Sometimes you take a risk knowing that, by definition, there will be challenges and possibly “failures” (I prefer learning opportunities), but well aware of and ready for this. And sometimes these risks, at least at first in the aftermath, seem to have provided none of the stretching of limits and resulting growth you’d hoped for, even allowing for the non-specificity of said discoveries and learning.

And sometimes what you encounter is so unexpected, sometimes this unexpected has so many layers of difficulty–and frankly bats#@$ craziness–that feel counterproductive, to put it nicely, that you struggle to find meaning and reason for what you can glean from it. Besides the seemingly obvious: 1. Do. Not. Repeat.  and   2. Trust your intuition. “Hellooooo?! Do you hear me NOW? How much louder do we need to make our voice before you take note of the ‘mind your head’ or, more appropriately here, ‘gut’ sign, you seem to be blindly and repeatedly disregarding?” (Your intuition can take the form of a rather exacting, but underneath it all, loving, British headmistress you’d do well not to cross.)

You might ask yourself: Was this experience a mirror for a similar, ratcheted down situation in my everyday life? An opportunity for me to apply this experience here and do something different or stop it in its tracks, finally? Or, was it to build up more tolerance for a situation which relatively, whether through familiarity or in actuality, does not seem, in comparison, to be draining and stifling to the same degree?

Was it something that provided an inescapable opportunity, as a result of the experience and its consequences, to slow down and rest…to bloody well heed that warning with a series of physical stop signs (relatively short but also intense “bring one to one’s knees” illnesses and pain/injury) in a series until you FINALLY raise the white flag and give in to actual, real rest? The kind where you actually do a decently good job of not jumping right back into activity and working through it, the kind where you don’t wrap yourself around the axle about taking the rest and all the possible ramifications of that. You will be fine and the world will most certainly keep on ticking. You’d gently suggest the same idea to the people you work with, to your family and friends, in a similar situation. In fact, you’d urge them to take a break way before it got to that point.

Or, most likely, was it an element of all of these things together and those yet to be recognized?

In the end, though you may have regrets about the practicalities, the “setbacks” of what seems like lost time, lost opportunity, funds that could have so potentially richly been allotted somewhere else (but also areas that are at the same time more familiar and quite a bit less along the treading of new paths), and, though you will not repeat this specific experience or make future choices about similar situations in the same way, you will be that much better equipped to make the next one. You will be quite a bit stronger, and hopefully wiser, to endure/navigate/know when to bail when presented with any other insidious nuttiness that may come your way. You will not stick it out because “you are strong, you will not ‘wimp out’.” (You’d never say that to someone else, so why to yourself?) You will recognize the expiration date, not try to extend its shelf life with too generous allowances and rationalizations. You will toss that unnourishing package or recycle it into something better.

But perhaps most importantly, you will not stop taking risks, even if your questing, firey self has gone into a temporary hibernation of undisclosed length. Your next choice of risk will be better informed, better equipped, better tapped into and heedful of “this I know is true” and you will politely thank the over-rationalizition, the fears, the expectations of the monkey mind for its input and excuse it from active participation.