The Little Things
Over these last several weeks, I've had a surprisingly uplifting and consistent source of encouragement in my daughter Taylor. While we might have our little mamma daughter quips, she is always my strongest ally. Perhaps she can hear it in my voice, and know, just like she did as a young girl, how much I need it. Hearing from her with little words of encouragement throughout the day has made a significant difference in my daily outlook, and it helps just knowing she is there to care. Our small team at work has been a similar source of light, bringing in flowers just before my birthday and in a recent team meeting we had. The encouragement and kindness has shown through in ways that have made me embrace it, and hold on to the moment a bit longer than ever before.
I had a startling wake up call recently that reminded me that not everyone has the best intentions, as much as I did not want to believe it. It was also a reminder that I needed to take an inventory of those that I trust and of my own rush to judge people. I too, need to work on putting myself and my biases aside, and become even more encouraging where I can. I have always had a tendency to lean toward deep compassion, because there must always be a why, but I am also flawed and naive at times.
After that sad reminder, I sought out some joy. I spent time with a girlfriend. We shared a belated birthday dinner together, and I was reminded of how much I missed our candid talks and just how much I respected our friendship. We both shared laughs and truths that night, a candlelit dessert, and calamari. A celebration of making it through another year, filled with both immense loss and glimpses of joy.
My experience also prompted me to make a call to a person that had been a source of encouragement for me over these last two years. For a little over a year now, she had offered me opportunities to tell my story as a way to help and encourage others. I had a lot of difficulty coming to terms with speaking out, out of fear of judgment, until the day I realized my story was being told for me, in an unabridged, amplified version for reasons I will never understand. My survivor’s journey has been an uphill battle, filled with restarting my life, relearning what I loved, losing dear loved ones, some very tough choices, and a lot of stress. I have not done it with perfection, but with the mistakes that come with simply being human. I found ways to barrel through life without letting it slow me down, until my barrel couldn’t roll as fast anymore. As survivors, people often tell us that we are so strong, but really, it's sometimes hard to believe. We are still sensitive, especially when we feel vulnerable, or are going through moments of change, loss or a setback.
When any of my friends are going through raw moments of need, I just want to be a source of quiet kept friendship, because I know that this too shall pass. Most of us have our ups and downs, and I do all I can to push them up. My daughter has been inviting me to watch her sing on Wednesday nights at her church, and to get involved in a women’s group with a global purpose. My friend and I will begin to work on dates for me to advocate for women on behalf the agency that helps survivors like me. Their intentions are surely to encourage, and mine is to pursue it, and embrace it with more gratitude.