Monday, April 6, 2009

"Sometimes You Have to Get Messed Up to Step Up"

I wish I could claim those words as my own. I truly found them deeply profound, and since I heard them, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about these simple words:

Sometimes you have to get messed up to step up.

And what’s even odder, is that these insightful words weren’t uttered by some great, inspiring leader of our time. Not Gandhi, not Mother Theresa, dude – NOT EVEN by Obama (er, or his speech writers…haha) they were said by a character on Grey’s Anatomy. Although I’m not going to give him credit, but the writer, Shonda Rhimes.


Isn’t that awesome? And so very, very true. If life were perfect, and peachy, one would never need to change, to grow, to learn. If my lungs weren’t so horrible, would I ever learn to value the treasure of a deep breath, and of a bike ride with my son? If I hadn’t had an NJ that made eating difficult because it was so hard to swallow, would I ever appreciate the yummy sticky simplicity of a PB&J?

Or what about baggy shirts? In general, I think they suck. But now they’re my best friends, cuz they help hide my tummy tubage.

…Or what about the most amazing man in the world? Would I value my rockin' husband as much if he hadn’t nursed my wounds, tended to me, nuzzled my neck and told me he was the luckiest man in the world, even as I lay sick in a hospital bed or crying in my bedroom? Would I appreciate the real, true, simple selflessness in him? If I hadn’t gone through these hardships, would I have even seen these rare and awe-inspiring traits in the man I’m lucky enough to have for me, all me, for the rest of forever? Would I appreciate him putting on our song last night, and lying by me in bed, telling me he wasn’t going to “let me sink,” and to cheer me up he danced with Cade? I’d like to think I would, no matter what.
But maybe not.
Maybe if life were perfect, I wouldn’t be able to discover how blessed I am. To have him. To have my son. To have my life.

If I didn’t have my precious baby boy, would I have stepped up to motherhood? Would I have decided in the hospital, the first time I held that perfect child in my arms, that NOTHING, absolutely and unequivocally NOTHING would stop me from loving him more than anything in the universe – not even my ED? Who knows? All I know is that Cade tells me every day, with his blue eyes and dimples and chubby little thighs and dazzling smile, to step up. “Step up, Mommy,” he says. “I need you. Do it for me, do it for you.”

Damn it hurts when bad things happen. Trauma, whether it be a horrible boss at work, a scary experience, loneliness, hearthache…you name it, and it totally blows. But you can learn from it. You don’t have to stay messed up forever. I think it’s awesome we can change, that we have the opportunity to better ourselves and those around us.

Would a good friend of mine bust her ass to re-open her amazing store rather than let the economy shut her down? HELL NO. She fought back, she stepped up, and it’s people like her that make the changes in this world.

So this is now my motto: SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO GET MESSED UP TO STEP UP. It’s time to step up my game, and I challenge you all to do the same. Don’t wallow in apathy, thinking everything’s great grand wonderful - or the opposite - that everything seems too hard and overwhelming to change. Things can always be better. Take a stand, make a change.

So step up, peeps. What’re you waiting for?


Lisa said...

You are an effing inspiration.

Krystle said...

Awesome. I love you! You are stepping up every time you post, breathe, smile, go on living. Keep up the good work, sweetie. You are inspiration. :)

alana.rachelle said...

this is incredible. i loves it. and i loves you. way to go.

ciao bella!

licketysplit said...

I LOVE this! Thank you!

Pattie Cordova said...

hey! aren't we the ones that are supposed to be inspiring you??? Thanks much for the quote and the reminder. So much is going on and that's something that I need to keep at the forefront of my thoughts.

BTW - you should put that up to replace "breath it, baby"

Standing in the Rain said...


today i stepped up and was TOTALLY, entirely, FREAKIN' honest with my pcp. it was scary, and embarrassing. but i did it.


thanks for the inspiration today brie. i needed those words of encouragement!

Kara said...

Sometimes TV shows/movies surprise you with the best quotes. The Count of Monte Cristo movie has oen of my favorite quotes:

Main character: "I don't believe in God."

Wise old man: "Well He believes in you."

Yay for inspiring words from the mass media!

Courtney said...

I totally concur with all the above. Thanks for the inspiration, I think a bunch of us needed it!

Sorry I didn't have time to run in and say hi the other day, though in hindsight I'm glad I didn't because my little guy woke up violently ill the next morning and the last thing you need is to catch a nasty bug. But I hope you know we're thinking of you guys. :)

Also, in regards to your post about docs, if the new doc you're referring to is who I think it is (since she's pretty much the only one who specializes in EDs), I've been seeing her for the last 6 or so years and she's fabulous. She won't let you get away with crap, but she'd never stop seeing you or deem you a lost cause (though again, she's not reluctant to hospitalize and she has tons of experience with patients on all kinds of tubes). The only thing is that she's super busy and only works 1 morning a week, but her PA is also great and really experienced with EDs. I have some tricks up my sleeve for how to get appointments sooner than they say she's available so let me know if you have trouble getting in.

tawny said...

oh gosh loved the post...i am crying now. I am somewhat of a mess and that says a lot for me. You are awesome and your attitude is amazing. You are exactly right about life and trials and realizing how to face them and making life better.

good post, so well-written. Loved it...hopefully you had a good day back at work! missed ya though xoxo

Sarah said...

I personally get all of my inspirational advice from America's Next Top Model. I am FIERCE and I smile with my eyes.

kristin said...

Brie, you are inspiring. Right now I have a chance to step up and make a change in my life and I am reluctant and scared. I think that, if I ever want to get better, that I have to do this, that this step is the first in many steps to changing things that I have needed to change but have been unable to.

I am going to step up. Thanks for the inspiration to do it.

love, kristin

Telstaar said...

Thankyou so much Brie. I have been trying really hard to keep being thankful in spite of things lately and so often it seems to be winning...but I AM thankful for those things I have and like you say, I'd never have known or appreciated those things, and people in my life if all had gone perfectly.

God bless xoxo

HAFC said...

I got fired today. Actually, I can work until the end of the school year, but they're not going to re-contract me for next school year. I felt so rejected, so small, so insignificant, so much like a failure. I'm home now and still feel like busting into tears. It hurts to not be accepted. It hurts when my boss yells at me for some little thing. I feel like I'm 10 now, but it's not fair. NOT FAIR!! I feel rather pathetic and just plain sad....depressed (and I never get depressed). My therapist canceled on me, so that means I don't see her for another month. My "group" doesn't meet this week, so that means I don't have anyone to "hash it all out" too. And yes, I feel like throwing my own pity-party.

But Brie, this post meant so much to me. I feel so low right now and hearing your words of inspiration has given me hope. That no matter how low I get, there's always a way out. It's hard to see that when you're in the midst of all the crap, but you're right. I'll learn from this experience and grow from it. I'll be grateful for it, b/c maybe this was supposed to happen. Maybe I'm supposed to teach elsewhere or do something entirely different. Who knows? But now I can find out.

Thanks for writing those words. For cheering me/everyone on. I need to have my "cry-time", but then I have to get up and do what has to be done to move forward. I can't just "quit" trying, although I want to so much right now. I can't return to cutting or my anorexia, my old ways of coping when I get this low......I have to think of something to pull me out of this mess. I'm glad I'm not perfect. I'm grateful that I'm human and have the capacity to learn and express myself. Now it's time for me to step up and do what I have to do. I cringe at the work I'll have to put forth, resumes, interviews, meetings, all that stuff, but perhaps that's all part of the "plan" that I have to accept.

Thanks so much, Brie. Your words today helped me so much, right when I needed them. You're right, things can always get/be better, and I have to stand up and make the change that needs to be made.

Thank you a thousand times....

- Heth

Jessica said...

I've been reading for quite some time now and have never posted anything, but I just wanted to say thank you. Your words are truly inspiring and have touched many hearts especially mine.

Anonymous said...

Great post. In my head I'm making a connection between you going through hard times, being able to write this post, and inspiring all of these people, but that's the most eloquent phrasing I can think of because it's late and I'm tired and freaking out about school tomorrow. I'm gonna try to keep this in mind and remind myself it's not so bad, so very timely post if I do say so myself. Also, does this mean you're totally allowed to mess others up because it will just make them better people in the end? ;)


CookieGirl said...

this is awesome, Brie. I am rooting for you every day. xoxo

Zena said...

You are such an inspiration!!! I cant believe your strength...inner and outer..its people like you who keep the world going round..thanks for all you do and are amazing!!!

love, Z

Penny said...

OMG I don't read for a day and look what you post. i needed this too. In fact I could use it in my next lesson or talk with the M. They need to learn this concept. In fact the whole world needs it. You have such a deceptive way of being so eloquent. You make it look easy and you write in such a breezy manner, and then all these great truths come marching out. I know that you have learned because you have suffered. How thrilled and happy I am for you that you have so much love in your life to help you make sense now of the suffering. Cade and Brandon and friends and family are all here. But it is you now "Stepping up". Thanks my dear for your efforts!!

Brooke said...

Wow Brie. How true is that. I watched that Grey's Anatomy too. I listened to it and loved it...but it didn't sink in like it did for you. I believe that is because you are in the right place ready to receive that right kind of inspiration. You are ready to step up and you are looking for ways to do it and for people to help you and words to help you.

I admire you for your courage! You've come so far :)