Can You Love and Hate Something at the Same Time? (Yes, you can … and it’s okay.)
“Mom, can we go to Cedar Point?”
My youngest has asked me that for the past three years. Due to the pandemic, it felt like a near-impossible proposition. This year, though, it actually felt possible to make the trek. With one exception … I didn’t think I could ever go on a roller coaster again.
Let me explain.
Earlier this year I woke up with a very sudden, disabling episode of vertigo. I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t move. All I could do is lie in the dark, on my back, and Google my symptoms to self-diagnose and, then, self-heal. These were three very frightening, disorienting days.
So, when my son asked to go on this summer adventure with him, as a mom, I wanted to … but I was afraid of inducing vertigo. It was FOMO vs tempting vertigo. I think you know what won out.
The two days at the park were horrible and amazing. Every time we approached the front of a roller coaster line, my belly filled with dread and I braced myself for two minutes of “Dear God, don’t let this be the one that knocks me out.” In between rides, we laughed, ate more ice cream than I’ll ever tell, and spent more 1:1 time with each other than I could remember. It was awesome. Better yet, I ended up being fine.
This little vacation was a complete and total love/hate experience.
This was a contradiction.
This was uncomfortable. Yet, this discomfort led to this experience being the #1 ranking on my summer highlight reel.
Sitting in a contradiction is something we all do, but they’re rarely easy and fun. We’ve all had our shares of contradictions, which range from mild to significant:
· Downsizing your career to support your spouse who’s dialing up theirs
· Ending an important relationship because you don’t see the path forward
· Moving across country to take care of your parents … while leaving a community you love
When you’re in moments that represent the best/worst experiences, it’s important to understand your “why.” “Why am I doing this again?” If your answer to that question connects to a priority or value, then find a way to make the discomfort feel worth it. And when you feel that discomfort, it’s very helpful to pay attention to your focus.
Don’t focus on the things you hate. Focus on how you’re going to get through the pieces you don’t enjoy. Also, pay attention to how you talk about the less-than-best aspects of your experience. You can be honest without being a wet blanket. And when you finally get to the points when the “love” happens, relish in it. These are the moments that you’re living for.
Life is an amazing journey. Enjoy the ride!