For the longest time I believed words like “warrior” meant no fear, no weaknesses. As I’ve come through fire, I realize being a warrior is surviving the battles to fight another day despite fear, despite weakness.
For a long time I was lost in the expectations that societal norms had placed upon me and others like me and from small southern towns.
At 17, I got pregnant. My daughter, the greatest thing to ever happen to me, made me work toward my goals much more efficiently had I been a normal high school and college student. Society told me to get married. I did. Misery told me to divorce. I did.
I graduated from college with a four year old and started teaching high school. Years passed. I was supposed to marry again. That’s what happiness is supposed to be, right? Finding your “other half”? My second other half wasn’t a cheater or on drugs, but he was simply ambivalent, selfish, and uninterested in being emotionally open or helpful to me in any way. I got depressed. I rebelled. I left.
I moved to Little Rock with my daughter in 2008. It was the first decision I had made from desire and not necessity.
I found myself in anonymity. I went through more trials – abuse, bullying, death of loved ones. But I also thrived. I began going places that people had forgotten about. I started exploring abandoned buildings and finding more than dust and broken windows.
My adventures made me realize that there is so much out there in history that was left behind, but still so important. We are not the sum of our experiences, but we ARE our experiences, both good and bad.
Recently I lost someone very dear to me, and I find myself lost again. I do know that every valley has a peak, and I will find myself once more as I always do, and stronger with more medals on my armor.