That about sums it up. I have spent so much of my life letting fear cheat me out of things, bully me. I’m tired of & I want live bolder. I can’t actually be fearless, but I can put my foot up fear’s ass (to borrow from the ever delightful Red Foreman) & tell it to STFU.
Since I have fallen in love with running I have been thinking a lot about the fact I had wanted to join the track team in high school. Specifically I wanted to do the hurdles. I didn’t really know anything about track, but I had seen people jumping hurdles on the Olympics. When no one was around, I would build up a make shift hurdle in the living room & jump over it. Know why I never even tried out for the team? Never even sought information on how to get involved? I saw them running the bleachers & I was afraid to do that. I knew running around on those bleachers would lead to me tripping & falling to my doom. I was too clumsy to ever be able to run the bleachers. Now I can look back & see what a stupid reason that was, partly lack of self-confidence & partly ignorance. I always had this idea people were just naturally good at stuff. If you didn’t start out good at it, you would never get it.
My mom had a lot to do with shaping that fear & lack of confidence. She was a yeller who could never understand me. I was a dreamer, a reader, a typical sensitive Pisces. She hated that. My mom was an athlete, & was forever disappointed that I didn’t have that in me. I played softball for six years, that was my mother’s game, until the car accident that messed up my knees. At the time I was also in the marching band, my true love, & my knees couldn’t handle doing both, so I dropped softball. I was never very good at it anyway, & I think in all those years I could count on one hand the number of times my mother came to a game. She told me she wasn’t going to waste her time just to watch me sit on the bench. Ouch. I never got over that & from it I supposed I internalized that if I wasn’t good at something there was no point in trying. Since I was also regularly told how lazy, stupid, & ugly I was, & that she wished I was dead or that she never had children, I really never felt like I was good enough for anything. I am thankful though that through it all, I was blessed with a hopeful spirit. It is that spirit, that spark of knowing things will get better, that has kept me from ending it so many times.
As an adult, a Social Worker, & someone living with Bipolar Disorder & anxiety, I have grown to appreciate my mother & what she was going through. She was a twice divorced mother of four children, three of us who eventually chose to go live with our fathers, doing the best she could. Life had not turned out the way she had thought it would, as is often the case. She married her high school boyfriend at sixteen. She told me at one point she had done so under pressure from her mother because his family had money. That went horribly, horribly wrong. He ended up drafted & coming back addicted to drugs & alcohol. They had two kids by then, & he beat her. She had scar tissue in one of her ears from being beaten in the head that left her with a constant roaring sound. He even tried to have her killed at least once & she had to grab her kids & run from the house. There is so much more that happened while they were still married & after, but I think I have gone on enough for now.
This post went in a different direction than I had intended, it was meant to be just a quick image post with a blurb, but you see how that went. I guess I just needed to talk about it. I will wrap this up by thanking Halfway Between the Gutter & the Stars for sharing this image in a recent post. It came at a very opportune time for me.