Tuesday, June 11, 2013


When do you feel your toughest?

It was a question posed in an episode of WireTap on a looooong road trip to Yellowstone to visit my sister, who daily toughs it out as a stay-at-home-Mom of two. (the stamina! the patience! the poop!)

I posed the question to my facebook friends.  Some of the answers were about physical work.  Some were about protecting loved ones.  Here are some more:

-After doing home improvements, all by myself. With a power drill.
-When I let out a really big fart
-When I am politely but firmly standing up to a curmudgeonly, jaded venue tech who not-so-secretly thinks girls shouldn't run shows (from a female stage manager)
-When I swear at children
-When I'm carrying my purse, a full diaper bag, a one year old, a bag full of clothes, pushing a stroller full of groceries, with a 3 and 5 year old in tow through a locked door by myself.

I love it.

In Yellowstone, Steven and I decided to go on a hike.  Or rather, Steven said he wanted to go on a hike, and I insisted on coming along.  To experience things!  And challenge myself!  Sounds good, right?  When we arrived at the bottom of the mountain at around 6:30am, we realized my hiking shoes had been left at home.  I was wearing my Toms and I was Angry.  But, since I was determined to Experience Life, I said we were going and stomped down the (wrong) path.  About twenty minutes in, Steven claimed he wanted to turn back in order to give me an out, but my stubbornness determination persevered.  The elevation got to me.  About halfway up, we reached the snow, which is when I realized I was in a bit over my head.  The last third of the mountain was all loose shale.  It started to hail.

We made it to the top slightly damp, but relatively unscathed.  We snacked and checked out the view.  We took some pictures.  We hid from the wind.
My Toms in the snow
When we started back down the peak, we reached the part where the snow covered the path again.  It was hard to see, and we started down and down more loose shale.  It was really painful with the wrong shoes, and frightening as I slipped and slid through the rocks.  We had gone about twenty minutes before we realized we were way off the path and would have to go back up.

I turned around and started to climb again, and after a few steps, I started crying.  I was finding it difficult to breath in the elevation and I was so frustrated at the painful trip I had taken, only to have to turn around.  I was a million light-years out of my comfort zone.  I stood there hunched over with my hands in front of me on the rocks and just sobbed as my broken brain took over my tired body.

Here's the difference between Shantini without treatment and figuring-it-out Shantini.  That crying me was my toughest me.  I knew I would keep on going.  I was furious and in pain and literally trapped between a rock and a hard place, but I knew I would finish and get home and be proud of myself.  Trapped-in-anxiety-Me would mean the same reaction - crying on the rocks - but feeling like there was no way out and I would be stuck on the mountain forever.  Beginning treatment has meant giving up excuses not to do the things I want to do.  Accepting that stuff is going to be hard and uncomfortable and doing it anyway, and knowing that I can make it and I will be okay.  It is a thousand times worth it.  I was laughing on the way home.

I made Steven take this crying picture of me for this blog.

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed this Shantini. A good read and some grand writing :) Yellowstone is amazing. I can't wait to get back there.