By my friend, I mean an annoying little creature who is always around, constantly haranguing me, and at its worst, convincing me to give up. I say I want a challenging life, filled with things that matter, and adventures worth having. Until I taste adversity.
The moment I am actually challenged, I get frustrated. My patience level varies on the activity, and often the frustration is a barely noticeable discomfort. What I find interesting to me isn’t the effect of my frustration on the task in front of me, it’s how I relate to frustration. I loathe it.
If I’m honest with myself, I want to live a frustration-free life. I want everything to be easy, and yet somehow I want to continue to grow, evolve, and master my abilities. I live like if I can just get through this, life will be okay. But all the things I’m trying to survive are the bright spots of life.
But I have come to realize that frustration is not my adversary, it’s my ally. A dear and reliable friend. Frustration lets me know I’ve encountered a challenge, usually some skill I don’t have or the knowledge to complete a task. It’s how I know I’m entering uncharted territory.
Over the course of my journey on this ball of mud and water, I’ve let frustration get the best of me too many times. It’s almost always the answer to the question “Why did I never do that?” The times when frustration has had me quit the team, or give up on the practice, or stop making the calls.
I also have a collection of times when I rose to the occasion. Periods when frustration has been a guide to new experiences, knowledge, and growth.
Sometimes I struggle to remember that frustration is my friend. Just like in a romantic relationship, the eyes I see frustration through dictate how I relate to it. And I treat my friends with far more warmth, love, and open mindedness than I do my foes.