I have a friend, and she has this amazing analogy about relationships, and it’s meant a lot to me lately. So I want to share it for any of you (inevitably all of you, at some point) who it might also really help.
She’s decided she thinks that relationships are like jars. You meet each other and then you start working to try and get each other’s tops off. Not…like that. Well, maybe like that. But also like metaphorically. Emotionally. We’re all a bunch of jars and it takes work to get us to open up.
And sometimes you work on it, and you twist and you pull but you can’t get it open. So you accept your loss and pass your jar off to someone else for her turn to try. And she does try. She uses a spoon and pries a little further than you could; runs it under some hot water and gets things a little looser, but the jar stays sealed. So she accepts her loss, too. And passes on the jar.
And then, one day, another girl comes along. Who isn’t necessarily any stronger than you, any more strategic or skilled at opening jars than you. But it just so happens she’s inherited a jar that’s been worked on. A lot. By all the amazingly tough girls who’d taken their turn with it in the past. And it’s loose now. So all she has to do is grip it and pull at it one good time and – voila. The jar is open.
This is what my friend thinks.
My friend, I think, is right.
Here’s the deal, people. We are all jar-openers. Each and every one of us. Just because a jar stayed closed the time you worked your hardest doesn’t mean you are not a jar-opener. The same way it doesn’t mean you’re a magical, jar-opening Jedi the one time it popped open like a jack-in-the-box without you having to break a sweat. We’re all perfectly imperfect works in progress, floating around and bumping into one another and trying to get our tops off (not like that) at the times when we need one another the most. We all have callouses from the work we’ve done.
And the part I will add to my friend’s analogy is the part that I think might make even the buffest of us question our jar-opening abilities. It’s the scenario where you’ve worked at this damn jar forever, and felt it start to give and felt the success looming and then it happens. The top pops off. But then you look at it. And it’s one of those jars with that extra film-casing under the top. So now it’s open. But it’s also not. Progress but not victory. And now, you’re exhausted.
It’s ok to be exhausted. It’s ok to have to pass the jar, even when you’ve gotten as far as the film-casing. It’s ok to hope that the jar comes back to you, opened and ready. I hope it does, too.
But whether it does or whether it doesn’t, know that your strength, and willingness, and tenacity, and love, and hope, and passion, and dreams are enough to open any jar you are ever meant to.
You are a jar-opener. You are a life-changer. So I hope that you never stop trying, and I hope that you never stop twisting. Keep your hands and your heart ready. Because you will, I promise you, find your jar.