I was drinking a slushie today in the parking lot of Holland State Park.
I know that sounds kind of weird, but it’s actually an experience I take part in on a semi-regular basis. It was a 20 oz ICEE, to be exact, and it was one sale for only $1 from the Meijer convenient store. But this is not a post about promoting the consumption of slushies.
Today I encountered a concept that is likely one I experience often, but never understood in this capacity until this particular day.
Drinking the slushie was really cold. And it was really cold outside. The radio said it feels like 7 degrees in Holland, and my car agreed. And the more I stood outside – doing something I wanted – and drank the slushie – also doing something I wanted – the colder I became. And I started getting frustrated.
It wasn’t real frustration, but it was a “grrr” feeling that started in my heart, because the exciting adventure I thought I’d encounter at the beach ended up being me enduring a freezing Holland winter day. My teeth started chattering. My face became numb.
And that’s when it hit me.
I created an expectation of an “awesome” experience that I thought would occur when I did everything I wanted.
But I soon realized that external factors caused what I want to not be enough to provide comfort. In that moment, there was no fulfillment. There was no joy. There was just me, getting colder by the second as I stood outside in the winter wind.
It’s pride every time, isn’t it? I’m so quick to assume that everything that I want will be enough for me. Then, when it isn’t, I’m reluctant to change my path. I could have climbed back into my car in an instant. Instead, I walked further down the pier.
I kept pushing myself, saying, “things will get better. Things will change.” And they didn’t.
Nothing changed until I realized and accepted that I had shown up underprepared. I couldn’t do this on my own with the resources I had.
Instead of walking further down the pier, I turned around and walked back to my car.
It wasn’t giving up. It was choosing humility. Because in that moment, I realized that pride produces anguish and humility produces endurance. And I needed the heater in my car to make me feel warm again.
We’re so quick to keep pushing forward on our own. So quick to “prove ourselves” and continue until we get stuck, feeling guilty in the end. But it’s not worth it. Many times, we have to back off and realize that pride is the culprit of being able to find true success. Next time, I’ll think before I act. And maybe bring an extra pair of mittens.
When we walk into situations fully prepared, it’s amazing how quickly pride diminishes.
And that’s why drinking a slushie in 7 degree weather was good for my ego.
Are you staying warm in the winter wind? Follow me @hopesophie17 for college tips and to keep up with what I’m up to in-between blog posts. Have a great week!