The other night I had this horrible nightmare. I was at our martial arts class, doing a drill in front of the whole class when I tripped over someone's foot. Seconds felt like minutes as I stumbled and stumbled and stumbled trying to stop the inevitable from happening. I was going to fall flat on my ass in front of the whole class...
Oh. Wait. That wasn't a dream. I actually did that.
I fell in front of a lot of people. People that I see all the time. An ugly, horrible, embarrassing fall. A tons-of-momentum, can't-stop-it, fall-flat-on-my-ass fall. In my head I heard the lyrics from Ke$ha's song Timber, "It's going down. I'm yelling timber..."
I laid on the floor for what felt like forever. I think I was waiting for it to swallow me. I wish there was a way to explain how embarrassed I was because mortified doesn't even begin to do it justice.
After class was over I bolted out of there, got in my car, and cried. I told Mike that night that I was never going back. At that moment I couldn't imagine ever being in the same room with all those people without feeling completely humiliated and stupid.
I've always wanted to be one of those people who just brushes off things like that and doesn't let it phase them. But, I've never been that way. I'm sensitive, worry way too much about what people think about me, and I'm shy. I'm not one who likes to venture far out of my comfort zone or feel vulnerable.
But, guess what happened? Sometime during the night the courage fairy must have sprinkled some of her magic dust on me. (Or, I have actually been paying attention to what we are told in our martial arts classes!)
I woke up the next day, eyes puffy from crying so much the night before, and decided that I am going to be that person that just brushes herself off and doesn't let it phase her. Why not? I don't think it's written in stone that I have to be shy or scared. Who says I can't be brave and outgoing? I'm the only one who can allow myself to feel scared or humilated. I decided on that next day that I wasn't going to be embarrassed about it anymore. Instead I was going to laugh. And, most importantly, go back to class that very next day.
You know the crazy part? It was easy. People shared their falling-in-class stories and we all laughed about it. The biggest surprise was finding out how much empowerment it gave me to simply get up, brush myself off, and get back at it. I felt like a whole new person.
No, that's not it.
I am a whole new person. A better person. All because I fell and got back up.