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there is this defining moment that is found in deep struggle.  i think there is a reason that so many successful people have had difficult backgrounds.  when you encounter great pain there is this mental decision that is made and one either succeeds farther than they ever imagined or one fails, and either direction one goes, it's usually in a big way.

when everything first happened, i remember feeling mad that i still had two kids to take care of.  like my life would have been easier if i didn't have any members of my family around and i could have just sold everything and become a hermit in the mountains for a while or something.

(also a disclaimer on feelings.  can we as a society, please stop being afraid of how we feel and acknowledge that they are not logical or good or bad, they are just there.  i have had very very dark feelings in this at times, but when i allow myself to feel them fully without judgment, they are more easily dissipated and seen for what feelings are, a temporary state of being.  i see it with addy all the time though, she'll say she's sad and the immediate response is "don't be sad" completing invalidating the way she feels and the fact that she is entitled to them.  second disclaimer, feelings can be powerful so if you are struggling in any way, please speak to someone and i feel it's important to note i see both a psychiatrist and a therapist throughout this)

annnnnnnyways.  i have had half of my immediate family members die before i turned 29.  i don't have my mom, i don't have my daughter, i don't have my spouse.  but you know what, i have addy and lane still with me.  i have these beautiful, pure beings in my life that i am enabling to enjoy their life, and that is meaningful.  it brings me so much happiness when i have them laughing and goofing off, because i know how hard we have to fight for those laughs.  i choose to still make memories with us three, i choose to still give them a childhood, i choose to still dig deep.  we could stop, right?  we could give up and roll over and say "it's too hard, we've lost too much, we aren't a family anymore" but we are, we are still a family.  it looks different than most, i have a daughter that's known to bust out twerking moves at any moment and we are usually playing beyonce a little too loudly, i might roll my eyes when lane starts crying because he wants to ride the train for the millionth time instead of validating his frustration, but we are doing it.  and it gets easier.

and those moments, those seemingly small moments of laughter and fun and love that most people don't pick up on.  those are worth gold to me, because i know, i know how easily it can slip away.  it is through the pain that i have discovered life's worth.  i count myself blessed, not because i lost, but because i have learned.  i have learned what matters, i have a lifetime of experience in less than thirty years.  and because of that, my children are equipped with a knowledge of what truly matters in life.

and so from another female boss, i am going to leave you with M.I.A. whose album, AIM, i cannot stop listening to.

Trying not to remember
My time in the fire
Cause ain't gonna tell ya
This war is never over
I ride through the sea like a pirate
Just to float in the water
Can't carry feelings
Like basket can't carry water
Ain't gonna tell ya
That I live strictly for the paper
Men are good, men are bad
And the war is never over

Survivor, survivor
Who said it was easy?
Survivor, survivor
They can never stop we

Gold and oil and dollars
Stars come and go
Just like every empire
I stay fly focus
I'm staying higher
Now power up your lighter
For you know you are a survivor


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