Lyrics to the songs The Way We Were states ‘could it be that it was all much simpler then?” Now that I am a little older, I know this statement to be true. The further reality is that the older you get the harder it gets. I would assume that once you reach a certain age, such as retirement, things may plateau and level out. Maybe then you have more of the answers and less of the stress, the drama the ridiculousness. Though I am not trying to speed up the hands of time I am also learning how to not be frustrated with the right now, how to roll with the punches and how to keep living in spite of what life brings.
There are times and situations in my life where I want to lash out at people, especially when I feel like I am not being heard or understood. I do not get how people fail to keep your confidences, share your business with others all in the guise of thinking they know what is best for you. It is hard to move through life daily and you feel as if you are fighting a losing battle with one arm tied behind your back. Or better yet both arms. It is hard when you feel that though you are surrounded b people that you still feel alone and by yourself and that there is no one you can trust enough to let in and pour your heart out to. In essence life can at times be a Bitch!
If only we could go back to the days when things were easier. Bills were not our concern, we did not have to worry about where our next meal was coming from because it was just provided. Days were spent in school, then home and maybe playtime outsides. Weekends did not involve errands for household good and gas but comprised of cartoons and cereal and maybe at party. The days when even the simple things like what to wear were covered because your school uniform was hanging in the closet. We spent so many days and hours dying to grow up and move out and be independent only to find ourselves wanting to go back to the times where we did not have a care in the world.
What matters now is that we cannot turn back the hands of time. No amount of plastic surgery or teenage clothes shopping will ever get our youth back. We must learn from our mistakes and k now that we have been given everything we need to deal with the challenges we face. We must also remember what our independence brings us, the ability to do the things our parents may not have been able to do for us. The ability to try as we might to give back to our parents even though our debt to them may never be repaid. My grandmother often said “its hard but its fair”. I guess she had a point with that statement. I can say that I am not yet the person God created me to be but each and everyday I am a better person than I was the day before. Not because of my experiences but in spite of them and for that I am grateful.
Ok so I am going to be very transparent and say that as much as I want to become Dr. Bradford, there was a time in the not so far away past that I started to give up on completing my degree. I was tired of attempting to complete chapter after chapter only for more edits, more revisions, more corrections my changes and I was just over it. I spent days and weeks doing the minimal amount of work possible to just make it through to the next week. I wanted to just throw in the towel and say I am content where I am and that the education I had was enough.
I am happy to say that I pressed my way through that valley. I can be easy to get stuck there, but I did not. It is okay to visit the valley at times, sometimes the valley experiences are necessary to help us appreciate the mountaintop experiences. My time in the valley did not defeat me, it helped me to refocus and to learn what was important and what needed to be done to get to the next level.
Let me say that the valley is not an easy place to be. There are also people in the valley that want you to stay there and hang out with them and stay for awhile. The reality of the situation is that the valley is not for everybody and the valley was definitely not the place for me. I am happy to know that not only was God with me in the valley, there were other family, friends and well wishers that walked through the valley with me and supported my climb out of the valley.
The bigger reality is that it is had work to get out of the valley. And not only is it hard work getting out of the valley, there is hard work waiting for you when you come out of the valley. And hard work was there waiting for me. Not only did I delve back into the work on my dissertation, I decided to get a certificate in health policy and administration at the same time. But I know that hard work pays off. I also know that it is not just me. That God is also on my side giving me the strength, the courage and the wisdom to do what I have set out to do.
I have worked hard all of my life for everything that I have. I have worked hard to achieve my educational goals and I have also worked hard to achieve my work related goals. I have spent many late nights and early mornings working and writing and thinking and doing what needed to be done and I have seen the hard work pay off. Recently, began what is the final phases of my dissertation process and I can say that I still see the results of my hard work paying off.
I want to encourage anyone who feels like they want to give up to keep working at it. Keep doing what God has placed in you to do to accomplish. Surround yourself with positive people that encourage your growth and development and who want you to be as successful as you desire to be. Most importantly keep going and keep growing and keep believing that not only that you CAN but that you WILL. With God all things are possible and hard work does pay off!