The first time I heard this quote was at my mom’s funeral. The visiting priest obviously used this as his standard eulogy, inserting the details provided by the family to justify how their loved one fits the quote. In my mom’s case, he used it to describe her life as a housewife. While this itself could be a topic for a post (and I’m sure it will find its way into a blog or two), that isn’t what struck me about the quote. I heard the quote, and it stirred something in me. The words hit me—hard!
I’ve thought about this quote every day since the funeral, mostly because I don’t believe I am living the life I was meant to live. I’m a successful working woman, an amazing single mom, and a supportive friend/sibling/coworker. I’ve been a caregiver, therapist, activist, and every other role you can imagine. So, what’s the problem? Where’s my fire?
It is that quote. It haunts me daily. I’ve all the characteristics life has forced me to develop. I can be as hard as a diamond or as soft as a security blanket depending on the situation. I’ve handled every obstacle life has thrown at me, and I’ve come out on the other side stronger, smarter, and more determined. It’s that quote that makes me look at all the experiences I’ve been through (and I mean the equivalent of six lifetimes worth of experiences) and realize that maybe it’s those experiences and what I have taken away from them that is the fire I have been looking to ignite.
That’s why I decided to start this blog. Life is insane, and it’s easy to feel like you are going through your trials alone; I know that’s how I felt. I never want anyone to feel that way, so I’m creating a space where people can feel supported and realize that there are people out there who understand what they are going through and who may even have some advice to share to help get them through. If I can share an experience that makes a single mom feel better about the day she just struggled with, that’s a spark. If I can help a caregiver understand that it’s OK to take care of herself/himself, that’s a spark. If I can help someone look in the mirror and love who they see, that’s a spark. Eventually, all those sparks will ignite a fire—a fire to keep the community who find comfort and strength in the words I share warm.
This initial post is the first spark. As someone who has always been a very private person, this will be a challenge to me to step outside of my comfort zone. I’m ready to accept that challenge to share the experiences I have grown through and the knowledge and strength that growth has given me. I am not sure where the spark will lead, but I know that if one person is inspired by anything I write here, then I will have created that fire, and that will make it worth it.