When you show up, It revealS your strength.
Today, the weather was nearly perfect and I went on a walk. It would be hard to believe it is still early March, if it wasn’t for the emptiness in the trees and the leftover, barely raked piles of leaves from last Fall still sprinkled on the ground.
As I walked through a popular neighborhood park I was struck by a memory that I had nearly a year ago.
Remember a year ago???
A year ago THIS TIME, we were all living our lives like NORMAL people. No masks. No Raging virus (that we knew of yet). Free to travel. Free to come and go, run errands, get your haircut, making Summer plans. We had no idea how much life was about to change. And then, just like that. Boom. We were thrown curveball of all curveballs and we collectively felt like we were living in some wild pandemic movie.
My memory from nearly a year ago was that of another walk I had taken with my partner. At that time, things had been shut down for only a couple weeks. The weather was similar to today. We took a lot of walks back then, just to be able to leave the house. We headed down a quiet dead-end street and came to a tiny, hidden walkway with an empty swing set, swinging in the gentle breeze. The park was eerily calm, displaying only a sign staked in the ground in the middle of the two swing seats: This park is closed due to Covid-19, by order of the city.
We looked at each other and our faces fell. It struck us like a bolt…we were living in a new reality. We felt the weight of that new reality and the gravity of the situation.
And now, here we are. Here YOU are. One year later. If you are reading this, you have survived one of the most grueling, heart-wrenching, dramatic years of your life. Certainly, one for the history books.
As we celebrated International Women’s Day, as well as Women’s History Month this month, I can’t stop thinking just how strong we are. Over and over again, throughout the span of time, women have made history through and because of their grit, tenacity, and sheer will. Women have repeatedly walked into unknown territories, stepped in to fill gaps and blazed trails for other women. We have done so while being underpaid, disrespected and far too often, sidelined. Yet, women still show up. And I’m not talking about the famous women like Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks or Marie Curie, or the cultural symbol of the strong woman, Rosie the Riveter. I’m talking about everyday women, like you and like me.
Think about where you were this time last year. As you think about all that you (and collectively, we) have endured this year, remember that YOUR strength has helped you get here. It doesn’t really matter if you made it to this space and place by the skin of your teeth, dragging crying children behind you or if you have gotten to this place without major challenges. The point is you are here. You are far stronger than you know. Yes, You. Yes, it’s true.
You are stronger than you know, more capable than you ever thought possible. You are a badass. Being Strong looks different on different people. Sure, there is physical strength and all the value there is in that. But, I am talking about the deep-down-pull-from-places-within-yourself-you-didn’t-know-you-had-sort-of-strength.
THAT strength showed itself in the “just showing up” that you did day in and day out, for your friends, for your family, for coworkers and most of all for yourself. That strength showed up when you figured out technology in order to do your job remotely. It showed up when you were dog tired, but still made dinner for your family…even if it was pouring cereal in a bowl and calling it a day. It showed up in the tears. It showed up in the pain. It showed up in the grieving. It showed up when you voted, when you protested, when you spoke up. It showed up because YOU showed up. Everyday. It might have been ugly as sin. It might have felt weak as shit, but… YOU. SHOWED. UP. (I mean…you didn’t have much of a choice, but still…You showed up).
THAT is the gold, right there. You have it and you have it more than you know. If this past year showed you anything, know that.
You’re so Gold.