Feeling like the aftermath of a hurricane?
On failure. Rejection. And feeling like a REJECT.
The beast I mentioned had gotten to me much later in life and to my younger-self’s dismay. The author of that quote, a college student, knew nothing about rejection yet, but somehow knew, the older version of herself would need these words. Unfortunately, when the beast sunk his teeth into my skin, sucking the vigor from my body, leaving not even a single drop of hope behind, those words were of little comfort to me. My young self could not resurrect the she I knew myself to be.
“If you don’t experience setbacks now and then, the tiny virtues you are supposed to acquire along the way are swallowed by a BEAST whose hunger for failure breeds bitterness.” —Courtney, age 22
Once described as having pizazz, I laid lifeless, just bones. No wonder there was such a period of sadness. I had been mourning my own death. The annihilation of dreams, vision, passion. Identity. A future of anticipation, suddenly absent.
You ever been there? Surely this beast has gotten to you too.
I wonder if I looked at things all wrong my entire life until now, always searching for approval. Approval by someone else’s perception of me. The lowest! The dumbest! I want to shake my new-mom-self! Looking back I could have flipped this whole situation on its head. The truth is, I just couldn’t. I was in the aftermath of a large hurricane with no help in sight. I sat this way for five years. In hiding. A modern day cave woman. Debris from an awful storm.
I wonder if somebody had told me I was in the middle, and I’m not talking about middle age, but:
In the middle of failure and success.
In the middle of rejection and acceptance.
In the middle of Mom and Identity.
It can feel like the desert, that place, The Middle. And even if a rescue plane tries to pick you up, you don’t get in. Because getting on that plane means you have chosen to be the opposite of what you are. It’s a one way flight to self awareness. And I wasn’t ready. I hadn’t become her yet.
In that moment and for years to follow, I couldn’t tell you who I was. What did I stand for? What made me special? Who do I want to be? All I knew is that I was done. I lost my big chance. The old me was gone and I would never see her again.
It turns out I was right. Growing pains hurt. And I became someone new without being quite ready. I can also equate this to giving birth, the doctor asks if you are ready to push and you’re sort of stuck between hell yes and hell no.
The beautiful thing about transition is the butterfly that emerges from the cocoon. Something beautiful is born out of darkness. A voice is raised from the whispers. A smile is unstoppable against the glares. Embrace the change. That beast only feasts on the feelings of rejection and despair. He cannot survive the strong minds, actions and words of a Mom on a mission. He cannot survive in the same place as love.