This weekend I was lucky enough to go to a world renowned ski resort to snowboard all weekend with friends. It had been about a year since I had first hit the slopes, so I had some trepidation on whether my past snowboarding success was just a fluke, as I had never seen snow until last year either.
So Saturday morning, as I strapped my boots into my bindings, I was prepared for the worst. I was prepared to not even stand up. And guess what, I stood up just fine. I was a little shaky at first, but the amazing Japan powder from the down pour of snow was making it a little less intimidating to just try and do it. As I was getting my footing again, I thought…”why do I always have to assume the worst?” Is it really having realistic expectations or is it pessimism? I am still not sure I have an answer to that question.
As the day went on, I got back into the grove rather quickly. Proving that last year wasn’t a fluke, that I put in the work and that my muscles still remember what to do. As I kept doing runs down the mountain, a girl from my group said to me “you make it look so easy!” She had assumed that it was my first time snowboarding. I reassured her that this was my second time at the rodeo, and that she should take her time.
After my first full day back on the slopes, I was prepared for the party that would be waiting for all of us back at the hotel. With my beer in hand I settled down to sit and chat with friends. And just as fate would have it, one of my friends brought out her tarot card set. This was quite interesting because I had told myself early in the week that I would really like someone to read me.
As I sat there waiting, I knew it was going to take a lot out of me. But I also knew I would feel a lot better no matter what the cards said. I had chosen to do a one card one issue reading, and as I prepared to flip over my card the same thing happened as when I strapped into my snowboard. I was ready for the worst. I had braced myself to see the worst possible outcome for this particular issue. And when I flipped it over, I was shocked to find the opposite true. It was not a card of doom and gloom.
As I discussed the meaning of the card with my friend, she stated “I am finally seeing how difficult living in Japan has been for you.” And this brought me back to that girl on the slopes, and how “I made it look easy.” Being adaptable does not mean that it is actually easy to adapt. I think this is a huge misunderstanding. There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes in anyone’s life. We only know what they are willing to share. And I don’t share very much unless you are one of my confidants, in which you probably get more than you bargained for.
It doesn’t really help any situation to broadcast the struggle every step of the way. You aren’t the only one struggling; this isn’t the first time you will struggle, so no need to make a big deal out of it. But with that being said, we still need to take time to appreciate what we have done, the pains, the suffering, all of it. I was starting to forget to do that, which is why I think I have come to expect the worst in situations. I am constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, because I have put in all the work to “make it look easy” without giving myself the credit I probably deserve.
I have wanted to give up more times than I can count, and with the issue that I asked about in my tarot card reading, I actually had in a way given up. It is even still hard to have faith that it will all work out, and trust my gut feelings. But I guess the real teaching in the card was that I should at least try, that despite all logical reason, I have come this far. That for reasons I will never know I am still in it. Now all I need to do is not screw it up for myself, and put in the work and with a little more optimism. Because it may look easy from the outside, but in reality, it is anything but.