The thing about strength is that it doesn’t feel like strength when you’re in the middle of it. Everything feels all mixed-up and wrong. You’re certain that you’re doing the wrong thing and that irreparable harm will come of it. You’re sure that you’re going to lose your job or fuck up your kids are ruin a friendship that you previously thought was bulletproof.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like everything is terrible, but being strong doesn’t feel like strength. It feels like hell.
And it looks like it a little bit after you’re gotten through it. Because one day you’ll realize the worst part of that situation is over. You’ll look around, and you’ll see Â the carnage from the landmines, but you’ll also realize that you’ve somehow manage to step on them as you made your way through the field. It’s a little amazing, not understand how you made it through.
It feels like relief. You can let your guard down and take a deep breath, let the tension out of your body.
Until, of course, you have to be strong again. You press on, but it feels like you won’t make it through. If you’re lucky — or if you’re smart — you’ll realize that you’ve been down a similar road before. The end is always just around a curve, even if that curve is terrifying. If you’re less lucky, you forget that you’re persevered before. You blunder forward, sure that this time will be the end of you.
But it’s not true. You will get through it. You do it time and time again because that’s what it means to be humans. That’s the process of living. It’s never easy. It’s often unpretty. It’s usually more outrageous than I could ever imagine, but it’s life.
I imagine that, given a natural death, I will some day have a moment where I let go of the breath that I’ve been holding. I will look back on the minefield that has been my life, and I will realize not only that I made it through but that flowers have grown over the places where I’ve stepped.
Maybe you’ll see that, too.