When the going gets tough

go on a run. Or if you’re like me, start running, stop after a block, and evaluate why you’re huffing and puffing like you’ve been running a marathon.

This is more than a story about being out of shape. It’s about dealing with obstacles that prevent you from reaching the finish line. Because when it rains, it pours, and in the aftermath of my most recent personal storm, I emerge completely bruised, battered, broken, and… blessed.

Over the past 90 days, a series of events had led me to believe the world was surely conspiring against me. In chronological order:

1. I was robbed in Providence,

2. I started experiencing hazy vision, due to scarring on my cornea,

3. My computer died,

4. I was averaging less than 5 hours of sleep/night,

5. I parted ways with my job.

Each of these sucked.  The last was by far the hardest. There were several reasons for my dismissal from Venture for America, but the largest was that the company wasn’t a natural fit for me. We tried to make things work but ultimately discovered that it was unnatural to continue forcing myself in a position that just wasn’t cut to my shape.

Coming to this realization was difficult because I wanted so badly to contribute to the VFA mission. That was the plan. But when there lacks a natural, comfortable flow, something is probably off. I’ve learned that sometimes you must be willing to let go of what is planned, for the life that is truly right.

I can now focus on my health and peacefully take the time I need for surgery and recovery.  I can now return to writing and exercising, which had all but disappeared when work took over.  More importantly, I can now unapologetically be myself.

Last week, I whined to my friend about everything I’ve lost: my vision, my job, my health, even my cruddy old license which was stolen in Providence.

 “I’ve been ripped of everything. What’s left?”, I cried.

Family and friends. We remain.”, she said.

And that’s all I need. I was stripped of so many things associated with my ego to be reminded that none of that matters.  What matters more than anything else is the love you have and the love you give, and I am blessed beyond belief to have an incredibly supportive network where all of that flows naturally.

For those dealing with similarly “catastrophic” events, remember that you aren’t possibly important enough for the world to plot against you. Think about what you do have and what is meant to emerge will do so naturally.  If things aren’t working on a regular basis, perhaps you’re trying too hard to make two pieces of a different puzzle fit. Find another puzzle to solve.

Venture for America was a wonderful learning opportunity, and I am honored to have worked toward such a meaningful mission. Who knows what’s next. All I know is that however many more disasters it takes, I will eventually make it to the finish line.

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same…

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it”

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4 responses

  1. sothir

    Omg, Lynne!!! I feel so out of the loop in your life, but I am glad that I can read about it. I can’t believe that you were going through so much! Your friend is absolutely right – you have adoring parents, and loving friends who always seem to surround you. Although you have had your negatives, just remember the positives that you have encountered! And, I know you don’t take that for granted. I’m sorry to hear about VFA but it’s so awesome that you have the freedom and flexibility to find a new career or job. I know with your new experiences that you will find a new and more fitting job for you. It’s your 20s, this is the time to search and find what you really want to do and what is right for you and your health, mentally and physically.

    P.S I totally relate to the huffing and puffing after a block. It gets so much harder everyday now. I wish I was 18 years old again and didn’t have to worry! ha!

    Love and miss you so much!!!

    August 30, 2012 at 1:41 am

    • Sothir, thanks so much for the encouragement. We should catch up, now that I have time and before you head off to London!

      I will notify you when I’m past the huff-and-puff stage. Keep running with the best because you are the best! xox

      August 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm

  2. Amy

    Hey Lynne, so glad I got to read this post. I’ve been hungry for details about your life. Wow, that list was shocking and intriguing. It made me want to know more! How is your eye doing? Are you getting eye surgery? Will you be staying in NYC now?

    You’ve always been such a free spirit, yet also goal-oriented. I love reading about all your adventures. As for the VFA gig, hey, at least you can say you took that chance. You tried it out, but it wasn’t for you. Now you won’t live your whole life wondering if the startup life would’ve been for you or not.

    Please keep me updated. I want to know where you’re headed next. 🙂

    August 30, 2012 at 1:41 am

  3. Amy, so glad to hear from you! Thank you for the kind words, and the same goes for you. I always wonder how my fellow free spirits are doing 🙂

    I just spent a decent amount of time catching up on your life ‘digitally’. I am very impressed with Wherever Writer and look forward to reading more! Hopefully, you continue to post even with your big move to Silicon (congrats!)

    I’ll be sending you an email shortly 🙂

    August 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm

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