How an Accident Taught Me How to Lean In

It’s a new year and I’m ready for new adventures, new challenges, new growth, and new ways to connect with you and continue to grow this business!

But, today, I’m not sharing about biz strategy or even what my goals are for the upcoming year, instead, I’m sharing something much more personal.

I’m sharing the internal growth I’ve experienced in 3 short weeks.

Last month just before the holidays I had an accident that required 7 stitches to the right side of my face. 3 stitches by my right eye and 4 down by my chin. The two larger gashes that required stitches were straight, clean lines, and everything else on the right side of my face were superficial cuts.

I know, I know, you’re probably wondering what the heck happened, and while I have shared the experience with some, I have decided to keep that part out of the story.

This is about the healing process both physically and mentally.

How an accident taught me to lean into my community and taught me a hard lesson in self love.

The Accident

When the incident happened, I grabbed my face and ran over to my husband to take a look.

I was pretty calm, and was just holding the right side of my face, so Michael had no idea I was bleeding when I walked over. Once I moved my hand to show him, he was then able to see the cuts and marks that spanned the right side of my face from top to bottom.

Michael remained cool as a cucumber while he cleaned up my face, and set me up with an ice pack to keep the swelling down.

At this point, I didn’t get a chance to see what damage had been done and Michael did a really good job of playing it down.

So much so that I thought I was good, and that was that. We cleaned it up, and I thought I could just relax and let it heal.

So, naturally I wasn’t too concerned.

But, that wasn’t the case. Once I started to settle in, Michael said I would need to go to the hospital as he thought I needed a *few* stitches.

I’m pretty sure the conversation went something like this:

Michael: Okay. I’m gonna try to clean up all the paint gear outside and let’s get you to the hospital. You’re gonna need a few stitches.

Me: Huh? What? Stitches? Can’t we just use butterfly tape?!

Michael: um, no babe, I think you’re going to need a few stitches. Definitely with the top cut.

Me: *immediately started crying*  what do you mean I need stitches? I thought you said it wasn’t that bad?

What I’m thinking: I can’t do stitches, especially to the side of my face, no this can’t be right. I can barely have someone wax my eyebrows without freaking out because they’re waayyy too close for comfort and that’s inside my bubble. Nope. Not happening. Just tape it. I thought you said it wasn’t that bad?!?!

Michael: no, it’s not that bad, but you are gonna need to have that top gash closed up. Maybe they can glue it, but it’s kinda open and you should really have that looked at. I’m gonna go wrap up and then we will head over to the hospital.

Michael leaves to put away open containers of paint as we were in the middle of trying to paint the house.

I immediately get up and go to the bathroom to see how it looked.

I made it to the bathroom and threw up (probably because of the fear factor or adrenaline, who knows?!) and then moved the paper towel and ice pack away to see my face in the mirror.

I started crying when I realized what happened.

I had a half crescent moon shape cut next to my right eye, a lot of superficial cuts and marks on my cheek and a large gash next to my chin that wouldn’t stop bleeding.

I totally freaked out. And as I write this, recalling how I looked and how I felt in that moment, I have tears welling up in my eyes.

I was scared.

I’m also really really ashamed that my first reaction was so vain. That I was upset at what this would mean for my face.

I understand that is a normal reaction, but it made me realize how much work I have to do here.

The Reaction

Self-love and acceptance is work. Something that I haven’t thought much about in years past because everything has been “fine”. Don’t get me wrong I can pick myself apart just like any other woman, but I have always been generally happy with what I see in the mirror.

I don’t say this lightly because I realize that’s not the case for some people. We are our own worst critics and we see things in ourselves that other people will never see.

We assume people are staring and judging us for the one thing we identify wrong with us, meanwhile they don’t even notice.

But this, this was damage to the side of my face, not something I could easily hide.

And at the time I had no idea how it would heal and what it would look like.

With the holidays being right around the corner, I was already planning on how I would style my hair to cover that side of my face and how I could minimize the appearance of what happened.

When I realized how much I was obsessing over hiding it, I realized I needed to lean into this. I needed to own it and not be ashamed of the scars that were healing there.

I was afraid to show up.

I didn’t want people staring or asking what happened.

But, I continuously had people remind me of my beauty. Beauty in my soul and in my heart. Beauty that can’t be faded by a few damn scars on the side of my face. Beauty in the way I show up.

I was also reminded of everyone else’s beauty.

While I didn’t want to share what happened on Instagram, I realized I needed to let people know I wouldn’t be “showing up” the way I usually do.

Like I said, I didn’t know how long the road to recovery would be, and if I just stopped showing my face on Insta I figured that would just be down right odd. I mean, I typically show up most days sharing about marketing and branding strategies, behind the scenes work, and of course updates on our home renovations.

So, I needed to share something.

The Beauty of Our Community

In a text-based Insta-story I let people know that something happened, that I went to the hospital and that I would be taking time to recover (in the middle of a very busy season just before the holidays, ugh, just what I needed!).

I never once mentioned busy season and the clients I had to put on hold because of this. I just simple said I would be MIA for a bit.

Without a second to spare, the DMs, text messages and phone calls came flooding in. Many people sending positive vibes and prayers for a speedy recovery. With all the well wishes, I also had so many creative friends immediately reach out asking how they could help in this time of need.

Friends and creative peers were so ready and willing to jump in to client work, client communications and anything else biz related I may have needed to help keep things moving.

There is some serious beauty in our creative community and I would not have received this type of love if I didn’t show up and share even a little bit about the situation.

And for that, I am truly grateful for what this has taught me.

To lean into the hard stuff, to share with others because they can help lift you up when you need it, and above everything else to love myself, no matter what, because at the end of the day, it’s about how we show up.


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