I interrupt this blog series for a special service announcement: I am not special. I am not exceptionally strong. I am not exceptionally intelligent. I am not exceptionally anything…. except maybe stubborn. My mom always told me that I was like a bulldog that bit down on an idea (for better or worse) and would lock my jaws on it an see no other way but that. …so that’s actually quite a deficit to my life that I have to constantly fight against…
I get really upset actually when people begin telling me how I’m different. Sometimes they tell me in a way that they mean very nicely—that I’m so strong (not physically) and they admire that. Sometimes they tell me in an excuse way—“yeah, but you’re different”. And sometimes it’s all the dudes that have come into my life telling me that I’m different as an excuse for their not stopping to understand where their own woman is coming from and all she does and gives. Sometimes people like to call it crazy…actually, a lot of people if you took a pole, but that’s okay, that’s another blog for another day. See: Yes, I’m a Bitch. One Badd Bitch.
No matter where the place in their heart it comes from, it feels like a stab straight to my own heart because I feel like any change I can make in this world comes from exactly the point that I’m no different than anyone else: man or woman. I fear, all the freaking time. When our house and gym got broken into three times over the course of two weeks was the first time that I remembered, oh yeah, single small women living alone with two kids usually fear strangers. See, normally, all the fear in my life my brain can handle is the fear of the kids’ dads, or other men that I’ve stood up to and really angered beyond anything logical thinking/action all because I demanded for us to all three be treated like human beings. And yes, I said “dads” because I have two kids by two dads and both of them are people that I have to fear—awesome life choices right here. I have horrible anxiety over our finances, and getting the laundry done, and that I am not raising my kids right or with everything they need. I have depressive times where it’s everything I can do to drag myself out of bed, literally, I give myself congratulations if I got my gear on even though I couldn’t do more than that and laid back down in my bed (fully geared up) because that was as much as I could fight against the self-deprecating voices telling me I’m not enough for anyone around me and what am I even doing?? Who do I think I am??
Sometimes, people look at my life once they know our full story as a family, and mine in particular, and they say very nice things about how strong and amazing I am. Here’s the thing: I’m not. I’m you. Every time that you can’t hardly pull yourself out of bed but you go to work all day even though you have to lay on the bathroom floor for ten minutes to try to hide how broken you’ve become? But you have “no other choice” because you have to provide? Yeah, you did. You did have a lot of other choices actually. You could have given up and not gone to work. You could have self-medicated and not gone to work and not even heard the anxiety about it all day. You could have completely separated from your family and just not given a fuck about what happened to them while you were out just trying to stay alive…or you could have taken your life. This life is real, and this life is rough, and if you’ve never been to that point in life then you’re either in insane amounts of denial or you’re the 1% of the wealthiest in the world—and even then, I’m sorry, I don’t believe it. Because when the recession happened, the first people who committed suicide over the stocks crashing were that 1%. You can’t tell me that money fixes everything, because life will just throw different kinds of demons at you. So if you've never admired it all, now's your time: you're not alone at all, not in the least. It's okay to feel that way, it's not okay to sit in it and not get help.
I am risking a lot of respect when I say this, and I completely understand why, but I am a Christian. I believe God truly created me for exactly this one purpose: to show the world that it hurts, but you are more powerful and amazing then you’ve ever given yourself credit for or loved yourself worth. Yes. I know that sentence was not the sentence of a writer. But there’s not another way to really say that. Do you actually know who you are? Really? Re-read that post two weeks ago where I became completely vulnerable about being alone with boxing in the middle of the night, drinking. See, here’s the thing: no matter who you admire, they’re completely the same as you and me. There’s nothing inside them that isn’t inside of you, not really. Their Demons. The strengths they’ve worked their ass off to strengthen even more. All of it is inside of all of us.
Some of us were given a humongous boost up in life with who our parents were or who our kids were or where we were physically born, but honestly? Look at it this way: we’re all out there trying to make the best choices out of our options given. Some of us choose right, some of us choose wrong. Some of us are given the choices of continuing on daddy’s money to get our doctoral degree or that six figure job or living at home to pay off all debt in one WING of our parents home versus the freedom to become our whole selves in a one bedroom apartment with three roommates but damn, if we don’t feel free to write our own stories. Others of us are given the choices of some very horrific things that I’m not even going to list here. Most of us live in that middle ground of choices to continue to half exist. And we choose one of those horrific options because, although it’s even worse for us, we feel like it’s better for those—as a whole—around us that we love and are loyal to. No matter what your story is, or what your options ever were, are you choosing to better yourself and those around you? Are you fighting?
The ring does not care. It does not care who you are or where you came from. It doesn’t care if you’ve never experienced anything so hard or if you had to walk to practice three miles every day—twice a day. It just doesn’t care. What’s deep down inside of you, and are you sure? Because I believe there aren’t more fighters in the world only because they don’t believe, every single day, in all of who they are.
As an adult woman who has had to ask close friends to come stay the night because her night terrors have been so bad that she is literally going insane from lack of sleep; as an adult woman who has self-deprecated to the point of loosing 30lbs in a month (and not overweight to begin with) because she felt she was so worthless; as a woman who has had to face that her own “self-deprecation” and “self-punishment” habits have horribly hurt her kids—I’m begging you to look inside and recognize exactly how strong and real you truly are and how much this whole desperate world full of hurt needs you to stand tall in your stance and keep punching no matter how outmatched you feel. This world is hurting and needs you to know that we need you. Together, we actually can change how hopeless it all feels sometimes. Together, we can stand tall—even if that’s three teammates holding you tall when they didn’t even have the strength to hold themselves up.
I’m not special. I’m scared and angry, and every other fault you can list about me. It’s just that every day I look in the mirror and remind myself that I’m a whole lot bigger than those voices. You can make that choice too—just like you do already every single day to hold your life afloat. You already have everything you need to have your hand raised in that ring.....but do you believe you do?
I do not know you. But I do know what it takes to continue to even just live in this life. And I believe that you can look in that mirror and realize that you already are the fighter that you need to be. You already fight that fight every day, boxing is just the physical manifestation of what you're already doing, what choices you're already making--for good or for bad...boxing never lies to you, remember?