Strong. Strong personality, strong willed, strong physical body, etc…I took this pic yesterday during my gorgeous hike. I was feeling strong and very grateful.
That’s the adjective that most people would use to describe me. Strong. It’s been happening my whole life. I remember sitting in the principal’s office and her telling me that my stubbornness (strength) was a terrible trait. Little did she know that my stubbornness would equate to always making my own path. Here I am traveling around the world for a year because of it.
What’s the adjective that others would use to describe you?
I love that people consider me to be a person who fights for myself, my loved ones, and for my own physical health. And like most character traits, our best trait is often the trait that can hold us back in life.
As I’m traveling the world, I’m learning that I tend to internalize SO MUCH of what’s happening in my mind and heart. I think that with my strong personality, I’ve found a way to pretty much think through everything on my own. In recent years, when tough things have happened (like my dear stepfather, Tony, passing away 2.5 years ago) I tend to retreat into the quiet of my own strength and hibernate.
My close friends and boyfriend have pointed out that sometimes they have no idea how intense a situation is for me until it’s over. I don’t often reach out to people to say, “I’m having a tough time right now”.
Why? Because I’m a strong person, right?! And strong people aren’t victims of their circumstances.
I think of people in my life who despite having so much, are often complaining. I’m not talking about serious mental health concerns like depression or addiction. I’m talking about people who have been given incredible opportunities and squander them because of their own victim mentality. Other words used to describe these people could be: laziness, blaming everyone else, or just plain selfish.
However, I’m learning that there’s a fine line for us “strong” people. If we never ask for help, accept help or seek help, then we take on life alone. As I shared in my previous post about yoga, I hurt my back and for 2 days afterwards I had to lay flat to let my body recuperate. Jason had to go get us food, make us dinner and clean up the dishes after me. I hated it. I kept wanting to jump up to help. God forbid I relax and let someone take good care of me.
I want to be a human who is strong and independent but also someone who can soften to the support and love of friends and family.
One of my favorite things about my boyfriend, Jason, is what a kind human he is. He’s softened my edges. He’s helped me see that strength doesn’t mean I need to do things alone.
My sister has called me day after day on this trip just to say hi. I pick up when I can.
My close girlfriends have been sending me video messages every day to update me on their lives as I respond with updates about mine.
Notes from family cheering me on as I’m on this journey.
As I continue to be the strong person that I’ve always known myself as, I’ll also allow space for the support and love.
After all, no woman is an island.