The most recent stories from The Change Blog community.
We all know the saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. Usually it is said to us by a well meaning friend when we are at the end our rope and it is supposed to make us feel better.
Sometimes maybe it works and sometimes we may just want to roll our eyes and pull the covers back over our heads. Well, I can tell you that one of the most trying times of my life was going through my divorce about eight years ago. There were tears, threats, the silent treatment, and a huge amount of stress and anxiety.
“I existed in a world that never is – the prison of the mind.” – Gene Tierney
Have you ever been inside a prison? Have you ever felt the anxiety of doors clanging shut behind you? Even as a regular visitor into prisons I often feel the anxiety and claustrophobia. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be an inmate…
Mrs Matthews was my favourite school teacher. She was a short, buxom woman with a really kind disposition and smiley brown eyes. I loved being in her class and tried so hard to do well on my assignments for her. But during the year Mrs Matthews was my teacher, my best friend moved away and I started hanging out with a whole new crowd of friends.
Close by to our school was a large vacant plot of land with a creek running through it. Local neighbourhood kids had built dirt bike tracks through it and a makeshift flying fox swing across the river. During lunchtime, my new friends and I would take off to “The Creek”, as we called it, to hang out. Of course, leaving school grounds during school hours was forbidden so it was exciting to sneak away. But one day, we returned late, after the class bell had rang, and as we stood deciding if we should go in or skip class altogether, the Principal drove by and caught us.
Twelve years ago I had a breakdown. My mother died, I lost eight friends/relatives in one year, my kids were struck by lightning in a parasailing accident, and my dad was dying of bone cancer.
Shattered dreams, unmet expectations, and loss can certainly cause us to lose heart. If you’ve ever been there, if your heart has ever been shattered and your recollection of the pain is still fresh, you know what I’m talking about.
I have a confession to make. I haven’t always been a big picture thinker. I wasn’t always proactive. I haven’t always had aspirations to change the world. Rewind 7 years, and I was just another dumb kid coasting along in life. I had no long-term plan in mind, no money, and all I thought about was how long I was going to be able to play video games that day.
In high school I did well enough. I operated with the thought that I would go through college, get a good job, and live a nice comfortable lifestyle, but I had no idea what it was going to be like. I went through college with the same mindset, thinking my degree was going to get me all I needed to life the life of my dreams. I wasn’t much of a go-getter. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was lost, and I was spiraling towards a life of insignificance.
I used to have a list. He had to be tall. He definitely had to be smart. He had to have brown hair and blue eyes, hmmm.. I guess dark eyes are also OK. The list went on and on. I had many relationships where I tried to stick as close as possible to this list, most of which didn’t last for more than a few months. But then, I seemed to hit the jackpot.
This man satisfied every requirement I had ever had to the ‘T’. He was tall, exceptionally smart, had the same religious background as me, and spoke all the same languages. To top it all off, he had those sparking, deep blue eyes. I was certain that I had found my life partner.