This post is inspired by a video YouTuber Essie Button recently did for another channel called ‘Dear July.’
I read a quote yesterday from JK Rowling. She said: “You will never truly know yourself or the strength of your relationships until both have been tested by adversity.”
Well, July, you’ve thrown adversity my way this month, as have many of your fellow months this year. You put a spanner in the works, caused a bump in the road, threw me in over my head, in to a situation I never thought I’d be able to handle or deal with. You tested so much of me, July. My faith in life and love, my happiness… my coping mechanism! But while you put that all on me, you also forced me to face up to a part of myself I never really had down as important element of my personality. My strength.
I never thought myself weak emotionally or physically. I mean, I beat my best and arguably fittest friend at an arm wrestle two years running with no advance preparation! However, I also never classed myself as tough or brave or particularly strong either. I feared a bad situation as a huge obstacle that I would never know how to overcome or grow and learn from. They were nightmares, dreads… fears. But as JK Rowling said, until you are forced face to face with these things, you never truly know how you’ll deal with them and move on from them.
I’ve always been fairly positive. I’m one of my closest friends ‘little ray of sunshine’ by name, and my family pick up on my positive vibes when I’m around, but I never thought this particularly significant. Yeah, I do try to see the best and beautiful in all I can, but don’t most people? Aren’t we all searching for that light, happy, beauty in life? It’s only through my adversities that I’ve realised that being positive isn’t just having a pleasant outlook on life, but it’s using it when you feel saddest, when you’re going through tragedy and heartbreak and things seem to have lost that glimmer of hope and excitement they once held. Using whatever unique trait you have that on any other day can seem normal or simple, in my case a positive outlook, on your baddest day can end up being your strength. You’ve taught me, July, that when people say ‘it’ll all work out in the end’ or ‘you’ll be fine,’ they’re saying it through experience, because they’ve been forced to find their inner strength in their lives, just as I was.
I think none of us truly know how we’ll deal with things until we do. I know my life has many more adversities in store and they won’t always seem as simple or ‘easy’ (I use that word very lightly) to move on from as recent events have, but I think I do know that as long as we hold on to our unique, positive, good elements of ourselves, we can use them to find the strength we need to carry on.
This month July, despite confusion, I was able to think logically. Despite sadness, I was able to believe in happiness. Despite crying, I was able to laugh and smile and find small joys in things. Despite anger, I was able to stay brave. Despite believing my worst nightmare would, firstly, never come and secondly, be impossible to overcome if it did, I got through, stronger and more positive and most optimistic than ever before. And along with that comes a new wave, of pride, excitement and self-belief.
While the rest of the world may deal with their adversities differently to me, I urge you all to notice when the hard times come just what it is that makes you even a little bit stronger, because I have a sneaking suspicion that that could be the very thing that shapes the next chapter in our lives into something great.
Thank you, July. For a lesson in coping and learning and a new layer of character building.