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The concept of "embracing the suck"

"I'm fine" is code for, "I am not fine." I'm not sure when I picked up that exact coping mechanism.

Katrina's Letter Of The Week

April 3 · Issue #100 · View online
Every week, I'll write you a letter. A letter about anything, really. My goal is just to make you think.

“I’m fine” is code for, “I am not fine.”
I’m not sure when I picked up that exact coping mechanism. I guess it has always seemed more comfortable than telling the whole story. But rather than faking it until I make it this week, I’m embracing the suck.
Embracing the suck isn’t something I came up with, though. It came from my friend Mike in an email earlier this week. “Embracing the suck is not about assuming everything will be ok because most of the time, it’s not,” the ever-practical firefighter shared. 
See, his work brought him into a thousand sad days, homes, and families. Unforgettable heartbreaks and memories that became scars. He has been knee-deep in some of the most uncontrollable suck. After spending years trying to bury it, he learned one thing: denying the suck made him suffer. All that energy of holding yourself together and hiding things becomes something; a landmine if you don’t address it.  
Instead, he encouraged me to embrace the suck. Instead of dwelling on the hard shit ahead that we can’t predict or plan for right now, we can choose to pivot our attention. We can open our eyes to see the very best of what people can be under the direst circumstances. 
Embracing the suck can allow us to witness grace and courage in strangers. Moments that will never be Internet headlines, but are the very best of humanity. We can learn to look for these things - in ourselves and others.  
All that to say, embracing the suck doesn’t mean we pretend. It’s ok not to be ok right now, privately or publicly. There’s no shame in that. 

  • If you lost your job and want to know what to do next…
  • If you’re still working and are having some of the hardest HR conversations of your life…
  • If you’re still trying to recruit, but your team’s heart isn’t in it…
  • If you’re pumping life into your business and want to find fresh air… 
  • If you’re a student figuring out how to keep dreaming…
I’ve got your back. We’re going to embrace the suck together. 

Together means that I need you, too. Can you give me 2 minutes of your time to answer six questions, please? I want to know where you’re at. I want to be helpful. To do that, I need to hear from you first.  
Don’t hesitate to reply to this email if you need help, too. 

Be well, y'all -

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