People see me as strong. Tough. A survivor.
Well, I’ve had to be that person all my life.
But it doesn’t mean I don’t cry sometimes. And it doesn’t mean I don’t hurt.
I’ll work my butt off every single day, but it doesn’t mean I don’t get tired.
And it doesn’t mean the world gets to dump more on me because it’s assumed I can handle it.
Just because I try to find the beauty in each day doesn’t mean I should get a double serving of ugly.
And just because I don’t play the damsel in distress on a daily basis doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like a helping hand every now and then.
I was raised to work hard. Be good. Do good. And good things would come back to me.
Well, after forty something years of experience, I have to call BS on that promise.
I see lots of really mean, horrible people getting handed the good things, while really great people still struggle.
I see the people who deserve the least given the most, while those working the hardest still go to bed worried about making the rent.
And it makes me mad.
It’s not fair and I’m tired of things not being fair.
I would love to believe it’ll all balance out in the end, but I’m not seeing that happening.
My dad worked every day of his life from the age of 13, and probably before that, from sun up ‘til sun down. And he still died struggling.
Sure, he found happiness along the way, but life was never easy.
I know I got a lot of my grit from him, and I’m certain he gave me that hard-worker gene. And I’m grateful for both.
But you know what? It would have been sweet to see him be able to relax a little in his older age. To not have to work so hard, or to be so tough.
And I’d like to not have to be so tough, either.
Because here’s the thing.
Even when you’re strong, when life drags you down, you want to fall apart.
You want to be able to cry on someone’s shoulder.
You want them to whisper in your ear, ‘Don’t cry baby’, and kiss those tears away.
You want someone there to make it better. To make it easier, to let you let your guard down for a minute or two, or hour if that’s what it takes.
So, when you look at me, sure, see me as strong. But also know that just because I CAN do for myself, it doesn’t mean I want to. Just because I CAN fight for what’s right, it doesn’t mean I should have to step into the ring for every little thing each day. And just because I don’t NEED help, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t appreciate it.
Even the strong cry sometimes, we just don’t let you see it.
Even the strong need to rest.
It doesn’t make us weak. It just makes us human.