Well, shit. That didn’t go as planned.

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of a woman who has fallen headfirst into a huge workout tire on Not So Mommy..., an infertility & childless blog

I don’t know what kind of warning this post needs.  I’m not even sure it needs a warning.  (Though I do talk about infertility & childlessness…)  I normally try not to cuss here at Not So Mommy…  But as you can tell from the title, that rule is being bent today.  Because I’m in the middle of processing something that didn’t go as planned.  And expletives are flying about my head.  So…  There will be some language in today’s post.  And I’m not even gonna apologize for that.  Because, well…  That’s just where I am right now.

Yesterday, I performed at DAWN–the first showcase presented by the Greenville Aerial Arts Collective.  I’ve been practicing for months.  Literally.  And I was so excited to present my first ever duet with my amazing sling partner.  I was feelin’ good about my piece.  It was sassy and sexy.  (I was in the adults only show for audience members 18+ so I could really bring the spice.)  I had a picture in my head of how my piece would look.  There were two moves in particular that I love—double stag and illusion.  Both hands free so I could throw in extra sass.  Hands on my booty.  Flippin’ my hair.  It was gonna be great!  The still shot of the double stag (hands on booty) would be epic.  It’d go on the wall in the snug.  Or better yet, on our wall of sexy photos in our master bathroom.

Shit!  That didn’t go as planned.

But during the actual live performance in front of the actual live audience…

The beginning was nearly flawless.  Audience clapping and cheering.  I was gettin’ in the groove.  Super Girl Slide.  Sleeping Beauty.  Time to set up for double stag.  Shit, I screwed up and couldn’t complete double stag correctly.  Then, I effed up the illusion, as well.  I recovered.  The rest of our duet looked stunning.  But that one part…  Those two moves…  Shit!  That didn’t go as planned!  It felt so clunky.

The bow…

My partner was glowing after our performance.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I screwed up.  So, I brought the sass and the smiles.  I bowed and headed backstage where my fellow aerialists told me that I did great.  To each, I replied that I messed up.  They assured me that no one in the audience could tell.  I wasn’t sure I believed them.

After the showcase…

After the final performance of the showcase (by my extremely talented tornado of a coach), I met up with Dane—who had been sitting proudly in the front row.  He told me that I did great.  I asked if he could tell that I messed up.  Looking confused, he promised that he had no idea where I made a mistake.  I watched the video.

After watching the video…

Oh.  My.  Gosh.

My screw up…  It looks like complete crap!  I hate it.

Yes, the beginning is good.  Yes, the ending is good, too.  But that part in the middle.  Shit!  That didn’t go as planned!

I knew it didn’t feel right during the dress rehearsal earlier that day.  What if I’d asked to practice it again during the break between the afternoon and evening shows?  Oh, the torturous what ifs!

The tears…

I kept it together until Dane and I arrived at the restaurant for dinner.  (I hadn’t eaten since lunch.  Because I can’t eat when I’m nervous.  And I was nervous to perform my first ever duet on a sling that’s longer than I’m used to practicing on in a brand-new space in front of about 75 people.)  Anyway, when we got to the restaurant, I cried.

My ever-practical hubby begged me not to focus on my screw up, telling me that it was like 20 seconds of a 5-minute performance.  It was nothing.

Was it really only 20 seconds?  I looked.  My performance was actually about 4 minutes.  And my screw-up…  Well, it lasted about 19 seconds before I recovered and the ugly clunkiness turned back into beauty.

I’m really trying to focus on the 3 minutes and 41 seconds of beauty.  But it’s hard.  I really hate that 19 seconds of shit.  That 19 seconds that didn’t go as planned.  Why couldn’t it just go as effing planned?!

Our Childless Lives…

And that, my fabulous ones, got me to thinking about our childless lives.  I mean, we had plans!  We had visions of these spectacular moments that were supposed to happen and the pictures that were supposed to hang on our walls.  But everything just got all clunky and shitty.  And no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t make it happen.  We try to focus on all the beauty in our lives.  To be content with the lovely moments captured.  We try not to get trapped in the torturous what ifs.  To forget about the effing 19 seconds!

But we can’t forget.

Happy for them.  Sad for me.

You know, I was so happy for my fellow aerialists who totally rocked their pieces.  But I was sad for me.  Sad that it didn’t turn out as planned.  Sad that there was that shitty 19 seconds…

I practiced a lot, drank coconut water to hydrate, had a schedule of what to do to get ready, got plenty of sleep, stretched…  I did everything right.  And it didn’t matter.  It still didn’t go as planned.

As I watch the video, I know I’m floundering.  The audience, however, is still clapping and cheering and woo-hooing.  I finally get it back together.  I finish and most are none the wiser that there were 19 seconds when I was struggling–hard.

What’s a wobble?

Someone recently asked me what a wobble is.  Well, that’s it.  You’re floundering and not sure what’s going on—unsteady, wobbling.  The rest of the world seems oblivious.  Oh, there are a few who know…  But most think you’re fine.  You recover.  You get it together.  And others tell you that you’re strong and awesome and beautiful.  And yet, you’re not sure.  Because that wobble…  Well, it takes a moment to fully recover.  (I mean, I woke up and cried again this morning.)  Plus, are you walking a tight rope or are you on a really rocky path or an uneven brick sidewalk or on solid ground where you stumble?  I mean, wobbles come in varying shapes and sizes and degrees.

The grief attacks…  They are overwhelming.  We feel them to our core, and they are often very difficult to hide.  But the wobbles…  Yes, we feel them.  We might even feel them deep within.  But they’re easier to hide.  At least, they are for me.

But I digress.  Back to the wobble…  Back to the shitty 19 seconds…

Would I change it if I could?

Would I change that 19 seconds if I could?

In my performance…

Hell ya!  I wanted that damn thing to be perfect.

But in my life…


Because the infertility and the childlessness…  The 19 seconds of shit…  Well, it happened.  And it can’t be changed.  We just have to accept that our story has 19 seconds of shit.  We have to try our best to focus on the 3 minutes and 41 seconds of beauty, believe the people that tell us that our life is beautiful, believe that we are beautiful…

Plus, my 19 seconds of shit…  My infertility and childlessness…  Well, they brought me to our foreign exchange daughter and to aerials and to you, fabulous one.

So, no.  I wouldn’t change the shitty 19 seconds.

Wanna see my performance?!

Wanna see my performance?!  Well, here’s the video my hubby took.  I cropped out my partner, in order to protect her privacy.  And I edited out the beginning set-up and the ending bow.  If you wonder where the shitty 19 seconds happens…  Well, it starts about 1:31.  By 1:50, I’ve gotten it back together.  And by the way, I’m performing to Michael Bublé’s “I’m Feeling Good.”  Nope.  I don’t own the rights to this song.

If anything I wrote resonates with you fabulous one, please tell us about it in the comments…

Do you appreciate the work I’m doing here at Not So Mommy…

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Ramona Grant June 11, 2024 - 3:48 pm

What a wonderful life lesson! Thank you to Dane for noticing and to you for writing such a beautiful extended metaphor! I, so often, find myself hyper focusing on those nineteen seconds and forgetting the rewards of the remainder of the time. For what it is worth, I watched the video and, for the life of me, couldn’t see the “flub”. I just saw a fit woman kicking ass and exuding confidence. It was inspiring.

Brandi Lytle June 11, 2024 - 4:04 pm

Awwww! THANK YOU! Your words brought tears to my eyes! I so appreciate that you read my blog, watched the video, and took the time to comment. It means more than I can express in words. I hope we both remember to focus on “the rewards of the remainder of the time.” HUGS…

Sherry Stout June 11, 2024 - 3:46 pm

If you hadn’t told when and how long I would not have identified the part where you said you struggled. Kind of like life. We just say shit and go on….. Very proud of your hard work, practice, passion, and grace.💕

Brandi Lytle June 11, 2024 - 4:02 pm

Thank you so much for your beautiful, kind words & as always, for your support… LOVE


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