s Trina!”: A Reflection on Image and the Black Community
  2. “You is kind, You is smart, You is Important”: A Reflection on “The Help”
  3. “Beyhives, Barbz, and Little Monsters???”: A Reflection On Being a Fan v. Groupie
  4. “Mirror, mirror on the wall…”: A Reflection on Beauty Standards
  5. “If you have nothing nice to say, then…”: A Reflection on Judgment
www.pdf24.org    Send article as PDF