I’ve always been a persistent person. I was one of those kids who would eventually find a way to get that thing that I had been wanting (and with my parents, this literally deserves a gold medal) even if it took years. That dollhouse that I wanted and my dad kept saying “no” to? Under the Christmas tree. It took about three years, but I finally got it. I’m one of those people who doesn’t give up easily. You say it’s not possible? I don’t always believe you. Because I’ve seen things that are “impossible” happen. Quite a few times actually.
There was a time in my life, a few years ago, where I had to “give up” on a lot of stuff. I had to walk away from friendships, jobs, and even dreams for a while. It felt like death to be quite honest. I am not the kind of person who gives up on relationships. If I love you, I’m in it for the long haul. (And odds are, I probably love you.) I remember sitting in a meeting at work when I was working full time. One of the older, wiser guys who had been there, done that MUCH longer than any of us had, said something so simple and yet deep, that it stuck with me to this day. He said: “real friends take sides”. Wow. Now, don’t get me wrong. This is not a vengeful, childish playground version of taking sides. This is not an “agree with everything someone does even if it’s destructive and harmful” kind of take sides. No. This is a real take sides…an: “I love you, and because you are my friend, I will choose relationship with you over other people if it comes to that. I will support you and care for you regardless of what you do and what you’re going through.” That. Is what it means to take sides. For some reason, I think I’ve never really heard someone I respected say something like this before. And it really released me to feel like I could be the fierce kind of friend that I wanted to be. But then, for a while, I wasn’t allowed to be fierce and fight for other people. I had to be fierce and fight for myself for a time. And that’s important too.
Just recently, I’ve felt like the fighter in me is coming back. Not the “trying to survive” fighter, more like the: “I have dreams and passions bigger than myself” fighter. The one who wants to go the distance and NOT GIVE UP on what I can see in my mind. Because life is not about surviving, it’s about thriving. And anyone who’s struggled or struggling knows that there are times of simply just surviving…but those need to come to an end and we were built to thrive and pursue hopes and dreams as well as putting food on the table. That’s the kind of stuff that feeds our soul and keeps us from sinking into a life of mediocrity where we numb ourselves to our true feelings. Feelings are important, sometimes painful, but necessary for us to thrive!
In this metaphor, persistence is like suspenders. It holds your pants up. So maybe our pants stay up by themselves in this day in age, but bear with me. Not giving up is what keep our pants on…it’s the pizzazz in our outfit, the jazzy snazzy little part of ourselves…that really and truly keeps our outfits together. Lose your tenacity, lose your pants. Your whole outfit falls apart. Giving up is like allowing ourselves to sort of dissolve into a shadow of who we are supposed to be. It’s our persistence that drives us, even when things are bad.
I’ve been on a suspenders kick. Maybe it’s just my stubbornness, but I’d kind of like to bring back this archaic fashion piece…because they’re fun! I got these rainbow suspenders on Poshmark and I love them! They make every outfit brighter and weirder and that makes me happy.
Don’t give up. And try on some suspenders.