Someone once asked me, “Rayanne, did you ever think that you might have been born under the sign of the turd?” I think I replied, “Yes, I have often thought that.”
The truth is, I have never thought that… While, yes, there have been trials and severe difficulties in my life, I know that these are the things that have shaped me, the sharp edges that have carved out the being I have become. I wish there had been an easier way, that people – including me – had not been hurt, but that is not always possible in a life well lived. So, you will never see me or hear me feel sorry for myself. But, I may sometimes, relent and fall prey to regret or sorrow – I am fallible, I am human.
I used to think I was Wonder Woman – that bullets bounced off me. Of course, this is not so – for I am full of shrapnel to prove that lie. The things that shape our lives are like the raging waters that carve out the rock.
I try, now, to live with purpose, to live without regret.
The last fifteen years have yielded serious pain for me – physical and emotional, financial and mental. Joblessness, home loss, heartbreak and fear. But these are the things that till and fertilize the earth. The things that strengthen the steel. Learning to live beyond the pain, to see beyond a sinking horizon and know that life continues – that failure is not an option, and sometimes, small miracles appear when you least expect them.
No, I do not live under the sign of the turd…
Through it all – neglect, infidelity, abuse, death, loss of love and idealism, financial ruin, and failing body and health, learning to live – to survive – indeed, did help me to survive.
So, how do we do it? How do we continue on, day in and day out, surviving life?
I started from the end.
I worked backward from the end. I have done a significant amount of independent and community theater work during the course of my life. I learned a little trick over the years that taught me how to learn a script, memorize lines, and develop the character I was to play. I started from the end. I looked ahead and found out where my character was going to end up and I memorized backwards, from end to beginning.
I decided to apply the same thing, this same trick, in my life… I looked ahead and saw where I wanted to be, where I wanted to end up. In any given situation, hardship, or failure, I decided what I wanted the outcome to look like and I pressed forward to make sure it happened. I could see success when I closed my eyes, so when I opened them, every other option was blocked from my view. Success was the only path I could see.
Example: When I went back to school as a single mother, it was hard, it was so damn hard… four kids, three jobs, and I was alone. But all I could see was a diploma in my hand. And eleven years later, that’s what I saw – a diploma in my hand. Yes, that’s how long it took, but I never gave up. Failure was not what I had pictured for the end of that story.
Some days, it feels like failure would be the easy way out. Fatigue wants its way and it would be painless to concede. Do not let surrender be a part of your vocabulary.
See your happy ending and make it happen. It’s not a secret…
Rayanne Thorn, @ray_anne is the Marketing Director for online recruiting software company, Broadbean Technology. She is also a proud mother of four, happily engaged to Tom, residing in Laguna Beach, California, and a daily contributor for Blogging4Jobs. Connect with her on LinkedIn.