Life

Fall Down Seven, Stand up Eight

Saturday night I went to see the new Cirque Du Soleil ice show, Crystal, with my friend Christina. It’s not the first time I have seen the stunt defying group and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It was far different than any of their other performances I have seen but nonetheless inspiring.

It revolves around a young girl named Crystal and her struggle of not feeling like she fits anywhere. After an argument with her parents she races outside to skate her feelings away when suddenly the ice cracks and she falls into the water. There are many interpretations of what is happening to Crystal during this part. Is she drowning and having hypothermic hallucinations? Did she die and this is her new world? Whatever the interpretation, she finds herself in a parallel universe that leads her to truly find who she is and what she wants, which (spoiler) is life above the ice. During the moments of fighting for her life or trying to get back to reality, her inner dialogue says, “It’s easy to fall, and hard to get up; do it.”

“It is easy to fall.” This statement hit me in the feels. From 15 till about 22, I dealt with a lot of unexpected hardships. Events that occurred completely turned my world upside down. People who never should have hurt me, did and everything I had known to be true, wasn’t. I started to lose pieces of who I was by pretending that nothing was wrong to anyone around me. (That’s what southern girls do; put lipstick on, smile and keep going.) One day I woke up and didn’t recognize the girl staring back at me in the mirror. I had allowed myself to fall so far because it was easier than trying to stand up. My life was unraveling and all I could do was watch. I did not understand a lot of what was happening in my life and it was easier to  shut people out. I ignored and hurt a lot of people during this time of my life and to those people, I am incredibly sorry.

I decided I couldn’t go on like this because it wasn’t what I wanted for my life anymore. I didn’t know what I wanted but I knew it wasn’t this. Through trial and error and lots of amazing people, I was able to get my life together and figure out my long-term goal; change career paths, go back to school and create a life I want.

I healed my heart and now it was time to focus on my future. I set a two year plan of what I needed to do. Looking at everything that needed to be done was insanely overwhelming so I just focused on smaller parts. Sometimes there was so much to do I could only focus on that week or even that day to not get in over my head. That’s what you have to do.

Baby steps.

Little here.

Little there.

One foot in front of another and before you know it, you are further than you ever thought possible.

A couple weeks ago, I got to the finish line. I took my last final and was able to cross off a major goal. It didn’t hit me till a few days later. For the past year I had been in survival mode. I was taking at times, 20 hours a term while working part time and dealing with whatever life tried to throw at me. I kept telling myself to keep moving forward. No matter what, keep going. All of a sudden, I had done it. A few days after I was done, my degree was ready to be picked up. As I stood there reading my name on what some might think as an insignificant piece of paper, it hit me. Tears rolled down my cheek as I stood there finally proud of that 15 year old girl who fought for this moment and the person who I am now.

I don’t know what my future holds and I know that it won’t always be easy but I know that I’m a strong, independent, Texas woman who is able to handle it. As the show said and experience shows, falling is easy but standing albeit hard, is always worth the fight. For everyone out there who is struggling or wants a different path of life, do it. Make a plan. Take those baby steps. Fight for your ground. No matter what, keep standing because you deserve the life you want and you can do it.

Fall down seven, stand up eight.

Today, we cheers for standing.

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