One of the things that I’ve found true about life is that nothing ever goes how you expect it to. Just as soon as you lay out your plan and start heading in the direction you want to go, inevitably, life happens. You get knocked off course and you find that you have to reevaluate, adjust or sometimes completely scrap whatever it is you were planning. As my husband likes to say, sometimes you just have to punt and hope it goes better on the next set of downs.
I am a planner. I always have been. When I was younger I honestly believed all that I had to do was make the plans, and if I had enough will power, and if I didn’t quit, those dreams would be within my grasp. It sounds great. Inspiring really. But unfortunately, life is rarely so clear cut.
If my life had gone according to plan, I would have spent the last decade overseas making the world a better place, my daughter never would have died, my heart never would have been broken and I would be sitting here at almost 35 feeling pretty darn good about the first half of my life. It was attainable . . . until life happened.
For a decade I have suffered a series of setbacks. Many of them have been all but debilitating. From the loss of our daughter, the collapse of the housing market that killed our finances, to vandalism and being the victims of theft and nepotism, if something could go wrong, well it did. It’s enough to make a person want to throw in the towel and believe me, I’ve been tempted!
But what is it about hope that keeps it coming back against all rational thought and often against all probability? Just as soon as I decide this is it, I can’t do anymore, I feel the surge of that spirit that keeps me moving forward despite all common sense. It simply is not in me to quit, no matter how much I may want to.
Why am I sharing this? Because there is something I have learned in the midst of the seemingly constant adversity. I have suffered more in the last ten years than many people do their entire lives and yet I have not given up.
I have held onto a marriage that statistics and the professionals warned me would not last because of our loss. I have three healthy children against all the odds that said we shouldn’t risk having a family after Serena. And though my dreams have been shattered time and again, I cannot stop trying.
Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. I don’t think that’s it though. I think somewhere along the line I realized something: somethings are worth risking everything for and the only real failure is when we give up, when we stop fighting .
I’m not talking about giving up on childish or unattainable goals. I’m talking about the things and the people who are the very fabric of our lives. Giving up on them, that is failure.
So, no matter how many times I get knocked down, I will get back up. No matter how much I may hurt, I am going to keep putting myself out there. I may not have much, but I do have that. I am not a quitter.
This is a shout out there for everyone that has felt like giving up, but hasn’t and it is an encouragement for those who have given up to start the fight again.