(Re)set or; What Issac Newton Taught Me About Balance

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects
— Isaac Newton

Last week was one of personal extremes. On one hand, I was able to make significant strides professionally.  Anyone who has had to climb the corporate ladder can attest to the feeling of accomplishment that comes with earning personal wins. The rewards of sacrifice and consistency are beginning to manifest themselves within my personal business. Personal relationships are maturing and also yielding returns. Progress and stability are beginning to look like regular fixtures.

One caveat: I’ve also been in mourning.

Details are still forming; the loved one in question was traveling alone through Western Europe at the time of disappearance. All that was known at the moment was that he allegedly fell into a Venetian canal, and drowned. Based on the estimated time of death, I was one of the last people he was in contact with before the incident occurred. The family was currently working to get his body transported back to the US.  The lack of clarity surrounding his passing more than affected any immediate sense of closure, and the already sharp sting of loss was exacerbated by the pain of knowing a loved one died alone. Tension was beyond palpable at the time.

When dealing with a high volume of stress and pain, I, like many others, fall into the easy trap of bypassing feelings of intense pain by delving into my work.  I took on as many tasks as possible; pushing myself to the brink in attempts to ensure a night of long, hard sleep - which more than often eluded me.  Pressure has the curious ability to both bust pipes and make diamonds… In many ways it did both for me this week. What began as a simple email miscommunication (pro tip: when in doubt, call) resulted in a needless exchange of words, which resulted in less understanding.

How did the straw break the camel’s back? Here’s the secret: the million other straws underneath it
— Mos Def

This simple spat was all I needed to reach critical mass. Within four days, I went from purely engrossed with my day-to-day goals, to spilling my guts via telephone. And you know what? I needed it. By allowing myself to be vulnerable in that situation, I was able to get out of my own way enough to properly receive the support I needed from my inner circle. Times of pain and hurt are sometimes the best moments to run self-audits. Feelings of hurt and anger are OK. Putting your burden down is OK. Taking time to mourn is OK. Pain is easier to process when it’s OURS, instead of just YOURS.


Use what you have, exactly where you are. You’ll be surprised at what you find right in front of you. To those that helped me through this difficult time, I remain grateful. Your kind words, open ears, and acts of kindness provide more than you know.  With each step forward, there will be some form of resistance. It's just physics. It’s how you choose to process it that will determine whether you become a busted pipe, or solid rock.

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