It was like I was carrying him on my shoulders: I carried his dreams, his happiness, his love. I thought if I could just pull through for my dad, I thought everything would be alright. I thought he would finally be happy. I cajoled myself into believing that doing everything he said would make things better. All I had to do was be strong.
The notion of strength is misunderstood. I get that now.
See, strength can achieve many things: It helps us persevere or push ourselves forward. It can help us find the drive we’ve been needing to pull through. But strength has a positive connotation that just doesn’t sit right with me. Because I’ve been so strong for so long and fruition is nowhere in sight. But, at my wit’s end, I realized, though my strength has kept me going, could it ever get me what I truly want?
For instance, your strength can’t make someone happy unless happiness is already within them. Strength can’t make someone love you, unless they already do. Strength cannot keep everything under control, it can’t stop bad things from happening, and it definitely can’t mend a broken heart (time does that). Yes, strength can hide your secrets but it can’t turn you into something you’re not. It can only make you more of what you already are. And I wonder, does it take more strength to hold onto a lie or to finally face the truth?
Strength keeps us glued to a path despite its obstacles. So its not so much your strength you must question, as it is your path. Do you truly believe in it? Is it possible? Can it be real?
For me, the path I was struggling to stay on wasn’t real. I can’t make him happy. That’s just not him. My strength will not teach him how to be a proper father or how to be thankful. Sure, it will help me graduate and, perhaps, help me find a job. But the peace I’m chasing continues to be non-existent and no amount of strength can bring it to life.
You’re strong. I know it. But is this what you really want?