On the first day of first grade, our teacher instructed us to draw straight lines horizontally and vertically across several pages. I tried, but my lines meandered all over the paper. I repeated first grade and failed just as miserably the second time around.


I hate writing on unlined paper, and even addressing envelopes is difficult. I recently had to address half a dozen envelopes and wasn’t up to the effort. Instead, I jettisoned my embarrassment, took out my ruler, and penciled in three straight lines across the front of each envelope. Writing out the addresses was noticeably less stressful than that day’s previous attempts to accomplish this task. There’s saying: Embrace the suck. Instead of fighting whatever isn’t working for me, I give in, the way you do if caught in an undertow. I don’t like scoring my envelopes—it makes me feel inadequate. But sometimes I need to accommodate myself to get a job done. Embracing the suck is often the sanest path forward.



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