I’ve been pondering the concept of perseverance recently and how it applies not just to large dreams and ideas but also to the simple concept of living each day. I think at times it takes more fortitude to continue with your life each day than it does to reach for our goals [the big and the small].
So often it is the little things in life that build up to a crescendo that makes you pause for a moment and say; can I keep doing this, can I keep moving forward as life throws speed bump after speed bump in my path. The big problems, these you can plan for, work around and assess as time goes by. But the little things, the ones you didn’t expect or just didn’t foresee, those are the things that will trip you if you’re not careful.
It’s one of the reasons when I saw this quote that something inside me just sighed and said – there it is, that’s just how I feel at the moment and how I make myself go through the day. So for all those who have at some point felt that soul weary sigh shudder through them don’t forget that life gives us choices in how we deal with the bumps in the road and it is those choices that we truly define ourselves.
Stepping back, shutting down and battening the hatches is no longer an option for me, regardless of how tempting it appears at times. When you think the price for quietude is worth paying know this, that in the cold dark of night when all you have is the honest voice in your heart you will realize that there is no price you’re not willing to pay to step back into the warmth of life and all its messy complications.
Solitude and quietude when chosen out of fear or shame are not the restful experience one would imagine. They bring only a sense of oppression that wraps you in layers until you are too encumbered to move and as such they do not provide the release from pressure that you imagined they would.
We all need time outs every now and then and that is a very different thing. Taking a moment or a day to just step back from the bustle and juggling of daily life is healthy and necessary. What is not is turning away from life and burying your feelings, all the while telling yourself that it is for the best, that it is too hard and that you will never get where you want anyway so why persevere. When the voices of people who would sit in judgement speak up in the corners of your mind and list the wrongs you have done, the people you have hurt or let down and the opportunities you have thrown away, then it is time to fight even harder.
In a way I’m lucky because I understand the lure of dropping out and I know that the lure is a lie. I’ve fought long and hard to rebuild my life, to recreate myself as the person I wish to be not someone who slid nicely into one of life’s niches and it is not something I am willing to lose. Although there are days when the tiredness and anxiety swell up and threaten to swallow me whole.
It’s then, strangely, that the little things in life, the daily tasks are actually a boon. Something to do that must be done, something simple and routine that you can work through until that feeling of being overwhelmed ebbs again. More importantly I remember that I am who I am today because of the fight I put up against the desire to continue in my silent life and that while I cannot change yesterday I do not have to be chained by it.
In fact holding onto the past too closely will actually cause more harm than moving forward in my life would. It’s one of the reasons that this image is one of my favorite quotes since it speaks to the writer and the survivor in me.
Too many people have an opinion of who I was, who I am and who I should be and once upon a time that would have mattered. Now it doesn’t and while that may seem harsh or selfish to some it is a matter of survival for me.
It doesn’t change what came before but I will not let the negative opinions of others shape the story of my life again. I did that once and won’t allow that to happen again. So in my pondering of perseverance I have come to the conclusion that it is this trait more than any other that enables us to move forward even when we think there is nowhere to go.