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Resiliency: the ability to bounce back
This was the Giant’s intro to the 42nd Superbowl. Resiliency. That is probably one of my favorite words.
I often talk about how much I despise the human race. About all of the times that people have failed me or broke my trust. But really, how can someone hate something as beautiful as humankind?
Human beings are the most complex species known to mankind. Our intricacy has created social and emotional obstacles that everyone has to deal with in life. The amazing part of it all is how we are able, no only to deal with it, but to overcome it. Someone could be hit with something so emotionally damaging, yet they can all recover. We are all resilient. It still astounds me when I hear a story about someone that can continue to live their life after hitting rock bottom, whether its because of depression, addiction, rape, loss of a loved one, etc.
Resiliency. Its definitely something that should be appreciated. When you think about it, its almost like a super power; an ability to overcome any obstacle. What a beautiful gift.
I'VE WANTED TO DO THIS FOR 2 WEEKS
While everyone was out running their ‘Boston Strong’ runs and ‘OneBoston’ runs and Boston solidarity runs I was unable to participate due to my injury and my need to recover.
But TONIGHT I DID IT!!
And lookie here on who got faster and better and stronger just since Friday?!?!?!
I know to many of you its not much but to me — right now, its a HUGE improvement… Mile 1 was 12:58 and mile 2 was 11:25 —- I wish the Nike app did the partial of .62 but oh well!
And you know what else??? Tonight was beautiful and sunny and it made me feel alive again….
I have been struggling with all the feels since the race…
It’s difficult & strange & hard to put it into words — but my emotions run the gamut almost every day from overwhelming sadness to despondence, from anger about not getting to finish & then feeling selfish for feeling that way.
Its the exhaustion from being asked about the race all the time, from seeing and hearing updates on the news.
And then there are the good feels — seeing how people and communities and groups have been brought together and are getting stronger and doing something bigger than themselves…seeing resiliency in others — seeing it in ME!!
Tonight — I saw the strength and the resiliency in myself, and that made me smile
Enrique Geum, life coach: learning about resiliency in Flower Boy Next Door
Whenever she steps out into the world, that woman becomes an invisible being. She gets shoved around and stepped on, and when she gets mixed amongst the crowd, I don’t think she’s visible to other people. That’s why that woman hides in her room. Her small room feels cozy to her like a cage feels cozy to a bird with a broken wing… She’s never dreamed of the world out there – at least until now. Go Dok Mi (ep. 5, 27:11)
[SPOILERS below, through Episode 8. My analysis of Episodes 1-4 is here!]
Go Dok Mi, the lonely heroine of Flower Boy Next Door, finds herself faced with some serious cognitive dissonance when video game designer Enrique Geum inserts himself into her life. The apartment she has taken refuge in for the past three years has become less comfortable as Enrique brings “the world out there” into contact with her space. In Episodes 5-8, we learn that Dok Mi endured serious social trauma in high school at the hands of her one-time best friend, Cha Do Hwi. Though always on the quiet side, and the butt of teasing by many girls in her class, Dok Mi found comfort in Do Hwi’s company – until Do Hwi, tired of being unpopular, joined Dok Mi’s tormentors and accused Dok Mi of having an affair with their literature teacher. This betrayal caused Dok Mi to stop speaking at all for some time – and years later, though she now speaks, it is clear that Dok Mi has not yet healed, considering herself like “a bird with a broken wing.”
Like Dok Mi, countless young people endure bullying, betrayal, abuse, and all manner of hardships in the process of growing up. Yet, some emerge stronger and live healthy, productive lives. Psychologists have been interested in what enables some people to “bounce back” from life’s difficulties. What are the characteristics of resiliency, the ability to endure adversity? And, more importantly, how can resiliency be fostered in people so that they will be able to bounce back? In this post, I’ll look at some of characteristics of resilient people, and I’ll show how Dok Mi’s new friend Enrique both embodies those characteristics and coaches Dok Mi in developing protective factors that will help her face her own adversity.
When one door closes another doesn't immediately open
I knew this day was going to be emotional, so I subconsciously planned a hundred things to do in order to keep my mind off of it. What could be so heart-wrenching, you ask?
My last doctor’s appointment with my civilian specialist.
This morning I got up and took care to look extra adorable today. I broke out a super cute, dyed Karen Kane shirt, a pair of short shorts and some platform flip-flops. I did my hair extra cute. Then I went on my way to the base where my husband works.
Any woman out of uniform deserves a double-take on that island. I decided to give them something to see— the shorts, the strut, the head held high. I must have been a sight. My husband found it hilarious; though I know he was secretly proud to be walking next to me.
After I shook up the island, I headed to the sandwich shop, got myself a sammy and shoved it in my purse for the movie. I saw Fright Night, which was actually good— better than I thought it would be at least. Then I went to the Marshall’s next door and shopped around.
I almost walked out of there with a pair of grey canvas boots, a pair of brown Minnetonka moccasins, a men’s plaid shirt, a little black dress and a nightgown— but decided to push the cart into a corner of the store and walk out of there, saving my money.
I got to the doctor’s office just as the In-Clinic Movie of the Day started. It was Avatar, which was mildy pleasing because I adore the movie. Yet irritating at the same time because I wouldn’t be there to watch the entire thing. I decided to read a few chapters of my book, The Mill River Recluse, and zone out for a minute. I’m not bitter, but watching the pregnant women waddle in and out of the clinic is a little frustrating for me.
Forty minutes of being in the waiting room later, I was finally called back into a room. I declined to weigh myself, which is something I always do— I don’t need to know exactly how much I weigh. Then I was ushered back into a room next to the ultrasound room. Thinking back on it now, I know I should have put my earbuds in.
You see, I have the hearing of a Cocker Spaniel. I really do. I can’t be at a concert or a shooting range without my little foamy ear plugs. I carry a set in my purse, just in case the noise level gets too loud. If I’m succumbed to the fever pitch for too long, I’m at risk for having a panic attack. Being on sensory overload for too long is just too much for me to handle.
Well, it was too late before I even thought of putting in my ear plugs. Before I knew it I was listening through the wall to the heartbeat of a woman’s unborn baby. Boom boom boom boom boom, rapid little successive heartbeats. It sounded like something out of my childhood but sped up.
Up until the age of ten I slept with my teddy bear turned on. He had the little speaker box inside of him playing the sound of a mother’s heartbeat in-utero. I couldn’t sleep without him. Hell, I slept with him until I was sixteen, maybe later.
As I sat there all by myself in the little examining room, tears started to well in my eyes. A thousand thoughts ran through my head. Is that ever going to be me? That woman doesn’t know how lucky she is! I hope she’s happy, and I really mean that. How long will it take me to get pregnant? Will IVF work? Will we have to adopt? Will I ever be a parent or will I give up?
The thoughts raced.
That’s when I heard, “It’s a BOY!”
I took deep breaths. I would not cry. I did not cry.
The expectant mother in the next room started crying tears of joy. I let her shed a few tears for me too, even if she didn’t know she was doing it.
I know it will happen for us someday.
I left the office with the overwhelming sense of a door closing. I’m going to be released from that doctor’s office soon. As a matter of fact, I’m calling TRICARE tomorrow to figure it out.
Soon I’ll be able to make my first appointment at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. It won’t be until then that I will feel the sensation of another door opening.
Until it does, I’m going to try my hardest to stay in this positive state of being.
Without optimism, the weightiness of infertility could end up crushing me.
I won’t let it.
Infertility isn’t going to get me.
what popeye never taught you
Imagine this: you are on a sailboat, because you are unsatisfied with either your life or the situations that are being brought about it. The reason you are on it is because you want to sail off into the sunset, and behind the sunset you see a picture of a bigger, better you. The bigger, better you has everything going for them, you can tell by the way they walk, the way they talk, mannerisms and the conviction in the words that are spoken.
Occasionally on your nautical journey, the wind knocks you slightly off course, but when you are off course what should you do? That’s right, you should find ways to get back on course! When you see yourself off course, in the distance ahead you might notice a picture of yourself that you are not happy with: your current life, your current attitude, your exhausted view of all of the relationships in your life, the lack of passion in your words, the absence of a confident feeling in your body and posture, the unsatisfactory security which will ultimately bring you death in more ways than one if you continue it. And yet most of our lives when we sail off course, we beat ourselves down and keep sailing in that direction. And yet most of our lives we focus on what we did wrong that got us off course, instead of focusing on what’s already going right and maximize on that to get us back ON course. We forget that we mustn’t take our eyes off the fat of the land up ahead, towards that picture of a bigger better you. That is what we are ultimately after. Make it a daily habit to constantly update and correct your course. Be a true sailor. The rest of how the story finishes is up to you.
make change the adventure
Change hasn’t gotten any easier with age. Or with practice. In fact, it’s gotten a lot harder. I suspect it has more to do with resiliency than practice. I’ve had a lot of practice, but my resiliency quotient has clearly diminished. I’ve come to like predictability: things have homes in the same place, routes to and from downtown are familiar, and I like the comfort of order in both my belongings and my behaviours.
And now everything is changing. I wanted it, I likely even suggested it. And I’m slipping into it even as I resist it. We started house hunting in February, bought a house at the end of that month. We cleaned up and thinned out this house in March and sold it at the end of the month. April was a planning month and in May we began doing for earnest. June has been insanely busy.
I’ve had months of rehearsing and practice, and now, I go to the new house every day to check up on the renovations and wander through the rooms imagining our transition from separate apartments in a duplex to a single family home. I just can’t imagine it. There is no frame of reference except my own history, and that doesn’t suit the present. All I can see when I look is either me cooking meals in the kitchen or hiding in my office on the third floor. That won’t do. I try to counter my lack of malleability with imagination, yet somehow even that fails me.
We move in two and a half weeks and then I’ll have to find my flexibility. I hope I still own some. If I don’t, I must stick it on one of my many lists to develop some. F-L-E-X-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y. I should start practicing now.
I’ve had a lot of changes in my life in the last ten years. I need to embrace it and know that as these doors close, new ones will open. Only I can’t help a certain maudlin sentimentality as I sit on the porch and realize I will miss this unfriendly street anyway. I will miss the St. Clair streetcar and I will miss the sidewalks that I have walked over and over again. I don’t know where the mailbox is and the corner store is a whole lot further away. I hardly ever use either, but I know they’re close. I realize that what I will miss is the familiarity, and - lightbulb! - I need this to start feeling like an adventure rather than a surrender.
And that is the nub of it.