"You guys are like Butch and Sundance peering over the edge of a cliff to the boulder-filled rapids 300 feet below, thinking you better not jump 'cause there's a chance you might drown. The President has this disease and has been lying about it, and you guys are worried that the polling might make us look bad? It's the fall that's gonna kill ya!" - CJ Cregg "West Wing"
One of my favourite things to do as I putter around the house...cooking, cleaning, laundry... you name it is to put "West Wing" on for background noise. I have seen every episode multiple times which is part of what makes it so great for puttering TV. I don't have to pay too much attention because I know what's going on but it is a show that is smart, funny, revolves around one of my biggest passions (politics) and I love the characters. Last night as I was making dinner, the following quote caught me. I won't ruin the show for you - though there is a spoiler in the quote above but my guess is that everyone who knows anything about the show knows about it so I don't feel too bad. If I just ruined something for you, then I am sorry.
Anyway, this got me thinking. Many of us (and by many of us - I mean me but I am sure I am not alone) focus on the landing. The goal, where we think we will wind up. We forget about the fall, the journey, the process. For me in the last many months, I saw the ending as clear as day and I could say with a reasonable degree of certainty that I was ok with the outcome. Even though I knew it wouldn't be what I wanted or would hurt...I was ok with it.
Then the process started in ways that I hadn't planned. It is funny that for someone like me who is a HUGE planner and one to imagine every scenario my little brain can come up with - the one that I didn't see coming at all is the one that happened. And I was caught so off guard and unprepared. I had focused so intensely on the outcome that I forgot that it was the fall that was going to kill me. And in some ways the fall has killed me. Not literally, obviously. I am not a zombie, after all. But the fall killed something in me that I hadn't anticipated and I am going to have to figure out how to bring it back to life. My guess is that it will take a very long time for me to be willing to bring it back to life but hopefully at some point I will be willing to take that risk again. For now, it will remain dead in me and that is ok.
I feel in many ways that I have finally hit the ground only to realize that it wasn't the impact of the landing that was the problem. It was the fall. And the fall is long and very, very hard.