I remember this one time,
in middle school,
I must've left a sandwich or something in my locker for a day or two.
Unknowingly, perhaps knowingly, honestly, I don't really remember.
And, okay, it was DEFINITELY for more than a day or two...maybe like a week or two or even three.
I went to my locker and
IT SMELLED WRETCHED!
instead of solving the problem by removing the problem and running that disgusting, moldy, fly-collecting, foil-wrapped grossness to the nearest trash can,
But just for a second because then my naive, bad judgment-making, embarrassed self shut the door on the problem and walked my tweenage arse away from it,
as if to pretend it wasn't there.
I did this day,
day after day
"If I don't make an issue out of it, there is no issue."
I guess that's what I was telling myself.
Because there still was an issue.
Because this issue smelled.
This issue made a giant stank that, after a few more days, diffused through the school hallway that housed my locker.
And the flies didn't help keep the situation a secret either.
Eventually, I had to let the cat out of the bag or, quite literally, the rotten sandwich and its fly friends out of the locker by way of a demand from the school administration that I do so after too many kids complained about the smell, which they sourced back to....drumroll please...me.
It was humiliating.
I was traumatized for a bit.
But then everyone eventually forgot about Nicole's smelly locker, and I no longer walked the hallways in shame.
So here's why I'm telling you this story...
A couple of weeks ago, I was on a run, and for whatever reason, I remembered this incident, and what it almost immediately reminded my now-adult self is that
we can't run from our problems.
They'll just chase us.
Or they'll become someone else's problem, and now our second problem, being that our first problem caused a problem for someone else.
We can't outmaneuver our problems, and the longer we take to tackle them head-on, the harder they are to defeat.
In life, often, it's so much more convenient and just easier to ignore unpleasant matters.
Nobody wants to deal with sh*t because dealing with sh*t is for the birds, and we prefer to fly our butts as far away from uncomfortableness as possible as fast as we freakin' can.
But we shouldn't.
When life gives you a freakin' lemon, you say "thank you."
"Thank you for giving me something that's gonna teach me a lesson or help me grow, and in some way alter my life and me into the person I'm meant to be."
There's a reason life isn't all peaches and cream, and that's cause THERE'S POWER IN THE SOUR.
Seriously, though, there is.
And that's a bitter pill to swallow, but it's better than having to swallow the lingering stank of ignored problems, which without being tended to, will only get worse -- just like my middle-school sandwich.