Tag Archives: finding hope

My Andy Dufresne Moment

26 Dec

I didn’t think someone from Shawshank Prison would help me turn the corner, but he did.

Andy Dufresne.

“… who crawled through a river of shit and came out clean on the other side …”

Usually a moment triggers a memory and the sadness of missing him becomes so strong that I need a couple of minutes to get myself together. But this time it was different. The emotion was so overwhelming that I stopped in the middle of the track and began to cry.

It came with no warning and I just missed him. Right there on the bridge, after the big hill. I hadn’t sobbed like that since the year he passed away. But it happened and there I was … I couldn’t get a hold of it.

The feeling lasted a while … all month long. Usually sadness hits during Thanksgiving because it’s the holiday I remember my Dad the most. But this episode cast a shadow on the entire month of November, even December. I couldn’t shake it.

Life felt heavier. Things were slipping. The bottom was coming up and I was trying to hang on by looking for gratitude in moments where it was hard to find.

Family life was stressful as people kept revealing who they really were in times of normalcy and crises. But I always knew who they were, I just kept giving them chances. I was all out. Rejections felt uglier, the it’s-not-you-it’s-me letters were no longer coming in, it was just silence, like they weren’t even going to be bothered with notices. I had been moved over to the don’t-even-bother pile, and I was feeling the strain in every capacity, which incidentally increased my stress levels and decreased my tolerance and patience. Parenthood was kicking my ass and the weight of it effecting me. The year was in the homestretch and I was running out of gas.

While a lot of people I knew were busy getting projects, or writing thousands of words for NaNoWriMo, I stopped. It been the longest writing dry spell in 10 years. There were things happening, life was happening. But I stood there thinking about a future that wasn’t here and wondering whether it would ever show up.

And then I had my Andy Dufresne moment and I found my way back …

I had continued going to the track throughout all this, it was my one constant, if anything I’d at least walk in my hidden forest within the city. But that morning for the first time in a while, I picked up the pace. The storm clouds were hanging over head, and I wanted to beat the rain.

It didn’t work. The light mist turned into drizzle, then fat heavy rain drops found their way through the giant pine trees.

The few people walking through the park ran to their cars. But I didn’t.

I kept going, sloshing through mud puddles in the making, keeping pace while my baseball cap dripped with rain and sweatshirt drenched. I ran about three miles, and when I sprinted to my imaginary finish line I looked up to the sky and let the raindrops hit my face. I closed my eyes took a deep breath.

I found my moment.

I used to loathe running when I was a younger, but it’s become necessary to help me move passed all the crap and come out clean on the other side.

Buen Camino, my friends …

I Was Glad The Neosporin Hadn’t Erased All Of Them

3 Oct

I found it weird that my scars helped other people. At the time it felt like I was getting beat down by life with a lead pipe. I didn’t think the pain would be useful at all. Not to me and dude, certainly not to anyone.

I was just trying to survive the moment.

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But then I realized that there were a lot of people out there trying to survive the moment and just wondering … how do I get from here … to there?

How do I peel myself off the floor and recover just enough to walk out of the house?

Writing things out, helped me sort my thoughts, and gave me some perspective. It helped find the funny when I couldn’t find my laugh. I realized I could write though things.

At different times in my life during the love relationship disasters of my 20s, family drama that parallels any Univision telenovela, motherhood failures that people can only imagine happening to them, sucky career moments with rejection letters that deserve framing, or entanglements with strangers that make you really wonder where Karma is at the moment. I have survived all these, and the scars were rough.

How do I recover from the loss of a loved one? How do I recover from a broken friendship? How do I recover from the dysfunctional craziness of my family? How do I recover from a shady chick who’s trying to take advantage of me and milk the system? How do I recover from a random Wednesday of being a mom?

I found this quote and I was amazed how someone captured it so well …

During suffering, find the human soul in that condition, and find a way into bringing grace … finding a simple compassionate movement in your own voice that took you out of the agony and into the tolerable … –Martha Beck

I found a way to do that without even knowing I was doing it.

I was able to get off the floor, after going 12 rounds and stay standing. I had scars and didn’t think the broken memories would help anyone at all. But I found recently that all that independent research I conducted, helped a really good friend over the weekend.

I  won’t go into much detail concerning her problems, but it did have to deal with her  expectation out of life. Her how-can-I-be-at-this-stage-in-my-life-moment when I should be there.

I know that struggle. I’ve backpacked across this disastrous trail many times. So I was glad I had something to offer. I was glad the Neosporin hadn’t erased all of them. The scars were meant to be  permanent.

Not pretty, but permanent badges of life’s learning curve.

 

 

 

 

Weekly Image of Life: Blessing of Hope

27 Feb

 

The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption

 

A lot of people get hope from different places and different sources.

Me?

I like to gain hope by watching underdog stories, probably because I’m a 100-t0-1 shot myself.

Andy Dufresne … he’s one of my favorite stories.

He reminds me that “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things …”

 

 

Weekly Image of Life challenge courtesy of This Man’s Journey