When I was in the 8th grade, I joined the track team. Wanting to be more than a band nerd, I decided that I would try my hand at running and field games. Little did I know, at that time I was not destined to be more than a band nerd. My efforts in track and field didn't last long. Every time I threw the discus, it went in the opposite direction of which I aimed. When I reached back and hurled the shot put, it only went about 10 feet. My running stamina was terrible and I wasn't very fast. Every time I stepped out onto the track, I felt as though I was running against the wind. I tried so hard, yet I couldn't keep up with the other runners. My short legs weren't as trained as everyone else and when I tried the hurdles, I fell flat on my face. The jury came back; the verdict was decided. I was terrible at track and field. But for some reason inside my 13- year- old head, I was determined to be good at it and I showed up at every practice and tried my hardest. No matter how terrible I was at discus and no matter how horrible of a runner I was, I continued the race in spite of the cruel and harsh words my teammates or even what the onlookers said to me because it was something that I had decided in my heart that I wanted to do. Ultimately, I was really running against the wind and I didn't return for another season, but I did feel a sense of accomplishment when it was all over. When the year was over, I learned a lot about the people around me and their character with the way I was treated through it all. The experience also taught me a lot for my life today and gave me the shove I needed to be the person I need to be today.
There are many days I feel the same, as though I'm running against the wind and as though all odds are against me. No matter how hard I try and no matter what I do, nothing I do matters or is right. I look in one direction, but my efforts leave me looking at a field of desolation. If I look the other way, there is a crowd of people who laugh and don't understand why I do the things that I do. I'm running and running and running... yet I move nowhere. I'm running against the wind.
I'm a firm believer that all things in life happen for a reason. We may not always know that reason at the time. We may never know the reason... ever. But I know that they happen for some reason or other.
Had I never joined track, I would've never ended up in the library every day in my summer looking for books to soothe the pain of losing who I thought were my friends. I would've never been introduced to Jane Austen. She would've never taught me the one lesson above all...
"We do not suffer by accident."- Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice.
If there's one thing I've learned throughout my life, it's that one person's suffering has come directly from something or someone else.
But knowing that someone else caused your pain gives you the ability to soften your heart to them, knowing that they themselves must have had a reason to do so. "There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart."-Jane Austen, Emma
Jane taught me another lesson.
"You must be the judge of your own happiness."- Jane Austen, Emma.
I learned and have been taught over and over again that when someone does something to injure you, the first thing we must do is pick up our frowning faces and move on. We are the decision-makers of our happiness. Not one other person in this world can decide our happiness. Not even a single item in this world can make us happy.
"Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it."- Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility.
I have lived with a little and I have lived with a lot. I have had many friends and have had only three (which is my current trend). I've had days where even my own family doesn't speak to me outside of my husband and children but I move on and face the day and continue running against the wind.
We can fall on our faces, throw in the wrong direction, have terrible things said behind our backs or to our faces, but if we don't decide our own happiness, life will be without meaning.
We do not suffer by accident. Decide your happiness.
There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me. – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice
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