People might call me a fighter. I’ve even heard myself referred to as a survivor. A courageous woman. While it’s true that I live my life fearlessly, the truth is, I am neither courageous, nor am I a fighter.
Growing up with a beautiful, headstrong sister, I learned early in life to sit back and allow her to take the reins. I thought she was capable of anything, as such I did not wish to get in her way! Being the kid who hid beneath the art table in kindergarten, I imagine most people saw me as a timid little thing. It simply was not in my nature to make waves. I was the peace-keeping butterflies and kitty cat loving, spider cowering girlie-girl. It hurt my feelings to be teased, and a raised voice was simply more than I could handle. Each day, I’d hide my face and find a reason to cry.
As I grew, I began to experience circumstances in my life where the tears and the hiding only made things worse. Painful hospital procedures took longer to heal when I allowed my agitation to show. Withdrawing from classmates who could not understand my quiet side only made me lonelier.
By the time I had reached puberty, I realized the changes I had to make in order to live what considered to be a ‘normal life.’ If there was going to be a change, it had to come from me. Breaking from my shell, I allowed myself the freedom to experiment with interesting new friends. Fancying boys outside of my circle, I ended up in one painful relationship after another. The harder I pushed to be the girl I thought I should be, the further I moved away from the girl I really was. Though I was never completely able to tuck my girlish tears away, I did stop hiding under tables. When in my early twenties, the real trouble began, my attitude about fighting changed as well. Trapped in a volatile lifestyle, I fought back with words and actions.
My fighting spirit protected me, while the soft, gentle, peaceful person within laid quietly in wait. Over the next twenty years, I’d fight for my career and eventually leave it. I fought for a man who would become my very best friend. I clawed my way to a successful business, during which time I lost two children to miscarriage, and adopted two babies, who in my heart, I knew were my little angels. After years of fighting, it just seemed natural that I would fight for them as well. Mike and I adopted Riley and Katie ten years ago, and while my fight for their well-being continues to rage on, I am coming around to the realization that a fighter is not who I am.
That quiet spirit has been gently stirred and I am reminded that there is no need to fight, no need to be courageous, and no need to survive. That gentle spirit has always taken care of me, though at times, it was so quiet I hardly remembered it was there.
From quiet I came. To quiet I return.
All the talents that I brought into this world with me reflect who I am. Despite my fight, the cosmic forces led me to become the strong woman that I am. The universe literally pushed me into a truly remarkable teaching career, and when it was over, soared me across the universe, to be exactly where I needed to be. Despite my instincts to survive, I found myself opening my door to a stranger who would open up my world to the joy I had been forever pushing away. Despite the courageous woman I had become, that loving little girl I once knew returned the minute my children reached for my hand.
That little girl living inside of me never really grew up. Those horrible surgeries and painful social encounters perhaps pushed her away for a while, but she is awake again. Now it’s her time to relax and allow the universe to do what it needs to do.