I’ve spend a lot of my time worrying about this silly aspect of myself that no one else is likely to notice or care about. Since childhood, I listened to my mother say that our family was cursed, and that curses follow three generations of children; I’m in the third generation. Since middle school, I heard my grandmother talk about how psychologically damaged all of us children are because both of our parents have mental problems of some kind or another, and our childhoods were all screwed up by their battles. All my life, I’ve listened to what other people said about me and my brothers, and so have they. We’re broken, we’re damaged; we’re mentally unstable.
It took having someone tell me that I was a ‘sad and broken’ woman for me to think, ‘Actually, you know what, I’m really not.” The words were spoken in anger, during a break-up, so they’re not all that reliable anyway, and I am aware that I’ve been going through some shit over the past few months that have really kept me stressed out, sick, and constantly on the brink of a nervous break-down. That’s a lot for anyone to deal with, but I got through it just fine.
Yesterday, my friend asked me if I was going to respond to my ex’s nasty remarks about me on a social networking site, and without thinking I just told her ‘no’ because I honestly could care less and because there wasn’t an ounce of truth in the post. She looked at me seriously for a moment, and then said, “You’re so strong.”
It’s funny. I never really thought of myself as strong before, but after so many different people pointing that out to me over the past year or so I kind of feel silly now because I never saw strength within myself. I only saw the problems that are my constant focus so that I can work on them, and systematically remove them. Strength? That’s a good quality, and I never really factored those into my self-assessments.
So there you have it: I’m strong, stronger than I’ve ever been, and looking back I know I’ve always been the strong one in my family. I’ve been everybody’s rock for so long that I still subconsciously look for people who need to lean on me because it feels strange to be this free of outside burdens. That’s a trait on which I should be focusing, and will during the years to come. Because my path is going to require strength along with a few of my other good traits (determination, stamina, passion, patience, silence, and the child-like wonder with which I often view the world around me) to reach my ultimate goals, and allow me to continue the ongoing battle with life’s struggles.
It’s also interesting in retrospect that those seven good traits I wrote up there were written on the fly, without thinking, just typing my own thoughts as fast as I can to keep up. So I’ve known about them, I just pushed them aside for what other people have told me my whole life, which is silly because those people don’t know me half as well as I know myself so their perspectives should not be held in higher regard than my own, and that’s what I need to keep in mind for the months and years to come.
Fresh eyes: such a good quality with which to continue the long and arduous journey ahead.
Thanks for reading my introspective nonsense, and have a lovely day!