I feel like I have to start this post by saying I hate confrontation. I mean, I know a lot of people do and this isn’t some special quality of mine. I’m the type to be just silently peeved at whatever is bothering me and make little snippy comments here and there. However, if I am confronted about it, I’ll minimize my feelings. I know, extremely irrational. Whatever, it’s real.
I say we look at “confrontation” or “to confront” outside of what we typically associate it with, which is a negative interaction. A quick Google search turned up this definition for confront: “face up to and deal with (a problem or difficult situation)”. Oh, now we’re talking. Now we’re in the realm of overcoming difficulties. This is my jam.
Confrontation has been on my mind a lot this week. I was video chatting with a dear friend from grad school the other day. She was checking in on me and asking about my current situation. She was curious how I was handling things and what potentially “difficult” or “awkward” situations I might find myself in. Basically, she wanted to know how often I found myself in situations with my ex and what the interactions were like. “Well, I see him a lot at the gym and at church,” I explained. “Interactions vary, depending on my mood but for the most part, I’d say they’re relatively friendly.” She responded by saying she can’t imagine what that’s like and how hard it must be. She also said she would have such a hard time being around an ex that much and that she admired me for continuing to frequent these shared places. Following our conversation, I sat in that for a little bit, asking my favorite question, why?
I took a look into my past and found that what she had said was true. Breakup? Avoid all the usual places. Avoid them at all costs! Remember breaking up in high school? Avoid eye contact in the halls! Don’t let them see you without a friend! For me, confronting an ex typically brings a racing heart, sweaty palms, and major posturing on my part. She was right when she said she imagines it’s hard. It is. Oh, but the beautiful things that come from confronting the things that make us a bit uncomfortable.
I’m not just talking romantically here, either. Sometimes we have to confront challenges at work or things about ourselves that we may need to improve. Sometimes we have to confront ourselves in the mirror and remind ourselves that a diet of chocolate and wine will not give us the physique we want. I know, I’m sad about it too. There are so many things we have to confront daily and I would bet a fair amount of them, we don’t even think twice about it. We face it, tackle it, and move on to the next thing.
So what the hell is it about certain things? What is it that makes us retreat back into the comfort of our over-sized sweatpants in our quiet apartments all by our lonesome? Well, friend, I wish I could speak for you but I can only speak for myself: they make me feel small.
I don’t like feeling inadequate, nor do I like feeling small. When you’re an ex and, well, the relationship ending wasn’t necessarily your first choice, you feel really small by default. Add in some self-inflicted guilt about how things went and BAM! you have a situation that yearns to be avoided.
In case the past posts on this page were not indicative enough of this season in my life, I’ll be blunt: I’m very much in a “kick life’s ass” kind of season (most days). Right now, that involves not disconnecting from the life I’ve established out here. While that can bring up some situations that make my stomach turn and reopen a wound, man, has it been liberating.
When we confront our challenges or uncomfortable situations, I think we have the opportunity to learn just how bad ass we are. I think we get the chance to prove something to ourselves.
Now, as I’m reading through this post, attempting to proofread at 10pm after a long day at work, I’m realizing it sounds like I’m talking myself up and saying “look at how well I’m handling this situation.” HA! It’s in fact the opposite. It’s me trying to remind myself that I am capable of facing these things that make me feel like a teeny, tiny human. Let’s face it, not all the days are kick ass. In fact, I am on like a 4-day streak of feeling anything but kick ass. While, as I’ve said in past posts, this blog is primarily my word vomit, I do always hope that someone reads this on just the right day.
Because we’re human and because life is not always gentle (as if it ever really is), some days it’s going to be as simple as us conquering the desire to call in sick and stay in bed all day. Other days, it’s going to be you marching up to that gigantic mountain in front of you and jumping over that son of a gun. $20 says you’ll surprise yourself with just how awesome you are.
Be liberated by confronting the things in your life that make you feel inadequate. Discover your inner adventurer and approach the mountain of adversity with a smirk on your face, knowing that you’ve conquered it once before. Basically? Go kick ass.
“The tests we face in life’s journey are not to reveal our weaknesses but to help us discover our inner strengths. We can only know how strong we are when we strive and thrive beyond the challenges we face.”