Strength, Wisdom, Resilience

Gratitude Sunday

I’ve slipped away from writing for a bit. I don’t know whether it was the erratic schedule that threw me off at first, the following extra difficult workweek, or perhaps it was the logical and necessary recovery period following catharsis caused by letting out all that I have been writing in my heard for the last decade that has been struggling to the surface. 

For every word that is revealed by a writer, there are endless pages that didn’t make the cut. But the even bigger incongruence is the amount of words that slip into some type of tangible existence compared to the amount of banter that still exists, sometimes in a way resembling the effects of your iPod being stuck on random-shuffle with no way to skip ahead, repeat and even worse, shut off, in you head. 

Honestly, I don’t know whether it is a writer thing, an anxiety thing, or even just and ADHD thing. But I feel these things are the perfect trifecta that creates a writer and would explain a lot of the torment and addiction faced by many great writers of the past. By no means am I confessing a hidden life of torment in my past. Well no more than the average person struggles to overcome, because honestly, life either throws out some crazy shit, or it doesn’t, and the ones handling the trials and tribulations become stronger and the ones who don’t, may just find the smaller struggles insurmountable. 

I know I seem to be slowly slipping away from the gratitude part of this piece, but this is my gratitude. Strength. Wisdom. Resilience. They seem to be the better trifecta, and they are attainable by all. I am not grateful for having these qualities, because can one truly own a quality such as these? These are fleeting ideas that are only there long enough to guide our decision and if we do not continually strive for them, we will easily find ourselves weak, foolish and fragile. 

I am grateful to know the difference and the hope that comes with knowing. There are times where you could easily bear witness to myself looking like I lost these guiding principles, because, a hormonal teenage girl can test the resolve of even the strongest character, but after the heat of the moment, which may often be recollected with a feeling of regret, I get the chance to look back and reflect. 

I may not have the strength to handle every argument perfectly, but I have the strength to get up and try again. I may not be wise enough to know the right thing to do in the moment, but I have the wisdom to look back and learn. I may give up in a tough moment, but I will never lack the resiliency to get back up and move on. And for this I am grateful. I know that this is not universal and there are people who don’t know if they will have the strength, not only to improve each day, but to even just face it. 

I am even more grateful to watch my 13 year old daughter illustrate what took me decades to learn, herself. No 13 year old will be the poster child for grace, but hey, neither will most adults, so there are major bumps. As a parent, you will struggle endlessly with the inability to protect them from the world when you cannot. You will struggle even more with the delicate balance of saving them from pain when you can or allowing them the chance to learn, because often, they are mutually exclusive. 

There is a lot I cannot save my daughter from experiencing. The pain of rejection she feels from not being a part of her biological mother’s daily life. The pain of missing her siblings whose lives she plays hardly a minor role in. The pain of learning to navigate middle school, where you find out who true friends are, and even worse, who they aren’t. 

There is also a lot I will not save her from. The pain of showing up for school with out a project that is due because of poor planning. The pain of missing events because you did not finish chores or homework.  And the pain of learning just how unfair the world is because your mother doesn’t raise you based on what your friends are or aren’t allowed to do or have, even if every other kid gets free access to their smart phones for unhealthy amounts of time. Hey, not everyone’s mother let’s them jump off a bridge, but I did. 

I’ve watch her struggle. And I have repeatedly watched her overcome everything life has thrown her way. Maybe she sees it. Maybe she doesn’t. She will. One day, she will look back and have the wisdom to know, none of it was in vain. Unfair, maybe. In vain, no. Because she already is growing into a beautiful, courageous, young lady that any mother would be proud of, especially this one!

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