Struggle and joy

A decade ago I was whisked into Manhattan every morning in the back of a big black car. I made more money than I ever dreamed I would in my life. I had assistants and my dream job, then I lost it all. Everything. My job. My breasts were next. My hair followed soon after. The last decade of my life has been the worst of my entire life. But you know what? I’m still here. Every night I go to bed, I pray tomorrow will be better. And when it is I rejoice. When it is not, I have faith that someday it will be. But the only thing that keeps me from looking forward, from being present and learning the lessons I am supposed to be learning is, looking backward. Longing for the big job that came with a big paycheck… while I sit here sharpening my budget makes me bitter and angry. I think the point of this life, is to get through it without becoming those things. I have a lot of reasons to be bitter. I refuse to be.

Joy is where you find it. Currently, I am covered in paint renovating my rental property that I was fortunate enough to be able to afford when I was in the big gig. I have eaten cheap food and drank cheap wine and been so damn happy doing it. The struggle remains, don’t get me wrong and it’s far from over. But I will not be bitter, that hurts no one but me.

My personal take is this: the struggle is a gift.

It’s where we do our most growing and learning. We don’t grow when we’re comfortable and we’re not comfortable when we’re growing. I don’t pray or even expect life to be easy. There is so (SOOOOO) much I could say and someday I will. But for now, this (and I am speaking about myself only) I’ve never been a shallow person. But hard times have a way of deepening you as a person. They enable you to see who’s in your corner and those who only provide lip service in your life. You become deeper because the minutia doesn’t matter because you simply don’t have time. Is it hard? Hell yeah. Do I want it? Nope. Not one bit. But when I look back on my life, I didn’t grow as a person when life was easy; I grew when I had to dig in.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this and it reminded me of something I said in a podcast recently.

We are not built for the struggle.

We avoid it at all costs. Why? We want life to be easy and when it’s not, it throws us into a tailspin. I expect each day to have some manner of hardship, especially in the lifecycle I find myself in. Expecting it doesn’t mean I wish for it; it means that I’m READY! When it comes, I’m already in the position to stand and fight. I look forward to a time when I can rest a bit. It’s not now and at 55, I don’t see it on the horizon either. But I’m smart. I’m strong. I’m capable. I’m ready. #BringIt