how to be strong

Am I even strong?

There’s a lot I have to learn about strength, and I won’t pretend to have the worst experiences to back up whatever I have to say because I, most likely, don’t.

The last few weeks has been rough for me, and the only time I ever felt like this was 3 years ago. I remember shutting everyone and everything out when I crumbled because I was terrified of being judged, of being deemed as weak then taken advantage of, and I know a part of me didn’t wanna trust anyone anymore. I guess that’s why I ran; it wasn’t just figurative either.

When things started coming at me again about a month ago, I wanted to do the same thing. The feeling reminded me of my worst nightmares, not that I wanna wake from them, but that I wanna stay in them. Surely, they were all better than how I felt right now, but even that’s not an option because I’m stuck — again not just figuratively. This is where I grow a deeper fondness for John Green’s Papertowns. I wish I was Margaux Roth Spiegelman; I’d grab a backpack and a map and just go.

Leave.

It’s not always as easy or simple as uprooting your whole life and physically running from what you think is the problem. Sometimes the problem runs with you, not after you. You’re the key to the problem.

How you handle it lies in your understanding of yourself and what you’re facing. Trust that, and if it’s not too much to ask, trust the people who genuinely care about you too. I made the mistake of walking away when I could have had the support of those who didn’t leave when I was breaking. Not only did I make the the journey unnecessarily difficult for myself, I also punished them immensely.

I’m not suggesting to cling onto someone because I know, in times like this, you’d want to be alone and think, but don’t cut your connections because they may be your lifeline when you’re done facing your beast. Remind yourself that they want to be a part of your life, hardship or not, because they want you to be okay. Their means won’t always be what you need or want, but that doesn’t dilute the concern they have for you.

I won’t act like I have the answers because, if you’re going through a rough patch, we’re in the same boat, sailing similar traitorous waters. All I have to leave you with is the advice that I never got: strength comes in different forms. It won’t always mean facing the problem head on or running away from it completely. Whatever it means to you, remember that you have the power here, even when it feels like a free fall. 

because it hurts enough

I can’t say that I’ve had the worst life, not even a bad one but I’ve been through enough to say that my character and strength have been tested more than I expected life would.

I am strong. I was always told that so I started believing it, embodying it and living up to it like a label that stuck. Because people already had their minds made up that I can handle a lot of crap, they think I’d stand there and let them just throw random shit  ( excuse my French)  about me that they know are not true or they fully know I don’t deserve. Sorry to burst your bubble honey but my strength does not interfere with my intellect.

kaylecci

That’s us, goofy as always. We took this a few days back after a marathon of mega cheesy movies.

(Those were my thoughts after this strange banter with my sister who just shut the door in my face. ) 

HER: Does it hurt a lot?

ME:  It hurts enough. 

Often, we hold on to things which are not working, relationships that are already broken and people who repeatedly hurt us because we think it proves strength or shows resilience. The common belief is fix what’s broken or hurt until it hurts no more. You don’t have to follow that logic. The license to give up, let go, walk away, move on or fight back is not exclusive to those who are hurting the worst.

It’s not a sign of strength that you wait til your breaking point to do what best cures your pain. When it hurts, that’s enough.

pains and gains

We say that a different perspective makes all the difference or that tomorrow will be better. Okay, so what perspective should I take if my best friend for example is diagnosed with a rare disease and declared to only have a month to live? Do I take the God-is-great-because-it-was-not-me  angle or say thanks because at least I get to say good bye? How should I prepare? Should I spend every day with him or act as if nothing dreadful is gonna happen soon? Do I act hopeful or realistic?

Either way, it’s still painful and difficult. It will still break your heart a thousand times over and no amount of preparing will ever make it okay. That’s probably why I hate it when people tell me everything’s gonna be brighter and better in the morning, when it’s all over. I shouldn’t worry about what’s happening and just forget about it. It downplays the power of decisions we make during the tough times of our life and exaggerates on the promise of a better day. If we do not learn and mature during these times, if we don’t live in the now no matter how tough it is, we will never grow. We will never see tomorrow as bright as when we have endured. People look forward to being okay again they forget that it’s tough times that shape us and make us the people we want to be in the future. It’s okay to get hurt, to feel pain and to relish in it. Agree that it’s difficult.  Don’t deny it. Don’t pretend that you didn’t have a tough time.

Tomorrow is great but it is only as great as how much endure and overcome today. Don’t let the promise of tomorrow excuse you from being complacent towards dealing with your pains today.