Obviously, this person does not know me. She made the assumption based only on a couple of my comments on social media. In my mind, I know I should blow that off entirely, based on the fact that she has no clue who I am or what I've been through. I know I am not fragile. I know I have been through things she couldn't imagine dealing with and still coming out mostly unscathed. I know I have learned plenty from all of those challenges and scares and sometimes soul-wrenching times. I know this. She does not.
It's easy to call someone names somewhat anonymously, even easier when you know nothing about that person and they clearly do not matter you in the least. Easy. And so very wrong.
The thing is: Sometimes I do feel very fragile.
I feel fragile after events such as yesterday when so many innocent people are simply wiped out by hate. It's senseless. It's scary. It reminds us of our fleeting mortality. It makes us wonder how our loved ones would cope if it was us. It makes us, if we're human at all, so very sad for those lost who had so much left to do and for their loved ones who will hurt forever.
I feel fragile when I get hit after hit while trying so hard to build my health up, or while trying to build my career up.
I feel fragile when, after all of the strides I've made against my social phobia, I have a set back and want to hide in my house again. My last big set back was a year ago at a book event. That same event is coming up very soon and it's kicking those feelings right back in again. I don't want to go. I want to hide in my house or play in my garden and ignore the fact that half of my job is to market my own work.
Yes, I feel fragile now and then. The thing is, while I might FEEL fragile at times, I am not fragile.
I am not.
Yesterday after dwelling on the event longer than I should have, I finally stepped away from my desk, away from the news, and dug into deep cleaning my house. I clean when I'm mad. I also clean when I'm upset. It's my way of bringing some control and order back into my world that feels too chaotic and unsettled than I want to deal with. I turned on my music, loud since no one else was here, absorbed myself in the beautiful music and lyrics, and made one of the places in my house organized, spit-shined, and pretty to look at. Today I will do more of that.
I am fighting my third virus in four weeks and my energy is low, but last night I re-started my system cleansing and healthy habits. Taking control as much as I can, although I can't control the viruses my system can't fight off.
Yesterday, I could not write. I was far too distracted and distressed, first by the nasty comments that were so fully unnecessary (not only am I and others who agreed with me fragile, apparently, but we are part of the problem by being military related and for refusing to allow victimhood), and then by the tragic, senseless murder of so many beautiful souls out enjoying music they love and having a nice time. I couldn't write yesterday.
Today, I am writing, starting right here. It's not easy to write this. It won't be easy to go on about my business and work on a story. But I'm not fragile and this is what I do. I refuse to give in. I refuse to give up. Writing and music have pulled me through a heck of a lot over a lot of years, and they will again.
Last night before bed, I even responded on that post again. I shared a music video: Hank Jr.'s "I'm For Love" with the line "if you don't like it, can't you just let it pass..." One of those who had been debating against my stance jumped in and liked the video and joked about it and you know what? That felt a whole letter better than leaving it as it was. Now, she wasn't the one making those comments. But I can now let that go and move along.
Back in May, I took photos of the beautiful white Iris I'd planted the fall before in my flag garden. Later that day, it rained. Hard. It rained hard enough to flood part of the yard.
Yes, I was concerned about my white Iris in gorgeous full bloom. I didn't want them to fade before their time. I wanted to enjoy them as long as possible.
After the rain, I had to go back out and check on them. You know what they looked like after such a deluge? They looked like this:
Iris look terribly delicate and fragile. They're beautiful. They're artistic. They're soft and unassuming.
Apparently, they are also terribly hardy against elements that try to destroy them. White stands for purity. That's why I specifically planted white Iris in my flag garden. Atop the pole that shows in the first photo flies the US flag and a POW flag. I am not fragile. I am not part of the problem. I am the strong, hardy-through-rough-elements wife of a retired soldier who has been through hell and back with him, and I am still standing, still climbing. I am part of the solution, or at least that's my goal.
I am also an indie author with social phobia, bucking trends instead of going with the flow and staying true to myself rather than taking the easier route, and instead of hiding from that event that already has me on edge, I'll be there. Will it induce another set back? Possibly. But I'll be there.
Yes, I have fragile moments. No, I am no more fragile than those white Iris I look forward to seeing next spring. Maybe I'll even add more this fall.
By now, after sitting and writing this, I feel stronger already, ready to dust off the last few days and prepare for the next challenge.
So... onward and upward... and here's a tune to take with you.