We think, we plan, we save, we fantasize and imagine some day, some way it’ll all come together. Plan the work, work the plan. It’ll all go as planned right? Anyone that’s lived for I don’t know, longer than an hour, knows plans rarely go as planned. It’s a fact us humans are aware of yet it doesn’t seem to suppress the surprise when life comes at us fast and hard with a right hook. The lack of control we have in life is astonishing. There are moments when you’re standing in the ring of life and you’ve often been thrown against the ropes but it’s still a shock when you get socked in the jaw. Even if you’re a controlling, dominant, stubborn personality like me, life can still knock the wind right out of you. My whole life I’ve been a fighter. Blood, sweat and tears are a part of the natural routine. I’m a survivor and a strategist but I am not in control to the degree in which I believe I am. Life has a nasty habit of reminding me.

I wonder if other fighters feel like life hits them too hard sometimes. Does Rousey get winded without warning? How many times has Wonder Woman been sucker punched? Life can be like a car accident, you’re driving the right way to get to your desired destination and then the car in front of you slams on the breaks and you slam into them. It was all good until the seatbelt cut your throat and your face smashed into the airbag. There was no way you could’ve seen it coming, it just happened. Now you’re sitting there, stunned, beat up and bloody, finding it hard to breathe. I hate it when life does that, takes your breath away in the most unromantic of ways. Knocking the wind out of you in three seconds. It happens so fast and you don’t even know if you can recover because in that moment, it’s a struggle to take a single breath. It does happen though. No matter how strong you are or how scrappy you are, even if you’re a championship fighter, life still swings at you with moments that knock you out cold.

I hate it when life does that, takes your breath away in the most unromantic of ways.-Genevieve Rose

What do you do when the air is taken from your lungs before you’ve even rolled out of bed? What do you do when the thing that you didn’t think would ever happen, happens? How do you handle it when the unexpected occurs unexpectedly? For me, the gut punch was debilitating. I didn’t feel anything other than the forceful hit of shocking news. I don’t know where it came from, I just know it definitely hurt and all I could do was keel over and drop to the floor in hopes that the pain would fade fast. That’s the worst. When I fall and physically hurt myself, like bang my knee or elbow and all anybody wants to do is help me up but I don’t want to move. I can’t move because it hurts too much. Someone will ask, “are you okay?” Already reaching to pull me up off the ground and I have to yell that I am not. Sometimes the last thing that’s needed is help, sometimes you just have to wait until you can help yourself.

That’s sort of what I did when I got the news that he is getting married. I felt the punch to my stomach and pretended I could breathe long enough to say congratulations and after, I collapsed from the pain and begged everyone not to touch me. I don’t know why it hurt so bad. Part of me thought, it’s about time, the other believed it wasn’t ever going to happen. I didn’t see it coming. There I was, breathless in the worst way, wondering if I had internal bleeding while saying, I’m so happy for you. So happy. For you. My thoughts streamed a succession of swears that would make a sailor blush. It just goes to show how damaging it can be to get caught up in what’s ‘supposed to be.’ I’m supposed to be and he’s not supposed to be and they are supposed to be. It’s not supposed to be like this but I don’t know what it is supposed to be, so I guess this is how it is. I don’t know what to with that. I don’t want to accept it, I don’t want to agree but I know what I should do so I do it. I say it, I handle it like the stable me, the content me, the peaceful, close to Jesus, formidable woman that I want to be would handle it. I do what I should do and then I do what I shouldn’t because when you’ve you’ve lived your entire life being the 3AM friend, the one who’s there for others but haven’t ever found that person for yourself, It catches up to you. The songs of Paloma Faith and the taste of wine, bandaids for a bloody fighter.

It’s brutally unkind to be drafted into a fight you never asked to be a part of, one that know one talks about and you have to participate in, one that’ll leave you broken, bloody and laughing. I don’t want to fight and I don’t want to cry. I don’t want this. I don’t want to be here when they get to be there with the I do’s and the I love you’s. When I’m texting how are you and waiting for a measly, good and you? This is not the fight I ever wanted to be in. I’m not strong enough. I don’t know the rules. I can’t keep up. I’m losing my breath. I am dizzy and in pain. Why do I even bother getting in the ring? I’m in the ring all the time, every day, sweating and shaking, expecting a different outcome than the fights before. Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results, the definition of insanity. Maybe I’m not a fighter and that’s why I haven’t won. Maybe every scar I have from the love I have lost is not another rung on the ladder towards my success but a staircase begging me to step down before this exhausting, agressive effort kills me. Maybe the fight isn’t meant for me. Maybe I won’t win. Maybe I won’t get the ring. Maybe I can live with that, maybe I can’t.

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