Me today -- complete with my four daughters, Nadia, 12;
Sonia, 7; Katia, 5; and Irina, 6 months.
I write this as I am nursing a terrible intestinal flu -- which to me is one of the worst kinds of viral infections to catch. As I can't move past the chills, aching bones and unsettled stomach (while breastfeeding a baby I might add), I find myself asking why me? And it is in this moment that I think someone out in the universe has finally answered this question.
You see, I have asked that question many times before. As a young girl I would tend to wallow in self-pity when things became tough. I guess being over emotional is something you would expect from a teenager whose hormones were still finding their rightful place underneath the skin and bone that housed them.
But as I grew up, I still found myself questioning when things did not go my way. Sometimes it was directed at God. Other times, fate. Or luck. Or anyone who was willing to hear me vent. But tonight as I look down at my little baby girl, and think of her 3 older sisters, asleep soundly in their rooms, I realize that it is because of my daughters that I had to go through every hardship my life has faced.
Why me? I asked as a sixteen year old, pretty but insecure young girl with a mane that wouldn't quit, who didn't book the hair care advertisement she so desperately thought she needed. It was so that one day, when you have to face rejection, I can genuinely look you girls in the eye and say "I've been there. And yes, you are good enough. It just wasn't for you." And then I can distract you until it stops stinging.
Why me? I cried as a nineteen year old, doe-eyed, smitten college student that had just had her heart ripped out and plummeted by someone she gave her all to in the name of true (albeit puppy) love. It was so one day, if you ever have your heart broken (and you will) I can hold you and make no promises of when the pain will go away, only that it will. It is so I can tell you that he is not worth your tears. It is so I can assure you that you will get over him, and that one day, you won't even care if he regrets the anguish he caused or not because you are better off.
Why me? I wondered, as a twenty four year old young lady, who could not for the life of her shake off the dark cloud over her head. (I was later diagnosed with a case of clinical depression right as I was about to graduate, get married and jump into the working world.) It is so that one day if you start to question yourself and deal with emotions that you don't understand, I can tell you with all certainty that I have been the master of sadness and self doubt and insecurity, and no matter how far it is to reach that light at the end of the tunnel -- you will get there. And I will hold your hand through that walk no matter how many hurdles it takes us in the process.
Why me? I thought as a thirty-year-old woman, who was angry and disheartened when she had felt true betrayal from individuals that she really believed were her friends. It was so one day I could tell you not to use the term "friend" loosely. And I could honestly explain that if you have as many real friends as you have fingers in your one hand, then you are already very blessed. Acquaintances will come and go, but the true loyal individuals will stick by you. And as time goes on, it gets easier to weed out the thorns from the roses.
Why me? I wailed as a tired thirty-something wife, lying on the cold tile of my bathroom floor, cheek pressed to the ground, as I recounted hurtful words from the husband I just could not see eye to eye with. It is so that one day when your marriage goes through a rough patch I can remind you that no one is perfect, and that many times the line between love and hate is thin, especially when you are a passionate individual. It is so that I can share that all marriages have peaks and valleys, and promise that those that make it through the tough times will all the more enjoy the amazing times as they come out stronger and more connected than before.
Why me? Painstakingly tried to understand the woman that was made to feel that she would never be good enough by someone she continued to make an effort with. It was so that one day, if you have to deal with it his kind of toxicity in your life, I can tell you that there will come a time when you think feel and say that enough is enough, and the sooner you come to that conclusion, the better off you will be. And it will take time. So this is what prepared me to watch you torture yourself, but step back and patiently wait until you are truly ready to walk away.
I know that life will probably present me with more hardships as time goes on, and that won't change but my attitude definitely can. And having a spot of gratitude for the opportunity to be ready for when you need me one day is the brightest silver lining I could ever ask for.
Me as a mother of one, with my first daughter Nadia.
When I had 2 daughters, a then 4 year old Nadia and 3 month old Sonia.
Soon, I found myself with 3 daughters - Nadia, 6, Sonia, 2, and Katia, 6 months.