Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Art of Strength & Other Fanciful Ideas

Themes are present in many classic and modern pieces of literature: freedom, love conquers all, prejudice, truth, beauty, courage, greed.

Now, I will admit that identifying these abstract ideas has never been my forte. Whether it be Shakespeare, The Brothers Karamazov, Lord of the Flies, Jane Eyre, or even A Streetcar Named Desire, my primary tool was Spark Notes. I am terrible at reading between the lines. Terrible. How am I supposed to know that Piggy's glasses represented the intellectual and ordered side of humanity? And that the breaking of the glasses meant the end to the humanity that the boys possessed? Seriously!

So that's why I'm stunned that I've actually been able to pick out two different recurring themes in my own life. Weird, huh?

The first is strength. Although I'm a fairly cheerful and easy-going individual, I still cannot figure out why I am the way I am. Often, I think part of my personality tends to hide the rough patches. Almost like a fresh coat of paint over many old layers of dirt, wall paper, and 70's shades of coral Dutch Boy.

Few can suspect how beaten down, emotionally scarred, and the hurt that's made its place inside me. Being adopted, I think I'm prone to feelings of abandonment and some insecurities. The child of divorce, I tend not to believe in lasting relationships and doubt that I will experience love. As for my father, he's an okay guy, but is not the kind of model I'd use as a husband and father. Even now, he will not come visit me in Florida because his mother is the quote on quote, number one priority in his life.

We had very little financial means during my childhood. Looking back, it's quite something that I was able to go to a good college and now, four years after graduation, have most of my student loans paid off. As a 25 year old woman, I'm completely self sufficient with a great job.

Six years ago, I went through a break-up with my first boyfriend... Not very well, I might add. It took me several months to really feel again.

Less than a week ago, it happened again... with the second guy I was ever seriously involved with. I was afraid that I'd lapse into my previous state. For the first two days, it was like deja vu. But not anymore. Since then, I've gone out with friends, talked to old friends who live in other cities, even flirted a little, and feel stronger than I ever have in my entire life.

Of course, I miss him and still love him. But really, there's nothing I can do to change the situation. I will not let it cripple me or hinder me from living my life and being who I am.

Going along with the theme of strength, is survival.

It's unreal to fathom all the challenges, obstacles, joys, failures, and successes that one person takes on. I can hardly believe it myself.

Personally, I do not consider or think of myself as much of a "rock" or a survivor. But that really isn't true. In fact, I am strong and no matter what happens to me - I will prevail. You are also strong. We are able to bear much more than we think we can, and withstand the impossible. We are human.

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