|We sat together in the pedicure chairs, surrounded by racks in a rainbow of shades. There was everything from Bastille My Heart to Pompeii Purple.
And I chose Ruby Slippers. Because it reminded me of home.
Over the sound of the water bubbling and the seats gyrating, Katelyn looked at me with her serious face and said, So seriously, when are y'all going to slow down?
It wasn't said with any of the normal witty banter we've been having with people these days about the pace that we keep. Something that I could brush off easily with a shoulder shrug and an I know, we're crazy. This was direct. Straight on. And it was delivered in that "I'm going to look directly into your soul and I'm not letting you off the hook that easily because I care about you" sort of way that only Katelyn can.
I took a deep breath and thought for a minute. And then I said,
It's just that......most of the time, I mean maybe even ALL of the time, I kind of feel like that guy pushing the boulder up the mountain. It feels like we push and we push and we push. And we're making progress, we really are. But that if we let go for just one hot second, if we blink, then everything that we've worked for- how far that we've come- is all just going to roll back down the hill. And we're going to find ourselves having to start back over at zero. And I'll be honest... I just don't know if I can.
I felt my words hang in the air. They floated there, mixed themselves in among the clouds of nail polish fumes. And instantly, I regretted them.
This was maybe just a little too much honesty, for first thing in the morning at the Gold Star nail salon.
Katelyn thought about it for a second and then nodded her head as wispy, red bangs fell across her forehead. She readjusted her manicure mitts and said, Y'know, I know what you mean. I mean even though we might KNOW it's not actually true, sometimes it can definitely still feel that way.
Ashley, who had been sitting across from us and taking this all in, chimed in with a Yea you know, sometimes I just feel like that guy on the Price is Right- the mountain climber guy. It's like you've gotta keep climbing, keep pushing up the hill. But you can't go too far, too fast either. Or you'll just fall right off the ledge.
We all nodded knowingly at this. The mountain climber guy, indeed. Yoda-la-hee-hoo.
I wish I could say to you that we resolved everything that day- every doubt, every fear, every tendency to hold on just a little too tight and push just a little too hard- right there in the Gold Star nail salon (we didn't), and that then Miley Cyrus came on the radio and told us it was all about the climb (she didn't).
Life doesn't always tie itself up in a neat little bow in the space of just one blog post.
But sometimes I guess it's just good to know you're not alone. That you're not the only one who has ever felt this way. And that when the climb gets long or the road gets weary....
it's ok to stop and rest often. And to find a soft place to land.