Recently my mom was telling me about an experience she had. The short version is that she was in a position of authority and a very power hungry man was nervous to question her decision. No, this isn’t about gender…Okay obviously it can’t help but be a little about gender, but that’s not my point. This encounter may seem like a little thing, but my mom used to be a seriously timid woman. When I was little she once grounded me from watching TV and an hour later came in to find me doing just that. She didn’t have the nerve to stand up to her third-grade daughter.
So I pointed that out. “Did you ever think 30 years ago that this would be how you are able to handle things?” She admitted that she hadn’t even thought about it because she has come such a long way. I told her that seeing her go back and get her masters (soon to be a doctorate!) and get a degree and then work her way up the ladder as a teacher, all after she was in her 40’s, was very inspiring to me.
She shared with me that when she and my dad got divorced she was terrified. She hadn’t worked in ages, she didn’t know if she could handle school—attending while teaching. But she just put one foot in front of the other until she got her sea legs. Then she took off running!
I asked her if I could blog about this because I don’t think it’s just me that will relate to her story. I think most of my readers will. But of course, I can only talk from my perspective. I’m terrified. I don’t know if I can do this. Some days are better than others but overall I’ve really been scared of the future and whether or not I have one. Then I think of my mom. In such a similar position (but with seven kids – some still at home) and she did exactly what I’m doing. She made a game plan and then moved a little further forward every day until she was so far forward that she had to be reminded that it was ever different!
There is a song I love by P!nk called I AM HERE. At one part she belts out:
“My fingers are clenched, my stomachs in knots
My heart it is racing, but afraid I am not”
That’s how I feel today. I look back at the horrors I’ve lived through and think that if I can survive all of that as such a small child then why be scared? Tensing up and forcing yourself to relax for the blow is not in the same neighborhood as being afraid. Frankly, you can experience those same sensations when you are excited for something. I know I’m not done mourning the loss of my marriage or getting used to living in such a different place. But that’s part of the journey, it’s not the destination.
I’ve already seen the bottom, so there’s nothing to fear!
I know that I’ll be ready when the devil is near!
I am here! I am here!
All of this is wrong, but I’m still right here
I don’t have the answers but the question is clear
Let me ask you”
Are you here? I am. And I’m not going anywhere but up.