Current Reading: In Between right now.
Current Listening: “Ashes of Eden” – Breaking Benjamin
I received a writing prompt as part of my attic journal challenge last month that I had yet to touch but has been on my mind since I first read it. (Thanks Mia!) It was a bonus challenge but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. So here I sit, at six a.m. on a Sunday morning trying to put words to my thoughts. The word is simple. So simple in fact that it evokes a myriad of emotion. The word is warrior.
Check out what Miriam-Webster has to say about it:
So that’s the textbook, right? Pretty straightforward and direct. Yet, let’s dig a little deeper. What does it mean to be “engaged in some struggle or conflict”? Or, better yet, what does it mean to you? I could have taken the easy way and dove into fiction for this one. I could have gone a million different ways with at least five different characters but I felt it would do what I wanted to say a disservice.
I think the word, for me, means a fighter. Not just a fighter but someone who is relentless, who fights to keep their corner of the world with a fervor that few can match. I am in relentless pursuit of my happy. I do not stop. I do not give up. I pause. I take a breath but I keep moving. I don’t believe I know any other way to exist.
My happy is the words on this page, the ones found between the covers of my creations. My happy is the man that sleeps beside me every night and the young woman I’ll be sending off to college in the fall. My happy is the compassion and laughter of my closest friends, even when the shit is hitting the fan and the world is crashing down around our ears.
Finding that happy was not easy. My best friend put up a quote that sticks with me in this vein. “Your new life is going to cost you your old one.” It did twelve years ago. I realized I needed more out of life than what I was being given. I needed to be happy and unafraid to chase down what that meant to me. I had a partner to move forward with, rather than a millstone around my neck that drug me down. I realized I needed to set a better example to my child about what it meant to fight for what you wanted–even when the odds weren’t in your favor.
I cried. A lot. I raged. I got pissed about all the time I wasted trying to fulfill the expectations of others. I learned. Holy hell did I learn. I have learned I’m faster to laugh than most. I have learned that I can share my heart with people–if they’ve earned it–and that I am completely within my rights to step back from situations that are not good for me. I have learned that a quote Maya Angelou rings truer the longer I live. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” I have learned to trust my instincts becuase typically they’re not wrong.
I have learned it’s okay to take time for you to just be. I have learned that there are times that the world can wait. But there are also times when the world comes knocking that you need to answer the door and just go. Chase opportunity. If you fall, get back up and keep moving. This too, to me, is the essence of what it means to be a warrior. You go. You fall. You get back up. You keep going.
So that’s all I have from my quarter. What does the word warrior mean to you?