Hard stuff (not) for hard sake

I felt rogue tears floating around inside me, contemplating a debut after what felt like a failing show. Dare they even step out into the open for one final judgement? And while I felt the ping of surprise, anxiety and frustration fuel shame that wanted to express itself as tears, I felt strangely calm.

Each objection I handled gracefully, looking at the person with far more patience than I give the people I love most. And it made me wonder why maybe I don't have such patience for the very people who are willing to stick around, who have "paid their dues" and who knew me "before I was somebody".

"Why was he so angry?" I thought.

The conversation verified a lot of things for me.

On one hand I realized that somewhere inside me I enjoyed that conversation, not because I particularly like being grilled, but because I stuck with it with grace, poise and elegance. I didn't lose my cool. I didn't fumble out of fear.

Maybe my answers weren't perfect.

Maybe I wasn't as witty as I'd hoped.

But I stayed on the call and I finished it.

I also realized that the call, for me, represented a moment of integrity. It brought me back to the days of when I was made fun of more often than I had liked and when I felt like an utter outcast at school for doing much of the same thing: trying to help people, being understanding and asking good questions.

Sometimes asking good questions irritates people. It forces them to recognize their own barriers and self-limitations. It makes them acutely aware of the very life they don't like and how dare you, all 5 foot 2 of you, challenge that. Do you think you're better than me? Do you know who I am?

So I knew who I was while talking.

I wasn't selling. I wasn't partnering. I wasn't profesionalizing.

I was talking, as honest as I could.

I was leading, as best as I knew how.

And I was dancing with a partner who was used to a miltant step and I a passionate salsa.

I didn't stick with it because I felt obligated to drag myself through one more dreadful conversation with this individual. I stuck with it because it offered me a glimpse into who I have become over the last 6 months.

And that alone was worth honoring.