“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity”
– Barbara De Angelis –
A few weeks ago my white little fuzzball (also known as Jamie the gerbil) was making strange movements in his cage. As any caring pet owner would do, I plucked him out of his unnatural habitat and checked him for physical discomfort, and boy were we in for a treat!
Turned out my little furry clutz had managed to sprain his left front paw! I still don’t know how he did it, but he did it.
So, as any caring pet owner would do, I took him to the vet. She was the one who verified my darling’s paw problems and gave me pain killers to soothe him.
All throughout this week, and a bit from the week before, I faced an adversity of my own. For my course I have to coach at least two “strangers” in order to work up some experience outside of class. I recruited people at the start of May (I just like to get my homework done early, alright?) and had found two women willing (and quite excited) to start this coaching trial with me. They were okay with it not happening until the end of June at the very least, due to requirements I had yet to meet.
Last week I thought it best to start contacting my coachees again in order to schedule an intake, after which we could start with our coaching sessions.
That’s right, I got the clearance! I got all my required homework done in time and passed my first exam, so I am good to go!
But that’s about how far my luck went, because quickly I got my two replies: one of my coachees had just finished some coaching and, on second thought, didn’t think it would be a good idea to start with another series. And the second one was still excited, but confessed she’d been offered coaching by her employer as she is about to lose her job. I asked her if she didn’t think it would be too much to also start this trial with me (I kind-of-sort-of had a hunch – better to lose a coachee before you start the sessions than during) and after a few days she confessed she thought it was.
My adversity is thus losing my two trial coachees, just as I was given the goes on working with them.
However, I do have to give credits for the second one, because she knew someone who might be interested instead. So fingers crossed.
The only thing I can do now is go back to square one (I’ve been here so many times in so many different situations, maybe I should just build a house here and never leave again – but that’d be boring!). There’s nothing left but to search for new interested people, hoping it won’t take me too long to find two people willing to let me coach them. For free.
You’d think people would be falling over each other to get some free coaching, but unfortunately that’s not the case.
When Jamie hurt his paw he kept on going (with a little help from his brother Loki – it was so cute to see Loki bring food to Jamie, keep their nest in shape and come running whenever someone opened their cage. Just to check for intruders who might hurt his friend. We all need a friend like that). Even if he was in pain, or high on gerbil pain killers, he kept going. He never gave up. Cleaning himself with just one paw must have been excruciating, but Jamie did it. Having your food continuously drop from your grasp because you can’t use both of your paws to hold it up must have been frustrating, but Jamie did it.
Jamie overcame his adversity in the most natural way possible: because he had no choice. And just like him, I will overcome mine. Because I have no choice.