I read your — / I heard your — / and you’ve inspired me / encouraged me / helped me to —.

Messages like these arrive in my inbox on a somewhat frequent basis. Strangers thanking me for something I have done. They tell me I’m inspiring, encouraging, funny, thoughtful and smart. Maybe it’s true. Maybe I am all of those things. But I’m also not.

Sometimes The Walls Crack

Recently — and regrettably — I said and did some stupid and not so thoughtful or inspiring things. My actions will likely result in more than one broken relationship, both personally and professionally. In short: I allowed myself to push against hope. I focused on the pain, the deadlines, and the mistakes and flaws within my character. My shift in perspective painted a dark picture in which I was useless, unimportant and not worth the trouble.

Instead of asking for help or taking a break, I turned into a fool, hellbent on proving my picture was correct — you all had it wrong. And to prove it, I gave up and set a crash course for the proverbial wall.

But that isn’t the whole story.

What’s This Really All About?

Rejection is not easy. It hurts. It leaves you feeling vulnerable and confused.

Being a jerk, on the other hand, helps to take some of the sting out of it when people turn you away. It helps you understand why the answer is no. But the funny thing is: the ‘no’ is usually because you’re acting like a jerk. True story!

My advice: don’t do that. Don’t act like a jerk. If you need something, ask. If you need a break, take it.

Look! Adulting isn’t always easy.

We all have our limits. I suggest you find yours, before it finds you; because you might be surprised at how quickly that little bugger sneaks up on you. Especially when you’re trying to be stronger than (sometimes) you’re able to be.

If Only I Had A Tardis

Sadly, I can’t change the past. I made a terrible mistake, and it might cost me some relationships. I hope not, but it’s out of my hands. What more can I do than make a course correction and say I’m sorry?

I understand the words “I’m sorry” may fall short, but sometimes it’s the first step to not being a jerk.

Sure, I may inspire others. I may encourage them. I may even help them work through a problem. But there are times when I fall miserably short of these things — and it’s OK (I think?).

A friend of mine once told me: “You’ve been amazing long enough, you can take a break. I don’t care either way I just love ya!!!”

Break time is over. It’s time to dust off the dirt and get back up.