Justin & I spent the past few days up in the Berkshires with our PUG group for the "Annual PUG Rock N' Roll Retreat." Don't let the name fool you. This was some serious business.
It was one of the most inspiring, self-reflecting, revising, kick in the pants, burden lifting, make me wanna be a better person, you complete me and had me at hello experiences of my life. And that was just day one.
Our assignment for the retreat was to come up with our list of 101 goals in 1001 days before we could leave, and to blog at least one thing that we've accomplished from that list within a week of the retreat.
Goal #67: Blog Something That is Challenging For You.
It always comes easy for me to blog about the good things, the happy things, the woo hoo for us, we rule the world so let's throw a party things. But when it comes to the hard things, the not so pretty things, the fall flat on your face and don't pick yourself up things, well.....I tend to hide. Like a newbie at summer camp who just heard the "the call is coming from inside the house" story for the very first time, I hide. Just give me a flashlight and a sleeping bag to shiver under, and I'm all set.
Goal #67: Blog Something That is CHALLENGING For You.
Deep breaths now....here we go.
I guess you could say I grew up.....'po.
Not just poor you see, but 'PO...that's when you're so poor that you can't even afford the other O and the R to go with it.
The picture above is of a place called home. This is the place where my roots run deep. Ask me what I stand for and I guarantee you here is where the answer lies. As I stand before it, wide eyed and wistful, the haunts of my childhood laughter can be heard floating on the breeze. And my heart drifts back in time to a more complicated me.
There wasn't one day that passed growing up that I didn't hate this trailer. I would spend hours dreaming up ways to build on to it... to transform it, and thereby me, overnight. Start with what you've got and build from there.
Several times we tried to fix it, and several times we failed. And I feared that this trailer, this failure to me, would forever define who I am.
Sometimes our worst fears are the best things that ever happen to us.
Fast forward a few years, and these things I've learned. It was not failure that kept my family where they were...but love. Only the strongest kind of love would cause two parents to live with nothing so that their child could one day have more. And that trailer, the one that I hated and feared so much for all those years... well, it turns out it has opened nothing less than the entire world to me.
I came across this the other day when we were clearing off some hard drives, and I wanted to share it with you. It is the opening paragraph to my personal statement for my application to Yale Law School. It describes in great detail where I came from, and there is not a question in my mind that it is responsible for everywhere I've gone since. Sometimes our worst fears are the best things that ever happen to us.
You've just got to start with what you've got and build from there.
The roof of the old shack cracked under the weight from the average twenty-two inches of a Nicholas County snowfall. The wood stove was never properly fitted at the top, causing flames to shoot out and streak overhead every time a log was thrown on. And orange and blue blazes would dance perilously close to the pink fluffs of insulation that hung from the sagging ceiling. When Spring came, it would rain just as hard inside as out, and the smell of mildew would hang thick in the air long past the end of Summer. But for now at least, it was Winter.
The young girl swung open the screen door and dropped her head against the stinging bite of wind sweeping across her Fenwick Mountain home. A thin, tattered blue scarf hung loosely about her hand-me-down coat, and she pulled it close to her as if it alone might somehow stop the wind. She quickly dumped scraps of brown beans and cornbread for the latest stray that had wandered into the yard and wheeled around for shelter. She was stopped in her tracks, if only for just a moment, by the sight of the shack that stood in front of her. Or as she had always simply called it- home. And she couldn’t help but think, there must be more out there than this. But then the whipping wind picked up again, and she hurried back inside with only fleeting memories of a life that could be hers.
Goal #67: Blog Something That Is Challenging For You.