Do you remember the days of “Last Chance Summer Dance,” at Canterbury Fair Grounds?

Summer came and went too quickly in high school and we dressed up to see various boy bands and pop stars in perfect ensembles of black, lycra pants and sparkly tank tops.  We thought, (in 1998,) that we were utterly fantastic.  A sleepover the night before, (with no sleep,) about 11 hours getting ready and eventually camping in tents by the opening doors, (to secure seats close enough to gaze at Nick Lachey’s nose hairs = mandatory.)  We wore heels, because although we claimed the planning strategy of a government cabinet, we lacked common sense. My heels, in particularly true form were about 3 inches too high for me, and had never been worn, (except to Prom the year earlier.)  We basked in the sun, for about 20 minutes until I started feeling as though I literally, might die.

The truth was, I found out who my friends were after I started running a 104 fever and shaking violently while walking across the mud and glory of a field after the rain. My ‘boyfriend,’ (in his epic douchebaggery,) left me to go up to the stage when Mariah Carey came on. (Yes, Mariah Carey was once not too good to play Canterbury Downs, in Shakopee Minnesota,) and my friends walked me out to the benches outside to wait for my father. Ironically, my ear drums both burst in a finale my parents only discuss as, “that one night you shattered the windows.”  It was a glorious evening.

Sometimes, when things seem especially difficult, I remember. Somehow, with childbirth, cancer and break-ups the pain of that walk has never left me.  Some of the hardest journeys that we take, are alone.  We don’t conquer the world, but instead our own, internal fears- the ones that not-so-quietly whisper, “you’ll never make it.”  Years after the fact, if my daughter’s weight is particularly painful on my hip, or the groceries are pulling down my arms, I remember the pledge I made to myself that day, “If I could walk a mile in stiletto heels, with a 104 temperature, with bursting eardrums, in the pouring rain, while watching my boyfriend neglect me, I could do ANYTHING. Seriously. Bring. It. ON.

Bring It. The image of what’s so clearly weighed on your mind will soon become nothing more than a memory- a difficult walk, a mastered plan, or a failed attempt that if taken the right way, will just propel you farther down the road to greatness.  My greatest disasters, the terrible choices, the complex battles and the heartbreaking conundrums have only proven to show that I’m absolutely amazing at walking in mud.  I’m a pro at the difficult, a goddess with debilitation and a tyrant with the little voices that want to tell me that I’m not able to accomplish each goal I have.  The thing is?  I just needed to remember this, and so do you. It’s simple and unforgettable.

Are you ready?

Bring It.