"Doesn't hurt enough yet."

26 December 2014

One of the kindest things anyone can do is to give something without expecting anything in return, save for a request to "pay it forward." Last week, I received a hardbound copy of Amanda Palmer's The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help from a kind soul. She didn't know me from Adam; we just found each other through this amazing ripple of giving and sharing started by Amanda Palmer's fans. I already received a Kindle copy (also given as a gift) but it's so nice to have it in hardbound. I will definitely pay it forward in another form.

I'm halfway through the book and I can say I'm enjoying being immersed in AFP's world. Her stories resonate with me, with some hitting a nerve even more than the others that I repeat reading some lines over and over just to continuously envelop myself in them. Reading her words feels like being lost in a magical melody, in beautiful poetry.

One of the anecdotes that struck me is her retelling of a story her friend Anthony told her.
A farmer is sitting on his porch in a chair, hanging out.
A friend walks up to the porch to say hello, and hears an awful yelping, squealing sound coming from inside the house.
"What's that terrifyin' sound?" asks the friend.
"It's my dog," said the farmer. "He's sittin' on a nail."
"Why doesn't he just sit up and get off it?" asks the friend.
The farmer deliberates on this and replies:
"Doesn't hurt enough yet."

There are times I feel too much that I legitimately worry I'm going to explode. I'm a firecracker ready to get off at the slightest touch. I've always exposed vulnerability whenever I'm writing and I'm feeling particularly vulnerable tonight, but I just feel I have to share this. I don't get birthday blues, I get new year blues  and I think this is going to be a big one.

With such tenacity and will I have held on to a lot of things in my life that I knew were bad for me, simply because I thought it's all going to change and it will get better if only I held on long enough: something as simple as a book or movie I didn't like and I'm better off leaving unfinished to more complicated stuff like unhealthy relationships or toxic friendships. I was so sure it's going to change, I was so confident it will get better.

It didn't.

Things didn't magically change for the better just because I felt I deserved to be rewarded in the end. I could've spared myself from a lot of tears and aches if only I knew better than to hold on.

But no, because it didn't hurt enough yet.

But then, I have wisened up and mastered the art of cutting off ties after it has hurt enough.

I am a staunch supporter of fighting for what you want, but when the odds never seem to be in your favor, then maybe it's with good reason. If you find yourself working for something that feels pointless or fruitless, stop. Don't fight for anything you don't see value in. Every person, every relationship is a bucket, and when it fills up with toxicity, broken promises, disappointment, and unspoken words right when I needed them, then I wouldn't be there to continue holding on even when it already hurts me. So far, this system has worked for me.

May we all have the courage to sit up and get off the nails when it hurts enough  or, I don't know, maybe even before it does.


  1. I can relate to this so much. I am the type who will endure until I can't, then I explode catastrophically. It's a really bad habit and a bad state to constantly be in. The trick is how to recognize when a relationship has turned toxic.

  2. life tricks. easier to said then done. stay strong


  3. oh dear I can totally relate to this, It's like punching me in the guts, in a (weirdly) good way. Thank you for reminding me to sit up and get off the nails T^T

    I feel that most of the times, we are afraid to go and leave because we're afraid of not finding a new place to sit, at least.. that's kinda what happens to me right now. So while looking for the new seat we try to endure the pain of sitting on the nails, until either it hurts too much or we find a new seat. Oh well..

  4. Indeed. It's a continuous learning process. Good luck to us, Pat! <3

  5. I agree with what you said, Tiara! I've been wondering the same and OMG what you said makes so much sense! Wishing us new seats (or I don't know, more comfortable nails? LOL). Good luck to us! <3


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