Let’s talk about adversity. Getting personal. (long)

Let me tell you about trials and tribulations. This girl has been through some things. I’ve developed a few annoying habits because of said things, but talking about myself in the third person shouldn’t become one of them. 😜 Here’s a bit of my adversity story. We all have them.

Just like everyone, I’ve had my fair share of adversity. I was born premature and due to complications this caused irreparable damage to my optic nerve. Translation, my eyesight is beyond screwed. I’m legally blind and as a child, I struggled with epilepsy and a condition called Chorea. On top of that, I was a shy kid who was overly emotional and cried a lot. It made me a great target for bullying. Thankfully, I came into my own during my university years. As an adult, I’ve battled depression and anxiety. The latter has been debilitating on occasion, but these days, I’m more equipped to survive. My emotional fortitude has grown stronger with each trial. I’m blessed with a wonderful support system. More on them later, but these people make all the difference.

Adversity has been a wonderful teacher. It has taught me to believe in myself, to fear change less, and to step out of my comfort zone. I never want to become stagnant, constantly stuck in a quagmire of my own making. I always want to have something new to share, to never stop evolving as a person. There’s been times when I wanted to let my disabilities, or past hurts hold me back, but I’ve always persevered. Partly, because I’ve realized that coping means looking beyond my own worries, and concentrating on helping people with problems much greater than my own. The world is so much bigger than our own issues. Focusing on helping others is a great way to get out of our heads and be productive. It also makes one less of a selfish, self obsessed Mofo. Ha! Trisha Paytas, I’m looking at you.

Despite limitations and setbacks, I’ve written two books (with another on the way). I’ve got a Masters degree in Criminology, and research work that keeps me busy. I have a partner who loves me, and after a few uncertain years, a relationship that is thriving and stronger than ever. I am so grateful for his strength and spirit. He hit midlife crisis mode for a minute and we grew apart. It was a strange time for both of us, and could have ended in a few different ways. We honestly were on separate paths for awhile, but somehow managed to find our way back to the one we knew by heart. We married so young, just a couple of college kids, but thankfully, those two former kids are closer than ever now. He’s the responsible, go getting, charming, witty, loving man I met all those years ago, He makes me laugh, looks out for me, and puts up with all my quirks. We’re lucky to have each other. It’s wonderful to have someone to walk through life with, who will hold my hand during hard times.

We also have two amazing girls, (more young women now) not to mention, the best and brightest feline kind has to offer. Tucker says, “hi”. (Little Georgie could use your prayers, but that’s a story for another time). Just send out positive vibes into the universe for him, please) Very soon we will either be building or buying our fourth house together. Life truly is beautiful (even during trying times).

I’m grateful for the people who have come and gone, and the people who persist and remain. Each experience has taught me so much. I’m thankful for every moment, and each memory that has become a part of who I am, and who I will be. Sometimes unanswered prayers become our saving grace. If only we could see that in the moment, imagine how much suffering we could avoid. I really believe everything happens for a reason, (even the things that almost break you) that every journey takes us where we’re suppose to be. I’m thankful that every hurt (eventually) has brought about a renewal of spirit and desire to never repeat past mistakes. I’ll always miss and remember fondly those temporal people who helped me grow and shared their lives with me for a season. They were just what I needed for that moment and time. Lessons they taught me won’t be forgotten.

However, it’s the ones who are still here that get my unwavering affection and undying loyalty. I am a ride or die person, and I give my all to the people I love. My goal is to make their lives better and show up everyday. I try to put out sweetness and light, but some days it’s more snark and sassiness. marked by my homespun quirky awkwardness. I’m down with anyone who appreciate nerdy things, history, art, nature, music, antiques, traveling, Netflix, reading endlessly, the joys of being utterly silly, the comfort of yummy food, and talking about the most random things.

Having said all that, we’ve come to the purpose of this post. I know. I’m such a chatterbox on occasion. No! Really! 😜 I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes on adversity. I hope that if you’re struggling that these will lift you up. Sending lots of love to everyone. Thank you for reading. ❤️

“You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.”

Michelle Obama

“We don’t develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.”

Barbara De Angelis

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

Napoleon Hill

Move Along

Advertisements

Deity in Diversity

image

Maybe someday we will
have written about humanity
and grace so much
that the paper we scribble on
will burn down
the forest of hate
that grows in casket-closed minds,
eradicating words like
racism, hate, bigotry.

The fire cleansing away
evil and ignorance.
Strike a match with
your pen.

Let’s try at least to
direct the language toward love.
Let’s keep moving the
adjectives higher and higher.
Trust the verbs to lead us,
the pin of light, to the fire.

Maybe as the trees come undone,
leaves igniting,
branches bursting with truth,
charity and clarity will rise.
Rustling beneath skin.
Love rising, tapping deep.
Opening eyes and cleaning tongues
in the dialect of compassion.
Hope slipping into the core.
Porous and large.
Looking out in every direction
until it is inside the sky,
the rocks, the moon.
Lacing the night and hearts with promise,
the rainy season finally over.

Until then, let your pens sway
against the dark waves.
Let’s push our boats against the current.
Light the candle wick.
Kiss it with fervor.
Give flame to the wind and waves.

-Tosha Michelle

Photo, my own 

Get Over It?

image

Things to Get Over.

1. Hurdles, potholes in the road, stumps. The gap, you refuse to mind. The fact that you aren’t British.
2. Relatives you’ve lost to cancer, old age, depression, and alcoholism.
3. Things that ended in nothingness. The fear of being alone. The aggravation of being together.
4. Stupid love affairs the ones that terrified, and the ones that were filled with happiness The ring kept, or pawned, or thrown in his face. The one who got away. The one you wish had gotten away.
5. Childhood memories of storybooks, catching fireflies,; snow days so bright that the whole world was covered in whiteness. Your imaginary friend, named Tom, who never made fun of your coke bottled glasses, and the way you refuse to look at strangers
6. Suburban life, the ethers of banality,
7. Children growing up and the pain of letting go. The stillness of the house. The quiet you chase around every room
8. The cries for help from those you were able to reach and those you weren’t.
9. Dispossessed possessions. Substance. The absence of substance.
10.The unfound. The unfinished.
11. illusions, delusions. Daydreams. Nightmares.
12. All the seconds, minutes, hours, days, the years that pile up, the past always waiting to hear from you
13. Words that rise and fall. Transparent, sometimes luminous but that will vanish in the end.
14. The crushing reality that not everyone will like your remedy
15. Wasted time. Good intentions that grow tired.

These are a few of the things to get over. However, do we ever really get over things, or do we just learn to go around them?

Perhaps, we should savor the
things to get over. Praise what was. Our past, always there to confess. Bow to
it like a priest. Recall the shifting seasons, hoard the heart’s thorns, what hurts us can also nurture us. Just remember, the past can never be altered. Don’t stumble on your way around it. Listen for the footsteps of the future. Be ready to take its hand when it calls for you.

What good is life if we don’t use it up? Bite hard into the things to get over. It doesn’t matter if you break the skin.. Relish the pain, and then come back to today, to life, and ardently pursue the elixir, living.

-Tosha Michelle

The Next Big Thing

image

Big ideas are everywhere,
from religion to capitalism.
There’s always someone
trying to sell us something.
I’m burnt out on the peddling.
I just want to be left on the
side of the road while I still
have a little sanity.
Let nature stand for all I believe in.
As for faith, I’ll leave that to the sun.

We all die in the end,
the good, the bad,
the blissfully indifferent.
It doesn’t matter how well
you sing the hymn,
or if you know the slogan
by memory.

Life is freshly pressed and
the creases only hold for so long.
I’d like to believe in
the lottery, mail in rebates,
and a free trip to Hawaii.

In my crisis of faith,
I have moments where I wonder
if we all just fade to dust.
Our molecules scattered
in the wind.
Left with nothing but our
collective darkness,
where there are no charge
off or loopholes.

All I know for certain
is I know nothing.
Oh to have the wisdom of Solomon.
I look for assurance
in the clouds.
Punching the fog.
I fall back on my upbringing.
close my eyes and
pray for grace.

-Tosha Michelle

The Grudge

image

I watered the grudge with a
fervent devotion of a priest
giving communion. I watered
it with the determination of
a drunk on his fourth glass
of gin. The destructive
clockwork of a not so
righteous self.

The cactus in my heart
erupting. I watered it everyday
with a can of venom. My hands
blistering over from the hate.
The fluid and its dark nutrients
taking root, until the petals
bloomed over and clotted my
brain, until there was nothing
left but arid air, laced with
regret, and the silence of
time wasted. The stale
taste of a garden grown
on the wreckage of malice
Gone. The long reign of
bitterness. The tight reign
of hurt feelings. The shards
of anger, shaken from my
eyes. I finally see the sterile
landscape clearly.

How the realization stings.

-Tosha Michelle

Just Breathe

image

Sometimes the air around us is foreign.
Our lungs adopting to the atmosphere.
Knowing. Unknowing. We await
as the intervals thicken or thin.
Will the air become audible?
Will the seasons brighten or dim?
Do we lay store or forge ahead?
Is it enough to seek answers to questions
or is the living in the doing?
A thought held close built around another
thought is of no use if it sits braced to
a chair reluctant to breathe the air.

-Tosha Michelle

Demarcation

image

Self doubt creates a slavish universe,
where we are constantly lugging our
insecurities in a backpack up a hill
that gets farther away the closer we get.
Along the way we keep looking
for disaster while trying to breathe.
Our catastrophic mind only perceiving danger,
creates a wedge between reality and self
where we only see the flaws and fractures.
Forgetting where we buried the bounty,
forgetting their is a bounty. We attempt to control
our bodies without mastering the spine.
Our souls become a membrane of
hopelessness, happy to reveal all we are not.
Our foolish spirits chose to adhere.
In our hand we hold a gun and a map of our head.
We journey on trying to find our way
with a broken flashlight, forgetting to
open our eyes, we cut our foot
on a shattered mirror. Briefly, we stand still,
and await clarity’s arrival. Satisfied. We turn and
head back towards self worth.
Finally, remembering, we hid the key
to the treasure chest
in perception’s drawer.

-Tosha Michelle