I just got off the phone with an old friend and it seems as if our conversation and some others I've had recently confirm the same thing. And just the thought of it infuriates me.
Oddly enough, it's not from a place of bitterness...or maybe it is. I'm not entirely sure. I do know one thing though - I'm tired. I'm tired of the bad rep strong people get. They are not heartless, illogical, unintelligent beings.
It takes a strong person to break off relationships that they know are poisoning them even when they'll be judged and criticized for it.
It takes a strong person to give up stability for pursuing their dreams and purpose.
It takes a strong person to smile and tell you everything is "ok" when they really want to share the ugly truth.
It takes a strong person to ignore haters, whether they come in the form of friend or foe.
It takes a strong person to keep living and keep going despite crippling failure.
It takes a strong person to say, "You know what, I know my worth and it's not this." And then walk away without having any certainty of the future.
It takes a strong person to give from their heart and then be told that they aren't giving enough.
It takes a strong person to stand in the face of vicious rumors and make no apologies for who they are.
I could go and on but the point is that frankly, I don't think strong people get the support or praise they're due.
I've seen strong women called a bi*** just because they stand their ground, set boundaries and refuse to be run over. I've seen strong men raked over the coals because they don't fall into the category of the ideal man from a romantic movie. And don't even get me started on the strong people who are always the shoulder to lean on during rough times but are completely forgotten when things are better. I'm telling you, it's truly amazing.
It's amazing how each of these strong individuals has such moving stories of their own. Some are moms who have survived a physical abusive relationship. Some are men who have seen their fathers unapologetically disrespect women. Some are friends who are always there for everyone in their times of need. Some are the local entrepreneur who keeps pursuing a dream when the bank account balance doesn't add up.
Technically, there is no "face" of a strong person but I do know this - strong people do a lot of things that require great sacrifice and there are many precursors to their success that no one knows about. And despite the way that society bypasses these individuals, I hope that they hold their head high and say,
"Guess what? I am strong because I know the battles I've fought and the hurdles I've overcome."
In fact, I have no problem saying that. I am a strong woman and I make no apologies to anyone.