A Head Held High
It is often the days of our past that define our future as we work to navigate our life path. Such is the case with me as I reflect on my road from childhood to adulthood. The evolution wasn’t necessarily easy, but the lessons that I learned along the way served as building blocks for what would become a life well lived.
As I look back over my childhood, I often find myself confused. From the outside one would think that I was the model kid. Awards in speech and debate, drum major of the high school band, winners of numerous contests in the 4H club, and model student in the classroom. Yet, despite all those successes, I lacked self confidence inside. I always walked with my head down and was constantly a magnet for bullies and those who needed to tear someone down to feel better about themselves. I allowed myself to be that target without even realizing it and failed to see a way out. It was just how things were, and as I saw it, how they were supposed to be.
Many of us share those experiences in our adolescent years. We often allow those feelings and actions to carry on through teen and early adult periods. Unfortunately, many of us experience those same feelings well into adulthood. However, for many people, there comes a point where enough is enough. We begin to learn that we have the power to change things, if only we dig deep inside to find the inner strength. We start to understand that the people responsible for making us feel lesser than the people we are have that power only because we provide fuel for that power that they use. Suddenly, we start to learn that what others think and say have no bearing on how we live our lives. It is at that moment, when we take our power back, that our life begins to change.
We often say, “if we only knew then what we know now”. The reality is then no longer matters and now is where the importance lies. Those experiences prepared us for this very moment that we live in. They strengthened us, emboldened us, and gave us the tools that we needed to make the change that was necessary, without us even realizing it. When we embrace those tools and put them into action, it is then that we begin to walk with a head held high.