the power of perseverance

i have spent much of my feeling subject to the snickers of observers watching me fail at something time and time again. it’s how i’ve felt in the gym sometimes trying to push that freaking barbell up. how i’ve felt anytime i’ve played organized sports with others. how i felt when a wife left, in her words, “because i wasn’t man enough.” how i allowed myself to feel when trying to “fit into my gender” and its definition of masculinity. and definitely how i’ve felt any time i try to make that “buzzer beater winning shot” by trying to be cute and toss something into the trashcan. LOL

when i saw this video–passed on by a colleage and friend, i instantly identified with its protagonist.

not long into this video, i believe the snickering of these guys watching this eagle try to fish out the nutria from a lake in Baton Rouge turned into a hopeful type of encouragement, something that cheered this determined eagle on. the parallels here for me personally are staggering. how many friends and family members have cheered me on from the sidelines–some of them directly and many of them quietly, unobserved, through prayer, or positive thoughts.

i think of my adopted mother and how i know that each and every day she prays for my happiness and peace in life. i think of my late biological mother and how she spent every, single conversation we had reminding me to continue to draw strength from within. i think of a lifelong companion and countless friends (you know who you are) who have never for a moment failed to encourage me in some of the very worst times of my life and reminded me to embrace who i am. aunts and siblings who reach out and champion me and children who have never once made me feel ashamed for being who i am.

and i am reminded of all the times that, like this eagle, i drew from something inside to help me persevere. i’m know i am not alone among humanity in dealing with adversity but i do believe i have had an enormous share of obstacles to overcome, obstacles that began as soon as i was born and have continued thus: through adoption, abandonment, abuse, abandonment again, ridicule, bullying, sexual abuse, abandonment, single parenthood, potentially damning and devastating personal choices, coming out, more abandonment, enduring then exiting a toxic relationship, poor fiscal choices, and on and on.

i don’t know of any other way to explain it except that, like the instinct of this eagle, perseverance is apparently something i was born with. in fact, i see this same trait in my sons although i’m not sure they realize they possess it in significant quantity.

somehow, despite so many ups and downs, i’ve never quit trying. and even now, as i grapple with my own situation and cirumstance, “giving up” is never a choice. i’m constantly trying to make myself better, to find ways to reach the potential i know i have, to make sure that my life will not be remembered for all the times i failed, but rather for all the times i caught that tasty nutria.

ok. wait: that’s gross. but i think you get my point.

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying
when there seemed to be no help at all.”
~Dale Carnegie
“Perseverance is not a long race;
it is many short races one after another.”
~Walter Elliott

“For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again.”
~Proverbs 24:16
“Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; While others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before.”

it is this characteristic, perhaps more than any other (save maybe that i had great hair) that i hope comprises the legacy i leave behind.

never, ever, allow a circumstance, the judgment of others, or that negative voice in your head allow you to quit: no matter what.

6 thoughts on “the power of perseverance

  1. Ok, you have to promise to read this blog outloud to yourself at least once a year…

    We support you BECAUSE you perservere! You don’t quit. You are always flipping over the next rock. You are a champion of seeking, understanding, and above all, loving.

    I saw a knarly old guy climb off a beat up harley trike recently. He had just had spinal reconstruction and was going in for another round of surgery. His t-shirt said it all: If you don’t limp, you have never lived.

    When V & I first started hanging out, he found it necessary to break the news to me that most of his life long friends were gay. It was tossed out there with the attitude of “if this ain’t alright with you, move on.” Little did he know that I was a fag-hag from way back 🙂 As we discussed it more over time, not as a primary point of conversation… it was just a fact of life… we both came to the conclusion that our gay friends knew what it meant to struggle and still attempt to smile. V has been thru so much that the thot of someone whining because they are served the wrong color of jello just infuriates him. A common phrase in our household is “why don’t you go find something real to worry about”….

    • such an amazing pair, you two!
      like you, val has always striven to make sure i knew i was accepted just as i was. such a blessing.

      you both have had a profound effect on my life and i’m truly grateful that it continues….

  2. I knew I would get you to eat nutria eventually! LOL!

    We stick by you, we support you, BECAUSE you perservere! One thing is for certain: you are not a sissy!

    I saw an old knarly guy climb off a harley trike recently… his tshirt said it all… knowing that he has just had spinal reconstruction surgery and is facing another, he proudly wears a shirt stating “if you don’t limp, you haven’t lived.”

    You are loved.
    And we are proud of you.
    And the connection to the crazy bird lady from the funny farm is showing…. I had received this video earlier via one of my rehab networks 🙂

    Fly birdie!

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