The last few weeks have been kind of tough. My dark days… I don’t like that I have them, but I do. A venture does not go as planned; the plan I had in place suddenly seems overly ambitious and unsustainable. “The Unknown,” with its booming baritone voice, settles in with as much scariness as I can dream up. And no one likes to be around it (me), so I feel extra lonesome – which exacerbates the feeling sorry for myself. Yuck is right. To shake the feelings, I tried chocolate, mugs of warm tea, going for several runs, meditating, calling my friends, calling my mom and dad, going out for drinks with the girls… until I realized that these were all just distractions. To be sure, delicious ones and heartfelt ones and fun ones, but what ultimately got me through was this: I leaned into it. Leaned right on into the fear. I let my feelings wash over me. Go ahead, I told myself, go ahead and feel sorry for yourself. Go ahead, I told myself, go ahead and think those horrible thoughts. In those deepest darkest hours, I stopped fighting. I stopped trying to distract myself. I just let myself feel it fully. And you know what? I found that I picked myself up. I dusted off my skirts, dried my tears, and kept going. Yeah, I felt vulnerable. Yeah, I felt raw. But something else clicked deep inside, and I kept going anyway. I believe that perseverance starts here. In the darkness and chaos of things. In the nakedness. In the whirlwind of building a brilliant company and career, with kids to love, and a life to rebuild. I also believe perseverance through dark days ultimately connects us as human beings. I found myself much more compassionate – able to just BE with pain, or hurt, or anger in others. No fixing. No advice. No nothing, except understanding. So here’s to your grit… and to mine. And those boots.