Ah finally, another day off and it’s a Sunday. It takes me back to my german roots and remembering a time long past when the stores closed around noon on Saturday and were closed completely on Sundays. You had to do a little planning and get your shopping done prior to those times but it really wasn’t a big deal, it was a slowed down version of life. Sunday, a rest day to be spend with friends and family, to be enjoyed for relaxation and rejuvenation. Being off today brought back those memories as I was easing into my day with a delicious cup of coffee. No deadlines were waiting, no work, a day pretty much to myself and best of all a day much better then last weeks Sunday as I woke up to a violently spinning room. Sitting there in silence I found my mind traveling through all the years that had passed, some thirty years or so. So much had happened since then and the years were filled with memories of good and bad. The analytical side of me was trying to rationalize the events that had come and gone, trying to evaluate what had happened and how well I survived the bad. No doubt it could have easily been a “What if” moment, going down various roads visiting memory lane but instead I focused on the tough moments in my life. I was thinking about how I survived these times, knowing that not all of us truly are that lucky. But is luck truly required to come out ahead, to survive? I can only speak for myself but believe that if we do survive, the ways we do so are also very unique from person to person. I remember my girlfriend in Germany once commenting on my life, after another bout of struggles she was amazed of how strong I was while wondering how I do it. Well she never saw me break down and cry in the shower and the distance of living in different countries didn’t help much either.
Some things are out of our control and life happens, but personally I believe that it is up to us how we choose to wear the scars of adversity. Whether we fight for our beliefs or whether circumstances coax us to falter, in the end the choice is ours. There are only two ways, the easy way out or the path of the warrior. I remembered the times that I wanted to falter, the pain and finding myself near depression. Everything was so gray with nothing to look forward to and it seemed so much easier to give in. I was so tired of having to be so strong all the time. In the end I choose to wear my scars as my best attire, a beautiful dress made out of hellfire. Today I just wear the war bonnet 😉 and continue to fight the good fight. That doesn’t mean that I enjoy the pain, but it remains to be the only way to stay true to myself.
I know that the events of the past influenced the person I am now, but hopefully they influenced me in a positive way instead of becoming bitter. It’s tough when it happens, it’s never convenient and most likely life packs a big punch of pain and a hard lesson to learn when it hits.
“What the F…” 😉
One of the things I’m most proud of is that over the years I learned to look at these events in a different way. I don’t have to like them, but I control the amount of frustration that I dedicate to those moments. I simply don’t give them that much power anymore. I don’t remember that something ever changed by getting myself all worked up and upset about it other than perhaps my health deteriorating. It’s not worth it to me but that wasn’t the only reason and I took it a little further. I learned to look for something positive. The lesson that was to be learned and the silver lining that would help me remain an optimist. No wisdom is ever a simple given, but it’s earned through adversity and pain, through our life experiences. After all it is those times that shape us into who we ultimately become? Without them life passes us by with no significant memory and value. It becomes a day passed in time and we may miss the lesson all together. It takes somethings that shakes us to the core, makes us pause and makes us feel something.
I believe that adversity is also the bearer of talents that would otherwise have gone unnoticed. I started painting about ten years ago and it has become a creative outlet in which I often express various stages of my own life. My photography and my vision of what I want to capture and convey was born out of adversity, as well as now my passion for writing. All good distractions from a sometimes serious life that make me feel good today. So is adversity all that bad I wonder? Can we learn to embrace it, no matter how painful it might be? Can we realize that while we appreciate the person that we have become, that we also have to remember that it would have not been possible without those very painful experiences that molded our very being?
This brings me to the memory of my last U2 Innocence and Experience concert. It was my third concert and whether you like U2 or not, Bono is a storyteller and a big figure for various world activities such as ending poverty. He was introducing the song “Iris” which was written for his mother who had passed away in 1974, two years before U2 was formed. Just before the song started he said that the death of his mother (Adversity) had left him an artist and somehow this statement hit home with me and I found it relevant to my own experiences. And while I wished that I could have gone without some of those experiences in my life, I highly doubt it that I would have emerged the same person I am today. A bittersweet trade but perhaps it is those points that can help us embrace and conquer the moments when adversity strikes. Maybe it will be those moments that save us in more than one way and are the founders of our wisdom.
“The count of Monte Crispo” and yes that is the title and it’s no typo 😉
I can’t help but wonder if you noticed any talents emerge for yourself. If anything has changed for you from going through a tough time or if you feel and have similar thoughts.
I recently participated in a 3 day quote challenge and was amazed by the responses of my nominees. The choice of quotes selected showed the survival of such adversities, the pain that was associated with it and the personal stories of becoming a survivor and a warrior on the path of life. So it is with no surprise that I want to mention some very special people here of which personal stories have become a big part to me in my short time on WordPress. I dedicate this post to you, the fighters and the Warriors, the ones that make a difference in the life of others and to the few of many I have come to value so much. And if I have left you out, please know that I value all of you, my followers who care what I want to convey, you are all special to me and I’m simply just getting to know your story a little bit closer to be included in the next shout out.
I included a few of my paintings and I think I will go and paint a little today on this cool windy Sunday while listening to some calming music in the background. It seems like the perfect day to let the creativity flow.
Have a great Sunday everybody