How to roller skate through life
When I was a kid, going to the skating rink was the thing to do on the weekends. The cool skating rink in my hometown was a place called LaJolla. One weekend when I was about 12, I went to LaJolla by myself. I was minding my own business skating around (I was pretty freaking good), when an older girl skated up to me and started talking shit. She didn’t like the way I was strutting around the rink like I owned the place. She punched me in the gut. I doubled over in pain, I thought I was going to die right then and there. The rest of the evening, I pretty much hid in the corner trying to avoid her. When my mom picked me up, I told her about the girl. My mom walked right up to that girl and got in her face. I was mortified.
Unfortunately, that was not my last gut punch. They seem to happen to me (and, I’m assuming everyone else?) periodically through the years. My gut punches are more figurative as an adult. One summer & fall I lost 3 people whom I loved, 9-11, the loss of my grandmother, my birthday weekend 2014, my divorce, being asked to leave a pediatricians office (don’t ask). Those are a few, but there are plenty more.
I could double over and wait to die. And, actually, a couple of times I did. But something remarkable happened when I did that. I didn’t die. And I didn’t die the next day either. And I started to realize that I could survive almost anything, and actually came out a little wiser and stronger for the suffering. Now, maybe it’s just the coffee talking, but I would actually not change one single thing that has happened in my life. As I sit here writing this, I am the sum of all of my experiences. If any one of those things hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have the amazing, fulfilling life that I have now.
Things I have learned from gut punches:
When I think back to that day at the skating rink, I am so grateful to my mom for sticking up for me. I am also grateful to that girl for teaching me that I would survive even when I thought my life was over.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall”