2018 was…let’s just say it was hard. I struggled a lot – either with school, mental stability, reconciling the past, finding a job, etc. I could go on further detailing how hard it was, but that is not useful.
2018 was…let’s just say it was hard.
I struggled a lot – either with school, mental stability, reconciling the past, finding a job, etc.
I could go on further detailing how hard it was, but that is not useful. What is useful is what I learned about myself and life in general.
For the past 3 years, I have descended far into the abyss. There were many times where I sat in the dark wishing life was different. I wished to be happy. I wished to be healthy. I wished to be worthy of the life I have been given. The one thing I wished for the most was hope.
See, I learned early on in my struggles things just would not get better, well not for a long time. I held onto this hope – the light at the end of the tunnel. I had hope God would intervene, make all things better. But hope – my white whale – would never be attainable. I sought it each day, prayed until I could pray no more, and begged God, the universe, or just plain luck to give it to me.
As we all know, life is not fair. Life just is. It has no plan or way. It does not discriminate. The sooner we can accept that, the sooner we can move forward.
Each of us go through times like these, periods of hopelessness. These are our crucibles; these moments define who we are and who we will become. Will we swim, will we sink? These are our tests, and there is no right answer. But, the trajectory of our lives will permanently be affected by them.
The only thing in life we can control is ourselves. We can control how we respond in periods of darkness. I asked myself, “What type of person will I be?” I chose to fight, to try to swim in these dark and murky waters. It is better to go down swinging than go down without a fight. And if I fail, I want it to be known I struggled till the end.
I decided to embrace the struggle. When you are caught up in an undertow, it is best to swim with – not against – the current. You will not return to the beach whence you came, but you will arrive at somewhere unexpected and safe. This simple decision changed my life. I chose resilience over fear. No matter what, I would still fight.
In boxing, there is a phrase called “going the distance.” It means fighting a full fight (12-15 rounds) without being knocked out. In Rocky, Rocky perfectly explains this expression. He tells Adrian, “‘Cause I was thinkin’, it really don’t matter if I lose this fight. It really don’t matter if this guy opens my head, either. ‘Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody’s ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I’m still standin’, I’m gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren’t just another bum from the neighborhood.”
If I could get through this season of life, I knew I was worthy of this life given to me.
If 2018 was all about resilience, then 2019 is all about hope. I have hope for the first time in years. It is weird to be excited. It is odd to be happy. It is foreign to me to have this “hope”.
But, I have survived my crucible. I learned that I am someone who is resilient. I would not trade this experience for anything.
2019, give me your best shot.
“The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.” ― Robert Jordan, The Fires of Heaven