Sitting in my apartment listening to the absolute silence gives me an opportunity to reflect on things. It’s odd to think that I’m a senior in college. It’s odd that this semester marks the longest consecutive stretch of my enrollment at school. (Oh, the joys of being a transfer…). It’s odd to think that my apartment is empty and completely silent…save my Pandora station.
As this never happens, I find myself lost in the deep folds of my mind—a scary thought most days—looking over the events of my small break.
First, I find that I’m lucky to have my health in its current, if defeated, state. Over break, I read an entry by a blogger I find fascinating: The Bloggess. The reason for my fascination with this woman is the fact she writes about her life. The topic is seemingly ordinary, but the things she does are so bizarre that reading her blog has become a sort of addiction. I’m always struck by her inventiveness and the things that happen to her by pure chance.
A giant metal chicken? A flying pig statue appearing on top of said chicken? A cobra and mongoose statue delivered to her home? The very fact she forgot she ordered it?
I always enjoy her creativity and sarcastic wit. However, over my Christmas vacation, she wrote what she entitled the hardest thing she had ever written. She wrote of her depression and her struggle with self-inflicted harm and her journey to overcome it for her daughter.
I admire this woman exceedingly.
Firstly, for her courage to write to hundreds upon thousands of strangers, bearing the dark side of her own inner workings to the world. Secondly, for the impact she had on everyone who read what she had written. She often makes an impacting post, but the enormity a moment she might have started astounds me.
The second thing over break to stay with me was a blog entry a friend of mine wrote. She’s a poet who is extremely good at what she does. I’ve told her before, but I’ll say it again, that I admire her for posting her work online. She’s writes what she knows and there’s something very personal about writing poetry. In many cases writing poetry is pouring your own broken soul out on a sheet. Sharing it with the world is brave. Whether she realizes it or not, I have more admiration for her all the time.
My third incident was during our choir’s tour this last week. To cut a long story short, I passed out right before intermission on the first night. If it were the first time I’d done this it would be shocking. That this is the second time it has happened in two months is a little aggravating and extremely disconcerting. What strikes me about this is not that I passed out, but the supportiveness of those around me.
Every person in my family is very self reliant. There happen to be very few times in which we ask for help. Call it what you will, but it’s a trait I openly admit that I’ve inherited. It’s genetic.
It’s the reason for my disappointment. No matter how many times my parents told me who I was and who I came from, I never felt the same. I felt broken. I was surrounded by people who cared and their concern touched me, but I never felt any closer to being myself because failure is not an option.
And here I’d already failed.
In my extreme disappointment, our director told me something I will never forget. He told me that he was set in his ways and he knows these things happen. He said that I would be more disappointed in myself then he would ever be of me. It was after those words that something clicked in me.
I knew I could make it.
The first three attempts were progressively better. On the fourth night I was still exhausted and there were only two more concerts on tour. So, being my stubborn self, I told them, come Hell or high water, I was going to make it.
And I did.
It’s just moments like these that I need to remember I’m not alone in my struggles, personal or otherwise. By the grace of something far bigger than myself, I’m blessed with people around me who care. People who would drop everything just to ease a rough patch.
I’m astounded by their greatness.
And there will never be enough words to express my gratitude.
But Thank You.
"Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.” –William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene V