Falling into quicksand is quite an easy accomplishment. We listen to bullies that have their verbal gavels pummeling on our heads saying: “You are worthless. You are fat. Buy a supplement and stop eating you vacuum. You are so stupid that you cannot pass a simple test. Can you even read? Nobody likes you, you know? It’s because you have a buck or two that people will use you. Go inside your hole where you came from and don’t come out.” Verbal words like that can go on and on until it brings tears into someone’s eyes. It surely does mine. I was not bullied to that extent, but close. I did have a secret ingredient that saved my life and taught me to be my own strength; my father.
I was blessed with nineteen years with my father before he passed away. That was many years ago. I still to this day give thanks for every minute of every day that I had with him. Oh, he was by no means perfect, but a generous heart and soul, who taught me to laugh at myself and have strength within myself. It started with his insistence that I develop a hobby. So as he read his evening newspaper, I took out a notebook that be bought me, ripped out my favorite pictures of musicians and just started to doodle. My doodles slowly turned into drawing, freehand. I could not believe my eyes that I was actually doing this and enjoying it. It was actually looking quite good too. I will show one day. I had issues with fingers and noses, but I am still working on it. I called it my quiet bonding time with my father. How heavenly it was.
Having the opportunity to gain knowledge from a parent from an early age is quite vital for adulthood. I found that out the hard way. How hard? Hard enough is all I can say for now. I have been verbally, emotionally and psychologically kicked in the heart and soul too many times to count. We all have a story to tell on that score. I believe that I am not alone on that ship. We should all share a bit more, but that is just my thoughts…
My parental upbringing is something that I give thanks for every day. My father, whether by example or teachings, taught me many things. He said:
- Laughter is the best medicine
- Laugh at yourself
- Never take yourself seriously
- Whatever people may say or do, roll it off your shoulder like rain falls off a leather jacket. It is not your business what other people think about you
- It is only important how I think about myself
- Smile more
- Ten percent action and ninety percent reaction. Be under-reactive
- Mind your own business
- Stick to your beliefs and do not let go of your dreams
- Always show kindness, whether they deserve it or not
- The best revenge is to ignore, move on and internally succeed
I must add that my mother affirmed everything and said that I am a strong woman of good stock. Do not let schoolmates, friends, boys, or co-workers stand in my way of calm contentment. I said “Now that is a tall order, do you see how people have become? It is a selfish world now.” My mother said to mind my own business, study, read, learn and good things may follow. She and my father kept reverberating “Have faith.”
Tall order! A tough nut to crack! How in the world do I achieve that in a society filled with “gimme, gimme, gimme” or “teacher’s pets”. I had no idea how to go about anything when I was young. I was officially, emotionally lost.
It did not help that the first serious boyfriend that I had was a someone I did not have the chance to see flourish. We only had a year and a half and then he died. I was devastated. We both had so much to learn, about each other and about life. I felt lost and alone. He is someone that I will never forget and I always look up into the blue sky and say hello.
The lessons of my parents did help me to deal with his death. Come on, I was only eighteen years old and still very impressionable. Their love and quiet strength helped me to not be angry (which I was for a while). In time and with lots of hugs I got through it to finally get to the acceptance stage. It did take quite a while. Even all these decades later, my R. still holds a very special place in my heart.
Learning and listening to people at an early age, whether it is your parents, your aunts and uncles, older siblings, etc….can have a profound impact later in life. Those learning lessons can help us pick a path of love and emotional success or the other way…destruction.
Which way would you go? I have traveled both (not to any extreme, but still) and I am contented to be in a positive work in progress.
Let’s teach our young women that knowledge and ambition is not a bad thing. It is to be applauded and hugged and hoorayed!! I am all for helping young women, and young men as well, to be all that they can possibly be. The rest will happen as it may!
Hooray for youth!
PS: We can all do it! I see my dreams when I look at the San Francisco Bay. That’s just me. What picture gives you that added dream determination? I would love to know.