Thursday, September 5, 2013


Today was a bad day.

It was one of those days where one bad thing happens...and then another...and then another....until you hit the end of the day and you're either laughing because you honestly can't believe that a day this bad could actually be happening, or you're crying because it all just pushed you over the edge.

Today ended with the latter rather than the former. There were definitely tears...and not much laughter. The final straw came when I stepped on a carpet tack with my bare foot. But allow me to back up and relay the events of my day.

- Woke up feeling like the air had been sucked out of my lungs, coughing like an eight year old chain smoker.
- Cleaning crew at school had moved my students desks and not put them back. Again.
- In the middle of Junior religion the piano and I got into a fight. Piano, 1. Andrea, 0. Nothing like biting it in front of a class of high school Juniors.
- About ten minutes after I took my graceful float through the air I realized my foot was throbbing. Took a quick glance down and saw the top of my foot was growing. By the time I got to elevate it with some ice (almost two hours later), a lovely purple egg had taken up residence in between my ankle and toes. (This might also be a good place to mention that I booked a flight back to Milwaukee yesterday for my half marathon in two weeks...)
- I made it through the majority of my day fairly unscathed. That is, until I tried to go home after school at 5:30pm. Drove gma car across the lot, stopped at the office to mark myself out, came back That's all she would do. Click. We tried jumping her. Click. We bought her a new battery. Click. The man who helped me said it was probably the starter. So I drove one of the school's vans home.

I just wanted to go home. I just wanted to go swimming at the pool. I just wanted a night that wasn't filled with work, to feel like a person. I called my friend (whose tire had exploded on the interstate earlier this week) to commiserate in the car woes of gma car (my car) and silver fox (his car). Talked to my mom for a little bit. Stepped on a carpet tack while I was trying to get ice for my still throbbing foot and wash the car grease off my hands from helping with the battery. And then I cried. And my car might not be fixed until next Tuesday. It's Thursday.

Let me try this again.

I woke up.
Someone else emptied the garbages for my classroom last night.
I have a piano in my music room.
My body responded to trauma like it should, with swelling to protect the affected area.
I had ice immediately accessible to me.
I get to go back to Milwaukee in two weeks. For two weekends in a row.
My car broke down at school. Where there were people to help me. And give me a ride to buy a new battery. And help me install it. People who smiled and waved at me after taking the time to help me after they had already coached a football practice.
My principal let me take a school owned vehicle home. So I could get home.
One of my co-workers knows a guy who can work on my car and won't kill me on the cost.
This is really only the second major thing I've had to fix on my car since I've owned it.
I have a car.
I had soap to wash my hands.
I have an ice cube maker in my freezer to make ice for my foot.
I can call my mom up on the phone and talk to her.
I have a friend that will listen to my problems, let me have the breakdown I need to have, and reach down and help me back up again.

One of my Facebook friends (who I've actually only met/hung out with once, but has truly affected my life and the way I look at/think about things) wrote a post today:

Dear Beautiful Struggle,
Im thankful for you. Its because of you that I am humble now. I see things so different now because of you. You have taught me so much. I am a better person who appreciates everything I am blessed with now. You have given me the vision to see past the fake people that smiled in my face while I struggled with you. They laughed they joked as if it was amusing to see someone struggle with you. Its cool though. They are out of my life now. They can see me shine now. No more struggle. No more pain. CHANGE IS GOOD. GOD IS GREAT. Goodbye beautiful struggle. My destiny awaits......

There truly is beauty in our struggles. No, no one wants the struggles. No one wants to go through the hard stuff. They are not easy, pleasant, or comfortable. I don't want to go back and relive this day tomorrow, by any stretch of the imagination. But I'm alive, I have a safe place to live, and I have some incredible people in my life who love and care about me far more than I could ever deserve. If that's not beauty in the midst of struggle, I don't know what is.

One day at a time. Tomorrow's a new day.

Live. Laugh. And most

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