Life seems like a constant uphill battle. There are countless amounts of time you are left with weary eyes and a heavy head, wondering why this seems to continuously happen to you. You seem to give it your all every time. You put in so much work, going above and beyond the peers around you.
Yet, you fall short. You don't come out as the winner, somehow left behind in the race. You are frustrated and angry because you don't seem to understand why life gives you get the lower hand.
I feel your pain. I understand your pain.
I recount so many memories, even dating back to fourth grade. I was sitting on my bed, crying my eyes out because I tried to understand my math homework but my mind couldn't comprehend what was in front of me. I stared at the page of the loose lead with continuous tears flowing down, where all my pencil marks smeared from the teardrops. My mother heard the muffled tears and asked if I was crying. In my poor attempt, I took a deep breath and said, "No, I'm not crying I'm fine." She opened the door and I let out a loud cry and laid my head on her shoulder.
"Mom, I take all my notes and really pay attention to the lessons and I work so hard, yet my grades are average and sometimes below average.Why can't I be like the other kids and just get it and get good grades? I could cheat, but I don't want to. I want people to look at me and say, "Katie knows what she's doing. I want to be smarter. I want to be better."
She slyly smiled at me and let out a little laugh and then continued, "You are smart. Katie, you don't want to be like the other kids. You are so much better than that. People will know you will work hard and they will know you care."
That was when it hit me and I realized I had to keep running in the race and work a little bit harder to get ahead.
"No, it isn't fair. But one day, you won't feel this way, honey. I promise you that." I shook my head in disbelief with her statement but replied with a smile and told her I wouldn't give up without a fight.
So that's what I did. I worked a lot harder than the peers around me. Not because I wanted to be ahead of them, but because I wanted to show myself that I was capable and willing to better myself. That I can be better and that I will progress.
I continued to run the race.
It wasn't only academics either. It was never getting a chance to show what I had in play because directors had personal agendas I was unaware of. It was being benched during soccer games because my little legs could only take me so far (and any girl on the field could take me down being 5'0). It was also never being "the girl" for the guy because a better alternative was in front of me.
But, it wasn't about looking at these obstacles as defeats. It's about finding the silver lining in every situation.
To find a better path to walk down because the other path is closed off. To find growth and something else gained in situations that seem too trying.
And that's what I did.
In academics, I found better study skills that helped me understand and retain information at a very early age and put in every ounce of effort, no matter how big or little the task. This allowed me to earn Dean's List while in college and wear a GPA that I am proud of. In soccer, I began to find my voice to stand up for myself and learning how to go up against someone no matter what age or height. For guys, it was learning my self-worth and to not put up with bullshit anymore. To never settle and know that this wasn't the only source of happiness to be found.
And this is what I say to you.
Life is constantly shifting, change is inevitable. Yesterday will not be like tomorrow. So sure you will face obstacles, that is a given. However, whether you believe it or not, everyone has a different fight they are fighting. Even if it is not the same war you are fighting, it doesn't mean its not a fight to begin with.
Everyone has a different journey that happens at different times. And even if you are still fighting, it doesn't mean you won't win it.