Friday, December 17, 2010

Lesson Learned: Kait IS Strong!

This blog is part of a series of posts that chronicle my participation in Reverb 10. Reverb 10 is an online event that encourages its participants to reflect on the past year and gear up for what's to come in the next. A prompt is given each day to fuel some personal reflection. Although I'm a little late on starting the challenge, I'm still looking forward to 18 days of honesty, acceptance, and growth.

December 17 – Lesson Learned

What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward?  (Author: Tara Weaver)

This is going to be a quickie since I'm on a family trip and I'm pretty tired.

I think the best thing that I have learned about myself this year is that I have a lot more strength and resilience than I give myself credit for. I always tend to think of myself as "soft" or "delicate" or "kind of wussy." Two events from 2010 prove that I may not be any of these things:

1. The great First Date/Speech Tournament All-Nighter of 2010. One weekend in January, I over scheduled myself a bit. On a Friday, I was judging a high school Speech tournament from 4:00 to 7:00 and then going on my first date with Justin immediately afterwards. The next day, I needed to be at school to run the ballot table for our own Speech tournament at 7 AM. Long story short, I stayed out on my date until 5:00 in the morning and never got any sleep between Friday and Saturday, so I was up and doing a stressful job for 35 hours straight. Before that weekend, I would never have thought that I could stay alert and complete all my required tasks with no sleep like that. But I did it. I was able to push myself through those bouts of exhaustion and I made it through that 13-hour tournament in one piece. I was exhausted at the end of the weekend, but the fact that I was able to push myself proves that really can do incredible things under pressure.

2. My first tattoo. I put off getting my first tattoo for about five years partially because I was convinced that I wouldn't be able to stand the pain, that I was too much of a wussy-girl to take it. Well, I definitely proved myself wrong. My experience getting a tattoo was more uncomfortable than it was painful. I winced, but I didn't cry. I didn't need the tattoo artist to take a break. It seemed so silly that I had assumed it would all be terribly unbearable. It was so easy that I know I'll be getting another one.

In 2011, I need to remember these two events every time I assume that a task is out of my reach. I have amazing capabilities when it comes to handling stress, discomfort, or any kind of unpleasant situation. I need to stop assuming that I can't take it, thereby avoiding strong challenges. These feats of inner strength shouldn't be as rare in my life as they currently are. I can only grow if I push myself, and I fully intend to do that in this next year.

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