"This article was written by Hunt Lift Eat Team Member Justin Haney. Like Justin, many of us have lost loved ones whose wise words or guidance made you who you are today. In this piece, Justin shares some advice he received from his grandfather that taught him about embracing discomfort to emerge stronger and more resilient. Thank you Justin for opening up and giving the Hunt Lift Eat Community a look inside the life lessons you learned from your grandfather. As we walk through life and spend time in the great outdoors, it's our job to pass on legacies and wisdom just like they were passed on to us."
"Growth comes from embracing discomfort and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable."
"I lost my Grandfather(My Papa) when I was, as are many of us were at that age, still trying to figure out who I was in life at just 17 years old. For me, this was my only Grandfather physically in my life as my father’s father passed away when he was just a teenager. As you can imagine, this made me look up to my Papa even more. As tough and as trying as that time was, thankfully he left behind a bounty of memories that I was able to cling to- and still cling to today when times get tough. One such memory was the day he told me “Onions put hair on your chest.”
Of course, as a young kid hearing these words from one of the people I looked up to the most, that meant all summer I was having onion sandwiches on bread with a slather of mustard, and then checking the mirror after each shower for those chest hairs. As I reflect on these cherished memories with my Papa and laugh to myself at the way in which the young version of myself took his message, years later the significance of his words become clearer than ever. Onions put hair on your chest- they toughen you up, they build character, they strengthen your spirit. It’s a lesson that transcends the garden, or the kitchen, or the bathroom mirror after countless onion sandwiches. It’s a lesson that pours into every aspect of our lives as we move through life.
In a world where comfort and instant gratification more and more take precedence, these life lessons remain with me as inspiration to this day. They remind me that growth comes from embracing discomfort and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable. From cutting my first raw onion and fighting the sting that instantly fills your eyes to having that first onion sandwich on my way to what I thought was becoming more like my papa. These are things I’ll never forget.
The next time you find yourself wrestling with uncertainty or facing a situation that requires a little more of yourself, wrap your heart around a memory of your own loved ones or use the wise words of mine. Embrace the sting, shed a few tears if necessary, and know that you’re growing stronger with each moment of discomfort.
Onions put hair on your chest--both figuratively and metaphorically-- and by embracing these life lessons you’ll emerge stronger and more resilient. And the memories of our grandfathers will be lasting and continue to push generations forward into the future.
Thank you Papa."