By: Victoria Santoro, Guest Blogger
Roadblocks. Things that knock you off your trail and, at times, make you feel like you can’t even see a path back to baseline. It would be impossible to get through life without facing a few of them. For me, 2014 was filled with a couple of big ones. It seems to me that, over and over, life is two or three steps forward and then one or two or ten steps back. But we are told from Instagram-worthy quotes and tweetable phrases that the key to it all is to just get back up more times than you get knocked over.
Getting back up is hard. But once you’re upright again, the real battle begins. You have to fight and crawl to get back to where you were once before. Whether it’s an injury on the athletic field, or something that knocks you off your emotional rocker. Normalcy feels like a long way off when you’ve come up against something bigger than you. A broken bone or a broken heart. With each successive roadblock we come across, we practice our ability to fight back, to put one foot in front of another, slowly. Baby steps.
We are also told to always be moving forward, which is valid, important advice indeed. But a lot of these quotable pieces of advice are missing the second half of the story. How do you move forward? We know it’s what we’re supposed to do, but no one explains just how tough that can be, how exactly to go about it, and how much sensitivity, understanding, and support it takes.
If there is one thing I could offer to anyone trying to get back up again, it is to be kind to yourself. You will false start, you will trip, and fail. You’ll try again. You’ll think you’re okay and ready to be the way you were before. Then suddenly you will know you aren’t quite there yet and you’ll feel discouraged. This is the push and pull of truly defeating any roadblock that comes your way. The process itself is important and teaches you more about yourself than any of the easy times in life.
And when you’re feeling like you’re on the wrong end of a seesaw, despite all the ways you’ve tried to come back, take a look way back to the day you hit that roadblock. Think about how far you’ve come, instead of how far you have to go. Very likely, you’re closer to the finish line than you thought. And in the process, you’ve learned self-care, empathy and sympathy for others, a lot about your friends, and most importantly, you’ve learned that you are your best friend and that you can rely on yourself.
Let’s Chat! What is a recent roadblock you’ve faced? How were you able to overcome it? Tell us here!
Victoria Santoro is a trial attorney who practices law in Boston. She is also a teacher, speaker, and writer, maintaining her personal blog The Limber Lawyer, and contributing to various legal publications. Victoria is passionate about helping young girls and women not only succeed but also find contentment and purpose. In her free time, she can often be found training or competing for half-marathons and triathlons.