Monday, July 20, 2015

Get Back in the Boat

It was junior high. We had just moved so I was the new girl. It was also the first day back to school and one of my new friends I had met ran up to me to announce that the football star and the student body president were both interested in me and wanted "to go out with me,” ( which meant that that we would publicly profess our dedication to each other, awkwardly talk in the hall a few times and then use that new status as a relationship to climb higher on the popularity ladder). I remember not wanting to pick because not only were the two choices fabulous options socially, but both guys really were nice, good guys and somehow I could tell that within just a few days.

After about a week I discovered I really liked talking to the student body president, but the football star was so dreamy, so I had made up my mind that I socially could not go wrong with picking the football star. I was the new girl, in a new school, going out with the football star. I was just rowing my boat in the bliss of junior high life…for about three days. Then the football star became disinterested and I found myself "dumped" back into the normalcy of junior high life.

Well, I had not lost my sense of self and still knew who I was so my confidence was intact, but my pride was not. In preparing to return back to school on the fourth day I needed a plan; one that would allow me to enter the halls appearing unaffected by the whole situation and a way to show that I was so fine. My mother advised me to hold my head up and be strong and just get through it—and of course wear the absolutely cutest outfit I could find. That always helped.

The fourth day came. I was in my fabulous outfit. I still remember it: fire engine red pants that fit perfectly, a red and white high contrast shirt for a little sophistication and authority, and some fabulous wedge high heels.

I was feeling great about myself. There I was in the hall at school walking towards a few guys when I spotted him—the football star. He was walking with his friend towards "the ramp" (in our school we had a big hallway that was a ramp where stairs usually are to get from one level to the next but it allowed for more students to pass through at a time so it was a large space). There was only the two of them and then me coming up behind. I picked up me confidence and my speed. Right as I passed them I flipped my hair; a gesture to show I was unaffected and in control. It was perfect until the force of the flip met my high heels and consequently I fell face down and did a superman slide, arms out and all, down the entire ramp screaming the whole way. My books all flew in the air and landed at the bottom of the ramp along with me. 

There I lay face down, dying. The cute football star who I know didn't want any part of this, scooted over and, standing above me but not looking at me, said in a whisper, "do you need help?”  Still looking down I said, "No I'm actually good!!”

Well, needless to say, not my finest moment. But we all have those, right? The trick is not avoiding them. They are a part of life. A part of “opposition in all things” and the bad experiences with the good. The trick is still believing in ourselves and getting up…Immediately back into the boat of life and start paddling. Do not stay in the water of self doubt. You WILL arrive at your destiny if you just keep getting back in the boat and paddling.  No matter how many times you experience your own personal “dump.” Believe you can keep getting back in. Staying in the water of self doubt will get you nowhere. You will fail. So just get in and row.

I did just that and actually ended up going out with the student body president. It lasted quite a bit longer. The best part was I became good friends with both and have great memories. If I had given up I probably would have let it be a moment that defined me in a negative way and who knows what damage that could have done.

As you have the experiences and work on getting back in the boat, remember that every design jumps back in and rows differently. Here are some things each design can do to help them get back in and keep going:

         Saturated: Change the goal. Your design is skilled in being able to find a better way than before to get 
         back in and row.

         Whitened: Enroll and change it up. Make it fun or exciting. Do it differently use your spontaneity. In 
         these moments that is what works best.

         Grayed: Tread water for a moment and think it through. That's what you are good at. Find all the 
         connections then carefully and meticulously get back in the boat.

         Blackened: Just hit it. See it as a challenge rather than a disrupted expectation and conquer it. 

What is your version of being “dumped?” Whatever it is, find your initiative and get back in your boat. Row in the way you are comfortable. Engage in something you are good at whether it be physical or mental. Find joy in it. And remember, everyone is a masterpiece! 

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