November 24, 2010 · 2:48 am
By: Mia L. Hazlett
What was it? The worst day of your life. What was the worst day of your life? My professor’s question infused itself in my head and refused to let me drift off into my slumber. It was supposed to have changed my life . So not only was it supposed to be the worst day, but so life altering that it shaped who I’ve become today.
I guess that’s a simple enough question for some. When I looked around in my classroom, the other students began scribbling furiously. Why could I think of nothing? Certainly there had to be some obstacle in my life that had changed me. At some point in my life I’ve suffered a level of anxiety over some event. I know I have.
There were times I had tasted the warm salt of my tears. But not every tear was that of despair or some insurmountable circumstance. Some gave way to the simple love line in a movie. Some snuck out as hilarity overtook me in shudders of laughter. Maybe even some sad events took place. I won’t deny that. But how, if I’m focused on my pain and whatever circumstance I am going through, am I supposed to know that I’m going through a life altering experience?
Maybe this was that moment. Could it be possible that at the moment my professor asked his question, I had a life changing event? There really had been tears of pain in my life. Moments in which getting out of bed in the morning could bring about that mental breakdown. But what I’m coming to realize is I had done such a wonderful job at dealing with drama, death, and heartache, that in reflecting I’ve created normalcy out of the situations, to protect myself. There has been a string of wrongs that have allowed me to cherish the rights in my life.
Is it wrong to live in survival mode? Should I always expect the most positive outcome? Trust me, I’ve been called a pessimist before, but I’m not. I mean I don’t walk around expecting the worst all the time either.
I’ve just learned that life is 50/50. It can go the way you want or the other way. If you can accept that, than you’re going to learn that life is not about one life changing moment, at least mine isn’t. For me, life is taking the good with the bad. So Mr. Professor, it has been the good and the bad and the best and the worst, quite simply, life, that has shaped who I have become today.
November 18, 2010 · 7:39 pm
Conundrum (Part V)
By: Mia L. Hazlett
As I came months from my due date, I had done a wonderful job of shutting everyone out of my life. There was just no one that truly understood the struggles that I faced as a single pregnant mother. Or so I thought. Because on my journey of shutting everyone out, there was a persistent friend that wouldn’t leave my side. She had been through everything with me and she refused to go away.
The problem with trying to maintain the image of strength on the outside when you feel you have very little on the inside, is the facade is easily recognized by those closest to you. So my best friend began to carry me as I mourned the loss of my self expectations.
With my child on its way, two kids, and the sprinkle of not enough, there was no way I could afford my lifestyle. I swallowed my pride and moved in with her and her two daughters. I had always called myself a Christian, but I had never explored faith. Now my friend was saying trust her, she had been in my shoes and it was going to be okay. What about my situation could speak to this “okay”?
As I began to move our stuff into her house, I noticed a small stone plaque near her front steps, “The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want” Psalm 23. She came up behind me and told me I was about to find out what that meant. That invoked a fear in me, because I didn’t want to want, I wanted to have. That was what I was used to. She laughed and told me to buckle myself in, because God was about to set my crooked path straight.
It wasn’t the first night in her house that I comprehended “okay”, nor the second or third. But it was a month later as we rearranged sleeping arrangements to set up the crib for my daughter. It was a month of living without all the “stuff” that I had allowed to mark my success. The material had always determined how far I was in my life. But with the departure of my husband, I felt a loss that couldn’t be replaced by stuff. I thought back to when she told me sell all my stuff and I laughed at her. Now I was rummaging through my “success” and locating the pictures and memories of my family. That’s all I wanted, all I needed. All the rest was replaceable.
In the blackness of the night, I rocked back and forth in the rocking chair next to the crib. There was a roof over my children’s head, clothes on their back, and they ate heartily. I smiled. At that moment in that room, I got it. “The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not want,” Psalm 23.
I dedicate this to a remarkable woman, Jennifer L. Texada. She is a wonderful friend and has stayed steadfast by my side as I’ve traveled down my path of faith. Without her loving heart and generosity, I would have turned around a long time ago. Thank you girl. You are a phenomenal woman. I am blessed to have you in my life.