I’ve been sitting here, trying to figure out where to start. I smiled when I realized the irony: I can’t figure out how to begin expressing my thoughts on the struggle it has been for me to articulate my thoughts. Go figure. I tend to suffer from writer’s block when life is hard, when I don’t want to preserve reality in writing. I pretend that if I don’t transcribe certain events or emotions, they won’t exist in my history.
That being said, I’d like to share with you someone else’s words that resonate with me. They affirm the notion that life is hard – and better yet – that it is okay to admit that life is hard.
Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a sliver of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich when it contains a splinter of sadness.
Bittersweet is the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, earthy.
…This is what I’ve come to believe about change: it’s good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it’s incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up. ~ Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on change, grace and learning the hard way
In the midst of reading this book while Ben and I were in Lexington earlier this month, I had a conversation with a woman who has valuable “military wife” insight – earned as the wife of a Marine who served for 20+ years. She told me that if there was only one thing I remembered from our conversation, it should be to not let the lifestyle make me hard. To not let the frequency of change, the struggle, the bitterness overwhelm and exhaust the sweetness of this life. It is a life that requires courage, strength and the ability to adapt. I’m working on it. And learning that fighting it will do no good.