For decades, NPR has showcased a writing program “engaging people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values that guide their daily lives.” This program is entitled This I Believe.
I believe that the sadness in life is there to show the true value and weight of happiness. Twenty years ago, at the young age of 24, I had no significant problems in my life. I was fresh out of college, applying for my first job and one year away from marriage. My life was predictable, relatively easy and without turmoil or drama. No major waves came by to rock my little boat. I was floating along.
The thing I didn’t realize at the time, though, was that I did not truly know happiness. I didn’t realize, amidst my aimless floating, that I was not fully alive.
And then I turned thirty.
And suddenly, like a switch, the seas started to stir, the waves started to rise and my little boat was rocked. The days of predictability and stability were soon to be a memory.
My thirties brought me a string of heartache: a major surgery, my mother’s diagnosis with breast cancer, a random act of violence and the crumbling of my marriage. Frankly, in my thirties, life gave me a swift kick in the ass.
In the midst of all the chaos, cowering under the weight of trauma, I asked the inevitable question, why me?
Now, a decade later, I can clearly answer that question. It was in a time of chaos that my life began to truly form and the woman I would become began to rise. Had the chaos not come, I would have continued floating down a stream not meant for me.
The challenges life brings, once overcome, are testimony to strength and resilience. Facing hardship is not enjoyable, but overcoming hardship brings a conviction that will never waver. Sadness is a powerful weight, but when we shrug it off, the joy underneath is palpable.
This I believe: the struggles in life are there to help you grow. I have grown as a person. And I love the person I have become.
“This I believe” has always been my favorite NPR hallmark. This post was on time and on target for me. I turned thirty in January, and can honestly say I had what could be described as a nuanced nervous breakdown. I thought my life, for all intents and purposes, was over. I thought “this is it. This is all I will ever do, ever be.” I was so caught up with my under-achievements that I never stopped to consider all I have survived to even get to age 30. I can safely say, after a lot of reflection, expensive couch time, and experience, that I believe this: As long as there is oxygen in the lungs, beats in a heart, and a dash of openness, will, and flexibility, the story is far from over. Anything is possible, and my life book is still being written, revised, and prepped for print and publishing! Thank you for this post darling!
Oh, yes, Miss Kitty. Your best years are yet to come. Keep working on yourself. You are so very worth it.
Thank you for sharing this personal side of your life. You have overcome. .and what a brilliant, caring, woman you are. I hope life offers you everything you are in search for.