One of my favorite blogging friend’s, M.A. Brotherton, issued out an invitation to guest blog for his site. I am happy to do so for him because I respect his writing talent a great deal. I also am in awe of his drawing abilities, which he calls his “doodles”. I hope you all will take a moment and check it all out. He’s amazing. Matt wants us to consider: “Why, oh why, do I do this to myself?”
Clearly, as I am human, there are many things I can beat myself up over in answering this question. Why do I complain about my weight yet do nothing about it? Why do I start projects around the house but never finish them? Why this, or why that? I could probably begin a whole new blog series just on all that I do to myself. And yet, as I try to focus on one I find myself falling back on the same theme.
I have been relentlessly pushed down in the last three to four years. I have been the woman who has been told her integrity is worthless and that her humanity was lacking. I was the woman people gossiped about behind her back but was welcomed with open arms by the very vipers who spread rumors about her. I was the woman who a small minority of people feared because she symbolized changed and questioned conformity. The woman who didn’t fit in? That was me. I was the one who was told she wasn’t trustworthy and who was perpetually betrayed by those she should have been able to trust. The last four years should have formed me into a bitter and caustic woman. I should have come out of the oven over-cooked with distrust and a charred heart. When the sun set, should have my heart.
And yet, every morning I would wake up and wash the disgust off my face and reapply hope. I’d get dressed in my clothes with battle gear underneath. I’d leave for the day with my head up high and ask myself in the rear view mirror, “Why do I do this to myself?” Why do I relentlessly keep trying to find any good? Why do I refuse to give in to the darkness that wants to creep inside me? Why do I allow myself to hear people whispering while I show them that I don’t care what they say? Why do I do this to myself?
It was a daunting question and one that has many answers, some disjointed and some consistent. I couldn’t allow myself to believe that the faith I had in humanity was wrong. I wouldn’t believe it. I couldn’t give in to the temptation of pajamas, elastic waistbands, and my bed and think that this would solve my problems. Somewhere inside me, I knew I was another kind of woman. I was also the woman who didn’t care what other people thought or said. In the shadows, the real woman in me was waiting for her time to show that I stood by the truth, and it didn’t matter what other people thought about it. The woman who wouldn’t back down because a few people didn’t like the truth? That is also me. And finally, I am a woman who is also a mother. My son still saw me volunteer with PTA, he watched me interact in the community, he saw me model kindness and turning-the-other-cheek. He saw a woman who maintained her faith even if she didn’t understand why all the time. I needed to be a mother who showed her son that even when the world is falling apart, his mother would not. This is why I did what I was doing.
It was dark times, those days that are past. Exhausting times. Days are brighter now and people have moved on to other gossip, as I knew they would once they realized they wouldn’t provoke a reaction out of me. My son is happily playing at the moment while the baby is sleeping. He is playing with a neighbor kid and they’re using their slingshots. Even now, my son said, “Oh yeah, well I bet my mom could do it!”
I bet I probably could, too.
Be sure to head over and check out Streelights Imagination and read all of her amazing writing. You owe it to yourself. (Also, follow her on twitter and like her on Facebook.)