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are you tough enough?

published: 2014-07-16

“Are you tough enough?”
I think about this question a lot these days. While it’s been over fifteen years since someone asked me that. I was interviewing for a job to become an attorney.
The 25-yr-old me automatically responded, “but of course!” I added something really cheeky too, but can’t remember exactly what. The gist of my response was: look at me being witty and smart and capable and, yes, very, very, tough.
I’m finally finding this an interesting question. Am I tough enough for what? To do the job or to cope with life?
Yes, I can be tough on my clients’ antagonists, the people that try to screw them over. Simply because otherwise that’s when they listen. Tough, seems to be a game the boys want you to play. Fine, yes, I can play that game. Bravo.
Tough enough to cope with life, now that’s a more valid question. How do you weapon yourself against emotional setbacks?
Over the years I have found an answer to that. It’s not about being tough. It’s about leaning forward and burying your face into a friend’s warmth. Resting your head in that sunny place between her neck and the shoulder. Where she smells like the shampoo she uses to wash her hair, her deodorant, her sweat.
It’s very welcoming there.
It takes a lot of courage to lean forward. When you do, however, you’ll not only find consolation but also your strength.

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